Thursday, April 11, 2013

Go Write, You Writer!

I have a great deal of respect for books.  I am constantly telling my boys to take care of their books.  Break a toy and that's okay, but be kind to your books.  There is a whole world hidden within their covers, characters waiting to introduce themselves to you, and obstacles ready to be overcome in the most creative ways.  Let's face it, in a book or story anything is possible--the only limitation is your imagination.

I have been writing for fun for years. I remember in the 8th grade we were told to write a story about anything we desired.  The only instructions given were "be creative."  I wrote a story about a purple dragon. My teacher went on and on about how much she loved it.  I continued writing stories for fun.  In high school I realized I hated every subject except for English.  I loved the literature. I loved writing.  I was passionate about it.  In college I majored in English but ended up getting married, having children, and focusing on being a stay-at-home mom (Which I absolutely love).

A couple of weeks ago my friends all started "encouraging" me to try and get something published.  I was flattered that they liked reading the stories and blogs that I write but never thought I was that good--not good enough to be published.

Then, on Wednesday, I had the privilege of talking to the one and only Claudia Mills.  She is a very successful children's author and some one I have a great deal of respect for.  She told me she loves reading my facebook statuses and each one is a well written story.  She said I have "sparkle aplenty" to succeed as a published writer.  Wow, what an amazing compliment! She gave me advice and ideas, tips and encouragement. I have a lot of research to do and a lot of work to do.

I do not have a false sense of reality when it comes to writing. I know it could take years to get published, or it may never happen, but I would rather spend my time doing something I love and trying to get published than to not try and never know. I am excited about this new chapter in my life and can't wait to see where it takes me.

"You need to add 'Writer' to your occupation along with 'Stay-at-Home Mom'."
"No, I'm not getting paid for it so I'm not a writer."
"Do you get paid to stay at home and take care of your children?"
"Well, no."
"Okay, then.  What's the difference?  You write and you do it well.  Therefore, you're a writer. Now go. Go write, you writer!"

And that's just what I intend to do!

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Scene of Bullies

As we were walking out to the van this morning I heard laughter followed by some foul language.  I stopped. My boys stopped. We all turned and looked across the street.  Several teenagers were taunting another teen.  She was wearing a long skirt, a hoody, and Converse tennis shoes. She had her hoody pulled up over her head, as if she wanted to hide--watching this all take place, I could see why.  A boy slapped her books out of her hands and the group continued laughing and taunting her.  She just stood there. It was like watching a play; a scene of bullies, except it wasn't a play, it was reality. The group eventually walked away, still shouting hateful things to the girl. My eyes darted from the scene playing in front of us to my boys.  Both boys were watching--taking it all in.

I watched Logan's face twist into a sad expression and he said, "Mom?  Is she crying?"  I looked at the girl and she did, in fact, seem to be crying.  She bent down and picked up her books from the grass they were now resting on. She took two steps in the direction of the group who had picked on her.  Then she stopped.

Again there was a little voice, "What is she doing?"

She turned around and took off running in the opposite direction.  My boys watched her run until she was out of site.  Alex looked at me and held my gaze.  He said, "Is that how teenagers are?" I said, "Some."  Logan said, "That makes me feel sad."  Alex said, "Yeah, she didn't do anything and they were mean."  I said, "Well, remember this day if you ever feel the urge to be mean to some one, okay?"  Alex said, "Okay.  I would never want to make anyone feel bad."  He opened the van door, tossed his back pack inside, and climbed in.

I put Kaitlyn in her car seat and buckled her in.  I turned around to find Logan still standing there, staring at the place where the teenagers had been.  I said, "Logan! Come on, bubby, I need to get you to school."  He turned and started walking toward the van.  I could tell he was bothered by what he had seen.  He said, "Do you think that girl will be okay?"  I said, "I hope so."  He said, "When I'm a teenager I'm not going to be mean to people. I want everyone to be happy and be nice."  I said, "I know.  The world could learn a lot from you."  He looked up at me and said,  "The world needs more people who say good things and less people who say mean things."  He paused and then he said something that really made me think.

