Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lessons From a Busted Watermelon

So, it seems as though I blog about the grocery store and events that surround it often. Would it make you think that was all I did? If you guessed yes, you are close. Very close.

And here I go again, blogging about the grocery store. But this time, there is a hidden meaning in it all that would have gone completely unnoticed had it not been for a busted watermelon and a random act of kindness from a complete stranger.

Now that it is all so clear, I find myself thinking of some lyrics from a Carly Simon song. Granted, this is not about a marriage as the song is…but about life in general. Especially these words, “Take a look around now, change the direction, adjust the tuning and try a new translation…” This blog is about taking a moment to stop. Realize the moment. No matter the circumstances or situation, live it. Take that bad attitude and throw it out the door, revel in the life that is happening that very instant.

So, where am I going here? It has been a rough few days here at the Norris house. Byron is on a super busy rotation at the hospital and I haven’t seen him (like really seen him) since Sunday morning. Granted, I was out of town from Sunday afternoon until Thursday…it is now Saturday, and I am under the same roof he is…when he is home. This basically means I have been with the kids all by self since Sunday. Now, I know that single mothers and army wives do this all the time and this is why I think they are brilliant. This is hard work. I reached the end of my rope this morning around 8 am and was sulking in the fact that I still had to do a large grocery trip and knew that Byron wouldn’t be home until around 5 pm at the earliest.

My little sweetness is having some issues. Teething maybe? Who knows, just generalized fussiness. Louisa is just Louisa, no need for explanation there. After traveling to the beach and back with both and then trying to get caught back up on housework and everything else involved, I had a moment this morning. Fueled by lack of sleep and lack of patience, I just cried. I felt so overwhelmed and in need of a break that I just couldn’t stand it. The problem lies in how I refuse to ask for help. And I don’t even accept it when offered, I guess it is a personality flaw…but it is what defines me. So, this was no one’s fault but mine. And I really, really try not to complain or fuss about any of it since I know that I am extremely lucky and blessed with everything I have. Both of my kids are healthy. I am healthy, Byron is healthy and while we do not have disposable income, there is food on the table every night. But still, I had a moment.

Then I go to Kroger. I tell Louisa upon entering the door that I would love quiet the entire trip since I didn’t have a list and wasn’t prepared. I had Nash (who hadn’t stopped fussing since about 6 am) in the baby carrier attached to the front of me. There were no real disasters in the store, but by the time I was finished and walking out to the car I was spent. Nash was screaming, Lou was melting and I was on the verge of tears again. Then it happened. I was loading all the groceries into the back of my car and as I turned to grab another bag, the watermelon I had just put in fell off the tailgate, onto the concrete and busted….ALL over me, my feet, etc. I couldn’t even find the energy to say a bad word. I just closed my eyes, took a moment and then tried to bend down and clean up the watermelon putting it in one of the grocery bags to put in the trash. About this time, a lady walked up to me. She grabbed me by the shoulders and just looked at me and smiled. At first I was nervous as this grocery store has a reputation of having car-jackings and purse-snatchings in the parking lot. But then, I realized she wasn’t here to hurt me. She had her son who looked to be about 10 or 11 come over to pick up the watermelon for me. Then, she had her daughter hand me her watermelon out of her buggy. And she said to me, “I know how you are feeling; I can see it in your face. Please remember…I would do anything to be in that stage of my life again with the small children. They grow too fast. Before you know it, they will be the size of mine. You cannot get this time back.” And with that, she gave me her watermelon, even though I protested. Once I got all the groceries loaded and kids into their seats and buckled, I teared up again. Blame it on hormones, fatigue, stress, whatever you want…but that woman was so right. And I thought back a few weeks ago to what Dean O’Conner preached on Sunday about the Grace of Jesus being anywhere, anytime and anyplace. While I don’t necessarily consider that lady to be the Grace of Jesus, I do consider her to be the Grace of Mothers. I needed that simple reminder that things really aren’t that bad. My kids are precious, and this time is precious. It is hard, yes…but this day will never again be. I will never again have this same opportunity to live this moment in time. Why spend it grumbling and rushing to get home and get everyone to bed? Now, this is SO much easier said than done. It is so easy to forget and get caught up in everyday life and not see these moments. It is too easy to gripe and complain and bark orders and yell. It isn’t easy slowing down and remembering to keep your patience. And it certainly isn’t easy to admit the defeat of everyday life.

