Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Come What May, and Love it

I've been thinking a lot lately about something Joseph B. Wirthlin said in his last General Conference address  before he passed away, "Come what may, and love it."  Such a poignant phrase coming from one of my favorite apostles and something I've drawn from often since he said it.

The word "tolerance" is one I've always had issues with.  Perhaps it's the way it's thrown around that makes me think of a tight-lipped, breath holding effort to grin and bear whatever it is you're tolerating.  I don't like the idea of tolerating the hard things in life, especially people (or tantrum-throwing toddlers). They're not skunks where you pinch your nose and hold your breath as they walk by- they're people.

I read an awesome article that was circulating on Facebook that perfectly described my feelings of being a mother.  It was as if the author was in my mind observing and taking notes on a day in the life of Rita.

I don't want to tolerate being a mother, I want to love it- all of it, but so many times I don't. And then I realize it's okay if I don't love it all. I can love things that are hard... and that make me want to pick up drinking... and that make 8:30pm (bedtime) the very best part of the day.  Sometimes it's because things are so hard that we love them so much.  It wasn't the exhaustion or throbbing knees of the 26.2 miles of my first marathon that make the memory of it so sweet.  It was the fact that I had done something hard.

Telling each other what comes out of our children's mouths is usually how Dennis and I are entertained now days.  Last week was full of these little moments that make us realize that while being a parent is by far the hardest things we'll ever do, it is also the most entertaining.  And it's often during those moments of unbelievable cheekiness coming out such a small little mouth in a Mickey Mouse voice that makes it all the better.

Dennis was running some errands with the kids in the van while I was at work.  Lauren kept unbuckling her seat belt and bouncing around in the back.  He turned to her and warned her, "Lauren, sit down. You're testing my patience."

To which she retorted, "Yeah? Well you're testing mine and I'm going to knock you out."

He may have felt a little more threatened if it hadn't come out of the mouth of a little nymph in pig-tails but all he could do was laugh and call me to tell me what "your daughter" had said.

The other day I sneaked up behind Luke and kissed him on the cheek while he was playing on the computer.  He turned to me with his finger up his nose (apparently he had been right in the middle of doing some serious gold mining when I kissed him) and said, "Mom, your kisses are SO gross."

To which I said, "Yeah?  Grosser than it was for me to kiss you with your finger halfway up your nose?"

"Yup... even grosser than that," as he triumphantly showed me the finding from his latest nasal dig.

Wow... well when you put it that way...

A few days ago I was showering Lauren as she howled and screamed bloody murder the entire time.  You'd think I was tearing her limbs off one by one instead of lathering her up.  After the shower was done and I was drying her off, Dennis came upstairs to see what all the screaming had been about.  "It was Mom.  She was totawee fweakeen out (totally freaking out),"  Lauren explained to him as she wrapped herself in a towel and huffed out the door.

Again, she instantly became "your daughter."

Yes, I can love hard things.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lists and sticky notes

May 2012 013-1
This picture correlates with #15.  I had a fleeting
 moment of  craftiness last week and made Lauren a tutu
out of some leftover tulle.  I had a blast watching her
prance around and ride her bike through the sprinklers
in it. My favorite picture of the week.
Lately I seem to have gotten into several sticky situations where I think to myself, "Aaah...crap.  I forgot about this.  Why do I keep doing this to myself?!"

I remember my sister, Patty saying several years ago, "I should make myself sticky notes to put up around the house to remind myself of things like this."  I hope her saying that means I'm not the only one that keeps doing the same dumb things to myself over and over again.

In lieu of sticky notes I decided to make myself a list since sticky notes have a way of magically disappearing or becoming cartoon flip pads.

(Written to myself in 2nd person.  Each of these unfortunately have several incidents to have qualified them to make the list.)

