Perfect Things

I found this quote in a new book I’m reading (Love Walked In by Maria de los Santos–I’m only a chapter or so in, so the story hasn’t evolved too much yet–but her writing style is beautiful). It stuck with me and I chewed on it all day, so I thought I would share.

 It made me think of items and things I’d put on my perfect list. Some I came up with:

  • The beginning of spring when the weather is amazing but it is too early for bugs.
  • The opening bars of Billy Joel’s Piano Man.
  • Twilight. The time of day, not the stupid books.
  • The way babies move their little mouths when they’re asleep.
  • Using your favorite pen.
  • The first bite of ice cream.

What would be on your list of perfect things?

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Two Words

2words

I saw this on a Facebook page I follow, and it made me think.

I spent awhile reading the comments–once I got over the surprise of how many people chose things like birth control and leave him, I found some good ones:

Respect Yourself.
Mom’s right.
Think Twice.
Don’t Settle.

I wanted to leave a comment with my two words, but I struggled. I’m not a “two word” kind of girl…I’m wordy and verbose. It’s why I struggle so much with Twitter. 140 characters? How can I possibly wax poetic in 140 characters?!?

Anyway, I spent a day or two thinking about it, and I finally settled on two words I would send back to my younger self:

Stay True.

I almost always have a gut feeling about things–and it’s when I don’t follow my gut that I get into trouble, end up involved with toxic people, or find myself in unhappy situations. And there have been too many times in my life that I’ve ignored my inner voice and listened to the ones around me instead.

So if I could go back and tell myself anything, it would be to stay true to my beliefs and what I felt was right. It would have saved me a lot of messes!

What two words would you tell your younger self?

Your Mom is Your First Audience

JC is learning how to tell  jokes.

“Hey mom,” he said the other day. “What does a frog say when he sneezes? ACHOO!” And then he laughed hysterically.

Whenever he tries to make me laugh, I am reminded of a Robin Williams quote.

firstaudience

I love teaching him how to tell jokes…but I often find him funnier when he’s not trying to be.

For example, he seems to think that California is the gateway to everything. We live on the east coast and have never been anywhere near California. This conversation happened in the car last week.

“Mom, do you know where my favorite place on the whole earth is?”

 “Where?”

 “The north pole. Mom, why is it called the north pole?”

 “Because it’s the northern most point on the earth.”

 “And it’s really far away from Mars!”

 “Yes, it is. What makes it your favorite place?”

 “Santa Claus is there. And I want to take a train there to visit him. Do you know what train goes there?”

 “The Polar Express?”

 “However did you guess, mom? Lets go to California.”

 “Wait—why?”

“Because that’s where the Polar Express’ station is. And then we can go to the north pole.”

He recently came to me and asked for a piece of paper and  pen. When supplied with these things, he wrote the handful of letters he knows and a couple of drawings of a train. Then he returned to me.

“Mom, I wrote a speech. But I need you to read it to me, because I wrote it in Spanish and I don’t speak Spanish.”

Some of his best work is about his imaginary friend, Ansel.

“Mom, Ansel drives a Lancer. It’s pink and it has the word “whatever” written on it.”

“Mom, Ansel is in time out. He took all my clothes off my hangers and put them in the bath tub. But I don’t need a consequence. I’ve already handled it. 

Ansel is getting his own blog post soon. He is a trouble maker.

JC has very specific ideas about how we should play together.

“Mom, I want to play football outside. You be the guy who gets tackled, and I’ll be the guy who wins.”

(I can’t tell you how excited I was about that one).

Mom, your name is Captain Foofamaloo and I’m Captain JC. You drive the ship while I relax. You don’t sound like a pirate. You need to sound like, ARRRRRR. Or like Hagrid.”

Apparently, I need to work on my accents.

What was the last thing your kid said that cracked you up?

You Can Quote Me On That

I’m linking up with Mama Kat today for her Writing Workshop, and the prompt I chose is: “share a quote you love”. 

I’m a big fan of quotes. When I was younger, I had a book I would carry around where I recorded all the good quotes I read and heard. Now I have a Pinterest Board that does it for me…and if I’m completely honest, I still carry around the book. There’s just something that comes with writing the words down as opposed to hitting the little red “Pin It” button.

The quote I want to share today is one I came across during a re-reading of the Anne of Green Gables series. I read the series so many times as a young girl and teenager, but I recently picked it up again as an adult and found a whole new depth to it. If you ask me, that’s the sign of a truly amazing book: all of my old favorite parts were still there, but sections that I hadn’t taken notice of before resonated with me deeply: Anne visiting the little yellow house where she was born, Marilla’s struggle with doing what she thought was best for Anne while making the little girl happy, and Anne having–and losing–her own children. Reading the series as a mother was like meeting up with a childhood friend and finding her going through the same things I was–a literary hug, if you will.

I came across this quote in Anne of Green Gables, and as a young reader, I probably skipped over it without a thought. But this time it caught my eye and I jotted it down, and my mind has returned to it several times since.

Rachel Quote

Excuse my southern here…but ain’t that the truth?

The world seems overwhelmed with ways we SHOULD be raising our children. Let your baby cry it out–they have to learn! If you let your baby cry, they’ll never feel secure! Stay close, give them comfort! Let them go, they need to be independent! Socialize them or they’ll be forever alone! Don’t put them in big groups–they’ll get germs! Vaccinate! Don’t vaccinate! There are Tiger Moms and Helicopter Moms and I even read an article about a brand of women calling themselves “elephant moms”. Why can’t we just be…parents?

We each have our own beliefs and passions about parenting and what works for us and specifically, our kids. Every kid is different. I’ll use myself as an example. JC doesn’t handle big crowds and loud kids. It’s something we work on all the time. When I see him getting overwhelmed at the playground or at the zoo, I step in and help him navigate the situation. While I can see that he’s come so far, another mother may just see me butting in. I’m sure I get judged, but that other mom doesn’t know the whole story and I know I’m doing what’s best for my kid.

We all judge. Don’t deny it, you’ve done it. But the next time you see a situation arise where a parenting style is a little different from yours, remember that you might not be seeing the whole picture. Remember that even Rachel Lynde, the grandest judge of Avonlea, admits there’s more than one way to bring up children.

And you can quote me on that.