Watching and Waiting

My little guy Cooter has been under the weather for a few days.  He started off complaining of a sore throat and then the sniffles hit.  It all came to a head (his head) yesterday with coughing and sneezing that had us all running to get out of the spray zone.

Ahem.

He is a little more willing to cuddle when he’s like this.  While this cold hasn’t knocked him out completely (thankful for that), he has wanted to sit right next to me as he worked on his math or read his book.  He and Miss Sophie have gotten quite territorial over who gets to sit curled up on my right side.  It’s been downright comical at times.

Yesterday evening the Fella was a little later getting home from work.  I was scrambling to get Miss Sophie’s evening constitutional walk in before someone had to take our Princess to swim practice.  It was cold, and my goal was that Cooter not have to get out in the weather or be left alone inside while I took Miss Sophie out.

So I quickly took our canine companion down the street while the Fella gathered up what he needed to head out the door a few minutes later.  And while I was walking her, he took this picture.

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Besides the boy himself, this is one of my most favorite things the Fella has given me.

This picture.

Oh those bare toes and the mismatched pajamas and the shirt on backwards and the toting of Wicket the Ewok everywhere he goes–that’s enough to love it with my whole heart right there.  This is Cooter’s childhood in one photograph.

And I love him so.

But what really fills my heart to bustin’ is what he’s doing.

Peering out from behind the curtain.  Watching.  Waiting.  On Me.

As my oldest would say: all the feels, y’all.

That precious little guy.  This little person who changed my world forever when he came into being–he was waiting on me.

I’m so not worthy.

Yesterday parts of our country saw some very harsh weather.  Hugh Hollowell, the Director of Love Wins Ministries in North Carolina, wrote yesterday morning that he was walking in the snow from his house to open up the Hospitality House at Love Wins.  He posted pictures, and this Georgia girl was impressed.  Snow like that here and we’d be battening down the hatches and going nowhere.  (Well, we’re doing that anyway based on temperatures alone, but still, SNOW.  It’s been a while, and I’m not a big fan.)

A  little while later he shared that he had been there twenty minutes and had already gotten a couple of phone calls.

Folks wanting to know if they were open.  All day.

Yep.

“Thank God.”

Hugh had folks waiting for him.  Watching for him.  Depending on him and his folks to be there.

To provide friendship, comfort, warmth, shelter, and food–for the body and soul.  And he didn’t want to let them down.

I wonder if he feels worthy.

(I happen to think he is, just for the record.)

The thing that touched my heart last night as I went in and covered up my sleeping, sniffly boy was how humbling it is to be the one he was waiting on.  And not just waiting, but actively watching and waiting for.  Seeking.

I want to be worthy of that.  I want to be the one he and his siblings can depend on like Hugh’s friends can depend on him.  I don’t want to get caught up in the world and its expectations and busy-ness and not be there when one of them is looking for me.  I don’t want to let any of them down.

I am honored to be the one.

For now.

I know it might not always be so.  Eventually they will head out on their own paths and have other people to whom they might turn first.  And that’s okay (I guess, thankful I have time to get adjusted to that thought), but for now, I’m working really hard to be worthy of those eyes and those toes and the mismatched pajamas–worthy of that heart looking to me to help guide the way.

Tonight I’m thankful for cuddles and for noses that are much better today.  I am thankful there are people like Hugh who are there for those in need who are waiting and watching, so that right now I can be that person for my children at home.  One day I want to be like him–helping where I can–but for now, this is where I belong.  Coming home.  To the ones who are waiting.

Love to all.

 

To support Hugh Hollowell and his staff helping those in need, please visit their website and find out what they need most this time of year.  Click here to check it out.  

Lying in Wait

Today I was out on a mission of madness and magic trying to find, hoping against hope, that something I didn’t get at the GW Boutique last night was still there.

Actually a couple of things.  Thought about them overnight and realized they were all good choices.

One was a Target return bamboo throw in the loveliest of off white shades.  (My Great Aunt who lived in, as Daddy would tease, “one of the finest homes in that there Eastman, Georgia” would have approved–it was just that elegant.) Why I didn’t grab it last night, I cannot say.  I offer as my only excuse that perhaps I was overwhelmed with the cart full of treasures hidden from this one and that one, and that I just wasn’t thinking straight by that point.

