lessons learned…

i have my sister’s kids for a few days. needless to say, yesterday was a tiny bit of a disaster. no blood, no broken bones, nothing like that – just lots of little mistakes. partly because i just don’t really have the stuff to entertain a 3 year old and a 5 year old for 3 days. especially if it’s raining, like it is today. they sure don’t care that it’s raining so i suppose we could go play outside. i don’t really want to sit outside though because i’m a pansy. i figure, though, that they can entertain themselves for a few hours today while i do the stuff that i do. you know, like blog, check my email, that kind of stuff.

however, i’ve definitely LEARNED from yesterday, though. like…

  • they take a nap when i say so and NOT an hour before supper.
  • they need to be watched a tiny bit more when playing on a playground. not ALWAYS a spectator sport
  • meals are NOT an option

you know, things like that. i’ve kinda felt like yesterday was a TOTAL failure, but when i think about it, i only made, like, 4 mistakes. they just seemed so big at the time but they’re really not.

i just know that i’m not ready to be a mom to a 4 and 5 year old right now. i’d MUCH rather start from scratch and figure it out as i go along. and i know that when i have kids, i’m going to be making mistakes like that all the time and feeling dumb and kinda like a failure, but it’s important to remember that EVERY mom and EVERY dad does too. EVERYONE who’s had a kid makes those mistakes. when they’re tired or annoyed or angry or whatever. heck, even when they’re not.

kids are tough to figure out, especially when they spend all their time at their OWN house and things there work differently than they do here. it’s a bit of a learning curve for them to come to a new place with new people and new places and new rules. sometimes it’s hard to figure out what’s worth fighting, what’s not, and how to DEAL with the stuff worth fighting for.

having another person here to deal with the kids is kind of a double edged sword too. on one hand, it’s REALLY nice to have them there to help with getting ready and whatnot. just helping to take care. on the other hand, it can be stressful because they’re doing things differently or sometimes just don’t know what to do. sometimes you BOTH don’t know what to do or how to handle a certain situation. i’d definitely rather HAVE someone else around than do it myself though. for SURE! i can’t imagine doing this on my own. of course, i wouldn’t be a stay at home mom and that’s part of the stress too – being home all the time, dealing with them all the time – it’s stressful.

then, of course, there are the rules. of course, it again comes down to the ‘what’s worth fighting about?’ question. are the rules that one deems necessary really necessary? what if one person thinks one rule is necessary but the other doesn’t? i know from my point of view, i find it more important to stand united – especially when it’s just for a few days. i know that to undermine one is to undermine BOTH because it causes confusion. and of course, rules are for naught if the kids aren’t trained to listen to and follow rules. fortunately, these kids listen to rules well (for the most part). i HAVE found then when we’re out, the fewer rules the better. it’s better to have one or two rules that cover the REALLY important stuff than to have 10 rules that cover the most important to that which isn’t important at all. like… not crossing the street without holding hands or without looking. things like that.

all in all, having kids is HARD work. i’m glad that i have a couple kids that i can borrow for multiple days to remind me that having kids is going to be HARD work and helps to remind me WHY we’re waiting. helps me remember that it’s going to be hard to have kids and go to school and do well. of course, you find a way to do it, but i’d much rather not work it that way. i definitely WANT kids, but not for a while. they’re VERY rewarding but a lot of work.

so, for the next few days, there will be a lot of lessons to learn, a lot of work to do, and a lot of fun to have because they ARE fun kids.

my eulogy…

yesterday, the president of concordia college in moorhead died. I knew her only as President Jolicoeur. I met her on my second date with james when we happened to be dining at the same restaurant one table away. she told me that james was her computer saviour. later that evening, james took me on a nighttime stroll/tour of concordia where we ran into her again. i remember her as being very warm and friendly, not the kind of person i would imagine being the president of a private school, to be honest. of course, having a slight school-related animosity toward concordia certainly didn’t help (i go to the school pretty much across the street, of course we’re going to have some rivalry/animosity, don’t judge me).

as usually happens when someone dies unexpectedly, i started to think. i started thinking about my life. what am i doing with it? how am i making a difference with my own life? am i making sure that my priorities are where they should be, in the order they should be? am i making sure that the important stuff remains important while the unimportant stuff stays there too? am i more concerned with the state of my garden than the state of my heart?

