Happy birthday to Mr. Sweetness and Kindness!

Years ago, we played a game with Quinland where we each had to tell something we loved about the others and something we loved about ourselves. Invariably, Quinland’s response about me would be something like, “I love Mama because she works so hard!” or “I love Mama because she works hard for the family!” while her response about David would be, “I love Dada because he is so sweet and nice!”

This used to bug the heck out of me. Was I not also sweet and nice? And all this “hard worker” stuff made me sound like a martyr of a mother, standing around saying, “After all the hard work I do around here…”

And while David can definitely be sweet and nice and kind and gentle and all the other adjectives that Q would throw his way, those weren’t always the ones I would think of first if I were asked to describe him.

What would I think of first? Smart, smart, smart. Playful. Funny. Passionate. Principled. Intense. Serially obsessed with one hobby or another. Thrifty. Thrilled to see exotic places, meet exotic people, play exotic board games. I could go on and on; I know him pretty well.

But you know what? I could not be more thrilled that when Quinland thinks about her dad, she thinks about his softer side first. To her, he is all that is good and kind. She knows about the other side of him (“Be very careful when you buy bread! Don’t spend more than 10 krone!”), but she knows that, fundamentally, what matters is that he is so loving… and so lovable.

I know that, too – without a doubt – but I would do well to remember it first.

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful for my wonderful husband. I love that boy, and I am so lucky to have had him in my life for more than 25 years.  Happy, happy birthday!

Break a leg!

My kid is fragile.

He has had four broken bones in his arms. On Wednesday, he added another bone to his tally: a spiral fracture of the tibia, courtesy of a quick move in a game of Capture the Flag.

Poor little bunny. It’s tough to be stuck on a couch for days on end, unable to so much as shift position without someone to help you hold up the massive cast of doom. It’s hard to be stuck on one floor of the house, unable to sleep in your own bed upstairs. It’s seriously disappointing to have it happen during your favorite season of the year, just before Scout Camp and your birthday and Halloween.

But my kid is an amazing kid. He thanks the x-ray techs and the people in the cast room so graciously. He finds things to occupy his time while stuck at home. He entertains friends at couch-side, and even stays awake (when he is soooo exhausted) to watch Glee with his mama. He keeps his spirits up through it all.

I love my kiddo so much. He impresses me over and over again with his grace under pressure.

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful for the outpouring of love and support during our hard week!

Shopping as a sedative

Vintage Label - free to use!

Shopping is a drug for me.

I shop when I am stressed. I know this about myself. From way back in the days of the old, un-remodeled (or re-remodeled) Burlingame Fred Meyer during my freshman year in college, I shopped.

I shop when I am overwhelmed. Once, I had a houseful of guests and I ran to the store to get refills on snacks and drinks… and didn’t come home for almost two hours. Wandering up and down the aisles, totally lost in myself.

I shop when I am sad. I was sad last night, and so after I picked up some prescriptions at Kaiser (it is Drug Day today, you know), I got in my car and looked for a fix. I tried to tell myself I was just looking for food – I can’t really eat fast food anymore, so grabbing a quick bite to eat means finding a Chipotle – but as soon as a Goodwill came into sight, I drove my hungry self right into the parking lot.

I did what I always do: started at one end of the store and went up and down most of the aisles. This Goodwill, like most, has books right by the entrance, so I started there, looking at every shelf on every row, with the exception of popular fiction, which holds no interest for me. But history! Kids’ books! Cookbooks! Self-help! I want to read every title. From there, I went through toys, games, housewares, furniture, shoes, and Halloween costumes. I bought one item with intention (a black frame for a gallery wall I am planning) and one thing on impulse (a book about the prairie blizzard of 1888)… but the buying always seems more like a way to justify the time wasted.

It makes me feel better. I know it is temporary. I know that I will still be sad, and now I will also be sad about taking time away from my home and family, and I’ll be sad that there is new stuff in my house that I will have to use or purge or otherwise deal with.

I know these things… when I take time to reflect and be reasonable.

But, more often than not, when I need an escape, a release, an out, I head to the store. (Or I read about Mr. Darcy. It still wastes time, but oh! How happy it makes me!)

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful for my nephews. I love them so much! Big hugs to you both.

I’m also grateful, of course, for the photo by HA! Designs – Artbyheather.