1. the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
The Elf on a Shelf: a brilliant invention by a mother and daughter who appreciate the value of scaring the living daylight out of their kids for entertainment purposes. I found this link online today – people posting fabulously creative images of their Elves on Shelves. Mine, unfortunately, haunts my daughter like the clown from Poltergeist. She has asked to put him back in the basement, but I refuse. I spent $29.99 on that little sprite and he’s being put to good use this year. So he usually sits in the Christmas tree where he has the whole first floor in sight, watching her every move. But her fear had me wondering, could I be creating a new form of coulrophobia? (That is a fancy term for fear of clowns, for all you normal people.) This prompted me to look up the word for “fear of elves.” Yep, there is a word for it: fayophobia. Don’t act like you knew.
So in addition to a college fund, I’ll start setting money aside for therapy. For the month of December, however, I’m appreciating the fact that I can use this little guy to get her to do as she’s told, stay un-naked for most of the day, and wipe her own butt. Merry Christmas! (He’s watching you….)
So, a Wisconsin boy, 16 years old, is the fastest texter in America. I may just be a crotchety person but I don’t that is a title I would be proud of if I were his parents. Can he write a letter or throw a softball? Did he rise to texting heroism by sitting inside all day texting about his life with his two thumbs instead of living it?
I love looking at old, hand-written letters and recipes passed down from generations. When we die, will our kids be digging through our flash drives for something to remember us by?
“Olympic swimmers Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps have their own bromance of sorts. Sports casters (Lochte and Phelps included) often refer to their friendship as a “relationship.” Lochte is said to be the only man Phelps will take his headphones in the ready room off for and many people around Phelps maintain that, “Lochte is the best thing that’s ever happened to Phelps”.8 They keep in touch with daily text messages and phone calls and were featured on the cover of Mens Journal together as a precursor to the 2008 Beijing Summer Games. 9 Though they share a strong rivalry in the pool, the two have become great friends outside of it. Phelps, in his latest book, refers to Lochte as “Doggy” and talks affectionately about his rival and teammate. Bloggers have coined the term “Phlochte” for their bromance.”
Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads out there. One day, those little shadows that have been following your every move will start to get taller, disappearing when the sun goes down, and asking for your car keys. The roles will start to reverse as you find yourself falling at their heels in order to keep up with them, reaching your hands out and asking for a simple hug. While they are still safe in the shade of your shadow, make sure you lead them only to the places where you would want to meet them down the road. Mold that little shadow into one that will someday provide you with that same comforting shade before the sun sets.
Of all the times I have walked through Kletzsch Park in Glendale, I have never noticed this cute little concept until now: Little Free Library. A small sign simply states, “Take a Book. Leave a Book.” I am naturally pessimistic by nature, with little faith in the human race. So I wondered why none of the books had been stolen yet to be sold on Ebay or Half.com (like I used to do with my college textbooks).
On my walk home as I pondered this thought, I realized that maybe books don’t have as much value as they used to – monetary value at least. I had planned to revisit the Little Free Library several times within the next month to see if the books would still be there. Sure enough, they are still there with a different selection than I initially noticed. People had been using it and respecting it. Folks aren’t so bad are they? And they still enjoy reading books.
On my initial visit, I noticed a hardcover version of The DaVinci Code. I didn’t see it in the little wooden box during my last visit, so I looked up its value on Half.com: $.75 for the hardcover version. Then I looked up the Kindle Edition: $9.99! For some strange reason, this makes me feel weird and a little sad. I still enjoy reading old-fashioned books with pages to turn and cute little bookmarks with cheesy inspirational sayings to stick between the pages. Although I own a Kindle, it is a little heavy and awkward to hold, plus it would never last on a sandy beach. But it does has its benefits – nobody has to know that I am reading Fifty Shades of Grey and that I’m a total perv.
Nonetheless, my assumption is that in 25 years or so, the word, “book” will be used in a way similar to the word, “album.” An album used to be a big cardboard sleeve with a vinyl record inside. Now we download albums on iTunes.
