Being brave 


I love this for so many reasons-including the sweet card that came with it. 

Be brave. 

I got this the afternoon from a friend who is working on her masters. That’s brave. 

Tonight I tried to console my daughter who got her first ever c. It’s a 9th grade science class in 8th grade. She’s destroyed. But…she cried, cuddled with the dog and before the tears had dried had rallied, come up with a plan and boogied upstairs to study. The material is hard. She’s always had things come easy to her. This is a new chapter. A new obstacle. She hit a bump in the road which threatens the straight A trek she’s had her entire life. The c didn’t defeat her. That’s brave. 

My littlest one went to after school in a big yellow bus. A place she’s never been. A place that’s not as structured or familiar as she needs. But she did it. Tuesday afternoon she beamed,”I didn’t know anybody mama but I said what’s your name to someone and they played with me.” She’s an introvert. She’s terrified of change. She’s struggling at school. But on Tuesday she was brave. 

Being brave is having an orange day (bad choices) but waking up and saying “today I am going to have a blue day”.

Being brave is telling a 13 year old boy he can like you as long as he understands what kind of girl you are…and what kind of girl you aren’t. 

Being brave is writing despite being a bad speller and horrible at grammar but hitting post anyway.

Having faith is brave. Believing, even when things are falling apart all around you, that there is a plan and that you will be okay. 

Striking out but then stepping back up to the plate and getting a hit. 

Giving 100% in a race you know you won’t win. 

Sometimes even getting out of bed and going someplace you don’t want to be is an act of bravery. 

A step parent loving a child that is not theirs. 

Being kind to a girl that on one else likes. 

Starting over. 

Embracing change when so much is unknown. 

Having hope is brave. 

Trying even when you don’t see results. 

Trusting even when you don’t feel secure. 

Taking a chance. 

I know, I know…these seem small. But I’ve realized that bravery comes in all shapes and sizes. Some brave acts we hear about-saving a life, standing up for what you believe in, an addict quitting their vice or an officer protecting people that hate them. But everyday hundreds of little brave acts take place in the shadows. Bravery takes different forms and means different things to different people. But no matter the size of the act doing something that scares you is brave. 

Quit while I am behind

If things went as in real life as they did in my mind….they rarely do. One day I am going to learn to quit while I am behind. 

Tailgating at the Titan twilight for the swim team. In my mind it was a great idea. Team bonding. Fun. Solidifying the Titan Tide as a cool team to be part of. In reality it was a bust. 

Armed with posters and photo props I had this image of teens playing corn hole, posing in funny hats with playful signs, lounging on the 12 foot swan and having a general great time. 

Reality? 

My daughter and I had to work for 20 minutes to get the instant camera to work. 3 you tube videos later I decide to re-insert the batteries one last time and was rewarded with a red light. Whew. 

That was the last “win” of the afternoon. 

We were 30 minutes late because the damn swan wouldn’t blow up. $2 and 45 minutes later and we had it blown up enough to make it work. Problem #1 a 6 foot swan doesn’t fit into the cab of a truck. #2 a teenage girl gets very embarrassed and crabby when trying to stuff a 6 foot swan into the can of a truck. #3 I don’t know how to bungee a 6 foot swan into the bed of a pick up truck. Looking like the Clampets we did the best we could. 

In the middle of drizzling rain, high humidity and gray clouds we sped toward the race. My little one waited to run in the little Titan race. The mom I had asked to take pictures was there. The other organizer was there to. I wasn’t. 

I attempted to park 3 times before I gave up and parked illegally. Turns out bungee-Ing a 6 foot swan isn’t the only thing I can’t do in a truck. I unloaded everything and promptly dropped my posters in a puddle. About the same time I realized I forgot the big cooler for the case of waters places precariously on top of the wagon. 

I hauled my damp posters and photo props, tent and 380 pieces of gum to the field.

The dads put up our tent. I hung the posters claiming our Titan Tide tailgate area. They promptly curled inward and were unreadable. 

It was too wet for my water backdrop. Too wet for cornhole. My little one chickened out and didn’t run the little Titan race. My big girl didn’t help with my little introvert like I’d hoped. My swimmer was called in to work so he wasn’t there. So much for my little family supporting the event. 

No swimmers came to hang out. My teen daughters friend who was running in my swimmers place fell at the start and couldn’t run. Luckily they stuck it out and walked it out. 

Weeeeeee…..so much for fun. 

I grabbed some little Titans and took some pictures. They didn’t seem as excited as I was about the idea. The gum on the other hand they were very interested in. At least something worked. 

