Thursday, June 20, 2013

At Four

"The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation."
Ray L. Wilbur

The biggest problem I have being a vintage mother (I much prefer "vintage" to older -- it just suits me better) is that at times my memory grows a little dim.  I don't necessarily forget important things, I just get around to them a bit slower.  Take acknowledging my youngest chicklets fourth birthday here on my blog.  Truthfully it happened a few weeks ago, but hey it's still his "birthday month" so at least I get some "mommy points" for that right?

At four the Little Prince...
... asks questions ... lots of questions ... lots and lots of questions

... tells me I am the best mama at least 5 times a day (and definitely after he's just been scolded)

... loves to play with his "people" -- a hodge podge collection of Fisher Price people and assorted plastic toy figures.  It's so fun to listen to the conversations he makes up.  My other two never did that.  Boy Wonder built elaborate cities with Legos and his Thomas train sets.  The Munchkin was (and is) always playing make believe with her little self the center of every production.  But getting lost in a land of make believe with toys? That one belongs to my little prince.

... loves his Grandma Minnie.  I never knew my grandma and always hoped my chicklets would have a relationship with theirs.  No worries there!  I love to walk by my mama's room and see her snuggled up in her recliner with the little man.  I know he loves her to pieces (and the fact that she has a steady supply of graham crackers and bought him sand for his sand box seals the deal!)

... loves water.  Drinking it.  Playing in it.  Taking showers in it.  If it involves water he's there.

... eats his veggies ... most of them anyway.  I don't know a lot of four year olds who love chunky guacamole and tomatoes, but mine does.  Mushrooms, broccoli and green beans are noshed on without resistance (unlike his big sister).  There's only a few vegetables that he has yet to develop a taste for --- raw onions and celery are at the top of the list -- so I can't complain.

... just about knows his ABCs and 123s.  Truthfully he'd probably have 'em down pat if his mama got her tush in gear and worked with him a bit harder.  That's on my to-do list for this summer --- I swear!

... loves "bad birds" (aka Angry Birds)  His birthday presents included a "bad bird" bike helmet, beach towel and a green pig piggy bank.

... is all boy and then some!  I swear this kid will be the death of me sometimes.  He is going from sun-up to sun-down.  He tries things I never think he would and I can only imagine the situations he gets into when I am not looking.  I pray God has an extra eye on this one!

... still has the most incredible baby blue eyes.  His Grandpa (whose middle name he shares) had notorious blue eyes too.  When I look into those eyes of his, it's hard not to melt!

... loves his big brother and sister.  He gets on their nerves like all baby brothers do, but underneath their exasperated exteriors, I'm pretty sure they love him too. 

... thinks his daddy rocks.  I can't tell you how many times he tells me (and anyone else that dares to try to help him do something) that "only daddy does it right!"  Lots of times I am more than willing to deflect my parental duties to the Geek (especially bathroom "issues") but sometimes his devotion to his papa gets on my last nerve.  But then he pulls out a "you're the best mama" and all is forgiven.

I can't believe it's been four years since God blessed me with a little prince.  I love him more each day and can't wait to see what awaits us in year five.

Happy (belated) Birthday Little Prince!  I Love You to the Moon and Back!

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Mother's Words

Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.
Robert Browning

Isn't that picture the sweetest thing?  We had a breakfast on a local dairy farm last Saturday (it was a special event to let people see how a large working farm runs)   This mama cow had her baby right there in the midst of it all -- they had given away 6000+ tickets to the event.  It was so special to see how the mothering instinct exists no matter what kind of mama you are.

The main reason we got out of bed at 5:30 am on a Saturday morning was because Boy Wonder was required to volunteer at the shindig as part of his royal duties.  He was elected to the Royal Court of our county 4H. It might not seem like that big of a deal, but for us it is.  When he was interviewed he was asked what 4H had done for him.  The answer brought tears to this mama hen's eyes.  He said that before 4H he had been labeled a troublesome child by his teachers and others because of the way God had wired him.  With the exception of his mom and dad, he had been told by many adults that he wouldn't amount to much (this was said despite the fact that he is gifted intellectually!)

His social awkwardness made him an easy target for the bullies at school who belittled him on a daily basis and made him feel worthless.  But now? He has a wall full of Grand Champion ribbons and shelves full of trophies that prove otherwise.  He has worth.  He has value.  He has the confidence and desire to help others get to where he is today.  That's what 4H (and his parent's love and encouraging words) has given him. 

Pretty big deal, dontcha agree?

Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.
Proverbs 15:4 The Message
The power of words, especially a mother's, is something I am aware of first hand. So much of who I am has been the result of the words I heard or did not hear from my mother.  I don't want this to be a post bashing her parenting skills, but I will say there are days when she is less than encouraging and it hurts.  I decided I want to be a mother who speaks words that uplift, empower and encourage my children. 

How's that going for me?  Somedays I hit the mark.  I build up my little chicklets.  They think they have the power to spread their little wings and fly as high as the sky.  But there are so many days I miss the mark.  I hear the words that come out of my mouth and I cringe.  I should know better, but still I fall short.  It is then that I try (emphasis on try --- I sadly don't always succeed) and humble myself and tell my chicklets I am sorry. I know that words once spoken may never be completely forgotten.  I hope, however, that I can teach them that when we make a bad choice we should humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness.

Yesterday was one of those days I am not proud of.  There was a truckload of crankiness on the farm. The mess and chaos that seems to have taken over the farmhouse got on my last nerve and I lost it --- big time!  The Munckin bore the brunt of my overly harsh words, but the Little Prince and Boy Wonder got a taste of Mama's ire too.  It wasn't pretty and I sent them to bed with angry words.  I apologized this morning for my excessive anger, but I know some damage was done and that hurts my heart.

Bottom line is, I am still a work in progress.  God isn't finished with me yet by a long shot.  I just pray that my good days outweigh my bad as a mother and that I am "building" confident and loving children who can admit when they are wrong and strive to do better the next time.  Above all I want them to know that they are loved.
Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same -- and most mothers kiss and scold together.
Pearl Buck

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Birthday Daddy

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."

Today would have been my daddy's 89th birthday.  I was surprised by how much missing him hurt today.  I think about him every day, but the pain I first felt when he died has been absent for a while, but not today.  Tears slipped from my eyes more than a few times.  I suppose they may every year on this day for as long as I live.

Today was not only Daddy's birthday, but it was Flag Day.  Sadly, not everyone remembers this holiday, but that was never true for my family.  Daddy always made a big deal of it and I continue the tradition with my own family now.  From our red, white and blue outfits to the flags flying all around the farm, we remember Flag Day and we remember my daddy.

i miss you daddy. happy birthday.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Crazy with a Side of Crazy

“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?” 
Albert Einstein

Life here on the farm, as usual, has been nothing short of a ride on the ol' crazy train.  I can handle "single parenting" the kids while the Geek is away on business ... as long as there's chocolate.  I can handle all the craziness of becoming my mama's caregiver a little more each day ... as long as there's chocolate. And I can handle the bajillion other demands on my time that pop up each day ... as long as there's , well you know, chocolate.  But not having time to write? No time to steal away and vent and get a chance to spew out a word or two? That makes this Mama Hen a bit crazy (as my brood will attest) and there ain't no chocolate in the world can cure that! Unfortunately, this may be the only chance I get to write this week and my time is up.  I think I may have carved out a big chunk of time next week, however, and this chickie couldn't be happier!

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.
Norbet Platt