I Am… (Insert Response Here)

It was disturbing to me, but others didn’t seem to care.  I looked around to see if anyone had a visible reaction, but saw none.

We were all chatting; sharing work stories, kids stories – ya’ know, the usual catch up stuff when you’ve not seen your friends in a month or so.

During a casual story about her daughter, Lisa retold the happenings of the previous day, in a more than placid way.  We all listened.

“So yesterday, while Rylie was napping, Trevor got mad at me.  He thinks that I don’t care about his opinions anymore.  And I do.  When he says that I’m getting uglier by the day, I listen, and I believe him.”

(This is when I looked around to see if anybody else felt like heaving, and shockingly, they just waited for the rest of the story.)

Umm, Samantha didn’t hear the rest of the story because Samantha was irritated…no, LIVID…that Lisa just said that.  Samantha walked away for a short time to regain her customary, quiet disposition.  (HA.)

Anyway, enough of the third person stuff.  I was so upset, at all of it.  At Lisa’s comment…at the lack of response from the others.  WHAT do you have to tell yourself, on a daily basis, to accredit that garbage?  I’m not talking about verbal abuse here.  That’s a whole different topic.  I’m speaking about the part where she states that she BELIEVES him.  (And, yes, I know that this is also a cycle of abuse, but some people believe this stuff about themselves and they’re not in any relationship.)

It made me wonder what she told herself.  At some point in this break down of self-esteem, you switch the inner dialogue.  Lisa’s inner dialogue mirrored the harsh opinion of another.

We all have internal conversations, whether you freely admit it or not.  They may not be out loud, but they occur.

When I got home, I asked one of the girls to come into the bathroom with me.  I sat on the edge of the tub and had her stand on the “Elmo” stool we’ve had since toddler-hood.  I made her stare in the mirror and recite to me the “sparkle words” (our nickname for adjectives) that describe her.

She tilted her head, inspecting the image, and almost looked a tad sheepish.

Her first answer came with a grin.

“Pretty eyes.”

She glanced at me to see if I approved.  I nodded.
“Silly.  Talkative.  Smiley.  Athletic (as she flexes, lol)  Tall.  And I think I have pretty hair.”   I was pleased with her answers.  My mind went back to the table with Lisa earlier that morning.

The flagrant acceptance in her voice was just too much for me.

How do you tell people it’s alright to be the biggest advocate for yourself without sounding selfish, ’cause that’s what I’m attempting to accomplish here.

Some people hear the phrase “Positive Inner Dialogue” and instantly think it’s this mindset of recordings…”I am beautiful.  I am important. I am intelligent.”

No, no, no.  I’m not talkin’ about that.  When I say “Positive Inner Dialogue” I mean something along the lines of this:  “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I am a creature of God.  I am SOMEONE.”

Do me a favor today, and remind yourself that you MATTER.  Not because I think so, but because God does – and frankly, what could be better than that?

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Random. Random. Random.

When you write, do any of you ever just have 3 million thoughts streaming through your brain at lightning speed?  Grrrr – I do….and today is that day for me.  So, some of these will make sense to you…and some will not.  This is a quick “purge” of all these random thoughts that are lurking in the darkness…

 

Do you really think I wanna hear you chew?  Geez.

 

They’re growing so fast… I feel the need to hide them.  11 already? oh. my word.

 

Work.  Pay bills.  Work.  Pay bills.  Work.  Pay bills.  *sigh*

 

Drive s l o w e r.  Please.

 

Do you HAVE to fondle each and every fruit before you finally choose one?

 

Some friends are priceless.  Other friends?  Not so much.

 

I wish I lived closer to my parents…I miss them!

 

O Little One, too bad we didn’t live on the same street, ya’ know?  Gosh, the fun we would have!

 

Really?  Your parents let you OUT in those clothes?!

 

It’s amazing how attached you get to a Bible.

 

So many people are hurting and all you see is a “put on” face.

 

I answer to God, not you, so get over it.

 

Bread = My enemy.

 

You own THAT property.  I own THIS property.  In other words, leave me alone, please.

 

It baffles me how people claim their rights to choose for THEIR own body, and how it should be respected, yet they have no respect for the BODY inside them.  Hello.  Double standard.

