The end product

The part that surprises me the most about being a mom, is how much I love it.

Growing up, it was not no, HELL no do I want kids.  As the oldest of four with two parents that worked, I felt like I’d already raised my 2.5.  I had nothing against children, I just didn’t want any.  I’d smile and nod (or argue) when folks would tell me, “It’s different when the child is your own.”  I knew I’d make an AWESOME aunt and that was my intention. 

Later in life, I’d made the conscious decision that yes, I would like to be a mom.  I knew it would change my life… me forever.  I had no idea exactly HOW much.

I like how open my heart has become, how my empathy for others has expanded, how conscious I am of the effect of the words, actions, and attitudes I choose. 

The inherent vulnerability of motherhood catches in my chest.  There are things I shouldn’t or can’t control and I’m learning to be ok with that.  It makes me want to tread gently through this life, this world.  Everyone is doing the best they can with what they have… I am learning the meaning of living with grace.

The confidence that comes only through experience and giving unconditional love provides a sureness to my steps that I notice even when I’ve feeling the most vulnerable.  The responsibility in wanting to be an example not a lesson to my son, keeps me pushing boundries, trying new things, drinking deeply from the cup of life.  I must do if I am to teach. 

Little Man is growing up so quickly.  Five is friggin amazing.  It’s easy to get lost in the day in day out minuta of what needs to get done.  Then I hear his full belly laugh, or some quirky thing come out of his mouth, or we have a deliciously full day like today and the full weight of the blessing I’ve been given hits me. I am so grateful that I was loaned my Little Man. 

The end product of child raising is not the child but the parent.  ~Frank Pittman

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The voices singing in my head

Here is a random sampling of the lyrics ricocheting around in my skull lately:

I want to walk with you on a cloudy day…
…The sun, it rises slowly as you walk away from all your fears
all the faults you’ve left behind….
but I will hold on hope
and I won’t let you choke
on the noose around your neck 
And I’ll find strength in pain
and I will change my ways. 
I’ll know my name as it’s called again.
Cause I have other things to fill my time
You take what is yours and I’ll take mine
Now let me at the truth
Which will refresh my broken mind.
You can’t stop nothing
if you got no control
Of the thoughts in your mind
That you kept in, you know
Tonight I’ll sing my songs again
I’ll play the game and pretend
But all my words come back to me
in shades of mediocrity
like emptiness and harmony
I need someone to comfort me
And I’ll hang around as long as you’ll let me
I never minded standin in the rain
You don’t have to call me darlin’ darlin
But you never even called me by my name.
If it’s a broken part, replace it
If it’s a broken arm then brace it
If it’s a broken heart then face it
And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way.
And everything will be fine
the suns so hot and the waves in motion
and everything smells like sustan lotion
So plant a little seed, soon it starts growing
Shed a little light then we’ll be glowing
Hear a little tune then we’ll be singing
Give a little love then love will start breathing
So start wearing purple, wearing purple
Start wearing purple for me now
Well, I’ve heard that blue old whippoorwill too
And I’ve heard that Lonesome Whistle whine
And I know that feel, so cold, so real
When The Blues Come Around at midnight
I’m not afraid to take a stand
Everybody come and take my hand
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
whatever weather, cold or warm
Just let you know that you’re not alone
Holla if you’ve been down the same road
We need soft lights… and hard country music!
We come from the land of the ice and snow
from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow
Just a good ol boys never meanin’ no harm

What sound bytes have been bouncing in your brain?

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Strings, sealing wax and other fancy stuff

He’s growing up folks.  I’m finding the many moments of absolute pride are tinged with bits of melancholy.  I know this is normal, it’s part of the process of raising an adult.  I don’t want to freeze him at any particular age and yet saying good bye to the parts that were to make way for the parts to come, pinches the heart.   I catch glimpses of the man he is becomming. I see the greatness inside him.  I don’t want to forget the sweet moments that are molding him into who he is to be.

