VIPs, Royalty, and a Mouse

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It is an honor to parent such a noble king!

Today I learned: “Good things come in small packages”

Six years ago today was a very special night. I remember it as though it was yesterday. I remember the way the air felt, the walk home from my neighbor’s house, the smell of barbeque, and the way every inch of my body felt. I remember the way my blood ran through my veins. That was the night I knew I would be meeting my son for the very first time, very soon.

I was right too. I felt my womb hugging him all night as he let me know that he was ready for the journey into my arms. And in the morning, together we would fight through probably our greatest and toughest journey together as mother and son.

But its not morning yet…its still night time. And six years ago today I couldn’t sleep, for the same reason I cannot tonight. The anticipation is wild…. tomorrow is May 5. And that is the day my eldest son is born.

But fast-forward 6 years from that night and it brings me to today.

I celebrated my son’s birthday today with his friends; his first big-boy birthday party. As we walked into Chuck E. Cheese’s, the man at the door handed me a sticker name-tag and I slapped it on my shirt. I wore it all day without a second glance. I watched my son as he danced, grinned, and laughed. I fell in love with all over again. He is such a beautiful spirit.

It was not until I got home and we unwrapped gifts and he had scampered off with his brother and sister that I took off my name badge. I smiled as I read the words I had carelessly missed reading earlier; they were located just above my poorly scribbled name:

“Very Important Parent”

Yes. I am. I am a very important parent to this incredible boy. Blessed? No. I don’t feel “blessed”. That sounds like some magical force

Yes, I am a VIP indeed!

Yes, I am a VIP indeed!

or some heavenly god granted me this well-wish and by doing so had forsaken all others that were not worthy. I don’t feel blessed…

I feel…very responsible for a life not my own. Overwhelmingly at times. I feel an immense amount of trust by this young person believing that I make all the right decisions, even when I know that sometimes I don’t. Mostly though, I feel…honored.

This life that I hold in my hands every day is so precious, no gold could match it. It is so valuable that no treasure could surpass it. It’s so beautiful, no sunrise, sunset, or rainbow could even come close. And he is mine, and I am his. Yes, I feel honored to be a “Very important parent” to this child I call my son.

Today Simon taught me about the cliché “good things come in small packages”. Six years ago today I was getting ready for a VERY good thing, that came to me in a VERY small package. And Simon, while you have grown, your goodness and greatness certainly remain just as strong as when you were very small. I am so honored to be a very important parent, to a very important boy.

Thank you Simon – Happy Birthday. (you are so smart)

—Stupid Mom

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Good Morning, Tuesday

Today I learned: Carpe Diem. Sieze the day.Happy Tuesday

This morning I tip-toed around the house in my usual manner.  Finishing up my own morning routine,  gathering school snacks for the kids, letting the dog out etc.   I then heard a giggle come from my daughters room.  Tony? Is that you?  Yes,  indeed it sure was.  I went in and greeted him good morning and out of her bed he crawled.  I quietly snuck into his room as to not awake his sleeping brother,  he had another good 15 of sleep time.   I have previously found that waking a sleeping bear is a dangerous venture.

To my surprise I saw a shadow sitting upright on the bed.  I squinted my eyes as they adjusted and focused in the dark of the early morning. Yes,  my suspicions were confirmed.  Both of my boys were awake!  I greeted Simon with a cheery “Good Morning!”

Instead of the usual grunts and groans that come with a bear who recently awakened from a deep slumber,  this morning the response was different.  My cheery greeting was reciprocated with a greeting with as much enthusiasm and positivity, if not more, than my own.  “Mommy!  Is it Morning??”

“Yes,  baby,  it is!”

He followed my affirmation of the new day with the kind of cheek-to-cheek grin that only my Simon can wear.

Was it his birthday? No, that was not for another 6 days.  Was it a field trip at school? Nope.  Special plans for a family dinner out? Nope.  Movie night? Nope.  In fact, it was just Tuesday.  Nothing planned at all. No playdates, no trips, and no amusements of any kind.  So what could have my son so chipper and happy this Tuesday morning?

It was simply a new day.  A new day greeted him and in his not-quite-six-year-old mind he could see that today held a world of possibilities, opportunities ,and fun not yet planned.  Today was Tuesday afterall, and he could use the next 24 hours imagining and creating all sorts of new wonders.