 

Don’t call someone before 8 a.m.  It’s rude.

 

If you don’t like my curvy hips, why ya’ lookin at ’em?  huh?

 

Cancer SUCKS.

 

I miss my Aunt Rita  : (

 

I’m allergic to stupidity.  But I love my in-laws anyway.  : X

 

I haven’t worn makeup in weeks…. NC is just too hot sometimes.

 

You do more damage to the cause of Christ than I’ve ever seen.  Please stop.

 

I don’t wear culottes. Na na na na naaaa!  ; )

 

And last but not least….

 

Go away.  It’s Monday.  Or Tuesday… whatever.

Dialogue Of An {8} And {11} Year Old…

This is when they think there is not a soul listening…  I don’t know about you as a parent, but I LOVE these ‘not-so-candid-conversations’.

 

8:  Daddy and Mommy always hold hands, so gross!

11:  I know, but when you’re MY age, ya’ get used to it.

8:  When I’m your age, I’m gonna get patches – the pirate kind – for BOTH eyes.

11:  You’ll need ear plugs too, so when they say their “mushy” stuff, you don’t have to hear it.

8:  You have earplugs???

11:  Yep, Mommy told me one day (said in MAJORLY snotty voice) “If you don’t like my mushy comments, get ear plugs until you move out!”   So, I got some of Daddy’s.

8:  I never see you wear ’em… where they at?

11:  Gosh, you ask too many questions.  Go.

8:  I’m tellin’ Mommy that you’re being mean!

11:  So.  She wears ear plugs too.  *door slam*

 

I love it.  Maybe because I see a TINY bit of my sarcastic humor in all of them.  I only like it when it’s not being used against me, though. 😉

 

Changed Forever.

Yesterday, I got my certificate to carry a concealed weapon.  I’m not posting today to argue about why/when/or who should carry a gun.  If you wanna debate that, call the NRA or your local sheriff, because I don’t really care to discuss it.  I had my reasons for taking the class and make no apologies.

What I AM here to post about is the video that changed me. 

We were required to watch the highway shooting of Trooper Mark Coates.  Trooper Coates was taken from his wife and 4 children on November 20, 1992 during a traffic stop, off of I-95 in South Carolina.  I’ll never get the image out of my head; it’s been branded in my memory and has replayed itself more than a hundred times since yesterday morning.

This man, who for the previous 5 years, protected our towns…our grandparents…our workplaces…our children…and OURSELVES, was murdered over the possession of 5 ounces of marijuana.  He died, screaming for help on the side of a busy interstate, while the same people he protected drove on by. 

I was sickened by the video.  Struck by grief for his wife, all I could do was lower my head and try to drown out the noise of his terrified screams.  Before he was shot, he gave the utmost respect to the driver.  He treated him with decency, never showing any type of arrogance or inflated ego….The type of officer you HOPE to get pulled over by if the situation arises.

And yet, even after all of that, he still suffered.  His family suffered.  And probably STILL suffer…to this day.

My point, you ask?   The next time you wonder why a Law Enforcement officer has a “chip on his shoulder”, remember this:  How does he KNOW whom to trust, when most criminals are smart enough to blend in?  Does a murderer step out of his vehicle and declare, “Hey, I’m a criminal, don’t turn your back on me!” 

My plea to you readers… The next time you’re confronted by an abrasive, or even rude, police officer – remember that he (or she) has been trained to be cautious.  We don’t need them to be our friends, people…we need them to protect our way of life!

As for the scumbag who took the life of Officer Coates; he doesn’t even deserve to be named in my blog.  He can rot away in his South Carolina cell.

To all my family and friends that risk all they have, on a daily basis, for me…for ALL – Don’t let your guard down, when your job is to do EXACTLY the opposite.  I speak for myself, as well as many other law-abiding citizens… We want you to go home to your families at the end of your shifts.  The words “thank you” don’t seem anywhere near enough to express our gratitude.

Sneaky, Sneaky…

I hear hushed voices ::Mommy Alert::  As a parent, if your radar doesn’t go off at the sound of hushed voices, it’s time to install a new radar.  Or have a relief fund for the times you DON’T catch them first and have to bail them outta jail later. 