Don’t see a lot of pictures from this disaster making the end of the year slideshow. 

The photo booth idea was a bust. We used 5 of the instant roles of film. 2 of those were of my and mine and didn’t turn out. 

Mounds 

The slogan somedays you feel like a nut, somedays you don’t is playing in my head. Tonight is a nutty night. 

Baby girl-after throwing a class A tantrum- was in bed at 7:47.  It was still sunny and light when I marched her and her sparkly leotard up the stairs. At 7:45 she made her final mistake. At 7:46 we were wrestling with spandex (I won that battle) and at 7:47 I was back downstairs and she was in the bed with the lights OUT. In bed without a bed snack and in her undies after I used…and you can’t sleep in this leotard… as a form of punishment. The behind popping didn’t phase her much but the leotard been stripped off got her attention. Wowza. I am liable to be sore tomorrow. 

Her using a foul slang word to insult me rather loudly got the older 2’s attention. Ot certainly got mine. Other than asking “where did she hear that?” They haven’t said much…which is probably very, very wise. 

I am in my room. Hiding. And policing the phones. Not the best night to be cell phone police. In my stalking I found out that My fellas buddy asked fellas former girlfriend to hoco which totally violates the bro code. Took me about 10 minutes to get all the slang but I think I am straight now. No wonder fella is fuming.  I need a text translator app to make sense of all this stuff . And am emoji decoder ring. It’s like hydroflics of the modern age. I am guessing the red face smiley thing and the broken heart icon followed by a face with tears=Ouch. While I hate imagining my boy hurting intend to feel a little relieved. Little  chicky needs a hobby and my fella needs to move ON so maybe this will help. 

Errant pitch nailed my girl in the wrist. Her hurt wrist today at practice. Ice and ibuprofen are barely making a dent. I thought it was pain causing the frown until I got, as Harvey would say…the rest of the story…The girl had her name announced on the announcements at school today for her homerun. She was so excited she texted me at work to tell me all about it. She was so happy….Until tonight. Turns out her softball friends followed the announcement up with announcements of their own telling everyone it was a slow pitcher, a lucky roll and totally discounting my girls hit. It’s hurting her though she’s trying to be a good sport. AGH!!! I want to scream. Can’t we all just support each other instead of tearing each other down all the time??? 

I am failing at this whole mom thing tonight. The frozen green beans I made as an attempt to get a veggie in the lineup were almost raw and therefore nasty. We had to “eat around” due to the 4 loads of laundry awaiting folding piled on the kitchen table. While I am partially lazy these 4 loads are sitting there so I can find the orange culprit-or the clue one-that have made us look like UF fans thanks to the orange and blue marks on most every article of clothing in the bunch.  

I caved and let sassy pants have lemonade tonight since I got home late and was trying to rush dinner. She promptly dropped it so now my kitchen floor is so sticky it sounds like Velcro when you walk Across it. Even though I’ve mopped it. Did I mention it was carbonated, Italian syrup lemonade from the clearance aisle at marshalls?

The cupcakes went uneaten by the kids so guess who ate them? Yes. Multiple cupcakes. Weigh in outta be a blast tomorrow. 

Got no words of wisdom for the boy. Haven’t got a clue what to say to him.  I hugged him but didn’t say a word. 

Having to bite my tongue so as to NOT say anything to the girl because I want to say that anyone who can’t celebrate your successes isn’t a true friend anyway BUT it’s 8th grade and I get that it’s more complicated from her vantage point than mine so I will try to be quiet and let her navigate this on her own. (Although if this keeps up I might need to remember the slur that was hurled at me today by my 6 year old…yes my 6 year old…) it could come in handy. 

As for the 6 year old. Lord. Have. Mercy. It’s going to be a looooonnngggg year. 13 days in and I am already exhausted.  I don’t feel equipped to get her -or me-through the emotional roller coaster that is first grade for her. 

Monday won. Thank goodness tomorrow is Tuesday. Even if it’s not a better day at least it’s one day closer to Friday. That’s about all I can offer up. Tonight we all need to retreat to our corners, lick our wounds and rest up for another day. 


This face. This smile. 

This is the face of a girl who just got a homerun. This is the face of a girl who has been frustrated and overlooked and dismissed. This is the happy face of a girl who never quit. A girl that never quit stepping up to the plate. This girl is a fighter. She’s struck out time and time again. But she never quit. She’s over thought and psyched herself out. She’s cried in the safety of the car. I’ve cried with her. But she takes the field with a spunk and a smile and keeps playing. 

