Little Man…

It has been quite a while since I have written and even longer since I last wrote about Little Man.  Little Man is now seven.  Seems impossible, but he turned seven on Friday this past week.

Hubby and I traveled to see him and were able to spend time with him.  It was glorious!  I always come away with a lesson learned from him and this time was no exception.

Friday we spent a couple of hours with him in the pool.  It was a fun time with lots of laughter and splashing and rough-housing.  He showed us his jumps into the pool, his cannonball, his karate kick jump, and his vertical alligator jump.   All named appropriately, and each delivered with grace and style.  If they were to be judged by this Grammy, they would all be a 10.

We played cards, and Rock em, Sock em Robots.   It was a tie at the cards, but only because the game was interrupted by dinner and then forgotten for a bit.   I lost the battle of the robots, much to the glee of the seven year old.

The lesson I have learned this past weekend?  To live life with joy.  Embrace the fun that life holds.   Jump into the pool of life instead of gently lowering yourself into the tide and flow.  Most of all, hug, laugh and make funny noises when words fail you.

Happy Birthday Little Man, you will always have my heart as I learn from your example.

Thanks for stopping by today.   Cathi (DAF)

What I did over my summer vacation…

School is starting up again.  Some of the kids returned to school this past week, some will go back on Monday.  The schools in the area have been busy with lawns being mowed and more cars in the parking lots and signs signaling the beginning of the school year.  I know that in several of those classrooms there will be an assignment for the students to write about what they did over their summer vacation.

With this in mind, I have decided to  write about my summer vacation(?).    This summer did not turn out the way I had imagined it.  But, that is okay.

It’s not so much what I did over the summer that I am thinking about, it is what I learned over the summer.

I have learned that hoses do leak.  Sometimes they erupt sending a deluge of water all over.  I have learned not to wear my glasses when working on hoses because I end up not only being drenched, but also not being able to see since my glasses are dripping water and not providing me a way to see which way to go dripping wet.

I have learned that maintaining a pool is a daily thing.  I was so used to seeing hubby out there doing ‘something’ and me getting changed to go into the pool and lounge.  I have learned that the lounging only comes after the cleaning, backwashing, checking the chemical levels, adding what is needed, straining the basket in the filter (my least favorite part) and trying not to squeal like a girl when I see dead toads in the filter, bloated and looking up at me…  Ewww….

I have learned that wasps are mean.  I don’t react well to bee stings.  But, it has been years since I have been stung.  I forgot how they feel.  I forgot how they itch and itch and swell.  I forgot that the swelling stays for weeks, not days for me.  Stupid wasps.  They tricked me into a false sense of security and feeling victorious trimming bushes, except that last one… it is still wild and going off in all directions.

I also realized that even though my body aches and my legs ache and my back is rebelling, that things can get done.  I have found that either praying or listening to hubby with his armchair quarterback instructions that things can be done.  Also, there are those times when I scream aloud at myself and even let loose with a few words that don’t necessarily edify anyone or anything, that helps too.

Yes, I have learned much this summer.  Some things I thought I already knew, but sometimes you need a refresher course.  Neighbors help and turn into friends.  I knew this, but, I was reminded in so many ways of this during the past few weeks.

I have had people tell me to not do so much.  To let things slide a bit.  I considered what they meant, but in the end, chose not to listen.  This spring hubby did a lot of preparation for the summer.  He worked hard and had plans.  I could not, and decided would not, let his plans be ruined.

Did I do the gardening exactly like him?  NO.  I know under his care the garden would have produced so much more.  But, we did get some nice cucumbers and tomatoes and squash.  He had fresh beans for lunch and we had some rhubarb pie.  I look at the garden and sigh most days.  This is the one area where I feel like I could not do everything.  I have watered, and fed the garden, but, alas, it was not a huge success.  I know that although I love the produce, I think I am better suited to roses.

Did I  get all his plans done?  No, I didn’t.  But, I tried.  I tried because it was important to me for him to at least know that some things were getting done.

The biggest lesson learned?  I still don’t know.  I am sure that this time next year I can look back and see the end results of this summer, but, it’s still not done.  The light is at the end of the tunnel.  He is up and walking, but, with only being able to bend his leg 30 degrees, we have a way to go.

This, I do know, though, I love my husband.  I may not be Florence Nightingale, but I try.  I  try because he deserves this.  It was not his choice to sit all summer long, but, it happened.  There is a reason for it all.  So, although I have cracked jokes about it, I am so thankful that I could be here for him.

What are some of the lessons you learned over the summer?  I would love to hear them.  DAF (Cathi)

Litte Man Lessons

It’s been a while since I wrote about a lesson I have learned from Little Man.  Little Man is truly a little man now, at three years old, he is no longer baby or toddler, but a boy.  A boy Pinocchio would have been envious of.

The other day I went on Facebook to see a post my daughter had written.  It said, ” Little Man, upon waking from a very early nap, to me: Mama, you’re like a sweet present filled with sugar.”  My heart melted.  So did several other hearts from the response the post created.  Hubby and I chuckled and remarked how precious Little Man is.

A few comments and several hours later, my daughter commented once more on her post.  “In keeping it real, 20 minutes later, he told me I should go stand in the trash.”   After reading that, I howled with laughter!

The following day, as hubby and I were making our daily trip to Home Depot (they loved that we moved into the area), we talked about the comments Little Man made.

