5 Lessons I Re-Learned About Parenting While Filming a Video

I made a mini-rap video for a sweet group of friends, recently. I needed tech support. And a back-up dancer. I recruited Sweetgirl for the dancing and Sweetboy as my videographer. Seemed legit.

And, it worked well enough.

Until I messed up.

By the seventh “take”, however, my filter started to slip.

Then, I remembered that I was in front of little ears. I was reminded that even the tamest of DADGUMMIT’s could be imitated in all the wrong ways.

When the “filming” wrapped up (after Take 14, by the way), I had re-learned a few precious parenting lessons.

1. Whatever dance moves you are attempting, whether poorly or worse-than-poorly, the six-year-old will emulate.  This is not the time to attempt those fly moves (do people say that anymore?) from J. Lo’s latest music video. And for goodness’ sake, it’s not all about that base!

2. Your reaction to a flub up will be on video. The person filming you will be watching intently as he films you. Therefore, he may start stomping around and screaming “DARNIT DARNIT DARNIT” the next time he makes a mistake. You will think he looks ridiculous, and start to tell him so. Until you remember where he got it.

3. The backup dancer is closest to the under-the-breath mutterings. She will hear them. She will ask questions. Questions you didn’t intend to have to answer for your six-year-old.

4. Making up your own words to a song like, say… Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” is all fun and games. Until one child, or both, asks if they can see “the real song” on The YouTube. That’s a whole lot of behinds. And bad hair. And explaining. They get enough of All The Real with media pushing pictures of champagne corks popping and backsides. You will regret choosing that song. You may also end frantically looking up pictures of puppies, instead, with promises to talk to daddy about getting one. To divert their attention, of course. Possibly.

And…

5. Your videographer and back-up dancer will have enjoyed the experience so much, that they will ask you to show them other rap songs that they can change the words to and make videos of themselves singing. You will realize the scarcity of appropriate songs. You will rue the day.

Oh, yes indeedy.

Rappin_Missindeedy

*A note to The Nana, Ahab, Gammy and Grampy – I did not let them actually see the “real” video. They were far more interested in the adorable French Bulldog puppy video that I was able to switch over to, oh-so-quickly. If we end up with one, I blame myself.

*Also, a note to Sweetman – we may end up with a French Bulldog. I’m sorry.

Let’s Recap, Shall We

Last week, we were all about this:

Hot_Pink_Cast_MissindeedyBecause, Lord knows there’s not enough drama around here. And, I can now add reason number 237 to my list of “Reasons Why I Detest Trampolines”. All I can say is, thank goodness for Hot Pink Castery. (I’m becoming my own veritable dictionary, aren’t I?)

Thankfully, the weekend was more celebratory!

First, this happened:

masquerade_missindeedyWe attended a fundraiser for our kids’ elementary school. It was nice to get all gussied up, talk to other parents (sans children), and hit the dance floor! (I don’t want to brag, but I do a mean Y.M.C.A.) And, although I had to practice wearing heels (again) for a few minutes a day for the week leading up to it, the night was a huge success.

Then, Saturday, it was all this:

Bama_Movin_MissindeedyThis move up in the AP Rankings made me all sorts of happy, because

SEC_Funny

We ended the weekend on this note:

B_day_MissindeedyAnd, I don’t feel even a little bit older. I will say, we counted up the number of teacups and saucers that my grandparents have faithfully sent The Birthday Flowers in over The Years, and… there are a few decades worth. That can age a person real fast.

In the ebb and flow of life, though, I’m feeling like the tide is pretty high. (You see what I did there? No? It’s a Bama thing.)

Yes indeedy.

An Open Letter to the Pest Control Man

Dear Pest Control Man,

I want to thank you for coming, faithfully each quarter, to check on the status of our critter control issues. I also want to thank you for braving the deepest recesses of our unfinished attic. Your willingness to climb a ladder and root around up there on your knees to make sure no varmint have intruded on our homey bliss, endears you to me.

Can we also talk for a moment about how kind you are when you catch me running out the door, forgetting we had a standing appointment? Every. Single. Time. You are so kind. Thank you for that.

And now, I must offer my deepest condolences for what took place on Tuesday. I realize that I cannot make you un-see what you saw.

I had just finished telling the children how wonderful it would be to spend the Veterans Day off of school, in our pajamas for as long as we wanted. I was, in fact, padding to the kitchen for my second leisurely cup of coffee, when you rang our doorbell. My mind was clearly not prepared for your arrival.

Neither, most unfortunately, was our home.

As usual, you were gracious as I opened the door to you, exclaiming that I had forgotten that you were coming for your quarterly inspection.

And, OH MY SWEET MOSES, how I had forgotten!

You see, it was only after you left our home and drove away that I ventured upstairs to put the ladder you used, out of our closet and back into the garage. I know you try not to see my messy bed and clothes piled up on the ironing board and bookstacks, a mile high by both sides of the bed. I imagine you must valiantly try to focus on your destination, as you travel through my master bathroom to get to my closet, which is where the attic door is located. I know that you have seen dirty pajamas, and other things, that didn’t quite make it into the laundry hamper.

