Change is Coming

I thought the future had a clear path. I knew what I was doing for the next 9 months. My youngest had a questionable plan, her sister had a plan and their brother had a sort of plan. Then in the blink of an eye, one text message and a deep breath everything changed again.

My oldest daughter sent me a text 10 days ago and said she wants to come home. I was shocked because at the beginning of June she was trying to convince her sister to change her plans and go to school there. What it comes down to is the school lost funding for a scholarship she was receiving and she didn’t receive one of the scholarships she had the year before. With the loss of funds she couldn’t afford to survive. She is already working approximately 35 to 40 hours a week and attending school full time. She will be home in 5 days.

The youngest did debate heavily on moving to go to school with her sister. She decided against it because she made some other commitments prior to entertaining the moving idea. Although others tried to persuade her to move as well, her integrity to follow through with what she said she would do was too strong. I am thankful for that as those commitments would have been difficult to fill by anyone else.

The boy, their brother, my beloved son is a story of chaos all of his own. He seldom has a concrete plan for his life. Though he has many dreams that he will some day accomplish. He loves hard, dreams hard and works harder. He is finally employed doing property management and has dived in to working long days and making his world a better place. My hope is his personal life evens out soon.

I am looking forward to these changes. More time with my children together. I am hoping for Sunday night dinners, study sessions as all of us are taking classes and just some regular hanging out. Of course there will probably be some lunch dates, dog walks and late night chats amongst the 4 of us. I have decided not to depend too much on these changes right now because I know everything can change again in a blink of an eye.

Happy Valentine’s Day

It is a love bug kind of day. The day to show your significant other how much you love them. At least that is what the majority of those I know think Valentine’s Day is all about. They feel that if they do not have a significant other this holiday is awful. I have other thoughts, this is a day to share love. Valentine’s Day is  my oldest daughter’s FAVORITE holiday, and I like to think that I had something to do with that.

When my kids where little we celebrated EVERY holiday together including Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s were made for every member of our immediate family, extended family and friends. Chocolate heart boxes, a soft stuffed animal, a card and possibly some other tasty candy were selected and given with care to my little ones. One year they each received a love bug. The love bug was either a bumble bee or a lady bug and when squeezed in the right spot it said “I love you”. I miss those days.

Now the two oldest children are all grown up. Living their own lives and doing their own thing. Traditions change as our lives change. This saddens my heart, I miss those younger days. Today will be spent hanging out with my youngest doing a movie day with popcorn and maybe we will run off to the store and buy some chocolates as well. I am sure we will snuggle our dogs in the process and I will remember all the past Valentine’s Days we have shared.

I hope others share this fun, love filled day with others they love. The list is endless on who that might be and different for everyone. Perhaps it will be a significant other, family member, friend, neighbor or someone unexpected you may have just met. Happy Valentine’s Day, I hope your day is filled with love.

Talking Socks and Other Things I Miss

One of the things I miss from the younger years of my children is our imagination play times. My son, who is the oldest and suffered from oldest child syndrome at a very young age, was NOT a morning person. Part of the issue stemmed from some of his medical issues and his inability to turn his mind off at night to fall asleep. Waking up was a struggle, getting out of bed and dressed was usually disastrous to say the least.  To help save my sanity and to help him start off his day without anger we had talking socks. Squeaky, mouse like voice, ” Good morning.”  Sock covered hand sneaks up to a sleepy face and plants some loud kisses all over. “Good morning, good morning, good morning.” Cries the sing song squeaky mouse like voice of our sock puppet. My son rolls over, pushes away the sock and says “GO away!” The sock puppet makes a dash for the naked feet poking out from the blanket. A capture of the right foot is successful and then the pig squealing ensues. The pig noises come from my son who is now fully awake and willing to play. The object is for the sock puppet to get on the squealing foot that is now flailing around…and then stay on, because sometimes they would just jump off on their own. This could take 5 to 15 minutes. At the end the game we had two socks on and shoes that were ready to go on and my 10 year old son is starting his day off on a happier note than some other days have. Sometimes it is hard to believe ten years have passed since we played our sock games. Last week I found a stray sock and slipped it on my hand and talked to my oldest daughter for a few minutes, well until she told me I was crazy.

My oldest daughter, who is the middle child and is the most normal and unaffected child I have, thinks I am crazy most of the time. She was talking the other day about what classes she is taking at college and made a comment that she HATES it when people read to her. My heart stopped and a started to feel very sad. I read to my children well into their late childhoods. She was probably 11 or 12 when I stopped reading to them as a group together. I tried to keep my voice even and calm when I asked her if this was how she felt when I read to her when she was younger. I am guessing my face was showing how I was feeling at that moment because she assured me that I was the only person she can stand to read to her. I was so relieved. Some of my favorite memories come from those snuggle sessions with my kids. Everyone snuggled up in one bed, freshly cleaned, warm and ready to listen to whatever adventure was about to begin.

So of course talking socks were usually best friends with all of our talking stuffed animals. My youngest daughter, the baby with a whole different set of medical issues, is probably even more imaginative than myself or her older brother. She loves it when I pick up random animals I find around the house and talk to her. There have been numerous times I have been asked to take her favorite stuffy of the week to work and show it to the people I work with. How can I resist the request of a sad, sweet teenager. I can’t! So I take them to work, and then I have to show them to my co-workers and give them a small bio of my stuffed animal friend. This way when my daughter visits me at work and asks a co-worker if I showed them her friend they can answer honestly. She loves it, the play time and the silly voices.

And all of this leads to talking pets!! Every dog, cat, fish, salamander and rat we have cared for has talked to us at some point. And some days the animals are the only ones I get to talk to. Watching my children grow up and move on to their singular lives has been bitter sweet. My son and I try to talk every few days and at least we still live in the same town so we get to see each other as often as our lives permit. My oldest daughter is currently attending college and living at home and dropped the bomb a few weeks ago that next year she is moving three hours away to finish school. All I will have left at home will be my youngest daughter, who will be graduating in less than two years now. Her plans after high school are to stay at home and go to school for business. I have learned though that everything can change between now and then so I have decided not to hold my breath on her extending her time at home.

In the mean time I am trying to expand my horizons and get back to doing the things I enjoy. I hope I can keep the magic of imagination alive within myself and my children for the rest of our lives. That is my goal anyway.