"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." - Angela Schwindt

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lesson #7 - Fact or Opinion

Some of you know that I changed Izzy's school this year. She is now attending a reformed Jewish school. Why a Jewish school since we're not Jewish? Because they have an amazing program that fits her way of learning and personality perfectly. And finding a school that works for her was my priority. Let me also mention she's still attending Sunday school, since I'm Catholic. I know this can be a little confusing for a 7 year old. So I explain to her that while she'll be learning about God in her new school she won't be learning about Jesus. "What? Why?" Izzy asks. After I explain why I also proceed to tell her they don't celebrate Christmas. Well, you can just imagine how that went over. What?! No Christmas!!! "Well mom," Izzy responded after staying quiet for a minute, "what the Jewish people think is an OPINION and what Catholics think is a FACT." Oh boy...I just hope she doesn't go saying that to her Judaic Social Studies teacher. Actually it doesn't matter what she says because everyone is entitled to their own "fact or opinion." I'm just happy that she's learning both beliefs because when she gets older she can take what she's learned and decide on her own what's a fact and what's an opinion. I'm not going to try to influence her decision because what's important, no matter what a persons religion or beliefs are, is that she grow up to be a good person with a loving heart.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lesson #6 - Going Once…Going Twice…SOLD!

Let me tell you, I didn’t realize I had a competitive side in me until this week. Izzy’s school had an on-line auction fundraiser. The auction item I decided to bid on was: Mrs. Adams Bedtime Story, which entails Izzy’s first grade teacher coming over to our house one night dressed in her pajamas (armed with cookies and milk) and reading bedtime stories to Izzy and any friend Izzy chose. The value of the item was priceless of course. I was the first to bid on it. I pretty much thought I had it in the bag since no one was bidding against me all week. That is until this past Monday, which was the last day to bid. Izzy kept asking me all week if we were winning. It was the only thing she had asked for from the long list of items. And with this being her last year at this school I was determined to get it for her because that’s what mommies do. We fight tooth and nails for our kids. Okay, so maybe that’s a little extreme for an auction item, but you get my point. So come Monday, when other people starting bidding for the same item, it became a bit of a frenzy. The bidding was ending at 9:00 pm and by 8:00 pm I was going back and forth with several other mommies (tooth and nails) determined to win it. By 8:30 I was at my max amount of what I wanted to spend on it. Nervous and distraught, I thought about how disappointed Izzy would be in the morning. And yes, I know she has to get used to disappointments sooner or later but she’s only 7. Her disappointments can come later. Besides, at last years auction, she only asked for one thing and I was unable to get it because of an egotistical father who was determined to beat me no matter the cost. But then that’s a whole other story. I wanted this year to be different. And the more I thought about it, as the minutes kept ticking closer to 9:00 pm, I realized some things truly are worth the extra effort. I knew it wasn’t an item that she would put in her room or play with to only get tired of it later and have it given away. It would be a very special moment, shared with her teacher she adores and her best friend, a moment she would remember years to come. And one thing I’ve learned is that life is about moments…moments that can never be taken away. So I sat back in my chair, rolled up my pajama sleeves, and with my iPad in hand started bidding until the final moment. And let me tell you, as happy as I was to be the winner there was no greater joy then Izzy waking up the next morning, me giving her the thumbs up (because that was the signal we decided on that evening if we won) and seeing her beautiful smile light up her eyes. Priceless…

Friday, April 6, 2012

Lesson #5 - Is Spring Break Over Yet?

Izzy and I usually travel during school breaks. Why? Because as the parent of an only child you soon realize that as much as you love your child you just don't want to be inundated with "Will you play with me?" or the dreaded "I'm bored," and "I don't know what to do." Don't ask me why but for some reason I didn't make any plans this year for Spring Break. And a break it has not been. I've been busy with trying to do work and also get my house ready to sell (you have no idea how many windows I have to clean, inside and out...I basically live in a glass house). And during all this Izzy, of course, wants my attention. And by the way, my daughter is not an electronic gadget type girl. Don't get me wrong, she's allowed to watch TV and she has a DS and her own iPad, but these things just don't interest her as much as wanting to play with someone Barbie , school, beauty salon or going to the restaurant and ice cream store she's put together. So needless to say, it's been a long week for the both of us, Izzy wanting to play with me and me trying to avoid it. But last night as I was putting Izzy to bed she looked at me and said, “I want to spend time with you before I go to bed.” As a parent you know your children will say or do just about anything to avoid going to bed so I thought it was just that.  But then I went back in my mind to think about how much time I actually spent with her this week. I looked at her and asked her what she wanted to do.  “Hopscotch Mama,” is what she said.  I smiled and said okay because the week did go by fast and I know one day she won’t be wanting to spend so much time with me.  And after I write this post, I will be taking the rest of the day off to spend it with Izzy doing what she loves best. So, no matter how hectic your day or week is...one cannot forget to set aside quality time with our children because lost time with our children is something we can never get back. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lesson #4 - Jeepers Creepers

