Category: Family

Regrets? Nope

After what ended up being a very long week for both of us, I found myself holding Beej and rocking to a song that has been soothing him for most of his three and a half years. We were in his room, formerly known as Kris’s. He was overtired and wanted me to read but my gut told me that holding him was the right way to go. I told him, “I need to remember why I’m doing this.” In true Beej fashion he gave my words some consideration and decided that this worked for him.

He rested his head on my shoulder as I sat down on Kris’s bed. The room was still Kris’s when they came home so it was a mix of both Kris and Beej. Having to be Beej-proof, it was more three year old than adult Kris. It was the room we had chosen for Kris when we first moved in over twenty years ago, although it would be a few years before Kris actually slept here. Having shared a room with big brother Michael for four years caused Kris to be scared of being alone and missing their brother. This resulted in a musical chairs game of rooms and Andrew spent some time in the pink room surrounded by Kris’s belongings.

While we listened to Beej’s old “rocking to sleep” playlist, I remembered moving kids around from room to room until everyone landed where they belonged. And belong they did! Although none of them have lived at home full-time in four years, they have staked their claims on their rooms. Wrenching Kris’s room from their tightly clenched fists has been brutal. Kris is always welcome to stay in their room but they understand that if Beej is spending the night, Kris will have a roommate.

As I sat there, it seemed a bit surreal to be rocking a grandchild in a room where one of my own kids grew up.

Those days when I was kept busy non-stop seem so long ago and yet there are so many times when I’m in the middle of a day with CJ and Beej that an overwhelming sense of deja vu strikes and it’s the most familiar feeling in the world.

This isn’t where I thought I would be but I know it’s where I’m supposed to be.

So in response to today’s (2 weeks ago’s) blogging challenge prompt- Biggest regret- I have to say- No regrets.

Have a great day!

-Kat

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Suitcases

I’m not lacking in bad habits. Ask anyone who knows me! Instead of making a (never-ending) list, I’m focusing on a specific habit that comes to mind.

I am reminded of an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. This U.S. television show aired from 1996-2005, depicting daily life in the Barone family. The episode, “Baggage,” aired during the seventh season. It centered on a fight that Ray and Debra were having over a suitcase that was left on the stairs for three weeks. Both are fully aware that it is there and both expects the other to put it away.

I am notoriously guilty of letting “suitcases” sit on the landing while secretly stewing inside over whether someone besides me is going to put it away. I used the comparison so often that we now refer to these items as suitcases. In my own defense, many times I will ask that the item be put away or if there is a plan to put it away. But then other times….. yes, I’m passive-aggressive and stubborn and I flat out refuse to move it. My justification is simple. If I just put away every single thing that people leave laying around, I’m pretty much the housekeeper here. I believe I handle more suitcases than I should but I admit that I could handle the ones that I don’t care to move in a more positive manner.

So, there you have it- one of my bad habits. If you aren’t familiar with the baggage episode, I highly recommend you look it up and watch it. The reason this show was such a big hit is because it is so easy to relate to the dynamics in family relationships.

Have a great day!

-Kat (the one who ignores suitcases)

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Looking Forward

My writing was briefly interrupted by a second eye procedure and I find myself behind on my self-inflicted challenge.

Don’t cry because it’s overSmile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss

Looking back five years, I couldn’t have guessed that I would be where I am right now. Having experienced so much over those years that was unexpected makes me realize that I have no way of knowing where I’ll be in five years looking forward.

Yesterday was Father’s Day. I have come to find that these parent celebration days seem to cause many people sadness, anxiety, anger and depression. In my life alone, I know someone who jumps into the day with both feet weighted down and sinks to the lowest of lows grieving for a father who has been gone for twenty years as if he just passed twenty minutes ago. This day brings her an extreme level of suffering and pain.

There is an acquaintance whose father passed a few months ago after a lingering painful illness. It’was her first Father’s Day without her dad and I know she is sad. She made the best of it, tried to deal with her sadness but still experienced some shock that he was actually gone.

Someone very dear to me lost her father without warning recently and she’s still in shock, not fully realizing that he is truly gone. I’m sure the day was not fun for her and knowing her as well as I do, I know she persevered because she’s a fighter.

Another person does a duty drop in with the dad in their life, anxious to begin their “real” plans. They love their dad and I’m unclear on this unwillingness to actually spend more than a cursory half hour with him on a day that’s meant to celebrate him.

