Dear Bennett’s Future Wife,

A few weeks ago, I caught him like this.


He had accidentally smashed part of a cracker on the floor, and he cleaned it up himself. Without me asking him to.

I just want you to know that I worked hard to instill something like this in him, and it appears that it may have at least partially sunk in. I’m not celebrating just yet, but I want you to know that he knows this.

He’s the best kind of adventure, this one. Prepare yourself, whoever you are. I’m already praying for you.

Love,

His mom

He’s Mine. 

Oh hi friends. I know. Long time, no blog.

It’s a combination of things: if I’m writing right now it’s book/proposal/query related. Also, the boys still do things that I want to remember, but they’re generally getting too old to regularly be blogged about.

But honestly, I still think in terms of blog posts a lot of the time. When I saw this reading log on the counter a couple of weeks ago, I snapped a picture because I knew I needed to record it here. I laughed because Jack Henry’s comment here is so totally me. (Also, please note: he is occasionally critical of the sloppiness of my signature.)

my comment – his teacher’s – JH’s

I especially love seeing this little bit of me in him because his brain works so very differently than mine. Here’s an illustration of that:

Jack Henry asked for a strategy game called QBitz Extreme for his birthday. Matt’s sisters bought it for him, and he’s really good at it.

He wanted me to give it a try, and not knowing exactly what it was, I said sure. Teach me how to play.

Basically, there is a pattern on a card that you are to replicate with small cubes. Let’s just say that spacial-relationship-type thinking is not my strong suit. (However, I can read a map pretty well, so there’s that.)

He gave me an easy one to start, and I was able to solve it. But, I could tell he was watching me do it, and he knew it was hard for me. The second one he gave me was a little harder, and I swear he was looking at me the whole time like I was adorably dumb (though he was not in the least condescending…that’s so not in his nature).

As I frustratingly finished the second card, I decided this was a great opportunity to talk about multiple intelligences, and how some people are stronger in some areas than others, and vice versa.

And then I recommended that all math questions from here on out be directed to Dad, and that I would handle reading-and-writing-type questions. I think the boys were all “yeah, we already knew that” but at least they were nice about it.

he’s the cutest.

Winning the Day. 

Luke made it into the geography bee at school this week by passing a written test. 

The bee was today, and he made it to the 7th round. Each kid got 2 misses. Luke missed in the 6th and 7th rounds. 

But check out this awesomeness: I asked last week if I was allowed to come watch. Him: “I don’t think parents do that.”

So today, I was waiting in parking lot by around 4:20, in case he was done early from the 4:30 pick up time he’d given me. 4:30 came and went. His assistant principal called me at 4:40 to tell me he was still in, and that I could come to the commons to watch. 

Where EVERYONE’S parents were watching. 

Sigh. 

There are moments, few and far between, but they exist, when I miss the time that actually winning the day involved things like:

I fed all 3 kids 3 meals plus 2 snacks today! (Mom of the year!)

They all got baths! (Go me!)

And everyone just went to bed without putting up a fight! (Let’s celebrate with wine!)

Luke 100% acted like he didn’t care that I wasn’t there, but I still feel bad.  Now I know. (But seriously. Geography bee participant? Is this kid even mine? Are there more geography bees in my future?)

To Quote Jen Hatmaker…

Hi all. I’m still here. Honestly, I’ve been in a bit of a writing funk lately, hence the lack of posting (I have several unfinished posts floating around). Trying to finish my book, trying to write a proposal for it*, which is making me all sorts of crazy, and then, you know, just life and holidays and such.

But today? Today I committed to writing for a while. In a spot I often do, so there are other “regulars” here that I see, well, regularly (see? I’m fantastic with all the words right now).

There’s a middle-aged woman who counsels a couple of homeschooled teen girls, and it’s obvious she’s leading them in a Bible study. I’ve overheard her for months while I work, and I often disagree with what she’s saying, but whatever.

This morning, while I was sitting across the aisle from them, I had my earbuds out of my ears for some reason. (I generally write with music on – but only music I know all the lyrics to, and with the same song on repeat for a long time.) I heard the woman preaching to these girls about how trashy tattoos were on women. Double ear piercing is also, apparently, undesirable, just so you know.

Look: I get it. I knew when I got my tattoos that there are people who feel this way, and I really don’t care. Really. It’s my body, I love my ink, and I intend to get more. If I wasn’t comfortable with the fact that I may be judged for this, I wouldn’t have gotten them. And I double-pierced my ears when I was (gasp!) 16, and have lived with the obvious societal consequences ever since. Eyeroll.

