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Mother of the Year Again

My Peeps

This weekend is always fun for me. I love seeing how the kids can (or can not) hold out on sharing their Mother’s Day school projects. I received the Spanish class gifts (coloring and cards) on Thursday because they had Spanish class. Shad works really hard with them to try and keep it all a secret until Sunday, but they often just bust at the seams.
What do I want for Mother’s Day? Well, I think it’s pretty simple BUT it doesn’t always work out. I either want breakfast in bed (can be toast and a scrambled egg) and/or a shower that is peaceful. That means no knocking on the door and walking in 35 times in 4 minutes, no asking questions, just me and the hot water for as long as I want (or they can stand). I think as they get older, it’s getting easier for them to let me be but it’s also not feeling as special because they don’t really care. I, like most other Mom’s, want to be wanted. So, the fact that they want me less makes this less enjoyable – and actually a bit sad.
Good thing I have Shea, she just can’t go without talking and will settle for any audience, I should be able to count on that for a few more years. I hope.

Anyway, the kids were on their best behavior today and they tried soooo hard to make the day fun, even though Mother’s Day is a day away. We drew on the driveway with sidewalk chalk and played four square. It was pretty cool…. I’m a lucky one.

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Betsy Hansen NH

Two of the Three

I have been getting continuous lectures from my mom over the last several months. They are constant and it drives me crazy. Today, I’m thinking, she may have had a valid point after all. It was a scare that made me think long and hard about my approach. Let me see if I can explain.

  • I am the assistant coach of the girls Varsity soccer team at the high school. We had a game today at 4.
  • The kids were being picked up by Shad today and they were heading to the high school to watch the game.
  • Shad was checking on one of the players he’s been working with.
  • Reilly had soccer practice at six. His coach was sick and asked me if I could coach for the team tonight.
  • I had left work a little early so I knew I had to get back to get to my work and I wasn’t the best option to help but I wanted to do what I could to help. His coach is a good friend and I know she is fighting a terrible stomach bug.
  • Shad had planned to do his 90 minute workout which his coach had assigned to him (for his Ironman training) during Reilly’s practice and I would take the girls, and their friend Jenna, to the house for homework and dinner after my game.
  • Reilly’s practice is from 6-8 and then he has his homework.

Okay, so, this is why today I thank God today.

Second half of the game had started, it was exciting, the score had gone from 0-0 to 0-1 (them) to 1-1. The intensity continued to pick-up in the game. Out of my peripheral vision, I see the truck rolled up next to the field and the 4 little kids in Catholic school uniforms rolled out. Reilly came right over and helped his buddy Noah be a ball-boy. The girls said hi and Shad went to check on the player because she was on the bench at the time. Shea and Kate said hi, but a bit cautiously, because they know I’m “working”. Shea came back over and said “I have to go to the bathroom so we are going to go at the middle school”. I looked around and it all seemed harmless and I said “okay, stay together and hurry up.” Off they went to the school they have been in so many times before. I thought nothing more of it – for a while.

It was nearing time for Shad to head to practice, I had volunteered him to coach until Russ or I could get there. He’s talking and I’m half talking back but really into the game. It’s still 1-1 but we have had chances and they have had counter attacks. It’s tense. Russ and I talk about who to sub and when, there are just a few minutes left. We agree on the final sub and she goes in, 3 minutes left, she scores!!! 2-1. Us. I hear my name, it’s Shad, I am only paying half attention to him because this is a huge win for us if we can hang on. He calls me again, about a minute left. I ask what and turn toward him. “The girls are missing. I went to the school, I checked the bathroom, they are not there.”

What???” This makes no sense to me because they should have been back forever ago. I get this feeling, it’s time for me to ditch this game and look for them. As I jump over the fence, assuming now it must have been with a look of panic, a parent says “Betsy, what do you need?” I hear the final whistle blow, the girls won, I look back, they are ecstatic. I say to the parent “My girls are missing.” I continue to run away from the celebration. I don’t believe Shad, and I head to the bathroom, it’s just inside the door. When I get across the parking lot I see it. People lined up everywhere. I scan and realize it’s voting night. Strange people come out of the woodwork to “picket” for this but what is most notable is I don’t see any familiar faces. My stomach tightens again and I think “who the heck knows what kind of crazy is out tonight… This is not good'” I run past them all and into the school and my hunt begins.
Reilly and Noah are following me. I am running the halls yelling for Kate. The janitor sees me and let’s me know that he has heard about the missing girls and he is looking too. He tells me I can check upstairs. I had never given any thought to the middle school having an upstairs and I ask where the stairs are. The boys and I divide and go up opposite sides – yelling. I look everywhere. I see another janitor upstairs who opens the locked rooms for me. The library is dark and locked, I yell… nothing. I look under the stairs, in the bathrooms, everywhere. I am sick to my stomach not only because my two girls are missing but my friends daughter is with them. Three cute little girls in Catholic school uniforms. Ugh. My mind is racing with thoughts that are getting the best of my logic. I continue running, the janitors are looking, the gym is full of people voting. I guess that’s good for the town and state but I know I’m not voting tonight. After about 12 minutes the janitor downstairs yells and tells me they found them. He is on a radio.
Relieved. Mad. Relieved. Thankful. Relieved. Pissed. Relieved. I want to cry or maybe vomit.Something. I have NEVER experienced these feelings before.
I walk out and a Mom friend meets me and hugs me. “You are as white as a sheet she says.” “they went to the high school bathroom” (which is on the other side of the parking lot) I still feel sick. I don’t know what has been said to the girls but they are standing next to my car looking at me, nervously. Shad and I exchange a quick “they are safe…. good…. I have to go”. He’s got 30 little boys waiting for him to coach at yet another location. He leaves. I approach the girls sensing there are many eyes on me outside of the three little sets. I also know that most people, including the team, have NO idea any of this happened. (another thought that scares me, how invisible something like this can be to everyone, but that’s another thing) I get to the girls and I hear Kate blurt out, “I’m sorry.” In hindsight, this is a significant thing for Kate, apologies are not her thing, especially “look you in the eyes apologies” which is what this was. I got my calmness on and said “Girls, when you say you are going somewhere and we agree, you NEVER change your mind without talking to me about it.” Shea, nervous and scared still, gets defensive and says “We went there (pointing to the middle school) and it was closed.” I paused for a second and responded firmly “It’s not closed.” “There are about 200 people voting over there.”