And this time, I was able to see that I had left, for your viewing, three freshly laundered bras hanging from the towel rack. Directly in front of the only door you could walk through.

Please, please forgive me!

I will not allow this to happen again.

I will, however, need to greet you the next time from behind a mask. Please, try not to think of how strange it will be.

At least, I hope it is no stranger than walking through a curtain of ladies undergarments to go hunting for evidence of critters.

Most Sincerely,

Eternally Embarrassed

P.S. Siri and I have agreed to alert me to your next quarterly appointment, no less than 10 times in the hour leading up to your arrival. I hope this will prove helpful. For both of us.

P.P.S. Your eyes were filled with an extra measure of mirth, as you left. I believe I know why.

Beware the Pale Pink

It started innocently enough.

“Sweetgirl, I’m not washing clothes until later. Please put your pink shirt on today.”

Who knew that clothing color choices could cause such a ruckus?

Who knew that a six-year-old could have such strong opinions about colors?

Who knew that pale pink was so… so… evil?

Sweetgirl knew!

I will not wear that shirt!”

To which I replied, “It doesn’t fit anymore?”

Silly Mama.

To which she retorted – yes, retorted, “I do not wear light pink!” There may have even been a snooty little sniff at the end of that… retort. I’m not entirely sure, as I began to feel my blood pressure rising at a steady clip.

I just needed the child to get an ever-lovin’ shirt on so that we could get out of the house and get to brother’s play-off soccer game.

Asking this child to wear any color other than hot pink, teal, purple, black, or grey is apparently akin to asking her to cut off her pinky finger! Lest you think I kid, she literally deposited the offending shirt into the trashcan to make her point.

Where does she learn these things??? I don’t throw things in the trash when I don’t want to wear them! I might toss them in a heap in the corner of the closet. But I would never throw a piece of clothing in the trash!

Lord, draw near to me.

I want to lock this child in her room for a sweet forever.

Or, at least until she doesn’t go all crazy-cakes on the wrong color shirt.

Nana, Gammy, Aunties, be warned! Beware, The Pale Pink Anything!

We must work on ways to dial down the drama, around here. I would like, for instance, for this child to develop this sort of passion for making the world a safer place for all children. Or, making sure our local homeless have Thanksgiving meals. Or, making sure her bed is made.

But, to have a full-blown temper-tantrum over the color of shirt she wears?

Oh, but she is a spirited one!

Mercy!

Uncle!

Help!

I clearly need some community support. Lay it on me! Whatchu got?

The Gold of Repair

Nourishment comes in many forms. For the body, we can all point to the brilliant spectrum of colors that we should be eating from. For the soul, though, a different kind of care and feeding are required. We sometimes seek the physical to fill the spiritual, and find that we never quite feel satisfied. On the other hand, the line between filled and overflowing can sometimes be blurred. And it is good.

One of the Internet homes that I visit is called Be Small Studios. Although her artwork originally drew me to her site, it was her words, though written infrequently, that held me captive. And, although this post of Annie’s was written back in April, it is one that I have bookmarked to read over and over.

Lately, I’ve been thinking on the ancient Japanese practice of Kintsugi and wondering how much more beautiful the cracks that only Jesus can repair.

Tea_bowl_fixed_in_the_Kintsugi_method

When others, who watched us shatter into a hundred pieces over the affair, the death, or any other number of life-altering events - when they see that we are restored, what must they think?

Do they see the grace in the golden overlay?

Almost like a wounded animal, I find myself hunching over my cracked places and trying my best to hide them. Don’t we all turn our hurt places away, even just a bit, when others come too near to them?

Then, someone comes along, modeling Jesus with their kindness and gentleness, grace and compassion, and attempts to bind that cracked place. I find my soul deeply nourished in the process. Even just the sitting with me, the not-leaving-even-though-they-see, is taken in as much-needed sustenance.

Afterwards, I find myself treating those places, that have been bound up, with extra care. Knowing that I’m cared for, despite my crack-pot ways, seeing that there are others willing to stand next to me as they cup their hands under All The Leaking…that is the very best goodness for my soul.

God, working through the prayers and ministering shoulders and softest touches and endless hand-offs of tissues, shows me that He will make beautiful the cracked places.  And watching others go through bitter battles that they never wanted in the first place – seeing how Jesus can, and will, woo a hardened heart back to Him in the midst of it… that is like seeing the gold of repair melted down and drizzled out.

I look for the cracks in others, a little more intently, now. Certainly, I recognize them far easier. Some of those little fissures zig and zag almost exactly the same way some of my own do.

And, I long to come alongside, gently, with my cracks outward facing. Exposed. So that they can see. How I long for them see how The Only One Who Can has repaired some of my own broken places!

With restoration comes the ability to be filled and nourished. Sometimes, even, full to overflowing! With goodness and mercy spilling over the sides and spreading all over that gold of repair.