So, while the week has been hectic I have to think back and single out a few moments. While at the beach, even walking back up covered in sand and water and walking with a screaming baby and a whiny 4 year old – I still remember seeing the look on the other mother’s faces. Mothers whose kids were now grown up. Was that look longing of a time passed? Was it thanking goodness they weren’t in my shoes? What about the moment in the car when both kids are screaming bloody murder, it is raining cats and dogs so I cannot see past my windshield wipers and there is a poopy diaper in the console of my car? One day I will look back at those moments and long for them to be my daily life again. Why can’t I remember that now? Why it is so hard to stop and look and just be?

It is now naptime at my house. Nash is asleep and Lou is in her room and quiet, not sleeping. These are the times that I feel refreshed and can look at the day with a positive attitude. Why is it that this new-found energy seeps away so quickly? While I am so thankful for that lady at Kroger today and her voice of reason, I almost wish she could remind me daily. I also wish that I didn’t have to be reminded. So, while finding grace in the stickiness of a busted watermelon all over my legs…I find myself singing in my head, “it’s the stuff that dreams are made of…” and trying to remember to revel in this moment in time.

UPDATE - I stole this from a friend's FB status, what a perfect excuse not to go run the vacuum, hehe:

The cleaning and scrubbing
will wait till tomorrow,
for Children grow up,
as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs.
Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep......

Until next time...when I may and may not be a mush-ball again. :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

ain't life grand

Yep, pulled that one from the old WSP days. Hehe.

So, to catch you up on weeks of Norris-ness...here we go.

The Grand. One of my most fave places. Byron's work had a conference there (or else we could never afford a weekend there) and so Lou, Nash & I tagged along. We almost didn't make it there (the chirrens and I left early) as when I hit Mobile so did a very foul thunderstorm that flooded the streets and reminded me of Savannah. I pulled over at one point because I couldn't even see my windshield wipers from the rain, and realized quickly in the parking lot that the water was up to the middle of my tires. I kept pulling closer and closer to the church (it was a church parking lot) so that I would hopefully be on higher ground (no pun intended, peeps). All of a sudden, 2 firetrucks pulled into the same parking lot and I thought, "Oh perfect. I bet they are here to start blocking the streets because they are too flooded." And then I realized that Murphy had come along for the ride as they all jumped out of the trucks and ran with fire-putting-out-things (Kate...please forgive me, is it still a hydrant if it is on their backs?) and ran into the church. At this point I noticed the flames coming out of the roof. Not kidding. So, I was trying my hardest to stay half-way sane for my churn in the backseat while I was slowly losing my shizzles for real. But, like any summer storm it went away as quickly as it came and all was well in the world. I crossed the bay and stopped at a Publix and nearly hugged the worker when he told me that yes, you can buy wine in the groceries in Alabama. You see...we cannot here in MS and it drives me batty.

We arrived at The Grand with everyone else and their mommas (it was a busy weekend there) and settled in to a room with a view. Since my nerves were shot and the sun was about to set, we just enjoyed the room. And I enjoyed some wine. Nash was so in love with this bolster pillow thingy in the room that I would've packed it in the suitcases if I didn't think it cost $300. :) I have no pictures from the beach or the pool since it was just me and both the churns while Byron was in meetings. And let's just say...it was enough for me to make sure all heads were above water and my pina coloda cup never emptied. What? Just kidding...maybe. Pictures would have just been showing off. The kiddos played hard and slept hard.

