where is my mother??

Where is my mother?
We all know there are a wealth of things we are not told before we have children. Things best left unsaid if we are to continue to populate the earth. Another unspoken truth visited me yet again today. Without being too specific, I was using the restroom. I had been there for only a minute or two when I heard it. It was muffled but getting closer. My daughter’s “I’m only a little hurt but I need to keep crying until mom sees the injury” wail.
As she moved throughout the house looking for me the wail began to lose it’s steam so she’d pause and call for me. When I didn’t reply it gave her the strength to crank the moan back up to it’s original glory and continue her search. Finally she found me. She knocked on the bathroom door and relayed how her little brother hurt her cheek in excruciating detail and ended with “come out I need you!”
Continuing to cry until mom sees the wound is not something she invented. I once watched my son fall out of a tree, dust himself off, walk across the field and not start crying until he reached the back gate. I wasn’t preoccupied in that instance the way I was today, so then I tended the child lovingly with my most effective remedy...a cold washcloth.
Today though I sat there (of course) just shaking my head. I don’t know which part disturbed me more. The fact that I couldn’t even get a few minutes alone in the bathroom, or that she passed her father three times as he sat on the sofa reading his book undisturbed.
“Honey,” I said, “ it’ll be okay. I’ll be out in a minute, go get a cold washcloth.”

laugh lines

I remember the day I found my first gray hair. Well actually my husband found it. We were sitting in the mall, chatting and enjoying our Orange Julius when he began to stare at the top of my head. In one swift movement he had plucked one long, completely gray strand from my scalp. He showed it to me and said sooo casually, “Hmm look at that.”

I was in shock. I was in my late twenties then and hadn’t even begun to think about going gray. But here was my handsome, slightly younger husband, sitting in the mall holding my gray hair! Before that day coloring and highlighting my warm brown hair was an occasional splurge, but from that moment my hair was on maintenance.

Today I reached another milestone. As I examined my pores this morning I discovered it. Ever so slight. So subtle. Looking innocent enough when I smiled but lingering on long after the smile had faded my first laugh lines. Two to be exact, one on each side stretching from just outside my nose around the curve of my mouth. Oh sure they aren’t terribly pronounced now, you have to really be looking to see them, but they are there.

I must confess, I was a little sad. I’m not vain, (am NOT!). I don’t primp or spend lots of time on my looks (time is purely subjective here) I try to take good care of my skin, and I do my make up in about 10 minutes. I have always embraced the idea of aging, and I want to age gracefully. But this morning, it gave me pause. Before caring for my skin was something I did because it made me feel good. Now it’s maintenance! Like changing the oil in my car so it doesn’t implode on the freeway, I have to start taking my skin care seriously or I could be facing...dare I say it, botox! Kidding! no botox for me.

As I examined my face further I began to think about all the lines, and wrinkles that would follow these and felt myself being wistful about days, younger days, gone by. Then my angel whispered, “Laugh lines” to my heart. I had gotten those lines, from my laughter, my joy, my smiles, and my happiness. They were my babies first giggles, first steps, first Christmases. They were my husband’s goofy jokes, my years of carelessly embracing my inner-nerd and abandoning all pretenses to simply be myself and enjoy my family. Maybe I am a little young to be getting them, but then doesn’t that mean I have had an extraordinary amount of laughter in my life? In that case then, thank you Lord. Please bless me with many more signs of the joy you’ve given me and give me many more years to come.

The hardest job

I know plenty of ppl would get up on their soap box to argue with me but this is my blog and my opinion, aka MY soap box so get downI have something to say. Being a full time, stay at home, homeschooling mom is the hardest job in the world. Period.

It's the hardest because anyone with a any career outside the home has a better chance of holding on to their identity than someone who spends their entire life within the walls of their home, and with their children. When your life is about the care and really the service to your family, there is less and less time for you. Less time to pursue your passions, interests, hobbies, exercise, (shower) and to just continue to be you. There is less of you and more of everyone else. You give everything you have to your kids, your home, your husband, and at the end of the day the tank is truly empty.

Moms don't get to have their feelings hurt, we can't be sick, we can't be irritable or short tempered, we can't lose patience, heart or hope. We have to be a brilliant, creative, loving, kind, all-knowing force all day, everyday... FOREVER.

No problem.

