Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kindness Boomerang

Talking to the kids today we got into the importance of being a good friend when it is easier to do nothing. There was a moment where everyone was being really thoughtful and I reminded them how key it was to be kind.

Those moments when it is so easy to look away, walk away or simply not help someone out. How the times when they step in and help someone else build a lifetime of character.

Life is messy, people hurt. Small people, big people. Words hurt, hugs help.

Loving sisters, hoping to build a culture of kindness
Everyone messes up, but those times we choose to take the highroad, will come back to us. I gave an example of a kindness boomerang. It might be an entirely different person but that goodness DOES come back. It does every time.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Broken Windows, Baseball & Zesty Spaghetti

This morning Lucy ran off with a seasoning packet. Zesty Spaghetti trail following a fast moving baby girl around the living room. Rather than loosing my cool we now have baked Ziti ready to go for tonight's dinner.

Mondays kick my tush into the next week. By the time I recover I have made it through the other 6 games of the week and am ready to go again. In hopes of keeping my day straight I am going to do a short rundown. Maybe future generations will read this and buy me lunch.

Before kids get home at 2:20 I need to do at least 10 loads of laundry to catch up from the weekend. Put away enough socks and unders to get all 10 of us through the week. Get Uniform shorts folded by size, 6 kids in shorts, 12 pairs in the correct drawers. Get dinner made in advance (check!) Entertain the little girls, keep Lucy out of the toilet, and spice drawer (note to self). Pack baseball bags with correct away vs home jerseys for travel, cleats sorted by child, Daisy's dance bag ready to go. Coordinate new window (baseball in the house is now added to the "Really I have to tell you that?" rules) Make sure enough baseball pants are washed for the 5 players.

My mothers day cards under the broken window:)
Tonight Daisy has Dance at 5:15, connect with Amy about ride help, maybe drop her off at a field? Mark and James have baseball pictures be to field by 5:50, fill out forms get checks ready must remember to find out if they have practice as well. Mickey and Nate have a game need to be to the field by 5:45pm. Might be good to see if Sheff can make it home before 6 tonight. John-Luke has an away game, we have asked for so much help already and I really WANT to see his game, maybe I can make it for the second half? Sheff is coaching Mark so see if I can get a ride for Annie who has soccer at 7:15.

Did I miss anyone? Lucy! oh dear where IS Lucy. Found her, she is very neatly taking socks from my done pile and putting them down the laundry shoot. Ah, yes the life:)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Mothers Day ELH

Honoring my mother is not an easy task. It has been done beautifully many a time. She has been honored by professors, psychologists, artists, writers and poets. The further I go into my own journey of motherhood, the more I look back and think about my own childhood. I can imagine her telling me not to get a Hallmark card (I personally love them!) but instead to create something, an organic ode.

We may have disagreed on blue jeans, the color gray overall and aspects of theology, but the fact that it is now difficult to rattle off what we disagreed on amazes me! The gift of how close we have always been is not lost on either of us. As different as we are, we are each other's biggest champions. I may not fully grasp the mythical breakdown in a particular archetype and she might not see the need to attempt a new pantry labeling system but the support is unwavering.

I admire my mother's ability to see societal expectations as merely guidelines to step fashionably out of and create her own map. I admire her work for Victims of Torture and her willingness to see past the rawness of any artist or dancer to the gem that is there. I admire her acceptance of the unknown, the ability to talk to people about scary stuff and give them tools to climb to a place of comfort. I admire my mother's paradoxes, beauty and work ethic.

As I navigate the waters of being a family leader, teaching our kids about the world, I think about how much social justice also means to her. As I make food many, many times a day I am comforted knowing how to make healthy food watching her experiment with salmon, greens & olive oil before it was all the rage. As we tuck the kids in at night I know how deeply I value their emotional well being in dreamland and imagination, a grounded respect for the mind I would not have with out my mother.

This entry has in no means done my mother justice but it is a start. It is a nod to the profound, unwavering love I have for her. I am so grateful to be the daughter of a complex, brilliant and beautiful woman who will use this life and fill her cup to the brim.

My Mother's Wikipedia Page

Friday, May 4, 2012

Raising Sons

Is not for the faint of heart. The frogs in the pockets, baseballs through the window and black eye at recess are not the part that has made me sit down. Fielding questions of identity, friendships and ability have left me wanting backup. "Mom I suck at this!" Makes me want to break into a million pieces for them. "Mom I aced it!" Makes me bake a cake. Raising good men, I was told by a seasoned mom, 3 Otis boys in, is a job this world desperately needs.

Sheff is an amazing role model. His expectations of his sons may seem at times daunting. Hard work, followthrough and unwavering respect. They watch him like baby hawks, seeing how he treats me, seeing how he talks on the phone, seeing how he blows off steam (sports anyone?) They see him get up every Sunday, cabin, city, tournament or not and go to Church.

Any girl remembers a boy who treated her poorly, it stinks. I want my boys to remember their sisters, their mother, their grandmother when they think about how to treat a girl. I strive to have sons that say thank you, sons that make eye contact, sons that enjoy their family, sons that look out for each other (we need work in this area with some), and sons that have their own deep personal faith. I want to raise men who are loving and kind, who work through problems and find creative solutions, men who take responsibility for spilled milk or big world man stuff.

That said, boys are an awesome gift. They make me laugh, say things I never thought I would say. My boys hug me and make me feel like queen of the world (just like their Dad) and I am am forever grateful I get to raise 5 of them with a man I profoundly respect. Do they make me nuts somedays, most days? Yes! Especially since our youngest should have aptly been named Dennis.

But I won't ever give up on striving to raise good men,  I expect them to have fun weddings with lots of DANCING! The dancing will create memory loss about the gold cross someone bit "to see if it was real gold!" The permanent marker on the back of the house "to practice my letters!" The calls from the principals office, "But mom I am only 6!" The cut up track jacket and mangled tennis racket ; "I was trying to make a kite so you guys wouldn't have to buy me one!" and, of course, the "you have so many kids I didn't think you would notice an animal living under my BED!" Yup LOTS of dancing in my future.