I Will Fight, if You Tie Me Down!

At one time, (unless you are under the age of thirteen and reading this,) we have all been a teenager, or have raised teenagers. Maybe I should rephrase that and say that we have lived in the same house with a teenager. Basically, by the time your sweet, adorable child enters the teen years, it’s a done deal. As a parent, you kind of wait it out until they enter their twenties, and hope and pray that they will turn back into a human.

Don’t get me wrong here. There are some great attributes about your child reaching the age of thirteen. Generally, they can take care of themselves. They should be able to shower, feed themselves, and clean up their messes. At least these actions are within their physical capabilities. As to whether or not they do them, that’s another post.

Think back to when you were a teenager. I know it may be a bit foggy for some. My years there are disappearing into the mist. Or, if you are privileged enough to have at least one or more residing in your home at this time, think about this question. Do they like restrictions put on them? Did you like it as a very young adult?

Now, concentrate on this question before you read the rest of this post.

Did those restrictions keep you on the straight and narrow? 

For some, the answer will be ‘yes’. Your parents, your teachers, the law, etc. had a set of rules that you were to follow and obey. And you did. Some did it with a happy heart, others rolled their eyes and groaned, and a few dragged their feet, doing only what they had to so as not to be in trouble.

Then, there were those that had the same rules and they followed none of them. They balked at the constraints, lied, manipulated, and basically did anything they could to rebel at the rules placed on them and their domain. We all knew a person or two like that…we may have been that person.

If I may use that last person as an example…if additional rules or laws were placed on them, did they obey better? Did they submit more? In my experience, not usually. And if they did, it was not a true repentance, (changing of the heart). It was an outward showing to get the person or people imposing the rules and laws off their backs.

In this life, people are human. We all have areas that we naturally gravitate to when we express our rebellion. Some outright break the law and commit terrible acts against others, while some steal a cookie and set the lid back on the jar as quietly as possible. Both are wrong. But establishing and implementing more rules and laws, does not make a person more law-abiding. It is what is in their heart.

A parent’s home is where a child learns right from wrong. This is the parent’s responsibility. A parent is to teach a child to respect others, and to listen and obey. Each family has a set of rules that they believe is best for their family. In most circumstances, if a child is loved, cared for and taught respect for others, that carries over into their school life, their social network, and they way they interact in the work environment. I also firmly believe that there are cases when this has been carried out successfully in a family, and that child has rebelled. They have made a decision to live their life separate from the rules, laws and obligations that they have been taught. Placing more rules an laws on that individual probably will not change them. It is a heart/soul flaw that the person is not willing to change.

The mass shootings and deaths over the past few weeks have been horrendous. We all gasp and wonder how an individual can be so cruel and evil. What kind of a home environment did they have? Were they abused as a child? The lists of ‘reasons why’ go on and on. We are human, and we want answers. And we want it to stop. As a parent, when your child is doing wrong, you scramble to correct it. As a world, we are wanting the same.

But establishing and implementing more rules and laws will not solve the problem.

Just as it did not for that rebellious teenager. The rebellious, lawless person will still find a way. They will fight if you tie them down.

 

Advertisements

Kitten Saga Continued

God designed us with emotions. He gave us the ability to feel, to love, and cry. We can experience anger, sadness, joy, elation, and depression in our lifetimes. Loving someone, and having that love returned, is one of the greatest blessings here in this life. I am thankful that He created us this way, even though at times, it really hurts.

I also believe that animals have the ability to care, to love, and demonstrate their feelings. Some more than others. I am reminded of a video that was going around Facebook a couple weeks ago. It showed a little girl, sitting on her living room sofa watching TV, with her pet yellow python sprawled across the sofa, over her lap, and across the back of the sofa. It was watching TV with her. When she yawned, it yawned. Now, I detest snakes. I really wonder why God created them. That is one of the many questions I’m going to have one day, if I even care to ask them by that point! But maybe in a snake kind of way, it cared for that little girl…as long as it was well-fed!

cow-2125856_1920

Any farmer knows how a mama cow will bawl for her baby when they are separated. You have watched animals in the wild care for their young, many times better, more protective than some of the news stories we have seen lately of parents with their children. Animals have the ability to care, and show feelings. God designed them that way.

