Monthly Archives

January 2018

No Biggie, It’ll Wash

Posted in Laughter
on January 29, 2018

Just like most kids, I went through a phase where I thought my mom was an idiot.  I thought I knew everything.  I must have rolled my eyes to Texas and back at some of her ridiculous notions.  But then, I grew up. And it’s a good thing because it turns out she’s not as dumb as I thought!  One piece of wisdom she gave me when I was expecting Boom was to always remember that if it wasn’t going to matter in the light of eternity, it probably wasn’t going to matter in 5 minutes.

 

I’ve tried to remember that when dealing with my kids. I mean, I make messes occasionally, so why should I expect them to be perfect?  On Christmas morning I made this FABULOUS  vanilla hot chocolate in the crock pot. JR asked me to bring it to Mom and Dad’s house that evening, so I grabbed the leftover pitcher full from the fridge and started through the dining room with it.  Well, in my rush and with something in both hands, I didn’t realize I was slinging the pitcher around until I heard it splattering all over the floor in the foyer.  I turned to see a lovely rich and creamy vanilla trail all through the dining room on the carpet my Daddy had just cleaned the week before when I was having a party. I couldn’t believe I had done it, but being upset, stomping, yelling or saying things I couldn’t take back was not going to clean up the mess or make me feel any better.

When Boom was little, he would make messes, that’s what boys do. He would spill things and look to me for my reaction.  Instead of crying over spilled milk or equally as bad, blowing my gasket, I tried to always respond with “No Biggie, It’ll Wash”.  You see, in my mind, if I put him in clothes then let him play, eat, craft or whatever he was doing in those clothes, then I was really the one to blame if *gasp* he got messy.

I tried to anticipate what we would be doing when I dressed him.  If we got into an adventure that he wasn’t dressed for, I’d take his clothes off and let him be a kid. Otherwise, who cares if he just dumped an entire bucket of dirt on his head at the ball field? Here’s the thing: water dries, laundry detergent gets dirt out, floors can be cleaned and bubble baths get almost everything off of little boys. You can’t uncrush their spirit when you overreact to a mess.  You can’t unhurt their little hearts when you flip out because they spilled grape juice on their white polo shirt.  But you know what, in 5 years they won’t be able to wear that shirt anymore.  You might get pennies on the dollar for it at a sale, or not and that kid is more important that the $50 you paid for that shirt. So, take a deep breath and say, “No Biggie, It’ll Wash”.

Today when Boom got in the car from school, I could tell he was tentative about telling me something.  Then Hoss piped up to say, “Mom, Boom is FILFY!!” Sure enough, this was his shoulder…his entire side, arm and leg were caked with dried dirt. He looked to me to see my reaction.  I had two choices…anger and frustration or not.  I chose not and I looked him square in the eyes and said, “Whoa! That must have been one heck of a tackle! Did you at least get the ball?!” His whole countenance changed.  He chattered all the way home about the game.  He made a tackle, got the ball, somebody did something and somebody else did something else. I could have ruined our afternoon and damaged our relationship and lines of communication over dirt.

Having a Mom who doesn’t overreact to every little thing and who realizes accidents and messes happen is so important for keeping the lines of communication open as they approach those pesky pre-teen years.  And after all, isn’t half the fun of an adventure making a mess!?

I’ll be in the laundry room if anyone needs me!

Laughter IS the Best Medicine

Posted in Laughter
on January 26, 2018

Learning to laugh at ourselves is such an important thing.  In our family, we learn to laugh at ourselves from birth.  I remember my brother getting his feelings hurt when he was little and we would laugh at him .  Mom would tell him, “If you don’t want us to laugh at you, don’t be funny!” It wasn’t that we were making fun of him and laughing at him so much as he was a clown and we were entertained.

I come from a long line of crazy on both sides of my family.  My Mom’s mom, Granny, was always a rich source of funny experiences.  Once, when I was about 10 years old, Granny was staying with us while Mom and Dad were out of town for a few days. JR had a soccer game early on Saturday morning. We headed off to the soccer field, but it was a lot cooler than we expected.  So Granny dropped JR off with the coach for his game and ran me back to the farm to get some sweatshirts.

When we got there, I dashed in the house, got the clothes we needed and bounced back out to the car.  I told Granny I was going to walk up the driveway and check the mail. She said she’d turn the car around and pick me up at the mailbox. So I started up the driveway.  I was about halfway there when I heard tires squealing behind me.  I dashed behind the nearest tree and peered out expecting to see Granny go squealing past me only to realize she had never turned the car around.

