Friday, October 21, 2016

DMV Drama


I'm not sure why a major milestone can't be reached in our family without being accompanied by some crazy backstory.  I guess life would be less entertaining that way. But my blood pressure sure would remain a bit more stable.  

Reese has been studying to take her learner's permit test for weeks. She started off slowly, but within the last week or so has been cramming the info in. "I really don't know why this book is so thick. All you gotta do is press the pedal! Am I right??" was her frightening insight on the whole ordeal.  

She would come into my room randomly spouting off rules of the road, "If a semi is in front of you and is turning right, don't try and squeeze between them and the curb. They'll crush you into a biscuit."

"Does it really say that?!" I asked gullibly.  

"Well, it says they'll crush you. I added the biscuit," she confessed.  

And she's been refreshing my memory on laws while I'm driving, "Mom, if you get to this 4 way stop first, you have the right of way. Otherwise, it's the person to your right." It's like I'm a driver's ed student all over again. Lovely. 

They were off school yesterday and today for conferences. Perfect time for a trip to the DMV. The first part of this week turned into craziness and our evenings were filled with activities, which didn't give me any time to quiz her. So when she got back from an early morning basketball practice yesterday, I asked if she was still planning on taking her test. She was.  

Reese has no understanding or patience with service that isn't prompt. When we go to restaurants, after about 4 minutes of placing our order, she's asking why our food hasn't been delivered to our table yet. And don't even get me started on doctor's appointments. "But our appt was at 10. Why can't the doctor just see us at 10?!"

So there was no way on God's green Earth I was going to sit at the DMV half the day with her. I tried the feature where you text them to hold your place in line. Which was weird because I felt like I was cutting in front of people who physically went there to sit for hours. Our estimated wait time was 160 minutes. We went on about our day. She took some practice tests online. I prepared my famous white chicken chili for the middle school teachers' dinner. Ok, so it's not exactly famous, but all my kids love it and request it frequently in Fall and Winter so I feel like it could be famous. Unfortunately, yesterday, when they recognized the lovely smell permeating the house, I had to break it to all of them they wouldn't be consuming any of it.  

I had an irrational fear that the 40 some odd people in front of us in line would spontaneously contract bird flu and have to drop out, thus bumping us to the front and we wouldn't be ready. So I obsessively checked our line status throughout the day. No bird flu outbreak occurred and we inched up slowly, one spot at a time.  

I figured we'd leave the house around 2:30, drop the chili off at the school (it needed to be there by 3:30) and leisurely make our way to the DMV. About 2:23 I checked our status, 78 min until our turn.  I shredded the chicken, stirred it all up, told Reese to get her shoes on, and she headed out to the car.  My phone buzzed and when I checked it I almost dropped my crockpot! Our wait had jumped down to 10 minutes and they were requesting we make our way there right now! I barreled out the front door trying not to slosh the chili contents, yelling, "Go! Go! Go! We have to get there!"

Let's just pause right here and discuss how badly I handle crisis situations. Even little mini-crisis situations like this. Whenever kinks are thrown into my well laid plans, I wring my hands and moan, "What are we gonna do?!" which David (aka "Mr. Calm, Cool, and Collected") thinks is hilarious.  

I carefully handed off the crockpot to Reese and said, "Hold this with all your being! It CANNOT spill!" (For all you nervous readers out there who think this is foreshadowing of chili contents spilling all over my floorboard, rest assured, the chili makes it.)

A few blocks from the DMV, Reese checked our place in line. We still had 9 minutes to get there.  My heart began to slow back down to a normal pace. Until my phone buzzed again and said, "You have reached the front of the line.  Please proceed to Window 1."

"Whaaaaat????" I yelled. "How can this happen? Type 'M'! Type 'M'!" I commanded her.  

"What's 'M'?!" she yelled back as she sent it.

"It gives us more time if we need it. This is the craziest system ever invented!"

It pushed us back 3 people and gave us 19 minutes to spare. Why I didn't think to do that back at the house is beyond me.  I told you I don't think clearly in these types of situations.  But it would have gotten me back on track with my plan and I could have dropped the chili off and all would have been right with the world.  

We made it, scrambled of the car, and I contemplated bringing in my crockpot in so it could stay warm.  I'm sure stranger things have happened at the DMV.  I ended up leaving it, we bolted inside, checked in, and collapsed in our seats. The wait had gone to 5 minutes and then suddenly our number was called.  I hadn't even had the chance to get all sappy about my baby getting ready to take her test to operate a motor vehicle! 