As you all know from reading my post, Sometimes It Hurts, we lost two kittens and our older cat, Cassie in the course of a few days. The kittens were ones my husband had found, so we bottle-fed them and cared for them for three weeks. They were a brother and sister of the same litter. We grew to love them over those weeks, and they cared about us. Our daughter sang to them each night before putting them to bed. They loved the song, Mockingbird Hill, which you can listen to right here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJwv7ZsY6PQ

The male cat, a yellow and white cutie, would sit there while she sang, swaying back and forth with his eyes closed. It was adorable to watch.

My father took both of the kittens to the Helping Hands animal shelter in Topeka. He did that for us because he was able to. He knew it needed to be done quickly. He grew up on a farm, and to be honest, they just didn’t have the time to get that concerned about cats and their babies. They caught mice, and occasionally had a treat of milk while the milking was going on. I’ve always thought it must be a real test for my father to live with my mother, who adores cats, and their two kitties now are treated as queens that run the entire house.

The decision was made to take the kittens to the shelter, because our older cat, Cassie was not happy about them being at our house. She would come in, eat quickly and leave. A couple of times she watched the kittens with disdain, forgetting that she had been a kitten herself at one time, seeking the love, companionship and warmth of an older cat. I think that over time they would have all adjusted, but I didn’t want to put Cassie through that. I felt she should have us to herself during her waning years. And then she was gone…

Such is life, the emotions of love, that piercing sadness when you experience the loss of something or someone dear to your heart. There is no Cassie to greet us when we pull into our driveway, running up to our doors, and stretching for kitty-scratches. It’s very lonely to come home. Each morning I look out our back door, hoping to see her sitting on the wicker chair, or lounging on the garage roof. Each night before bed, I open that same door, hoping she will run in as she always did. In time, the memories will be sweet, and they won’t hurt so much.

During this kitten saga, my husband said he had seen a third kitten at work. One that looked like the female calico we had rescued. He had seen the mother only once more and the kitten was pretty wild. I told him I didn’t want to hear about any more kittens! And after the loss of three cats, I really didn’t want to go through all that again. On Friday, others at my husband’s place of work captured the third kitten. It took three people to outsmart a baby cat. And of course my husband called, saying he had another kitten in a box.

Now why would this happen? Why would God allow this into our lives at this point in time? We’d had almost two weeks of a cat-free life, and I’d been concentrating on all the positives to that. No more cat box to clean or smell. Our daughter does the cleaning of it, but we all smell it, and I don’t like it. No more food or cat litter to purchase. No more taking care of another warm body in our house. When I asked one of our older daughters this, our youngest daughter heard me and answered. “Because I’ve been praying that God would send me another cat!”

We now have Callie, sister to the two kittens. She is a pretty calico, with the same loving demeanor of her sister. The first day in our home, she didn’t speak, she cowered, and she was very afraid. She sat through her bath, not making a sound, only purring. She had spent her life fighting for safety and security. Now she has both, and love. Callie checked out at the veterinarian yesterday. She is a part of our family, and she loves to be sung to as well. I would love to be able to have her siblings here for her. Some feline companionship for the times we are gone. I’m sure our daughter is praying about that!

For those of you that read my post yesterday, here is the link you needed: https://www.facebook.com/deborahanndykeman With all that has gone on the past few weeks, it’s no wonder I’m addled-brained! Have a terrific Tuesday!

You Aren’t What You Think!

I’m wondering when your mind and thinking processes catch up to your body. In my head, I think I can still work as I did when I was 18 years old. My brain wants to rationalize as if I was still in my early twenties. “Bungee jump…sure! Why not? Work in the yard for 8-10 hours, take a shower, then go out and have fun until midnight…I can handle that!”