Granny had burned rubber in the driveway, plowed down the 10 foot tall persimmon tree by the back porch, and was lurching and bouncing across the backyard toward the playground where she darted between the ladder and the tire swing, careened around the slide and headed into the garden. I held my position as she barreled through what would be rows of corn in the coming months and headed back across the yard toward the house.  She finally came to a complete stop right in the middle of the back yard.  I waited to be certain she was finished before cautiously approaching the car.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I’d never seen anything like that in my life.  It was better than the Dukes of Hazzard. I’ll never forget walking up to her window and, from what I deemed a safe distance, asking her if she was ok? She just laughed and said, “Yes, honey. I thought I had my foot on the brake and the harder I pressed the faster I went!”

Still stunned by what I just witnessed, I looked at her car and Y’ALL!!! IT WAS COVERED WITH SPLATTERED PERSIMMONS!!!! There must have been nine thousand persimmons on that tree! I laughed. Oh my goodness did I laugh.  I probably even guffawed a time or two. I know there were tears streaming down my cheeks and then when we tried to clean the windows…those persimmons were like glue!

She swore JR and I to secrecy. We were not to say a word to my parents. I couldn’t even think about it without cracking up, so that was going to be a challenge. As soon as Mom and Dad sat down in her living room, they asked about our weekend.  I’m sure my eyebrows shot up about three inches as I tried to force the grin from my lips. Granny very calmly and very politely started off the weekend recap by asking them, “Well, how attached WERE you to that persimmon tree?”

Needless to say Mom and Dad were just grateful that no one was hurt and when the spring plants arrived Granny bought them a beautiful Magnolia tree but, until her dying day, all someone had to do was mention persimmons and we would erupt into joyous soul healing laughter. Even Granny.

*The story of what led up to the laughter in these pictures and how Scott Burgess will never be the same are another story for another day!

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It all depends on your grid

Posted in Uncategorized
on January 25, 2018

I’m a very black and white person.  There’s no need for gray. Most anyone who knows me will tell you that one thing you can count on is knowing where you stand with me.  If I like you, you know it.  If I don’t, you know it and if I think you’re crazy…well, you’re gonna know that too. I rarely hold back and I call things like I see them. I’m loyal to a fault until you give me a reason not to be and then I’m gone. I’m extremely logical and have little patience for people with no common sense.  I grew up with the mindset that you do what you have to do.  There is no I can’t. That doesn’t mean it’s always pleasant or fun, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I always had wonderful parents and family that had my back through the hard stuff.  That’s my grid.

When I was about 26 weeks pregnant, Hoss was diagnosed with a significant congenital heart defect. It was heartbreaking and scary.  We had no family history of chd. We had no resources. We had no idea where to even start.  But in my world, and through my grid, we had to get ready.

As we met with Dr.’s and got ready for his birth, the information coming at us could be so overwhelming. I’d think, “I can’t do this”. Then I would be reminded, sometimes by the Holy Spirit and sometimes by my Mom, that I didn’t have a choice. I couldn’t sit around and have a pity party because I had to get ready for a baby. His birth was frightening.  Not traumatic in the way you hear of women who had horrific birth experiences, but frightening. There was no first cry because the NICU team immediately intubated him.  I just laid there and prayed he would live long enough for me to get to hold him. When I finally got to the NICU I was told I couldn’t hold him.  He had a monitor wire placed in his umbilical cord and it was critical and fragile. So I rubbed his head…it was the only thing that didn’t have an IV, monitor pad or something.

His first surgery was to connect his esophagus to his stomach so he could be fed.  I got to hold him the night before for a few minutes. The surgery went fast and was a blur.  We still had the first open heart surgery looming in a few days to put a shunt in his heart. It was supposed to take about four hours and took almost nine.  It was long and gut wrenching and exhausting. It was about 2:00 in the morning when we were finally told we could go into the PICCU to see him.  They warned us that his chest was still open so the Dr. would have quick access if needed and he was very swollen. As much as EVERY.SINGLE.FIBER of my being was screaming, “you can’t do this!”, my grid was screaming louder, “Go Now”. I went and I was able to make myself shut out the beeping monitors and look past all of the wires and the sponge covered wound in his chest and see him. I mustered my voice, asked the questions I needed answers to and started the next part of our journey. There was no time to sit in a corner and weep. I had a baby who just survived heart surgery to take care of.  That’s my grid.

