Category Archives: Owen

Throwback Thursday: Mom Fail

Last week I volunteered in my son’s class for the first time this year. I had signed up to lead the class for the afternoon during a teacher planning day, and I was really excited to get in there. That is a lie. I was terrified. You guys, Owen is in third grade. Third graders are so scary. I mean, Kindergarteners? They look at you like you’re a magical fairy and they are just so happy to be at school and you basically just play with them. But third graders? I kept envisioning a total uprising and the teacher returning to find me duct taped to a chair. I actually asked my son to pray for me the night before because I was so nervous.

Annnnyway, the day ended up going so well that I don’t even have any funny stories to tell. Somehow that third grade class is full of little angels, God bless them every one.

As I drove away from school that day, I couldn’t help remembering another time I helped at school. It went a bit differently. I mean, it ended with me straight lying to the teacher, if that tells you anything. Let’s relive it together, shall we?

Originally published November 6, 2014.

Need a self-esteem boost? Allow me to help. I have lots of mom fails. But this time? I lied to my kid’s teacher. And you won’t believe why. (I still can’t.)

Looking for some mom humor? How about a self-esteem boost? Always here to help you feel better about your parenting skillz with a dose of funny and a dollop of fail. This time? YOU GUYS. I lied to my kid's teacher. And you won't believe why. (I still can't.)Every other week or so, I go to Owen’s school to volunteer. Covering lunch duty is one way I help, and my first time ended in certainly one of my most shameful mom fails ever.

But let me start at the beginning.

Mrs. H. arrives at the lunchroom with the class of first graders, and I don’t take even a moment to ask for instructions. I quickly shoo her away to go enjoy her lunch in well-deserved peace.

And guess what I find out?

I AM AWESOME AT LUNCH DUTY. That’s what.

The entire 25 minutes is basically one part “shh,” one part “face forward please,” and approximately seventy-three parts “yes I will open your ketchup/mayo/gogurt/yogurt/pudding.”

The truly impressive part (besides how Heinz seals up ketchup packets like Fort Knox) is how well this school has trained the kids and their “lunchtime voices.” Every few minutes, quiet instrumental music plays. And when the music plays, the talking STOPS.

It’s magic, I tell you.

But when the music is NOT playing, the kids talk in crazy screeching excitable quiet voices. At one point, I’m wrestling a pudding cup when the rumble of a million little voices becomes a theatrical  chorus, hushed but rising in unison: “Baaaaa sowenyaaaa…!”

Um, cue Twilight Zone. I look up from the damn pudding, in utter confusion. What is happening!?

Oh wait. I notice a familiar instrumental score amid the Impromptu Cafeteria Vocal Choir. It’s the Lion King song.

Of course it is.

I regain my composure just as Owen’s teacher returns to pick up the class. Since I’ve been utterly winging it skillfully improvising for the past 25 minutes, I decide to quickly clarify a couple class policies.

It goes like this (me, with big, reassuring smile): “Hi! The kids did great. Quick question – what’s the bathroom policy during lunch?”

Mrs. H’s face says, “The policy is no.” Her words say (with a knowing grin), “How many asked to go?”

Me: “Um. 6.” (quickly waving it off, no big deal) “But only one at a time, of course.”

BUT THAT IS A LIE. THERE WERE 8.

Maybe 9.

And I have NO IDEA if they went together or one at a time and honestly I don’t even know if they all came back because KETCHUP PACKETS, PEOPLE.

(They did.)

(BUT I LIED.)

(Hi, Mrs. H!)

So, not only am I decidedly NOT awesome at lunch duty, I am also not super awesome at. um. TELLING THE TRUTH.

Throwback Thursday: And now you know.

As of next week, I will have two children in elementary school. That is ALL OF MY CHILDREN. As in, THERE WILL BE NO CHILDREN AT MY HOUSE ALL DAY.

Part of me (okay, a LOT of me) is just trying to keep my excitement at a civilized level.

Another part of me is simply stunned at how quickly we’ve reached this season. And if I linger too long over it, my heart feels that familiar squeeze all over again.

Here’s what I wrote the first time around, with Owen. (It all seemed a bit more intense with him. He’s my first. So, I guess that makes sense.)

But she’s my last. I’m finding that brings an ache of its own.

Originally published on August 18, 2014.

I cried the Ugly Cry today. Sometimes it seems my kids are just growing up so fast. So much that I cried the Ugly Cry about it today. Am I the only one who’s thought "WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO!?” Whether your children are babies or grown, find encouragement in this short must-read.

My firstborn, my baby boy, that sweet boy who made me a mama, that bundle of life who waited so long and then came so fast I hardly knew what hit me…

He starts school in one week.

