Thursday, April 14, 2011

April Showers Bring May Flowers

I am having such an odd week.  It seems like its been bad but the blessings are so obvious at the same time.  Kind of like the Spring time scenery here.  It's all yellow and dry here but there are little bursts of grass and flowers starting to blossom.  Good stuff has been hiding under the surface all along.  Not like my "troubles" are so great (I use quotes not because they are not legitimate but because they are relative) but they have been pecking at me all week.

We went out to lunch on Sunday and I noticed a family at the table next to ours.  There were three older people and two young men that looked to be college aged.  They were very obviously brothers dining with their parents and perhaps a family friend.  (I can't believe I am now at the age where I refer to college men as "young men."  Sad day.)  These two guys had expressions and postures that implied that they were enduring this meal with their folks.

"Is that going to happen to us?"  I asked Aaron.

"Oh it will."

"I don't want it too.  I don't want our sons to just 'put up' with us." 

Last week Gabriel came home and told me about an incident at school.  I promptly went to the school and straightened the matter out with a talk with the principal.  Monday Gabriel came home and told me that the story he told was a bit fabricated.

"I both misunderstood and lied," he said. 

I was embarrassed and confused.  Not that I am a mother who thinks her kid would never do such-and-such but this was certainly a first for Gabriel.  I could never quite get a straight story from him and think he is at least being honest in that he misunderstood something and then took "creative liberties" with it when he relayed the events to me.

"What is going on with you bud?  Where is this coming from?" 

Also last week he decided to do a puppet show for his school project.  He told his teacher that his mom would probably not let him use any of our socks to make puppets.  She brought socks from her home for him to use.  I felt like we were some "special case."

"Why did you tell your teacher that?  Why didn't you ask me first?  You act like you are afraid to ask me or tell me things."

"Well...I know you won't like this but...I am."

"You're afraid of me?" I asked.


"Afraid of what?"

He shrugged.  Said he was afraid to disobey me. After I tucked him into bed I went down to the basement to finish folding clothes and have a good cry.  Just last week Drew told me I was so mean.

"You're even meaner then Daddy!" he sobbed.  Then on another occasion, "Mom!  You are the WORST!  You are the worst and the BEST!"

In those moments I thought Good.  I'm doing my job then!  I have never been a parent delusioned with the idea that being my child's friend was more important then being their parent.  After Gabriel confessing to being afraid of me however, I had visions of us one day having lunch together and my boys looking at me with their eyes glazed over and trying to make subtle glances at their watches.

Aaron came down on his way out to the gym. 

"I'm going to work out."  I looked up from the laundry.  "Why are you giving me that look?"  he asked defensively.  I cried harder.

"I'm not giving you any look!  Doesn't anyone in this family like me?!" (Oh yeah.  It was high drama people!)

"We like you,"  Aaron laughed and hugged me.  "We LOVE you."

"I know ya'll love me but you can love someone and not like them!  Gabriel is afraid of me and Drew hates me!  Waaaaaaagh!  This is my whole life.  My WHOLE LIFE!  I'm going to do nothing but take care of my family and then they will leave and do everything they can to avoid me."

Aaron held me and let me cry.  He assured me that I was a great mom.  I told him why I thought that kids were unhappy with me and he said my responses to them were legitimate. 

"Go work out," I sniffed.  "I'm going to watch Dancing with the Stars and have a glass of wine."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah.  I'm not playing a game or testing you or anything.  I really will feel better after watching my show." 

So he left.  Two minutes later he came back in, went up stairs and came back down with a bowl of ice cream.

"I thought you were going to work out."

"I decided I would rather eat ice cream and watch Dancing with the Stars with you."

"Liar.  You hate this show."  I snuggled into his body and all was well again. 

*I wish I could insert a little tuft of grass here*

The next day a special friend came by.  We had not talked in awhile and it was good to catch up.  She is one of those friends where you can pick up where you left off.  At some point I am telling her about my tragic parenting skills.  She confessed she does the same things I do.  We both laughed at each other, relieved that we were not alone.  Neither of us actually ever agreed that we were good mothers or bad mothers.  We just knew that we were normal mothers.  On her way home she called me crying.

"Thank you so much for today.  I had no idea how badly I needed that time!"  We promised to get together soon.  Maybe even for a girls weekend or something.  It was funny because I had shared my story with her (a good mom, wife, woman) expectant for her advice and ministry.  Instead we ministered to each other and bounced various ideas of how we can better manage our households. 

