Friday, December 12, 2014

Judge Not

All 5 kids went to the optometrist last week, packing in all the insurance benefits before the year ends.  MG on Monday, the rest on Friday.  MG ordered a darling pair of very expensive glasses.  I quickly put a stop to that nonsense saying we could easily find an attractive pair of frames for what the insurance covered.  3 times the office assured me that the benefits had changed and we had full coverage.  We ordered the glasses.  I returned a few days later and the middle two kids were picking out frames, I let them pick whatever appealed to them, not worried of cost since it was all covered.  I was then informed they were unsure of my benefits.

I opted to wait and see what the benefits were before ordering 2 more pair.  The kids were sad we weren't getting glasses after all.  They love to read and wanted it to be easier.  I told them the truth like I always do.  We are getting glasses, we are just not ordering them until we know what the cost will be.  No sense spending money if we don't have to, money is tight right now (my kids know this and they know why).

 The optometrist who kept acting like we were BFF's even though we only see him once a year
  blamed the expense of Christmas as to why our finaces were tight. 
He meant it in good spirits but I was furious. 

How dare he imply to my kids that presents under a tree 
were more important than their health and education?  

I know my priorities. My kids are our number one priority.  I have NEVER had a pedicure, my hair is only ever cut and colored by friends in my kitchen, because all the money that many women spend on those services I spend ensuring that my daughter's hair is well cared for, that they have the proper tools they need to embrace the difficult hair they were blessed with.  For him to tell my children otherwise is ridiculous and insulting to my exhaustive efforts to ensure my children always have everything they need while not entrapping my husband and I's future in mountains of debt.  I realize I read too deeply into things, but his assumption hit a chord.

I looked at him and said, "that has nothing to do with this, the glasses issue is entirely about insurance, my children know why finances are tight and it has nothing to do with something as frivolous as Christmas has become."

I was kind but firm in my words, he quickly back peddled and apologized.
  "uh, well you never know"

And that is EXACTLY it, we don't ever know.  We don't know why people act the way they do, we don't understand why they made the decision they did.  We don't know the stresses, the sacrifices, their former hurts or their priorities.  It is high time we start supporting one another, being honest with each other, and  stop making assumptions and tearing one another down. 

The poor eye tech was not trying to cause trouble or raise adrenaline levels, but he was interjecting himself in a situation in which he did not belong.

We do not know, and until we do, we can not assume or judge.

I told my kids Santa was Dead

"Mama?  How does Santa get out of the fireplace",
 I glanced at our glass enclosed gas fireplace before answering my incredibly concerned 4 year old.  "He can't honey, at our house he has to use the door."
  Panic strikes her little face.
"Mama!  I don't like a stranger coming in my house at night."

Quick scramble of how to answer my little girl without destroying the magic of Christmas.  Only 4 years into the parenting game I was not prepared to hear that response.

"Its okay!  he isn't a bad guy.  He knocks on Mama and Daddy's back door, shows a picture idea and a business card and we let him in."

I could tell she was only barely comforted by this response.

A year later we had the same conversation.

and when she was 6 and when she was 7.

By then I had 3 verbal children that were all scared of Santa, this conversation often came up in the car, probably because I was a captive audience.  No dishes, no laundry, no doorbell.  Desperate to comfort my children of this long held fear I told them the truth.
                                                          "Santa died a long time ago."
I checked my rear view mirror and found the words parenting fail streaming down their cheeks.

I admit, I wasn't eloquent in my delivery, but I didn't think I needed to be.  I expected to have 3 relieved little kids.  Instead they were devastated that this man they were scared of was dead.  I was searching my glove box for the instruction manual on parenting, I had no idea what to do.  This was not the response I had expected!

I blurted out some stuff about the story of Father Christmas and that after he died people continued giving gifts in his memory, (which is weird because the HIS in that sentence should really refer to the Wise Men's gift to the Christ child or to God's gift of Christ to the world, but I digress into a religious argument).  In that tradition, mama and daddy give them gifts because we love them.

The seemed content with that response, and Santa has just never really played a role in our Christmas's since.  He was excluded, he just wasn't given credit for daddy's hard work to earn money to buy them nice things at Christmas, Santa became a non-issue. 
I want my kids to know that it is the FATHER and MOTHER, both earthly and heavenly that provide blessings to the children.  My kids don't have to ask themselves why their friend gets an ipod for Christmas and they get a book on tape?  They don't have to think they are somehow less important to Santa because they get less at Christmas.  My kids know they are loved and cared for.  They know that God loves them and they know that Christmas is about sharing the love of Christ. 
And that my friends is the result of my parenting fail, I'm calling it a win.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bedtime with Tinylove

This was Tinylove's bedtime tonight. No Joke.  I piled on a dog, 2  horses, a baby, a monster, an extra pillow, and as I was leaving he somehow managed to remember that Monkey George was suppose to be in bed with him.  The lights had been out for sometime, so I felt along the bedroom floor, sure enough, Monkey George was feeling very alone...which usually leads to mischief, so I tucked him under TL's chin and the tired boy fell right to sleep.

This morning revealed there was also bear, zebra, elephant, and flashlight in his bed.