it also got me thinking about my relationship with james. am i treating him absolutely the best i can? sometimes, often times, i whine and complain about staying home and being the one who does all the cleaning and the laundry and the dishes. but he’s the one who goes to work every day to make sure that we have money in our bank account, a roof over our head (an apartment that will need to be cleaned), food in our stomachs (which will inevitably create dishes), and clothes on our back (which also creates laundry). sometimes i forget that this is a TEAM effort and people on the same team have different jobs. right now, my job is this, to be at home, to keep it orderly, to be a good student, to get good grades. his job is to provide so that i can do those things, so i don’t have to worry about working AND doing my school work. sad to say, sometimes i fail to appreciate everything HE does too. sometimes i think he has it easy being at work 40 hours a week, dealing with problems, issues, and the occasional moron. so am i making sure that i’m helping to RELIEVE his stress or am i adding to it? do i want to be the wife that ADDS to the stress of her husband’s life? is that how i want to be remembered?

i also got to thinking about my friends and this one was MUCH trickier because friends come on so many levels. there are the acquaintances, the casual friends, the ones you call up when you want to get together, the good friends, the close friends, the besties, and don’t forget about those who are your friend on facebook that you NEVER talk to. ever. i was thinking about my close friends and thinking about how well we keep in touch. i am so grateful to my friends who are always there, who i can call up (or make phone dates with) and chat – even if it’s about nothing. i got to thinking about how sometimes i need to put forth a little more effort in those relationships. i also got to thinking about those bad friendships. the somewhat poisonous ones and it made me think and wonder why i’m still friends with them. i don’t necessarily WANT them around anymore. every time i talk to them, i feel my attitude creeping toward bad. and yet, for some reason, i’m not able to break off the friendship. i find myself waiting for a long enough time to pass so that i can really consider them not a friend and leave them behind. i don’t know if that’s good or bad, but i do know that i don’t need them in my life and i’m pretty sure that they don’t need me either.

i got to thinking about my family. do i tell them enough how much i love them, how much they mean to me? do i show them? i think i do, at least. maybe i’m really bad at mother’s day and father’s day and getting cards and gifts for birthdays and other things like that, but are those the things that really show how much you care? does it matter if the best i do is send a text on mother’s day to my mom (usually at 4 or 5 pm because i haven’t realized it’s mother’s day)? do my siblings know that i think they’re turbo cool as far as siblings go even though they drive me nuts sometimes? or even slightly more than sometimes?

i guess most of it boils down to this: how am i going to be remembered when it comes my time to go? are people going to breathe a sigh of relief? are they going to be devastated that i’m gone but happy because i’m hanging out with my saviour? are people going to KNOW that’s where i am? is there going to be a question or a doubt in anyone’s mind where i’m spending eternity? what would people say at MY funeral on the open mic? what would be in my eulogy?

macaroni and cheese and hot dogs…

there’s something about craving macaroni and cheese and hot dogs that makes me feel like i’m 5 all over again. not in an immature way necessarily, but in a ‘sometimes i wish things weren’t so darn hard all the time’ way. i know that really, in the grand scheme of life and all life suffering, i have it really really easy. i know that. but i don’t think that you can compare one life to another, to be honest. you can’t compare their experiences. it’s not that i’m unhappy where i am. it’s not that i regret marrying a man who adores me and if this picture doesn’t prove that, find me one that would.

i love our life together. i love our home. i love everything we’ve done with it. i love that it’s ours.

i don’t regret (m)any of the decisions i’ve made over my life. each one has formed me into the person i am now. the person i was always meant to be. every step that i’ve taken in this journey to find myself, to find God, to figure out what i’m meant to do has been a step never taken in vain. i don’t regret the stops. i don’t regret the relationship with one who had never had macaroni and cheese in his life until he met me. he didn’t even know how to make it. i don’t regret the pain. i don’t like it, but it had to happen. there are so many fond memories of the past years – running, graduating high school, moving to go to college, moving into my first apartment with probably the best roommate i’ve ever had and the friendship that has blossomed because of it, getting my degree, going back to school for a new degree after learning a few very hard and painful life lessons, falling in love, getting married. the path that made me who i am is a path i would walk again and again if i had to, even making all the same mistakes because if i change even one of those, the person that i am is totally different. every choice affects the future. all of them. i can’t change one thing without changing everything that follows. even if i changed the ONE thing that i would LOVE to change, i wouldn’t be who i am.

sometimes, i long to be 5 again. to live a simple life. but i know that we aren’t meant to be 5 forever. we’re meant to learn and to grow and live and love and eventually die. it’s the way of things. and as that goes, i’m determined to make the rest of however many days i have count. i’m determined to continue growing, continue living, continue becoming the person i’m meant to be.

