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Posts Tagged ‘children’

Crickets chirp, fireflies dance and the moon fades after 9 p.m. in the summer. So, of course, this means my children refuse to go to bed. “But it’s still light out, mom.” “I can still hear kids playing in the pool, mom.”

Ugh. I hate the summertime bedtime ritual. While I love sleeping in an extra half hour before work, I miss my alone time at night — to do homework, read, watch my junk T.V. and to reconnect with my husband.

So as my boys play “spy” until 11 p.m. or insist on watching “just a few more minutes” of  iCarly, I secretly curse summer. It’s such a paradox, since I love the warmth, sun and water fun it brings but hate the childhood freedom it affords.

Maybe I’m missing something. How do you stick to your schedules during summer? Or am I obessing over a useless cause?

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Today is the first day of summer. As I sit here and watch a fly swirl around my brand new lamp, I’m reminded of the pesty intruders that come with summer.

But I’m also listening to crickets chirp and frogs croak. I’m watching the drapes move in the summer breeze. And tonight, I heard the first illegal firework. I love the sounds and feel of summer.

My kids are tan. They’re rested. They’re smiling when I get home from work. And they’re exhausted from spending all day in the pool, riding bikes with friends, eating popsicles until their arms turn purple. 

Remember those days? Remember only caring about which swimsuit to wear, which sunscreen to use and which fire fly to catch?

If only I could return to the simple days of summer. Who knew those days would be so precious. Who knew I would cherish the longest day of light, the most beautiful sunset and the smell of summer rain.

Summer was the catalyst for my favorite memories: bathing in the lake while camping, learning to water ski, fireworks with caramel corn.

I hope someday my kids appreciate the peace of summer and the tranquility of childhood.

Thanks, Summer Solstice, for reminding us of what really matters.

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Today is a tough day, for me and for my husband: Neither one of us has a dad to celebrate today. And we’re only in our early ’30s. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

We both lost our dads, three months apart, almost five years ago. And while the pain has mostly subsided, it’s days like this that the emotions, the memories, the laughter and the tears make a swirling return.

My dad was the best man I know. He was patient, kind, humble, intelligent, loving, respectful….I could go on and on. But, like everyone, he had flaws (which I realized as an adult). But in the eyes of daddy’s little girl, my dad moved the world.

So at our house, Father’s Day was a big deal. (So was Mother’s Day.) I realize now it’s because my parents respected each other and truly loved each other. They instilled in their daughters the importance of saying “I love you.”

Usually, the day was filled with homemade cards filled with mispelled words and smelly stickers, a boat ride (pre-boat it was a bike ride) and some of dad’s favorites. But what I remember most is the priceless gift of time. I remember dad’s smile as he thanked us for the cards. Or his laughter as we told him why we loved him so much. Or dad’s look of discomfort as he filled up on seconds.

And this is why I miss my dad. These are the moments I cherish. These are the moments I so wanted my kids to have with their grandpas.

But, at the same time, my kids are lucky to have these moments with their dad, who is also caring, loving, gentle and kind. They’re lucky to have a dad who can wrestle with them one minute and wipe away tears the next.

So, today, thank you to my husband for being an amazing dad.

And thank you, dad, for the memories. I’m sending Father’s Day wishes to heaven, complete with kissing hands from your grandchildren.

I love you.

Tip: (For those of you struggling with this, too, here are some good resources: http://www.parenthood.com/article-topics/fathers_day_without_dad.html.)

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children, Kristen Parker

My three children

“Don’t cry over spilled milk.”

Before children, I thought it was just a cute phrase that parents said to calm down their children. But let me tell you: Spilled milk has created more tears in our house than bloodshed.

That’s what this blog is about. It’s about the real job of parenting.

When I was pregnant with my first child, unexpectedly of course, I read all the books. I learned when and what to feed him; how to get him to sleep through the night; how and when to punish. But once I had him, those books were moot. Until you’re a parent, you don’t get it. The books don’t matter. You have to do what’s right for you, and, quite frankly, for your sleep cycle.

In researching parenting blogs, I found several that focused on “how to raise the perfect children.” Parents who don’t allow sugared cereal, or chips or candy. Parents who never spank. Parents who don’t say no. Parents who strictly enforce the 8 p.m. bedtime.

It sounds so perfect. But, as I tell anyone, I am far from perfect and so are my kids.

Working more than 50 hours per week and going to graduate school, I’ve learned to give up control. I have an awesome stay-at-home dad who tries to instill some order in the chaos of a house dominated by three children. No, he doesn’t do things the way I would do them, but at least he does them.

So this blog will serve as an entertaining look into our family of five. We’ll show you that we’re not textbook parents. We spank. We yell. And, well, I enjoy a couple glasses of wine at night. My house is a mess.

But we cook every night. And our microwave broke months ago and we haven’t replaced it!

So we’ll also show you that we love unconditionally and that we allow our children to make mistakes. We lose it after a day of fighting and whining, but we always remember to say “I love you” at bedtime.

I wish someone had told me the truth about parenting, instead of having to read about the perfect parenting remedies. Perhaps it was post-partum depression, but after reading the books and the Parenting magazine stories, I felt worthless.

I subscribe to Parenting magazine and I read Dr. Sears. I even subscribe to parenting blogs. But rarely do I find parents willing to tell it like it is.

What do you really do when your child says he hates you? How do you really punish her when she runs into the street after her bouncing basketball?

These are things I want to know. I’m taking a leap of faith with this blog, but I’m hoping I’m not the only mother who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is.

So I welcome your blogging ideas and your input (whether you agree or disagree).

Spilled milk causes tears. But so does reading about “perfect children” that I don’t have.

My kids are awesome. And I’m betting yours are, too. So let’s share levels of awesomeness.

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