What do you do when you have a child who doesn't like sports? I don't mean, he doesn't want to sit and watch a football game on TV for hours...I mean, he absolutely, positively doesn't like sports...of any kind...at all.
This is our oldest son, Christian. To tell the truth, you could actually give him two front row tickets to the Super Bowl and wouldn't care less. He's nine years old, crazy smart and he loves all things computers, Legos, math and science.
The kicker is that he's a tall and big kid. He's only in the third grade and already comes up to my eyes. (I'm 5'5")
We signed him up for football a year ago and saw the coaches drool when they watched him approach for the opening practice. It took about five seconds flat until they realized that he was instead, a gentle giant. He didn't want to hit anyone and he definitely didn't want to be hit.
This Spring, we decided to try baseball - hoping to spark an interest. My husband and I are both big believers in team sports for the fundamentals they provide in working together and supporting each other.
With an eagerness on opening day, we watched from the bleachers as the coach stood in the dugout, calling each player and giving their position. Every nine, ten and eleven year old that he called out, ran straight to their designated spot. When it came time for our son's name, the coach yelled, "CHRISTIAN! Right field!"
Christian began to run towards home plate then turned and said, "Wait...coach? Where's right field?"
Dropping his clipboard, the coach looked at Christian and said, "Buddy, it's out in the field...to the right." Then pointed past first base.
Yes, it's been a long season so far and we still have several games to go. Christian has been a trooper even though he really doesn't get too "into" the games.
I don't think that we'll be able to sign him up for sports for very much longer as he grows older and even more disinterested. It wouldn't be fair to him. It's good to see him make new friends and have fun for now though.
My husband and I realize that we're going to have to get used to the fact that he's probably going to be the biggest kid on the debate team or the chess club one day and that's okay. At least we know that if one of the trivia questions ever has anything to do with the position of "Right Field" in baseball, he's going to hit a homerun.
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I'm tired...it's been a long day. After work, I picked the kids up from school and now I'm getting ready to make dinner. Something happened at work today that hit me though.
I've written before how I'm a therapist and that I'm lucky to work with people from all different walks of life. I came across a patient who is in her 90's. She sat and talked with me about her life some 80 years ago. She told me of growing up on an old North Carolina farm and of having four younger brothers and sisters with a mother and father who loved them.
When this woman was a little girl, around ten years old, her mother was ready to give birth to her fifth younger sibling. There were complications though.
Late one night, her mother was in pain and was going into labor as her ten year old daughter stayed beside her in their farmhouse.
The now 90 year old woman lowered her eyes as she spoke through her memories.
"I sat with her and didn't know what to do. I held her hand as she took one big breath...but that was it. She was gone. Both my mother and the baby were gone."
After a few seconds, she continued to explain how her father was beside himself. She said that he simply stood up and softly told her that she was the oldest and was now in charge. From that night forward, she began to take care of her younger brothers and sisters as she disregarded the rest of her childhood.
She explained how she began to cook, clean, sew and help with the farm so that her brothers and sisters could play and be children. She smiled when she remembered having her first cup of coffee one dark morning as an eleven year old little girl, to try and stay awake.
So tonight, as we go through the routine of making dinner, cleaning the kitchen, giving baths, putting the kids in their beds...Adam and I will be as exhausted as we are every other night.
There will be a difference on this night though. Her story will be with me, reminding me to cherish these tiresome days and nights and to appreciate the time we're here to spend them.
I'm grateful that she told me her story and it makes me even more thankful that the kids will get to play and laugh tonight. It was such a good reminder to be gladly tired while they do.
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If you've read all the books, followed the methods or listened to the advice of others...it can sometimes drive you mad.
Take for instance, how to get your kids to sleep through the night.
Our oldest son is nine which means that between the night he was born and last night, that would make oh...well...around nine years straight of sleepless nights for us.
Oh, it's not because of him anymore, no. He sleeps through the night just fine. He just happened to pass the torch down to his little brother, then onto his little brother and then finally to our Anti-Sleeping Beauty. (Disney has yet to create the animated film version for this particular Princess.)
The three boys actually all sleep pretty well and with regularity at this point...but our daughter? She's the one. Night after night, the sound of little feet "pitter pattering" down the hall takes on a whole new meaning.
One in the morning, three in the morning, five in the morning...it never ends. We can put her back in her bed twenty times a night but she just keeps coming in. Her tiny hands climb up the side of our bed as she tries to sneak in between us with her Ninja like moves. That's when she begins her sleep routine of a kick, knee, punch to our head and backs.
