Sunday, August 28, 2011

Red Faced

I think one of my children's goals is to embarrass me on a regular basis. Sometimes they work together to do this, other times they seem to tag team and take turns.
I was able to take our eldest out to the movies a couple of weeks back. He was SO excited to see Harry Potter and because his first ever school report card was so good, we decided a Mother-Son movie date was in order.
We bought our tickets and arrived a little early, only to find the cinema our movie was showing in was still being cleaned from the movie before ours. We were directed to a waiting line for our movie where there was another couple waiting.
After a few minutes of waiting, I decided to call Anthony and let Tony have a chat seeing as he was excited (plus I figured it would kill some time). Tony doesn't have much of a 'quiet' voice. Even his whisper is rather loud, but when he is excited he gets even louder. As he was chatting away, I saw him look at the couple before us and then behind us to see who else was waiting. He then reported to Anthony;

"Yeah Dad, we are in line and it's just us, a man and lady in front of us, and one guy by himself behind us. I really hope we don't have to sit near any of them cos they all look weird."

Obviously I quickly and not-so-subtlely grabbed the phone and said our goodbyes. I then avoided any eye contact with those around us for the next 15 minutes until we went into our movie.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Big Family

I am from what is considered these days to be a 'big" family. I am one of six children. My husband is one of eight. We loved growing up with lots of siblings (most of the time). I think my parents did well to give us everything we needed and as much of lifes little luxeries as we could afford. Mum was very good at spreading each dollar as far as she could! I didn't know any different, but there are certain aspects of my life that were probably dead giveaway big family traits. Here are a few that spring to mind;
1. Mum and Dad would call me by about 4 different names before getting to the right one.
2. My Neighbour thought my mum was just quite overweight for a while before realizing she had just seen her pregnant a lot.
3. We had powdered milk. Need I say more.
4. Roll Ups were a precious commodity.
5. Fruit Loops and Cocoa Pops were for birthdays and Christmas.
6. When I was young, I couldn't wait for the day when I would get married and have 'real juice'. My one goal in life!
7. I only know how to cook a meal for 8 so as a newly married couple, leftovers lasted a week.
8. Extra neighborhood children went unnoticed in our house as they just blended in.
9. Strangers often thought my little sister was my own child.
10. I could never imagine anyone buying only 1 Litre of milk.
11. 'Share Packs' of chocolate still meant we only got one.
12. I have had my own room for twelve weeks total in life. Six of those weeks were in hospital.
13. I dont think twice before drinking out of any glass of drink on a counter-growing up if I set my drink down there was a one in eight chance I would get my own back again anyway.
14. My friends had actual babysitters, that werent their older sibling.
15. Vans. The only car of my childhood.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mummy Training Wheels

There are a number of indicators that you are a parent. Of course there are the obvious; such as you have given birth, have a child in your care permanently, and you’re named as a mother or father on a birth certificate.
I knew I was a mother the day Tony was born. I knew it and I loved it. Of course like most new parents it scared me to death that this child was relying on me, but I was so looking forward to being a mother.
Now days, I don’t just KNOW I’m a mother, I FEEL like one too. The training wheels are well and truly off. The evidence exists and it means a heck of a lot more than my name on a birth certificate.
•I have been vomitted on, pooed on, and weed on countless times and went about my day like it was the norm (most likely because it was).
•I have been in the toilet and had the little voice on the other side ask me what I’m doing in there (and by that I mean EXACTLY what I am doing in there), and whether or not they can join me.
•I would just love to be sent to my room and have to stay here for five minutes. It would be a reward rather than a punishment.
•On the night before my birthday, my son has prayed;
“That we will give Mummy some space for her birthday.”
• I have opened the packages of Devon from the deli in the supermarket long before making it to the register.
•I have had to hand over a barcode and empty plastic bag at the register from what once was a
package of Devon.
•I offered up a prayer of thanks when ABC2 began to run childrens shows 12 hours a day instead of ending at 10am.
•I have threatened to count the three with no idea what happens when I get there
•I have eaten food that has been in my child mouth and no longer resemble what it originally started out as
• I have changed nappies on car bonnets and public toilet floors.
• I can’t remember what sleeping in feels like, or just what sleeping feels like for that matter.
I am truly a mother in every sense of the world. Lucky I love my boys; I wouldn’t let anyone else vomit on me!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Underdressed Forever?

