Monday, September 16, 2013

No samples for you!

Today at the grocery store I overheard a mom talking to her 4ish daughter. There was a tray of samples out on the counter at the Starbucks in the store.  Cute little girl reached out for one.  'That's not for you.' mom said.  'Why?', 'Do you know what's in it?', 'No.'  'If it was a big piece of chocolate would you take it?',  'No!',  'Why not?', 'Because I'm allergic.'  'Do you know if there is chocolate in that?'  'No.'

I was really loving this exchange as I self checked my groceries.  Always multi-tasking!
'Why do they put those out if people can't have them?'  'Some people can, but you can't and it is not the store's job to know about your allergies, it is your job.'  'Ohhhhhh,' she said.

'Thank you for being responsible!' mom said to her.

And I thank mom for being responsible!  The best way to avoid unintentional exposures to any kind is for everyone involved to be aware. It doesn't matter if it is a food allergy, a show you don't think is appropriate, a toy you don't care for, the list could go on forever. Kids are never to young to learn what they are unable to  have and are more likely to be aware of things in their daily lives that they can't have if they have been educated.

My kids were always happy to tell you they couldn't have something 'because Mom says it's inappropriate.'  They were also happy to tell employees of any store outside on a smoke break, 'That's not a good choice. Smoking causes cancer.'  Oh well, at least they were listening to us, right?

I think some parents feel like their kids are missing out on things so they don't necessarily tell them they can't have certain foods, play certain video games, or watch certain shows. These parents just make sure to avoid the offenders, and ask everyone else to avoid them too.

There will come a day when your child has to make a choice on their own and just think how easy it would be if they have been saying no thank you all along and not thinking anything of it. Than if they think since mom is not here to say anything maybe they will just try it one time.

Kids are usually happy to do the right thing, they just have to be empowered with the knowledge to do so.  It is so much easier to get them in the habit when they are toddlers and still eager to please mom and dad at every turn, than when they are petulant 12 year olds who are sure we as parents are trying to ruin their lives.

I'm not the first one to say it and certainly not the last, knowledge is power.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Personal Best!

It was a great day for a run.  Overcast, light breeze, 60s, perfect!  Today was the Oktoberfest
5k walk/run and 10k run in Mt. Angel.  I was a little disappointed when the sun wasn't blazing down, because I love to run when it's like that, but I think in light of my results, maybe I am becoming an Oregonian runner.  What's next running in the pouring rain, voluntarily?

I have been looking for a 10k to run for about a year now.  They seem to be harder to come by, or maybe it's just that I am working when they are scheduled.  That happens to me a lot.  I'm sure I could be a seriously impressive runner if stuff like home, family, work didn't keep getting in the way. Go figure!

This has been a pretty good year for me running wise.  It started with the 'First Run' at midnight January 1 which was a 5k personal record for me, 27:04 min.  Mainly because it was so cold I couldn't even feel my legs by the end.  Then I had a personal record for the 15k Shamrock run, 1:28:04 and a personal record for the 1/2 marathon in the foot traffic flat on the 4th of July, 2:04:48.  So to complete my personal record year, I just needed a 10k.  My goal has always been to do it in less than an hour, and that seemed to keep eluding me.

Apparently today was the day though.  Personal record achieved!  I can't tell you how excited I am about it!  I guess all the planets were in alignment and there was some sort of convergence in the universe because I finished in 55:07!  8:53/mi!

It was a good day.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Every day is independence day with a small 'i'.

As you may or may not know I am a very pragmatic mom.  Some people say I'm tough and when I am on playground duty at school, look out!  I see parenting as keeping the children housed, clothed, fed and safe, as well as fostering an environment that will give these people every opportunity to at some point evolve into strong, independent adults able to make wise choices for themselves.

I had a full circle moment this morning.  I was lingering in the hall at school waiting for another mom so we could go for a run.  In through the door came a sweet little girl with blonde hair, blue eyes, a shiny new hot pink backpack with orange flowers and big crocodile tears.

'What's wrong?' I asked, 'I didn't want to do drop off today', she said.  At our school you can drive through and drop the kids off or you can park and walk in as far as the front hall.

'Oh, you wanted your mom to walk you in?' Nodding and additional tears, 'Yes.'  This was my Ahhhhh moment.  Here is another 'tough' mom getting her kids used to the independent drop off.   I imagine that  last week, the first week of school, she told my little friend that this week they would be working on drop off and getting to class on her own.  Good for her!  And now I got to be the nice lady who helped her in the hallway.

'Well some days moms just need you to do drop off.', I told her.  'Would you like me to walk with you?'  More nodding, she said she was in first grade.  I told her I had 3 kids that had been in first grade with this particular teacher, but they were all older now.  Small smile.

It really was a rewarding  interaction.  I'm all for fostering independence and supporting those parents who are struggling to do the same.  We are all in this together, whether we realize it or not.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Top 10 reasons to be thankful,...... this week.

It was kind of one of those weeks.  Not one of THOSE, but enough of a karmic, or cosmic reminder that maybe we have it kind of good, and today was definetly one of THOSE days, so I thought a little good mo-jo was in order.

1. We are employed.  While we have fairly recession proof jobs, because people will always need medical care and there will always be crime, it is still good to appreciate what you have.

2. NO one in our family has food allergies!  I have come to appreciate this more and more over the

3. We have no serious medical problems.  Are we the supreme pictures of health?, no. We have the middle aged issues. Joints are achey, could maybe eat better, exercise more, sleep more you know boring issues that we all want to ignore, but hey still getting around under our own power so......

4. NO mental health issues, kind of says it all.

5. We have children with the actual potential to live independently one day.  Will it be soon enough for our liking?, maybe not, but the potential is there and that is a good thing.

6. We have good friends that we enjoy!

7. We have savings!  It may not be much but it is ours and it is growing little by little everyday.  There is hope of retirement before death, I think.

8. We don't have any major debt.  Again, kind of speaks for itself.

9. Our families like each other.  While it is hard for me to imagine that this would not be the case, it really does surprise me how often it occurs and what a struggle that must be.

10. As my Mom says everyday that you wake up is a good day.

Top 10 is subject to change at any given moment, so feel blessed and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back to School!

Did you hear it?  The sound of squealing tires as hundreds of mini vans simultaneously exited the parking lots of schools all across the country.

Although my kids are at the age where summer has really become a pleasure.  Lazy mornings and late nights.  Lots to do, but no agenda.  The days are fluid and flexible and wonderfully spontaneous at times.  It will be nice to return to a predictable routine.

My heart goes out to the teachers everywhere who are headed into one of the hardest weeks of school.  Everyone is tired, left with a summer hang over of irregular bedtimes, unusual meals, vacations without the usual rules and regulations, and just maybe too much sugar, caffeine, and electronics.

I would like to say it was from too much sun, exercise and outdoor activity, but I think that would be a bit optimistic.  A mom can dream right?

So good luck, teachers and students.  Parents welcome to the hectic order of daily lunches, band and sports practices, orthodontia appointments, new classes, classmates and teachers.

Even though the Halloween costumes and Christmas decorations are out at Target and Michael's, it is still time for Back to School.