Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Two Steps Forward. . . Three Steps Back

I took Son (#4) to get his learner's permit this morning.  He passed the written test and drove me to Starbucks (hear the angels singing?).  I have a feeling it's going to take extra boxes of brown hair color to get me through teaching our fourth to drive.  But when I start to lose heart, I just remember, the next three are GIRLS.

Oh glory.

Sometimes it's easy to look at raising kids like a check list of life skills.

Sleeping through the night.  Check.  Times eight.
Eating solids.  Check.  Times eight.
Walking.  Check.  Times eight.
Potty training.  Check. Times eight (and never ever again, thankyouverymuch).
Swimming.  Reading.  Riding a bike...  Check. Check.  And check.

The other day the Coach and I were outside watching Little Man ride his bike up and down the hill in front of the house.  When did this happen, I asked the Coach, how did he get so BIG?  It wasn't even one of the SMALL bikes?  ((sniff))

As they get older, it becomes...
Driving.  Check.  Times four (almost).
Overseas Travel without parents.  Check.  Times three.

Graduate from High school.  Check. Times two.
College.  Check.  Times two (in progress).

It feels this way sometimes.  Passing milestones like mile markers on the turnpike going 75 miles an hour.  It's flying.  I don't even have time to put the pictures in albums.

But then Little Man brought home an assignment to draw a diagram of his room (to learn North, South, East and West).  He told the teacher he wasn't sure if he should draw it messy or clean (what??).  And then proceeded to tell me he wasn't sure what shape to draw his room because he never sees the floor.

And Daughter's (#6) class discussed Jesus being left in the temple by his parents and the teacher said, "Your parents would never leave you!" Which of course prompted countless stories from my kids of who has been left where and for how long.  ((sigh))

Not to mention that the school pants are getting too tight and the boys' hair is getting too long and I'm not so sure AR points will all be gotten by Friday and someone (I can't remember who) still needs basketball shoes for practice that started last week.

So maybe on the one hand we are checking things off.

On the other hand, we are parenting individuals.  Who are each completely unique.  Who will do things differently at different times and in different ways.  Which means it is NEVER boring.  And thank you, Lord, for second graders.  And 15 year old chauffeurs.  And 11th birthdays.  And college kids who text their mom (hint).


I'm also thankful that the Coach whispered in my ear as he kissed me goodbye this morning (after all of the stories about me leaving them and Little Man's chronicle of his messy room to his teacher)... "You're a wonderful mom."

I'm not so certain.

But what would I do without him?  Or our troops? (Even if I do forget them now and then.  Ha!)

Happy Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

When "not gross" is all you've got left...

The Coach asked me last night how things were going.

The short answer is great.  Things are great.  Kids are doing well (for the most part).  I'm still here (at least physically).  My pants still fit (And who am I kidding?  There are always yoga pants!).

But the long (er) answer?

I wasn't planning on having a girlie home with fever two days this week (well, fever one day and recovery the next).  The list is LONG.  So long I'm about ready to just delete is all and start over.  Can I do that?  The same for the email.  At what point is it beyond any hope?

I LOVE my life.  I LOVE my Coach.  I LOVE my kids.  I LOVE Fall, football, my precious family and friends.  And I'm not being cliche' when I say I am abundantly blessed.

I'm so easily overwhelmed.  Some days I see the boxes in the sunroom, the piles on the desk, the mess in the garage, the ironing by the dryer, the bathroom cabinets, the boxes in our bedroom, the closet...

It gets to me.

The Coach, as usual, was quick to tell me that it will eventually all get done.  Which I'm not too sure about.

My current daily expectations are pretty low:

Feed the Troops (this requires, shopping, prep, cooking, baking, and clean up. Every day. Several times on some days.).
Keep up with the Laundry (including various uniforms for various sports and occasionally an open washer and dryer for one very pretty college student) (even though I actually also HAVE a very handsome college student, but he never seems to have time to come home and see his momma. Hint.).
Maintain a Household Standard of "Not Gross" (as opposed to my former standard of "clean").

A lot of things aren't making the list right now.  Sometimes even the basics don't get done.  Can you say "leftovers"?  The most important things around here are not the things.  I'm trying to remember.

Maybe some day I'll get back to to all.  The years of photos that haven't been organized or put into albums.  The boxes in the attic.  The empty baby books.  The dirty windows.  The bulging file drawers.  The kids' closets.


For now, Little Man wants to tell me about the teepees that he's been making.  And I'd rather listen to him than wash windows.  As long as I can't see them out of the corner of my eye.

Happy Wednesday.

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.  (Is. 40:8)