Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Treat them like your grandchildren.

Have you ever had an unlikely conversation? Like standing in line at the DMV, or the Grocery store, or waiting for one of your kids activities to end. Some of the best advice I have ever been given was one of those unlikely conversations.

The other day at the Health Club I wasn't feeling great and the place was super crowded. A given this time of year as all the people who make a New Year's resolution to workout sign-up for the year but show up for a month. I was ready to walk out, but with both kids at school at least for a few hours I was determined to get some exercise that did not involve my vocal chords. I got on the treadmill that overlooks my husband kid's gym where he teaches and watched him work.

It was kinda nice because I don't even watch when our kids are in class. Having mom watching and dad teaching seems to make them misbehave even more. Not knowing anyone gave me the freedom to just enjoy the view. What a view it was!

There was my husband in the middle of a circle of 8 little girls all dressed in various pink leotards and hair accessories. They were showing him their nails, their tutu's, and talking about their boyfriends. (These are 3-4 year-olds by the way) And of course he was in full swing, gushing over their nails and showing off his own, twirling in his sweat pants, and giving them all a good talking to about boyfriends.

A grandmother came up and got on the treadmill next to me and asked which one was mine. I said very sweetly, "The tall, dark, and hairy one with the booming voice." She laughed and told me what a great teacher and person my husband is and how lucky I am. I agreed whole heartily.

We chatted the way you do when you are on treadmills and watching children's gymnastics. But something she said struck me. She said her grandchildren were just even more amazing then her own children. I remarked how so many grandparents have mentioned that being with their grandchildren is so much more fun than raising their own children was because their can give them back. She smiled and said, "My mother died when I was very young, and my grandmother always told me, don't wait for your grandchildren, enjoy your own children. Treat them like your grandchildren."

What a wonderful idea! My grandmothers, though very very different, where my best friends. In there eyes I could do anything! I could sing like a Nightingale, dance like a Prima ballerina, perform like Judy Garland, and I was smarter than any child they had ever met. Whatever I wanted to become that day they backed me 100%. And when I threw one of my famous fits, they would tell me how disappointed they were in my behavior - I was better than that. They were grandmothers, friends, confidant, supporters; and they were my soft place to land.

This woman's comment struck a chord with me, because if I could give my children what my grandmothers gave to me, that's more than I could ever hope.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I don't get secrets...

Maybe I am to simple, but I don't get secrets. When you are a kid, especially a girl child, there are always secrets. They start early and they are never seem to be constructive.

Don't tell Emily we are having a tea party, see you at 2:00!
Let's have a club but don't tell Ellie.
Mommy said you have a big butt, but I'm not suppose to tell you.
Did you know Rachel went to Scott house last weekend and she hasn't broken up with David.

One might argue that as an adult there are secrets that are necessary and harmless.

Dave's Surprise 50th Party--Shhh! Don't tell!
Marcy had a nose job but told everyone she was helping orphans in Peru.
Jane was meeting with a Head Hunter the other day at lunch, but tell anyone I saw them.
That was awesome honey, you are amazing in bed.

But I still don't get secrets. When someone tells me "not to tell" it's like they have handed me a burning torch that I am suppose to stick in my pocket. No Thank You! Why give me information that I'm not allowed to share. What else is there to do with information? Some people really thrive on secrets. Maybe they also do really well at Clue. No one ever wanted to play Clue with me because I blew the minute they handed over the cards - "It can't be Mrs. White, with the candlestick in the Library!!"

Ultimately secrets are selfish. They do not take into consideration the person that is suppose to guard the information. The teller may feel relieved to get it off their chest, but they have just asked someone else to carry the burden. And let's not forget those people who thrive on the satisfaction of saying, "I'm not suppose to tell you this but". They feel vindicated in calling the person out, and now someone else has to pretend not to know.

I think secrets are a terrible part of childhood that should stay there. Grown-ups who've moved past the fourth grade should act like it. There's only on secret that should be required and that's Santa Claus.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Who's Crazy?

So anyone who has watched a three-year-old, had a three-year-old, or has even been related to a three-year-old knows just how fickle they can be - except my husband. He has only been teaching three-year-old's for the past 15+ years.

Our son is on the middle of the dreaded "nap or no nap" phase. One day he takes one the next day he opts out, either way we all pay for it come bedtime. That is nothing new though, bedtime has never been a calm and peaceful time for us. I think I could hire violins and light candles while giving them warm lavender bathes and my boys would still find a second wind.

Several nights ago our three-year-old who did not nap but chose to stay outside and sled for two and a half hours was a walking zombie until we hit the bedroom. He didn't really find a second wind, he found a fuse. He screamed, hit, threw things, and slammed doors. I tried talking to him, I tried threatening him, I tried ignoring him, I tried spanking him, I even threw him out of the house - he was out of control. My husband was beside himself and asked me if the child was crazy.

Is the three-year-old crazy? YES! Are you that slow on the uptake - all three-year-old's are crazy. They are in such a delicate stage, Am I a big boy? Am I the baby? I can do it myself! But I can't do it myself! Hold me! Leave me alone! Hell I'm crazy just being around three-year-old's.