Anyway, as I laid on the sofa trying to nap yesterday, my eyes flew open to the sound of whispers and scurrying feet. I tried to figure out what was happening by the bits and pieces I got from the child who CAN’T whisper….ya’ know, the one child the others glare at because she gives everything away?  Yeah, her. 

I can make out a few words from ‘The Non-Whisperer”…….mommy….mess….Ohmygosh….where….I didn’t….mad….hide….IAMWHISPERING!….

If I go in too soon, I go in unprepared.  This is learned from past experiences…Before I can investigate, I need a little more background information. 

They’re moving much more rapidly now, so I can tell the panic is setting in.  Pretty soon, one of them will dart into the living room.  She’s the one who tells all as quickly as she can, thinking that if she gets to me first, she is somehow exempt from all wrongdoing.  Nicknamed:   “Rocket”  (If that doesn’t make any sense to you, google Roger Clemens, lol)

The back door opens, which catches me off guard.  Why go outside?  Are they going to the basement…throwing something in the big trash can…heading to Grammy’s for protection?  I’m clueless at this point. Out of the corner of my eye, I see “Rocket” make an attempt at a mad dash to the living room, but said attempt is thwarted by “The Godfather” grabbing her by the collar, yanking her back into the kitchen. 

“The Godfather” is obviously the ring leader of most situations. She’s the bossy one, the one who usually approaches me in other’s defense…. Typically, the one who’s in control.  I debate if I should intervene at this point.

The back door opens again…. I’m waiting to see if “The Non Whisperer” will give me any clues regarding the mission outside, but she must be bound and gagged at this time because I hear absolutely nothing from her.  “Rocket” starts to get hysterical, and now “Mother Teresa” steps in. 

“Mother T”, as I call her, is my peacemaker.  She’s the mediator between 2 fighting sisters at any time.  She calms the bunch with her serene and non-confrontational mannerisms.  Often the negotiator of a peace treaty, I’ve learned that things are ALWAYS more complicated than she makes them out to be.  But she doesn’t want me to know that, because even in my case –  as the Mommy – she wants to shield me from aggravation, frustration, irritation….Any and every “-ation.”

“The Godfather” gives orders to “Mother T” to keep “Rocket” from bailing.  This is when “Rocket” usually becomes the most hysterical, blowing their cover.  And yet I hear nothing. 

Ok, time to get to the bottom of it.  From the time of the hushed whispers till now, about 15 minutes has passed.  I sat up, stretched, then put the blanket on the back of the sofa.  Nobody else knows I’ve moved but “The Non Whisperer” has a keen sense of any movement, and immediately informs the others that I’m awake. 

I walk into the kitchen.

They’ve all taken their places at the table, in front of their journals/coloring books, or whatever else they were working on.  I casually glance at all of them, trying to get a read of just how severe the situation really is…

I stop at the face of my last child, “Miss Clueless”.  She and I clash the most.  When I’m already at a boiling point, she can send me through the roof with her claims and attempts at knowing absolutely nothing.  She’s the child that denies licking the frosting off the cake, even when you’re holding the digital picture of proof!  LOL.  Sheesh, my blood pressure is rising just thinking about that cake, so I’ll move on. 🙂

Surprisingly, “Miss Clueless” says nothing under my watchful glare.  She only looks down at her coloring book. 

“What are you all doing?” I ask.

“Ohh, just coloring and writing poems,” says the “The Godfather”….. I catch a careful look exchanged between “The Godfather” and “Mother T”.  The look is of warning.  It says, “Open your mouth and you’ll pay later”.

“Rocket” is engrossed in her coloring book now, content that the older girls are handling the situation and there’s no attention directed at her.  I look at “The Non Whisperer”…. She grins.  That’s it. 

I’m shocked at this behaviour, honestly.  I stood there…looking around, trying to find clues of anything amiss and I see nothing. 

I decide to leave it be and let them return to their oh-so-eventful coloring.  You may be asking yourself now, “How could she NOT get to the bottom of this?!”

My answer:  Whatever broke, or spilled, or was thrown away is nothing in worth compared to the unusual event of them sticking together.  Not even one of them were going to tell me what happened…They were intent on protecting each other, no matter the cost. 

