Wear the Plastic

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When I was a new mom, I’d graciously accept hand-made jewelry from my children, give them a huge hug and kiss, and put it in a special place in my jewelry box. Now that my little ones aren’t so little, I try to wear this same plastic (or cheesy) jewelry when I can. It brings me so much happiness as my children are becoming women and one little young man. Parenting is tough, and if a pink, purple, yellow and white bracelet can bring a smile to my face, and theirs, well then – I’ll wear it.

Why did it take me so long to figure this out? Time flies so quickly, and before you know it, your kids won’t be making you plastic jewelry, anymore.

Today, I’m setting out on a road trip with two – possibly three of my daughters. I will be speaking in Boise, Idaho, about parent leadership and the Protective Factors. If I had to pick one week that I wasn’t feeling qualified, it would be this week. This is both a humbling and an honest thought – but I will do my best. I don’t know if any parent ever feels like they do a good enough job that they can teach others. I think it’s more accurate that we all learn lots of skills, experience perceived success or failure, and choose to share this information with other, equally clueless parents. Sometimes I feel like animals, such as kangaroos, parent better than I do.

I think when we, as parents, are open and honest about the fact that none of us really know what the sam hell we are doing – we find ourselves in a place where we can learn. We can choose to listen to the advice from friends or family, we can read self-help books, heck, we can even try using the things we learned from the last kid we raised – and it’s still a crap shoot! The only sure thing in parenting is that we will gain more patience – willingly or … as we pull our increasingly grey hair out, resisting becoming patient.

Sometimes when I’m over tired, like last night, it takes me longer to fall asleep. Even when I know the amount of sleep I’ll get is way under what I need, it takes a bit to unwind. That’s what happened last night after we went to the Jazz game. It was a wonderful night, because our older kids got to come to the company suite with us. This never usually happens because the seats are reserved for our clients in RBM and Alpine. It’s a great way for us to keep in touch with lots of people at the same time. So, usually we can’t hand out those tickets to our own family. I wish I had grabbed some more pictures…. why didn’t I do that? But here are a few, including the embarrassing trailer bike ride to the game! Jon always insists on being pulled by healthy bike peddlers as I groan and laugh through my bursting beat red face, in the trailer behind them.

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1799_1261104317239613_1318295622558264348_nYep, as you can see, my kids are getting older and dating! This isn’t a great picture because of the lighting – but maybe I’ll get a chance later to insert some better ones… (although I doubt it). Anyway, Whitney, Keegan, Kinley, Ethan, Scott, Dave, and Paul were all there. It was awesome!

I remember when my parents told me that someday I’d like my brother Dave, and it was the first time that I realized my parents really DIDN’T know everything. It was an eye-opening experience, and it changed my view of them forever. But then last night, I realized that they were right, at least about some things, because instead of my brother just wanting to watch the great Jazz game and eat the food in the suite, he was intently talking and listening to me. Go figure.

Siblings are such a blessing. Why don’t we figure that out until they are gone?

And then, when the game was over and we drove back home, I packed for a bit for my early morning road trip and then crawled into bed. 12:30 am is too late for my bed time, and 5:30 am is too early to wake up, in my opinion – and I wouldn’t have…. until I dreamed that I had to go pee so BAD that I found a toilet in my dream and PEED.

WELP, that woke me up.

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