Right before school. I guess I woke up on the wrong side of the bed...at 645 am!! after going to bed at midnight. Apparently my middle little felt the same way because she too was disgruntled about having to open her eyes before the sun was out. I pulled back their cozy warm blanket, and whispered for them both to "wake up" "it's time to go to school". I shook them a little and Alyssa hopped right out of bed. It was pajama day for her so she was excited she'd slept in her clothes the night before and had very little to do. Ashlyn on the other hand...NOT A MORNING PERSON! She griped, squirmed, rolled out of the bed and let her limp body fall on the floor whining about how she was "sooo tired". I could feel the yuckiness rising in my throat, and it was evident...i had indeed woke up on the dark side of the bed.
The rest of the the morning went something like this:
Alyssa wanted to wear her red slippers with her green pajamas, and I being in the bad mood that I was told her NO! I always said I wasn't going to be the mom that just said "no" and didn't give a reason but today...it was just no. Knowing secretly in my grouchy mind it was because they didn't match. (seriously Michelle? they didn't match? who cares!) but, I did. I yelled at her and told her No! made her wear her tennis shoes, and watched her sadly finish getting ready.
Then I'm picking out the clothes for Ashlyn to wear for the day, and never fails...she hates everything. She fights tooth and nail for the funkiest outfit she can find. If the jeans are a little loose she wants them tighter. If the shirt fits...it's to big. (I'm a little worried about this mentality for the teen years)
On to packing lunches. I find out that Alyssa threw away a reusable AWESOME spider baking cup and that about did it for the morning. I yelled at her. Yelled about them not moving fast enough. Yelled about them not picking up after themselves. Did their hair like Mommy dearest, and had I had a hanger...HA just kidding.
I sent them off to school, and walked back inside. Crawled back into my bed, hoping I could fall back asleep and start all over. But, no! Dave turned to me and said..."did you really have to be so mean?"
I'll spare you the details of that conversation, but lets just say it ended with a lot of crying,guilt,regret. I had just read a link to a story on a friends blog about a woman losing her son because she let him play in the rain.
Did I really just send my girls to school...like that?
I thought for a while and realized the only thing to do to make it better for me and them was to apologize. I left 15 min early,packed up my car careful not to forget the red slippers, and drove to the school. I fought back the tears all the way there. Got my visitors pass from the office, and explained to the staff that we had a bad morning, and I needed to talk to the girls.
I went to Alyssa first. Asked if she could be excused. She came out of her room with a surprised look on her face, and I gave her the tightest hug. I had the biggest lump in my throat, and tears welling up in my eyes, and whispered a "I'm so sorry for this morning" "you can wear the slippers today" "have a good day, I love you" she flashed me her embarrassed little smile, gave me a hug and skipped back to her desk.
I walked to Ashlyn's class, and repeated the same.
Later that day I watched a preteen girl at dance class excitedly tell her mother about something that happened that day at school. The whole time the mother was enthralled with whatever she was doing on her cell phone and just kept responding with the occasional..."uh huh". I couldn't help but think about how that must have made her daughter feel. How we do that to our kids all the time. We are so busy sometimes we forget to stop, and take it all in. Our kids need to feel respected, appreciated, important just the way that we do. As mothers we do some crappy stuff sometimes. At times it takes a little while to realize how crappy we are being, and usually the moment has flown by before you have time to correct it. I knew this was one of those life moments. We will have more crappy mornings I'm sure. But, I think they will remember the time Mommy came up to the school to say she was sorry, and the time she let me have my red slippers (that didn't match her green pajamas) I think sometimes because they are little, and they are ours, we forget that they are people too.
It makes me think...what am I teaching them about being a mother (wife,friend,sister?) We have such a big job! I pray everyday that I am doing it right.
A two week hiatus…I know. I’ve been busy writing life stories. We are high on fall right now. Never mind the fact that we’ve been able to wear a long sleeve shirt and jeans only twice in the last 2 months (and that is over zealous). We had a list that needed crossing off, so we’ve been making fall memories and starting new traditions.
I love this time of year. It’s the time of yummy smells and deep rich color, flickering pumpkins and the sound of crunching leaves under your feet. There are only a couple months in the year when a simmering pot of savory soup on the stove is welcomed by babies bundled up in blankets wearing footed pajamas. It’s heaven, and it feels like the kind of home I want my girls to remember when they are all grown up.
We braved the heat, and took the kids to the Elgin Pumpkin Fest last week. It's a quaint little farm with a hay ride,corn maze,homemade food, and of course pumpkins. I wore an orange summer scarf to pretend it was fall, and only in Texas is a tank top and flip flops appropriate attire for October.We were on the brink of a heat stroke about an hour in, but fun overshadowed the uncomfortableness. They had a ball!
I've also been enjoying creating fun Halloween themed lunches for the girls the past week. My friend Keitha is amazing at food art. She reads her son a book every night and creates a complementing lunch every morning. It looked so fun so I went out and bought a few supplies, and I can't believe I've waited so long to try it myself. Keitha you rock!!
This weekend was our first annual pumpkin decorating party. It was so fun to have all our neighbors and family over for some good old fashioned fall fun! I set out glitter, rhinestones, paint, and carving tools, and everyone went to town. I thoroughly enjoy creating opportunities for neighbor camaraderie. We have also started "booing" in our neighborhood (ding dong ditching and leaving anonymous gifts to be paid forward to our other neighbors) the girls are lovin' it!
I've realized that if you want to create a fun neighborhood, you just have to get the ball rolling. Play in your front yard. Talk to your neighbors. When someone new moves in don't pretend they don't exsist...go meet them. Be cheesy/stepford wife-ish and bring them cookies. We've lost that old fashioned charm in neighborhoods these days. Our neighbors hardly do anything in our backyards anymore. We are fabulously vintage.
"The story my kids will tell someday depends on me. I am writing their book, and I want their childhood chapters full of traditions and stories and memories of the comforts of home." — by Kelle Cryderman Hampton
This quote has been ringing in my ears since I heard it a few days ago. That is exactly how I feel as a mom. Somewhere deep within my soul I feel like if I can cram enough good inside their precious childhoods I'll be able to give them a wonderful life. I truly believe that your childhood sets the tone for the rest of your life. It's where you learn to be moral, compassionate, a mother or father, a husband or wife. It's where the foundation is laid, and the house is built. I pray that their stories are magical ones. Full of sticky popcorn balls, and the smell of pumpkin bread wafting through our house in the fall. I hope they paint jack-o-lanterns on their teenage toesies, and remember the woody smell of the itchy hay ride where we clung together tightly careful not to bounce out of the side. This book I'm writing is such a special one. I don't get a reprint. So everyday I'm allowed to be with them I accept as a gift, and although I don't always succeed at making it the best one. I try. Hope you are making some fall memories...we are!
Daddy stealing popcorn balls,pumpkin decorating,mini piggy braids,hay ride, jack-0-lantern mani,rhinestone pumpkins, never too big for a kitchen sink bath.