You see, it’s natural to tattle and hang someone out to dry when it means the punishment is averted from oneself, but to band together and shield your sibling….well, that’s NOT so natural….and I’m proud of them. 

So for now, I’m content to just wonder…. and pray that as they get older, they learn more about when it’s RIGHT to go get help and when it’s RIGHT to just “zip it”.

I Wanna Be Your Belly Baby…

One of the hardest things to do is trying to explain things to a child that you yourself, don’t even understand.  You search for all the possible words and illustrations that could make it easier to digest, easier to grasp.  And even after that, you’re left with nothing, hoping somehow the right words will come.

All children have a need to know where they’ve ‘come from’.  It’s a natural thing as a human, I think.  The day that Lexi began her conversation with me, will forever be a day, that grips my heart.  Many memories fade with time, but it seems this memory gets stronger, with each milestone in our home.  Her facial expressions are just as vivid in my head…her body language, and even the array of emotions that danced across her eyes, are all things that have bonded to my memory, to my very soul.

I could tell she was pensive, so I waited for her to speak, my curiosity already showing its presence.  Her fingers were entwined with her own, seeming to squeeze out the courage to even talk.

“You alright, Lexi Loo?”  (my longtime nickname for her)

“Yeah, I guess so… Mommy, where did I come from? Like, I mean, where did I grow?”

It was obvious this wasn’t just a simple question that randomly ‘popped’ into her head that evening…there was more thought behind it.

“Lex, well… you grew in your biological mom’s belly… for about 40 weeks, till you came out.”

She said nothing.  She looked away from me, fingers still laced together, and her little shoulders started to tremble.  She stared down at her hands, which seemed for ages.  As she lifted her face, I could plainly see the tears breaking way out of them pretty blue eyes, and barely above a whisper I heard…

“But Mommy, why couldn’t I grow in your belly? Why hers?  Why did God let Lyssa grow in your body, and not me?  It’s not fair.  I wanna be your belly baby, too.”

It wouldn’t have done any good to hide my tears now, for there were too many.  I came closer, wrapped my arms around her, and scrambled for words to ease her heartache.  The heartache of feeling like she was a mistake somewhere along the line… the heartache of longing for something that was never to be.

“Lexi, many babies are born in bellies all over the place… that’s nothing new, it happens all the time.  But God made a special place in me for you to be born, and not too many babies are born that way.”

She looked up, hopeful.  Inquisitive.

I continued… “God knew I would need you, and you would need me.  So, when He first thought about you, a long, long time ago, He started preparing my body so that you could be born a healthy, safe baby inside of it.  Lyssa grew in my belly like most babies, but Lexi, God made you to grow in my heart and be born from there. So, you see, you grew in my body just like your sister did – just in a different place.”

She smiled.  A smile of contentment, of purpose; a smile that showed my answer was all she needed.   

Lexi Loo, You’re my ‘Heart Baby’.  Always.

Stuff A Roll In It, Pleeeease!

I would have to say that I’m very ‘child friendly’.  Most of my loved ones know that I simply cannot resist a cute, cuddly baby.  They are lovely bundles of smiles, and coos, and all the other ‘cheek pinching’ qualities.

I am typically patient, as well, when it comes to the dinky ones.  (Now, once they get past 4 or 5, my patience meter starts flashing in the red 😉 )  Anyway, when I am NOT patient, is when I’m seated in a restaurant and a baby/toddler has decided that all will suffer for some unknown reason.

Ahh, but I can hear you now, “How can you be impatient or irritated by a simple act of childishness?”  That is not what does the irritating, my friends.  The irritation comes from the selfish, arrogant parent who sits there stuffing his or her mouth with a nice piece of steak, while my ears are instantaneously melting.

Apparently, they are USED to the screaming tantrums of said child and just consider it normal behaviour for their child to be spewing mashed taters within a 10 foot perimeter.

I’m not going to give suggestions on how to better train your child…if you haven’t already figured it out, you won’t by reading this blog.  I’ll only give one suggestion, please do us all a favor and use it:

Order In.  And for your own peace of mind, get some extra rolls.

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