Figured out today it was at least a $75 throw.  I think they were asking 5 or 6.

Let’s all gnash our teeth together, shall we?

Ah well.

It’s not like there’s a blanket or throw shortage in this house or anything.

*sniff*

But I did find a couple of really awesome treasures otherwise, so it was still a successful trip.  One thing is going to make the Fella laugh on Christmas morning, I’m pretty sure.  (and that’s all I’m saying since he does venture over this way every now and then)

On the way to the GW, as I was by myself in the vehicle and could listen to anything I wanted to, I had the radio on a classic Christmas station.  About halfway there a song started playing, and when I realized who was singing, I could scarce believe my ears.

Cary Grant.

Cary Grant?

Yes.

Wow.

It is called “Christmas Lullaby” and in the song he is speak-singing to his baby girl who is already asleep.  He tells her how much  he looks forward to Christmas morning and seeing her joy.  And all of the magic.

And as I teared up–CARY GRANT, Y’ALL!–I thought about all the years of lying in wait in my twin bed at Blackberry Flats and in the double bed in the house on Boy Scout Road before that–waiting for the magic of Christmas morning.  I could hardly wait.  I remember late one Christmas Eve sitting up in the bed, talking to the air, hoping Santa could hear my last minute wishes.

There is a Santa and the magic is real, because I was not disappointed.

And now that I’m “grown up,” just as Mr. Grant did on Christmas Eve, when I do get to bed (I’m all about the staging y’all–it’s a production such that I have elves quitting on me who just can’t stay up that late), I find myself lying in wait for the magic all over again.

And it really doesn’t feel that different.

Well, maybe I’m a little more tired than I was when I was young.  Maybe I fall asleep a wee bit quicker.

But for the most part, I find myself lying in wait with the giddiness and excitement of a child–a child waiting for Christmas morning.

The song was written by Peggy Lee for Mr. Grant.  The sweet words that touched my heart this morning–

 

It’s Christmas Eve

and you are asleep, my little one

This is such a special night for you

and for me

For you, because you will awaken to a joyful morning

filled with wonderful surprises

and all the things our love can do to delight you

There’s a shiny Christmas tree

and a doll, a music box

and some toys

And for me, because I will watch your happiness

All this joy we will share because of the birthday 

of the Christ child,

who taught us that in loving and giving

we find our own happiness

and that angels do watch over us

 

Angels bless you, little one

While you’re fast asleep

You’ll awake to dancing toys,

candy canes,

Christmas joys

And I pray your whole life through

angels will watch over you

loving you 

the way I do

my little one, sleep well

 

Loving you the way I do

Oh my dear little one, sleep well

 

Merry Christmas

 

 

One day my children will learn that on Christmas Eve it’s not just the children who are lying in wait with excitement, and they will find the joy in creating magic for the children they love.  All the time and energy put into making magic for the children–my own and those who are not–every minute is worth it.  To share the delight that our love can do.  The loving and giving do bring great happiness.  Precious.

Just like Mr. Grant, I pray that angels will watch over my children their whole lives through, loving them the way I do.

But I’m not sure that’s possible.  Because, even when they are being real stinkers, I find myself giving thanks (well not every time, I’m no saint) that they are here and are mine for a while.  And loving them through it all.

And all that joy and delight and magic?

I’d best be getting my sleep now, because Christmas Eve is a time of lying in wait for all of us in this house.  It’s so hard to sleep the closer it gets.

And it’s for the joy and anticipation that comes with lying in wait that I am most thankful.

We are so fortunate.

Wishing for you all to have someone to make joy and share delight with on Christmas morning and every day.

Love to all.

 

 

 

…..It All

Today was a day of “it all.”

At our Princess' swim meet this morning.....she stayed buoyant through it all.

At our Princess’ swim meet this morning…..she stayed buoyant through it all.

Our day started off with our Princess giving it all her best.  She swam in her second Swim meet, and she swam in four different events and did it all well.  She did her personal best in each one.  She was so happy and kept her sweet, excited spirit through it all.

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Our oldest home from college had a photo shoot with a friend this morning.  She loved every minute of it, and the photos were lovely–somehow they managed to capture her spunk and her beauty and her light all at the same time.  These, however, are not those pictures.  This is my goofy girl keeping me laughing, bless it all.  She nearly made me scream when I turned around and saw her with the dog’s head.  When she donned the horse’s head, I only laughed and told her no way I’d put that nasty thing on my head.  She neighed and walked away.  I love how she makes me laugh.  So much.