So...to the books we go, looking for words of wisdom. We read that it's important to give children positive "intrinsic" rewards for desired behaviors. I used to subscribe to this notion before we actually HAD kids, thinking that we would always give them positive reinforcement through words and happy feelings as opposed to "extrinsic" rewards such as candy or treats. Ummmm, yeah.
If I could get three nights in a row of solid, uninterrupted sleep...real sleep where there are actual dreams and no drop kicks to the head...I would take our kids to the Hershey factory and let them swim around in a barrel of M&M's.
Until that day, I keep reminding myself that there will come a time when all four kids go to bed, fall asleep, stay asleep and actually wake up (dare I say it?) past six o' clock in the morning.
One can dream anyway...oh no wait... * kick *
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A friend of mine told me once, "I'm not raising boys...I'm raising men". That, for whatever reason, has stayed with me.
What the Mom meant was that she had boys but she was trying to prepare them to be men, husbands and fathers. She felt that if she spoiled her sons rotten, that would be good only if she wanted them to be "Mama's boys" or be reliant on her. If she instead raised her boys knowing how to take care of themselves, then they could be independent. The whole "teach them how to fish instead of giving them fish" concept.
I lucked out when I met Adam in the fact that his Mama raised him right. With his upbringing combined with military training, that boy could take care of business.
To this day, Adam can handle things around the house and make more than cereal for dinner. He doesn't like to do most of it, but it's nice to know that he can hold down the fort when need be.
With that being said, I really want to raise our boys the same way. I don't want them to leave home and not know how to wash the dishes, iron a shirt or make a meal. I'll find myself calling our little girl into the kitchen when I'm making dinner but I need to be better at things like that with the boys.
Just the other day, I walked into the bathroom and there was a new roll of toilet paper on the holder. My husband hates to change it so it was such a nice surprise when he did. I looked at him and smiled saying, "Thank You!"
Looking back at me he said, "You're welcome? I don't know what I did though..."
"The toilet paper roll. I know how much you can't stand to change it."
"I do hate it, but I didn't change it." (WHa?!!)
My heart swelled at the thought that one of the boys actually did it. Sweet Baby James it's sinking in!
"BOYS! COME HERE!!!" I was so happy to find out which one did it as Adam stood in shock beside me.
The three boys ran in and I smiled with all of my heart.
"Boys, which one of you changed the toilet paper roll?"
Christian: "Uhhhh, not me Mom. Sorry."
Ethan: "I didn't do it either! Can we go back and play?"
Preston: "Toilet roll? What's a toilet roll?"
"No Preston...not a toilet roll...a toilet PAPER...oh you know what? If you guys didn't do it and we didn't do it, then..."
Sure enough, Lauren Elizabeth and her four year old little self came in overhearing us. "I did it Mommy!"
And there you have it.
Yes, I'd like to think that we're raising these boys to grow up to be self sufficient men. Men who will know how to cook, how to clean...and who will evidently always know how to leave the "toilet roll" sitting on the floor.
I heard this joke yesterday that made me laugh...and strangely remind me of the kids...
A young boy wanted to get his first job. Searching the newspaper, he found an ad that a man was hiring for good pay.
Going to the address from the paper, he found the man's house and eagerly knocked on the door. Opening it, the man looked at the boy. "Yes?"
"Hi Mister. I'm here for the job!"
Thinking the boy was too young, he questioned the lad. "Oh. Well, it's a lot of work. Are you sure you can do it?"
Liking his spirit, the man decided to give the boy the job. "Well alright. I have buckets of paint and a brush. I want you to paint the porch. The whole porch has to be done though. Every bit."
The man looked from the right to the left of the whole front porch. There was furniture, flower pots, a coffee cup...he had only just put the ad out and didn't even have time to clear things off. Scratching his head, he looked back at the boy.
"Are you sure you can handle this son? It's really a lot of work."
"Oh yes I can do it Mister! No problem at all!"
Shrugging his shoulders, he gave the boy buckets of paint and the brush, then went back in the house.
Only a couple of hours later, his doorbell rang. Knowing that the boy had realized that it was too much work, he went to answer it.
When he got there though, the boy was covered in paint but the front porch hadn't been touched. Not even a chair was moved. Confused, the man looked at the boy.
"What happened? Why isn't anything done?"
"Well, I'm finished Mister!"
"Finished with what? You haven't even started!"
"But I'm finished! I even gave it two coats because I had so much extra paint left over. It wasn't hard at all like you said it would be."
