Summer is in full swing, the kids are out, you’ve probably visited a few places. Don’t throw away those tickets! Use them to make a summer memory bowl. Browsing through the pages of the Family Fun magazine, I came across this idea of a Summer Souvenir Bowl. What a great idea! Summertime is a great time for kids and families and when it come to an end, even though there is excitement of school starting, there are those days of wanting the summer days and nights to return. This is a great idea to remember the fun times and be able to look back on them when the summer closes and the fall begins to roll in. So, no, don’t toss those tickets, they are worth memories. In fact, this is a good idea, even for yearly keepsakes.
Oh, I had a million things I could do, catch up on work, dirty dishes, sweep, pay bills, you know where I am going with this. And, there are many days that I do this. The kids were upstairs, content, no squabbles, no he did this, she did that, no tears, no screams of horror that need saving from mommy. Everything pointed toward relaxation time, a time that comes sparingly. Instead, a wild idea enters my thoughts to play with my three glued to the tv–hence the quietness–kiddos. Leaving the computer, thinking it is so very quiet, what am I doing, I enter the room. “Do you want to play a game?” They looked at me as if the Mom they knew had been captured by a magical creature (clarification, we do play games and this was not the first ever suggestion of playing games). They asked, “What game?” “You guys choose,” I said. We cleared some room so we could play Dizios. I played working to block out the things to do all around me. Many times I sit down to play and end up in my own game of pick up (better known as cleaning). Not today, today my full attention was with my kids. We played 30 minutes or somewhere around that time frame. Those 30 minutes could have been used to tackle many other things though I would not have ever had the moment–those 30 minutes of time with my kids.
Have you ever had an experience like this?
Endurance. “With a little endurance, you will make it through.” A phrase I have heard many times. I agree, put your best foot forward and plow through the deep waters of whichever circumstance may be weighing heavily at the time. Though today, I was given a different perspective on enduring. Often times when I think of endurance, I think, wow, I must complete this whole big challenge and come through it with flying colors and feel a deep sense of happiness at the end–after I have endured for so long. Enduring, It can be such a cumbersome world that can suck the energy from you along with the fun and enjoyment of life. When I hear the word endure, I can feel my anxiety and panic heighten, knowing I am in for the long haul and that even at the end of it all, I have found other things that need my endurance too. This endurance thing is a lifelong battle it seems. And, a dreaded phrase most of the time. Though, today, today, I was enlightened, I was relieved of my imperfection and the necessity of battling endurance. Today, I have been able to take the word endure and see the positive, happy side of the most dark word somedays. Today, I learned that enduring can be for a few seconds, for an hour, for a day, for a week. It can be adjusted to you and the amount of energy you have to get through the rough waters of life. Much of the time when big goals are holding our for achievement, they become a drag, boring to do and the end gratification seems so far off. With this new view on this word, these achievements seem attainable. Getting through a hectic day with kids, pressing financial burdens, the idea of eating healthy every single day to achieve a fitness goal, health challenges, emotional challenges, spiritual challenges. Today, I learned to endure is adjustable to how much you can handle and take. It is there to nudge along, for encouragement and to realize, yes life is achievable.