It was a little before 3 by this time so I told Reese, "Don't hurry through your test. Take your time. But seriously, I HAVE to be out of here by 3:15 to get this chili to the school. So I may have to leave you and come back."

They took her picture and asked her all the standard questions, eye color, weight, etc.  I was holding it all together nicely until he asked if she wanted to be an organ donor.  She paused, looked at me, I swallowed the lump in my throat nodding slightly. I wanted to grab her and bolt out the door saying, "I'm sorry. This is a mistake. She won't be getting behind the wheel today or any other day in my lifetime. I'll just drive her to work, college, across country to her new career, and then I'll drive my grandkids hither and yon as well."

She made it through the rest of the questions, faltering slightly at, "Are you legally present in the US?" because she thought they said "President". "I thought that was weird," she told me later, "I mean, wouldn't they KNOW if I was President?". (Trust me, if she was old enough, I'd definitely be writing in her name come November.)

The man behind the counter started messing with her, asking if she'd brought her 250 word essay. I chuckled politely but inside was thinking, "Now is NOT the day. I'm on a mission to make an extremely important chili delivery in T-16 minutes so let's get this show on the road!"

I sat off to the side while she took her test on the computer. I tried to read her body language and could tell she was missing a few. My people-watching tendency got the best of me and she suddenly appeared with a shy smile, saying, "I passed. What do we do now?"

I jumped out of my seat, congratulated her, and we made our way to the window to get her temporary permit. We were off. As we headed to the car, she said happily, "We made it with a minute to spare!" 

"Whaaaat?!" thinking she meant it was 3:29 and knowing we'd never make it to the school on time now.  

"It's 3:14. You wanted to be out of there by 3:15," she explained.  

As she climbed in the front seat, I again said, "I'm so proud of you, Reese!" Then immediately slipped back into psycho mode. "So help me, if you spill one drop of this chili....!"

I'm going to take the next few days to recover psychologically from her first driving lesson. And then I'll recap it. 

Spoiler alert: Reese is a fantastic driver...IF only we lived in England.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Let's Hit the Road {and not Each Other}

When David and I are toodling across the country by our lonesome one day I'm going to pull out this post and reflect on what road trips used to be like.

Because 1/2 our earthly belongings must accompany us to Alabama each Summer, we've started traveling in David's truck. The cab is actually quite roomy. I'm not sure it's "Let's pick out our largest stuffed animal to ride along" roomy, but that's just what Tate did. So don't be surprised if his beloved cow, Kringle, makes an appearance in a few vacation photos.
Each year I get a little bit smarter about preparing for the actual car ride itself. For instance, so I wouldn't arrive at our destination with a body temperature of -7, I incorporated sweat pants into my travel attire. Therefore, when we finally reach the beloved family farm, I'll emerge from the car and greet family members I haven't seen in a year (or more) in sweatpants. Not to mention the humidity level in sweet home Alabama is 112%. 

While the kids are occupied by books, electronic devices, and trying to sneak into the snack bag without getting caught, David and I have ample time to discuss our hopes and dreams with one another. Which sounds good in theory, only David refuses to carry on a conversation on road trips. I looked over a few minutes into our journey and he was already in his own little world immersed in his audio book. 
Drue learned a valuable lesson for future travel: If you have the longest legs amongst your siblings, it's best not to lash out in anger and scratch your brother as the car is getting loaded. You will be banished to the dreaded middle seat as punishment for the first half of the trip. 

David sweetly relinquished the front seat to Reese when it was my turn to drive. No doubt afraid I'd try to strike up a conversation. Reese's first order of business was attempting to kill a small winged creature. Her most expensive possession, her iPhone, was her weapon of choice and she proceeded to slam it down on the dash. I calmly suggested she find a different weapon, saying, "Are you crazy?!" Next, she grabbed David's hiking shoe and slammed it into the window. It was his turn to question her sanity, adding, "You're going to break the glass!" 

We soon came upon a small town and the speed limit dropped to 50 mph. To avoid incessant teasing by my passengers if I were to get pulled over, I slowed down accordingly. "I can run faster than this," Reese declared. Normally I would just dismiss this type of comment as random teenage snarkiness, but because I longed for conversation, I entered into a lengthy debate with her about how that was entirely impossible. I even went so far as to throw in a math lesson telling her to divide her fastest mile time into 60. You're welcome, teacher friends. 