I could list all the jobs moms have to accomplish but really I am just too tired! I have to return a friend from a sleepover, make a grocery list, get the kids ready for Mass, and decide what craft materials I need for a Santa's workshop I am hosting. After I lunch I'll be working on world peace.

I do everything in my home. I am the CEO. I know we moms like to say things that, domestic goddess, etc. But I don't say that tongue in cheek. This family is a corporation. We have assets, liabilities, we have a product, we have resources for which we are stewards. We have a central operating office, we have board members, employees, and contractors, which all must be managed. I don't know of too many other CEO's who have to clean the toilets in their buidling and stock the break room with nutrious snacks. All the while with two black labs under their feet, the phones (yes 2-3 cells and a house) and little children whose minds and hears are blank slates waiting to be written on. NO pressure.

There is a monotony that happens when you are in the home raising and schooling your children that doesn't find a counterpart in the workforce. Even at an assembly line job you see that you are turning out products. You may be doing the same thing but the visualization that something is completed because of your efforts is a tiny reward. For moms the reward will not show itself for many, many years.

I wash the same clothes, towels, dishes, and floors every single day. I clear the countertops a dozen times a day. I cook 3 meals a day nearly everyday. I have been on my own since I was 17, and mom for 16 yrs. That means I have prepared 17088 meals since my first child was born. Okay yes we eat out some. If I take off 10% that is still 15380 meals. Not to mention the lunches I send with hubby that are different than what we are eating. Or the 3 different lunches I make for my kids some days because one only wants to eat from the orange food group (cheetos, cheese, mac and cheese), one has decided she is a vegetarian, and the other bats clean up eating whatever they don't finish and then some.

Yeah it's the hardest job but then I have never been known for doing things the easiest way. Somedays I hate the work. Somedays I am lonely. Most days I am tired physically, and emotionally. But somehow every morning I am bathed in grace. His mercies are new everyday. Christ gives me the strength, the heart, the coffee, to get through another day-not just survive it but to live it.

When the days are the hardest I try to smile at my kids more. I try to hug them, kiss their foreheads and tell them I love them more. I listen for their laughter. The times when they play together quietly and nicely. I decide on those hard days that we will have a big lunch and sit at the dining room table with real dishes (instead of paper plates) and we will eat and talk and visit together. Sometimes I'll get out the nice wine glasses down (and liquor them up-just kidding!) and we have apple juice at lunch and say cheers and toast each other. I try to find some way to get back to the whole point, the purpose, the "why" of it all. It's right there in their bright eyes. In their potential for sainthood, love, joy, and life. It's worth the sacrifice.

good day!

It is COLD here, seriously. I was all snuggled cozy in bed when Big Daddy left this morning. I don't know how he does it? I had to get up the other morning and he was in bed and I wanted to jump up and down on the bed and wake him up. I'm so understanding!

I just have all the respect in the world for him. He drags out everyday, always has to work for this family. I remember when he was a policeman and he would work 16-18 hour days following the hurricane. He was so exhausted but he kept dragging out there catching the bad guys and helping old ladies. What a man, really.

So he is off slaying the dragons and I am here teaching the kids(obviously not at this exact moment), keeping the fire going (at this moment you better believe) fixing food, keeping house, doing the laundry that never ends, managing the money, running the house and doing what I spend most of days doing...
let the dogs out
let the dogs in
let the dogs out
let the dogs in.

We both have our stresses, they are different no doubt. My job may be more so some days but I know his is worse than mine on others. I am at least with my family everyday which I know he would give his right arm to be able to say. I am comfortable, warm and safe. I can lay down on the couch when I'm tired, I can take a shower. I can chat on the phone or diddle on the computer without fear of reprecussions.

Some other things I have on him because I get to be home-
I always know what's for dinner
I always know what we're doing tonight
I know what we have and what we are out of so I don't stand with fridge open for 10 minutes looking for pineapple salsa.
I don't have to wonder if I'll have clean jeans the next day.
I never run too late to make coffee.
I am there for all the kids firsts, I have all their stories.
I know whether or not I am going to have sex tonight...honey if you are reading this (wink:wink)!

My before and after school child has caught the bus -I am bad I didn't walk her today. It's 13 degrees!!! Sorry but 13 is a shoe size NOT a temperature.

I am going to take this day by the horns I am gonna show it who is boss...I am thinking about going back to bed.

Another cup o' joe, bed's not a viable option, the kids might burn down the house and they certainly wouldn't be studying about Pearl harbor.