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Tales from the Imperfect Playground

Throughout her stories of misplaced toys, temper tantrums, and experiences as a physical education teacher, Christine offers observations that will ring true with all mothers. In short, this book offers a virtual high five to women for the gazillion things they manage to miraculously get done.


Oh, wise six year old

Dashing from room to room for the last hour, my quiet six year old daughter observed an unfortunate truth.  Concerned, she questioned, “Mom, why do you have to do everything?”  Terrific, freakin’ terrific!  Even a young tot can understand the unfairness.  She recognized that I had not stopped moving from room to room, upstairs, downstairs, carrying loads of laundry to and from each child’s room, then switching gears to inspecting backpacks for homework assignments, to washing dishes, and then back to story reading—and that was only the first twenty-five minutes.  Never mind, squishing a spider the size of a Frisbee with my left hand, while I wiped drops of tinkle from the toilet seat (my youngest obviously needs work on her delivery) with my right.  Yes, my friends, this is reality.  Juggling life is no easy task.  This is not a blog about quitters–it is a blog about doers.  Mothers get the job done, period.  “Way to go.”  Now I must go get some sleep.


Back to Reality

First day back to school and I am already feeling my blood pressure rising!  The bus was 35 minutes behind schedule this morning, I was late for my first day of school faculty meeting, I raced through the day full of activities, and then rushed home to get my three cuties.  My youngest was thrilled to see my smiling face — gotta love that — but my middle darling was so tired from her first day of school, I didn’t quite recognize the gal that emptied off that bus.  She looked wiped!  And adding to her physical appearance, was a transformation to her emotional state — not pleasant.   After a warm hug from my son, I outstretched my arms towards her and was greeted with a sigh, a moan, and a long-annoying groan.  Pressing each of them about their school day, I was offered limited details from my son and nothing from my six year old.  She just grumped herself into the house and I began the annual ritual of checking back packs, reviewing the various paper work inside, and realizing one very, very  real fact:  Ready or not,  summer is definitely over and I am back to reality… How does that happen?


One Week to Go

images school bus

Where do the days go?  I feel that just the other day I was readying myself for our end of the school year Field Day celebration.  Now, with one week to go before the school buses will roll, I am sitting at this computer wondering when I will get my buns in motion and go get the much needed back to school supplies.  As a teacher, I have the ability to truly enjoy a full summer of fun with my kids.  As such, I refuse to believe that it is almost time for our “party” to end.  Do we have to return to reality and get back to work?  Noooooo!!!!  We have hit the beach, swam in pools, camped out in a tent, eaten a bevy of burgers and licked a belly busting amount of ice cream cones.  We have ventured to a few amusement parks, slept over friend’s houses, and watched a few films at the local movie theater.  Geez, summer is tiring.  Without a doubt, though, one of my favorite parts of summer has always been the walks and runs at dawn with friends in the wee hours of early morning.  No doubt, a bit tiring to get up, but always a pleasure to chit-chat with pals.  During the school year, I usually have to do most of those workouts on my own.

With all of this constant motion, I had to laugh when listening to my son answer a question the other night.  My husband and I were going out to dinner with friends.  While I was searching around the house for my keys, one of them asked our son what he had been doing this summer.  Wondering what event he would expose first, I waited for his response.  Thinking he would bare the details of his favorite amusement park ride or a certain sleep over adventure, he quickly responded with, “Oh not much.  Just hanging around watching TV.”  Ha!  Go figure!

So much for the daily journeys we have made.  How quickly those little cherubs forget the various destinations.  By the way, we actually need to get our bathing suits on and hit the beach.  It’s sunny and beautiful — again!  We have to get out there and enjoy.  Or as my son would interpret — loaf on the couch, tune into Sponge Bob on the big screen, and chow some Beef Jerky.  Ugh!


Life Works in Mysterious Ways

Today is my daughter’s sixth birthday.  Although it should be a day filled with cheerful good times, it is also the day we had to bury my uncle.  Unfortunately, he lost his battle with emphysema and died a few days ago.  As I raced to get dressed, I couldn’t help to recognize how odd life manages to work its magic.  A day to celebrate birth intertwined with a day to celebrate a life lived and then lost.  Six years ago, at approximately the same time I was scrambling to find shoes in my closet, I gave birth to one of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met — honestly.  Through all of the moans and groans of labor, out came an angel.  Now six years later, I am readying myself for a funeral filled with aches and pains of a different kind.

Fortunately, my mother-in-law agreed to take my three kiddo’s to her house while we attended the early morning service.  As such, we quickly opened some birthday presents this morning before we hit the road and we will have the real party on Sunday afternoon — she won’t miss out totally on her celebratory day.  (And, by the way, we are headed to her friend’s house for a sleep-over in two hours.)  Nothing like summer fun!

However, the saddest reality associated with the loss of a loved one is just how quickly life moves forward for everyone else around us.  While my husband and I followed the funeral procession across town, I couldn’t help but recognize the hundreds of cars rushing right by us on the roadway — each blasting off to the next destination on their to-do list.  Every person at the wheel with their very own story to tell.  Yet, for my cousin and my uncle’s wife, their life stands still.  They are left, no doubt, with many memories (I’m sure both good and bad), but it is still sad to see that process of healing begin.  My uncle was always ready to chat or lend a laugh.  He will certainly be missed.

Therefore, while I ready the cake and candles for my six year old tot, I am reminded (once again) to celebrate this precious gift called “life.”  We need to appreciate the days that we are granted.  One never knows what’s waiting behind today or tomorrow, so let’s make the most of each moment and, as often as possible, laugh!

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