*a little yellow flower*

After Drake and I's last walk, I decided we would not go for anymore walks until he is trained.  (Training starts April 30 and I can't WAIT!)  Yesterday I thought we could at least go down to the bus stop to get the boys.  Part way down the hill I saw a fox across the road.  I sat Drake down and loved on him and he did not seem to notice a thing.  About that time I could hear the bus coming around the bend.  Drake and I proceeded to the bus stop. 

At our stop is a home with a horse name Stormy.   Stormy is not new to Drake but for some reason he decided he needed a closer look.  Due to past experience regarding Drake and Stormy I thought I could reign him in.  I was wrong.  Drake charged the horse and I was dragged through the gravel.  I released the leash (too late) and sat in the middle of the road trying not to cry and assessing my damage.

The kids had just got off the bus as all of this happened.  Caren's daughter was so upset.

"Are you OK?  Do you want me to get my mom?"

"No Sweetie.   I'm OK.  I just need a minute."

"I'm going to get my mom!"

Then my sons ran over.

"Mom are you OK?!"

Not really.

"I'm fine.  Just give me a minute."

"We'll go get Drake!"

But Drake was in the horse corral foolishly messing with a nervous horse.  I got up and sent Gabriel up to the house for the sausage dog treats.  I needed something tempting.  Drew and I stood at the fence calling to Drake to return to us and screaming in horror when he started eating horse poop. 

"Mom, I'm little enough that I could crawl under the fence.  I love Drake enough that I won't mind the horse poop."

"NO!"  I screamed, "Do NOT go in the corral Drew!  That horse is upset and he could really hurt you."

"I'll go see if I can't get Mr. Pete then!"  he said.

"Much  better plan."

Drake sniffed the horses butt and the horse pulled up his leg like cocking a gun.  I was certain I was about to see my dog kicked or stomped to death by a horse.

"DRAAAAAKE!"  I yelled for him but he was too damn stupid to leave the horse alone.  Stormy went into his stall and Drake followed.  I could not see what was happening but could hear the horse snorting and stamping and giving Drake all kinds of warnings.  Drake just barked back.

What am I doing on a mountain trying to get my dog out of a horse corral?!  Never expected to be in this position EVER.

"Drake!  Come here buddy!"  I called sweetly.  "DRAKE YOU TURD!  GET OVER HERE!"  I tried everything.  Then Gabriel arrived.

"Here mom!"  He said panting and holding up ONE little sausage treat.  It's the size of my thumb.

"Seriously Gabe?"


*sigh*  "Thanks Buddy.  This is not gonna cut it though.  Could you please go back and get the WHOLE bag of sausage treats?"

The previous scene of me yelling for the dog and the dog ignoring me was repeated.  Drake was in the corral for about 15 minutes.  I considered climbing in myself because I could probably grab his leash....but then Stormy came galloping out of the stall flustered and mad and I came to my senses.  Then Caren's daughter came running down the hill.

"My mom is picking up my sister from practice!" she called to me as she ran waving a big piece of turkey.  "I brought this!" She waved the turkey again.

"Atta girl!  Drake!  Drake!  Come on buddy!"  And he finally did.  I leashed Drake and began to limp back up the road.  Just then Aaron pulled up in the truck.

"What's going on?"  I opened the door and pushed Drake in.

"Here.  Take him home."

"What happened?  Are you OK?"

"No.  He dragged me down the hill when he went after Stormy."

"Stormy?  That's weird.  UG!  He smells!"

"Yeah.  He was eating horse poop.  See you at the house."

The incident left me with two cut knees, a skinned elbow and skinned hands.  There is the bonus of a torn pair of jeans.  (I love when my jeans have holes due to love and wear instead of forking out money for a brand new torn pair.)

That night was pizza night.  I sat on Caren's couch eating pizza and drinking wine with my Mountain Peeps.  It started to snow great big heavy wads of white! 

*tree buds*

Today I ache all over.  Mountain living makes me feel old.  We woke up to about 5 inches of snow.  The mountains were gently veiled in fog.  Gorgeous!  The boys and I had a pretty good morning getting ready.  We headed down to the bus stop.  Out of the corner of my eye I could see something galloping towards me.  It was Drake.

"How did you get out?!"  I eventually got the dog and the boys where they should be.  At home I did more laundry (I'm telling you it's never ending) and soaked my wounds in a hot shower. 

This afternoon I left the house to get my hair cut.  Before leaving I looked out side to see how the weather was.  There was still snow but the sun was out so the roads were clear.  When I stepped outside I could hear rain.  I looked up at the blue sky, confused.  The snow was melting so rapidly from the trees and roof tops that it sounded like rain falling!  Everything was wet and it sounded like it was raining but the sky was blue and the sun was shinning.  It wasn't raining at all!

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