Was This A Trick Question?

 

True Story—

 

While in tenth grade, my religion teacher, Sister Francine, asked the class to take out 5 sheets of paper and make a list of the 5 most important things in our lives. We were told that we could talk among ourselves and that we had 10 minutes. Some of my classmates were still in that “I hate my parents” stage. I guess I’d either passed through it or never experienced it because my mom was at the top of my list. Next on my list were my brothers, my friends, Gidgette, my poodle, and my grandmother.

When the time was up, Sister Francine walked to the front of the class and put a record on the turntable. I don’t remember what the song was, but I do remember it being something slow and pretty. Our instructions were simple: as we listened to the music we were to go to the garbage can and place the pieces of paper in it –one at a time- throwing each piece away signified letting go of that person or thing forever in order to follow God. As I think back, that had to be the hardest day of my high school career. Most of my friends and I were basket cases.

Here’s how it went:

Letting go of Gidgette was truly gut wrenching. After all, I’d had her since I was eight years old and she was the guardian of my lunch. Every morning after I prepared and bagged lunches for my brothers and me, Gidgette would sit next to mine on the ottoman and stop my brothers from switching bags. I always put the best snacks in my bag. That, in and of itself, should explain why it was so hard to choose between letting go of Gidgette and letting go of grandma. I was the difficult teenager and she was the nosey grandmother who gossiped all day with her old lady friends and told my mom everything she “thought” I was doing.  So no brainer, right?!

I also had trouble deciding between my brothers and my friends because my brothers were … well they were my brothers… we aggravated one another and we told on one another and/but we loved one another. I couldn’t begin to imagine my life without “the boys” in it. They were my first friends. I think I trashed my other friends before my brothers, but nonetheless, the tears flowed freely as I stepped up to the garbage can.*Note to my brothers: Rick and Ray if you ever read this you should feel very good about yourselves because you made it through the first three cuts. (LOL). I would like to send out a sincere apology to my tenth grade friends. It’s a good thing your lives didn’t depend on the order of things that day!

Last, but obviously not least, was the piece of paper with those eight simple letters written on it…M-Y-M-O-T-H-E-R… my mother. What did I do? I held on and I cried. The bell rang and I was still holding on to that silly piece of paper that meant more than the world to me. Several of my friends, male and female, were in the same boat. We couldn’t let go. Truth be known, I probably still have that piece of paper tucked away in my old religion book.

Talk about a trick question for a kid!

**Dear Sister Francine, because of you, I never stray too far from the sidewalk, because of you I learned to play on the safe side… you know the rest!

 

2 a.m. Feeding

2 a.m. feeding
It’s 2 a.m. and she’s wide awake.
These days it doesn’t take much to wake her, but it takes a whole lot to get her back down. It seems that not too long ago, she slept more and tossed and turned less. When and why did the pendulum swing? Even gone are the nights when she drifts off peacefully and wakes in the mornings all bright eyed and eager to go. Is this all happening because she’s getting older? But what’s age or aging got to do with it? Sleep is not reserved for newborns nor is it old person- only specific.  Maybe she’s afraid she’ll miss something. But what could she miss at this late hour? The sound the air freshener dispenser makes as it’s battery slowly dies leaving it to dispense sporadically rather than regularly? Or the sound the a/c unit makes as it kicks off and on throughout the night trying to beat the hot and humid summer nights? Since neither of those sound likely, it’s got to be something else…
Surely she can’t be awake listening for the sweet, melodic  sounds of her babies resting peacefully in bed beside her…
…. oh, but yes, she can. Her sound slumber is forever a thing of the past. She hears, feels and senses all movements – no matter how slight. Try as she might,  her sandman manages to stay just out of reach for hours once she wakes. They are there- within her reach – her breath, her wind, her lifelines… the food to her soul.
Thank you for my 2 a.m. feeding Baby Jesus.

Tough Mudder 2017

Several months ago my R registered to compete in a “Tough Mudder” event. She asked me to join her but I declined. Well, this past weekend Baby T and Baby L and I flew into NY to attend the run and to cheer R on. Shortly after arriving at the venue we were informed that it was a 10 mile run with 20 obstacles. Although R and most of her friends/teammates were nervous they ran, climbed, jumped, splashed and crawled their way through every mile and, much to my surprise, through every obstacle. I have never been so proud in my life. I am the runner, jumper, climber in our family.  R has never participated in anything that even resembled a run through mud. She and her sisters have always been my pride and joy and once again she has amazed me with her effort, her enthusiasm and her perseverance.

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The Versatile Blogger Award

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Hey everybody— I woke up a few days ago to a post from my fellow blogger- MrHushHush Entries- in which he told me he’d nominated me for the “Versatile Blogger Award”.  How cool is that? I’ve only been back in the blogging game for a short time so receiving this nomination is huge. Thank you so much mrhushhush. If you’re not already a follower of his I suggest you run on over to his world and check things out–  I can assure you it’ll be worth it.

THE RULES

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  3. Nominate 10 other bloggers of your choice.
  4. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.

7 facts   (:

  1. I’m a “good little” Catholic girl who adores her children.
  2. I am a morning person.
  3. Sarcasm is my language of choice (:
  4. My guy, Lucca, was my best friend and although he’s gone he’ll live forever in my heart. (you can read stories about him throughout my blog–)
  5. I love to build things… I built a six foot high 9×12 “tree deck” in my backyard. (pics to follow)
  6. I’ve been tased— wanna see the video?
  7. I’m a middle child, the only girl and my mom and brothers mean the world to me.

... AND THE NOMINEES ARE…

  1. Sew Geek Mama
  2. Mom Life
  3. Love it Now
  4. Lessons Learned from the Flock
  5. Now Boarding
  6. The Cuteness is Real
  7. East Coast Approach
  8. Buckets on a Barefoot Beach
  9. bloggerinablogworld.com
  10. She Gives NO Fox

I nominated your blog because you have inspired me in one way or another. Now the torch is in your hand. Go out and light up someone else’s day with a head nod and a nomination. (:

 

 

My Kevlar Vest

I’ve worn a Kevlar Vest for so many years I’ve lost count. I still remember the first time I put one on. The person holding the tape measure was far more comfortable than I. I was as nervous wreck. I’d never felt the need to wear one before, mine had been a straight forward, by the book kind of life. Yes, there were some days that were more trying than others, but I’d always been in total control of any and all situations. I always played close to the edge, but never intentionally and never with any conscious desire to cross it.

On that day, so, so, many years ago I found myself in unfamiliar territory. Was I sure I could handle this? I mean, this was a responsibility that I was sure many dreamed of, but few indulged in. An elite crowd, a closed group… the chosen few… but if they were chosen, who was doing the choosing? From where I stood, it wasn’t a choice, there were no check yes or no boxes. No matter how long or how hard you danced around it, knowingly or unknowingly, and no matter who the dance instructor was, you would eventually trip and stumble, and fate would be standing in the shadows waiting to catch you when you fell.

Little did I realize, measuring me was a mere formality. My vest was ready long before I arrived at this day. The maker, not the measurer, knew me. The maker also knew the challenges I would face once I accepted that unwritten invitation, the one that had been stamped on my heart since the moment I was conceived. They would be more than I could handle alone— and that would never be allowed.

 

In Today’s News We Bring You Potty Training 101-Day 2

Yesterday we brought you news about a little girl and her family’s efforts to (effortlessly) potty train her. This morning we reached out to the family and asked if they would be willing to provide documentation via daily photos and commentary of their progress (or lack thereof).
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As you can see the box is filled with all sorts of fun things for the little girl. Please check back later for information on her initial reaction to the box and her first day “in training.”