 

Six months later when the anesthesiologist carried him in her arms to his second open heart surgery I really had a hard moment.  I kind of melted down the wall in the pre-op area and sobbed. I knew him so well at that point.  It wasn’t my newborn who I loved but hadn’t really even held, it was my baby. I knew his coos and his cries. It hadn’t all been bubbles and roses, but for six months we had been getting to know each other and it was physically painful to think of the what ifs at that moment not knowing if I would ever have him back. Then Vinniehoney got me up off the floor, settled down a bit and my grid kicked in.  This boy didn’t need a mama who couldn’t.  He needed a mama who would.  A mama who would pray, ask the hard questions, push through the fear to hear the answers, learn the medical stuff, manage the therapies and be so in tune to his little body that the she could detect the first sign of distress.  He also needed a mama who could trust in the love of Jesus for rest, peace, wisdom and comfort in making decisions for him. That’s my grid.

By the time we were able to head home with him a month later, I had learned to do things for him that I would never have dreamed of knowing how to do. When the nurse came in and told me she was going to show me how to place his feeding tube so I could make sure it was in his tummy and not his lungs I thought, “Nope! If I miss I’ll drown him”. But I learned and I practiced for days with the nurses there to double check me and we were able to come home. I learned how to administer medicines through that tube, operate a feeding pump, connect a heart monitor, speak in medical terminology and measurements. That’s a new part of my grid.

While we still have some medical stuff to face with him in the future, we’ve settled into a stage of life that is ‘normal’. I don’t panic every time he gets a sniffle anymore and skinned knees are part of life. They are just cleaned VERY thoroughly and watched very closely for any signs of secondary infection. If you had told me seven years ago what all we would face with him, I would have said, “I can’t”.  But then he came and my grid took over and I did so much more than I thought I could. My grid forces me to allow him to be a little boy.  He runs and swings on the barn gate and sometimes he falls and he’s funny and smart and sweet. I’d love to keep in him a bubble, to protect him from any risks at all.  My grid won’t let me.  My grid says let him be a little boy.  I have to. He needs to experience life at his own pace and find his own grid.

         

                        

 

 

 

Here Comes The Boom

Posted in The Boom
on January 23, 2018

I think the only thing worse than a kid waiting for Christmas is an athlete waiting for the season to start.

My kid will make a bat or a ball out of anything and while that can be terribly frustrating (please just hand me the remote control) it can also be very endearing.  Don’t get me wrong, before he fell in love with the game, I would have rather licked a hot skillet than sit through a ball game. But somehow, once he loved it, I began to also.

Then he got his nickname, The Boom. It was transforming for him.  He became The Boom, a mighty force to be reckoned with on the baseball field or the football field.  He’s had the same coach for both sports for two years now and we love Coach Earl.  He has embraced The Boom as much as anyone and he has helped him become a better athlete and team mate.

We got the text tonight for his first conditioning practice. FINALLY!!! It’s been almost TWO months since we had to be at a ball field!!  Freezing cold? Pack the snack bag, bucket of toys, blankets, jackets and hand warmers.  Hot with 100% humidity? Pack the snack bag, bucket of toys, cool cloths, battery powered fan and beach towels so the bleachers don’t singe your fanny.  Rain but no thunder? Pack the snack bag, bucket of toys, raincoats, dry clothes and shoes, beach towels and umbrellas.  If you need me on a Saturday between now and July, I’m at the ball field. Yep, I’m all in.

Voices in my head

Posted in Uncategorized
on January 23, 2018

Sometimes it’s good to listen to the voices in our head.  Sometimes it’s not. It can be hard to learn which ones to ignore and which ones are just distracting us from going about our day. Perhaps Hoss said it best the other day.

 

From the backseat of the car~

Hoss: Mom, sometimes when I’m about to do something I hear a voice telling me if it’s a good idea or not. Is that an angel?

Me: Well, it would more likely be the Holy Spirit.

Hoss: The Holy what?

Me: The Holy Spirit (help me know the right words Jesus) is a part of Jesus that is always with you after you ask Jesus to forgive your sins and live in your heart. Kind of like when you hear Mommy’s voice in your head telling you to do something even when I’m not with you.

Hoss: Is his name Gabriel?

Me: Gabriel? Is who’s name Gabriel?

Hoss: The Holy Spirit. You know is Gabriel the Holy Spirit that told Mary she was going to have baby Jesus?

Me: Ahhh, no. Gabriel is an angel.

Hoss: Oh, well who is the voice in my head that keeps singing the song about the 8 planets in our solar system?

Me: That’s called an ear worm.  That’s when you get a song stuck in your head, but it has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit.

Hoss: I have Jesus in my heart, the Holy Spirit in my head, YOU in my head and a worm in my ear?! NO WONDER I NEEDED HEARING AIDS!!!!

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