Thursday, October 23, 2014

Even the Queen has malfunctions sometimes!!

As you know many of my posts are about the dwarfs.  I do not think that I have ever been tempted to blog about the Prince ( he IS perfect in every way), but I also have a history of not blogging about myself.

My family, the Prince, my brother, my adult child, often mock me for my "Michelle" moments.   They find it hysterical that occasionally in a complete and absolute sincerity, I say perhaps not the most appropriate things... or I slur my sayings, or choose hills to die on that they find to be insane.  I don't really understand why they find it necessary to pick on me, and have started to tell them that "someday when I am gone they will feel bad about being so mean to me," but alas they are not buying what I am selling, so why not just go ahead embrace it, and laugh at myself!

My brother will fall to fits of uncontrollable laughter over a time that I walked outside while he, my father and my husband were investigating a septic system issue and proclaimed " Gee it sure stinks out here!"  Or the time that I walked into a funeral home, and proclaimed it was great to see the woman that handles all the arrangements again!  What I meant was that I was happy to see a familiar face, seemed I had been there before, just recently and she did such a great job the first time with our funeral arrangements, it was just refreshing, comforting was all.  NO amount of discussion could make them see my reasoning for the comment.  Why anyone would be happy to see the funeral director again was beyond them.

There is also a rumor out there that  at my funeral you may be handed a cereal bowl and a half pint of milk, if this happens, you should just go with it... why?  Because some of my family and friends think my rule of not letting my children slurp their milk, or soup, or other liquids from the bottom of a bowl is silly.  So the idea is at a given point at my service, everyone will pour, lift their bowls to their lips and slurp loud and proud in my honor!  I think it is sort of rude, to poke fun at the dead,  but if they find it funny, I won't be there to stop them.  I guarantee that my children will at least pause before being so uncouth, at their momma's funeral, to slurp out of their bowls... I hope.

I have had many moments over the course of the years, where my words have been slurred, my thoughts unclear, and my intention, while in my heart true and pure, turned into something else when it came out.  I do not think it is coincidental to the fact that the number of children in my care has increased over the same amount of years as exponentially as have my "moments".  No one however,  is buying what I am selling.  So as I have recently had two moments... I thought I would poke some fun at myself!  Here goes!

A few Sunday's ago, I got dressed and drove to church with two dwarfs.  Situated myself in class, and got ready to take prayer requests in my journal, when I felt a tug/or snap/ or nudge on my left side.  So I glance to my left side, to realize that the zipper of my sundress has started to pull apart.  (Sometimes it does not pay for the Salvation Army to be your one stop shop for clothing.)  However, at this point I was not overly pressed, as it was just a pucker in the zipper.  I was not worried, as the zipper was still secure at the top and bottom and most of the space in between!  I figured I would be fine until the break for the main service.  WRONG!!  As I adjusted in my seat turning ever so slightly into to the back of the chair, the whole zipper breaks open.  How do I know ? Because I can feel the breeze!  Now I am not prone to panic, however after being in Florida since June, and knowing the "mom" variety bathing suits I have been wearing, I know for a fact that the area of my body now exposed from under my arm pit to the top of my hip is the pasty white and very NOT attractive variety.   I of course, have no sweater, and am seated on the far side of a horseshoe arrangement of seats, farthest away from the exit door!  Now my options are limited.  Prayer requests suddenly are dragging out... and I am fighting a simultaneous panic, mixed with sweating profusely, and cant focus for anything on what is being said as I plan my exit.  Finally, I am able to get the attention of the leader's wife, to whom I indicate that I may or may not have suffered a wardrobe malfunction, and when her husband starts to lead everyone in prayer, I will TRY to sneak out.  Now we are halfway around the circle of adults sharing from their hearts, and all I can focus on is my flesh that is pressed into the scratchy seat fabric, while I plot my exit.  At this time another thought pops into my head, and now I start praying that everyone in the room prays with their eyes closed! (or at least the one's to my left!)  Finally, it is time to move!  All I have is my prayer journal, so I tuck it under my arm, tuck the sides of the zipper under the book, and press it tightly to my side with my arm, and rush to the door. I grab the handle and twist... and the door doesn't budge.   It is not locked, but it is a heavy metal door, of which I was not expecting!  So as I adjust my force on the door, the prayer journal starts to slip... I start to inwardly groan (or at least I hope so!)  I throw myself into opening the door and just barely escape with my modesty in tack.  Now I stand alone in a hallway that stretches left and right with no one around.  I am on the second floor of the church.  Do I take the elevator and risk running into someone in a well lit area, or do I take the stairs, where it will take me longer to make my exit, but I will be in a low light area and can almost guarantee to be alone?   Well I opted for the stairs and surprisingly in a church of a couple thousand members encountered no one further.  I got to my car with only slight modification to the prayer journal under the arm and drove the .22 miles home to change laughing the entire way!