I had picked up some Dr. Suess books for him.  Wednesday night he saw them on his dresser.  “MOM!!! You brought me books and they have my word THE in them!!”  That night for bedtime stories we read them together.  Little Man read a good 80% of Put Me In The Zoo.  I’m not sure which of us was more excited as he picked haltingly over the words.  We’ve entered a new era.

On Saturday his Dad and I took Little Man for his first eye doctor appointment.  Little Man and I had discussed what he could expect during the visit and what questions he wanted to ask. I told him about the chair that moves up and down, the big machine that looks like an owl, why it’s important to answer the Dr’s questions honestly.  We went over the types of questions the Dr. would ask, “Does number 1 look better or does number 2?” and “What are the smallest letters you can see?”  I described how the Dr. would get really close to Little Man’s face and shine a little flashlight in his eyes. 

During the prep work, I realized I forgot to describe the glycoma test… the air puff test.   The technician had told Little Man, “This machine will just put a puff of air in your eye to test for a disease called glycoma.  I need you to look at the little house inside the machine and look straight ahead.” 

“It’s not a house it’s a farm” pipes up Little Man

“Great, tell me if you see any cows or sheep or horses.  Hold really still and look straight ahead.”

“I don’t see anything, just the red farm.”

“Put your chin down, hold still and look straight ahead. Do you see any grass or trees?”  Side note, if you don’t want someone to move, don’t ask them questions that require an answer… just saying.

This process went on for about five minutes.  The technician’s patience is being tested.  “You’ve GOT to look straight ahead.” 

Little Man squeeks, “Um, excuse me sir?  I can’t hold still.  I’m a little really scared.”  He looks up at me and his lip is quivering.

I squat down to his level.  “Darling, all this test is going to do is blow in your eye… like an air kiss.  Here, let me show you.”  And I blew a short breath in his face.  He giggled.  “And now the other side.” Poof “Just like that, ok?” More giggles.

“Ok…” He put his face back in position.  It only took a few more moments and the test was complete. 

“Mom, that wasn’t anything like an arrow in my eye!”  …!!!!!  An arrow?  He thought the machine was going to put an arrow in his eye?!?!  No wonder he was scared… good grief.

In the Dr’s room, seeing Little Man in the big chair, hearing him read the letters, telling the Dr. which view was better, whether the top or bottom was clearer, letting the Dr. know that the bright light hurt his eyes, helping him pick out the frames for his new glasss, it hit me again…  That little boy is his own individual.  He has his own personality, his own feelings.  As much as he was a part of me, he is his own. 

Gone are the days where I am his whole world.  He has experiences daily that don’t involve me. In fact that would now be the majority of his day, especially since his Dad and I have 50/50 co-parenting.  There is no way to protect him from everything.  There is no way I can possibly know everything that happens.  I don’t get to be there.

It’s as it SHOULD be.  And yet there’s a small part of me that misses it… some days more than others.

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Do Over

Scene: Bath Time

Background: Long night… late dinner… sharp words have been spoken… bed time looms… Mom’s mind is racing through the check list of all that still needs to be done…  Little man calls out to Mom.  She enters to check on the status of the bath and sees Little Man standing in the tub, holding out a bath toy bottle filled with bath water and Mom’s body wash.

“WHAT are YOU doing?!?!  I’ve told you THAT is NOT for playing with!”

Little Man as face crumples: “But Mom, I wanted to make you a SURPRISE.  Now you can use THIS when you take your showers.”

Mom as heart cracks: “Umm, can I have a do-over?  I’m going to come back in and let’s try this again.”

Mom leaves and re-enters room: “Yes, Little Man?”

Little Man eyes hopefull: “I made this surprise for you.  Do you like it?”

“Wow, thank you for the surprise.  I will think of you everytime I use it.  Are you done with your bath?”

“Nope, not yet.”

“OK.  Can you place my present on the ledge there for me?”

Little Man with a wide grin: “Absotootly!”

Five minutes later Little Man runs into the livingroom with his Spider Man pjs on and carrying his Spider Man blanket.  “Mom!  I’m all ready for bed and I chose my story.  Will you come read it to me?” 

