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  • Antique Mommy 1, Easter Bunny 0

    April 21, 2014

    I always think I should make Sean an Easter basket or fill a Christmas stocking.

    But I never do.

    I think the last time I made an Easter basket for Sean, he was four or five.

    That was the year I had the bright idea of filling Easter eggs with coins instead of candy.  I am still finding quarters in my flower beds.

    Every year, I think that making (or even buying) an Easter basket for Sean is something I should do because all the good moms make awesome Martha Stewart-Pinterest worthy baskets and they post pictures of their happy faced Easter-basket-holding kids on FaceBook.  But by the time I remember it, which is like the day before, I don’t feel like going to the store.

    And then after it’s all said and done, I would be left with plastic stuff that I don’t want in my house or candy which I don’t really want him to eat.  And Easter grass with it’s Velcro-esque properties that sticks to everything including air is evil.  Like glitter and those little green bits that shed Christmas greenery, Easter grass is insidious, it gets everywhere — once it enters your house, it NEVER leaves, never decomposes. It is FOREVER.  When the world perishes in a big ball of fire, and God sweeps up the remains, in the dust pan will be glitter, Easter grass and green Christmas bits.

    So on Good Friday I was starting to feel something that resembles guilt over depriving Sean of this childhood memory, of not having what all the other kids have, so I said to him,  “Sean, I’m sorry that I don’t have an Easter basket for you.”

    To which he replied, “What’s that?”

    “You know,” I said, “An Easter basket, plastic eggs filled with stuff, candy? Coins? Stuff?”

    “Oh. Yeah. Whatever.  That’s kind of lame.”

    So then, I cancelled that order of guilt and went on my merry no-frills parenting way.

    Score:  Antique Mommy – 1, Easter Bunny 0

    Wishing You A Very Antique Valentine’s Day

    February 14, 2013

    retro.valentine.4W

    I found a package of unopened Valentine cards from what looks like the 1960’s in an antique store a year or so ago and I fell in love with them.  I didn’t know what I would do with them, I just wanted them, so I bought them and stashed them away with the other retro stuff I randomly buy.

    I guess I love these cards because they are innocent and sweet and cheesy – the things I think Valentine’s Day should be for kiddos and I still long for.  Is that when you are officially old?  When you start longing for things to be like when you were growing up?  I think so.

    Yesterday, I had to pick up a box of Valentine cards for Sean to take to school today and as I stood there trying to choose among the unlovely and the even more unlovely, I thought about these cute little retro card with their cheesy messages.  I stood in front of the wall of Valentine cards for a long time not because there were so many great choices, but because all the choices made me shake my head.  Celebrity-themed? Movie-tie-in-themed?  Warrior-themed? Weird animated character-themed? No. No. No and no.

    I ended up buying a box of extreme sports-themed cards only because they were one of the few that did not include tattoos.  The House of Antique does not dig tattoos. Sean sighed and said an unenthusiastic thank you when I handed him the box.  He was not thrilled with my choice.  When I told him I could have picked up a package of pretty princess-themed cards his mood brightened one degree above cloudy.

    Or I could have handed him this box of retro cards which would really launch him into the stratosphere of cool.  Among antique mommies.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers.  You are some of my most favorite people.

     

    Mother’s Day

    May 6, 2011

    When I picked Sean up from school today he thrust a handful of papers at me along with his backpack and took off up the hill to run and play with his friends.   When we got home, he saw that I was looking at the papers he had handed me. “Mom!” he cried, “Don’t look!”

    “What?” I said, “You HANDED them to me!”

    “Okay, you can look,” he said, “But don’t look at everything.  Just pick the one thing you want.”

    So I agreed to that and chose this lovely portrait of me.  He said he drew me in that one pink fuzzy shirt that I have.  I am quite sure I don’t have a pink fuzzy shirt, but maybe I do.  Please, as you gaze upon this portrait, do not hate me because I am beautiful.

     

     

    After I gushed sufficiently over the picture, he asked if maybe I’d like to open just one more thing. No, I said, I think I’d like to wait for Mother’s Day.  No really, he said, just open one more thing.  So I opened the letter which you see below.

     

    It reads:  My mom is very special. She’s 51 and very beautiful. She does a lot of foatoshop. She loves me and I love her.  She buys suff for me like little models on stands that are real models.

    It is a good thing that I don’t care if people know how old I am or how much I weigh for that matter.  Mental note to self:  Don’t let child see tax returns.

    Aside from all that, I was touched at how he tapped into the raw truth about me in his essay, starting with my beauty.    Beauty of course is in the eye of the beholder and the fact that the beholder in this case gets suff at Walmart is probably irrelevant.

    Random thought:  If there are no ugly babies it stands to reason that there can be no ugly mothers.

