Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Being a parent.

On my way out of town the other week, I had to stop and get some gas.
While at the corner right near my house I saw something that caught my eye.
There was a Dad standing a little back from the corner with his two sons. They boys were holding up a sign with their backs to me. I thought it was strange that both the boys were holding the sign and the Dad was directing them on which way to face. I actually thought DAMN that Dad is mean making both of those boys hold a garage sale sign while he just stands there. But once they turned in my direction I had a chance to read the sign...

My heart skipped a beat as I rushed to grab my phone to snag a picture. I also felt it was necessary to roll down my window and yell "NICE JOB DAD!". To which he smiled big and gave me a thumbs up.

So my 2hr drive consisted of me thinking about those boys and their parents.
Every time I turn on the news I get depressed with the number of kids that seem to
have lost their way in life and how quick their parents blame the media, social networking, or anyone else that is NOT them.

Kids do not wake up over night and become something they were not the day before.
There is signs.
There is moments.
It takes a parent to be active in a child's life to see these things.
I applaud these parent for taking control and doing something.
I just hope and pray that this is a moment that puts them on the right path.

Then over the rest of my vacation I found myself in situations that had me thinking more and more about parenting.

Like when my VERY pregnant cousin in law came out to play with us. See Marissa came out to the beach on Aug 6th, her due date WAS Aug 1st. Yep she drove 45 mins with her 17 month old twins, a week over due with babe number 3 to just play. And she did it with a smile. Marissa radiates happy. She is the first to make a situation funny. So the fact that she was waddling, I mean chasing, two kids OBVIOUSLY wanting to go in opposite directions down the beach, just rolled off her back. I thought wow, what would I do. First I would not be at the beach, I know I would have already talked myself into how horrible it would have been and not gone. Then I am sure I would have cried at the craziness.

{the twinks and Bean}

But not Marissa.
There is was laughing, joking and chasing.
I think as a parent its important to laugh.

If we can not laugh at ourselves then there is no point.
Thank you Marissa for sharing your laughter and your way of making the air around us feel lighter. PS Marissa blogs and when I tell you she is funny I really mean it. Check her out at Controlled Chaos. PSS she finally had that babe, Stella Maris came Aug 12th, yep 11 days over due.


Another Momma bird that had me thinking about parenting, was my cousin Trish.
She came down to play with us for the WHOLE week with her twins Riley and Aidan,
I know we were surrounded by twins, crazy.

{I found out that colored bubbles will ONLY be given to my children at the beach, HA}

I had known the kids had allergies, but was never with them long enough to really understand their severity and how it effected their day to day lives. Both are deadly allergic to tree nuts and eggs, among some other things. I watched my cousin, read labels, keep her kids away from things that would harm them or worse. I learned how she fought to get two allergy free classrooms in each grade at their school so she could have them in different classrooms, a thing a lot of parents of multiples want for their kids.

{they came with matching suits and it was not even planned!}

Ever time we went somewhere I saw her have to pack something for them to eat and carry epi pens. And talked about how her kids can not ride the school bus because of the risk of exposure and how the bus driver can not administer the epi pen for insurance reasons. Or how her kids have to sit at a separate table with the other handful of allergy kids in the lunch room. One rainy day she took them plus Buggie to the movies, and before they left she had to pack their own popcorn and candy. Not to save money but to save their lives.

There is so much more knowledge I gained after our week together. I always knew we as parents are the only true advocates for our children. But seeing it in action made my heart swell for my cousin and her love for her kiddies.
I wish every child had this in their lives, but I know that is not the case.

{off to see the Smurfs}

Lastly there is my friend Tiffany. We went to high school together. We were more friends of friends back then. Fast forward 10 years later and now we talk at least once a day. Crazy.
So Tiff came out to hang with us. Her parenting story starts three years ago when her daughter was born at 25 weeks, she came into the world weighing 1lb 15ozs. You can read her story here. Tessa just turned three. And since then Tiffany had another little sweet pea, Tristin. Tessa's day to day is filled with appointments and therapy. Which of course means Tiffany's day is filled with those same things. Tessa is not able to walk due to a minor case of Cerebral Palsy. So here is Tiffany with her 3 yr old on her back in her Boba, her 8 month old in her arms, and carrying all their beach stuff {this pic makes me seem like a horrible friend, taking pics of her, but I promise my arms were full, ha}.

