bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Archive for the ‘mom’ Category

Mrs. Clean

Yep.  I’m cleaning the house.  Thoroughly.

As I mentioned earlier, Mark’s Confirmation is this weekend.  We will be having 24 people here at the house for lunch afterward.  Which is great.  Really.  It is!  I’m honestly looking forward to it.

But, of course, before everyone arrives, we’ve got to clean this house.  As I was cleaning the inside of the china cabinet today, it hit me.  No one is going to notice that it’s clean.  No one.  (Yes, the majority of the people attending the luncheon read this blog.  No, I didn’t write this so you would notice the cleanliness of my china cabinet.)

What people do notice is when it’s not clean.  Would anyone have noticed that there was an inch (or so) of dust on the glass shelves?  Maybe not.  But, yeah, they probably would.

I’m sure I’m supposed to get satisfaction from having it clean, not relying on other people’s praise for gratification.  But, seriously, if it were up to me, I would have done something else. 

Actually, I did stand back and admire my work.  Turns out vinegar and water really do work great for cleaning glass.  There were no streaks and everything did seem to shine.  So, I am glad that I did it.  I’m glad that my dining room is picked up, dusted, and ready for company. 

Now, just 10 more rooms to go.  ugh.  Maybe I can just cram all 24 of them in the dining room.

Who Would Have Thunk It?

All four of us were in the car, when out of the blue, Mark says, “You know, I realized that I don’t look people in the eye when I talk to them.  I need to work on that.”

WHA?!

A.  Who thinks that?

B.  Who states it out loud to his family? 

This kid surprises me just about every day.  He’s becoming more responsible, just when I’m expecting him to be less so.  He decided (on his own) to take charge of his robot-building team, because he thought they lacked leadership.  They needed someone to tell each person a task, and then follow-up on it.  He saw this, and made the decision to fill that void.  The team members were thrilled.

This is the kid that doesn’t (usually) want to put more effort into anything that he doesn’t have to.  Unless it is his web site or other computer-related activities.

He did his homework immediately after returning home from church.  Usually, he waits until 5 or 6 o’clock.

Who is this kid?  (And, if he’s not really Mark, let’s pretend I never brought this up.   I like this kid.  Whoever he is.)

Background Check?

Karen was invited to a friend’s house for a sleepover tonight.  We are going to be gone, so the obvious answer was no.

My question is this:  Once your kids move into middle school, you no longer know “all the families,” so to what extent do you get to know the family before your child goes over to their house.  Even if it’s not overnight?

Okay, friends, help me out.

Feel Good File

Okay, folks, if you don’t already have one of these, you should make one. 

Everyone needs a FEEL GOOD FILE.  I don’t know where I heard of such a thing, but I made one for myself years ago.  It started out as a file folder for things that made me smile.  Articles, cartoons, pictures, etc.  Anything that might serve as a “pick me up” when I was down.

Then, I started adding notes people had written me.  Thanking me for various things, mentioning a positive quality that I had, etc.  Again, just things that would make me remember that I’m not a loser, even when there are times that I felt like one.

The folder became pretty full, and I had to move the items to an expandable pocket.  That’s full now too.  I’m not bragging.  Please don’t take it that way.  I’m just letting you know how great this kind of thing can make you feel.  And, as some of you know, I’ve been threw a few wacko things in my life, so people are kind enough to write me during those times.

Yesterday, I was feeling a little low, so I got out the file.  I found several notes from a dear friend.  She’s great at mailing notes via snail mail.  I can print off nice emails, but it’s even easier to file away a card.  And, the number of Winnie the Pooh cards I’ve received make me smile just looking at them!

I had lunch with my note-writing friend today.  I told her that I had read several of the notes she’d written.  She asked if the Feel Good File worked.  I said, “Well, I did have to stop after awhile.  It made me a little…sad.”  She laughed.  I said, “Well, not really sad, more like choked up.”  That, she understood.

The articles and cartoons I had saved, just made me laugh.  Just like they were supposed to do.  In fact, I had one that offered snappy comebacks worthy of a TV sitcom mom.  I’m trying to work those in when I can.  My favorite:  After your child says, “I’ll never speak to you again!”  Your response could be:  “That’s too bad.  I was hoping for another one of your informative, free seminars.”

