A Slice Of Life

Having fun with our kids is like a slice of pie. Think about a pie not as a fruit pie, but as a pie of life with slices that define different, slices of family life. One slice is childhood, the next slice is the parenting years, followed by the early adult slice and the largest slice is the empty nest years.

 If we live out our average life expectancy, we will spend twice as many years as adults together with our children, than when they were living at home with us. When a group of my friends got together we talked about our relationships with our parents. Some of us got along well with them, others did not. When we probed the reasons, it had a lot to do with parenting patterns developed during childhood.

 In other words, how we parent our young kids might shape our relationship with them when they grow upWe figured out that the ones who wanted to be friends as adults and spend time together, not out of obligation but, because they enjoyed each other and had moms who included fun as one of their family values. They seemed to be the moms who adult children wanted to spend time with for all the right reasons.

You might be asking yourself what does fun look like?  Just look around you and watch other fun families. You’ll notice they can have fun and be fun even in unlikely places. Like the grocery store or waiting in line at the DMV. Fun is an attitude as much as an activity. And to have fun, we have to be fun, which means lightening up.

Throughout the years, the activities changed. We went from having fun with preschoolers which was fairly simple. They loved to play and loved the attention they got when we did almost anything together. When our kids got older, their fun included their friends, which meant stretching the family circle to make those friends feel welcome in our homes. We agreed that parenting includes the responsibility to shape appropriate fun as kids grow up, which was easier when their friends gathered at our houses.

 The best advice offered was to learn to let go of our own expectations and stop trying to  Besides, our best and most humorous family memories often came out of those unexpected out comes. Friendships with our adult children evolve as slowly as our parenting bumped and bounced from controlling to influencing to simply encouraging and enjoying.

The fun we have along the way is not so much about doing things, as about being in relationships that allowed for growth and embraced our differences. It’s been said, that being friends and having fun with our adult children is the best slice of the pie of life!


Moms Night Out

Throughout history moms have been applauded for their ability to do many different roles.

Some moms are cab drivers. “I’ll pick you up after school.” No computer for one hour for hitting your brother. Still others fashion consultants: Don’t forget your coat its cold outside or great at compromises; tonight’s special is pizza or pizza. Which can I interest you in?

Moms seem to have three pairs of eyes. One pair that see through closed doors another in the back of her head and,of course, the ones in front that can look at their child when they goof up and say I understand and I love you without so much as uttering a word.

Moms deliver their lines with laughter, smiles or a straight face and they always have a twinkle in their eyes because they know they’re responsible for the well-being of their children. Whether they are burping a three-month baby, wrestling with a two-year old girl who wants to put glue in her hair, or comforting a six-year-old boy who didn’t make the team. Moms always know what to say. Don’t they? 

With their knowledge and insight into the hearts of their babies whether two-months or twenty-six moms may not have all the answers. But they know the best answer is usually just a smile and a hug. Because that’s what moms do best. Forget the applause! Moms can take home all the trophies and awards . But the biggest reward is always love of their children.

Motherhood is like Albania you can’t trust the brochures you have to go there. Oh! What a power motherhood is possessing a potent spell. Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

When you have your own children they’re a part of you and part not-you and then they get away from you and part of you goes with them. But you have to try to remember that part of you that’s you and not them. That way, you can let them go. It’s been said that a mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary. 

Moms dilemma is to clean the house or girls night out? I say choose the girls night out. The trouble with cleaning the house is that it gets dirty the next day anyway. So skip a week if you have to. The children are the most important thing and moms night out is important for moms too. 

Moms should never miss a girls night out is because their children will grow up and leave and their girlfriends don’t. Dads and grandparents love moms night out with the girls because they get to spend time with the kids.  

When You’re Young At Heart…

Fairy Tales, can come true, it can happen to you. If you’re young at heart. For it’s hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind. If you’re young at heart. When you can go to extremes, with impossible schemes. You can laugh, when your dreams fall apart, at the seams. And life, gets more exciting with each passing day. And love is either in your heart, or on its way.  Don’t you know that it’s worth every treasure on earth?  To be young at heart.

And if you survive to 105. Look at all you’ll derive out of being alive! And here is the best part, you have a head start. If you are among the very young at heart.

In a striking turnaround, science now sees optimism and pessimism not as good or bad outlooks you’re born with. But as mind-sets to adopt as situations demand.  Sure, you could look at life purely rationally, but without optimism or pessimism, you might not do much.

I loved it when my children were young. I’ve never been so tired, or had as much fun. Like all women it didn’t matter what I did .Women, never seemed to agree on what made for a “Happy Mom”. I wonder if there was a recipe called “Happy Moms.” What would the ingredients be?   It seems like “Moms” have a million expectations to live up to. Don’t they?  

It doesn’t seem to matter what age we are there are constant reminders of the choices we have to make or have made. When we are young, time seems to pass by slowly. We thought, we had all the answers. Didn’t we? It seems to me. That I knew more at the age of twenty-two, than I do now.

 When we were young it was all about the “when’s.” When they learn to crawl,walk and run. When they start school. When they get a job. When they fall in love. And just wait until they have their own children. Oh! yes, when we were young, it was all  about the future. And it seemed like we have all the time in the world. Didn’t it?  

Then we became grandmothers and the years just seemed like the flew by.  Suddenly the “when s” return. When they learn to crawl, stand, walk and run.  Along with the when’s, the fun and excitement returns. Doesn’t it?  I’m sure that my grandkids feel, that I’m bit odd.

Sometimes it seems like occasionally I catch them giving me a sarcastic glance that seems to say, “Really”  you’re doing that?  And other times their glances seem to say, ” She’s old” we must be the patient with her. Their little legs walk as slowly as my old legs. And their fresh eyes see things, that I have ignored for years.

It’s been said, That being young at heart, is not about your age but it’s a state of mind. I find that’s true. I hope you do too. The recipe for what makes for a “Happy Mom” is still being written. Or did “Betty Crocker” write it?  Maybe! Mom’s get to pretend to be like “Betty” and create their own “Mom” recipe?. Like the lyrics say,  Fairy Tales can come true. It can happen to you!