A Word a Week- Comfort

Comfort- (1) a state of phyrical ease and freedom from pain (2) the easing or alleciateion of a person’s feelings of grief or distress. (www.dictionary.com)

Being comfortable is a part of the American dream. Or it least it should be, because these days, it is all I want.  In my 20’s I though comfort meant a padded bank account, beautiful furniture, glorious hips, and an amazing reputation.  I fought for it, and always came up short.  My eyes were focused on the wrong kind of comfort.  I see my kids striving for similar comforts, and I want to tell them–NO, that’s not what it really means.

We don’t have a perfect life. We have our mountains and valleys, our triumphs and defeats but one thing I do have now is comfort.

My skin-I am comfortable with who I am. I am not as thin as I dreamed of, but I am okay with that.  I have red blotches on my skin, but I am okay with that.  I am pale, probably glow in the dark pale, and I am okay with that.

My family-As a young mom, I always thought I had something to prove. I felt like I had to prove I could do this parenting thing.  I am okay now. I love my kids, and we know what is best. I am comfortable with that.

My choice to homeschool-It fits us. A lot of people don’t agree, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.

My friendships-I talk to everyone. I bring everyone together, but I am so happy (and comfortable with) my small circle of friends I can count on, that can count on me.

Growing up is hard work, but being comfortable enough to scream THIS IS ME, by what you do and how you live your life—that makes it worth is.

Be careful though, don’t get too comfortable.

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Here’s why I cried when my daughter read to me.

My daughter is 10.  She has friends that love her, she’s talented in so many amazing ways.  She can sing like I have always dreamed of, she can sew things I can’t imagine, she is artistic and emotional and so much better than me in almost every way.  A lot of these gifts are a gift of dyslexia.  Dyslexia has given her the gift of art, of seeing the whole picture before it’s completed, of empathy, compassion and an amazing heart.

As you might imagine, despite all of her incredible gifts, she struggles with reading.  HARD.  She’s so intuitive and creative that she understands things that most ten year olds shouldn’t.  Unrelated to her dyslexia she is just an old soul.  A few years ago, when I was making sure she knew how special she was, we were in the car and she said something I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

Me- “Rylee, you have artistic intelligence that some people dream of. You have a beautiful voice, you are great at math.”

Rylee (holding back tears, because she is also “too strong” to cry”)-” Mom, singing isn’t going to help me check out in the grocery store”

Damn. She’s right, but she shouldn’t know that yet.

We’ve been homeschooling three years and I can’t say that I have a beautiful thought out mission statement other than “Teach my kids to read and that they are valued no matter what” because once they have that, they just need to be taught how to learn. I’ll admit it, I have no idea what she goes through because I read at 5, but we have fought for it for three years.  But I do know what I have seen over the years.

Tears

Her being embaressed in front of friends

More tears

Heartbreak

Tears of frustration

A lot of “I’ll never be able to read”

Hysterical tears

“I’m not like you mom, I can’t just read”

Mom’s shattering heart

Then last night, my girl couldn’t sleep.  I offered what I have 7000 times before in her life. ” Would you like to read me a book? Sometimes that helps me get sleepy.”  Her words, “Well, I might as well have a good attitude about it, because that really makes things easier.” And she did. She walked downstairs and got her chapter book ( Nory Ryan’s Song) and read 3 whole pages.  I held it together while we sat and she read, but after I kissed my baby goodnight, I cried happy tears.  Hearing her read will never get old.  Ever.

 

 

 

Chocolate Day!

January 10 is dark chocolate day, but I don’t segregate. We love all chocolate here.  We started the day with Hot Chocolate, of course.  Everyone has to wake up early on Wednesday so the bigs can go to Biology and nobody likes it, except Declan. Declan loves it.  It’s such an interesting dynamic to have two kids close to entering teenhood, and one that’s just gotten to grade school level.  I personally love that my five year old is the one waking up my big kids and torturing them with early mornings like they did to me for years.  I don’t let him do it all the time, but sometimes…I’ve got to get my kicks somewhere. Chocolate day was one of them.  They LOVE me, can’t you tell??

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Noah bought everyone chocolate bars at the gas station on the way to science and then Declan and I searched for items that had chocolate in them. We also watched a short video on the history of chocolate.  Declan’s take?  If chocolate is fruit I can have it whenever I want.  That was fun.  Then he shared his chocolate with his favorite friend. I had none.  Thanks kids.

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We also tested out the man bun.  He was proud. Whatever, third child, just stay alive.

After dinner we had brownies.  And I did my share to help my husband with his OCD intervention, because that is true love.

I’m feeling snarky today. I hope my kids get the memo. January 11 is puddle day.  Stay tuned friends.

To my oldest boy

Boy, you are something.  You made me a mom. You have taught me how to love fiercely and unconditionally, stretched my patience to the end of the earth, made messes bigger than I thought possible, made me giggle with delight, my blood boil with anger, my heart ache for one more snuggle.

And now I look it you.  The lines on your face are becoming strong. You are taller than me. You would prefer to hang out with the adults and don’t like being put in the “kid” category.  How did you get to be (nearly) 13 already?  I remember the day I brought you home.  You were wrapped in a bright yellow fleece snowsuit equivalent ducky onsie.  It was absurdly cold for April.   I was scared of you, but so in love. And now, here I am again about to take on a new adventure with you as a teenager.  My boy, my lovely sweet boy, take these thoughts from your Mama with you as you get older and grow into a man.

  1. Hold on to you. Life is a journey.  So many people are going to try to change you.  Always. You are never going to be good enough for everyone.  You are always going to have haters.  Live a genuine, honest life doing what you love, with people you love and don’t worry about the rest of the world.
  2. Don’t get to big for your britches.  You are beautiful and talented, funny and strong, sensitive and kind.  Those are all good things.  There’s a lot about you that people should and will admire. Stay humble, and always remember your roots and look for the good in everyone.  Everyone has good in them.
  3. Be a man.  I don’t mean this in the herculean, save the world, superman mentality. But be respectful, chivalrous, walk with integrity, admit your mistakes.  That is something you’ll be proud of.
  4. Pursue your dreams. Love, I don’t care if you are a dog walker, a gas station attendant, a doctor or the president.  Find something that defines you, that sets your soul on fire, that makes life worth living–and do that. Dreams won’t come to you because you wish on them.  Theres no magic trick to living what you have always dreamed of but hard work and goal setting can make anything happen.
  5. Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Laugh at your mistakes. There are going to be a lot of them.  You’ll probably lose more than you win. Laugh at your mistakes and learn from them.
  6. Friends are the family you choose. You will always have us-we are family.  Friends are important too.  Choose people that reciprocate your love, intent, and attempts to get together. Don’t waste your time on friends that don’t make you feel good.
  7. No one will ever love you like your mother does.  When you cry, I cry. When you smile, I smile. I would fight for you, no matter the cost.  When you go out in your journey’s for love–find someone who loves you with that same intensity.  That person won’t be perfect, but when you find that person, you’ll know.

As I am writing this, our song comes to mind.  I am note sure you remember it but “I Hope You Dance” is the perfect song for you, my boy.   Dance your heart out, stay humble, and live life to the fullest.