Saturday, March 31, 2012

Just a Thing or Two I've Learned

When I first had children, I thought I knew all I needed to know about raising them, and all I needed to teach them. Boy howdy, was I wrong. My first meeting with an infant's ear infection taught me that. However, I have learned a thing or two since then, and if I could go back, I'd take the time to write a letter to my infant, to be read by them when they are older. Since I can't do that then, I'll do it now, and maybe they'll know it's meant from my heart. Without further ado, here goes nothing:
Dearest baby,
I have a few things I'd like to promise you.
1. I promise I'll always do my best. I also promise there will be times that won't be enough. You'll survive.
2. I promise you will hurt sometimes. I promise I'll be there to kiss your boo-boos, hold your hand, and give you good advice. I also promise there will come a time you resent that, and do what you want anyway. You'll learn.
3. I promise that I will yell, at the top of my lungs, when you make me really mad. I promise you'll hate me for it, for a while. Someday you'll understand why I did it.
4. I promise that there will be days when you wish you could be part of your best friend's family instead of your own. I promise I won't let you, at least not forever. Because God gave you to us for a reason, and because you are part of this family , you are who you are, and someday you'll realize that.
5. I promise that there will be things that you feel like you can't tell us. You should tell us anyway, because we, of all people, are the only ones anywhere who actually have your best interests at heart.
6. I promise that I will snoop in your room, read your diary, listen to your phone calls, and restrict your privledges when necessary. I promise you'll hate me for it. I also promise that someday you'll understand why, thank me for it, (at least in spirit), and do the same to your own kids.
7. I promise I will love you like no one else except God Almighty himself. I promise I will die for you if necessary, sacrifice my own food, money, time, and health. I also promise you won't ever, ever, understand this kind of love until you have a child of your own. It's o.k. I understand.
Someday you will too.
Love, Mom

The High Cost of Everything

My daughter wants to be a surgeon. She dreams of finding a cure for cancer. And you know what? She has the intelligence to do it. All she needs now is a college education.
I wanted to go to college right out of high school, so I applied to a local university, and got accepted. Without going into the reasons why, I wasn't able to go. Eventually, I met and married my wonderful husband, and we started a family, and life happened, and I never really got there. I have a couple credits from classes taken for my job, but not a real cohesive education.
My husband also never went to college. Life sort of got in the way for him as well.
Over the years we've toyed with going to school, part time, or quitting our jobs and going full time, but it has just never really happened.
So when our daughter began to show signs of wanting to go to college, we were thrilled. She has the brains, and the desire. But what she doesn't have is the money. I read recently that most doctors graduate from school with over $150,000 in student loans, and many of them are never able to fully repay those loans.
I've been told that it's possible to work your way through college, and to an extent I agree. But to be a doctor, there is a certain point where you have to devote all of your time to just learning.
The ideal would be for us as parents to be able to give her the money to finish her schooling at that point, but unless we win the lottery, that is never going to happen. If all of our bills were paid off and we had a years worth of food in the pantry and could devote every dollar of our earnings to her education, it still wouldn't be enough.
So while we worry about the cost of gas for our cars and the cost of groceries going up, and try to plan for retirement, and try to continue to buy everyday necessities, we also worry about giving our children the best possible future we can. Even though we know that probably means telling her to get a good job, save as much as possible, and hope for a good scholarship.
I hope her dreams hold out as long as ours have.

Friday, March 23, 2012


1. I have a fantastic job. I mean seriously, how many people get to play with blocks and color all day, and get paid for it? But sometimes I get an intense desire to just be an adult, and those seem to be the days I don't like my job. Believe it or not, sometimes I just want to crank some tunes and clean the house, and that's not really compatible with keeping babies safe, because babies and bleach don't exactly mix.

2. I love my dogs, but if I can't figure out a way to keep them from tracking mud in, I am seriously going to sew mop heads into dog shoes and make them wear them.

3. I think I might be having a mid-life crisis. While dreaming about new cars with Mr. Grace and Peace recently, I couldn't decide between a big ole' pickup with a huge motor, and a little red sports car. Neither of which, it should be noted, are in any way compatible with the lifestyle I lead. (Well, a case could be made for the pickup, since we are currently and probably forever remodeling our old house.)

4. Speaking of the lifestyle I lead, I'm considering completing my education by getting a degree, which would lead to both higher pay and more job options. But this would mean either getting that degree online , or figuring out a way to reduce my daycare hours without reducing my income, which I'm pretty sure is an oxymoron.

5. Oxymoron is my new favorite word. It just sounds neat. I try to work it into conversation and anything I write whenever possible. Pathetic, I know. But hey, I don't get out much.

6. Why is it that little boys feet smell so awful? It's like some kind of curse on childhood or something. I truly pity elementary school gym teachers.

7. One of the best parts of being an adult is not having to take toddlers to the grocery store. I still shudder in remembrance of the times we spent at the store together, my toddlers and I.

8. What is with the current vampire obsession? Dracula has been around for a really long time, and he waaaaaayyy cooler that a certain (ahem) very popular book/movie series currently making the rounds.

9. Speaking of toddlers, it's probably a good thing I'm not the parent of any young children now. Teachers, bullies, and neighborhood cranks everywhere should be glad of this, because I am not as wimpy today as I once was. No one anywhere would be unkind to my little's now and not hear all about it. And I can see this attitude in my daughter, as well. She is, shall we say, not slow to voice her opinion. Or to tell you what your opinion should be. ( Love her, a girl after my own heart!)

10. My children have the following either in their rooms or in their possession: tv, computer, tablets, cell phones, cable for said tv, and unlimited internet access. If I ever, ever, ever, again hear one of them tell me they're bored, you can surely stick a stamp on me, because I will be going postal.