Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thoughts on kids who grow up without permission

Several things have happened over this past week that alerted me to a "growing" trend.

First, Katie lost her a tooth. She's five, so it shouldn't have shocked me...but it did. Kylie has been our jack-o-lantern girl for so long that I didn't realize the torch had been passed to my baby girl. A second bottom tooth will be falling out within the next few days. My kids seem to be all or nothing when it comes to loosing teeth.

Second, after our children woke me up very early this morning (okay, it was 7 a.m. but dang it, I like to sleep in on Sunday) I sent them to go read books so I could sleep a little longer. When I got up, I looked in the girl's room and saw their beds were made. I could hear them downstairs, so I went down and found both girls dressed for church and they had made their own breakfast. My mouth fell open and I blinked a lot before I came to my senses and complimented them.

When did this happen??? I can feel that we are moving into a new phase as a family and before long I'm going to need to hide my car keys and mascara. My sister-in-law, Trisha, always says that when we do our job well as parents we eventually put ourselves out of business and this week I've seen that glimmer of independence in the girls. Thank heaven Nate is a little younger and a bit more dependent. I still need to be needed!

I know there is still plenty to do though, not just for Nate, but for the girls too. Here is the tricky thing Kylie did. After her sister put her tooth in a porcelain tooth-shaped container on the night stand for the Tooth Fairy to pick up, Kylie snuck her sister's tooth under her pillow...making life harder for the Tooth Fairy who couldn't say anything about it the next day. Don't worry, Katie got the dollar.

So a word of warning: keep an eye on your children, they might be up to this shenanigans too.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love

I've been thinking about marriage for a long time, as far back as I can remember. By six years of age I had my children named. I must have been reading Ramona Quimby at the time (remember how she named her imaginary daughter after Chevrolet and thought it was the most beautiful name?) It must have been a Car & Driver era because that's how I felt about Mercedes--I couldn't imagine a better name.

In my teenage years I had ideas about the traits my husband would have: rich (yup, it's a trait), smart, a business man, handsome, a take-life-by-the-horns type or older and brooding.... I'll spare you the rest.

Then I met Seth. He was younger than me and that was a strike in my book (being a cougar in THAT sense hadn't become fashionable yet). He completely lacked in the taking-life-by-the-horns and brooding departments. He had fuzzy dice hanging from his car mirror-I kid you not. That alone almost ended it. But he was cute, smart and kind. When trouble came (as it always does) his maturity and communicativeness bested mine and not by inches, but by miles. Best of all, he treated me like a princess. And he still does.

This week I toast Seth. I love you, sweetie.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Road rage

For those of you who have been spared my ranting and raving about driving in Rhode Island--your number is up. The stories I could tell. Now, you may think perhaps I'm the problem. Consider my evidence. 1. Our car insurance tripled when we moved to this state. 2. People sent us youtube clips mocking the drivers of Little Rhodey. 3. In a national driving survey, Rhode Island drivers were found least likely to understand and implement driving laws. So there.

Yesterday was a bad day in the car for me. By time I nearly crashed into a woman that was running a red, red light (as in the two cars ahead of me had already crossed the intersection) I was crazy angry. The kind of muttering to myself that makes my kids really quiet. I could almost hear them saying to each other, "Sh, don't draw attention to yourself. She's on a rampage." It made me feel a little bad.

Fifteen minutes later and still in the car, I started giving Kylie a hard time for having no patience with her siblings and telling her how we can't control other people blah, blah blah. The epiphany came then. I had no moral high ground. Zero. Zilch. It stopped me mid sentence. I felt certain that as I learned how to model that brand of self discipline my kids would learn how to copy it.

So, I'm going to learn to count to ten and drive more cautiously. I'm going to learn to laugh so my kids can learn to laugh too.