Tag Archives: mom

What Lies Between the Hectic

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What Lies Between the Hectic

I am guilty. I live life too fast, take on too much and try to cram way too much activity into an incredibly small space of time. My mom used to say I went at everything half-cocked and half-assed, which is more or less true.
This weekend was an action-packed full-throttle weekend. Now it’s Monday and I am tired, my laundry situation is critical, and I am bummed because I missed two of my favorite little guys’ birthday party. However, I did manage to attend one day of a two day track meet, coach four basketball games, watch at least six more basketball games, cook one decent meal, discard another perfectly good meal by accident (sorry, Kim) and remembered to buy dog food and people food at the store yesterday evening.
I need balance. I have never had it. I am an unbalanced individual. My children are unbalanced. Most of our meals are unbalanced. My husband, Kevin, is the only thing consistently centered and balanced in our household. We are like a bunch of spastic little electrons spinning around him. He is our nucleus.
There are kids, dogs, cats, laundry, sports, and chaos happening all the time and there is always at least one person claiming to be on the verge of starvation at all times. I look around at other families at the youth sporting events and envy the collective manner in which they seem to have it all together. I imagine their dinners with foods from all the food groups, all the laundry folded and tucked away, and everyone waking in the mornings to the smell of bacon frying. It’s a far cry from my reality. In my world, pizza is counted as a healthy choice, even if it has zero veggies on it. The Thurman’s battle over the last clean towel before anyone would actually put of load in the washer and we usually start the mornings, with: “Oh $hit! (fill in the blank with any of the following:
a. We over slept
b. There is no more hot water.
c. The dog threw up on my pillow.
d. Does anyone know where my (track shoes, backpack, phone, hairbrush, etc.) is?

socksThis is NO LIE. Sophi has gone to school, not once, but TWICE without wearing shoes! She realized it when she was almost to school, but Kevin was getting onto Evan for one thing or another and so she chose to stay quiet. She hops out of the car in her socks, walks into school, and has the school secretary call me at work. The secretary said she had worked at the school for thirty years and had kids forget all kinds of things, but this was the first time she had ever encountered a kid who forgot to put on her shoes! (We Thurman’s like to set the bar really high). Sophi explained the situation, “Well, I put my shoes by the door and I grab them when I go out the door. Sometimes my ‘go’ gets ahead of my ‘grab’.”
Riley, my oldest, called to say she was coming home from college yesterday for an impromptu visit. This kicked me into ‘Mom mode’ and I went to the store to get people food (and dog food) and threw together a meal that included almost all of the food groups. Right before I finally closed by eyes last night (actually, it was early this morning before I got to close my eyes), I reflected on the best parts of my weekend. I concluded these were the best parts:
ariley• Snuggling with Riley and watching a movie long after I should have been asleep.
• Seeing my crew of young girls come together as a team and win will grace and lose with grace.
• Laughing at my son, Evan, as he entertained us with his unique and totally inappropriate sense of humor.
• Celebrating Kevin coaching Sophi’s team to a sweet tournament victory.magic
• After calling Kevin a maniac for tickling me until I screamed, he calmly asked me to give him a definition of a ‘maniac’. After my in-depth definition of a ‘maniac’, we lay there in silence for a few seconds. Realizing that I had just described myself to the letter, we both burst into laughter.
sophevanLike so many families, we are constantly on the go. We often let our ‘go’ get ahead of our ‘grab’. Sometimes, it seems like life is lived at a frantic pace, but I know better. There are those things found in the moments between the hectic that really count. The snuggles, laughter, love and smiles are the moments that matter. More time is something I wish for, but I have found I don’t really need more time; I just need to carve out more moments between the hectic.

Consider this Can of Worms Open

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acanofwormsThere are times when certain things get stuck in my craw and I can’t  manage to cough them up or swallow them down and so it becomes a festering burn.  The school basketball season is winding down and we are on the cusp of the traveling season.  A great deal of my time these past few months has been devoted to spectating youth basketball games and the next few months will comprise much of the same.  I love the game, I love the kids playing the game, but I despise some of the crap that comes out of the mouths of others.

I haven’t always resisted the urge to tell someone to sit down and shut the hell up (sometimes things bypass my craw altogether), but I have been working on tempering my kneejerk reactions to the ridiculousness of others.  Admittedly, I have engaged in verbal sparring with psycho parents from opposing teams.  Thus, I am, by all accounts from some opposing teams, a psycho parent.  I have made great strides in this department and am learning to be as docile as a kitten.  What I have witnessed recently, though, isn’t from the opponent’s sixth man.  The negative shots are being taken at our own team, by our fans (insert heavy sigh here).

