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.
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.