Jack’s Five and Ten, Grape and Orange Popsicles and 1 cent fortune gum—the best gum—memories of the past but history of the future. Instead of sitting in traffic on the Kennedy Expressway, we decide to take Cumberland to get us into the city. We hit the city and the neighborhood, streets and areas become familiar. 2543 N. Kilbourn, we are by the first house I remember as a kid. It’s actually and apartment. My parent’s help manage it and took care of the tenants. It is where my sister and I ate our neighbor’s fundraiser Tootsie roll tubes. They looked so inviting in those tubes with the slots at top. Mom was not impressed. “I am going to have to pay for all of those.” Her words still clear nearly 30 years later. I thought to myself, we ate almost all of them. “Oh no!” The backyard comes into view and I remember my childhood play: “I knew a senorita with diamonds in her hair,” my favorite black shoes, the tons of stairs that led down into the back common yard. The garage, the ally. We continue on, “that is the high school you would have gone to if we didn’t move.” Mom says. Kelvyn Park we come upon next. Sprinklers, Metal swing horses—not sure if they were trying to eliminate kids because these swings though fun were deadly! 2825 N. Kenneth, my favorite house. My Mom loved this house. Creativity would sneak in on cold days—tape recording my favorite songs of my favorite station B96. Snowy days Barbies would visit Alaska right out the window of my bedroom. Down the street childhood memories return like the sun on a bright day: neighbors, tragedies, kids and kid stuff. At the stop sign we turn left, Barry Elementary, the grammar school I attended until 6th grade. “Look,” I say to my kids—“that is my grammar school.” “That looks creepy,” they say. I laugh, “you should see the inside.” Past the ally my mom would walk me through when I called home from the office, sick for the 5th time that week. I am lucky she did not follow the “Boy who cried wolf” fable. Teacher problems, I wasn’t really sick. Being a kid seems like a different world as my mind travels back to my childhood. Looking back that different world was forming much of who I am today. Life lessons were learned, fears faced—conquered and not, consequences paid, milestones met. “Mom, I have to pee,” my three-year old bursts out as we are driving. Where will we stop, the neighborhood has changed so much since my childhood, we found a restaurant behind my grammar school. I had not walked near that school in years. A zap, the memories. My kids, our kids, they are in the midst of their childhood. Inventions, technology has increased the speed of life. That is my philosophy anyway. Kids, they are so eager to grow up faster. I am old school I suppose, I say be a kid, cherish your childhood, it only lasts just a short while and “the little years pass so fast.” These are famous words, I hear them all the time. I have no rebuke. I am seeing my kids grow before my eyes.
My heart and prayers go out to those kids whose childhood is less than a childhood in any way. I know that in certain circumstances…childhood can be less than optimal.
I look at him as he sleeps. I think to myself, is he really mine? He was a newborn just yesterday, in reality yesterday was 10 years ago. He sleeps and I slip back into his baby years, my first born. The time we spent together–he and I. Reflecting on one of my most favorite traits about him, his smile and infectious laugh. I prayed he would always keep that with him and not let the weight of the world turn on a frown, that he would push through his challenges no matter what they are. Looking at him, I ache for his struggles–the battle that he fights. A fight where I can be in his army and walk with him in his battle and be his backup where needed. Feeling what he feels will never be a superpower of mine. To walk in his shoes will be as close as I get to his fight. I will battle with him on his journey. I will be happy as he meets his successes. I will stand in his corner as he meets his childhood battles and then some. Patience and understanding will be a battle tool of mine that will be sharpened. Answers will be the treasure. The goal to help him fight his battles while he lives a great life!
Alarm clock set for 5 a.m., Yes! I can do it. Dropped my husband off at work the night before so we could get there on time. Nine and a half years ago Dicky started working for an airline. I resigned at my job to be at home with our then six month old baby boy. Deciding to stay home was an up and down roller coaster, though in the end, staying home was the end of one ride and the beginning of a new one. The combination of flight benefits and the choice to stay home, William and I started using the flight benefits and traveling often. We saw a lot of baseball, traveled to many states and visited my hometown of Chicago and Dicky’s hometown of California. It was a time of fun with a lot of learning. Fast forward one year from my last travels on an airplane, relying on my early travel expertise, we set out to Chicago to see my side of the family as the oldest two kids’ summer vacation began. Sitting on the airplane, I thought to myself, we did it! I did it! Security and the flight were successful minus a couple of blunders. No major breakdowns and a mostly calm baby, an older sibling helping a younger and a nap for baby, big sister and Dad. Yes, travels–on a plane (in a public space) with kids (little, young kids) can be stressful and feel not worth it, though with a few pairs of hands, a semi-plan of organization, a few musical plane chairs, trips to the hardly fit one person bathroom, a couple snacks (mostly sugar) and not worrying too much about the plane company, we pulled off our travels with four kiddos with mostly high spirits and arrived all in one piece. We are enjoying excursion number one of the summer.