Monday, May 23, 2016

Get. Over. It.

I got really tired of seeing the first version of this meme, "Please excuse the mess. The children are making memories." Puuuulease. The place is a mess because you HAVE children. The kids are making messes because they are KIDS. Sure they are making memories, but let's be real here and leave the rainbows and unicorns out of it. Of course that bugged me. If you know me, you know that I can get a little . . . irritated over fluff and the people who spread it.

Then I started seeing the second version of this floating around. The more Holly-like person had updated it for realism - the house is a mess "because I'm a crappy housewife," not because we're all rainbows and unicorns here making memories. But still - really? I'm taking all the blame? And HOUSEWIFE?

So I made my own.

YA KNOW WHAT? I'm not taking all the blame for this otherwise nice house being a crap hole. Yeah, the meme is funny. I get that. But you know what's not funny? Moms being made to feel like it all rests on their shoulders and they are failing if things aren't picture-worthy.

Nope - not taking that on. In my case, there are many able-bodied humans living in this house. All capable of cleaning up the clutter. 

So, NOPE. It's not a mess because I'm a crappy housewife (who even USES that term since 1979?) It's a mess because we live here all day every day and, quite frankly, none of us puts enough stock into making it look like Martha Stewart is coming over for tea. 

We have no (P)interest in our house looking cottage cute with a vintage teal-colored bike with flowers growing out of the basket leaning up against the porch railing for people to admire as they walk or drive by. I. Just. Dont. Have. It. In. Me. Our house is full of boys - boys that God handed us to raise. Our house is full of dogs - ours and foster dogs that we take in to find better lives for. And spending my spare time chasing a look just hasn't ever been on my radar. Dealing with special needs as well as letting my boys be boys has. 

We are quite confident in the fact that our family was not put on this earth to reflect current HGTV trends or any kind of cuteness. That was pretty clear when we had a 2nd son receive an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. We don't live a charmed life. We live a real life. And that real life can be pretty awesome - but not because of how it looks but because of who we are to one another.

So no - our house isn't a mess all the time because I'm a crappy housewife. It's a mess because we're real people who live here with real priorities that matter.

And hey - those who actually think I'm offended by a flipping meme . . . these are the jokes. Lighten up.

Friday, May 20, 2016

What The Parenting Whaty-What?

Middle dude, who graduates in six days from high school, has finally decided on a college after visiting it yesterday. And just like that - the world shifted a little. Or perhaps it was just my heart.

Let's remember that this is not my first rodeo. We have a 25-year-old (that I clearly gave birth to as a small child - I'm not that old). So why the flutters? Whatup, mama heart? Why you gotta go acting like you ain't got no sense?

As my own mama's told me (and shown me) countless times, you never stop parenting. Sure, the dynamics shift as your babies grow up, but your heart apparently isn't on the list to receive that memo. Much like each time you hold your precious new child in your arms for the first time and your heart dances as if it has never done this before - no matter how many children you have welcomed into your family. It's like your heart regenerates anew every so often as a mama, and it blooms and swells and aches and hurts over and over again in the same ways - no matter how many times it has already experienced those feelings. It never seems to become "experienced."

However, just because I know this does not make the flutters any less disconcerting sometimes. So, back to it ...

Whatup, mama heart?

Mr. Anderson and I have never been those type of parents who worry about the empty nest. In fact, if you know us, you may have, a time or two, heard us talk about what in the heck is wrong with those people who are sad when they have the house to themselves? I mean, come on. Who is sad to be able to clean a room and it still be clean three days later? Who is sad that you can canoodle on the living room couch without hearing gagging sounds from one or more of your sons? Who is sad that you can live in a home that is not completely destroyed by little hands that turn into huge hands and feet? Who is sad about not spending nine MILLION dollars on groceries? Okay - some of that may come from the fact that we have all boys - and raising all boys is messy and loud and embodies the joke of THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS. But still ...

Why in the world did my heart whimper a little at the thought of another child growing up and leaving the nest? When the thought dawned on me that in a few short months we will only have one child left at home, why did my mama heart . . . hiccup? Am I losing my edge?

No - I think I'm normal. The first child growing up hits you like - "Wow. We did it. He's alive and not in jail. We can SO do this!" and you walk around sort of puffed up like you just hit a hole-in-one in mini-golf (low standards, here). But another one? And you only have three, so it becomes most of your kids have grown up and are leaving ... It's a different feeling altogether - one that sort of caught me off guard. Kind of like, oh, almost everything you experience as a parent from day one because there is no freakin' instruction book.

So that happened. And today, middle dude is talking about making a plan for moving out and that we need to start working on that and I'm sitting here all but I just found one of your binkies stashed in an old desk drawer where we hid them and told you they were all lost ...

15 years in a drawer ...
Life screams on and our hearts just struggle to keep up. Carry on, mama warriors, no matter what stage you're in.