Nobody hates to lose more than I do.  I had my Old Maid cards shredded by my parents for marking them when I was just four years old.  I have learned a lot since I was four.  I still have a lot to learn, but I know these things to be true:

  • I am not the one playing.  My child is.  I need to let her play (run, foul, lose, win….)
  • I am not the coach.  Let him/her do the job.  I wouldn’t want him/her to show up at my workplace and scream at me about what a shitty job I am doing.
  • I can see when my kid screws up.  I can see when other kids screw up.  I wouldn’t find it gratifying or necessary to verbally announce a botched play by another player.  I don’t need other spectators to recap her blunders either.
  • I am not raising a professional athlete.  I am raising a child.  It’s a game.  It would be short-sighted for me to view it any other way.
  • Encouragement cannot be an afterthought.  It must be at the center of everything I project from the stands.  Yelling, “Oh, my God, Sophi.  Get your head in the game!” cannot be cancelled out by a follow-up attempt at a platitude.
  • Coaches and referees are not perfect.  They screw up.  We all do.  If there is a coach who is unfair or incompetent (and there are coaches who are both), it is an issue that won’t  be resolved from yelling the obvious from the stands.  Just like athletes, coaches will earn the respect he/she deserves.  The cream will rise to the top.
  • My child needs to get direction from the coach during competition.  If a player is looking in the stands for direction during a game, the cohesiveness of the team is being compromised.  I can help her fine tune her fundamentals in the driveway.

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When Sophi was little, she placed third in the Elk’s Hoop Shoot contest.  She got a little trophy that I placed on her dresser.  A few weeks later, I found it buried in the bottom of her closet.  I asked why it was shoved in her closet.  She looked at me and said, “Because it was last place.”   There were only three girls in the contest.

Kids know the score.

Sophi having a rough meet at Championships

Sophi having a rough meet at Championships

As my child grows up, she will win and she will lose.  She will love and she will have her heart broken.  She will have disappointment and elation.  She will know success and she will know failure.  She will probably be betrayed by someone she trusts and she may learn to trust someone she thought she couldn’t. There will be those along her path who genuinely want to assist her in attaining success and there will be others who do not see her a worthy investment of time or effort.  I pray that she sees the value of cultivating the talents and strengths of others and always knows at the end of the day that encouraging one another in word and deed is the mark of a true champion.    I hope as the seasons of her life pass,  when she sees me on the sidelines, she will know that no matter what the scoreboard says, I will always be her biggest fan.

I’m The Short Mom with the Bleeding Tongue!

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I’m The Short Mom with the Bleeding Tongue!

It is hard to believe that the month of May is in the books and not only did I fail to write anything share-worthy, I allowed Mother’s Day to pass without a  written tribute to all the awesome MOMS in the world.   As I welcome the new month, I am now staring down the barrel of Father’s Day.  Experience should have taught me to seize the opportunity to compose from the heart about the fathers in my life, before letting myself run out of June, but that would be just too darn tidy for my taste.  Instead, I thought I would share the circumstances behind a few of the pages from the Mother’s Day card Sophi made for me.   

PAGE 1:  My Mom…..She is short

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Right out of the shoot, she points out the obvious-I am short.  It is true.  I live among giants.  I cannot reach things on the high shelves, I cannot touch the ceiling (with or without jumping) and if we have a family basketball game the offspring who has me on his/her team wants an automatic 10-point spot for the disadvantage.  Note: In the event a serial killer breaks into our house with serious murderous intent, I am little enough hide in the dryer (score 1 for Mom).  Following up my lack of stature, she gives me props for being funny.  This could be viewed as a stand-alone compliment had she not concluded the page by using my own favorite word to describe ME!  Catawampus as a descriptor and referencing my obsession with the very real, albeit elusive, chupacabra lend suspension to whether the folks in the ‘she is funny’ drawing are laughing with me or at me.   

 

PAGE 2: Brave but not Fearless….

