Saturday, August 15, 2009

One of God's Gifts

I just got back from visiting my grandparents. I still have three grandparents living; my dad’s mom, who is turning 80 this month and both my mother’s parents, who are also in their 80’s. I am so blessed to still have them in my life.
My dad’s mom lives in a different state than I do. I try to call her once a week. When we talk it is for hours at a time. I love it. We talk about everything. Through her, I have learned more about my dad and how he was as a child. It is hard for me to imagine my dad as a baby, but the stories are great. My favorite one is how my grandma found my dad in the closet drinking his brother’s bottle, which he stole!
I have also learned more about my grandmother. I know I will never play Trivial Pursuit with her again. She kicked my tail. She probably can sing a little tune on just about any subject and she has, as long as I can remember, been a lot of fun to talk to. She once told me that when she dies, she wants a closed casket and a picture of her giving “the bird” for everyone to remember her by.
My other two grandparents live about fifteen minutes from me. I try to visit them as much as I can. When I was little I used to spend spring break at their house. I would go to Bible study with my grandma and when we were home, we would listen to talk radio. To this day, she still has it on in every room of the house, so she does not miss a word. My grandmother has given me invaluable advice on how to rear my kids. We discuss marriage, life with Jesus and of course, politics. I can also, trust her to tell me if I have lost or gained weight, if I am wearing the correct color of lipstick and if my hair looks nice. She encourages me to always look my best.
I love the fact that my kids are getting the opportunity to know them. My oldest is always asking to go to his grandpa’s house. They are eighty two years apart, and I can say it is the neatest thing to see them together. My son loves taking his grandpa outside to play. I am sure my grandfather gets warn out, although he would never admit it.
There are so many people who do not have their grandparents anymore. I am extremely happy that I am able to visit and talk with mine. There is no “generation gap” between us. I enjoy their company and love the conversations. I wish that I could keep them here forever! With Gods help, I hope I can teach my kids the importance of a close relationship with their grandparents and what a gift it is.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How did my mother do it?

I can not stand having a cold. My nose gets stuffy, and I just want to rip it off! I have no energy and two small children. I have been avoiding my housework for about two days now. Every time I walk by a pile of clothes, dishes in the sink or an unmade bed, I tell myself I will get to it later. Now, I am just overwhelmed because of my procrastination!
Growing up there were three of us kids. I do not remember too much from when I was little, however I know the house was always clean and neat. We, kids, were given chores when we were old enough, but I would like to know how my mother did it when we were very young. My sister was four when I was born and my brother two. I always seem to need help with my kids when I travel, have doctors appointments or anything in between.
I know I would get annoyed when some lady brought her kid on a plane or bus and the kid was crying or screaming. I would judge and say ugly things to myself about them being a bad parent. I not only feel bad about how I felt, but have been put in similar situations with my kids. Lets just say I have been humbled! When my little guys start crying or fussing, I instantly go into a panic attack! I anxiously try to calm them and get them quiet, so we do not disturb others around us. My sister says I need to get over it and that people are more understanding. It would be nice to know that I was the only judgemental person out there, but somehow I do not think that is the case. I have, by the grace of God, learned my lesson not to judge.
I know my mother traveled over seas by herself with three small kids. I again am baffled on how she accomplished this without panicking or losing her mind completely. Not to mention what she must have looked like after a 12 or 13 hour flight. I went to a 4Th of July barbecue, happy because I was having a great hair day (which is rare when you have small kids). After just a few hours of holding my infant son, I looked in a mirror and was horrified by my reflection. I looked like I had just lost a wrestling match; hair everywhere, make-up smudged. I can relate to mothers who pull their hair back in a pony tail all the time, or just cut it off.
It would have been nice if my mother would have passed down her tricks to the trade, or wrote some sort of guideline, even, a "Juggling Your Kids and Life for Dummies" book would have worked. I am sure she left me clues growing up, but I missed them. I do wish I had paid more attention!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Big Sister

My sister and I are about as opposite as two people can be. Growing up together has helped mold me into who I am today. She has taught me lessons only a big sister can teach.
When Ronald Reagan was elected President, my sister was around 11 years old. I remember she came running out of the house in a panic, screaming "We're going to war!, We're all going to die!" She's a little dramatic. A few years later when I came home crying because a girl had picked on me at the bus stop, my big sister walked to that girl's house and threatened her and her sibling with bodily harm. I would say she over reacted a little. In my pre-teen years, my sister sat on me for three hours, just because she thought it would be funny. I did not want to upset her so I went along with it. When she started working. she would cash her paycheck, and she would run down to the store and buy a one pound bag of M&M's for us to share secretly. I was always happy when she got paid.
Through all of this, my big sister taught me that not everything you hear on the news is accurate and there is no need to panic. When being attacked or picked on, stand up for yourself and fight back. She has taught me how to practice patience, have endurance and that every now and then its ok to treat yourself to a sweet treat!