and, when the mood strikes, i’ll cook up some mac and cheese, cut up some hot dogs, and eat them off the plate that now symbolizes all the changes in my life. and i’ll go back to being 5 for a little while until it’s time for real life to take over again and i need to be an adult.

little bitty baby “scare”…

so we did the whole ‘we’ve been married for a month and she’s feeling a little sick and now the morning sickness jokes are flying so we should probably do a baby test’ test. not that either of us was actually WORRIED or even THOUGHT there WAS a baby, but you know, why not? right?

the test was negative. there’s no baby. just like we thought.

however, i find myself being pretty disappointed about it. i KNOW that a baby is absolutely what we don’t need right now and all that jazz, but for a little while, i was having a lot of fun thinking and pretending that there was a little guy or a little girl in there. just hanging out. growing. whatever. and then to have the baby test say ‘nope, sorry’ was disappointing.

i know that the IDEA of a baby and the REALITY of a baby are two very different things. the way i figured, IF there was a baby, it would come in january. right before or right at the beginning of my final semester. which really would be my hardest semester. so not only would i be trying to do the school thing, i’d be trying to do it while taking care of an incredibly needy little baby. and it wouldn’t STOP being incredibly needy, probably, until after graduation. that timing is not exactly what we had planned. well, not at ALL what we had planned. that would make for one REALLY stressful school year and for someone trying to do REALLY well (and succeeding), that would make things MUCH MUCH tougher.

so the question is ‘why the disappointment?’. why be disappointed that things are working out just as we had planned? because i’m a girl, i guess. and girls want babies. or something. or maybe it’s because i have the most awesome husband in the world (yeah, i’m biased, calm down already married peoples) and i want to start a family with him. i want to start one so badly that the bad timing doesn’t affect that desire. i’m not one to be skipping pills or anything like that to try to MAKE it come true because deep down, i know the reality. deep down, i get it.

i think that overall, the weirdest part is that neither one of us was really worried about a baby. as in if i was pregnant. we weren’t wondering how we would pay for it or any of that stuff. it was more ‘this timing is off but if it’s there, we’re totally happy and we’ll make it work’. which is really cool. there was no freak out or anything like that. nothing to be worried about.

now if only i would stop feeling sick…

divorce…

this is something that i don’t really understand. i mean, i get how it works and all, but it doesn’t make sense to me.

let me set this up just a little bit. a few weeks ago, i found out that someone i know is getting a divorce from his wife of 30 years. 30 YEARS!! and heard that someone else of 25 years is splitting up. and yesterday on the radio i heard that al and tipper gore, together 40 YEARS are calling it quits. not that i care about al and tipper, but you know what i mean, right?

i don’t understand how you can share SO much of your life with someone and then just walk away. HOW DO YOU JUST WALK AWAY FROM 25, 30, 40 YEARS?!?!

obviously i don’t know the ins and outs of these stories, i don’t know what life is like at home, i don’t know a lot of things about their lives, their marriages, whatever. it just seems so weird to me that people can do that. they can decide that after all those years, it would be better to not be with the person that they pledged their lives to. trying to imagine my mom and dad walking away from each other right now (this year is 25 for them and no, there’s no party because i’m a terrible daughter). i can’t even imagine it. i can’t even PICTURE them walking away.

what makes a marriage not worth it anymore?

i have had quite a few friends get married in the past few years and i have been invited to 6 this season as well. we’ll make it to 4, so not bad. but of all those people, there ARE in fact a few who i wonder ‘will they make it?’. with these people, i know what will kill their marriage if it does. selfishness. plain and simple. and it breaks me heart to think that they’re going through all of this stuff and yet i wonder (and i’m not the only one) if they’ll make it 5 years. i WANT to believe in them, i WANT to believe in their marriage. i just don’t know how.

of course, and you knew this was coming eventually, it makes me think about mine. how do i KNOW that we’re going to make it? how do i KNOW that 10, 15, 30 years from now we’ll still love each other? that we’ll still find our marriage to be worth it? obviously i DON’T know and i realize that marriage is a string of choices. choosing to stay with that person, choosing to love them, all that stuff, but it’s still kinda scary. i’ve been married for like, 35 DAYS and everything is going just fine and we still like each other and all that jazz. it just makes me wonder what the future brings. can we handle it? will we make it? or will we end up as a divorce statistic?