My little guy who at the beginning of the year could not read.....I love this picture so much.

My little guy who at the beginning of the year could not read…..I love this picture so much.

At one point while we were in the Getting Place looking around, I couldn’t find Cooter.  When I looked down and around, there he was.  Y’all.  For the love of it all.  This little guy amazes me.  At the beginning of this year, he could not read.  And now it’s very common to find him just like this. Tucked away with a book.  Sure, a lot of times he is tucked away trying to keep from cleaning his room or picking up his Lego’s but yes, he’s actually reading, so I count it as a win.  A big one.

And moving on to the category of “Now I’ve seen it all…..” I offer you the following from our adventures today:

Party in the Tub.....need I say more?

Party in the Tub…..it just sells itself, doesn’t it?

Our Princess saw this in one of the Getting Places and was so excited.  “Mama, I’ll start taking baths again if you get me this.”  Ummm, no?  I am actually quite okay with her showering rather than taking baths, so that bargaining point was null and void.  Seriously though, I’d love to see the episode of Shark Tank where the makers tried to pitch this idea.  It’s a light, for your tub–it’s a party in the making!  Because we all need a bath time light show…..ahem. If you have one and love yours, no offense.  I’ve just never heard of such.   Oh my.

And then this.....y'all I'm laughing so hard right now.  It's clever and ridiculous all at the same time.

And then this…..y’all I’m laughing so hard right now. It’s clever and ridiculous all at the same time.

This made me laugh.  I saw this as I was dashing through to meet my crew on the other side of the store.   I had to stop and take a picture though.  Cooter came up asking me what was taking so long, but how could I not?  It’s mesmerizing.  I almost think I need one. Or that someone I know does.  Wouldn’t this be the talk of Christmas morning if I had this wrapped under the tree for that special family or friend?  Shhh.  That’s just between you and me.  I cannot stop laughing or looking at it.  I think it’s clever and ridiculous all at the same time.  Yep.  Somebody’s getting this for Christmas this year.  For sure.

I might just have seen it all, y’all.

Tonight I’m thankful for a day spent with my crew,  a day with no math involved.  (Just kidding, we love math, but some days I’m glad when we take a day off from homeschooling.)  I give thanks for the laughter, the joy, the love, and even the arguing.  Togetherness isn’t always happy happy joy joy, but when it comes right down to it, we know who will be there to see us through it all…..and that’s these folks right here.  I love this crazy bunch of people I share this home with.

May you have a day of celebrating the little things, the “it alls” of life, and may it make you happy too.

Love to all.

My Letter to Disney

Dear Disney,

I would like a moment or two of your time, please.

Yesterday in the gomobile, my little guy Cooter announced out of the blue how much he liked the “Thor” ride at Epcot.  He’s referring to “Maelstrom” located in Norway.  His nine-year old sister, our Princess, turned to him and said, “Well you know they’re going to turn it into a ‘Frozen’ ride, right?”

The sound from the back was deafening.  “NOOOOOO.”  He stopped for a second.  “I’ve had enough of that.”

That moment right there.

It got me to thinking, you know?

Sure “Frozen” had the guy with the moose.  And Olaf.  He was cute.  But really it was a movie about sisters.  And it is plastered all over any and every store we go in–including the grocery store.  It’s everywhere.  I was at a birthday party for an eight-year old girl today, and they sang some karaoke.  Guess what the first song sung was?  Yep.  “Let It Go.”  Guess what the second girl wanted to sing?  Yep.  You got it.  Again.

So congratulations.  You made a movie and saturated the market.  Your stuff is everywhere.  Except for Elsa’s dress.  And that’s a serious problem around here, but we can discuss that another time.

Your channel is one that my children are allowed to watch certain shows on.  I really like some of your programming, and your shows are the ones my college daughter remembers and loves the most from her elementary and middle school years.  I especially love that my children aren’t bombarded with commercials or ads for shows not appropriate for them to see.  (Yeah, I’m talking about you, football game broadcasts.)

Or that was the case.