Tiffany's determination as a parent is evident in everything she does. She gives speeches for the March of Dimes, she goes on the local radio shows to talk about fundraising for the fight against premature births, there is always something she is doing to help not only her child but other child. She is leaving a mark, a legacy for her children to lookup to. One filled with determination, passion, and knowledge.

{This picture is another example of Tiffany's supermom skills. She is crazy innovative. Tristin is not yet mobile, so to prevent her from eating sand, Tiffany stuck her in the raft. I know genius. Then she had forgotten her swimsuit, so what does my friend do? Oh she just grabs a bib and puts it on backwards to cover her daughters back!}

I am lucky to have these women in my life.
To remind me of these things that make me an active parent not a passive one.
I truly believe that parenting my children is my most important role in life.
A role I take seriously but with a side of laughter.

PS I am sure this post is filled with grammar and spelling mistakes, please try to over look them, cause I am horrible at those things!!


tracy said...

all great examples of great parents! you are so right about being purposeful in our parenting. children are a result of their upbringing. yes, at some point they are responsible for their choices, but parenting is where it all starts!

. said...

This is EXACTLY why I am becoming a foster parent!! There are so many kids that don't have direction and they ALL need direction. It makes me sad.

My greatest hope is that I can help make a difference in a child in needs life. Maybe show them a different world in the time they are with me...send them in a new them love, guidance and discipline. :)

Marissa said...

My eyes still sting from reading this. And you have no idea how bad I needed it today. I love you Aim and I would drive one million miles 64 weeks pregnant to see you guys. xo

Bruce, Sue, Ellen, Hannah, Isabel and Thomas said...

Hi Amy, I have been following your blog for a while and have been awestruck by lots of things you do.... but have never commented before.. well here I am. Thank you for this post. Firstly it has reminded me how blessed I am with my four healthy law abiding children. It has also nudged me to remember to be joyful in my parenting. Sometimes the road seems so long, the day so full, so much to get done etc etc that I forget the important stuff: to teach my kids to be positive, happy with little stuff, not bogged down by things that really don't matter. So thanks, and be blessed xx P.S. Your kid's parties are AMAZING!!!!!

-Shelby :) said...

Wonderful post.
It takes a special person to be a parent or child caregiver and it seems to me that that person is exactly you and the moms you mentioned above. While I'm young and dont have children of my own yet, I know how important it is to be there and care for these growing little people and how special of a person it takes to really CARE for them, not just sit them in front of the tv all day with a box of crackers.

Raising Chichi said...

Love this post! Your family & friends r inspiring!! I've missed you & your bog lists!!

Anonymous said...'s me! FINALLY sitting down and logging in to blogger. Okay first off have I told you how much I dig you!? No serious! Like why weren't we friends (and not friends of friends) in hight school! We surely missed out on some awesome memories!! are one of the people I look up to. It's crazy when I see you see me {does that make sense?} and you say I'm inspiring. You're so creative, loving, smart, stylish....I could go on for years....and there are times when I am like "what would Amy do" {we should make WWAD bracelets!}. SERIOUS! I know that given these circumstances you would TOTALLY be doing the same. I guess this is what makes us such super rad friends! Okay that's enough lovey dovey talk...I totally sound like I'm trying to get your panties off {as my hubs would say}! Love ya like the sister my parents NEVER gave me!!!

Unknown said...

This was such an inspirational and touching post. I don't have children of my own yet, but it's something I am looking anxiously forward to. I hope to be just as passionate and crazy in love with being a parent as these women. Thanks for sharing.

Brandie said...

What amazing stories of Strength, Love, and Devotion. So inspiring, and for some, I hope it is a wake up call. This is definitely a Must Read for All Parents. Thanks for sharing, Amy.

PS. I hope you don't mind if I share a link on FB....