Simon reminded me that every day begins with a morning.  Every day that includes excitements, surprises, new possibilities, raises, opportunities, promotions, smiles, laughter with a  friend, the best lunch of my life, and the most miraculous brainstorm EVER, begins with a  morning.  Whether it is because of me, happens to me, or is even in spite of me…Every new and wonderful thing in any given day happens as a result of waking up in the morning.   Mornings are truly the time to realize I begin again, with 24 hours of uncharted, unbridled, uninhibited possibilities.  All of it is waiting for me to go find it and seize it.. and own it.  JUST Tuesday?  I don’t think “JUST” Tuesday can exist after today…

Good Morning, World!  Here “I am”!

Thank you Simon – You are so smart.

–Stupid Mom

Hello (Kitty) Cowboy

The Hello Kitty Cowboy

The Hello Kitty Cowboy

Today I learned:  Having imagination is more powerful than having knowledge

I always compare my youngest son to a grown man stuck in a child’s body.  Not just any man, but a really big, strong body building man.  It’s his perception of himself and it is what he exudes in every fiber of his being.  It is what he sees and so others see it too, including me.

Today I got to experience why he can portray such an incredible spirit.  He has an amazing sense of imagination.   Dressed in his sister’s pink Hello Kitty hat and a pair of her Barbie galoshes, he moseyed up to me like he had been riding a horse for his entire life (or the length of Clint Eastwood’s entire life).  He looked fiercely at the ground, slugged me in the shoulder and in the lowest voice he could muster short of an Adam’s apple and said, “I’m a cowboy.”

I believed him and I did not question his radical attire for cowboy.  He had a hat.  He had boots.  He had a bull-legged walk and a gruff voice.  He certainly punched like a cowboy.  Who was I to argue?

That is the power of imagination.  In fact, Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”  That is because we are limited by our knowledge.  However, our imagination is limitless as it includes everything we know and everything we don’t know.    A strong imagination allows us to see past what is possible or impossible.  Of course, than it can become a looking glass for our true potential.

So, I don’t know that Anthony will ever really become a cowboy.  However, I appreciate that his lack of understanding of what a cowboy’s true roles and responsibilities are or even that they probably don’t adorn their heads with pink Hello Kitty hats doesn’t stop him from imagining. In fact, those details don’t even matter.  So, as I embark on a new adventures of the unknown, I will keep in mind that I don’t need to rely on what I know, because I am limited by that; but I can use my imagination to form the reality I desire.  The unknown is always unknown until it is explored, and the only way to explore it is to open up my mind past what is logical.

Thank you Cowboy Tony – You are so smart.

 

 

–Stupid Mom

 

 

 

 

Looking at a Crab Half Full (and the power of positive thinking)

A healthy crab named Crabby teaches there is positivity even in the cycle of life.

A healthy crab named Crabby teaches there is positivity even in the cycle of life.

February 19, 2012

Today I learned: “Life is precious, it is best to spend it focused on the positive”

Before going to bed last night, I saw that my daughter’s hermit crab was laying lifeless out of its shell in its cage. After reading, googling, speaking to PetSmart employees, and my mother (who called the crab shop expert), I found that it is completely impossible to tell if it is dead or alive. Crabs apparently can be in a lifeless state for a long time, even out of the shell, during its molting period. I also learned that it would start to smell if it is dead and that is how I will know. In addition to telling my daughter when she came home that her pet might be dead, or might be dead, I get to look forward to possible stench coming from her room…and it could take some time.

Yes, I was not feeling the most positive energy for my day. I loaded up my son and set out to PetSmart to purchase a new tank. Guilt had set in that I had apparently put the two crabs in a much too small of living conditions for the past year, causing stress, a shell-less crab, and possibly death. The tank is $12. No big deal.

After $45 at PetSmart, I started to feel better. Definitely less guilt. I put the clearly healthy crab into her new home and left the naked one where she was. The only thing still weighing heavy on my mind was to tell my daughter Kitty (the naked, lifeless crab) might be dead

When she came home from school I pulled her aside… I expected the worse. Tears, screaming, crying. I expected to have to convince her that there was still a chance she was alive, although I was doubtful myself. My daughter is very emotional. Despite this, I wanted to give her the “heads up” and I believe being honest is important. SO…I braced myself…

Then she said, “Its ok Mommy. That happens. I understand if Kitty dies. I am just really happy Crabby is still doing well. She likes her new home too.” Then, she went and did her homework.

All my worries. All my negative conversations. Abolished.

All because of one positive conversation from a 9 year old girl.

Once I chose positive,  I saw it all around me.  Even in the rain.

Once I chose positive, I saw it all around me. Even in the rain.