Mom and Little Man read the story and bedtime goes off without a hitch.

End Scene

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” ~ Jean Jacques Rousseau

“Let me look upward into the branches of the flowering oak and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well.” ~Wilfred A. Peterson

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”~Angela Schwindt

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Wonder, trudge, wonder

Trudge, trudge, trudge






Trudge, trudge, trudge…


Wonder, wonder… 






Wonder, wonder






Chuckle, chuckle…. 


Gloat, gloat, chuckle, GLOAT!

This post is brought to you by the letters K and A!!!!!!  Way to go Papa!

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Then sings my soul…

My Grandmother wasn’t the cookie baking, cheek pinching, doting old woman type.

She climbed mountains literally and figuratively.  She was one of the strongest and kindest people I’ve ever been blessed to know.

She had a knack of making you feel TRULY listened to, of giving council without chastising you, of letting you know how proud she was AND that she expected great things out of you.

She disagreed strongly with some of my life choices and yet allowed me to make them without judgment.  She helped me to reassemble broken pieces without a single, “I told you so.”  She taught me what unconditional love FELT like. 

Life had taught her the value of patience, of putting one foot in front of the other, of persistence.  She endured heart aches I can only imagine with a grace I aspire to.

I miss her terribly and am honored to be her granddaughter. 

Her all time favorite hymn was “How Great Thou Art“.  I didn’t know this until I sang it along with her congregation after she passed six years ago.

 …When through the woods,
And forest glades I wander
I hear the birds
Sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down
From lofty mountains grandeur
And hear the brook
And feel the gentle breeze;
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!


We often spoke of awe inspiring vistas and simple pleasures like moonlight through the pines.  

This morning I woke to the full moon peeking through my bedroom window.  On my drive to work, the mountains were crystal clear in all their purple majesty. This evening, after leaving friends I noticed the stars twinkling in the black sky. 

And though there are many raw emotions this evening, I felt peace.

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Let them eat ‘sumptin!

So ummm… life? I swear I wasn’t calling you out.  I really wasn’t asking for more drastic changes. 

Focusing on the positive now….

This weekend Little Man helped me make bread.  We measured and stirred.  We added the warm milk, honey and oil to the flour and yeast.  He inhaled deeply and encouraged me to do the same.  “Mom, it smells so… warm.”  I love how he reminds me to be present in each moment.

He wanted to taste the flour which lead to a discussion on how flour by itself doesn’t taste like much.  However, once you add other ingredients and heat it changes flavors.  It’s final taste depends on what you add, how much time you let it rest, and how much heat is applied.

While we took turns kneading (he more pokes and squishes than kneads) he asked for another taste.  I explained how yeast causes the bread to rise and we laughed manically about ‘yeast farts’. 

He swiped a dime size piece of the dough and started playing with it.  “I’m making ‘suptin mom.”  While I kneaded the main dough he took a bowl, placed his little ball of dough in it and flooded it with water.  He added flour and played with it some more. 

“What are you making?”

“My own.”  “Your own what?” “I dunno, but it needs some salt.”

In went in a large sloppy pinch of salt and more flour.

“What should if feel like Mom?”  “Depends what are you making?”

*sigh* “I told you, ‘SUMPTIN.”

“I don’t know what ‘sumptin feels like darlin.”  The oozy mess was now looking like tortilla dough.

“Can I wait for the yeast farts too?”  “I don’t think there is enough yeast or sugar in your ‘sumptin for it to rise.  Why don’t you cook it like a tortilla?”

So a very excited boy pulled out our cast iron tortilla griddle. 

“When it’s done, I’m putting on butter and raisins!”

We cooked his ‘sumptin on the griddle, put it on a plate and he spread butter and sprinkled raisins over it.  Picture a bumpy tortilla the size of the bottom of a canning jar and about 1/2 inch thick. 

I had to beg, cajoll, and practically threaten to get a taste.   It tasted much more like a tortilla than the flour paste I was expecting.  I was completely impressed.

Little Man’s first solo cooking experiment was definitely ‘sumptin.

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