And tonight it paid off. 

After her homerun the bats got hot and her little team won 12-3. Last year they won a single game. They beat themselves game after game after game. They were beaten by misguided parents who interfered and ruined the moral. But she went out for the team again. She decided she would be a leader in the outfield this year. She  never thought she would lead the offense. But tonight she did. 

Tonight with one of her favorite teachers watching the rounded first. Tonight with a boy that she thinks is cute she rounded second. Tonight with her grandparents cheering she rounded third. Tonight…with me in the stands where I belong she came home. Tonight after the game she smiled and smiled and smiled. 

Her grandpa told her to guard her wheelhouse and she did just that. She playfully told him her homerun was all die to him. 

We all won tonight. I was there after missing her first and only at bat earlier in the week. Her biggest fans-her grandparents-were there to see her victory. Her team won. But more importantly…the major important of all…my girl won. She didn’t quit. She kept trying. She overcame odds and failures but she never stopped trying…and she won. 

I don’t know if we will win another game. I don’t know if she will get another hit. I don’t care. Tonight she was victorious. Tonight she was hero. Tonight her spunk and determination paid off. Tonight she was a winner. 

That smile. That face. That spirit!!!!

Happy in happy birthday

So happy on this day. I was spoiled and pampered. Most of all I was loved. Sweet cards, morning serenades, Facebook well wishes…the day just keep giving and giving. 

I have a tribe of people who know…and love me. Knowing that made me smile all day. Each and every person gave me something so special and touching–it was the thoughts behind the gifts that meant so much. 

I received things to create, tools to help me be a love out loud mom, something to sip out of, a humorous cup to keep me smiling and a jar to put all my wishes in. I have a pretty blouse and a bracelet to match my treat to myself from my trip. My fella used his hard earned money to buy me a present. My sweet girl used her sweet words to start my day off right.  I was thought of and heard. 

I am loved. 

For stressful times I have relief. I also have a reminder in my desk to be still and know. With that was the sweetest, kindest most thoughtful notes I’ve ever gotten. The words touched my heart and soothed my soul. 

I sometimes forget to be happy. I am not proud of that. 

I never forget that I am blessed with people in my life who keep me up, keep me strong and make me happy. For them I will try to be better at remembering to be happy. 

So much happy in this happy birthday. 

The night before 

I never slept well the night before the first day of school. My first days are long gone but I won’t be sleeping much tonight because it’s my little ones night before her first day and she is sure not to sleep.

Even as I type this she’s upstairs whimpering,”I not ‘xcited ’bout tomorrow.” She’s in her bed. She’s been hugged and hugged again by her bubba. She’s had her bath and has freshly washed hair. We’ve face timed her daddy and her grandparents who all offered encouragement. 

She got to pick out her clothes. We played 2 games of Uno which she won fair and square. I’ve tucked her in and kissed  away all her bad dreams. I’ve talked of bravery and how I knew she would be great tomorrow. I’ve smiled and pretended excitement when she has none of her own. I’ve done all I can. The rest is up to her. 

After I tucked her in I finished packing her bookbag. Her “homework” was lying there. It was a bag where she had to pack 3 things that made her happy. 3 things that she wanted to tell her ‘friends’ about herself. My aching heart filled when I saw her treasures. She could chose anything she wanted as long as it fit in the bag. She had 3 pictures and 3 sentences. 

I love my front teeth

It was illustrated by a picture of her snuggle tooth grin. 

I love my whole family and gymnastics. 

A picture of me and my girls accompanied this sentence. 

I love my bubba when he snuggles with me.

A picture of her and her brother snuggled in the couch completed her bag of treasures. 

The sentences are a little wonky.  You can see where her attention was lost. There aren’t any spaces. It took her twice as long as it should have to complete. She even argued she shouldn’t have to do it since she wasn’t going. 

None of that matters. 

What matters is that her ‘homework’ shows what matters to her. She’s proud of her teeth which shows me she’s got some confidence that may help her tomorrow. She has her sister and I which I hope make her feel loved when she’s out of her element tomorrow. And she’s got her hero-her brother. Her loves her unconditionally and is her biggest fan. I hope that he gives her strength tomorrow. 

I don’t know that she will get out of the car tomorrow. I really don’t. I know I’ve prepared her as much as I can. I hope her homework proves her support structure is in place and that it will help her get through. 

what matters most

THE AUTHOR

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