Friday, March 26, 2010

Man, I love this boy. He's what keeps me going right now and I'm so appreciative of that.
Lately I've been feeling overwhelmed at the enormous responsibility of being a parent. Not necessarily the day to day duties, but the whole big picture. How can I raise this boy to be a good person who loves and cares about others? How do I help him love the gospel and have a testimony of our Savior? How can I show him how to be a loving partner and wonderful father? There's just so much on my mind and the task seems almost impossible. With so many temptations and challenges in life, how can I raise him to be happy and successful? Does anyone else feel this way?

I've been asking my mom over and over these same questions. How do you do it? How can you just raise them and send them out in the world and not follow their every move, making sure they make wise decisions? And more importantly, how do you survive all of this without having a complete breakdown due to stress? How did she do it 6 times?

As fate would have it, Sunday's Relief Society lesson dealt with these questions a lot. I left the meeting feeling like I completely disagreed with the responses of many of the sisters. Most everyone agreed that no matter what, your children should just know that you love them. I've been thinking about it all week, and I just keep thinking that there is clearly something more to it. I reflected on my own upbringing, and agreed that I knew my parents loved me, but it was way more than that. They taught me. They showed me. By example. They taught and showed how important the gospel is. I heard their testimonies frequently in church, and knew of their love of the gospel and our Savior by the way they lived their lives. They had high expectations of the people that we should become, and they did everything to provide us opportunities to become who they knew we were capable of.

They loved us. But I think a huge part of loving your children is not just allowing them to do anything simply because they want to. We knew how disappointed they would be with our poor judgment, and that always weighed on my mind when I was faced with decisions. It made us want to make them happy and proud of us. And more importantly, they showed us they loved us and were proud of us.

So throughout the week as I've been contemplating all of this, the real answer suddenly occurred to me. The Plan. It's all part of the Plan. Heavenly Father didn't just send us down here, hope for the best, and tell us, "Well, I love you no matter what happens." Of course He loves and always will. However, He will be disappointed when we don't choose the right paths in our life. He sent us here and provides all the tools and knowledge we need in order to be able to make the right choices and become happy, successful people. Why would we, as parents, do anything other than follow His example if we hope for the best outcomes for our own children?

So, I realized being a parent is a HUGE responsibility, but being a good parent is an even BIGGER one. I feel blessed that Heavenly Father has allowed me to be a mom to this sweet boy, and that he trusts that I can do it. I know I can do it, and if I do it well, I know I'll become a much better person in the process.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dear Officer....

Thank you for letting me off the hook today. You didn't have to believe me when I said it was the worst day of my life. But for whatever reason, you did.

Thank you for not running my license plate number. You probably would not have let me go if you had. You could see that my registration expired in February, but what you didn't know is I have a warrant out for my arrest. You see, back in October I got pulled over for a burnt out headlight. And come to find out, my license happened to be expired. Unfortunately for me, that officer wasn't as kind and understanding as you were. The problem was, I went out of town the next day, came back and packed my house and moved. Somewhere in the middle of all that, I forgot to pay my ticket(or renew my license). Yes, I realize that most people can't even sleep with something looming over their head like that. But I have an amazing ability to block all that out and function as if everything is normal.

What you also may not know is that today I hauled my two-year old to Hurricane to the DMV to finally renew my license. When we arrived, he jumped out of the car and fell into a rainy mud puddle. We got inside and waited in line to check in. Ten minutes later, I was informed that I couldn't renew without a copy of my birth certificate. We jumped back in the car and headed back to St. George to print a copy, got the copy and headed back to Hurricane. This time we avoided the puddle and only waited 5 minutes to check in. Things were looking up and we took our number and waited to be called up. One hour later, it was finally our turn. The kind man at the desk informed me that I would not be able to renew today because I had a child with me and children are not allowed in the testing area. And yes, I would need to retake the test. There went three hours of our day.

Our next stop was an oil change and new oil filter. 30 minutes, $50 and we were on our way to get our state inspection.

1 hour, 1 new brake light, $50 and 5th potty break for my two-year old in a skeezy automotive shop bathroom, and we were finally headed home to make the most of our horrible day.