We laughed and talked about his cuteness (we are grandparents after all)  but, we also talked about his innocence.  He can say things that are in his mind and they come out without anger and bitterness.  He does not say things with a purpose to hurt or destroy.  He hasn’t learned that part of the world yet.

Hubby and I went on to say that this is something we need to remember.  To be able to speak things with truth but not harm.  Unfortunately, there is too much of the harsh side of the world that clings to us and sometimes our words are not kind.

I Corinthians 14:20 says, “ Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.”

We talked more about this, but, this was the gist of the conversation.

Later on in a Skype with my daughter and Little Man, my daughter said that Little Man was actually standing by the trash can holding the lid open when he told her to go stand in the trash…  She confessed that he must not have agreed with what she wanted him to do.    Gotta love a three-year old’s logic, don’t you?

Thanks for stopping by today… DAF

Little Man Lessons…

During my last visit with Little Man, I was able to document almost daily  a short lesson that I received from him.  He is a most excellent teacher, and continues to excel in teaching me new things.  This visit, as I have mentioned, went by too quickly.  Yes, I did learn much from my time with him, I just did not have the time to chronicle our daily lessons.

Today, I am going to give an over view of things learned.

1. Learn new things with enthusiasm.  Listen closely and study what is happening around you.  Pick up key words and make them part of your vocabulary.    Little Man watches everyone around him.  He may be playing with a toy or reading a book, but his little ears are wide open intently listening for something new for himself.   Soon he is mimicking a word, trying it out on his little tongue, repeating it until it is right.  Some of the new words and phrases he’s learning?  Probably, area, that one.  There were several others, at least one per hour, but this poor brain of mine cannot remember them all.  I am certain he remembers them all, though.

2. Get fresh air often, at least once a day, two or three times if you can convince the giants in your midst that it’s a good thing.  One of the first questions of the day was a very simple one word question, “Outside?”  If I said yes, then he would ask if it was ‘told’ out.  His cute little ‘c’ is delivered via a ‘t’ sound.  I hope that stays for a few more months, it is too cute!

3. Play until the last-minute.  Grab toys, books, stuffed animals and keep them with you until they are peeled out of your hands.

4. Sing a cute song if the toys disappear. 

5. Listen to Momma’s list and repeat it to her.  Follow her instructions.

This is just a short list of what I learned.  They are all valid lessons for me daily.  I need to increase learning new things in my life.  I may be old, but my brain still works.  It is good to discover new adventures.  To try new things and wrap my mind around  thoughts that are unfamiliar.  To stretch myself mentally.

Fresh air is invigorating.  It stirs the mind and the body.  It awakens you in a way that is unique.  Your senses stir when you are outside. The smells, the sounds, the sights and the feeling of the air on your face.  Seeing the outdoors as a place to thrive is a lesson I learn each time I visit Little Man.  He shows me things that I take for granted.  Each bump in the sidewalk is a new activity, not something that needs to be repaired, but a canyon to cross or bump through.  The outside is an exciting place to be!

I don’t make a plan to have fun.  My day is pretty much the same.  I am reminded that, as humans, we have the ability to play.  We can imagine, we can dance, we can twirl and swing our arms.  We can carry on conversations with toys, we can engage in life.  Life can be playful.  Our Lord did not create us to sit in man-made boxes with electronic devices attached to ourselves.  He made us to interact with His creation.  To play, to enjoy, to do this until the last possible waking moment.  It’s a good reminder to me.

I need to sing more.  Maybe not aloud… that would just be torture for anyone near by.  But, I need to have a song in my heart.  A song to hum, a song to sing.  Singing lifts my spirit.  It brings a smile to my face.  I sang and laughed with Little Man.  We made up words we made up songs.  I sang rhyming songs with his name, and we both laughed long and hard.

Follow the rules.  Make a plan, stick to it.  Order in my life is needed.  It settles me, calms me, gives me direction.

Yes, I learned much this past week.  Some was a refresher course, others were new lessons.  I am grateful for my Little Man.  I knew when he was born that I would learn from him.  I didn’t realize that each day spent with him would be lesson filled.  That is a gift that he keeps giving to me.    I hope someday, someway, I can return the favor to him.

Thanks for stopping by today.  DAF

Lesson Six of this Visit….

Yesterday was a quiet day.  My dear daughter caught the case of the ‘beginning of the school year germs’ and has a cold.  Little man has followed suit and came down with the sniffles.

We hung out at the apartment and did take a short walk to get some sunshine and fresh air.

Upon returning, I was helping by putting some things away for my daughter.  They have a closet in the hallway of their apartment where they have extra clothes for the baby as well as storing his toiletries, blankets, toys for the future, and his diaper pail.  This is also where they put his diaper bag when it is not being used.

Yesterday, I was putting his diaper bag away, with Little Man following me around.  He is such a joy to watch do this.  His little squeals of laughter and delight as he says good-bye to anything that goes into the closet.

I went into the closet and as I was bending over to put the diaper bag away, I see the door starting to close.  Click!  It latched shut and I hear a delightful squeal on the other side of the door as little footsteps continue on their mission.

Smiling to myself as I turned the doorknob, I knew what lesson six was going to be…

I am not going to let this kid take care of me in my golden years!  I can hear him now, “Oh, it will be okay, we will just put Grammy in the closet.”

(Yes, I did mean this to be funny…. )

I am having so much fun!  Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your visit.  DAF