Thursday, August 26, 2010

Honk if you're an insensitive jerk!

So it's back to school week here in
Anne Arundel County.
Lots of little backpacks and lunch boxes,
knee socks and brand new shoes.
Tearful moms stand at the bus stop as
the big yellow beast roars to a stop.
The door squeaks open revealing
a metal stairway leading to
exciting new discoveries.
Nervous kindergartners cling to mom's hand
for just one more minute before
boarding the bus that will take them
to brick buildings full of construction paper,
scissors and glue.
The beginning of what will be 12 more years
of first days.

That classic scene is played over
year after year in towns and cities
all over America.
That first week of school is a sacred,
time honored tradition.
A milestone
that is part of the cadence of
American family life.
It's familiar,
it's special,
it's endearing.
Apparently not to everyone.
Someone got up a few minutes too late
yesterday morning,
threw on their suit,
chugged down their coffee,
grabbed their keys and ran out to their BMW.
Because of their own lack of planning,
they are now in a raging hurry to get to
wherever it is they need to be at 7:35 in the morning.
God help anyone who stands in their way
or delays them further.
Unfortunately, this person ended up behind a school bus.
And the classic scene was lost on him.
He didn't see the cute knee socks or the shiny mary janes.
He didn't smile at the little girl with the bouncy pigtails
who needed just one more hug from mom
before boarding the bus.
All he saw was the clock and
how inconvenienced he was.
He layed on his horn and kept a steady note
until every kid was on that bus
and every mom was robbed of that
sweet first day photo of their child
shedding the final layer of babyhood and
smiling back from the steps
of their future.
This story was relayed to me by Brendell's bus driver
yesterday morning.
This morning Brendell, Journey and I
went out to meet the bus.
When it came to a stop at our driveway
the bus driver jumped out of her seat,
leaned out of the door
and gave Journey a doggy treat.
That's when the honking began.
First one, then two, then a long steady note.
The bus driver was already back in position before Brendell
was even properly seated!
The entire exchange probably took less than
15 seconds!
Seriously people,
if you can't wait 15 seconds for a moment of human kindness
something is wrong with your priorities!
Would 15 extra seconds actually get you down the road
that much quicker?
How about leave the house a full minute early
then you'd have a whole 45 seconds to spare!
Heck, you could watch three bus boardings
with that kind of time!
Let this be a reminder to drivers everywhere.
School is back in session,
plan accordingly!
And while your at it
maybe taking a few seconds to relive
the joy and mystery of childhood
will help lower your blood pressure enough
for you to handle the interstate
where the big boys play!
Vent over.....
we will return to our normally upbeat,
happy, heart warming
blog shortly.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Gift...

To all the cool moms and aunts
out there,
this one is for you!

To those who sacrificed a clean floor
for toothless smiles,
finished laundry for
contagious giggles
and rainy indoor days
for zainy outdoor memories.....

Thank you!!!

It is because of you that some of us
have grown up holding experiences
and relationships
more precious than possessions.

It is through your willingness
to let us express our creativity
that we now feel free to be creative.

We know we left marks on your walls
and mud on your floor,
but you left much more indelible impressions
on our hearts.

Things like laughter, acceptance,
freedom, love, joy,
discernment between what is a big thing
and what is a small thing.
You gave us memories that we cling to
even today as we watch our own kids grow.

You put within our hearts
a longing to give our children
the same gift you gave us.

Permission to be a kid.
to get dirty,
to laugh until we couldn't breath,
to build tents in living rooms that you
just straightend up,
to paint pinecones
and picture frames
to jump in mud puddles
and in piles of leaves
to roast marshmellows,
carve our initials in trees
and hunt for aliens in the backyard.

I know I've said it before
but it is such a blessing to get to know
these kids!
Nylah and Emerson are my cousin Leah's children.
Being with them has filled my summer with nostalgia.
Watching them run through the same
enchanted woods that their mother and I ran through
is a gift beyond words.

This summer I have discovered that
I have the opportunity to
be what I longed for.
I have the chance to create bonds between
my kids and their cousins
just like the precious bonds that were
fostered during my childhood.
And the best part is that I'm sure
I'm getting the greater reward!
Not only do I get to rest in the comfort of the past,
but I get to experience the discovery of the present!
And that, my friends,
beats a squeaky clean house
and perfectly folded laundry
any day!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

10 steps

I think I have blogger's block.
Have you heard of it?
I actually googled it to see
what the world wide web had to say about it
and I found this link.
Who knew there was a 10 step program
to cure one's lack of creativity or inspiration
and who knew that there was a name
for sitting down at the computer and
either writing a bunch of incoherent sentences
and hitting delete
or just staring blankly at the screen
wondering what happened to your mojo!
I relate particularly to number 1 and number 6.
Number 5 must be for special personality types
whose brains work at dawn.
I'm curious to try number 7
although when I read the word "HitTail"
the last thing I think of is blogging.
I don't even want to google that!
So armed with these ideas and suggestions
I'm hoping to find my way out of "blogger's block".
In the meantime,
we've had such a full summer.
It baffles me that I have lacked the ability to write
creatively about everything we've done!
We were able to experience so many things
and made so many memories.
So, to catch you up
and to save myself from trying to blog about each event,
I thought I'd just post highlight photos.
So here ya go...
the summer of 2010!

The Linkous family visited us from Georgia
and we went to Washington DC for the day.

We also went to Six Flags!

We went to Pennsylvania
and picked out a puppy
from an impossibly cute litter
of Austalian Shepherds.
We brought Journey home on July 18th!

I had the joy of watching my cousin Leah's two kids
a few days a week this summer.
It was so wonderful to watch Brendell bond
with Emerson and Nylah!

Of course Summer in Maryland would not be complete without
a few crab feasts!!

We celebrated my favorite holiday
family style at
Fort Meade army base.

More fun with the cousins!

We also went to Hershey Park in PA
with Leah and her family!

We had a redneck picnic
in the Hershey Park Parking lot!

We went to Ocean City, MD
for a week with my mom and grandma.

Kenzie visited from Seattle!

As this Summer draws to an end,
and before the rush of Fall begins,
it is nice just to sit and reflect
on all of the special moments we had together in the sun.
It has been a summer of reunion for me.
I've reconnected in person
with a childhood friend, two high school friends,
a family from Georgia that feels like blood,
and lots of cousins who I never really knew
other than by name.
Maybe I'm wrong in thinking that I
have not been inspired.
Maybe I've been too overwhelmed with inspiration
that it all kinda jumbles up
and refuses to come out in coherent sentences.
I should google "inspiration overload"
and see if it cancels out intelligent thoughts!
Whatever it is,
it's nice to know that there are 10 steps
to figuring this all out.
Don't ya wish all of life's challenges
could be solved so easily?