Izzy came home from school and I started to look through her school folder when I came across a spider. Not a real one, but one that she had drawn in school. It’s very detailed and has names to all the body parts. Izzy asked me if I knew that spiders had eight eyes. I’m sure I knew that spiders had eight eyes at some point in my life, but after several decades since school and hundreds of brain cells dying during my pregnancy, I must have forgotten. Not that I’ve ever liked spiders to begin with so I might have wanted to forget. Especially since they come and visit my home on a weekly basis. Now, I don’t mind these creepy crawlers outside my home. In fact, I love seeing their beautiful spun webs but inside my house is a different matter. They are just not invited and don’t belong. But now I know why, no matter how you creep up on them, they always know you’re there. It’s the eight eyes. I don’t know about you, but to me, that just makes them creepier. So to Izzy, while Mama thanks you for the spider lesson, some lessons are best kept for your Daddy.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lesson #3 - That Darn Little Leprechaun

It's 6:10 am and panic strikes me! I jump out of bed, make sure Izzy is still sleeping, and proceed to walk into the kitchen. Why? Because Izzy set out a Leprechaun trap last night and the Little Leprechaun a.k.a. Mommy forgot! So bleary eyed and still half asleep I proceed to make a mess of the trap (since apparently that's what Leprechauns do), take the present that Izzy left him (the flower painting that is posted) and stick it in my purse, write an itty bitty thank you note for the present and leave it with a Hershey's kiss. Then I get back into bed, but of course I'm wide awake by now, and wait for Izzy to wake up. Okay, so you might think I'm crazy. But the truth is...some of my favorite childhood memories are those where my mom went out of the way to make a holiday magical. And what's life without a little magic. Besides, while I'm sure Izzy will blame me for not doing something later on in life, what I won't ever be blamed for is spoiling a holiday. So to everyone, Happy St. Patty's Day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lesson #2 - To Be Or Not To Be A...Rock Star!

“I’ve decided I want to be a Rock Star when I grow up,” Izzy said to me.  "Really?  Seriously?  A Rock Star?  Of all the things you can pick from...that’s what you want to be?  But you’re so smart and talented in so many other things."  I don’t actually say this to her even though I really wanted to.  Oh, the joys of being a parent.  What to say?  What to do?  Alas, I say nothing.  Because the truth is, as much as I don’t want her to be a Rock Star, I also would never want to stop her from following her dreams.  To pursue her passion and do what she loves because that’s what I’m doing now.  A little late in life but none-the-less doing what I love.  The best lesson for me to learn is to do everything in my power so that she realizes her dreams early on and not put obstacles in her way just because it’s not what I want for her.  She’s a smart girl and I know she’ll make the right decision for herself in the long run.  Besides, she’s only seven so there’s plenty of time for her to change her mind.  Hey…a mom can dream…can’t she?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lesson #1 - Letting Go

“When I was on the swings today, Abby came up to me and Teresa and said she hated us,” Izzy told me one day after school. "Wow, hates a strong word," I replied. Izzy then told me that Teresa didn’t know what the word "hate" meant so she explained to her that it meant Abby didn't like them anymore.
The next day…
I asked Izzy, "So whatever happened to Abby? Is she still not talking to you and Teresa?" “No, we’re friends again,” Izzy answered happily. "But I thought she said she hated you two?" I asked. “MOM, sometimes people say things they don’t mean. It’s okay. We’re friends again,” my daughter answered as if to say, "Duh!"
Well, as you know, sometimes for an adult it’s not so easy to forgive and forget. But it’s amazing to see how children don’t hold grudges. A lesson we too often forget because by holding onto grudges and not forgiving, we tend to only hurt ourselves. We’re human, not perfect. Sometimes people say things they don’t mean. And as humans we always have a choice: we can sulk and let it eat away at us or we can be the better person and let it go. I'm choosing to let things go.