Most young women look forward to turning 14 as it means they can go to their first dance. When I turned 14, I was nervous. I was nervous about what to expect, whether or not I would actually have to dance (because I have no rhythm whatsoever), who would be there, and of course what to wear.

Having never been to a dance, I wasn't sure what to wear. There wasn't the "church dress" expectation back then (all the way back in 1998) so girls were allowed to wear pants. I was so worried I would be overdressed or underdressed. There were numerous phone calls between my older friends asking;

"So what are you wearing? Are you wearing pants or skirt? Are you wearing pants cos if you wear pants you need to let me know cos I don't want to wear a skirt if you wear pants!"

I wasn't normally one who spent much time worrying about 'what to wear' but in this case, I contemplated both options and being paranoid I would be overdressed, I went with jeans and a casual green shirt. I even remember the pattern of the shirt - yuck!
I decided that if it came down to overdressed or underdressed, I would rather be underdressed.

When it came time to go to the dance, I arrived and my worst fears all came true. I can't tell you what the theme of the dance was, who was there, what music was played, or even who asked me to dance. All I remember is that within 30 seconds of arriving I wanted to leave. I was SO underdressed!!! All the other girls had skirts or dresses on and even the boys had church pants and shirts. I was underdressed compared to the boys!

I remember the horrible feeling of sticking out like a sore thumb and wishing I could just go home, and I'm sure I would have had I not been dropped off. In trying so hard to not be overdressed, I had aimed low and came out much lower than I had wanted. I didn't enjoy a single minute of that night. It was so bad that I didn't go to another dance for 6 months - I was scarred!

This experience is how I expect it will be for us when we are judged by our Heavenly Father. I know he is a loving Father and won't be casting harsh judgment and condemning us, I don't think He will need to-I think we will be doing enough of that ourselves. I know He would love us all to return and be with Him, and maybe it would seem kind of Him to look past all our transgressions and let us, but I know that if that were to happen, we would feel like I did at my first dance. We would feel so unworthy and uncomfortable being there that we wouldn't feel right staying. I think it's almost kinder to not subject us to an eternity of feeling out of place.
I don't believe in Hell in the fire and brimstone sense, but an eternity of knowing I could have done better, of knowing I could have aimed higher, an eternity feeling unworthy, of being without my family, well that is my own personal idea of Hell.
This makes me want to do and be better. To put things in perspective and set my sights high because when it comes down to it I would rather be feeling overdressed than underdressed for eternity.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy For You

I was talking with a friend over the weekend about something I have learnt about myself in recent times. I have a measuring stick. It tells me how happy and content I am with my life. How does it work you ask?
Now I know you will automatically think less of me when you read it but there is something wonderful about learning new things about yourself so I am willing to share despite sounding like a horrible person.

Here goes....

When I hear someone share good news with me about something good that has happened to them, my first internal reaction to this let's me know how happy I am with my own life.
I'm not talking about my reaction to the person telling me, I mean my own reaction that I feel inside. If I feel truly, genuinely happy for that person; I know I am happy. This doesn't mean things have to be perfect for me, just that I am in a good place.
If my instinct is any form of jealousy (even a little), I know that there is something in my own life (usually completely unrelated) that I need to work on.
Thankfully, the vast majority of the time I am happy when I hear of the good fortune of others-genuinely happy. So please please please don't hate me and continue to share your good news with me!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A glass half empty of lemons

You know the saying;

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."

I am not such a believer this saying. I don't doubt it's great in theory, it's just I tend not to be able to put it into practice.
Now I'm not saying I'm a pessimist or anything, I just think that in terms of the lemons life gives us, I don't make lemonade, instead I suck on the lemons, even if it's sour, but eventually I adjust and get used to it. It doesn't mean that the sourness goes away or anything, just that my ability to withstand it has grown.
During times of difficulty or trial, I have to let myself say "THIS SUCKS" and feel sorry for myself just for a little bit and then I can put it aside and move on with the day.

There are many parts of life that are 'sour'. There is pain, illness, disappointment, and grief. The mere fact that we are here on earth means we made a choice. We chose to experience mortality and everything that came with it. I don't think this means we had some list put in front of us and we CHOSE the trials we have, rather we chose the full experience of mortality; the good and the bad.
Sometimes I forget that I made the choice to experience all that life has to offer, both sweet and sour.