Enter you. I was one mile from home when I noticed your lights in the rear-view mirror. I'm not sure how long you were there. You see, I was on the phone with Weber State University trying to contest the $400 charge for a class that apparently didn't get dropped in time to get a full refundd. I didn't exactly know how to explain to them why I had neglected to drop it and what I'd been preoccupied with for the last two months. I saw your lights, ended the call and scrambled to think of how to explain my predicament to you.

When you asked for my license, I wasn't lying when I said I couldn't find it. It was somewhere between the DMV and the state inspection shop. The tears I shed weren't fake when I told you it was the worst day of my life. So, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart for not arresting me and letting me salvage what was left of my day. That is, the one hour I have before I go to my divorce orientation and education class. Ha ha.


P.S. Now that I think of it, is solitary confinement really all that bad?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Good Therapy = Good Week

This week has been good. Not great. But considering everything, I'll take good. I think in large part it is due to some thearpy I've been receiving. Not from a professional; that ended a while ago. Although lately I've considered going again. Call me crazy, but it feels good to have my opinions validated.

The week started off by getting my hair did. That is usually the best form of therapy for me. I wanted to do something different but not too dramatic. I love how it turned out and think I have only been shot a few "is she having a mid-life crisis?" looks.

Tuesday night we had some family arrive to our house. They were honestly the best house guests, and literally vacuumed their way out the door on Friday afternoon. It brought back memories of Aunt Trudy "raking" her shag carpet on her way out the door when we were little kids. Jack had so much fun playing with Addey and Reece, and I loved having Aunt Trudy and Beau around to talk to and do craft projects with. The weather was amazing on Wednesday, and we played outside the entire day. The weird part was that while they were here, things felt normal. Really normal. Too normal. Which has me more concerned about how hard next week will be. I'm pushing those thoughts aside for now.

Also this week I think I consumed at least one entire bag of Cadbury mini eggs and another bag of Reese's eggs. Easter candy is the best invention. Ever. Talk about good therapy.

Wednesday night I went to pack Jack's backpack for daycare. Inside was a plastic bag. Inside said bag was a pair of underwear. From Tuesday. Poopy. Smelly. Crusty. I gagged, then threw up in my mouth. Then, like the cheap person I am, rinsed them out. Then I text everyone who I thought would give me a great response about these unders just so I could have a good laugh. Oddly enough, it became good therapy.

Thursday, Jack got a special delivery on the doorstep. He was ecstatic to open the present and find his very own rolling suitcase for our upcoming Phoenix trip. We are flying there with my Mom and he is so excited to ride on an airplane. He immediately began packing his suitcase, with the help of Reece and Addey. It was packed full of toys and clothes. The next day he added a water bottle. It was pretty darned cute. Aunt Giselle and Grandma could not have been more thoughtful. It was yet another reminder of just how blessed I am to be surrounded by so many thoughtful people right now. Its the best form of therapy I can think of.

I also felt great this week since Jack and his posse of 9, yes, count them NINE stuffed animals slept with me. It was so fun to have a cuddle partner, or nine. In case you're not up to speed on the number of stuffed animals we drag from room to room, they are, in no particular order: Monkey, Blue Doggy, Pink Doggy, Regular Doggy(seriously, the kid calls him regular), Ira, Beary, Wittle Beary, Bunny and Wittle Bunny. Good thing I have a king-sized bed.

All throughout the week I have talked to so many friends and family. Everyone thinks to check in on me. And I love it. Sometimes it may not seem like I enjoy it, but I really do. I cannot imagine how much harder everyday would be if I didn't have little texts and calls from everyone. I have actually been feeling really bad this week because I know lots of other people are going through hard times, yet they still call to check in on me and listen to me crying. Next week, I'm going to try to focus on other people's lives and well-being, and work on less self-pity and victimization. {hopefully that is a word}.

My friend directed me to a blog that is pretty personal to me right now. I started reading it yesterday and couldn't stop. It's really great and adding a lot of perspective to things, which is always good therapy! Read it here.

Which brings me to my last little bit of therapy. Thursday was payday at daycare, and on each invoice his teacher write a little progress note. This week's note said, "Jack is doing better but continues to cry for no apparent reason."

So do I, lady, so do I.

She should try it sometime. I find that its good therapy.