Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Little life lessons

There probably isn't anything in this post you haven't heard before in one form or another. But sometimes even though you hear things, you don't really hear them. Sometimes you have to live them and experience them or see how someone else is affected before you really hear them and understand them. So, just a few little random lessons that I have picked up along the way.

You can't make other people do the right thing.
You can't make everyone happy, but you can make yourself miserable trying.
There's a consequence to everything you do, so choose wisely how you live your life.
Time waits for no one.
Make the most important people in your life the biggest priority.
You never know what a huge difference a few kind words can make.
The grass is greener where you water it.
Never hesitate to give a compliment.
Never turn down chocolate.
Sometimes the youngest people are the wisest.
Appreciate the little things - the meal you can enjoy, that you can take a walk, that you can bend and tie your shoes, that you can read, that you can hear, that you can see all the beautiful things in life.

Friday, April 12, 2013

It's not easy

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me how much easier boys are to raise than girls, I'd have a big ol' bag of change. I'm told often that I'm lucky to have all boys and how they are so easy compared to girls. Less worrying is what I'm told. Less stress they say. No drama. No hassles over clothes.

I beg to differ. Boys aren't easy or easier. They're different. There are different challenges. I have 5 boys. Some are easier than others in different areas. One gives me a hard time about doing homework. One never has to be told. One is really into clothes and very particular about what he wears. One could care less and hates to enter a store with me to pick something out. One gets an attitude quite often when he's told what to do. One never argues and simply says "Okay" to any request. One is really lazy about chores and always tries to get out of doing them. One simply knows what his are and does them without complaining. One irritates his brother every chance he gets. One is very tolerant of anything his brother throws at him. One likes things organized. One is a pack rat. They are simply different. Each one of them.

While there are challenges that parents of girls face, there are also challenges that parents of boys face. When I was a kid I remember that I always wanted to have girls. Boys simply seemed to trouble makers. It was rare for a girl to get in trouble at school. Most of the boys were reprimanded at some point and some on a regular basis. I didn't get boys.

I get them more now. They are very hands on. If they are bored, they're more likely to cause trouble. They're physical. Wrestling and doing things to show strength is normal. They're inquisitive. They don't display a lot of emotion. They just aren't wired the same as girls. But, boy there can be drama. As a mom of boys I have done lots and lots of lots of worrying. That's not limited to moms of daughters. And clothing can be a big source of tension -- one refuses to wear long sleeved shirts, one suddenly decides to ditch his whole wardrobe in favor of skinny jeans and then complains about his body image, one won't wear sweatpants, one won't wear shirts with collars, one has 15 pairs of pants in his drawer and claims that they are all either too small or too big, one will only wear boxer shorts, one only will wear ankle socks. Clothing is still a hassle with boys. Maybe not to the extent of most girls, but it's not a non-issue, that is for sure.

I may not have girls, but I was one once. Easy doesn't exist, whether you're talking about boys or girls.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Eight years

Wow. It's been eight years. Eight! Years! My youngest baby was born eight years ago and it doesn't seem possible. And at the same time it seems so long ago. Moms, you know what I mean, don't you?

I remember the big details - the date, the time you were born, the look of you as a baby. Other details have faded over the years - the specifics of labor, the name of the fill-in doctor who delivered you, the outfit you wore home from the hospital. I wish I could say I remember the way your tiny body felt in my arm, but it's been so long and all I know now is how heavy your head feels against my arm on the occasions that you scoot in that close, which have gotten fewer and farther between as the years go by.

I've watched you roll over and sit up and walk and talk and run and learn to read and ride a bike, knowing you were the last of my children and it was the last time I'd experience such things as mother. There are still things ahead.

I'm still waiting for you to loose your first tooth. I'm not all that eager. I remember worriedly asking the dentist when my oldest son was this age when his adult teeth would come in. He expressed concern and even mentioned pulling out baby teeth if they didn't come out on their own soon. This time I'm not rushing to the dentist. They'll come out when they're ready.

Happy birthday, you'll forever be my baby!