Once we got back to Jackson, life was normal again. My drinks no longer had slices of pineapple and the Captain in them. Suicide hour was back in full force and on one particular day Momma had had about all she could stand. We were on our daily walk and I was beginning to twitch as I had gotten on to Lou a bazillion times already in the day and she was NOT listening to a word I said. As I was about to fly off the deep-end, she turned around to look at me, with sunglasses on and said, "Mommy...the reason I am not listening to what you tell me is because I am not Louisa. Dis is a disguyst (disguise) and my name is not Louisa. I am Elizabeth." Oh well excuse the pants off of me my deary!! Then later on the walk she was telling me about her favorite books. She said, "And my bery most fabrite is the book called 'not telling people whats to do.' Mommy, you should really read dat one since you are always telling me what to dos and it isn't polite." Now, I am not sure if it was Elizabeth or Louisa telling me that but I counted to 10 and continued to stroll and resisted the urge to lose it in public. Ugh. And oh dear me.

Then we all packed into the incredible shrinking SUV and made a quick trip to GA for the Fourth. A good time was had by all, except in the car. I think I have said it before, but I mean it now...I am SO over the car trips. 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 adults in the same car for 7-8 hours is just NOT a good time to be had by all. Ever. At least I can say that we don't have many more of those trips to make since we are now on the 12 month countdown to Athens!!


Now, today is Byron and I's anniversary. 6 years. And as I told him on Facebook today (yeah, I was that wife that wrote on his wall...that was all the FB-PDA for me though guys) 6 years and 2 kiddos later, I wouldn't have it any other way. Love that guy. I blogged about our wedding last year. If you want, you can read about it here. But, I got up this morning only to find a bag from Anthropologie (he knows me well) and a note saying, "The sitter will be here at 7:30 and dinner reservations are at 7:45." For those of you that know me, you know that I HATE a surprise. I think it has something to do with the whole Type-A/Controlling personality. But Byron knows this and he teases me something awful with surprises. So, I have been begging him all day for hints and drilling all of my friends about who the sitter may be. I got the dinner location out of him (Walkers...double yumms, Redfish Anna here I come!) but still no info on the sitter. Despite my best efforts at playing PI for the sitter...still no luck. Either I am way off or someone isn't telling the truth. Hmmmmm.

Anyways, I have some windows to windex before the sweetness wakes up and all that jazz. I cannot wait for tonight. Although I hate a surprise, I love that my husband surprises me. I like to have my cake and eat it too. :) And speaking of cleaning the house, I have decided as of recent that it is over-rated. My maid came last summer on Wednesdays and that was great. Then, she got "The Green" (what I named the awful morning/all-day sickness I got with Nash) and kinda just stopped coming. Now, if the maid came...I wouldn't recognize her. But I have decided as long as the kids are fed and happy, who cares anymore. So yes, my house is now always filthy. Animal fur is on everything. I vacuum at least twice a week, but you wouldn't know. Out of control. And confession here...when I have spare time like when the kiddos are asleep or content, I no longer WANT to clean. Oops. I'd rather get in my sewing room and have some fun or just play with them. Suddenly, eating off my baseboards is no longer a priority. So, just a warning if you come on over...come on. But please don't judge me from my filthy house. Don't try to eat off my floors or even take off your shoes for that matter. If you want to sit on the sofas, I'd suggest wearing a darker color so all the animal fur doesn't show. Whatever you do...do not run your finger along any horizontal surface, that would be a dreadful idea. Or, if you come over and are mortified for me...hire me a maid. :)

I will leave you with my 2 new fave pics of my churns. Love these two. PS - the sweetness is now rolling over...and my FAVE found his feet. Love him. I think my fave thing is when someone else is holding him, he looks for me. When his eyes find me, the look on his face makes my knees wobble. Oh a momma and her little boy...