Oh Disney, you have done me wrong.  For weeks and weeks you advertised “Guardians of the Galaxy.”  It looked great.  My little guy was thrilled and actually laughed out loud and said “cool” numerous times each and every time the trailer was shown.  You played interviews with cast and staff from the movie.  Can you say saturated?  Yes, we were all primed for that movie.

And then–

the rating was released.

PG-13.

Are you kidding me?  Do you even know the average age of your viewers?

I am disappointed in your discernment on this.  My little guy was beside himself, and since a Mama can only be as happy as her least happy child AND since, if Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy–I think you can see where I’m going with this.

What the heck, Disney?

After my son’s comments yesterday made me realize he hasn’t been over the moon about a movie like our Princess has “Frozen” (Star Wars doesn’t count–they were made in 1977 on and you had nothing to do with THOSE), I took a survey on Facebook today.  I asked my friends to name movies with strong male characters made by you in the past 10-15 years.

I also did some research on the internet.

In case you didn’t already know this, there are none.  Not made by you.  Not any one that has been invested in the way that “Frozen” or “Tangled” have.  The ones my friends listed were either NOT yours or pre-2007 when my little guy entered this world.  (There’s Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, but they both are a little intense for a seven-year old–and Harry gets into that PG13 range. Sigh.) And I’m sorry, I figure you are trying to aim the Cars series and the Planes movies at ones such as he, but honestly he can’t identify with being a car or a plane or a rat or monsters.  I’m just looking for a movie about a real boy (or a prince–that could be okay, I guess, I mean our Princess isn’t really one and she identifies with these young women so…..okay).

Is that so hard?

At the very least please stop promoting your movies on your very PG/G channel that aren’t appropriate for the younger set.  I have had it, and I won’t be seeing “Guardians of the Galaxy.”  That’s right, you won’t be getting my money for that one anytime soon.  (I can hear you crying, and I’m sorry I had to go there.) I promised Cooter we would see it together when he’s old enough.  He’s already had me pencil in a date with him to do just that in early 2020.  That’s the year he turns 13.  Sigh.

And finally, here’s the thing.  So help me, if you mess up this Star Wars thing, I will come after you with every bit of Mama madness and all my posse along with me. (And one of them calls herself Batgirl, because she comes out with her bat swinging, wanting to know who’s messed with me–you’ve been warned, Disney.)  This is my boy’s THING.  He loves all things Star Wars.  He knows the history inside and out even though he’s only been allowed to watch the first three that were made (again due to ratings and age appropriateness)–Episodes IV, V, and VI.  Yours will follow right behind these in the storyline.  I repeat, do NOT mess this up.  Do whatever you have to do, but you can tell a story without all that blood and gore and suggestiveness and the like.  TELL THE STORY.  And make it a good one.  This is your best shot to make it up to my little guy and all those like him who are looking for someone to identify with, to recognize, and get excited about seeing.  Someone maybe even to emulate as they realize so much of life is about making wise choices and choosing good over evil.  You can do this, I know you can.  I’ve seen it.  “Brave” and “Frozen” are really great because you changed it up on us–the focus moved from being rescued by the Prince to other relationships also being important and females being strong and I LOVE IT.  Thank you.  (Although you have yet to really reach the stars again like “Mary Poppins” did–great story, Julie Andrews, and Dick Vandyke–win.win.WIN.  Yeah, I’m seriously “old school.”)

If you don’t get it right, I’m forever moving my fanship over to that other film company–and theme park, and I promise to make you cry again.

Really and truly, all I’m asking you is to please remember our sons.  We have become so focused in raising strong girls that I really am starting to feel like our boys are getting pushed to the side.  And that is not okay.  Seriously, the highlight of our day at Epcot in my little guy’s mind was the “Thor” ride.  I’m not saying don’t have a Frozen ride, I’m just saying, please remember that not all of our boys love the Moose and Olaf THAT much.  They need songs to sing and people to dress up like and aspire to be like too.

Best wishes to you all.  I’ve read that the upcoming movie “Big Hero 6” has a fourteen year old boy as the main character.  I am hopeful that you might redeem yourself, but the really true test will be Star Wars VII set to be released (at this time) in December of 2015.  My son will be 8.  I mean it, make it awesome and make it appropriate. We’re talking keep it PG.  Or else.

Sincerely,

Mama Who Wants Good Movies for Her Son Too

And she ain’t playing