My next moment is not nearly as dramatic, but left me feeling exposed none the same.  I worked diligently on making a grocery list for two days, and as I gathered my coupons, slugged the last of my coffee I felt ready to conquer the world of the Winn Dixi!!  It has always been my personal opinion that coupons are a painful experience and not worth the effort, but in an attempt to make the Prince happy, and to take advantage of the best options available on our reduced budget, I am making a genuine effort to save every dollar possible !  So , I get Bashful off to school and head out on a mission to stock the fridge, freezer and pantry for the week ahead.  I have the coupons, the list, the sale flyer for the store.  I am filling the cart with an abundance of stuff,and have crossed off diligently all items on the list.  No extras, but the cart is bursting!!  Cold items, paper products, dry goods and canned goods for 9 for one week!  I am at check out and there is only one line open (of course) and as the second register opens I am in perfect position to be invited over to the new open lane - since the three folks in front of me are either checking out or have already unloaded their carts on the belt.  I see the light go on, and I scurry over as Dennis greets me with a big smile and a "how are you today?"  I start placing my purchases on the belt, and he starts ringing them up.  I pause because the belt is full and reach for my purse to pull out my "club card".  My hand strikes air.  Empty space where my wallet sits  regularly.    I glance at Dennis, my retiree cashier, who is struggling to get my items to scan, and frantically dig again thinking I just placed it in a different section of my purse.    NOOOOOO! is what I defeatedly say as I come to the staggering realization that my wallet is sitting beside my laptop on my desk at the house.  I say to Dennis, " I am so sorry sir, but I realize that I have left my wallet at home."  He looks at me like I might be speaking French.   He eventually stops scanning items and calls over Bill, the sweetest little, if I could choose my own grandpa, he would be it, sort of guy.  He is so kind, he says "Look Miss, this happens often.  I will take your cart and put it in the walk in cooler. Is that okay?  How long will you be gone? "  I shake my head and say "I am so sorry...but I think I can be back in 20 minutes will that be okay?"    Bill, everyone's favorite grandfather figure says, "You bet!  See me when you get back and I will go get your cart from the walk in."   I fly home. Not really it seems like the trip that took an eternity, but I got back in 21 minutes!  Went to find Bill...  He saw me coming.  He stopped what he was doing, and said he would be right back with my groceries!  He was!  I went back to Dennis.  He was happy to rescan my items - all of them this time, and I was happy to pay in full for them!   But boy did I feel silly !  I am sure those ladies behind me thought, what kind of goof comes to shop without her wallet.  My friend said I was just distracted.  By what I thought was, come on now, get it together, this mom thing is your only gig currently.

So you see, what is that saying about throwing stones? I can poke fun at the funnies in my families life and at life here around the kingdom, since I am also willing to share my tales of misfortune with you! People who live in glass houses should not throw stones?  I think it applies?

You really do not have to visit long at our house to see that this stuff happens on the regular, and you really can't make this stuff up!  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

He's a Winner!!

Yes, all parents think their dwarfs are winners !!!  While this dwarf has only made a few appearances in my blog in the last years,  Happy is still alive and well and leaving his fingerprint on the world!!  (Not just my windows and my peanut butter eggs !!)   I would be remiss if I let this moment pass by without acknowledgement and to take the time to brag about the dwarf that has a overcome much in his life, and has been bestowed a great honor!

For many of us, this may not be a big deal.  But for Happy, who upon receiving notification of his award, carried this pamphlet, which proudly also displays his name, around for two days, as he giggled and talked about "flying home" to receive his award at the Governor's Mansion in PA, it is!   While I know that he is unable to process the cost associated with such a trip, he took the news of not being able to be there for the ceremony well, and still smiles at the mention of the award!

What he does not know, is  in the midst of communication with the administrator for the Special Driver's Programs at PENNDOT, is that she is going to forward the poster, the award, and all the important items that go with the ceremony, to us after the event on October 22nd.  When we get the "package" we are going to make sure that we celebrate this in a big way for him.   I already have pinned a bus cake, and stop sign name tags... and if it were not for the many miles separating us from family and friends, I would be holding a big ol party!!

Instead I have contacted his new life skills teacher, and asked if she would allow him a special "show and tell" about his project that lead to the award.  Not so that he can brag about what he has accomplished, but so he can learn to use some new life skills, talking in front of a group, articulating the process of the contest, and the steps that lead to making the poster, and then the excitement and celebration that was bestowed upon him in light of the honor. 

There were 679 posters submitted last year to the Bus Safety Poster Contest.  He won 2nd place in his division amidst all those entries!!    Happy has never won anything (that I am aware of ) in his 16, (Monday he turns 17) years of life.   For him, this is HUGE !  For us this is HUGE  because it is huge for Happy!

Please know this.  Life is about the victories.  It is about celebrating the things that are important to each of the dwarfs individually.  As a mom of many, it is my job to save, savor, and celebrate ALL of life's accomplishments for each of them, archive the specific items and save them each dwarf until they can determine on their own if it is important to them or not.

Ask Doc if you see her, she has a stock pile of "childhood treasures".  When she was preparing to move to meet us in our new home state, she called to tell me that she was stuck in the land of the past.  Who keeps birthday cards from every birthday and catalogs the gifts given by each attendee on the back of the card?  This mom!   Who keeps the child saftey fingerprint and DNA sample kit, long after her kids are grown adults?  This mom!  How about an American Doll, with her complete matching doll and kid clothing?  This mom!   What about that 2nd grade "quilt project", of all of her favorite( and mine,) of her clothing, from birth that I turned into a quilt? This mom! 

Here's why. I have no idea in the moment, what memory is going to resonate long term with each dwarf.  Something that is a big deal to me, may not be to them.  So what is the worst that can happen to all this stuff?  They toss the items they feel are insignificant when these items becomes their property!  What happens if I determine that the events that  happened, were or were not important or significant to them and haphazardly tossed those things that I think were not relevant?  As they transition from childhood to adulthood, what if they are looking for a specific memory, and it was just a small thing that I thought was insignificant?  I would rather err on the side of caution.  Does it make me a bit of a pack rat... yes especially since there are seven of them!  But as technology advances so do my practical ways for archiving special times!!  Thank goodness! 

Regardless, if at the end of it all, in 15 years or 30 years, Happy still thinks this is a big deal, then he can savor the memories and mementos. If not, he can toss them, it is his decision.  For right now, it is a big moment.  So we will celebrate!  In the only way we know how!   The motto of this Kingdom, Go Big or Go Home!  

Sometimes, you want the actual memories,  You don't want to make this stuff up!!!