Like David, Tate isn't a huge conversationalist on extended car rides. In fact, he's often so quiet I'll turn around abruptly and scan the backseat for him after stops. He could pretty much be the perfect traveler, if it weren't for the fact that when he gets restless he randomly lets out the highest pitched shrieks I've ever heard. I am certain this will be the cause of our demise one day if I'm at the wheel. "Tate!" I shrieked right back, "Stop. Doing. That. I almost careened right through that guard rail." 

At least we got our timing right this trip. David and I share the driving and he almost always ends up driving the windy two lane stretch through Arkansas. He sets the cruise control and I have the grip of death on the door handle while I bargain with the Lord that if he gets us through the next few hours unscathed, I'll do this, that, and the other for Him. 

The stars aligned and that particular stretch fell during my time to drive. As I was sliently thanking the Lord, I heard, "I'm hungry. When are we stopping?" Stopping? We go through about 15 towns with populations of 306. There will be no stopping until we reach Jonesboro. There's nothing to stop at. And just like that, I'm the one getting blamed for the lack of fast food places across the entire state. "Mom won't stop for us to eat. We're starving!" 

Don't even get me started on picking a place everyone will agree on. A restaurant could have been Drue's absolute favorite yesterday, but if Reese is the one to suggest stopping there, Drue instantly can no longer stand it and won't even think about eating there.

After I made it clear I would only be stopping at one place, Reese said, "That's fine. Let's just go through the drive thru."

"Ohhhhh nooooo. Nope. Not happening. I refuse." Ordering for those three in a drive thru definitely makes the list of "Things I Don't Enjoy", right underneath "pull all my toenails out one by one." If they would just order simple things like a #1 or a #3 I'd be fine. But they each want to customize minor details of their order and it usually ends up sounding something along the lines of:
"Hi, I'd like a cheeseburger on a sesame seed bun, with just one sesame seed. And can you cut the corners off the cheese so it fits just so on the patty? And I'll take a Sprite, no, wait, do you have Cherry Coke? Ok, well would you mind running next door to the store and bringing one back to put on ice? Oh. Well I'll just take a Dr. Pepper, no just make that a Sprite then."

Nope. I pulled into the parking lot of Wendy's and kicked everyone out to go order their own bag of crazy. 

I count it a successful road trip when we finally arrive and are all still on speaking terms with one another. Even if we're not on speaking terms, we'll put on our happy faces and pretend we are as we hop out of the car. I love the familiar crunch of the gravel road under our tires, that first smell of pine as we roll down our windows, and the hugs waiting for us at the end of the road.

I've already made a mental note for our next trip: Discuss with David beforehand what shirt he's wearing so we don't inadvertently wind up as this couple again.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Dodging the Dice

A few weeks ago the Lowe's Creative Ideas magazine came in the mail. I briefly scanned its contents and decided I couldn't live another moment without a yard Yahtzee set.

So I texted the Mister. 
Bless him. After 18 years of marriage he knew my "help me make this" meant he would do all the measuring, cutting, etc and I would just put the dots on. 

In between business travel, kids' activities, and larger scale home improvement projects, by golly he had my dice made in no time flat. He used wood scraps we already had so this project cost $0. I also think the scrap wood gives them a vintage feel, like perhaps these same dice were used by the Ingalls' children on the open prairie.  
David left last evening for Indy. I'm sure it was just a coincidence he suggested we all go outside and play Yahtzee...perhaps to take our minds off missing him already. I'm choosing to believe it wasn't because he was wanting to be as far away as possible when we played for the first time. 

So, David, because I'm sure you felt sad about missing out on the fun, here's a little recap:

Tate grabbed all the snacks he could carry. He never has to work up an appetite, his appetite is perpetually there. We grabbed the score sheets and bug spray, dumped our socks out of the sock bucket and headed out to the backyard. As the girls and I began applying bug spray, Tate seized his opportunity to dig into the snacks first and wound up coughing and spitting for the first few rounds after some spray wafted his way.  
Of course Tate wore his fleece jammie the middle of Kansas. 

We quickly discovered a helpful tip for future games--roll the dice on a flat surface to avoid squabbles about which number they actually landed on. There was more than one debate on this subject when the dice landed crazy on the grass. 

Reese became our chief photographer and didn't sugar coat the reason why, "Mom, you stink at taking pictures. Here, let me do it."

She captured what I'm pretty sure is the most hideous picture of me ever documented...mid-victory dance rubbing it in that I was the first one to roll a Yahtzee.