Even up until about 3-5 years ago, I could still handle the working in the yard for 8-10 hours, and even longer. I was a bit sore, but after lying down in a cold room for the night, I was ready to hit it again the next day. Now, 3-4 hours in the same yard, and I’m done-in. And our yard is looking like it!

When we moved here 10 years ago, I wanted a sanctuary. Someplace for me to go and sit among the shrubbery and flowers. A quiet spot to do nothing in, just relax. Well, I definitely have the shrubbery now. It’s still not very quiet. The neighbor’s grandchildren have progressed from the riding bikes through my flowers and screaming, to the teenage years of blaring radios and loud mufflers. Walking into the yard right now sends shivers down my spine as my eyes find every corner of the yard that needs attention.

Yesterday, our youngest and I tackled the ‘monster hedge’. This is what it looked like last March after a good trimming with the chainsaw.

20160317_185606
Spring Daffodils

Now it’s a jungle out there! This is the hedge in the front yard. I have two in the backyard surrounding the garden. I love it for the windbreak and the privacy it gives. But each year, our son-in-law comes over and chops it down with a chainsaw to a more manageable height. And then it grows again! If we lived in the middle of nowhere, it would be wonderful. It grows quickly and it’s hardy. But in a neighborhood with power lines, it’s just too much. Our daughter and I only tackled the sides of the monster hedge, cutting off the branches that attacked our vehicles each time we drove into the driveway. The tops will need the chainsaw once again. The hedge in the front now looks like this picture from last summer, only the hedge is about 6 feet taller:

14002332_10155192807973009_1134810174_o

Yes, I think my yard is out of control. I think it’s time for an apartment with a couple tomato plants in containers on my tiny deck. And that is not the thinking of 18-year-old me! My younger self was not constrained with health problems or thoughts of restrictions on what I could do. I could do it all! And our poor children were my little helpers as I did. They could all tell you stories of their tortuous lives as they helped me with my projects.

Our son was the privileged crew member on this little stone terrace. It looks so neat and tidy here!

I hope at some point that our children don’t recall just the bad moments of hard work. The sweating hours in the heat and sun. Caring for the younger children in the house, and making meals while I painted outside or worked in the garden. My prayer is that they learned the value of a hard day’s work. The sense of accomplishment from completing a project and having it look fantastic. The knowledge that you can do much with a little elbow grease and the willingness to try something new. Those will last you a lifetime.

Yes, my mind is getting there. After only a couple hours yesterday, I’m done-in today. But you can get down the driveway, and hopefully our youngest is learning something along the way. I’m not as motivated as I once was, something our oldest four children remind me of every now and then. So I guess my 18 year-old brain is beginning to catch up as well! Have a beautiful summer day!

Another Anniversary

When I was young, a wedding was a happy celebration for me. It was a day to dress up in a beautiful gown, have flowers overflowing every surface, and you walked down the aisle to your handsome husband-to-be. It was the most tremendous of happenings in a young girl’s life. And I looked forward to my wedding day with great expectation.

lady-1112842_1280

When our first daughter was married almost eight years ago, it wasn’t a happy day for me. Yes, I know that is a rather blunt way to put it, and it seems a bit selfish, but that was the way I felt. I was losing my oldest daughter, and all the attributes she brought to our family circle…and I was depressed. That tiny baby I held at birth, and cherished, was no longer mine, she belonged to someone else.

brittas-wedding-sep-28-2008

As I look at my husband in this picture, I see sadness on his face. And I know he was feeling many of the same emotions I was.

Fast forward a few years to our second daughter’s wedding. No, I wasn’t any more happy about it. I was sad and depressed. Again, a part of our family was once again changing, and it would never be the same. She was leaving us by choice, and that hurt.img_0539

I think the most difficult part of each wedding ceremony for me was watching my husband walk our daughters down the aisle, and then kiss her goodbye. It really symbolizes the ending of one way of life and the beginning of another.

