Friday, September 30, 2011

Moments Like This

In moments like this....

....between a Daddy and his sons.... might try to envision the sweet moment they were having together.

 You might think he was sharing words of wisdom.

Maybe giving advice.

Perhaps talking of the future.

But you would be wrong. 

Oh, so wrong.

The truth is...

Tucker glared at me and said, "You take too many pictures!"

So I snapped, "Well, this is the way I am. If you don't like it, then get a new Mom."

And we all laughed.

Dad said, "Mom did a bad job ironing your shirts."
So the boys said, "Well, then get a new wife!"
And we all laughed.

Sawyer said, "Dad, you smell like dook."

And we all laughed.

Carter said, "Dad, you're a Dorky Porkchop!"

And we all laughed.


The best moment you can have with your sons is to share a moment of laughter.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Legacy of Love

    I am off work today, which is nice. Except the circumstances stink.  I took the day off to be with my family, since my Nanny passed away.  I dropped the boys off at school and then pulled into my Mom and Dad's driveway.  My car, that apparently makes a distinct noise, woke them up.  Even though they say they were already awake.  They invited me to join them for breakfast at our local fast food joint.  This is the hot place to hang out in town if you have already retired. 

   I watched my parents interact with each other over breakfast.  They ordered their breakfast, knowing exactly what the other one wanted.  Mom still looked at Dad with a glimmer in her eye, probably just as she did many years ago.  Dad is still protective of Mom, just as he probably was back when they were college age kids. They shared "dessert" (a buttered biscuit with strawberry jelly), which is something they apparently do every single day. 

  We discussed lots of things over breakfast.  We talked about Nanny.  We discussed football.  School.  Running. Food.  My brother and sister....neither of which are Mom's favorite., by the way.  We talked about lots of little things. We discussed how some families in the area have been broken up and turned topsy turvy by divorce.  That one got me to thinking.

   On my ride home from breakfast, I thought about how happily married I am. About how much I love him.  I thought about how much I love my boys.  And how much they love each other. Somebody had to have shown me how to do it.  I had to have an example of how to love. And I did have examples. I have had all the examples I will need in a lifetime.  I have been able to watch love in action all around me.  All of my life.

Because of this...

And this...

 There is this.

And because of this.....

There is this.

Because I see this....

I have this.

Because of this.....

And this.....

We had this....

And this....

Because of moments like this......

I had moments like this.....

All because of this.....
 And this....

I know to do this.

Because of this....

There is this.

And if we continue to have this.....

And this....

We will continue to get this....

And this....

and this.

The legacy of love lives on. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Favorite Son

This afternoon, I came home from school and was ready to kick my feet up and relax. After I did the dishes, laundry, homework, and started supper....I had 10 whole minutes before time to go pick up Tucker.  I decided to spend my precious minutes reading a Time magazine article that caught my attention.  The article is titled Why Mom Liked You Best: The Science of Favoritism.

   I initially picked up the article so that I could finally put the debate between me and my siblings to rest. Once and for all.  I am Moms favorite.  You can ask my brother, and he is certain that he holds the title.  My baby sister believes it is her. I know that it is me.  I wanted to read the article to have the science to back it up.

   After I started reading the article, I became a little less interested in proving that I was Mom's favorite.  Science didn't appear to be on my side.  Apparently, Moms weren't as likely to pick a middle child as their favorite, which is me. And when siblings are mixed boy/girl, she is less likely to choose the oldest girl.  So, I decided to move on. I didn't need the stinkin' article to prove it anway.

 Besides, Mom and I know the truth.  Sometimes we get together and just laugh at how much more she loves me than them.  The joke is on my brother and sister.  Suckers!

 I started to be more concerned, though, with which one of my sons was my favorite.  Could it be possible that I favored one over the others?  The article plainly states,

 "If you have kids, then you have a favorite child.  It's hardwired into all of us."

Seriously?  Yikes?!!!

I mulled this over for a moment before I continued to read.  Which one of my boys was my favorite?  Was it Tucker?  Could it be Sawyer?  Or maybe Carter?

The article says that sometimes Moms choose their oldest child.  So that would be Tucker. 
Tucker must be my favorite.

Then the article stated that often times Moms choose their last born as their favorite.  So its Carter.  Carter is my favorite.

