Little Wins, Big Victories!

When we first found out that we were going to move, I remember talking with one of my friends, who was also a client, while her color processed. She and her family had made a big move with her husband’s job, and were getting ready to move away again.  I clearly remember her saying, “You will feel like everyone has died”.  As you can imagine, that was super encouraging.  

Thanks to social media, texting, and my parents moving with us, we didn’t feel totally alone, but it was a lonely time.  Rather than lonely, I would say, I felt defeated.  

I felt defeated, because I felt like maybe we had ruined our children’s lives, the younger two, anyway.  Summer was like an extended vacation and then reality hit when school started.  

When school started, it was quite overwhelming.  

First, my kids did not know the Texas pledge of allegiance, which they have to say everyday.  I’m not sure they even know it now.  I think they just mumble along.  

Then, they had to get used to “Sir” and “Ma’am”.  It’s a great habit that I regret not teaching them earlier in life. We have had to reevaluate our Illinois, “Hey!” that we love so much (unless it’s followed by “y’all”).

Also, we’re pretty much allergic to the state of Texas for about 2 months of the year.  Russ used ALL of his allowed absence days – maybe even went over (we will see). The last two weeks of March were rough.  I was seriously worried about failing grades.

They did fine navigating the bigger school, tons of kids, and new routine.  The hardest part was not knowing anyone.  We knew people everywhere we went, back home.  This was just so different. 

My boys left some pretty great friends and family in IL.  Literally, every time both boys came out of Sunday School at our new church, I asked, “Did you talk to anyone? Did anyone talk to you?” When they came out of school, “Did you hang out with anyone, where did you sit at lunch, were people nice to you?” They usually responded with, “Not really, but it’s okay, mom…”  If they didn’t feel bad enough already, I made it worse.

Defeated is how I felt when my kids were angry, lonely, or nervous.  I felt defeated when they missed their dad, because his schedule was the complete opposite of theirs.  I felt defeated after dropping them off at school knowing they were miserable deep down inside. I felt defeated because, once again, they were home sick, and I didn’t know how to fix it. Many days, if both boys were actually in school, I felt like God had performed a small miracle in my life. 

Through this year, especially the last couple of months, we have had some “little wins” that felt like “big victories”.  They seem small to someone on the outside, but in this mom’s heart they are BIG, and this mom celebrates.

The first time that Russ came to the car after school, and he told me that someone saved a seat for him at lunch, I cried the whole way home.   – Little win, big victory!

The first day Jono came home and use the phrase, “my friends and I”, I made him repeat what he had just said and then I called Derek just to tell him the phrase Jono had just used. – Little win, big victory.

I’m telling you this, because God has been so faithful to our family.  These little wins have just been filling my mind and making me realize how big the victory really is.

Jono is ending this year with invitations to 2 birthday parties. His grades were great all year.  He was the crocodile in “Peter Pan”.  He earned a very special award for hard work. I know that sounds frivolous, but just a few months ago, I would not have imagined that happening.  At his completion ceremonies today, we took pictures with a few of his teachers and his good friends, as they smiled and laughed together.  Little wins, BIG victories.

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Right now, Russ is trying to get in touch with his friend down the street so that they can play some basketball.  He will be going to youth camp in New Mexico in June.  He is playing in a basketball league this summer. He gets his permit very soon.  He earned exemptions for his final exams (he didn’t fail 9th grade because of absence).  Little wins, BIG victories!  

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What makes these victories so big, I think, is the defeat we experienced at first.  We value these friendships, because we know how it is to be lonely.  We value our time together as a family, because we know what it’s like to be apart.  We value health, because of sickness.  We value being a part of something, because we have felt lost.

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Although defeat is not fun, I’ve realized our victories are much sweeter because of it. It’s ALL a part of God’s plan – the victory and defeat… 

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Always lock your doors

Isaac: Oh yeah, I accidentally left my car unlocked last night, and somebody went through my stuff…

Me: What?!?!? Somebody was in your car?

Isaac: …and stole my gum!

Me: What did they do to your car?

Isaac: They took my gum!!!

Me: Did they get anything?

Isaac: I told you, they got my gum! I don’t think you realize how upset I am about this gum!!!!

Me: I’m more upset that someone was in your car, going through your stuff! Did they get anything valuable?

Isaac: That gum was the most valuable thing I had in there….

I had a charger… from the gas station… that didn’t work… so that would have been funny!

Me: Did they take it?

Isaac: No, just my gum. 😩

The Joy in a Toilet Paper Crisis

So, Moms of little boys, this may not be entirely encouraging, but maybe so.

I have gotten to a point that my boys are getting pretty independent, some days. Other days, not so much!

For instance, last week on Saturday, we had a lot of family time. All of my conversations with Derek were interrupted, they yelled at each other a lot, and they wanted to be fed 3 whole meals, plus unlimited snacks in between.

