Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Sun = Love/Hate


I love that the minute I realize the sun is out, it instantly puts me in a good mood.

I hate the instant fear that creeps over me when I step out into the sunlight.

I love that my kids beg to go outside when the sun is shining.

I hate that I am constantly torn between spending time outside in the sun or going inside where we will be protected.

I love that euphoric feeling I get throughout my body when I'm in the sun for just a little while; when it's just warm enough and not too hot.

I hate that my kids will have to grow up with a worried mom who is constatnly nagging them about sunscreen and the dangers that face them.

I love that my dog knows around 1:00pm that the sunlight comes through our front door.  She waits for me to open the door so she can bask in it.  As the sun moves and the spot on the floor moves, she gets up and moves with it.

I hate that I miss being tan.

I love the way my kids smell after playing in the sun for a while.  I think Bill said it perfectly to Sookie once- "I can smell the sunlight on your skin." That's what I smell on them.

I hate that I miss the natural way in which the sun lightens my hair.

I love that as soon as it gets warm outside, I can't stop thinking about planting flowers, bar-b-ques, and sun tea.

I hate that I will never feel comfortable on the beach.

I love how being in the sun puts everyone in a good mood.

I hate having one more thing to worry about.

I hate that I have to spend a lot of money on sun protective hats for my whole family. 

I hate that my kids will be the ones with swim suits that cover most of their body

I hate that one day I will have to have a conversation with them about why they are wearing different swimming suits than everyone else. 

I hate sunscreen...the way it feels, the way it smells, and I hate putting it on my kids. (they hate it, too!)

I hate, more than anything, that I carry around this weight that's as heavy as a boulder.  That weight is the fear that skin cancer will invade my body for a second time, that it won't be caught as early.  That weight is the fear that I would leave my children without a mother, my husband without a wife. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tough Questions

Lately Maria has been asking questions.  Lots and lots of questions!

Although I am impressed with her inquisitivity, I am also shocked that a 3 year old is asking some of these things.  Most times, I have to stop and think very hard at how I'm going to answer them. God forbid I tell her the wrong thing and scar her for life!!!

For example, she has been asking alot of questions about death, and dying, lately.  This all started when I told her the batteries in her Glo-Worm were "dead." Why I didn't just say "Oh, Glo Worm needs new batteries." is beyond me.  Without thinking, I said the batteries were dead and she quickly followed up with "What's dead?"

That conversation escalated a little when she saw pictures of an old dog I had that died back in 2003, named Mary.  She asks what happened to Mary.  Where is Mary now? How did Mary get to heaven? Can I visit Mary?

I finally told her that Mary got really sick and the doctors could not make her better so she died.  Why did Mary die?

I tried to be honest and give her only the information I thought she could process at this age.  I told her all living things eventually die.  People, animals, trees, flowers...nothing was meant to live forever.

After soaking this up for a few days, the questions began again.  "Am I going to die? Mommy, are you going to die? I don't want you to die (tears start streaming from her face) I will miss you!"

One day in the car, she began asking about death again. "Why does God want us to die?" (That's a really tough one, by the way!)

She started asking about certain people...first Grandma Birdie (that's what she calls my mom), then PaPa Galen, the Uncle Jeff, Naomi, her cousin Olivia.....

As the realization that each person whom she loves so dearly might one day no longer be here hit her...the tears just started flowing.  I'm glad I was driving and she couldn't see me becasue I was crying, too.  What a hard lesson to learn at such a young age.  I felt sad for part of her innocence was being ripped away.  I was mad at myself for letting the conversation get so far, but I know that she is going to learn this hard topic eventually.  I am sad that these thoughts cross her mind occasionally, but glad that she opens up to me and asks me questions.  This has been a great opportunity to teach her about loving people and doing good things while we're here on Earth, but it's such a heavy topic for a 3 year old. 

I hope the things that Gerry and I have said to her are the right things.  I hope she doesn't go to bed at night thinking about death and people leaving her.  It's a reality, but I hoped to be able to shield her from these things just a little while longer.

On a lighter side of things, she has been asking questions on other topics, and some of them are pretty humuorous.  Things like "Why does the sun go down, Why does the Earth spin around, How does the Earth spin around, Are there people on other planets, How do we know if we are a boy or girl, Why did God make boys and girls, Why did you (meaning me) get married, Why can't I marry my daddy, Why is Naomi a girl, Where is God, What color is God's hair (when we told her we didn't know what color God's hair was, she said she thinks he has stars for hair), What does God like to eat, What is God doing right now, Why are there monsters....

The list goes on and on...

I am thrilled to have a child who wants to know so much.  Her questions crack me up as much as they break my heart.  My baby is growing up and realizing some hard facts about the world. My hope is that she will always be curious and want to learn, no matter how hard the answers are to hear.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Day at the Park

Sorry for not posting in a while.  We have been busy with a lot of things (some of which I will share in a later post...stay tuned!)

Anyway, Saturday was an awesome day so we decided to get the kids out and let them run around in the much needed fresh air.  I took the kids to a different park the day before and Naomi was very sad to have to leave the swings. Needless to say, she was thrilled to be able to swing again.  There weren't too many people waiting for the baby swings so she got some extra time in them and loved every minute!!!

The girls had a blast on the playground. Naomi tried a little of everything.  Maria is a daredevil...climbing every huge rock wall and sliding down the poles.  I didn't get too many pics of her because I was too busy making sure she didn't fall. 

We went to Faust Park, which is a very unique park in our city.  It has a Butterfly House and a carousel all within walking distance of the huge playground.  There are also some historic buildings, such as old houses and barns, on the property.  Sometimes the doors are unlocked and people are allowed to go inside and see how people used to live back in the day. On this day, none of the buildings were unlocked so we just viewed them from the outside.  The girls liked walking up on the front porches and looking in the windows.

We stopped and had a snack before we went home. It was a great day and I'm so excited we were able to get out and enjoy the weather...especially since it just snowed again, here yesterday.

Spring just can't come soon enough!
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