I talked to my mom today. A sort of confession if you will. I told her how it all started. Five years ago. I was a crazed mom of four kids under the age of seven, desperate for one good photograph of her princesses.
She asked all the right questions. The ones a mom is supposed to ask.
“Did your neighbor mind?”
“Did she get mad?”
“Does she even know?”
And “Don’t you think you could have just asked her?”
And then Mom concluded with the words that soothed my guilty soul. “Well, I suppose she probably didn’t want those leaves.”
And “I guess if she was planning to rake them in the end, you were probably doing her a favor.” “Yeah, it wasn’t that bad of a thing.”
But just as quickly as she sided with me, she put her Mom hat back on.
“But don’t do it again!”
And “You need to knock on her door and ask first from now on. Okay!?!”
“Yes, Mom. I promise.” Continue reading
Every year, for the past five autumns, I’ve held dearly to one of our two total family traditions. With only two traditions, thus far, to miss one would be criminal. This particular custom started shortly after my fourth daughter was born. Picture this:
Autumn and all its colorful glory paint a radiant frame around our yard. Sometimes we feel like we live in a miniature forest since maples, pines, and oaks border three sides of our property. Which not only creates beauty, but a heck of a lot of yard work. Every year. This particular year, I rake for hours, only to be bombarded my three sets of running legs that crash into my neatly gathered mountain.
“Leaf Pile!” squeal my girls, right before their little bodies lunged and then burrow into the fallen foliage. Repeat. Continue reading
Forgot to put my daughter’s snack in her book bag. Got a call from Mrs. Stone who politely asked, “Hi Mrs. Paulus. How are you? Just wanted to know what you were thinking you wanted to do for Hannah’s snack today?”
Found myself falling…down, down, down from the height of “Hard-working Mom” to the depths of “Irresponsible Parent”. I hate this fall. If you’re anything like me, you’re a lot harder on yourself than the person you’ve bumped in this crowded line of life. I feel myself taking a nose-dive into disappointment with taunting words poking me on the decline: “I can’t believe I forgot my daughter’s snack? What kind of mom am I anyway? She was probably so stressed out when she opened up her backpack and turned it up-side-down looking for her snack. Sheesh.”
When Hannah gets off the bus, I ask her vaguely, “How was your day Bubbles?”
I pry a little, “Anything hard? Anything go wrong today?”
She looks at me with a “I wonder if you know this already” look, and says, “Well, one thing. I couldn’t find my snack when I got to school.” Continue reading