    He also noted how much I love him and how much he loves me and how I do a lot of foatoshop.  I’m sure some of the other kids wrote about how their mom’s cook fabulous meals and keep a spotless house or have paying jobs, but Sean’s mom does foatoshop!

    Well since we were on a roll, he decided that I might as well go ahead and open the 3rd thing, so I did and inside was this exquisite brooch, hand-crafted of semi-precious plastic jewels and foam stuff.  Don’t covet it y’all, it wouldn’t be right.  I will wear this with my pink fuzzy shirt. If I actually have one.

    And not because I was so well loved today, but because I just can’t stop myself sometimes when it comes to that boy whose freckles make my heart ooze stupid goofy irrational love, we went to Walmart and I bought him suff like little models on stands that are real models. Just because.

     

    It’s all true, especially that part about the freckles.

    * * * * *

    Happy Mother’s Day all!  Do me a favor and maybe take some time to look around you and see who might be on the fringes and not feeling the love this weekend.  And be extra kind.

    * * * * *

    BREAKING NEWS:  I was wrong.  It turns out I actually do have a fuzzy pink shirt. I foatoshopped on my brooch so you could get the full visual affect.

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    Big Fish Little Pond

    May 10, 2010

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    On Saturday, my friend Gigi hosted a Mother’s Day luncheon for her church.  She invited several of us to speak on different aspects of motherhood. I spoke on infertility and late-in-life motherhood. Others spoke on looking forward to motherhood, adoptive motherhood, step-motherhood, grand-motherhood, military motherhood and another gal spoke on what it’s like being a mother to a special needs child.

    One lady lost her son in a tragically freak car accident when he was 32 and spoke about what a joy he was to her for the time she had him.  Each story was inspiring and sharpened my perspective and deepened my appreciation for how similar and yet how different everyone’s experience at this mothering gig can be.

    The picture has nothing really to do with Mother’s Day other than to record that Sean spent the entire weekend running around Gigi’s farm playing with her grandchildren, covered in dirt and totally unaware that he had a mother.

    As we drove home, Sean handed me a Wal-Mart bag from the back seat and wished me a happy Mother’s Day.  Inside was a card and a candle.  I suspect at some point I will own the largest collection of Wal-Mart candles in the state of Texas. I just pray that my collection will grow beyond 32.

    Thanksgiving 2009 Recap

    November 30, 2009

    In Texas, Thanksgiving weather is anyone’s guess.  There have been some years that we had ice and sleet and other years that were warm enough to go swimming.  This year it was about 70 and sunny and intensely beautiful.

    Here’s what I will remember of Thanksgiving 2009:

    – Hanging out at Cousin Jimmy’s place in the country, where we

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    trekked through a winding creekbed and then a pasture of needle grass with Sean playing the part of Bear Grylls and me playing the part of the woman who carries all the cool rocks and leaves that he found along the way.  I wonder if Bear’s mom had to carry all the rocks.  We also found some dinosaur bones which look remarkably like cow bones.  I refused to carry the cow dinosaur bones.  That’s where I draw the line.

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    – Watching Sean toss bread to 30-pound catfish. The fish would silently rise from the murky depths like a shark, devour an entire piece of bread in one bite and then disappear into the dark.  I did not squeal even one time.  I have pictures of the Amazon catfish but they are terribly unattractive creatures.

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    – And my favorite memory of all, watching Sean sit in the same chair with Aunt Jean showing her how to play a game on my iTouch.

    * * *

    Things I Won’t Remember about Thanksgiving 2009:

    – Who won the football game.

    – The parade floats.

    – That I made the dessert and left it at home.

    So then, how was your Thanksgiving?  Tell me one thing you will remember and one thing you won’t.

    I Digress And Call It A Post

    May 11, 2009

    So then, yesterday was Mother’s Day. Or Sunday. Whatever. To me, Mother’s Day ranks right up there with Boxing Day. I can take it or leave it.  I know. In your head right now, you are saying, “What kind of mother doesn’t like Mother’s Day!” Did you think I couldn’t hear that?

    Regardless of whatever personal issues I have with the highest of the Hallmark holy days, I am still obligated to participate.  I crumble easily under the weight of societal expectations to buy flowers and cards and to festively order others to “Have a happy (insert occasion) day!” I just go along. I grumble, but I go along.

    Texas has been gray and wet for what seems like two years now, but according to the newspapers it has actually only been two weeks.  And yesterday, Mother’s Day, was no different.  So we drove up to Tuna under a gray cloud of drizzly rain to have lunch with Memaw to celebrate Mother’s Day.

    When we arrived, we exclaimed “Happy Mother’s Day” in a festive tone and then we sat down to eat too much.  Papa George had fixed us a yummy meal and it was swell all the way around even though I had to do the dishes.