What grace!

 

 

Let Me Tell You

“Who are you voting for, mama?” This is a question that the Sweetkids like to ask every November. In this house, we care about politics. And, although I’m not going to tell you who, let me tell you why.

Because, I am firm believer in the process.

Because, I believe that all people in this country are entitled to a say.

Because, I’m an eternal optimist.

Because, “I Voted” stickers!

vote_missindeedy

The only way to triumph over the injustices you see happening in the world is to do something about it. For some of us, one of the most powerful things we can do about it, is to vote about it.

So, in this house, we do.

Ahab loves to engage in political discussery. (The word shall stand!) His passion for political issues trickled right on down to me. Passion was never more prominently displayed than when Ahab had A Word about an issue.

The man had, and has, ‘a word’ often.

About many an issue.

Recently, he sent me one of those “forward” emails about where the words “right” and “left” came from. A friend had forwarded it to him. He found it worthy of passing on to me. (And that is how those abominable forward emails persist.)

Ecclesiastes 10:2 was provided as food for thought, in this one.

A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right,
    but a fool’s heart to the left.

I reminded Ahab, in a non-fireworks kind of way, I assure you, that anytime one of those “forward” emails are sent, I trash them.

“WHY?!? Why would you do that without even looking at them,” he asked.

Let me tell you why.

Because, although he and I will discuss an initial idea into the ground, most people read one of those blasted things and make all sorts of assumptions. Without any further verification or research.

Yes, the verse says that Right does good and Left goes wrong. Yes, it’s Biblical. Yes, I believe the Bible is True.

That’s where my agreement with the original writer of the email ends.

Immediately after reading it, I went on a search to find out what the original Biblical text meant by the words ‘left’ and ‘right’ (because, although Solomon was wise, he didn’t invent the political two-party system). I found something interesting. The original intent of the word “right”, in the context of this passage of scripture has to do with dexterity. Dexterity!

To be clear, what Matthew Henry noted in his commentary (and I love me some Matthew Henry! If it was good enough for Charles Spurgeon, it’s good enough for me.) was the mindfulness with which a wise person goes about the task at hand. Back in King Solomon’s time (the writer of Ecclesiastes), most folks used their right hand to accomplish an end with mastery and skill. Lefties, I’m sorry. This implies that the left-handed were wayward in their abilities.

Forgive them Father, they did not know.

I’m married to a lefty. He is brilliant. #notbiased Handedness doesn’t decide who is wise.

How in the sam hill does any of this connect with voting?

I’m not blindly following along with what’s emailed handed to me. I’m not listening to the attack ads, reading the propaganda, jumping on a bandwagon. The Creator endowed me with a mind.

I choose to use it, as I explore what it means to love God and people with every bit of it.

So, let me tell you why you should vote.

Taking the time to delve into the issues, that will indeed affect us all at some point, is wise.

Casting your ballot, whether to the right or the left, or somewhere in the green, honors the God who gives authority to governments.

Showing up to vote, models an interest in your community and the laws and leaders that affect them.

You, my friend, were created with a mind. Use it.

Go Vote!

Phoning It In

First, let’s dispense with the necessaries:

Happy Halloween!

I Made It!

Last Day of the Write 31 Days challenge!

Happy Halloween!

(I already said that, didn’t I?)

You know that moment where you’re driving along a highway and you are so zoned out that you miss your exit? Or turn? Or, state line?

I kind of feel that way about what just happened here, over these last 31 days. I assumed that there would be a few bumps in the road, as I sought inspiration each day. While I did, indeed, plan a few of the posts out ahead of time, most of them were written only a day in advance, if not the actual day of. Missing at least one day of writing, if not many, was what I believed would happen.

But, Grace pushed me through. It gave me the extra hour that I needed, encouragement in the form of your comments, and even a gentle nudge to check why my post still hadn’t “published” by 9:30 at night! (TIP: It helps to specify A.M. as opposed to, you know, P.M.)

Even the passage of time was a grace to me throughout this challenge. I feel like I must have zoned out for a while, because MY LANDS, how did the end of October sneak up on us this way?

You see, on the very first day, I mentioned that Commitment and I don’t get along too well.

Apparently, we are now friendly. Oh, yes we are!

Thank you Write 31 Days challenge, for that.

So, today, I’m phoning it in! With this picture of my Halloween Costume from 1981. If you can figure out what I was, comment. You’ll be entered to win a copy of The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful by Myquillin Smith (The Nester). I think it’s fitting, since she hosted us during this challenge. Yes?

Missindeedy_Halloween_Throwback

P.S. HINT: I wasn’t actually all that hot, was I?

P.P.S. I’ll close comments on Monday, November 3rd at midnight EST.

(What comes after P.P.S.?  This is day 31, OH YES IT IS, of the Write 31 Days challenge. Click my button below to be transported to a list of each of my 31 Days of Grace posts.)

 31days_of_grace_button_missindeedy