Our third daughter is celebrating her first wedding anniversary today. Her wedding, one year ago was just as hard on the emotions. Even more poignant was the fact that she wore my wedding dress and veil. It was an honor, but flooded my mind with so many memories of my own wedding day. All those years shuffled away under the load of babies, jobs, bills, and responsibilities. Where had they all gone is such a hurry?

When I was young, I never thought of weddings as being a sad day. I pretty much thought people were shedding tears of happiness. I didn’t understand all that was behind those tears…just as our daughters do not understand right now. And that’s how it should be.

Our three daughters, (we have one more to go), have all married wonderful young men. They have lives of their own now. Yes, it’s been very difficult to let go of each one, and I know I’m not successful at it most of the time. Those girls were MY babies not many years ago. I fed them, rocked them, and sang them to sleep at night. I dressed them up in matching clothes, and fixed their hair every morning. I was frustrated with them as teenagers, hoping they would leave home very quickly on many days over the years. But now they are no longer mine as they once were, and in reality, they never were really mine.

I was allowed a very short number of years in their life in my role as their mother. Yes, I’m still ‘Mom’ but not in the same way. It’s hard to let go, and it’s sad. I think I cry each time one of them celebrates another anniversary. But I am happy for them, proud of them, and thankful that they still choose to include me in their lives, sometimes almost on a daily basis. And someday they will understand. I pray that by the time that day arrives, I will have matured enough to hold them, and give comfort. That I will be able to tell them there is happiness in watching their children grow as men and women, husbands and wives, and fathers and mothers.

And that’s just as it should be.

Happy First Anniversary, Mitchel and Alyssa Lynn! You are loved!

That time I was banned from God tube…

This site is always an enjoyable read for me. She’s a Christian mother of multiple children…and that’s all that needs to be said about that. You get it! Enjoy!

I pray that I might boldly profess, that no matter how badly I mess up the message, checking the wrong box, too long of a tweet, or fatigue induced grammatical errors, all will know my heart belon…

Source: That time I was banned from God tube…

“Mommy!”

Being a mother is a joy! And then there are days when these words make you shrivel up inside and you want to run to the high country.

“Mommy, I don’t feel good. My tummy hurts.”

I’m going to decode this for you. Make sure the vomit bucket is close by, (preferably hung around their neck), the bathroom is clean because someone will be sleeping on it, and the washing machine is available because every piece of linen in your house will be washed within the next 48 hours…if you have one child. If you have more than one…it may take a week and several loads!

“I think I did.” 

No thinking involved here on any level!

“I’m all done cleaning my room.”

This statement, usually proclaimed with a big smile is the same for a three-year old and an eighteen-year old. Stuff is stashed under the bed, piled in the corners and the dirty laundry hamper is overflowing.

“I didn’t get into the cake, (fill in your own food item here). Promise!”

Said with chocolate or your choice of food item smeared over face.

“Mommy, mommy, I did it all by myself!”

If a child under about ten says this to you in any situation…run for cover. Don’t enter the bathroom they just exited, or the kitchen area. It will probably ruin your day.

“Mommy, mommy, Susie, (again fill in the blank here) is bleeding!”

Run with trepidation to the scene of the accident. This could mean a pinprick of blood to copious amounts emerging from a sibling or friend.

And the classic…“But that’s not fair!”

This is not voiced when a contemporary is given a chore…generally, unless that chore has not been tried yet. But it is used for everything else you could possibly think of!

Yes, I do love my five children, and our current four grandchildren. But there were days when they were still living in our home when I seriously wanted to pull my hair out or hide under the house! I didn’t think they were ever going to grow up…and when they did, they would have serious mental handicaps because of the way their thinking seemed to wander around their brain.

No, I was not the nicey-nice mom! I spent the day in my work clothes and ran a tight-ship. Drill instructor was mentioned a few times…okay, more than I would like to remember! But…all my children survived, and yes, they have pretty good mental capacities…most of the time.

That’s why I got such a kick out of this picture. If I had seen it twenty years ago, I would have pasted it on my refrigerator…and laughed. I really did want to be like the first mom…promise!

For post on WP