She looked up at me with her big blue eyes which were wide open and said “But Mom, the bathroom was closed.” She waited a few seconds and said “there was a sign outside that said Over 18 Only“.

I was amazed. She was right. Voting…. 18…. I get it. I see the logic that landed them at the high school. I was not equipped to handle that response which I could not have predicted – even if I had time to consider the possibilities. It made total sense to me how it all happened.

It was an awakening I needed. Just typing this entry resurfaces all the feelings I had yesterday afternoon. I need to keep my eyes open wide and my priorities right. I need to stop overcommitting and focus on the things that matter most. It was a long day. I appreciate that it ended the way it did. I thank God that this is my life and I am constantly given second chances, and sometimes a third, to get things right.

As they would say in the social world right now #feeling blessed.

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Sewing with Gram - Learning the Right Way

Sewing with Gram – Learning the Right Way

It’s not something you hear that often for a 9 year old to be taking sewing lessons. But, Kate, is a lucky little girl and has been afforded a new 92 year old friend who is an amazing seamstress. “Gram” as she is affectionately known in our house has taken a liking to Kate. Now Kate, who ironically I think has the God-given gift of my sister Kate, is in heaven spending time with Gram. (Sister Kate’s gift is a deep understanding and affection for the “grandparents” of the world and for animals. I am expecting Kate to land in a nurturing role somewhere down the road for her profession. Perhaps it’s a Mom, or a caregiver of some sort, but I think she is being called in that direction.) Kate gets all her jobs done so she can have time with Gram each week. She made an awesome skirt with a ruffle on the bottom and has big plans to make so much more.

Learning New Things with GramI’m excited for Kate to have such a great role model as a new friend. I am a big believer in that you gain so much more as you keep your eyes open and embrace diversity. Whether your diversity is in who the people are around you or how you fill your day, homogenization drives me crazy. The world is so much more than the subset of commonality we spend our days with — when you see more you get more from life. Lucky Kate for this one at such a young age. 🙂

 

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I contributed this to Shea’s school blog. I purposely did not share until the end of the year so I wouldn’t have parents thinking I’m a bit crabby or worse. Who would want them to doubt their artwork?

Thoughts on the Young Child

  • by Betsy Hansen

Betsy Hansen Mother of the Year Again

I clean my house 5 times a day, at least. I exercise no fewer than three times a day and I come up with new ways to organize my chaotic life at least once a day. The trouble is – I never actually do it physically – it all happens in my head.

My head is a beautiful thing – when I clean, I actually do laundry too. When I exercise, I even shower afterward and when I re-organize, I recycle AND purge. Man… I’m like pretty much perfect. Although… again though, it’s just in my head.

Try explaining how much you accomplish in one day to your husband. Strangely, it doesn’t make sense to him. No idea why on that one.

But… that’s not what I wanted to share with you. I wanted to share more about this self-appointed title I…

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Mother of the Year

Writing a professional letter.

No, they don’t mix. Or actually maybe it’s part of the plan. “Take a break and spend time with your kids!” Either way, we vacationed in February so the kids are at home and stuck with me. They have been subjected to lists a page long each day then tv and iPods. I was sick with that crazy stomach bug on Monday which put me more than a day behind at work eliminating my ability to take a day off and play. I feel so bad but thankfully they are done in 5 weeks and we will get out time soon.

Kate and Rye are having trouble not annoying each other which further complicates the day. From burning down her tower in minecraft to not Nerf bullets to soccer they have been in front of each other for a long time. Today, the first nice day is no different- when working down their list (some items were soccer/lacrosse) and playing catch and dribbling a soccer ball they definitely hit a wall and this letter from Kate shows you.

I look at it this way, at least I have taught her well enough that she got her salutations correct AND she was polite.

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20140112-151720.jpg This is why I claimed my Mother of the Year … Again on the very first day of 2014. We ran the Temple Peanut Butter Chip Chase 5k which has become a tradition for our family. Shea still has a spot in the jogger with Shad, Kate would walk/run with me and Reilly is good on his own or with his friends. Kate and I went and about 1/2 way in she started to complain of the cold. For the last 1/2 my job was to motivate her to finish. Walk… Run… Whatever but I’m feeling bad because she’s so cold but no matter what we have 1.5 miles to go.

We finish after a few tears but a lot more determination. Her cheeks are red, real red and oddly very warm to the touch. We ask a doctor friend to take a peek… Frostbite. Nice.

And you wonder why I’m mother of the year. And to add to her frostbite, the polar vortex and my successive self appointed title I took her skiing with tow face masks/neck-ups.

Hoping for cell re growth.

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Diorama

Kate had to do a diorama for her book report. I used to love doing those! Originally it was going to be populated with LEGO people but I told her it was way more fun to create it all on her own.
Here are Judy and her friends on the playground. The swing set is made with straws and the artwork is all by Kate. She was very proud of her 100% as she should be.

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