They are also beautifully perceptive, incredibly funny, and just what you need to turn your day around. My uncle is dying - and tonight I just could not hide the tears. The boys asked what was wrong. I told them that Uncle George that we pray for was getting ready to go with the Angles to Heaven and that it's just hard to say goodbye. That's when the three-year-old piped up. "Mommy when my heart hurts I get mad and I just need somsing, like a hug." Not so crazy that little one.......

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

This McDonald's World

Whenever I am in the car by myself, which so rarely happens, I like to listen to NPR. Today on the way to my pseudo-job I heard them interviewing economists regarding the end of "this recession".

Now is it just me or are too many Americans asking for a quick fix? One of my neighbors had a bumper sticker on his car six months ago that said, "How's that hopey, changey thing working for you?" Seriously!!!

When the stock market crashed in 1929 did Americans turn around 6 months later and ask why things weren't better than before? Who are we to think that things are going to turn around in a minute - we are the instant gratification generations.

Nothing should take more than a nano-second and nothing should be out of reach. Wal-Mart, McDonald's, Starbucks, and Target signs line the interstates because you can find one on every corner. Third-graders are talking, texting, and downloading during recess.

I don't want to rant and rave so heartily that Homeland Security flags my blog. We are suppose to travel this summer and I would hate to find out too late that I have been added to the no-fly list as a potential person of interest.

Maybe it is becoming a mother that has changed my view on things so drastically. I called my mom today and spent a full 30 seconds on the phone completely speechless because my brain was just stuck. The hourglass just kept spinning and spinning, my mother finally said, 'I'll call you later" and hung up. I stood there holding the phone while the hourglass spun another 30 seconds, I swear.

So who am I to fault President Obama for not having things fixed yet. He did have a lot on his plate - what with World Peace, a War, the Economy, Health Care, the Energy Crisis, was there anything else? Oh yeah, A New Puppy! That would be enough to send me over the edge.

I guess the other issue I have is Americans asking everyone else to fix it. We broke it. If my children break something or spill something I make them take responsibility for the mess. I think it is about high time we all take more responsibility for the mess that we are in and start cleaning up a little bit. Just one mother's opinion.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Holiday Mayhem

Our family had an absolutely wonderful Holiday! The boys are at great ages to be able to go and do things as a family without the interruptions of naps, diapers, feedings, etc. We were able to go to the zoo, the movies, swimming, even a restaurant. Christmas morning was so nice, low key, the boys both got snow toys though so now all we need is the SNOW!

What was almost completely the opposite was my family's Christmas together. Many of you with small children may be familiar with the term Llama drama. From those fabulous books about little Llama and his Mama. That is pretty much how my family Christmas proceeded, let me try to explain...

The Dabbelt Family Christmas is here!
and that means Dabbelt drama appears.
Before the stockings and the tree,
there must be a fight for all to see.

Someone pouting, someone crying,
Someone shouting, someone lying.
Everyone on eggshells walks,
into the room and no one talks.

Brothers, sisters, cousins, aunties
everyone with wadded panties.
Papa drinks and Nanna's shocked
Did we raise this nasty flock?

The weekends ruined all to hell
is something burning? what's that smell?
Picture time and family fun.
Everyone just wants to run.

Let's get home and save the season,
maybe then we'll think of reason.
Why do we get together at all?
Oh, yeah. Deck the %@(_##&$ hall!

Dabbelt Family Christmas Cheer,
Maybe we can screw next year.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

When do you say Goodbye?

My Uncle George, my Godfather, is dying of brain cancer. He has fought valiantly, struggled defiantly, and lived beautifully. But when do I say Goodbye?

Uncle "Chip" George as we call him is the kindest gentlest man I've ever met. He exudes love and is such an amazing example of a husband and father. They are a family like I've never seen before showing such caring and compassion for one another. A huge part of that is his very significant and amazing better half, Teressa. Together they are truly what love should look like.

She is who I think about everyday. She is the one I worry about. She has battled and struggled and fought, and yet will survive. Without medication, without anesthesia she will keep searching, fighting, hoping, praying, and living - without him.

This is what brings me to my knees. George is a good Christian and I have no doubt that Saint Peter is waiting with all those gone before ready to Welcome him home. But what about Teressa? What about his sons Neil and Seth?
It is not easy to let someone go - When do I say Goodbye?

There are so many "experts" now a days and they say that you need to let the person know that it is ok to go. I think George surely came to terms with that when they told him it's Brain Cancer! He knows it's ok to go. I may never be ready though - when do I say Goodbye?

I saw him at Thanksgiving and I think now as I thought then, it will be the last time I will see him alive. I could NOT bring myself to say Goodbye. I told him I loved him, and that he is the bravest person I know. I pray for him everyday and when I do I talk with him, just as I will when he is gone. Because, I can't say Goodbye - I shouldn't have to.

I don't know how else to pay tribute to this amazing and wonderful man, except to say, I love you. I am so proud to be your niece, and to have had the pleasure to know you, I am better for it.
Good night Sweet Prince.