Friday, August 26, 2011

Stop, Drop & Roll

STOP!!!!! Those were the only words I could hear echoing in my head last Monday as I dropped Parker off for her first day of 2nd Grade.
Our normal school morning routine includes Daddy dropping Parker off at school on the way to his school. It’s a great little system. This day however, was special.  It was the first day of 2nd grade; therefore, Mommy was up to bat. I was excited to be the one that would set her off on her new journey. I pictured deep talks and inspirational moments the whole way to school. Have I mentioned I have a problem with unrealistic expectations?
We had it all arranged, “Mommy, you’re going to walk me all the way to my class, right?” This was the question asked over and over again the week prior to school.  Of course I was going to walk her into class, was there any other option?

 As we pulled around the school through the long car line, Parker made the big announcement, “I think I can walk myself in this year.” What? My thoughts were scrambling trying to come up with the encouraging words to cheer her on for her grown up decision, but really all I was thinking is…..what? What about our verbal agreement?  Even Cooper knew this was a big step for Parker. As I was trying to muster up the right words, Cooper responded appropriately for both of us, “are you sure Parker?”  She was set and her mind was made up; however, she did agree that we should walk her up to the sidewalk and she could take it the rest of the way.
So we parked, went across the cross walk and no sooner than when her first foot hit the curb she quickly responded with a small wave and no eye contact, “Bye Mom”. What? Wait! STOP!!! Someone had just kicked me in my chest. I was still licking my wounds that I was no longer walking her to her class but now you don’t want me to hang out with you until the bell rings? Mom? Who’s Mom? And what happened to Mommy? Hug good bye? Kiss? A little eye contact? STOP!!!
I physically shut down and I’m pretty sure Parker’s life flashed before my eyes right there on the sidewalk.  In fact, if you had asked me what she was wearing after she had walked away, I’m pretty sure I would’ve said a diaper.
I realize that this is what we work for as a parent and seeing her so confident and independent was a great accomplishment especially for Parker who can be so painfully shy in new situations. Later that day, I was applying some vinyl letters to a friend’s wall that said, “We give our children two things, roots and wings”. I have always loved that saying but really all I wanted to do after reading it over and over again that day was vomit in my mouth. Everyone says it goes fast and to enjoy each moment, little did I truly know just how fast it would really go.
All week I have heard a phrase repeated over and over again in my head, “stop, drop and roll”. I decided to start thinking through the phrase and put a voice to it. I like to think of it as a love letter from God.
STOP the busyness of the day and just sit quietly in My presence (Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28).

DROP to your knees and send her off in prayer (Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present the request to God. Philippians 4:6)

and for goodness sake, learn to ROLL with it because this is only the beginning of what I have in mind for you and your children (For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11)!
I’m hoping the spirit will gently nudge me to STOP, DROP & ROLL the next time I feel like I’ve been kicked in the chest or I feel like I’m running around with my hair on fire.
Way to go Parker, God’s got big plans for you!


First Day of 2nd Grade!

First Day for Daddy & Parker!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In Need of a Launching Pad!

We are in final countdown mode for the new school year. Blane goes back in 1 week, Parker goes back in 2 weeks and Cooper in 3 weeks…so what happens the 4th week? If you ask Cooper, he’ll tell you that’s when Mommy goes back to school. Ironically, I do find some truth in his statement. Once everyone returns to school, the ball starts rolling and continues to gain speed until next thing you know, we all stop momentarily to enjoy the warm sounds and feelings of Christmas morning. Christmas? Really? Did I just go there? You better believe it. You and I both know that it will all be here before we know it.

So before the chaos ensues, my goal this year (although I say it every year) is to be proactive to our lives and schedules rather than reactive. Although, I am guilty of this time and time again, I am a believer that our calendars and wallets should not control us and tell us what to do but rather we control them.

It’s as if I can hear the ticking of the clock get louder and louder while I am in a desperate search for the perfect “life organizer”. Granted, for my life this would probably include an actual person that would follow me around but instead, I will settle for a clever way to organize our lives this school year. I have spent countless hours on the Internet in search of the perfect (yes, there’s that crazy unattainable word I continue to throw out) calendar, chore chart, and “launching pad” for the new school year and all of our activities.

Launching pad? Yes! If NASA uses a launching pad to launch rockets and shuttles into orbit then I think it’s a perfect description for launching our children and lives out into the world this school year. Now our house is smaller so we need to be space smart about how to go about this “launching pad”. I know most of you are getting excited with the idea that I might actually have some grand idea to share for organizing our lives….not so much, at least not yet. I can feel that it’s getting closer (remember the loud ticking of the clock?) but I have not finalized anything official. Have no fear though; I will share with you as soon as I figure it out. If any of you super savvy ones out there have any organizing ideas, please share them. I think I can speak for everyone when I say we would love to glean from them!

So what have my kids been doing while I spend all this time searching and playing on the computer? Hmmm, hate to admit it but I suppose I’m amongst friends. Here goes….TV….lots and lots of it. Ouch, kind of hurts to even admit it out loud.  I have noticed quickly the adverse effects it has on our entire household. We have become a cranky self centered bunch.

After requesting their help with some light yard work this weekend, we realized that the complaining was almost too much to bear. We found ourselves repeating the frequently used parenting lines like, “do you know how good you have it?”.

So now what? Blane and I have decided this week, during our last official week together, that it was time to do something about this. Our hopeful solution? A daily service project.

Wait, before we toot our own horn. Monday we failed miserably and didn’t do anything and Tuesday would have probably skated on by if it wasn’t for the kids insisting to go even in the pouring rain. Although there was some belly aching on occasion, the experience was great. We went to our church’s food pantry and stocked the shelves. It was really neat to see them get so excited for doing something for others rather themselves. Of course, I am leaving out the details of trying to explain to them time and time again why they couldn’t eat the food or take any of it home with them.

What’s on the agenda for tomorrow? Good question. That will be tonight’s dinner discussion. We’ll check in later with our service status and launching pad because as I right now, I just realized that my meatloaf timer went off but the meatloaf never went into the oven.

Off to go punt with plan B before cheerleading practice. Feeling an even bigger need right now for that launching pad. Have a dry and wonderful night!


They were so proud of their job once it was done!