If Drue can get someone else to do her work for her, she certainly will. She enjoyed rolling the dice, but would read off her numbers each time and say, "So...what should I go for?". After the 2nd or 3rd time we all yelled back, "We're not telling you! You have to think for yourself!"
I envisioned them gently tossing the dice onto the freshly mowed lawn. Instead, they decided to throw them straight up in the air then dodge the 5 large blocks hurtling back down toward their heads. There were quite a few near misses. I'm just relieved I didn't end up in the E.R. trying to explain how one of my children suffered a scalp laceration playing Yahtzee.
Moving along to the round when the entire bucket flew out of Drue's hands and shattered on the ground....
We politely declined her offer to go grab the bucket we use to pick up dog poop and ended up rolling the dice out of the three intact sides for the rest of the evening.

At one point, Reese began screaming and frantically trying to get away from whatever had landed on her. Gauging by the speed at which she leapt from her chair, I was sure a 4 foot long garden snake had fallen from the tree above. Turns out the fear-invoking creature was a lightning bug. Perhaps this teen needs to get outside more often.  

By the last few rounds, we had no sunlight left and were playing by the light of our phones. The same phones I'd been desperately trying to ban for a good portion of the game. 

"Reese, get off your phone." 
"Ok, but can we listen to music?" 
"I guess. Turn it down."
"Reese, get off your phone.
"But I'm just 'liking' this song on Pandora."
"Reese, get off your phone."
"But I'm learning how to do a waterfall braid."
"Oh, in that case...GET OFF YOUR PHONE!"

There were a lot of laughs, a lot of cheese puffs consumed, and enough family togetherness that they all scattered and headed off to bed when we came inside without me telling them to. 

We can't wait for you to come home, dear, and enjoy our newest Summer activity every single night! Oh, and you'll be glad to know that was the last issue of the Lowes magazine they'll be printing. So it may be awhile before I come up with another project for you.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Summer Better Shape Up

Our second full weekday of Summer break is coming to a close and I want a refund. I was promised stress free nights turning into lazy, carefree mornings and so far I've had neither.

Tate was so done with school last Thursday he couldn't even make it into the house with his backpack.

Drue, on the other hand, headed straight up to her room to read when she got home. There are a slew of books on her Summer reading list so I don't expect to see her again {other than mealtimes} until mid June. I have set a reminder on my phone not to forget her when we leave for vacation. She's already finished 3 of the books since Thursday. Reese and I get to help her celebrate by watching the movies with her. 

Me settling in on the couch to watch anything past sunset is a joke. I slept through most of the first movie and drifted in and out last night during the second one. Meanwhile, David and Tate headed up to our room to watch TV and fell asleep. 

So KC {who was adopted and returned AGAIN last week!} and I just crashed in the basement. Around 1am I heard little footsteps and the doggie gate on the stairs creak open. 

All sorts of scenarios started spinning on which little family member it was. I'd already narrowed it down to a kid, because when anyone over 100 pounds walks around upstairs, it sounds as though they'll crash through the basement ceiling into your lap at any moment.

Maybe one of the girls was scared, had a deep question they'd been pondering, or were going to tell me they might throw up. Or perhaps I'd be lucky and they'd just be heading to the kitchen for a drink. 

Nope. The footsteps continued down the stairs, the second doggie gate creaked open, and the entire basement was illuminated. Tate appeared at the end of the sofa bed and sweetly asked, "Do you need anything?"

Squinting my eyes from the light, I said, "No buddy, I'm good. Thanks. Wait, are you even awake?"

"Yep," he sleepily replied as he crawled into bed beside me. 

I slipped out between him and KC, hit the lights, then carefully felt my way back into bed. 

I would have had no problem drifting back to dreamland if the ear piercing alarm from our smoke detector hadn't started going off next. You know you're tired when you hear that and just decide to lay there for a minute and sniff the air for smoke. It stopped after a few seconds. As a parent, that's not just something you can easily fall back to sleep after. Too many "what ifs" to keep you awake. 

After the second time the alarm went off, David came downstairs to fiddle with the one in the basement. I mumbled something about Tate coming down earlier and he said, "What? I thought he was sleeping upstairs with me?" By this time Tate was awake again so David asked him how he got downstairs. Tate just rubbed his eyes and said, "I have no idea." 

Great. So not only can he maneuver three sets of stairs and 2 dog gates in his sleep, David had no clue any of it was even happening. Neither situation makes me feel safe. At least Tate remembers his manners in his sleep. 

The alarm went off once or twice more. I decided this fell under my blanket excuse, "I birthed the kids, David can deal with this..." and never left the bed. 