Completely confused, the man rubbed his head. Just then the boy turned to look behind him and said, "Oh, but Mister, I hate to break it to you...but it's not a porch, it's a Lexus."
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If you just got a positive result on a pregnancy test...Happy Mother's Day.
If you had an appointment and heard your baby's heartbeat for the first time...Happy Mother's Day.
If you felt the first kick, first contraction or are in the hospital...Happy Mother's Day.
If you're holding your baby's tiny hand for the first time, smelling their skin or kissing their small feet...Happy Mother's Day.
If you don't remember the last time you've slept through the night...Happy Mother's Day.
If you have spit up as a permanent accessory to any attire...Happy Mother's Day.
If you forget what your latest hairstyle was or have the theme songs to "Franklin" or "Blues Clues" playing in your head at all times...Happy Mother's Day.
If you're thinking of what it's going to be like for your "baby" to begin school in a few short months...Happy Mother's Day.
If you have cried on the first day of school and wanted to stay in the parking lot all day to make sure they were okay...Happy Mother's Day.
If you have done backflips on the first day of school and smiled the whole morning long...Happy Mother's Day.
If you have hugged your child when they've scrapped their knee, had their feelings hurt or had their heart broken...Happy Mother's Day.
If you have watched them grow and learn, to become ready for the world and all that is in it...Happy Mother's Day.
If you have been blessed enough to hold your Grandchild's tiny hand for the first time, smelling their skin or kissing their small feet...Happy Mother's Day.
If you have loved anyone more than your own life and know that for as long as you live, a piece of your heart will forever be theirs...then Happy, Happy Mother's Day.
One of the fun things about writing this blog is when I get to do a movie review. A few weeks before the "Hallmark Channel" premieres an original movie, they'll send a "sneak peek" for me to watch and write about. This one had me sitting at the end of my seat.
It's called "The Confession" and it's based on the second novel from New York Times best-selling author Beverly Lewis. It is the sequel to the original movie, “Beverly Lewis’ The Shunning” which first premiered on the Hallmark Channel in 2011.
The movie begins with an innocent Katie Lapp, (Katie Leclerc) who was raised in an Amish community. She ventures into the outside world for the first time in search of her birth mother, Laura Mayfield-Bennett, (Sherry Stringfield).
Laura Mayfield-Bennett is a kind and extremely wealthy socialite who is plagued by terminal cancer. Her wish is to find the daughter that she gave to an Amish family years ago.
The twists and turns to keep these two apart were surprising...especially from Laura Mayfield-Bennett's greedy husband (Adrian Paul) who will stop at nothing to steal her fortune and estate all for himself.
As Katie desperately tries to discover the birth mother that she never knew, the movie takes you on a journey that keeps you riveted until the end. (My personal favorite part was one very cute person from her past.)
So snuggle on the couch, grab a big bowl of popcorn and tune in tonight for the Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere movie of "BEVERLY LEWIS’ THE CONFESSION", Saturday, May 11 (9p.m. ET/PT, 8C).
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It seems like only yesterday. It was a Sunday morning in 1999 and I was running late to church. I had just moved from Ohio to North Carolina and it was the first time I had visited this service.
I flew through the door hoping that I wasn't too late. Little did I know that the door was right beside the minister giving the opening comments to the congregation.
(You have GOT to be kidding me.)
Slinking my way towards a seat an aisle or so from the front of the church, I felt my face flood with the heat from embarrassment.
That's when I saw him.
The cutest boy on Earth sat in the same aisle to the left of me. The first thought that literally went through my mind was, "Good Lord I would have that man's babies".
He turned and smiled at me, my face burned even more red... and the rest...as they say...is history.
Happy 12th Anniversary Adam!
You're still the cutest boy I know!
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to meet an awesome friend named Jen. She is just about the nicest person you could know.
Jen is very straight forward so when she says something, you can trust it. Tonight she told me about a couple of friends that she knows who are in need of some help.
They are in a contest to try and win an accessible van to allow them to have transportation. Working as a therapist, I see first hand the importance of this daily necessity.
This couple, named Barton and Megan would have their lives changed if they were to win. They have a website where you can read their story: http://www.loverollson.com/blog/
Megan and Barton are in line to win this much needed van and currently have over 13 THOUSAND votes. If you have a moment to add to this count, the contest ends on Friday (5/10). You can help them win by simply clicking on: http://www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/entrant/barton-cutter-raleigh-nc/
Good Luck to you Megan and Barton! You are an Amazing couple!!! XOXO