One week from today, I will drive him to a sweet old elementary school and entrust him to the care of an exceptional staff for SEVEN HOURS. And I will do this FIVE DAYS A WEEK.

He will be just three miles away. He will have the time of his life.

And I feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest.

I remember the first night I laid that baby boy to sleep in his crib in his own room. He was three steps away. But he was SO SMALL. And that crib seemed SO BIG.

Post-partum hormones crashed like a wave, and I hiccup-sobbed to my mom, “I just LOVE. HIM… SO… MUCH…”

She held me close (stifling a giggle at my snotty-hiccuppy-Ugly-Cry) and said, “And now you know.”

She pulled back so she could look in my eyes and said with all the fervor in her heart, “I still feel that way about you.”

Oh, God.

“WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO!?” I cry to Heaven, now over six years later.

And I don’t mean sending my child to school. I mean BECOMING A MOTHER.

God, how do our hearts survive this?

The cry gets uglier as I picture my aunt sending her twin boys to COLLEGE over the weekend. It seems just yesterday that THEY were babies.

In twelve years, I’ll be doing the same thing. In twelve short years, we’ll help this boy, this precious boy who laid so small in a great big crib, move into a dorm and then out in the world, and he just seems so little, and the world is just so big, and GOD, MY HEART CANNOT BEAR THIS.

Maybe next year I’ll be the mom at the end of the summer saying, “Please! Teachers! Take him back! I’m dying here!”

But this is not that year. This year, our first year sending our son to school, I hold him close. I marvel at how he’s grown, how tall he is, how funny, how altogether incredible to me.

And I marvel still more that of all the little boys in all of time, this boy calls me Mom.

My mom was right. Now I know. Oh, how I know. This ache. This blessed ache of a mother’s heart… It started with you, son. You’ve ruined me. In the most sacred of ways, you’ve ruined me.

And God, You have the audacity to say you love this child EVEN MORE THAN I DO? That claim would really piss me off, except that I know it’s true. Oh thank You, Jesus, it’s true.

Fresh tears roll as He draws me near, whispering with all the fervor in His heart:

“And now you know…

I feel that way about you.”

1John419**Hey, mama! Are you feeling a lot more “WOOHOO!!” than “Boohoo” about your kid going to school? Do you want to vomit if one more person tells you to savor every moment? Then, you probably want to read this OTHER post I wrote. 😉

There is room at the table for all of us.

 

Did you know… (One thing your child needs to hear today.)

I switched up our routine last night & ended up saying the one thing my son needed to hear. Truth be told, it was the one thing I needed to hear too. Could you use some encouragement in parenting and in life? Don’t miss this quick read.I have this thing I do every so often as I tuck in each kid at night – and Owen’s reaction has become the funniest. I snuggle him close and say (with great dramatic flair, as if I’ve never said this to him before), “Did you know… if God had lined up allllllllll the baby boys in the whole wide world, and He let me pick anyyyyyyyyy  baby boy to be MY baby boy… do you know who I’d pick?”

He used to grin and excitedly say, “Me!” And I’d squeeze him tight and say, “You! Yes, you. Every time, you.”

Now he’s Too Cool For That, and he cuts me off at “if God lined up…,” rolls his eyes, and says, “I know, I know. You’d pick me.”

The little punk still grins as I finish the story and squeeze the snot out of him anyway.

But last night I felt prompted to change it up a bit. This time, when he interrupted with the eye roll and the grin, I said, “Wait, no. This is a different one. This time, I mean if God came to me right now and lined up alllllllll the boys in the whole wide world and He said, ‘You’ve had your boy for almost seven years. If you’d like to, you can have a do-over.’   – and He let me choose any boy. Do you know what I’d do?”

Owen just looked at me. We’d had a hard day, he and I. I don’t know if he was sure what I’d do, to be honest.

I looked him in the eyes and said, “I would say, ‘No, thank you. I still choose Owen.’ And then God would say, ‘I thought so.'”

Owen grinned extra wide and let me hug him extra tight.

Do you ever wonder if God wishes He could have a do-over with you? Like, sure, Jesus died on the cross for me – but only because He didn’t actually know me yet. He didn’t know what I’d be like. That I’d be in my mid-thirties, still not quite able to get my sh*t together. How many times I’d fail. And fail the same way again. And then find all new ways to fail.

Well let me tell you something. Did you know…

He did know you. He knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb, and He knew you before the earth was created. He didn’t die for you because He didn’t know you well enough to know any better. He died for you because He DID know you and He decided you were WORTH IT.

You are worth it.

Even in His knowing, you are worth it.