Posts Tagged With: Child

Six Things about My Mom You Should Know


Mother & Child

Dear Mom,

It’s no surprise to you I’m a word person. You’d think I’d easily write out thousands of words expressing love and appreciation on Mother’s Day. Instead I find the emotions so powerful, particularly this weekend with my son’s wedding, that I struggle with every word I write.

Maybe a list would help me pull my words together. So here’s a few things that I’ve learned from you, about life, about living, about mothering, about the world.

  • Mother is the center of it all. And with mom comes family. Nothing is more important than that bond we have as family. Think about it. When something happens, everyone’s thoughts go to family. Where are they? Are they okay? I want to find them and be with them. If it’s a happy event, we want to share it with everyone in the family. If someone is missing, we feel their absence more than ever. I was lucky to always have you there at home when I came home after school, after a date, out late. There you were. And there you still are, at the center of our family’s lives.
  • Mom has everything you need. All you need as a little kid is everything; food, shelter, love. And mom is there for all that, twenty-four hours a day. Bad dream? Mom comes in to scare away the demons and brings a feeling of safety into the room. Mean kids? Mom reassures you that you’re still loved and cared for. Everything I needed you gave me; compassion, manners, bravery, perseverance, a good work ethic, an ability to laugh. Everything that adds beauty and dimension to my life you gave me also; a love of music, a passion for books, a reverence for nature, a desire for creating.
  • A mother’s influence lasts a lifetime. I am who I am because of my mom’s belief in me, her loving me no matter what nonsense I threw her way, her willingness to sacrifice and her example of sharing.
  • Being a mother is the greatest gift I know. Motherhood defies definition, how it feels, what it looks lile, how it works. Each mother creates her own mothering style.  It’s the hardest, most aggravating, most fulfilling, most heartbreaking, best, worst, wonder-filled insanity a person can involve herself  in. Thanks for not giving up on such a difficult journey that continues to this day. What a ride it is, huh?
  • The world would stop spinning the right direction without moms. Or at least it would feel that way. Can’t imagine the world without my mother in it. Don’t want to. It probably doesn’t even exist if she isn’t there. I’m sure there’s a law of physics that explains that.
  • Unconditional love is what a mother is all about. And I have felt that from you and have hopefully passed that on to my own children. Thank you for that. I know I wasn’t always very lovable, or tolerable, or pleasant, or kind or appreciative. I think I’ve come a very long way since those teen years, thanks in great measure to your never giving up on me. And I know, thanks to your prayers on my behalf.

I know there’s much, much more that you taught me, but I think those six things sum it up fairly well. Thank you for being the mother I needed. Thank you for your continued love, support, sacrifice and caring. I plan on many more Mother’s Days with you, so stay well, enjoy life, and know you are loved beyond words.

All my love,



(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Categories: Family, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Lessons Learned in a Second Grade Classroom

If you don’t have a child in elementary school, you might have forgotten the sights, sounds and smells of school. Children come at a person with speed, wit, surprising widsom, lack of logic, silliness, lack of attention, a trainload of baggage from home and growly tummies.

If you’ve forgotten the sensation of being a kid, visit an elementary school. Sure, you’ll have to get permission, and convince them that you aren’t a scary, stalker type person, but the hassle could be worth your time in the memories it evokes, if for nothing else.

The following two photos are from an actual second grade classroom.

Five basic rules for two different concepts. Nothing major or groundbreaking.

But definitely missing in society on an all too frequent basis.

photo-13 copyI know grown adults who don’t get these concepts.

photo-11 copy 2I know teenagers who have yet to learn these basics.

I don’t always 100% of the time follow these rules, but I am aware of them and try to be a good listener and a good speaker. Sure I fall short at times.

Seems like common sense. But often what passes as common sense is simply something we learned as young children, as second graders, as tots at mom’s knee, out in the yard from pops, while shucking corn with Grandma.

I could be wrong, but I think second grade teachers know more about real life than most of us give them credit for.

Makes sense to me.


Categories: Communication, People | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Not to Say: Six Useless Phrases

Dog Hat / Space Coast Florida

(Photo credit: Rusty Clark)

Stress does something to the words that sometimes escape through our lips.  One of the most stressful experiences I’ve ever encountered is parenting, from both sides of the aisle. You gotta admit, parents say some ridiculous things at times.  In the interest of full disclosure, I’m pretty sure I’ve said most of these things at least once if not more.

“Don’t make me pull this car over!”

To a kid fully embroiled in “he touched me” argument strapped into the back seat of the car, this statement is just so much flotsam whizzing past the window.  What the parent really means to say is, “If I hear the two of you whine or argue one more word I’m going to lose my mind.”  A threat to stop the car feels more powerful, but is really a losing proposition.  You can’t really leave the kids on the side of the road, as tempting as it sound.  And pulling over is only helpful if you can stomp into the woods alone, let loose a few guttural primal screams, kick some really big trees and hurl some large boulders down the side of a cliff.  Then you’d be able to return to the car and continue to your destination safely and with less insanity boiling over.

“This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.”

Actually this one has some truth to it if the punishment is grounding.  Taking away a child’s ability to leave the house, or do regular activities, leaves the parent still dealing with the kid days or weeks or months after the infraction.  For some parents, enforcing rules is a painful process as it ruins their popularity standing with their kids.  Who wants the moniker of the no-fun parent?  You do, if you want to emerge from the parenting experience with your sanity intact. Repeat after me: Parenting is not a popularity contest.

“I’ll give you something to cry about!”

Crying is not an inappropriate behavior.  It’s a weird form of communication that very few people have been able to translate correctly.  Sure crying is annoying sometimes, and can interrupt your day, and might even go on for hours. Getting angry about it, threatening more reasons for tears is really counter productive.  You might want to reconsider before letting this one slip through your lips.  I know, I know, it’s an instinctive reaction based on years and years of hearing your own parents say those exact same words. Fight the urge, be creative, invent a new phrase your children can mock you with in thirty years.

“If your friends jumped off a cliff would you jump too?”

Most kids would answer with a resounding “Oh, yeah, baby!” Whatever their friends are doing is always more fun than anything else you could dangle in front of them.  Even if it’s taking out the garbage at their friend’s house.  The point is to be with the friend, always, forever, no matter what.

“What were you thinking?”

They weren’t thinking.  They were rolling on pure emotion, acting on impulse, going with the flow, riding the wave of adrenaline, sucked into the vortex of peer pressure, rocketing through the wormhole of hormones.  (See cliff jumping above.) Logic doesn’t really enter into the equation.  Actually, there really isn’t an equation other than the following: “I want it = I get it.”

“What am I going to do with you?”

“Take me out for ice cream, drive me and my friends to the mall, do my chores for me.”  I’m certain most children have plenty of ready answers to that question.  I have heard of the exceptional child with the ability to think up appropriate consequences for an inappropriate behavior, but that is a rare and gifted child with blessed parents.  The whole balancing act of crime and punishment is resting squarely on the shoulders of the grownup.  Sorry to be the one to break that to you.

Brave Souls, Intrepid Warriors

It’s a brave soul who takes on parenting. No owner’s manual, no instruction booklet, lots of well-meaning and misguided advice dispensed freely. Here’s my “two cents worth.”

Hang in there.  Laugh as much as possible.  Hug that kid every chance you get. And never, never, ever give up.

Categories: Humor, parenting | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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