Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Always time for DQ

As summer begins to fade and fall begins to set in here in New England I find myself seeking opportunities to savor the last warm rays of sunshine. Somehow we are finding more time for last minute walks at the beach or picnics at the playground.

And I've discovered in these golden days that there is always time for Dairy Queen!

The laundry will wait and who needs to vacuum if your going to outside?

Take a minute and think about which gold star you'd rather have: one for washing the windows or one for eating ice cream with your kids after playing at the beach. I'm on my way to DQ!

My son and my brother tailgating at the DQ!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Unwanted Stars

Today I received an unwanted star of motherhood. It wasn't my first, and I am certain it won't be my last. Why would a star be unwanted? Read on.

I brought my seven week old to the doctor today for something I thought would be simple. Silly me. I forgot that simple is another casualty of parenthood. Instead of the "simple" answer and solution I was expecting I was told my baby needs an ultrasound to determine if she needs surgery. Although it isn't anything earth shattering medically speaking, it is earth shattering for me because she's my baby.

Why does this deserve a gold star, you wonder? Because I was the mom. I stood there. I asked the important questions. I helped the doctor examine my baby despite her protesting wails. I kept it together, and I was the grown up (at least until I got in the car and processed the information later with my husband).

In reality this star goes in a column on my chart that I'd rather not have. No mother wants these stars. The ones that hurt. The ones from emergency room visits or mending broken hearts. The starts received for loving enough for two parents or for digging a hole in the backyard for a four legged friend. Are they undeserved? No, you deserve every point on that star. Yet despite all of it's shiny splendor, you'd give it back in a heartbeat.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bleary Eyed

Here I sit, bleary eyed after a long week. Three consecutive nights of getting the three little ones in bed by myself (after a day of taking care of them by myself). I don't know how single parents do it. May God give them all they need.

So, I am going to head to the freezer for a little mint chocolate chip therapy. Call it emotional eating if you will, but it's the only thing I've been able to eat all day without scoffing it down while standing up holding a baby or without someone saying, "bite please mama?"

Oh, and as for my gold star for the day I think surviving should be enough. But we did make it to the park :).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Three Gold Stars

I am sitting in front of my computer with a crying six week old on my lap, a three year old trying to put a beaded necklace over my head and my two year old eating a pencil. Well, maybe he's not really eating it, just exploring with all of his senses. I still need to make dinner with enough time to eat before he leaves for his meeting at the fire department. Then I have to put all three kids to bed, by myself.

I'm not complaining; well, let's be honest here: I am a little bit. I am just wondering about gold stars. You remember them, right? From elementary school. A nice big chart on the wall for all to see with your name (as well as those of your classmates) and a collection (or smattering) of gold stars. They're beautiful, all shiny and perfect in shape. They mean only one thing: you've done a good job! Now I'm wondering, where are the gold stars for parenting? Wouldn't it be nice to have someone recognize all of the "good mom" things you accomplish in a day? Wouldn't that spur you on, or at least make it bearable to change one more diaper?

Of course not all things are worthy of gold stars. Like how I just yelled at my three year old more because I was annoyed than because she was misbehaving. But that's not what this is about. We need to forget what is behind and move toward God. If you keep looking back, you're bound to crash in to something to come.

What happens when you feel like you don't deserve a gold star? When a day has been just that bad that you can't imagine why anyone, much less God would give you a gold star. A friend reminded me just the other day. It is for these stars I am the most grateful, even when I don't deserve them. And what makes you feel better on a bad day at school than when the teacher gives you a gold star, even if you don't feel you deserve it?