But that brings me to the title of this post, and the title of one of my favorite chapters in Jen’s book For the Love (which I told you about here). In the final copy it’s called “Dear Christians, Please Stop Being Lame,” but in the advance it was called “Dear Christians, Please Stop Being Crappy,” which I much prefer :).

I overheard this comment today, and I was able to put this in the context of this woman’s other “teaching” and dismiss it.

However. What about the other people sitting around her who don’t know the context? What if they are new Christians with tattoos? Or what if they aren’t Christians and are curious? What are they thinking when they hear this lady talk?

All I could think of was that title of Jen’s chapter.

I was feeling a little sassy and nearly said something, then changed my mind, because HELLO…I don’t want to be crappy. And let’s be honest, I probably would not have said something very nice. Bonus points for self-control.

So that’s it. I’ve just officially written more words (more than 500!) and paragraphs than I have in weeks, so maybe I should thank her for the inspiration.

*Here’s the book update: the process of writing the proposal has exposed some holes in the story. Which I think is great…I want to find those myself and fill them in before I try to submit this thing, but it’s meant so much revision, taking a breather from it when I get frustrated, then getting back to it when I feel ready. And today I found another big spot that needs revision, but I’m choosing to look at that as a positive.

So Unpredictable. 

Scene: my living room, Luke and Matt sitting on the couch watching TV. 8:45pm. Jack Henry is asleep, Bennett is upstairs knocking out his pre-bedtime chin-ups/push-ups (yes, I’m serious, that child…), and I have just thrown in a load of laundry. Which contains the shirt that Jack Henry needs to wear on his field trip tomorrow. Naturally. 

I announce that I am taking over the living room to watch Gilmore girls while I iron. Luke kind of groans about turning the channel, and I gleefully reply that anyone who would like to do the ironing can choose what’s on TV. I jokingly ask if he’d like to learn a life skill. 

AND HE SAYS YES. 

What is my life? 

(So I gave him a lesson in shirt ironing. Which is hilarious because I’m awful at ironing; like no grown woman should be this bad. Whatever. Now I’m the second-worst ironer in this house because Luke would definitely leave more wrinkles than me at this point. But hooray for life skills teaching!)

Cheers! Because there’s no way I’m ironing and not having a glass of wine. Plus now it’s time for Lorelei and Rory and Stars Hollow. 

Ladders. 

Y’all. The imaginary Boymom Guide* did not tell me about how many times I’d have to climb a ladder** and rescue frisbees and balls from the gutter. It’s like my part time job now. 

So attention, moms of darling baby boys, don’t say I didn’t warn you: this is your future. 

 

I do not recommend making it look like it’s fun, lest they try to throw more stuff up there.

 
*hm. Maybe this is a book I should write?

**easiest ladder to use is not quite tall enough, so I have to climb up to the top a lot. I know. I always make a kid hold the ladder steady for me, but last time, when I went to fold it up, I accidentally pinched Bennett’s finger in the hinge. And because I didn’t know that’s what I was doing, I kept closing the ladder. Cue all the awful feelings. 

Older Kids Are Awesome: Saturday Morning Edition 

I’ve made no secret about how I know we are in a parenting sweet spot. Way past baby/toddlerhood (which I loved, but holy exhausting, that is for young people), but not yet at driving/girlfriends/college decisions. And while it’s not nearly all sparkly rainbows and unicorns, it’s nice.

Take this morning for instance.

Matt got up early to get an oil change, so he was out of the house. I stayed in bed (not sleeping, of course, because it’s the only morning I don’t actually have to be out of bed early, so naturally, I was awake. Nearing-40, you are a delight.) until close to 8, and came downstairs to the boys quietly playing a computer game together.

Because we have a slow day, I offered to make pancakes* for breakfast. This is a rarity…I have a minimal-effort-before-coffee approach to life, but what can I say. It’s a sunny, lovely fall morning, and I was feeling generous.

The 2 older boys immediately said they’d love pancakes, but Jack Henry was less enthusiastic.

Why?

Because my 8 year old already made himself breakfast, people. He had a bowl of cereal and cleaned up after himself.

Glorious.

(He did still have some pancakes. There’s always room for pancakes.)

*full disclosure. We are talking about add-water-to-a-box-mix pancakes. Not even the add-egg-and-oil kind. Or homemade, which are best, but please. It’s early on Saturday morning.