And you know how your kids follow you to the bathroom, or talk to you through the door, when they are little? You know, they can’t wait for 2 minutes to ask you the earth shattering question of, “Are you in there?”

Apparently, that NEVER ends. At least I see no end in sight. Thank goodness I have a bigger bathroom with more than 1 door now…

Saturday, as I said, I thought I was going to lose my mind. Then, finally, I realized… We needed toilet paper. Not just kinda needed it. Like, half a roll in each bathroom needed it. A house of mostly males does not have the sense of urgency over toilet paper shortages that a house full of females does…

Anyway, when I had this epiphany, I grabbed Derek and the keys and headed out the door. It was the closest thing we’ve had to a date in a very long time (I think).

So, we made our way to a nice quiet evening at Sam’s Club. I just kept think of things we needed, trying to delay the inevitable – going home. Finally, after we had roamed the aisles and could not justify spending any more money, we checked out and headed home.

So, he treated me to a few potstickers, some cheesecake, and a stroll through Barnes and Noble.

We arrived home, and I enjoyed the weirdness that consumes my household. After enjoying a few minutes away, I realized, they may drive me crazy, but it won’t last forever.

I have an 18 year old who is becoming more independent everyday He practically has one foot out my door. So, while I can, I will help with his laundry when he needs it, fix him some good food, and buy him some toilet paper.

I will do this for all three, because I know it will all happen too soon, and they just won’t need me as much anymore. And I will miss it…

Derek’s Theory…

Derek shared a theory with me, recently.  We are currently testing this theory and documenting our findings. Actually, we have been doing research for many years, and we didn’t even realize it.

Derek told me that when 2 guys, who have testosterone rushing through their veins, are within 3 feet of each other, SOMETHING.MUST.HAPPEN.

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These “happenings” include, but are not limited to nudging, pushing, shoving, poking, smacking the behind, squeezing the knee, and other violations of personal space.  They have also been known to knock off each other’s hat, pull down each other’s pants and snap each other with towels.

They are drawn to do something with the energy they feel building up inside their body, and the closer they get to each other, they feel the energy from the other person, and they must act upon that energy.

 

Not only does the energy and activity increase, but the volume increases, as well.  As one guy’s voice gets louder, so do the voices of those around them.  Sometimes, just hearing the voice of another male is enough to initiate such “happenings”.

For example, in our house, a brother walks by another brother.  It may begin with something as small as a “hug”.  Then the other brother returns that “hug”, with just a little more enthusiasm that than the one that he received.  Usually the minutes following that initial “hug” include half nelson choke holds, armbars, or an anaconda vice. This pattern continues, it gets louder, someone falls, hits a wall, or damages something in my house in some other way.

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Then, within about 2 minutes from the time the first hug began, I am yelling, “Please, stop!”

Sometimes that statement is followed up with, “Somebody is going to get hurt!”

Usually, though, my follow up statement is, “I do not have time for the ER today!”

(Don’t judge!  Whether you admit it or not, most mothers of boys have had this thought. It may not have been spoken, but the thought was there.)

Laura’s sidenote:  This theory is not limited to adolescent males.  I have seen this manifested in “grown men” many, many times. Usually males that possess the same DNA. That’s a different blog for a different time!

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Anyway, we hope to share our continued findings with you as our research continues.  This theory is tested in our house daily, and I’m sure in many other homes, as well.  Feel free to share your finding with us! We would love to hear from you.

Timehop Helps Cure Mother’s Amnesia!

As I stood behind a chair for 20 years, conversing with several people each day, I have had lots of stories to tell. I have always enjoyed the “‘material” the guys in my life have provided, and they provided plenty…

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When I would tell my funny or sweet stories, seasoned mothers told me to write these things down so you will remember them later.

Since my mind was so sharp and keen (insert sarcastic eye roll), I didn’t listen. I just knew I would remember them forever.

Well, now, I’m 40. I have been somewhat distracted for the last 19 years or so. I realize my mind is clouded, full, or just not as sharp as I thought it was. I don’t remember these things like I thought I would, because, well, life happens…

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Thank goodness for Facebook and Timehop. My social media habit has paid off! As I have posted stories over the years on Facebook, Timehop reminds me of those stories each year. So fun! This is probably one of my favorites…

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Today’s lesson:  Moms, if you don’t write down your memories, at least share them on Facebook so that we can all enjoy them, as well… and, any sarcasm is always appreciated!

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Maybe, just maybe…

The Thinker is a sculpture by Auguste Rodin. The work shows a male sitting on a rock with his chin resting on one hand as if he is deep in thought…

As a mother of boys, who is gaining a deeper understanding of the male psyche, I have a theory.

I believe, in reality, those deep thoughts would most likely include,

If I put my arm here like this…

No, wait, other side…

Actually, bend my wrist, look relaxed…

Now, flex…

And everyone can…

SEE. THESE. GUNS.