Friday, July 25, 2014

The Talk.....who's job is it?

Can I take a poll? Who agrees that if you have girls the Mom gets to have "the talk" and if you have boys Dad gets to do it? One, Two , Three, ninety-nine......HA,  I win!

I was walking with a girlfriend the other day and she said that she had put together little "goodie" bags for her girls.  She had not intended to make one for each girl but started with the 7th grader, than realized she should probably include the 5th grader, then just felt bad not including the 3rd grader. So they all got one!

It was "the talk" goodie bag of feminine hygiene products: tampons, pads, deodorant, etc...she said she left them on their beds with a nice note that said "If you want, we can talk." To which I howled in laughter and gave her a hard time calling her Chicken $#!% for not having "the talk" just leaving a note.

But I love the idea- Brilliant!! My husband refuses to talk with our 6th grade boy about his body and what all is going on done there.  I keep arguing that I do not know enough about that accouterment to have an effective conversation. Remember my "sex talk" with him in 4th grade??? The whole debacle is well documented right here in this blog.

What do I put in the boy "talk" goodie bag? Condoms, lube, hand lotion? Could I Google it without getting 400 Porn sites instantly popping up on my computer because that would be EXACTLY when my mother-in-law would come in the room to ask me what to make for dinner.  It's gonna be a hard one (HA, no pun intended) to explain with my limited knowledge of the Greek language.  Maybe there is an example on Pinterest.  My friend looked at me with what was either shock, horror, or confusion it was hard to tell.  That's when she told me she had in fact already had "the talk" with them.

The 7th grader looked at her with what she could only think was shock, horror, or confusion. Ah, like Mother like daughter, good to know.  The 5th grader was excited and holler "Let's do this!" The 3rd grader was not really paying attention as she was too busy lacing up her athletic shoes that's when Mom realized she heard "Go for a walk" not let's have a talk.

I am so glad that someone else's sex talk went down in flames, does anyone have a boy "talk" goodie bag - seriously?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Courage is a Muscle - use it!

Have you ever had one of those experiences, several times, and then said to the universe, "Seriously!"

In my heart I know that the universe is trying to teach me something, but the voices in my head or around me are drowning everything else out. Such is Motherhood.

Instinct pulls you in the right direction and yet we make that left turn anyway. Perhaps it is a comment by the Doctor, your mother, or a girlfriend.  We know with all our heart that something is wrong with our child, or right, that they need something, or nothing.

My poor nephew spent his birthday in the hospital after a ruptured appendix.  If I know my sister, she is beating herself up for the whole thing. Thinking that she somehow had control over the universe. Which she does not, but I ain't gonna be one to tell her!! Have you met her? You do it.

Not that I think his awful experience was about her - exactly the opposite. I have learned so much as a parent from watching her advocate for her children.  It's something I struggle with, speaking up for myself and my kids.

There is a quote I heard once that I loved so much I printed it out and posted it on our kitchen.
"Courage is a muscle" I think instinct is too.  I beat myself up for not having more, then realize I had it when it counted the most....I was just to busy using it to pay attention.

I often think of my best friend's daughter who has undergone countless (40+??) surgeries.  All the times it was a "routine" or "simple" or "standard" procedure that landed her in the hospital again for days, weeks, or months.  How would I get through that? How could I watch? How would I not be angry? scared? overwhelmed? I think she would say - Who said I wasn't?

The more you use a muscle, the more you build that muscle. Some of us have more opportunities than others my friend will remind me when I start lamenting about what I didn't do, or ask, or say.  But each time I learn a little more, practice a little more, try a little more.

I hope my nephew is released from the hospital soon because I know that he will bounce right back. And then maybe my sister will have time to bounce back too.  Because nothing hurts us more as Mom's then dwelling on the shoulda, woulda, coulda's, instead of seeing the times it was I got this!

Like I said, I know my sister. There may have been moments when the voices drowned out her gut - but when her gut kicked in - someone got their ass kicked.  I'm sure of it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Early this summer my whole family went on vacation to a lake house. There was no WIFI and limited television but unlimited sun, fun, and water.  There were cousins, junk food, late nights, fireworks, and fishing. What more could you ask for?

I spent many summer days in a cottage by a lake.  There were two bedrooms and 11 cousins.  There was no TV to speak of as cable was non-existent at the time and we were in the middle of nowhere Indiana.  There were card games and board games for raining days, there was a ton of water skiing, fishing, and playmates.

As we drove home from vacation the kids talked about all the best parts of the week: learning to water ski, sparklers, tubing, shoving each other off the swim platform, fishing, hanging out with cousins, eating lots of junk food.  It brought back a flood of memories from my summers at the cottage.

How did we pass the time - unplugged? And how do I teach my children how to just - be?  This is something I struggle with as a mom.  Am I doing enough to show them how not to be "bored".  I made a simple poster for our kitchen this summer and it hangs right under their chore chart.  It's titled THE BORED BOARD.  My kids know at this point not to say the "B" word in front of me or they'll get a few extra chores.

The Bored Board has 100 ideas of things you could do with your time.  Very few include an electronic device.  Don't get me wrong, I know that my kids will need to be skilled at technology and plugged in to survive in the Twenty First Century.  I am going to have to figure out Instagram and follow them on their YouTube channel.  I just hope that when they have children they will take them to a Lake House for vacation and show them how to caught minnows with a net and fireflies with their hands.

Invisible people are hard!

This was the year - we have put off staining the deck too long and this was the year!  Fourth of July weekend we took advantage of the paint sales, went out and bought the very expensive and very thick deck restorative paint, and we got to work.

It was truly a family affair as both my husband and I painted and usually one, if not both boys were helping.  $400 in paint and supplies, well over 100 man hours, and 4 days.  I never want to see another spindle again in my entire life.

I did thank God many times for the cooler than usual July weather, the breeze, and the fact that even if the boys were not painting they were keeping themselves occupied.  This is not a challenge for my youngest son who can play by himself for hours.  We often giggle at how long he will sit somewhere near us with a toy car, gun, or Lego making the appropriate noises.

Even with all the great weather, good behavior, and a live-in cook right now (Gia Gia) by Saturday night my patience were gone. I was downright snippy.  So after I had asked for the boys to help bring the food out for dinner so that we could eat outside (seeing as my husband and I were both covered in grey paint) and NO ONE WAS LISTENING, I was ready to snap.

That's when my eight-year-old comes walking around the side of the house all slumped over, Nerf gun in each hand, looking dejected and exhausted.  The hair stood up on the back of my neck immediately and I threw my hands on my hips and shot the boy a "Don't you dare play tired with me" look.  He never did look up - he slumped down in a lawn chair heaved a big sigh and said-
"Boy these invisible guys are wearing me out!"

I laughed so hard I forgot to be mad, or tired, or snippy.