After doing a little bit of research, I realized that there is a reason I had never noticed the Little Free Library before. The concept is relatively new to Milwaukee but got it’s start in Hudson, Wisconsin. Madison has over 100 of them and they have spread to over 20 different countries!
Yes, there are real libraries in real buildings where you can rent books and movies for free. But the LFL encourages me to read something I would never otherwise rent from the real library. The fact that it is located in my favorite park where I can sit by the waterfall and read for a bit is pretty nifty too. (Not like I would ever have the time to do that, but someday I might.) I plan on throwing some kids’ books in there at some point since it is near the playground. Those little people really know the value of a good book, at least for now.
- Little Libraries Spreading All Over (nfaa.wordpress.com)
My third Mother’s Day as a qualified, “mom” found me with a head cold and bad attitude. With a throbbing sinus headache, I just wanted to brush my teeth, take a shower, and get myself to the nearest bottle of ibuprofen. There are no breaks from being a mom, however. My stealth tiptoes down the hallway were intercepted by keen toddler ears that quickly appeared behind the locked bathroom door, desperately begging me to let her invade.
After some caffeine and a little time to reflect, I made myself appreciate the lack of privacy in my life. I never asked to be a mom but for some reason, here I am. With so many people desperate to be parents, Mother’s Days and Father’s Days are unbearable reminders of a club from which they are excluded. Yet they see headlines in the paper about “mothers” who leave their toddlers home alone so they can go out drinking or “mothers” who leave their babies in trash cans. But you don’t as often hear about the fathers because they were gone long ago.
With one less Mother’s Day card to mail this year, I am reminded of the importance of appreciating the good ones. Moms sacrifice more than they ever planned to and more than their kids will ever know. But the rewards are indescribable. With a couple hours of free time, some iced coffee, and a numbed sinus headache; I am now more able to appreciate the sound of those tiny knuckles on the bathroom door. It is a reminder to be the best mom that I can be, even if I am bombarded by blogs and Facebook posts that tell me I’m not doing it right: “don’t let your child watch TV; buy only organic food, certain brands of sunscreen and bath soap; despite the expense of all these things, save all your money for their college fund; make homemade dish soap you found on Pinterest, make gluten and peanut-free birthday cupcakes.” The list is endless.
As a perfectionist, it will always be a struggle to be the best. But after three years, I am realizing that it might be better to try not to be the best – just do what works for me. For all moms, all future moms, and all the people who have moms (here or eternal), I raise my watered-down iced caramel latte to you and say (with a stuffy nose and sore throat), “Cheers.” You are incredible in ways you have never been told. And for the mom in the Sunday paper that disappeared in the middle of the night while your two-year-old fell out of a second story window – on behalf of the women who are dying to take your place – I raise my middle finger. Happy Mother’s Day!
My daughter has been all about Winnie the Pooh lately. Inspired by Eeyore’s stick house (she calls him “He-Whore”), she decided that she needed to build a house for our dog. I imagined her thought process as she was building it. Eeyore’s house looks like a pile of sticks. I am piling up a bunch of sticks. Why does this look different?
But she seemed to be quite satisfied with it. I was not present during the build, which is a good thing. My inner perfectionist probably would have tried to arrange the twigs in a log cabin formation and installed a hot tub. But at least for now, she was able to enjoy her imagination before it was compromised by people like me.
Her project makes me wonder when it is appropriate to teach and when it is best to stand back and simply observe. I don’t expect a three-year-old to build an elaborate dwelling for a small canine, although I would certainly brag about it if she did. It is just that if she has to make a diorama in 2nd grade and just throws a bunch of junk in a shoebox, I’m going to have to intervene.
Going forward, I will try to keep myself in check, thinking before I judge. According to Pooh, “People who don’t think probably don’t have brains; rather, they have grey fluff that’s blown into their heads by mistake.” I am going to try to get rid of my grey fluff; at least until she gets that diorama assignment.