Happy Birthday Buddy!

Last night I put my kids to bed and spent a little extra time with Danny.  My baby boy was about to turn 6.  I wanted to hug him a little tighter, make him laugh a little harder and also have a serious talk with him.

I wanted to tell him that I was proud of him, proud of how kind and thoughtful he was.  I wanted him to know that I loved him more than he knew and that he had a great laugh.  I wanted him to know that I thought he was super smart and super funny.

But, like a true six year old, he was far more interested in trying to stick his fingers in my nose than hearing how much I loved him.  What can I say?  He’s weird.

But I do love him and I thank my two angels up in heaven for watching out for my baby on the day of his birth, so that 6 years later, I could be annoyed by him trying to pick my nose.

Love you lots, kid!  Hope you have a fabulous birthday weekend (and that my Pinterest-inspired party isn’t a complete disaster)!

Join me for a stiff drink…

…while I join the rest of the world in contemplating today’s tragic events. 

I, too, am heartbroken.  When I first heard about the news of Sandy Hook Elementary, I was being annoyed by my two children.  They were bouncing around our small kitchen, talking too loud, playing loud, annoying music on my iPhone —  basically driving me crazy.  I stopped and looked around at my little ones and tried to imagine being of those parents, never being able to hear my two babies talk, laugh, or even whine ever again.  And I felt grateful.  I couldn’t imagine my life without them and thankfully, I didn’t have to. 

I can’t believe that this is the second time in a matter of months that I am writing in my blog about a mass shooting.  I think I also join the rest of the world in asking “Why?  How could someone to do this….to kids?”  I can’t begin to understand how someone could do something like this.  Again, I am thankful.  I am sane and, therefore, I find this truly horrific act of violence incomprehensible.

I, too, want to know why these shootings keep happening and what we can to do prevent them, to protect people.  This desire for answers is only intensified by the age of the victims.  They could have been my children.

But while I understand the desire for answers and perhaps, more importantly, solutions, I don’t think it’s that easy. 

Tonight, I was included in a mass email from another parent at our pre-school urging everyone to search for ways to increase security at our school.  While I understand the motivation, this is not a solution, it’s a band-aid.  Our school already has a pretty good security system in place, as did Sandy Hook Elementary. 

What if they manage to lock up the school, install metal detectors, the whole nine yards, I ask:

  • Is that a school we want to send our children too?
  • Is that a life we want to live?
  • What happens when the kids go outside to play?  Do we stop that?  Do we build a bubble?
  • And most importantly, where does it end?

I would love to conclude this entry with answers or solutions, but I don’t have any to offer.  But I will conclude with the following pieces of advice, (that I will do my best to take to heart as well):

  • Love your children
  • Shower them with affection
  • Show them how to express emotions in a healthy way
  • Teach them that the world is not perfect – people and events are bound to hurt and disappoint them – but there is always hope
  • Tell them they are not perfect and they are also bound to make mistakes, but that these mistakes should not define them
  • Teach them to forgive
  • Teach them to love and care for others
  • Lead by example, not just words, especially when you make a mistake (they need to know you are human too)
  • Teach them how to be the perfect parents you wish you could be

Let’s all agree to make our kids better people than we are, so that the next generation can be kinder, more tolerant, more emotionally stable than the one before.  That’s the best answer I have right now.

 

Lightening up my mood

I have been grumpy on and off for weeks, since my last post really.  And if I am going to be truly honest, the grumpiness has been “on” far more than it’s been “off”.

But my mood has slowly been improving since yesterday.  Yesterday, I spent the morning at my daughter’s school and today I finally got to watch one of her dance classes.  It was a girl power week.

Also, the work day was relatively easy, the kids left me alone to cook dinner and listen to Christmas music and now we are having a rare quiet boy playdate.

Tonight, after the kids go to bed, I have big plans.  I want to make salt dough ornaments for the kids to paint tomorrow.  I also want to dig around in the basement and find the old 1970’s-special aluminum tree I called my own as a kid.  The kids deserve their own Christmas tree too, right?

I don’t really think any of that will get done, but right now, the thoughts are making me happy.

Then tomorrow, I start preparations for Danny’s drive-in movie party.  I have 10 cardboard cars to make and paint.  Hope they don’t look like crap!

Sorry, this post really had no point.  But in case you were curious, my desk took until December to reach the “push crap aside to refill the printer paper tray” stage.