So, just take a moment to grab one of those file folders you have around the house, or use a pocket folder that your child used three years ago, but would NEVER use again, and start putting things in there that make you smile.  You’d be surprised how full it gets.  Print off some of those emails that someone sends you that makes you smile.

Then, the next time something (or someone) makes you feel like crap, grab that folder, your favorite beverage, and prepare to transform your mood!

Getting Rid of Weeds

I couldn’t really come up with a good title for this one.  I just knew I wanted to blog about it.

On a recent thread of some friends on Facebook who are all in middle school/high school, there was some joking about one of the high schools not having a good football team, but were the best at smoking weed.  Just kidding around, of course.  (Just like when I was in high school, EVERYONE knew that Parkway West did the most drugs.  ha)

Then, one of the kids posts, “Weed isn’t so bad.  If you are going to do something, do weed.”

WHAT?!?!

As a mom (and adult), my mouth dropped open. 

One of the other kids quickly wrote back and dispelled that myth because he had just had a speaker in Health class that explained how smoking pot slowly changes you, and by the time you notice the change, it’s too late to kick the habit yourself.  Another kid wrote that she’d had the same speaker at a different school.  They both remarked about how the guy looked like he had just come from Woodstock, but that’s beside the point, just a funny aside.  Probably made him much more credible, though.

Even after that, I just couldn’t let it go.  So I wrote,“And, as the token adult in this conversation, I’m going to have to say something “adult-like.” What kind of argument is “if ur going to do something, do weed?” Why would you have to do anything at all? Is there going to be some kind of game show when you go to an interview for a job where they say, “Okay. You have to do some kind of drug in order to get this job. Which one do you choose? Crack? Heroine? or Door #3-Weed?”

Didn’t mean to get all preachy there, just 43 years of experience just boiled up and burst out of me. (C’mon, though. You didn’t really think I’d sit here and not say anything, did you?)”

I really wish this had been a face-to-face conversation.  Because you can’t really convey the “you have GOT to be kidding me” look in print.

Part of this kid’s motive was probably to get attention with her comment.  But, knowing her a little, I also feel pretty confident that it is also how she feels.  This kid just turned 16.  And, I’m sure that the word on the street is that “everyone tries it.”  Which is the same as when I was that age.  And, moments like this immediately transport me back to those days.

I suppose that my biggest shock was not “Oh my gosh!  Kids are smoking pot!” but rather, “THIS is what kids think?  THIS is the mentality?”  Peer pressure is going to knock this girl upside the head.  Or she’s going to be knocking someone upside the head with this messed up logic.

I tried to come up with examples of how ridiculous her statement sounded…if you are going to kill someone, use a knife…if you are going to commit arson, burn down an empty building…if you are going to cut off a part of your body, pick the ear…

I’d love some other ideas.  I’ve spoken my peace.  I’m good now.

Now THAT’S Why I’m a Mom!

I absolutely love my kids.  I’ve told them several times that I wish I could freeze them at the ages they are.  They can do stuff on their own.  They don’t need to be entertained 24/7.   And, they are just plain fun to be around.

Yesterday I took them to Five Guys Burgers and Fries for a “Good Luck at School” lunch.  Tom doesn’t really care for it, and they both really like it, so it was the perfect outing.

We three sat there and laughed and laughed.  It was great fun.  Then, Mark gave Karen “words of wisdom” about middle school.  That’s when I almost cried.  Here were my two babies, talking about middle school.  He was explaining the lunch procedure (which, as I recall, was the one thing he was most nervous about when he was entering 6th grade), and she had tons of questions. 

THIS is why I wanted to do this.  I wanted my kids to get a chance to sit down and talk like two human beings about things that were important to them.  They get along so well (for the most part), and this was a time for Mark to be the “older brother” that I knew he’d always be.  Nurturing, caring, and wise.  She was hanging on to every word he said.  Asking questions that she might not have been comfortable asking anyone else.  And, there was no rolling of the eyes during the entire conversation.  Has to be a world record.  For both of them.

I am so blessed.

Momma’s Boy

Why is it that when he’s here, I think Mark is so grown-up for a 13-yr-old?  But now that he’s away at Boy Scout camp, I think of him as a 9-year-old…not knowing what to do…having no self-confidence…missing me… 

Tom leaves tomorrow to spend the rest of the week at camp with him.  I’ll bet he won’t hug him like I would, though.  Maybe Mark’s glad I’m not coming.  🙂

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