As the sun peeped through the window, I pulled the covers over my head calculating how many more minutes of sleep I could get without coming up for air.


Dang. It. This was the day the air conditioning company was coming to do a routine check of our system. Their window of time was 8am-12pm. Any other day you know they'd be pulling up at 11:50 but because of my sleepless night and extra frumpy appearance, they'd surely be arriving at 8:01. 

I slithered out of bed to throw on a hat and shut the bedroom doors of all my sleeping offspring. As I entered my room, the smell of 1000 roadkill corpses mixed with dog food burned my nares. The largest pile of dog throw up I've ever enountered greeted me. Of course George's aim was impeccable...right snack dab in the middle of the pile of clean laundry David had shoved off the bed onto the floor the night before. 

Seriously, Summer? Pulling out the big guns right off the bat? Couldn't just let me ease into you and establish a new relaxed routine? 

You're just jealous because Fall has always had my heart. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

KC's Story

I hate this day. And I love this day. 

The day I wake up next to you for the last time.

The day I go through the motions of letting you out, feeding you breakfast, and scratching all your favorite spots as an unmistakable lump forms in my throat.

The day I bathe you, brush you, and load you into the car for one more drive together (where you'll try and hog my air vent). A drive I'll be returning from without you.

And the absolute worst part of the entire day, handing your leash over to someone else, kissing your head, and walking out the door.

Today I stayed until most of the paperwork was complete. But I knew I just couldn't watch you get into his car. So after a few last kisses, I slipped out, leaving you sitting on the bench next to your new dad.

I know in my head it's wonderful you're off to your forever home, but it's my heart that needs a little more convincing, and where a piece of you will always remain.

You were scared, filthy, and starving when I picked you and your puppies up from the shelter eight months ago. Despite being neglected on a farm, you dug a hole next to a barn to place your puppies in for protection. A hole the shelter workers searched over 13 acres to find, after trapping you on the side of the highway and discovering you were a nursing mother.

You let me know right away you didn't trust me and I was not to mess with the 6 little bundles who had accompanied you. This made it challenging once you started weaning them and I had to get into the pen to feed them, change their papers, scrub the floor, and sneak them out for baths every so often. And when you knocked their pen over in the middle of the night I had to chase 24 little feet around the garage trying to scoop each puppy up without you charging me each time I got close to one. I collapsed back into bed thinking, "I am not cut out for this!"

When the puppies went to live with their new families you weren't sure what to make of the situation. After you finally stopped looking for them, you took up residence in the bottom shelf of an empty bookcase in our garage. I bought a warm, soft dog bed for you and placed it next to the bookcase. It sat there untouched for days, until one morning I found you sitting in it, looking unsure if that was ok.

David got a collar on you.

And then a leash.

But you had no idea why the leash was connected to you and why we were holding the other end. So we took it slow. Putting the leash on a few times per day without tugging on it, so you could see there was nothing to be afraid of.

This went on for weeks. Some of the coldest days of the winter, I worried even more about you and spent extra time trying to coax you inside. But you just wouldn't budge.

I remember the day I'd had enough. I muzzled you, scooped you up, marched you inside and gently placed you in the tub.  As the water turned brown and your white fur began to peek out through the suds, I wished I'd been brave enough to try this earlier. This was the day I think you finally realized I would never do anything to hurt you.

I think this was also the first time you'd ever been in someone's home. Every sound made you jump and you'd immediately look to me to gauge my reaction on whether or not it was something you should be afraid of. The heat kicking on, the dishwasher humming, toilets flushing, faucets coming on and off, cabinet doors closing. You found a few hiding spots to escape from everything. When the kids finally scrambled out the door in the mornings and it was just you and me, you'd come out of hiding, tail wagging, and follow me around for the rest of the day. Until you'd hear the front doorknob turning in the afternoon. And you'd retreat to one of your comfort zones.

Because you'd lived outside for so long, and nighttime is the best time for hunting, this was when you wanted to be outside. Those were some long weeks! Stumbling down the stairs with you at 2 am into the cool night air.

Your schedule eventually flipped and you learned to settle in for the night next to me in bed. I woke up one morning surprised to find you all stretched out sleeping soundly. Before, I'd only ever seen you sleep curled up defensively in a ball.
You learned to love our walks. Unless they took us by the playground at recess, in which case I'd have to pick you up and quickly carry you past because the sound of all those kids made you nervous. You also learned to love our car rides. Hopping in and out like you'd been doing this your whole life. You didn't care that we were just heading to pick up one of the kids from practice.
I'll be vacuuming up your hair from now until next week. I'll go about my housework now without my little sidekick and you'll no longer be laying just on the other side of the dog gate waiting for me to finish folding laundry. 
You figured out how to be someone's pet. 

