Missing my girls

The girls when they were young

The girls when they were young

As the holidays loom ever closer, I find myself reminiscing about the simple things I miss.  Being an empty nester for almost a year now hasn’t been as bad as I feared.  Dad and I have had more time for each other and it’s been peaceful and quiet.

But sometimes a mama just has one of those days.

Today, I miss one hand in mine, while your dad held the other as we propelled you over a puddle or a crack or just for the thrill of hearing you giggle.  You would always plea, “do it again”, until our arms were worn out.  I miss tiny feet coming down the hall with sleepy eyes that beckoned me to pick you up and hold you for a while until you were fully awake.

I miss play-doh, yes, even play-doh and playdates and parks; climbing up the slide with you in my arms and sliding down while holding on to you for dear life.

The dinner table is much quieter now and there are never any spills or anyone scrunching their nose up at my choice of veggies.  It only takes a minute to clean up afterwards and there is no one volunteering to help.   Oh wait; there wasn’t when you were here either!

I miss the wide, trusting eyes that believed everything I told them and somehow instinctively knew I had their best interest at heart.

Oh yes, I even miss the makeup encrusted counters, because they remind me of “getting ready” with you to go on one of our outings.  I miss a house full of friends, being your taxi and proudly watching you play all your sports.  Today, I even miss the smelly tripled amounts of laundry.

I miss the way I rarely had to drag you to church because you always wanted to go.  I miss your excitement over mission trips and the way you told stories of the life changing experiences you had upon your return from them.

I am sure I’ll have other days like this, because I have so many wonderful memories with you.  You were a pleasure to raise (most of the time).  Don’t get so teary and filled with sympathy that you think this means you have to return for good, but a visit in the near future would be nice!

Make sure that you enjoy the “simple” things, as those are the ones you will remember with such fondness.

Love,

Mom

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

 

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The photo challenge this week was to capture “joy”.  There are many photos I could use, but the look in my granddaughter’s eyes said it all.  She loves cake!

Eyebrows and Toenails

Pedi in Hawaii

Pedi in Hawaii

Today was a day I decided to just meander into town and do whatever I felt like doing, a “me” day, I guess.

After a couple of errands were out of the way, I found myself at the mall which was just beginning to open.  There weren’t many people there and I thought that from now on, early morning is the right time to come to the mall.  The only thing you have to watch out for is all of the elderly walkers who come here to have a safe, indoor environment to move those bodies.  Some of them are fast and you have to get out of their way.

My stop at Sephora was very productive, although a tad costly, but what’s a girl to do without her cosmetics?  I even allowed myself the luxury of letting the girl try some new products on me and got a new “eye look”.  She insisted primer is the key to keep that eye shadow in place.

Next, I stumbled on a huge dress sale, so of course, I had to stop.  After trying on about 10 dresses from the sale racks and one of the latest arrivals, guess which one fit?  Right, the latest arrival, which meant it wasn’t on sale.  But, it was too cute to pass up.

My next to last stop of the day was to redeem the mani-pedi gift certificate one of my daughters gave me for Mother’s Day.  I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but it’s a challenge for me to sit still and relax during this process.  I look at it more as a “necessity”; something you just do, get it over with and feel prettier because of it.  This time, I told myself, I would really try to relax (except for the waxing part as that is impossible!).  I settled in and closed my eyes, the massage chair already doing its thing.

Wouldn’t you know I would be perched near the lady who proceeded to regale everyone within earshot with stories about her and her husband’s feet.  She went on for approximately 20 minutes expressing her angst over her ingrown toenails and telling her friend how she comes to get them “dug out” once a month.  She enlightened us on more than we ever wanted to know about ingrown toenails, her husband’s bunions and a horrific trip she had to the podiatrist who drew blood.

Needless to say, I was glad when it was my turn to go in the back for eyebrow and upper lip waxing.  The pain of that would surely be better than the next topic she would thrill us with.

Finally, I was ready to go.  I got to my car to try to remove some of the gooey, shiny stuff they plaster all over your brows and lip after this process.  When I opened the mirror, I was horrified.  My new “eye look”, was stripped mid-way down from the brow and thanks to the new primer she used, I couldn’t rub what was left around to fill in the huge bare gaps.

At this point, I knew that the only place I could possibly go was Walmart to pick up my last few things, so I hurried through with a prayer that I wouldn’t see anyone I knew.  I saw one, but managed to avoid them.  It was for their benefit as well as mine (so don’t judge people for avoiding you sometimes as you never know the reason, hehe).  I was a puffy, red mess with goofed up eye makeup.

I got through there in record time and made it home undetected and unnoticed for the most part.  I’m feeling much better after a cold wash cloth, a glass of sweet tea and a piece of dark chocolate.  I’m thankful that my toes are still kinda cute, for a while longer anyway.

From the inside out

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We often fail as parents. Although we love our children dearly, the truth is, we aren’t perfect. We make mistakes.  Since I’m older and one of the reasons I blog is to share something that might inspire, encourage or teach someone, I thought I’d share one of my failures.

One of the areas I missed the mark on was in putting too much emphasis on outer appearance.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I realize we want them to bathe, brush their teeth and look and smell at least somewhat approachable. This can be a feat in itself in those elementary years.

But, I was overly concerned with appearance. I didn’t realize I was doing this because I was verbalizing all the right things. Beauty is as beauty does, God looks upon the heart; out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and what’s inside is what truly matters.

Here’s the quagmire……

While I was telling them all the right things, my actions were betraying my words. You see, I was standing in front of the mirror (in their presence because how often does a mom ever get alone time in the bathroom), saying, “Do I look fat in this?” while pointing out all of my imperfections. Effectively telling them one thing and showing them another.

Thankfully, by the help and grace of God, and the words of a very wise woman I stumbled upon on the radio one day, I realized this and began to concentrate more fully on the inside and kept my own insecurities to myself (for the most part, not always). Obviously, the reason I had struggled with this, was because it was also a personal struggle.

Although I do want to look nice and be healthy, my life no longer revolves around that. I have learned that I have a purpose in this life and it isn’t just to look pretty.

Concentrate on becoming the woman that God created you to be. If you are loving, kind and gracious, it will shine from the inside out. We’re all beautiful, in many different ways, but we are all also aging every moment. Beauty is indeed, fleeting. People will remember you, for WHO you were to them, not what you looked like.

Personally, I find myself praying for the ability to accept aging gracefully, to acknowledge that for every wrinkle, there are even more beautiful memories and experiences!

There is nothing wrong with taking care of ourselves and looking our best, but we can’t make this our God. It can’t become an obsession. I share this in case there are other mothers who can benefit from it, or girls or women who need to be reminded that they matter; their talents, their gifts and all of the wonderful things they bring to the lives of those around them.

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