Parenting stories

Home is base camp

I think of home as base camp. If my kids say they're glad to be home my response often is, "Base camp is very important!" The people who climb Mt Everest get a lot of attention, but they wouldn't get there without base camp. Home is base camp for the family but it's deeper; if done well it's restorative, comfortable, predictable in a good way, and with prayer it changes the world. A healthy home is life-giving.

Base camp
base camp. a main encampment providing supplies, shelter, and communications for persons engaged in wide-ranging activities, as exploring, reconnaissance, hunting, or mountain climbing.

the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.

home is base camp

Pray for him

When our kids were little my husband was working so hard. I was a stay at home mom. He was building something very special at the time and worked many long hours. If the kids hadn't seen him in a couple days sometimes they would complain at night when I put them to bed. I might have even felt the temptation to complain, because he was such a relief to the demands of motherhood. He would come in the house and rush to see them and even if he was tired he would make them laugh.

I remember telling the kids not to complain that he wasn't home but to pray for him. Then if they still struggled I would tell them to be thankful that they had a Dad like him. They were blessed that they got to see him at all because some kids had parents in the military or parents who were truck drivers and they didn't get to see their dads for weeks or months.

My Mom or Dad told me that one of their grandfathers was a lumberjack. He would have to leave his wife and kids in a tiny cabin for the whole winter to go up north to do his job. We think we have it hard!

juice in the keyboard

juice in the keyboard
(This is a re-enactment.)

My kids used to multitask eating or drinking while they used the computer. One time my daughter came to me and said she had spilled her juice on the computer keyboard, but not to worry because she had cleaned it up. I quick went to the kitchen and tipped the keyboard on it's side and out poured several ounces of pink juice.

I miss those days.

Rejection can be good

A disclaimer before I start a "parenting stories" category for my blog, my kids are grown and I still don't know how to be a parent. The only thing I know I did right was pray for them. Luckily kids are resilient, like a seed in the ground, they come up. We can say we fed and cared for them, but the human potential is just gonna burst forth anyway. It's God's gift and we are privileged to watch it.

We all want to belong to a group, but is it the best thing? When one of my kids was in 1st grade she struggled with friend groups. Some days she would be allowed in the group, some days she was kicked out. She would come home from school and I would ask her if she was in or out. I always knew when she was out because the pockets of her little jeans would be full of wood chips. Wood chips were used at the time to cover the surface of the playground. When she was friendless, she would walk around the playground looking for the prettiest wood chips and stuff them in her pockets. She did it to share with me! When she got home we would sit on the couch and she would show me her collection and tell me why she liked each one of them. I don't remember what I said to her, just that we sat together and admired them. The wood chips were pretty and each of them was different and I was amazed she even noticed. I still have a few.



The Sweetest Angel

It was Christmas, and her mom gave her one dollar for each family member and said, "We're going to the Dollar Store, and you can pick out a present for each person." The little girl picked out a present for her mom and everyone else, too. She paid by herself even though she was only 4 years old.  She seemed particularly excited about the gift for her mom.  In the car she warned her mom not to peek in the bag.  "I won't!" said her mom.  When they got home the little girl ran upstairs to wrap it and told her mom not to come upstairs while she wrapped the present. "I won't!" said her mom, but soon the little girl was back downstairs.
"What's the matter?" Her mom asked with a smile.
"Can you wrap the present for me?" the little girl asked.

"How can I do that without seeing it?"
"Close your eyes."
"Ok, but you'll have to hand me the pieces of tape."
The little girl agreed and began to hand pieces of tape to her mom as she blindly wrapped the present. Once finished, the little girl ran back upstairs with the present, but immediately came down the stairs once more.
"What's the matter?" asked her mom.
"I can't wait until Christmas to give it to you."
"You want me to open it now?!" and the little girl nodded.
When her mom opened the present, there was the sweetest angel.
the sweetest angel

traveling with kids

When my kids were little we went to visit my Mom and Dad.  My Mom bought all kinds of breakfast foods for the kids including cake donuts.  We only had three days to get through all the breakfast foods. We didn't eat the cake donuts.  My Mom insisted that we take them on the plane with us because they might make a convenient snack.  She is also opposed to wasting food.  I didn't want to hurt her feelings so I took the bag of cake donuts.  I was carrying a lot of stuff, including a toddler, while corralling two other kids.  Needless to say the bag of donuts got pretty banged was tossed, kicked, stepped on, sat on and squished.  When we were getting off the plane I was holding a big bag of cake donut crumbs which I safely deposited in the nearest garbage can.  

Every day is Tuesday

When my daughter was young she took piano lessons on Tuesday afternoon.  I would  drive her there and wait in the car during that half hour lesson and soon realized it was the only time I stopped moving.  Life moved so fast back then that it seemed like the only time I stopped to think was Tuesday afternoon for one half hour while I waited in the car for her to be done.  Soon it seemed like every day she was telling me it was Tuesday and she had a piano lesson.

"Mom I have a piano lesson today."

"Really, is it Tuesday again? It feels like every day is Tuesday."

Now it's become my personal expression for time moving too fast..."Every day is Tuesday."