And I figured out how to love you with all your quirks and odd behaviors.

Eight months was a long time.

Yet it wasn't quite long enough.

I hate this day. And I love this day.

The day you get to go home.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Kids' Eye View of the Candidates

I don't want to spark a debate.

Or judge anyone for their beliefs.

But I do want to remember this conversation forever. And since it's hard for me to remember what I made for supper two nights ago, I've learned to write down info I don't want to forget.

Like some of you, this is the first Presidential election where I'm left scratching my head thinking, "What in the world?!" 

I'm thankful it's in God I trust, and not a person holding an office.

As with previous elections, the kids are full of questions. Some are amusing, some are thought-provoking, and some are just plain hard to answer. 

We do our best. But I'm always quick to say, "Now just because your friend's parents are voting for so-and-so..." (because that information is readily shared on the playground, believe me) "...doesn't mean we tell them they're wrong or they shouldn't vote for them or anything like that." 

I wish I'd been writing down the kids' questions all along. Because their viewpoint is so simple, so innocent, and just so plain refreshing. 

Today it was pouring rain, so I walked up to the school, umbrellas in hand, to catch Drue and Tate as they came out the doors. The election was a hot topic of discussion as we sloshed our way home.

"People say if *Crump (*name has been changed to protect the candidate's identity) gets elected, they're moving," Tate declared, "And I think we should too."

"Oh? Where would me move to?" I inquired.

He thought for a second and said, "California."

As Drue choked on her laughter, I kindly pointed out the flaw in his reasoning. 

"Oh," he paused, "So I guess he'd rule over Rhode Island too, huh?" 

Canada, Mexico, and Italy were all offered as alternatives by the both of them. 

It then quickly turned into a game of "Would you rather have ______ as President or ________?"

We made it home and I assumed all political discussions would be tabled while they busied themselves consuming the contents of the pantry.

Apparently, Tate's wheels were still turning.  He was in first grade when the last election took place.  And I remember him point blank asking me who I was voting for and, more specifically, why.  Knowing there was no way I could explain the issue in terms a 6 year old would be able to understand, I finally settled on, "Well, because he believes that all babies in their Mommie's tummies should be able to live their lives." That night, as he said the blessing, he added, "And please help all babies be able to live their little lives."

Today, that same issue resurfaced in our conversation. Tate was trying to figure out why a certain candidate would not be getting my vote.

"Well," I took a deep breath, "Because he believes it's ok for a Mommy to kill her baby that's still inside her."

Tate's eyebrows wrinkled in confusion as he blurted out, "Like any Mom would ever do that!"

My heart melted.

He wasn't finished.  "And his wife is ok with that?" he asked in disbelief.

Did I ever plan to discuss this particular issue with my children? Of course not.

Am I going to go into specific reasons with him why a woman might choose to not let her baby be born? Again, no. He still doesn't fully comprehend how babies get there in the first place.

But I do want my kids to feel like they can ask me anything, especially when it comes to our beliefs. And to him, if a woman has a baby in her tummy, she's a Mommy. He knows the first baby in my tummy went straight to Heaven. One I never rocked to sleep, bandaged a knee for, or snuggled with on the couch, but whom I'm a Mommy to all the same.      

As quickly as it had begun, our discussion ended. My little 9 year old headed off to do little 9 year old things.  I have to say, I was quite thankful for the Wii at that specific moment so he could just be a kid and put aside contemplating grown up issues.

And I was left to ponder what the state of our country will be when he's old enough to vote, just another 9 short years away.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Like Father, Like Son

He's watching you.

The other day when you made those little fruit concoctions with strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream, he was watching. And he tried his best to recreate them for me when he brought me breakfast in bed this morning.

Every Saturday morning when you go out and get me a half-caf white chocolate mocha from Starbucks, he's watching. So today, as I made my cheap imitation weekday drink {cappuccino mix & water}, he said he wanted to learn to make it for me. As I began telling him what I do, he quickly ran and grabbed a piece of paper and a pen so he wouldn't miss any steps. It now hangs on the fridge for reference.

He's learning all the little ways you say "I love you" and letting me know he loves me too. 

He's watching you. 

And someday we'll watch him show his wife and children just how much they mean to him.  

Because he learned it from his dad.  

And he couldn't have a better teacher. 

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