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Archive for the ‘Mother of the Year Moments’ Category

Shortly after “deflategate” was a dinner table discussion because Reilly single-handedly divided the house into Seahawks and Patriots fans. His choice being the former. He was proud to find any and all reasons to want the Seahawks to win, but his most thoughtful reason was that the Patriots had all veteran players and he thought the Seahawks deserved it because they were a dynamic team. Shad and I, although we felt worthy of an argument, gave him credit for being thoughtful and personal about his convictions.

A terrible segue follows…

Shad found a recipe for no-bake, organic, gluten-free cookies. He made the batter and was rolling it into small balls and placing them on wax paper. Shea walks in and asks if she can help Dad, she went and washed her hands, dragged her little hand-me-down stool to the counter and started copying Shad. Shea would try to roll this “batter” into balls and place them on the sheet.

First one hits the floor.
She yells at the dog not to eat because she suspects the brown is chocolate.
She rolls the next two and gets them on the paper.
The novelty has worn off.

“Dad, I’m not going to do this anymore. I don’t like balls. You are really good with balls.”
Shad and I exchange one of those non-smiling but thinking the same thing glances about the innocence of this remark.
“Wait, B is a bad word”
No, it’s not a bad word… it’s like the Patriots and the footballs… it’s just balls.
Reilly interjects, “yah, it’s like deflategate”
“Reilly, I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“I do know….”
“Well it’s the thing on boys.”… “And we don’t talk about them.”
Yes, it is also the thing on boys and we don’t talk about them but cookie balls are different.
“Oh, okay, I don’t want to make them anymore”
She drags her stool back to where it came from and moved on to something else leaving Shad with a bowl of batter and his cookie balls.
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Shea likes to go into the bank instead of going to the ATM because she knows there are lollipops. We went into the bank and she looked everywhere for a lollipop, but, given the holidays TD had flipped the treats to be green and white candy canes. She speaks with intent and made sure she was loud enough to say she wanted a lollipop so the teller could hear. Her intent was noted and the teller said “I have some lollipops” and passed me a TD cup full of them. Shea chose a purple and so I chose a green. Shea tried to take enough for Reilly and Kate, which although thoughtful, was not happening.

On the way out, she spotted the candy canes and insisted we just try them because she had never seen a white and green candy cane. (not true, she had one last year) Again, I went with it. I took three little candy canes. We got into the car to run the rest of our errands. She had finished her lollipop and was talking incessantly as she often does. “Can I have the candy cane now?” Knowing I did not want to discuss this for the next 30 minutes until I caved, I turned a blind eye to the clock that said 10:30am and said yes.

Are you going to give those candy canes to Kate and Reilly?

No, I’m going to keep them.

Where will you put them?

I am going to put them in the door.

pause

Oh, so you can eat them when you need a breath mint?

Ummm…. yah.

Because sometimes you need your breath to smell better.

Oh… okay.

Especially when you wake up.

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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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Originally posted on another one of my blogs by accident so I’ll backdate to August when it happened… whoops! 🙂
I always think I’m larger than I should be or want to be. My house is very free when it comes from heading out of the shower to finding your clothes. I have been asked a number of times over the years if I’m “having another baby because it looks like ones in there” to the statement mom is plump – we shouldn’t say fat because that’s a mean word to just this morning when my little friend Shea crawled into bed next to me, rested her head across my body and said “you are as soft as a pillow”. Only to correct herself a moment later saying “actually, no, you are softer than a pillow”. She then rolled over, thinking about her recent compliment and said “can you help me with my hair, it’s a mess.”

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Every once in a while I don’t joke, I’m not sarcastic, I don’t yell and I am an empathetic and compassionate Mom. With Rye-Guy at sleep away soccer camp, sleep-deprived and probably a bit homesick and me missing him terribly, I sent him a card and a pack of Rolo’s.

Roll a Rolo to your pal, it’s chewy chocolate covered car-a-mel

Not sure if anyone remembers that ad but I do.
Anyway, Shad gave him the card when he brought him more socks tonight. He told me he walked away from everyone to read it. Maybe he misses me too….

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One of the best things I ever did was asked my friend Greg who is an amazing photographer to shoot Shea’s graduation. It was a day I wanted to just sit, take it all in, and enjoy. Since my passion is documenting our lives I knew there was something to be missed if I didn’t immerse myself in this 90 minute celebration. What we were going to celebrate in 90 minutes was more than Shea’s graduation to me. It marked 8 years of private care for the kids from what has become an extension of our family. They have cared so much about our kids over the years from broken legs and going to pre-k with a walker to hanging out with Reilly for an extra couple hours as we made our way back into town from the birthing center at Southern with Kate in some freak April snowstorm to four years of Shea and Mrs Erb who endured a constant show and tell. On top of that I created the school web site and tried to extend my tech marketing background on this little school and I was allowed the creative license of my photography. It was a great almost-decade for my whole family. And although I thought it would be sad to hear the goodbye song that night for the third and final time, the reminder that they are “just kids” by a few of those graduating that night kept the whole thing grounded for me. Seeing all my photography on the fence to my baby waving hi and proudly wearing her hand-painted graduation cap made it as special – for both of us, maybe even all of us, as I could ever ask for. Congratulations Shea-Shea you were awesome!

Thank you Greg, I owe you one!

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