Negativity is like cancer. It spreads and can create more of the same. However, positivity can be the cure. It is the ultimate Negavity Cancer fighting antigen. A little can go a long way, but you can just never seem to get too much (like Vitamin ‘C’ I think). I am always at choice of what I give people, I hold both within me. I can share a Cure or I can share a Disease. The truth is, most of the people on this planet are surrounded by disease and have consumed enough; the world needs more of the Antigen. Not to mention, Allie made it clear that choosing that is really really easy. I think I will choose that. Yes, more positivity is my choice.

Thank you Allie – You are so smart.

Falling in Friendship with a Stranger

February 12, 2013

Today I learned: “The value of friendship”

Teddy Bear

Friendship is a Choice that is Worth the Time.

I always believed that peace begins in the home.  If there is not peace in the home, it won’t be in our communities, our society, or our world.  It must start at home.  I know this.  My children didn’t have to teach me that (although sometimes they remind me that getting really really mad won’t get me to that outcome).

But today Anthony taught me a great lesson on friendship and love.  Seeing as Valentine’s Day is just two days away (as I write this), it seems a timely lesson – A lesson that also fits with my focus of peace.

This story actually starts at the end; because it wasn’t until the end that I realized what I had already learned in the beginning.

We ended up at McDonald’s.  I was getting the food while Anthony immediately ran for the playroom.  He brought ice cream because…well, sometimes eating ice cream first is important (a lesson for another time).  When I came into the playroom, he had his ice cream stick (think “fudge pop”) wrapped in napkins to keep from dripping.  A great idea.  A brilliant idea.  However, not an idea I had thought of.  When I asked him where he got the little bundle containing the drips, he pointed to a woman and said: “she gave them to me,  Mommy.” And I thought that was nice and smiled at the other woman.

Not too long after he had pointed out the kind (and brilliant) woman who gave him the ice-cream stick swaddle, it was time for them to leave.  He waved to the boy that was leaving with her and yelled “Bye, Friend!!”

Friend.  A boy he had met 5 minutes earlier.  And he meant it, he meant “friend.”  It was authentic and pure, and he really felt friendship for this boy.  I could tell by his voice, it was not a flippant remark at all.  It was purposeful and meaningful,  this boy who had no name was indeed Anthony’s friend.

He immediately picked up a new game with a new friend until it was time to go.  Again, he played with this boy and treated the stranger as a real friend.  He showed him respect.  He treated him with kindness. And he wished him a good day when they parted ways. He didn’t do this to be polite.  He didn’t do this because it was the “right thing to do”.  He treated this stranger as a real friend because…well, he was.

As we were leaving, he picked up his teddy bear.  It was the same one that had joined us on our entire day’s journey.  It was the same teddy bear that I buckled in the seat belt next to Anthony. The same bear that I gave kisses to and promised to buy a treat to if he was well behaved.  The same bear I asked to guard the car while we went into the store.  And this bear…was Anthony’s friend.  He loved him.  Full of stuffing, unable to reciprocate…Anthony loved him anyway.  Because he chose to, and for no other reason.

Which brings me back to the first stop of the day – before McDonald’s, before ice cream, and before a teddy bear guard.  I had to go to the Girl Scout store for my daughter.  It was a quite a drive, but I knew exactly what I needed for her uniform and I could be in and out within 5 minutes, so I didn’t mind having to make the trek out to the store.  After being guided back into a room that served as a store, I instantly found what I was looking for.  Little did I know that I would spend and hour at the register of the store getting to know the 75 year old man operating it.  He has a Grandson named Anthony, like my son.  He has coached baseball, among other sports. Although his “ticker” prevents him from doing that now, he happily occupies the bleachers to cheer on his grandchildren in all their sporting events.  He has been working with children for 48 years.  His wife ran an in-home daycare, certified by the State of Texas.  They fostered children in addition to raising their own. He was never a Boy Scout himself, but he volunteered to help them and was commended by the troop for his service to the scouts when he graduated from high school (it was many years ago he told me with a smile).  I know a lot about him.  Incidentally, he knows a lot about me too as I opened up and shared my own stories.  But despite seeing his name badge, and despite him seeing my credit card…we left each other not really even knowing each other’s name.  Just the same, for that hour we were nothing short of…friends.

So…

As we were leaving McDonald’s and I watched Anthony hug his bear after saying goodbye to his friend… I reflected back at the man at the Girl Scout store. Imagine if I keep that lesson long enough to treat all strangers with the same kind of love that Anthony taught me is possible?  I would be a lot closer to that outcome of peace… and there would be a lot more love in my world.  That’s worth making time for.

Thank you, Pepperoni – You are so smart.

–Stupid Mom