There’s the angry guy who has harbored years of bitter feelings over unclear perceived slights. His father has never intentionally set out to hurt or alienate his child and is heartbroken over the loss of any contact with him. There are so many adult children holding grudges and I often wonder about these crimes they suffered by the hands of their fathers. I’m going to say that sometimes people are not nice and they do bad things to their kids. But then there are those dads who are just doing the best they can and maybe they screwed up and don’t know how to fix it. Sometimes things get blown out of proportion and it’s just plain sad that a parent/child relationship is destroyed.

And there are the dads who would give anything to hear from their kids- any day, not just this one day. Maybe they did screw up. Maybe it was really bad. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was the kid who messed up. But at the end of the day, does it really matter?

Don’t get me wrong. There are broken relationships that might be better off broken- for everyone’s sake. I’m not talking about those.

There are the dozens upon dozens who made the required phone calls, sent the card, dropped off a gift, made the flowery social media posts….. some of these actions were heartfelt. Some were made of a sense of obligation. All had to do in some part with the fact that we are told that this is our dad’s day.

But it’s just a day. It’s what you make of it. If you really want to wallow in the depths of despair, go for it. If you want to put your dad on a throne and worship him, awesome. My thoughts on it are- it’s just a day. You don’t love your dad any more or less just because some card company told you to do on that specific day. And if you are a parent and you’re anything like me, you would like your child to acknowledge you not because they were told to but because they genuinely want to.

I spent yesterday with my husband, grandsons, one of our children and my parents. I missed the kids that weren’t there. We cut my dad a little slack when it came to his bad jokes since, after all, it was his day. We gave him that. But really? My dad is not young. He will not be here forever.

So, where do I see myself in five years? I hope that my dad is still here, cracking corny jokes and sharing the same memories as he has my entire life, singing song lyrics when they fit the situation. I don’t know what I’ll be doing or where I will be but I do know that this day- that is just a day- is about celebrating DAD and that’s what I plan on doing whether he’s here or not.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.” 

-Dr. Seuss

-Kat

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Happiest Place on Earth

magic kingdom

Our (first) trip to Disney World was very carefully planned. We wanted to be sure to take the kids when they were at the best ages to enjoy it, which meant ensuring that Andy was old enough to remember it and Michael was still young enough to enjoy it. We thought that once the kids reached a certain age they would no longer want to go. We were wrong and that trip was the first of four. Looking back we unknowingly began traditions which would be repeated each time after that first.

poohFlorida is known for its sporadic summer rain showers that pop up out of nowhere and our trip was no different. One day in the Magic Kingdom as an infamous shower pour down, we frantically looked for shelter.We weren’t the only ones! We decided that a ride would be our best escape since most people chose to stand in the doorways of the shops. In our immediate vicinity we spotted the Winnie the Pooh ride and Cinderella’s Carousel (now Prince Charming’s). The kids chose Pooh.

The Pooh ride became the first in our list of must rides. Joining Pooh was the Peter Pan ride and the Small World. Peter Pan was one that everyone enjoyed so the arm twisting was kept to a minimum when we got in that line but Small World has always been a bone of contention. To me, this is a Disney World MUST. To this day, some of my children might not agree but I will forever pull rank on them and we will always “suffer” along with the other thousands of people on the ride. Consider it a rite of passage.

Another moment that stood out on that trip took place at Epcot. We were working our way around the countries, the kids were tired, wet and hungry, and we needed some place that had food for two picky kids to eat. Just as the skies opened up,  we were caught in a torrential downpour, and at least two someones needed to use the restroom, we reached America! It was the answer to our prayers and we gratefully and soggily made our way into the very familiar feeling American fast food place. This kicked off our Epcot tradition of eating in America, despite being surrounded by countries with so many exciting and unfamiliar foods. On a side note, it traditionally rains at some point when we are eating there too.

magic kingdom aliens That long ago trip when the kids were still kids laid the groundwork for future family trips. I’m sure if someone had told us that the drippy soggy decisions we made would not only be fond memories, but also become woven into each future experience, we wouldn’t believe it.

Our next trip is tentatively scheduled for 2020 when little Beej will be 5 and his big brother will be 10. I can’t wait to see what that experience at the Happiest Place on Earth will bring us!

-Kat

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What’s in that bag?

Let me begin by saying I don’t pack light! My bag currently contains:

bag

Pens, Pencils, brush, tissues, wipes, iPad mini, notebook, charger, back up power source, mints, glasses, nail file, clear nail polish, cough drops, ibuprofen, band aids, ear phones, small bag of jelly beans, change, hand lotion, eye drops, keys, phone, wallet, water bottle, pacifier (don’t ask!), a Thomas train or two, stickers, contact case, sunglasses, receipts, old shopping lists, a small owl pendent, a small lucite red heart… and more!

You never know what you’re going to need, right???

Have a good one!

-Kat

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