    When we got home late in the afternoon, we noticed an odd bright orb in the sky, so we Googled “bright orb in the sky” and we were delightfully surprised to find out that it was the sun. A few little sunbeams and my girlish giddy and glee returned to wash away all my sour feelings surrounding having a national day set aside to honor the fact that I managed to procreate.

    A few sunbeams were all it took for Sean too.  He raced into the house and put on his swimming suit.  And when a 38-pound boy wearing a swimming suit, snorkel and mask is standing in your den, the cuteness will short circuit your brain and you will be rendered powerless to do anything other than say “Okay!”  And that’s how we ended up at the swimming pool late in the afternoon on Mother’s Day.

    In my opinion, the water in the swimming pool was fuh-reee-zzzzing!  But according to Sean, the water was “refreshant!” Although my research is not scientific, I believe that human children learn to discern uncomfortably cold swimming pool water around the same time they develop sense enough to come in out of the rain. Unlike chickens however, human children will not drown if they look up when it’s raining. This fact, I have proven scientifically. I’m not sure how that relates to anything heretofore.

    So, I sat a safe distance from the edge of the pool and its uncomfortably cold water to watch my scrawny little boyfriend jump in and out of the pool about 658 times;  each time crafting a unique approach and/or creative pose for the amusement of his mother.

    “Mom!” he shouted as zipped past in a blur, “Memaw’s AND swimming, all in the SAME day! This is the best day EVER!” And then he disappeared into a big splash of chilly water.  My heart was drenched in joy.

    So yeah, Mother’s Day was the best day ever.  And so was every day of the last five and a half years.

    Easter Booty

    April 13, 2009

    We are not big on the commercial trappings of Easter. No one gets new Easter clothes and Sean doesn’t get a big Easter basket filled with candy and toys and a giant chocolate Easter bunny, but we do partake of the egg hunting tradition early and often, and with much enthusiasm.

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    Last week I managed to find the plastic eggs from Easter past.  I filled them with coins and then hid them all around the yard for Sean to find. With basket in hand, Sean hunted them down, cracked them open and like a little Warren Buffet, he calculated his earnings and considered his investment options. And then we did that again 2 or 27 times. At the end of the day, I refilled all 43 eggs with coins so we could do it all again another day.

    Later that week, Sean had a little friend over. He asked if they could hide the Easter eggs and I wasn’t really listening, so I said “Sure!”

    They took the eggs outside and hid them in the backyard and then because they are brilliant children, they found them. And then they cracked them open. In the sandbox.

    If you are a pirate, we have about $15 in change buried in our sandbox. Come and get it.

    Be A Pilgrim

    November 26, 2008

    Seek boldly.

    Journey courageously.

    Work diligently.

    Sacrifice valiantly.

    Suffer willingly.

    Persist relentlessly.

    Share extravagantly.

    Serve compassionately.

    Love fearlessly.

    Live intentionally.

    Give thanks unceasingly.

    tall ships

    We are all but pilgrims and strangers upon the earth.

    Peace and grace to you wherever life takes you.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    Happy Halloween

    October 30, 2008

    I found this image on iStock and I publish it here for your amusement. There’s just something universally funny about a dog wearing clothes.

    The Mystique of Older Motherhood or What A Crock

    May 8, 2008

    I get an email every week or so from someone saying that because I’m an older mother, I’m probably a better mom (than those younger moms), that I am probably wiser (than those younger moms), that I probably appreciate my child more (than those younger moms), that I probably have more patience (than those younger moms).

     

    To that I say this: HA! 

     

    For emphasis, I shall say it again: HA! 

     

    Oh that it were so. Let me assure you, it is so not so.

     

    Sometimes y’all?  The word Mom is the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard.  It tickles my ears like no music ever has.  I remember how I longed and yearned to be called Mom for so long and it makes my heart melt like a popsicle on a summer day.

     

    But then other times, after a long day, Mom is the last word I want to hear.

     

    And I certainly don’t want to hear it 15 times in a row in various inflections.

     

    Mom? MOM! MAHaaaaam! Mommmmmm! Maaaaahummmm?  MOE-UMM!! Mommy! MoMMee?  Mom-ME!

     

    I just want it to stop. For. The. Love. Of. Pete. Give it a rest kid.  

     

    In spite of my age, I am often not patient, not wise and not all that appreciative.  I am however, almost always more tired (than those younger moms).

     

    Sorry to disappoint all you misguided emailers, but that’s the sorry truth about my geriatric mothering. 

     

    What? You have days like that too?  And you are not of advanced maternal age?

     

    The truth is that no matter your age, motherhood is often draining, exasperating, annoying, unsatisfying and almost always smelly.

     

    It is also true that there is nothing else you have ever done in your life that you would describe in those terms, yet quickly add, “But I love it! It is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me!”  

     

    And it’s true. You love it. It is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to you. And if you are like me, you’d like to do it all over again.

     

    My hat is off to all you younger moms. You inspire me.  Happy Mother’s Day.