Monthly Archives: September 2015

Yes, but you’ve never raised a strong willed penguin…

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Wasting time on Facebook today, I came across a shared post by Becky Thompson titled To The Momma Of The Stong-Willed ChildI smiled, not sure if I should share the post with an “I love you” to my mama, or if I should read it for tips on the miniture version of my strong-willed self. I have read Becky Thompson before and am quite fond of her writing. She has a soothing way about her words that when I read them I just feel as if I am in a fuzzy blanket and everything is calm. Since I am facing my eleven day stretch without my husband, and have the strong-willed penguin to face once I get home, I decided I should read the post. I could probably use the encouragement.

The post starts off with “I can’t remember where I saw you last”. I immediately think, oh no! she saw me last weekend on the sidewalk at Wal-Mart just after the penguin climbed a ladder in a store. Probably not my finest moment as a mom, but not the last moment like that either since I have a long time to go with this strong-willed penguin (just ask my mama, I’m almost 37).  Becky went on to write this, and this is where the fuzzy blanket feeling comes out:

You know, it takes a special kind of momma to raise a strong-willed child. It takes a certain endless amount of grace to continually define the lines of what is and isn’t acceptable all while little hearts ceaselessly push back. It’s hard work defining the same boundaries a million times a day.

I know that it’s exhausting.

I know that most days you worry that you’re not capable of handling this job.

Did you feel it? That warm feeling when you read the words “special kind of momma”? I felt like I had won a medal when she acknowledged “I know that it’s exhausting”.  I did think of my mama and how much we pushed and pulled with one another. I thought that even thought she acknowledged I was a strong-willed child, she was just as strong-willed and determined so it was a constant battle. I on the other hand take a different approach with raising my spirited (someone used that term instead of strong-willed the other day, as if strong-willed was a bad thing) penguin. I pick my battles. Because she is the EXACT version of me at five years old, I know what she is thinking, what she is feeling. So as the parent I choose what I battle with. This doesn’t mean she isn’t respectful and unruly. This simply means that I don’t always have to win because I am the parent.

This next part though. Oh, it just made my heart smile.

The truth is, what they are really good at is knowing their own mind – not being easily deterred – confidently proclaiming exactly what they want and how they want it done.

Deep down, we know that this is a good thing. Mommas of strong-willed children know that the traits that make most days feel endless, also mean that our children will also grow up to be motivated, determined, leaders.

Oh I just smiled again as I posted it into here. My mama has to be glad that started as a strong-willed child and grew into a strong-willed woman. I know I hope that for my penguin. I think of all the bumps and holes I have hit a long this journey of life and know that my stubborn determination is what made me get through. I see my penguin taking her own turns and twist and hope and pray that the strength and willingness she has today carries her through those times when she just has to push through. Do my days feel endless? Have you read my post about the carousel? I don’t even know day to night most of the time, especially during the 11 day stretch my husband is gone. But, do I have a motivated, determined penguin? Absolutely!

And this last prayer that Becky ended with is the one I pray for any and all

May you find yourself with grace to spare at the end of the day… as you prepare for another day of raising greatness again tomorrow.

I am so glad that wasting time on Facebook led me to this post. I have not posted on here in awhile simply because of all that strong-willed penguin has me involved in. My time is her time you see, and I have found it difficult to find any time to express the emotions or words of myself or Penelope for we are both too busy chasing after her.

 

 

Fairy Tales & Magic

  

 

This will not be a long post. I am coming out of a week long hibernation courtesy of an awful sinus infection. However, after the important conversation with the Penguin this morning, I did feel it was important to address this important topic. Fairy tales and magic. 

As an adult I may have become slightly jaded to the idea of the White Knight. But, I will not let the 5 year old penguin loose out on the innocence of believing in such things. The conversation started because I offered to use “mommy magic kisses” to help an ant bite not sting . The penguin replied, “magic isn’t real”. 

Pause. Gasp. Hand on my hips as the door to the mini van was automatically sliding closed, I find myself shouting, “you have to believe in magic. Magic and fairy tales”. The door is closed and I continue my speech as I climb in the driver’s seat. 

“Why don’t you believe in magic? You have to believe. What about Cinderella?” 

“Cinderella not magic mommy. The fairy godmother ….”

“And what do you think the fairy godmother uses?”

Pause. “Magic”

“What about Elsa, and the ice?”

“Magic”

“Okay, so you believe in magic”

“Yeah, I guess you are right”

Whew. My heart is relieved. She will learn the truth soon enough. I don’t want to keep her “little” or “innocent” forever as it may seem. But she is 5 years old!!! She is supposed to be little and innocent. In a world where everyone is in a hurry for everything, it is my responsibility as her mama to make sure she believes in fairy tales and magic. There is no need to hurry this.  

Why college football depresses me

  

 
College football has deep seeded roots in the south. I’m sure other parts of the country would argue their traditions just as strong, but the south is what I know to be for fact. Starting in September, southerners plan life events around college football. I can attest to that. I had to get married in September, on a Saturday, on a non-SEC game day, and the Dawgs had to be untelevised. Yes, what I know to be true is that Saturday in the south changes in September. Or, it used to for me.

I do not come from a line of college football fans. I am an only child and my daddy was really more into baseball. Yes, I cheered one year of high school football, but I had no idea what the defense cheer even meant. I am a new college football fan with my roots only being newly planted in the late 1990’s. But oh man, did I fall in love. I mean really in love. Not just for the parties, but for the commrarardie and the game itself. And, as any good southern belle, my entertaining gene came out. I did love to have a good spread on a Saturday with everything in my University of Georgia dishwater. Everything had to be cooked ahead of time and on the table before kick off. After kick off the only think I moved for was another cocktail, not to cook in the kitchen. 

Yes, sigh, my Saturday routine was in full swing. It even managed to survive a divorce and transition nicely into the new marriage (the one planned around the game). Then the last two years happened. My husband went on the road, friends have moved, and it seems that the only one I’m left to watch football with is the penguin. She isn’t as impressed with my Georgia vs. Florida decorations as I’d hoped. 

Yes, I’m just as excited as any southerner for Saturday’s  in September to come back around. I have taught the penguin to yell “Go Dawgs” with the best of them and we will wear our red and black with pride. But, I still long for those days when the house was filled with people and the aroma of delicious  food. The way game day used to be.