1.  Cutting bangs is a fun change for about a week, then you spend the next several months trying to grow them out.
2.  No matter how cute short hair looks on other people, it never looks that good on you.
3.  The fatigue and discomfort that come along with pregnancy are overwhelming and turn you into the biggest whiner you know...
4.  ...but newborns are magical and make it all worthwhile.
5.  You're busier than you think.  Will you quit adding things to your plate?!
6.  10 days on any vacation at any destination is more than enough.
7.  You love racquetball.
8.  You really don't like volleyball and usually come home in a bad mood after you've played.
9.  After 9pm, just shut your mouth and go to bed, Miss Grumpypants.
10.  You will always regret losing your temper.
11.  You will always regret gossiping.
12.  You could quite possibly be the best backwards bicycler with all the backpedaling you've done after trying to be clever or funny.  Keep those snarky comments to yourself, woman!
13.  If you're not cognisant, you will always revert to your default settings.
14.  Nickel and diming is the surest way to blow your budget.
15.  You love to be creative.  Find time for it no matter how busy you get.
16.  Couponing is enticing but quickly becomes a beast with a life of it's own.
17.  Nothing sucks your time faster than being on the computer.

That last one being said, I think it's time to finish this post and get a move on for the day.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

On growing up

My supervisor at work called me a few months ago and asked if I'd be interested in changing my job description and going from being a charge nurse to an assessment nurse.  I eagerly agreed as I had decided that me and supervising weren't a good fit.  My new role at work is awesome and I've enjoyed the patient interaction and being able to take my time and be meticulous at what I do which in the nursing world is a rarity.

This past Friday I was doing a quarterly assessment for the sweetest older lady.  Completely toothless, but with a constant smile on her face, she just melts my heart.  When I finished her assessment I asked if there was anything I could do for her.  She looked up at me and said, "Honey, I'd just really love a back rub."  So I reached behind her as she sat in her wheel chair and rubbed her back for a few minutes as she closed her eyes and sighed in delight.  When I was finished, I gave her a hug and turned to walk out of her room.  As I passed her roommate who was laying in her bed, she reached out her hand and weakly asked if I would consider giving her one too.  She also closed her eyes and sighed as I rubbed.  Those are the few but cherished moments that as healthcare providers we get to enjoy.

This week has been pretty busy for me.  Between throwing a baby shower on Thursday and a bridal shower today, it's been hectic and I haven't had much time to slow down.  This morning as I was rushing around trying to get things ready, I noticed Camden sitting quietly on the floor in my room going through a file folder of papers and letters of his that I've kept over the years.  He asked if I'd stop for a minute and look through some of the papers with him.  He held out one for me to read, saying he couldn't read it because it was in cursive.  

Immediately I recognized the handwriting as my mom's on one side of the paper and my dad's on the back side.  They had written the letter almost three years ago when they lived in Indonesia.  As I read the words of encouragement and love they had written to their grandson, I got a lump in my throat.  Unbidden, I had the image of the sweet, lonely woman in the nursing home flash through my mind.  What would she give to have a letter like this from her parents to read?  What would she do to be able to have just one mealtime filled with children's squealing and laughter instead of the sound of oxygen tanks and commands from the CNA's?  

Orchards 072-4How I miss my parents at times, even though they're still alive and well and just a phone call away.  As I read the letter, I could almost hear my dad's voice as he encouraged Camden to keep riding his bike so he'd be a strong rider when he serves a mission.  I could feel the warmth in my mother's words as she told him how much she looked forward to having him come visit her on their little farm when they returned.  

Getting older has it's perks...wonderful ones.  People finally take you seriously for a change and stop calling you "kid." I'm more confident in who I am and find myself hesitating less to speak my mind.  I love the independence of deciding who I'm going to be and what I will believe.

But what I would give to turn back the clock, just for a few hours from time to time, to find myself sitting in my living room with one of my siblings playing the piano, my little sister bouncing around cheerfully, mother cooking in the kitchen, and my dad bargaining with one of us on the terms and conditions of the upcoming party this weekend.

It's no wonder that so many times I've seen people go to the grave talking of mother and father and reminiscing on the cherished, magical days of childhood.