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The ‘brave’ picture depicts an event where my mouth simply had overridden any common sense.  Sophi’s basketball team was set to play next on a court where an older age group of girls was playing.   The gym was packed with spectators for the teams playing as wells as the teams waiting to play.  The man from one of the teams (probably a parent) became enraged about a call and started yelling at the referee.  He was ejected from the game and as men, women and small children watched, he made a huge production of walking across the court shouting obscenities as he went.  He managed to drop the F-bomb about a dozen times during his pilgrimage to the gym doors.  I was enraged and in the wake of his door-rattling exit I exclaimed, “Who does he think he is?” and then I gave chase.  He was lumbering down the hallway and I yelled after him, “Hey!  Who do you think you are?  These are KIDS!  You can’t talk like that in front of these kids!  We aren’t going to tolerate it!”  He stopped and I stopped.  He wheeled around and headed toward me (he was WAY bigger than I thought and kept getting bigger the closer we got to each other).  With his big ugly finger pointed at me he yelled, “Lady, you need to step off!”  Note: In that instant, I made a mental note that he just screamed the “F” word numerous times in front of a gym full of people and yet he tells me I need to ‘step off’.   I accepted his watered down challenge and pointed my finger right back at him and countered, “No, YOU need to step off!”  Someone from our team had alerted our coach (who happens to be my husband, Kevin) that I might have bitten off more than I could chew and he quickly found his way to my showdown with the big goon in the hallway.   Kevin rounded the corner (all 6’7” and 250 pounds of him) and what do you know???  Mr. Foul Mouth Buffoon Man decided he should step off after all.   Note:  Kevin was not impressed with my bravery, but I was thankful for his intervention. 

Sophi is correct, I am not fearless.  I am terrified of coyotes, medium to big sized spiders, sharks and crocodiles.  Swinging bridges, snapping turtles, the dentist and the big red bull in Uncle Bob’s field also make me a little weak in the knees.    

 

PAGE 3:  She is Strong Inside and Out

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This page made me smile.  The truth is, I often need help getting the lid of the jelly jar!  I can’t do a pull-up and I am virtually useless in a tug-of-war game.  It makes me proud that Sophi thinks I am strong on the inside.  Sometimes I feel I am drowning in worry, mostly about things I cannot control.  I equate inner strength with confidence bolstered by unshakable faith-niether are personal strong suits.  Most days I can sport a great game-face, but I want all my kids to know that I have a long way to go in the ‘strength’ department–on the inside and out.

 

PAGE 4:  She is Selfless.  Always Thinking of Others First.

 I think most moms fall into this category.  It is the nature of the job.  I actually feelcard1 fortunate that Sophi summarized my parenting efforts so positively, considering that times that I have failed miserably as a mom.  I am EXTREMEMLY grateful for her omitting these memorable (and slightly damaging Mom moments):

  • Sophi fell off a zip swing and complained of her wrist hurting.  A WEEK later I took her to the doctor and she had a fracture.
  • When Riley was six, she complained at bedtime that she had a carrot stuck in her throat.  I thought she was being ridiculous.  I looked, gave her a drink, looked again; NO CARROT.  After calling me to her room several times with the ‘carrot story’ I was getting aggravated.  I told her that she didn’t have a carrot stuck in her throat and she needed to go to sleep.  She abruptly sat up in bed and coughed and hacked and even stuck her finger in her throat and sure enough…she produced a sizable sliver of carrot.
  • I informed Evan on more than once occasion that he is the reason that mommy hamsters eat their young

She’s Never Afraid to Speak Her Mind

 I am pretty sure there are a thousand examples behind this statement that my children would like to strike from their memories.  I own the fact there have been many times when what was on my mind should not have ever passed through my lips.  In all honesty, what was on my mind probably shouldn’t have even been in my mind at all.  Some of the best advice I have ever gotten was from my own sweet mother.  When my oldest daughter was born, the first couple years of her life it was basically just the two of us.  Riley was just a tot when Kevin and I were married and as a daddy goes, he didn’t miss a beat.  However, the day came when he corrected Riley for something and my mama bear claws came out and I unleashed a fury like no other.  Still raging, I called my mom to explain how Kevin had crossed the line by getting onto Riley.   This was my mother’s response:
“You listen to me and you listen good.  You don’t care if he is a daddy to her in every other way.  It’s okay that he puts a roof over her head, food on the table, tucks her in and reads her stories.  It’s fine with you that he plays with her, is proud of her and loves her like his own.  If that man is going to be her daddy, you are going to have to stay out of the way and let him be her daddy all-the-way.  Do you hear what I am saying?  You listen close, because you have trouble with this….If she needs disciplined, you lock yourself in the closet and you bite your tongue ‘til it bleeds, but you stay out of it.  Otherwise, it isn’t going to work.”

As a mom, it is sometimes required to fearlessly speak one’s mind, but equally important to sometimes bite one’s tongue ‘til it bleeds.  Hopefully one day, this mom will learn the difference!