But then I read further.  It said that whichever kid is the strongest and most muscular is usually the Moms favorite because they are more likely to create grandchildren.  So that would be Sawyer.  He is certainly the most muscular.  He is my favorite.

It then gave reasons why Moms would choose the smartest of the group.  This part got a little dicey, since all of my boys are brilliant.  They can actually, all do math much better than me, which makes me feel like a loser.  That makes each of them equally less of a favorite....which in turn, makes them evened out again.

   The article said that the favorite child is sometimes the child who depends on their Mom the most.  Right now, I guess Carter needs me more than the others.  That makes him the favorite.

 The Mom very often chooses the child that looks the most like them.  The one that shares the most physical traits.  Since Tucker and Carter look almost identical to Bradley, then Sawyer wins it.

A child who is helpful and dependable can be chosen as the favorite.  This is a great description of Tucker. He nudges them out.

  Science strongly supports that physical appearance can be the determining factor.  Whichever son is "handsome" would have the upper hand at being chosen.  This factor has to be totally ruled out with my sons because......well....have you seen them?  Geez!  They are all really handsome! I am not predjudice! 

  The Time article goes on to tell the story of how the black eagle sibling chicks respond to each other.  The stronger of the birds peck the weaker birds until they die and the Mama bird just stands idly by.  The article says that humans are smarter than the birds, but we are still wired the same way. I beg to differ.

The more I read of the magazine, the more I decided that the author of it was wacko. He was wrong about many things, but I decided to agree with him on the main issue of the favorite child.  I do indeed have a favorite. The tricky part is, that who my favorite is changes about a million times a day.  Every day.  As I wrote this blog and looked at the pictures, I fell in love with each of them over and over again.  Each time one of the boys speaks directly to me.  They are my favorite.  When I am looking at one of their handsome faces.... that one is my favorite.  When one of the boys is away from me, I am missing them.  So that one is my favorite.  When one son does something wonderful, then they are my favorite.  When one of the boys gets upset and needs some reassuring, then that one nudges out the others.  As I step into Tucker's bedroom for a goodnight kiss, he becomes my favorite for an instant.  But then, I go into Sawyer's room, and he is my favorite.  Further down the hall, the kiss falls on Carter's forehead, clearly he is my favorite.  The only way I could possibly understand a parent having only one favorite child, is if they have a single child.  My love is equally divided among my precious sons.  They are all my favorites.

  It's too bad for my brother and sister that Mom didn't feel the same way.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I bet hers likes it in heaven!

 I got the news today at school that no one wants to hear.  Even if you know it's coming. 

"Granny is gone."

I cried.  I had 17 Kindergarten children looking at me wondering what was wrong.  I explained to them that my Granny had just died and that I was sad. 

A sweet, little, round face grinned at me and said,

"Well, I bet hers likes it in heaven!" 

My beautiful Granny Mc is leaving behind a bounty of her fruits.  She was the mother to eight children. Eight!  I don't know how she did it.  My Daddy, Jimmy, is the second oldest of the gang of six boys and two girls.  Bobby. Jimmy. Gary. Donna. Beth. Phillip. And the twins, Jerry and Terry.  I imagine she barked that list of names out thousands of times.

This whole slew of kids multipled the family further by adding 18 children by birth and others by integrating them from marriages. Granny Mc's house is a very modest 3 bedroom house with a small living room area.  Our Christmas and Easter family meals weren't typical.  Meals were never eaten gathered around a table.  They were dipped buffet style from the bar and then plates were carried anywhere you could find an empty piece of floor to sit on. 

These are the first born 11 cousins at Nanny's house.  The group just got bigger and bigger.

And then after the meal, there was ALWAYS the bible stories.  I have never, even once, had a Christmas in 35 years without hearing the Christmas story from the Bible at Nanny Mc's house.  It is always the most important aspect of Christmas to my family.

My Nanny has always been a spiritual leader, of sorts, to our family.  Not that she ever stood in the pulpit, but she led by example.  We all learned from her example.  From her actions.  From her wisdom.  I have never known anyone more prepared to enter heaven than her.  She was at peace.  She was content.  She lived 87 years sowing seeds.  She did her part.  And now, she is basking in God's glory. I am positive that she is beautiful.  That her arthritis doesn't hurt anymore.  Probably even dancing.  I am certain that her smile is brighter than ever. 

I know hers likes it in heaven.

The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no partiality and is always sincere.  And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.
                ---James 3:17-18