Wednesday, October 24, 2007


This post might start out sounding sound like a review but this book really got me thinking.

Water for Elephants was an amazing book. I read it in about 2 1/2 days. It is a great story told in first person and revolves around life in the circus. That's all I will reveal other than the main character is now in a nursing home.

His life and how old he is now is what really gave me pause. This aging thing is not anything I am looking forward to at all.
While reading about his life (the treatment of him by nursing home staff, his daily routine and the pace) I would actually put the book down and stop to imagine. Imagine the difference in my life now and what it could be one day.
1. I never have enough time in the day vs. Watching the slow ticking clock and another identical day of meals in the dining room, naps and staring at a t.v. set
2. Independence vs. the inability to even drive a car
3. Mobility vs. wheelchair bound
4. Being treated with respect vs. being patronized by others
5. Freedom of choice vs. "This is what you get"
It struck me that one day this life I have now of rushing kids to and fro, cooking meals, attending meetings at school, dinner engagements, and work engagements, would all taper off one day. When it does, I want to make sure I have lots of memories in which to retreat.
What memories would you enjoy reliving? Yes, we all know the birth of children rank up there at the top, as do wedding days, but think beyond those...
Particularly vivid memories (I didn't say they were good or bad, just memories) are these:
* 7th grade: my friends and I decided to "Ding, Dong, Ditch" another friend's house. I will never forget that bitter taste of fear when while hiding next to her mailbox (behind a few trashbags) her parents' decided they would walk the street and really investigate these pesky kids who rang their doorbell. I just knew they could hear my heart pound and my heavy breathing. When they announced they were going back in for the flashlight, I ran like I had NEVER run before....
* Bike riding with my boys and husband through a downtown art park on a perfect Saturday. Then going to a diner and having burgers and malts for lunch.
* The day I surprised my boyfriend with a weekend at a fabulous hotel (bags were already packed and in the car) and he surprised me back by proposing....I said yes!
* Christmas when I was 16. There was a funny shaped gift under the tree to me from my dad. When I opened it, it was a garage door remote. He gave me his spot in the garage for the rest of the time I lived at home. No more icy windshields, no more warming up the car, no more running in the rain....actions speak louder than words and my dad screamed "I love you!" with that gesture.
Your turn....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ostrich Days

Has there ever been anything you have put off thinking about?

There is something in my life that scares me so much that I know I just cannot think about it yet. I know I am avoiding it to maintain my sanity but what scares me is when the time arrives...what will become of me?

I'm talking about my son. The one who is contracted to go into the Army after college graduation. So far, I have dealt with this situation by delaying the time I have to worry about it. It was three years away, then two years, now we are down to 18 months.

I've "joked" with people that I will be a mess when the day comes and he is deployed somewhere. I'm not joking. Yesterday something happened that I KNOW I am NOT joking.

I was reading about a new movie that is out. It is about a father and his soldier son who went to Iraq. Just reading about this movie reduced me to a puddle.

Part of me is petrified for him to be so far away from me and the other part is mourning the passing of his youth.

When I sit quietly, I can reconjure the little boy he was at two, or at four. I can remember his fat little hands or the way he squirmed on my lap. I can remember his funny words for things. His loud, belly laugh when tickled.

I remember the time when he was only 10 months old and he was so sick . I thought I was going to lose him. At the emergency room, as the doctor told me that IF the meningitis wasn't fatal then he could be deaf or blind, I was making deals with God inside my head to switch our places. Take me instead! I remember thinking, I didn't even know this little baby less than a year before but now couldn't imagine life without him.

Right now to get through every day I compartmentalize my brain. I slam certain cerebral doors shut. Rooms I am not ready to see yet, let alone enter.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Spare the Rod, Please!

Recently, seen on a church marquee, "Parents and children should be on SPANKING terms."

This little zinger really made me pause. For one thing, I found it inappropriate that a church would post it on their large sign out front. Maybe they want the world to know just how fundamental they are...or archaic.

I do not agree with spanking.

I am raising three boys. If anyone would NEED to spank, I would think it would be me. But, here is where I have the problem with spanking (other than it is beating up someone littler than you are, which is the definition of a bully in my book) when you must resort to hitting your child, it means you have lost control. It means you have NOT done your job as a parent.

Let me explain - in my house, I never have HAD to spank. For one thing, it has never been in doubt who is in charge. My husband and I are the leaders in the household. Our children are NOT secondhand citizens by any means but they know their place in the home. They have been taught from day one to treat us and each other with respect. I have never had to spank because I never allowed a situation to deteriorate to the point that in order for me to feel in control I had to hit someone.

When my 20 year old was about 15, he came home from a friend's house. He commented that this friend treated his mother with a lot of disrespect. He talked down to her and yelled at her. Here was my son's comment to me, "I told him that he wouldn't last a day in my house."

Personally, I took that as a compliment. I am glad my kids know I would never ALLOW someone to act like that to me. So, you see, spanking simply wasn't an option or needed. And, for those of you who are interested, I was not spanked as a child by my parents either.

I am a Christian. But, I believe that the Bible was not meant to be taken literally. Spare the rod? A rod is what a shepherd uses to herd the sheep. He doesn't beat them with it. He prompts and guides his flock. You reap what you sow. I am enjoying my harvest.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Nothing quite like realizing you forgot to put anti-perspirant/deodorant on in the lunch time....with a car load of clients.

On a totally different note:

I got into a conversation with my college-age and high school age sons recently. They were discussing all of the lesbians in their schools. This lifestyle choice has become quite prevalent in their generation. My 9th grader has seen girls kiss each other in the hallway at his school. But, even my boys said, it is more like the girl's just "try it because its there."

To use my fav phrase, "Back in the day", I DO NOT remember this being a valid option to get your groove on. I didn't even find out what "gay" was until I was in like 8th grade! (I know, I know, small town, Oklahoma....) But here is my point, I don't remember thinking that any girls (or guys - okay, there was one and I think he probably did turn out to be gay but I don't think he was acting on it in high school) were getting their groove on in the locker room. There was no "girl-on-girl" action in my school.

What is your take on this? Did this go on openly at your school? Of course, it may depend on your age I guess but my point is this: has this become something to experiment with just because it is openly known and discussed in our society today? I'm not judging it unless I am from a parental point of view that I don't think teenagers should be having sex with anybody, male or female, until they are old enough to handle the responsibility and emotions that go along with it.