Only a Matter of Perspective

cold kids 2We had a tight schedule when our kids were in school. By this, I don’t mean we scurried from one activity to another getting our kids to lessons and sports practices after school and on weekends. Bud and I were juggling just to get them fed, dressed, and to the bus stop in the mornings. We were both taking call at work, so it was a big job making sure one of us was there when they got home, got them started on homework, got dinner, and their baths. Throw in a few loads of laundry, a fever or sick child and it was sure to be exciting. Sometimes I felt overloaded.
“The science fair project is due tomorrow!” could make my blood run cold. A call from the teacher or bus driver, and there was no telling what changes we had to work in. No teacher ever called to say, “I just wanted to let you know your son is a delight to have in my class.” The kids thought it was a great idea to give us a note or let us know, “I need $50 today for the………. It’s the LAST DAY!”
I felt like we were stressed till we met the Ford kids who lived about a quarter of a mile down the street. They showed up at our house one frosty morning in shorts and overcoats. “Can we ride to the bus stop with y’all? We’re freezing!”
My kids were at the table eating pancakes and sausage. The Ford boys stared, open-mouthed.
“Are you boys hungry?”
“Yea!”
“Let me get you a plate. Do you want some milk?”
“Yes ma’am.”
I fixed them up. They licked their plates, literally. The next morning, they opened the front door and climbed right up to the table. We fed those boys for the next two years till we moved. It turns out, they were being raised by a single father who had to get their baby sister to the baby-sitter in time to be at work at seven. He woke the boys as he was going out the door, telling them to get some cereal. Our lives didn’t look quite so demanding.

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6 Reasons to have Kids

babyprint1x1.  Curiosity:  Go ahead and see what you can whip up. Drift into a hormone-induced fog  thinking how great it would be to have a baby with all the combined charm of you and your sweetie.   Realistically, that baby is just as likely to exercise its genetic options and come up with a nice mix of Cousin Fred and and Aunt Myrtle’s worst traits.

2.  Karma.  You have to “pay for your raising.”  I can’t tell you how many times my mom wished “fifteen kids who act just like you” on me.  What a horrible thing to curse a kid with!  The woman had no conscience!  Nothing makes you forgive your parents’ horrendous mistakes like screwing up your own kids.

3.  Kids keep you humble.  Nobody knows more about raising kids than folks who’ve never had one.  There is no surer way to ensure your kid will humiliate you on a regular basis than to criticize somebody else’s kid.  Never, never, never say, “my kid wouldn’t do that.”  They are probably doing it right then on the six o’clock news.

4.  Budgeting is no problem once you have kids.  Except for rent, groceries, and utilities, and minimal clothes for yourself, everything goes for kid expenses.  It will be many years before you have to  bother yourself about fancy cars, entertainment, vacation, savings, or investments.

5.  Educational benefits.  I never realized how little I knew until my first night home with a new baby.  Nothing I did worked.  Though child care looked simple enough, nothing I’d ever done prepared me for the challenge.  As they grew older, my incompetence grew exponentially.  By the time they were teenagers, I barely had enough functioning brain cells to tie my shoes.  Thank God, a few years after they left home, I seemed to be functioning moderately well.  It’s amazing how children in the home makes parental IQs plummet.

6.  Hopefully, they get grown and give you beautiful, well-behaved grandchildren, asking you to babysit only on rare occasions.

Flowers!

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I am one happy mama.  My kids both gave me gift cards for flowers for Mother’s Day.  I loaded up today. All the crazy old ladies pushing carts around in the garden department were jealous of me.  I will be knee deep in dirt tomorrow and happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.  Now I wish I’d had a few more kids.   I might hock something and go back to get some more stuff. Thanks, kids.

Snotty Girl Club

I spotted my “sometimes friend” Betty Green deep in conversation with Rita Lawson, the principal’s snotty daughter. The choice of friendship each day was Betty’s.  I was a friendly kid and would have played with a rattlesnake. Betty turned her back, making it clear she didn’t want my company when she finally had Snotty Rita all to herself that day.  Continue reading

The Indian Princess Gets Hen Flogged

Mama made me an Indian outfit. By now, I’d been around the chickens long enough to know a mother hen would jump all over anyone getting near their chicks.  I’d already been flogged trying it  This was different.  In my Indian dress, I was brave and invincible.  I played pretend in the yard shooting several  buffalo with my bow, saving the tribe from Continue reading

Tinkle Toes

Daddy came back from Clarkville one Saturday evening long, long ago bringing me an incredible surprise………..black patent leather Mary Janes.  I fell in love with those shoes on the spot, never having seen anything so glossy.  Though I wanted to wear them immediately, I had to save them for Sunday School the next morning.  I couldn’t put them Continue reading

Advice for the Easter Season: No Baby Chicks!

No little kid should ever be allowed a small, defenseless duck, chick, or bunny for a pet.  One of those four hundred pound tortoises would be a far better choice.  It could protect itself and the kid couldn’t pick it up.  Porcupines or crocodiles should be fine, too.  They could probably hold their own against a four year old.  Case in point, when I was four, Continue reading

Her Facts Didn’t Run

Our school was tiny. So tiny that even with two grades sharing a room and teacher, there were still usually less than fifteen students in the two grades.  The good news was, if you didn’t learn everything you should have in second grade math, you got another crack at it in third grade while the new second grade covered the same material.  Though each class used different books, the lessons sounded much the same. Continue reading