"Maybe some one today will say one nice thing to her.  I bet she'd like that."

He climbed in the van and closed the door.

Take a child's advice and say one nice thing to some one today.  You never know, it could make all the difference!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Not Most People

I watched her run across the parking lot.  I noticed something fall out of her pocket as she hurried to her vehicle. As I got closer I realized it was money.  I picked it up and hurried after her.  She was about to close her car door when I said, "Excuse me, but you dropped this."  She said, "What?" I said, "You dropped this back there.  I thought you might want it."  She reached in her pocket only to discover that she had, in fact, lost her money.  She looked confused as I handed it to her. She said, "Why didn't you just keep it?"  I said, "It's not mine to keep."  She smiled and said, "That wouldn't have stopped most people."  I returned her smile and said, "Well, I guess I'm not most people."  She shook her head and said, "Rare. That's very rare." She thanked me, shut her door, and drove away.

Maybe we should all strive to be "Not most people."  See, I have this problem.  My problem is I want every one else to be happy.  I will put people before myself because I want you to be happy, especially if you're someone I love. Today, I have received so many emails, and texts from people complimenting me on who I am.  Let me just say that there is no need to compliment me.  This is just how I was made, I guess--it's who I am.

And I'm okay with that.  ;)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Little Reminders

You know how it goes.  You're running behind and for some reason, your children don't seem to understand (or care) what this means.  They are goofing off and are still in their pajamas, even though you leave in 10 minutes. You hear your toddler say, "Uh oh" and walk into the living room to discover she has grabbed her brother's cup of milk and (of course) spilled it all over the carpet.  To add to the craziness, it's raining.  Do I even need to elaborate on that last one?  Kids like to jump in puddles, getting their feet and clothes wet and muddy in the process.  The garage is a huge mess and your vehicles won't fit in there, so you and your kids are hurrying out to the vehicle in the rain.  By the time you reach the vehicle you can't find your keys to unlock it.  "Hurry, mom!"  By the time you finally find them, press the button, and your eldest opens the van door everyone is soaked. You get to school and manage to stop the vehicle right on a water puddle.  When your son opens the van door both back packs fall out and land right in the puddle with a big splash. The toddler is screaming, snot growing from her nose and oozing in all directions as you try to hurry your two sons into the school building because it's raining.

We have all had those days where, no matter what we do, nothing seems to go right.  Today, I am tired.  I am stuffed up, everywhere I turn in this house there is a mess--I don't even know where to begin.  Therapies, school, homework, birthday party planning, doctor's appointments, Logan's surgery preparations, bills, cleaning, laundry--the list goes on and on.  Today I am feeling overwhelmed.  I feel guilty for not spending more time with my children.  I feel guilty because I can't seem to stay on top of things and keep the house clean.

I am always telling my boys that, most days, your attitude can determine what kind of day you have.  Most days I have a pretty good attitude but there are days when you wish you had a reset button. So, for today, here is what I'm going to do.  I'm going to look at all these little stress factors and turn them into something good.  How?  Here's how:

1. I'm thankful for the bills because they remind me that my husband has a good job that pays for these bills.  The bills indicate things we have (and should be thankful for) that some people don't have--electricity, air conditioning and heating, a roof over our head, clean water, the list goes on and on.

2.I'm thankful for that pile of laundry because it reminds me that my family has nice clothes to wear.  Again, there are some people who don't.

3. I'm thankful for that puddle that caught my boys' back packs this morning.  It means it's raining and rain is always good!

4. "Don't cry over spilled milk."  Okay.  Let's be thankful for it then.  Yes, it was a mess I had to clean up, but my children HAVE milk to drink.  And when Kaitlyn spilled it, I just went to the fridge and poured some more into the cup as if it was no big deal.  It's sad what we take for granted.

5. I'm thankful for the stressful mornings of trying to get my gremlins ready for school and out the door on time.  It's FAR better than not having them to add this craziness to my life. ;)  Jacob and I wanted children . . . and children we have.

I have been talking to my boys about being thankful for what we have and each and every day we discover something new that we take for granted.

What are you thankful for?