Around our house we love games and puzzles. Okay, so I’m really the only one that likes puzzles, but I haven’t given up the fight to get the kids to join the effort. A puzzle, in all its addictive nature, forces a life-pause. And good conversation can occur in the midst of searching for just the right piece. So, puzzles – not so much. But the games, we love. And right now it’s cards. Rummy to be exact. Rummy goes a step beyond the game of Gin Rummy, at least the way we play it. Rummy offers a bit more strategy and gamesmanship. One hand doesn’t make the game. And, you can play off each others hands. The discard pile stays alive. Points are gathered or lost based on cards laid and those remaining in a hand. We usually play to 500. It’s exciting … and fun. And I’m so glad at least one of my kids has caught the Rummy bug.
For those who might not know, Jon grew up on the mission field. His parents lived on a tributary of the Amazon River with an indigenous tribe called the Ese Ejas. They became family to each other. So much so, Jon’s oldest sister and her family still live in Bolivia. Mission work is in the Wyma blood. So, when Jon and I met and we realized we were falling in love, one of the first things Jon asked me was, “Do you think you could be a missionary?” I responded with an enthusiastic, whole-hearted affirmation, “Absolutely!” And I leaned into the dreamy adventure of it all. Well, it didn’t take long for Jon to question my response. His doubt might have had something to do with my reaction to a roach in our first little rental home. In my defense, that bug was huge and quite possibly flew. But, Jon just shook his head and laughed as he he killed
In our house, today marks the last day of care-freedom. For two of my five, tomorrow the alarms will go off. Tomorrow snooze buttons will be pressed. Tomorrow catatonic bodies will no longer be sleeping late or hanging around the house with friends. They will be sitting at desks trying to coax their brains to consider Calculus, Chemistry, Dostoyevsky and the likes. And Mom will be right behind doing what we do, encouraging and reminding – “You can do this,” “Don’t sell yourself short,” “You’re worth more than a bad decision,” “Take the high road,” “Look for someone to encourage today,” … and so much more. The kids may act like they don’t hear us, but they do. This is a mom’s seed-planting/fertilizing time of life. We plant,
Yesterday, in the midst of a mind-numbing conversation, filled with countless illogical and stubborn arguments, I felt like I was on a seemingly never-ending hill of a running-my-heart-out-but-going-nowhere marathon. I hit the proverbial wall, determined to push through, searching for some fuel to put in my tank. The topic of conversation was college applications. Specifically the Common Application essays. Mom: You should do your essays while you have this extra time before school starts. Kid: I’m not doing them. Mom: What?! (pause trying to digest) What?! Kid: I’m not doing them. It’s a waste of time. Mom: What?! (still trying to digest) Kid: No one looks at them. Mom: Wait a minute… according to who? Why would you think no one looks at them? Kid: Trust me – they don’t matter. They’re
All of my kids are different. They came out that way. Even though I ate, and acted and exercised during pregnancy pretty much the same on each child (… ok, so maybe exercise got less with each child. By number five it felt like my insides were falling out if I walked a mile – how does Michelle Duggar do it?!), the kids were different from the get-go. Since they are different, they each have their own approach to life. They all have their moments of stubborn. They all can cop an attitude or huff off to a bedroom when their “mean mom” makes them do something horrible and life-threatening like take their brother’s plate to the sink, too. But they all are actually very nice. And, I often have moments of sappy as I watch them live their different lives. Different – not necessarily good or bad – just different.
Vacation is interesting. Summer vacation is great. I’m so incredibly sad that it’s coming to an end. I’m not one of those who longs for the start of school. I’m not sure why I’m not. But, I know I love having the kids around. I’d so much rather endure I’m bored-om than the schedules and driving that school brings. Maybe it’s the laid back. Maybe it’s the freedom. I know it’s not real life … but I like it. But get-out-of-town vacation is great, too. We don’t do it often at our house, but I think we should more than we do. Because the one we just returned from was so so wonderful and it gave us a bit of a re-boot. Which is something we all need. And re-boot doesn’t have to be super fancy. For us, it was regular. It was productive. It was refreshing. And, it was a reminder
Last week, I had a phone interview with Tracy at Real Simple Magazine who is putting together an article on kids and entitlement for their December issue. I so enjoy getting to meet new people and talk about life – even when over the phone. And, it’s been crazy the amount of new folks whose paths I’ve crossed due to Cleaning House. Sometimes the venue can be a bit heady, like Real Simple. I would be lying to say that I wasn’t a teensy bit excited and in slight disbelief when I received her inquiry. But, regardless the outlet, we’re all just people. Tracy, like me, is a mom who loves her kids. All the readers, or viewers or listeners, are people who either care about the kids they’re raising or about the societal environment in which we all live. People. Who matter. Who have purpose. Who belong. …
This must be the week of guest posts (I have one I intended to post on Wed, but am pushing until next week – apparently I too am in lazy-summer mode. :) Anyway… I just love what my friend Margie Sims sent me recently and I have to share. Margie is a writer, blogger and mom of ten (!!) with unique perspective to comment on life from every angle. Her post came as if on cue. I thought about Margie’s screen saver when I was chatting with Kerby Anderson last week on his terrific program, Point of View. He referenced new research showing that people “preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves instead of being left alone with their thoughts.” Crazy … but true. It’s hard to think we so desperately want to avoid mental idleness that we would opt for physical pain over moments of nothingness.
Today, I’m so thrilled to share something written by my friend Gini Florer. She’s been such a sweet encouragement to me and to pretty much anyone who knows her. Ten years ago Sunday, Gini & John’s road took a detour, in the most wonderful and uplifting way – adjectives that at the moment were a bit hidden behind a veil of unexpected. As this couple held a new baby in their arms, they began a journey down a road that didn’t quite look like what they imagined. But who knew, that in the midst of different, joy and happiness and contentment would come with a special life. Gini, knowing my beef with comparison and interest in contentment, told me I could share with you the following update she posted to her Caring Bridge yesterday. I hope her words encourage you in whatever place you might be – whether