Friday, August 19, 2011
My kids are growing up.
And I am getting left Home Alone. For 17 years I have been playmate, chauffeur, and constant companion to my three children. With a few exceptions, where they went I went. Where they played, I played. What they experienced, I experienced.
All that changed this summer.
My daughter got her driver's license. Her friends drive. Her boyfriend drives. The pool, the rec center, amusement parks, lunches, dinners, the mall - all places my kids go without me now. Friends are their companions. Mom has been replaced. This is a good thing. I know this.
But it basically sucks - for me.
Now I get filled in after the fact instead of experiencing first hand. Now I send texts to touch base instead of reaching out for hand to hold. Now I pray for their safety instead of making sure they are buckled up.
Now I sit home alone.
They say letting go is a process but it felt sort of all-at-once for me this summer. And this is only the beginning.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Mommy, won’t you pretend with me?
We could dress up and drink some tea.
See, I’m figuring out who I want to be
When you play make believe with me.
Daddy, won’t you build with me?
Blocks, trains, a Lego city,
Math and physics I can see,
When you create new worlds with me.
Grandma, won’t you cook with me?
We could make lunch or cookies for three.
Measuring, pouring, I’m learning, yippee!
Having fun, you, me and Teddy.
Grandpa, won’t you read with me?
Those words and pictures I can see.
They come to life so easily,
When you make them real for me.
Brother, won’t you run with me?
Superheroes, a pack of dogs maybe.
We’re learning language easily,
When we imagine what we could be.
Sister, won’t you dig with me?
Here in the sandbox or away by the sea.
There are no limits on you and me,
We can get loud and super messy.
School Friend, won’t you swing with me?
Play some tag or climb a tree?
We’re taking turns and leading fairly,
When we’re running wild and free.
Teacher won’t you play with me?
Because ABC and 123
Just don’t mean that much to me.
To learn I need to hear, taste, touch, smell and see!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
It's a white-knuckle job and I don't know if I can do it. It might be the hardest parenting job I've had yet. It may even stress me out more than the truth in the cartoon above. It's...
Teaching my teen to drive.
It un-nerves me. It is a total loss of control that I don't handle well. It's a why-can't-I-catch-my-breath? tightness in my chest that doesn't dissipate until I am back in the driver's seat.
I have a very smart and capable daughter. She is in the Honors Diploma program in high school. She babysits children with ease. She is ultra responsible. But giving her the keys and sitting impotent in the passenger seat while she pilots our vehicle we are still making payments on, trusting her with my life - literally, may be the reason I start getting the gray hairs my brother swears I already have but my hairstylist denys.
God help me.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
No one will tell you the awful truth like a preschooler. I have 32 of them that relish telling me wonderful truths like: "You have a really big bottom," "My daddy made my mommy cry last night" or "I have an owie on my personal business." (classic!)
Well, the other day I decided to wear contacts to work since my glasses need to be readjusted. I wore contacts exclusively until December when I got new glasses but the kiddos have a short memory. About ten minutes into class one of the boys commented.
"Ms. Tina, your eyes look different."
"I'm not wearing my glasses today, Eddie."
"Oh... you look like a clown."
Gee thanks! What can you do but laugh?
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Few stories make me cry like the Easter story. The betrayal, torture, and death of Jesus is a true crime tale that rivals any modern fiction for suspense, gore, backstabbing, and murder. Plus, there is a twist at the end that any writer would covet and no reader could see coming. It is an emotional rollercoaster between book covers that always leaves me breathless.
I teach in a Christian preschool and for years I wondered how I can make this intense and scary story one that won't give my preschool classes nightmares and yet still keep the integrity, the sacrifice, and the miraculous intact. A few years ago I found my answer and it has mesmerized my four and five year olds ever since - Resurrection Eggs. They are a dozen plastic Easter eggs in a carton; each egg contains an item that tells the Easter story. Here's what they contain and my paraphrase of the story:
- A small donkey - Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and the people praised him singing Hosanna!, laying their cloaks on the road, and waving palm branches.
- Three silver coins - One of the twelve disciples, Judas, would betray Jesus to the high priests for 30 silver coins.
- A goblet - While the disciples and Jesus were in the upper room sharing the Passover dinner Jesus broke bread and give it to them saying, "This is my body broken for you" and he passed wine to them saying, "This is my blood poured out for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
- Praying hands - After Judas left to carry out his betrayal, Jesus asked three of his disciples to go with him to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. Unable to stay awake, the disciples fell asleep while Jesus prayed alone. Three times Jesus returned to prayer until he found the strength to complete what lay ahead of him.
- Leather cord - Judas arrives at the garden with the guards of the temple, indicates Jesus with a kiss, and has Jesus falsely arrested and accused; resulting in his beating with a whip.
- Crown of thorns - After lashing Jesus the guards fashioned a crown made of thorns and put it on Jesus' head mocking him as the "King of the Jews."
- Cross made of three nails - Although Jesus was tried and no wrong could be found against him they sentenced him to death by crucifixion and nailed him to a cross.
- A die - As Jesus was suffering on the cross, they took his clothes and threw dice, casting lots for them, giving his clothing to the highest roller.
- Spear - After three hours on the cross Jesus breathed his last and a great earthquake shook the city. To be certain he was dead one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear and water flowed from the wound. Jesus was dead.
- White sheet - Following the death of Jesus they took his body and wrapped it in a white sheet. Joseph, a friend of Jesus, layed his body in a new tomb and rolled a stone in front of the tomb to seal it.
- Stone - Guards were posted outside the tomb to be sure no one could steal the body for Jesus had claimed that he would rise from the dead. On the third day after his death, Jesus' close friend, Mary, came to the tomb to anoint his body with herbs but when she got there the stone was rolled away.
- Empty! - Jesus was no longer in the tomb for he did indeed rise from the dead and he lives today, awaiting our union with him in heaven.
Happy Resurrection Day!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I got in trouble yesterday with my sister-in-law. I think after 19 years she finally figured out this awful truth about me:
I don't call. Ever. Anybody.
This is one of most irksome and irritating faults. Ask anyone in my family and they will tell you, if you want to talk to Tina, you're gonna have to be the one picking up the phone. Most people closest to me have all resigned themselves to this annoying trait but I fear I may have lost a friend or two along the way and this makes me sad.
I don't mind talking and catching up once I've picked up the phone. And it's not that I don't think of those I love and hold dear - I do. I just never think to initiate, pick up the phone, and kill an hour or two chatting. 'Cuz believe me. I can chat.
Believe me, I have tried to change. I've tried writing myself notes on the calendar to call people on a semi-regular basis. Like my mom, dad, brother, or in-laws. FYI - this doesn't work if you don't use a calendar much. I have kept old messages on the voicemail, blinking for days upon days as a reminder to call someone. All for naught.
I still hold out hope that you can teach an old dog (that being me) new tricks and I can change my mute and neglectful ways. Maybe when my kids move out of the house my desperation to talk to them will change me. There's always hope, right?
'Til then, give me a call sometime. I'd love to chat... Really!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I love to sing.
Consequently, I sing ALL THE TIME. I wish I could say I had skills but really I don't. I mean, I think (hope) I can carry a tune but beyond that I would need a lot of vocal-coaching and Auto-Tuning to produce something remotely recordable. But that's okay, really, I just sing for me; because I love it. It brings me joy, changes my mood, helps me connect to God, fires me up with energy, and releases emotion when nothing else helps.
Something I've always wanted to do (and probably anyone who has riden in a car with me would agree) is take singing lessons with a professional. Not only for my enjoyment but because I have a voice that carries and the people sitting in front of me at church would probably REALLY appreciate it :)