I had a mind once. Now I have small children.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


The Goombas are growing up. There is just no denying it. I went through all of their drawers and closets a couple of weeks ago, to get rid of the evidence that they used to be smaller than they are now. I sometimes take for granted that they are not my adorable little babies anymore. They now have their own opinions ("I will NOT wear that dress, I want the JAMMINS dress!), thoughts ("I think it is time you stop treating me like the 'kids' and let me do whatever I want), and feelings ("I hate you! I am so mad I will NOT clean up my puzzles!). I'll let you guess which comment belongs to which Goomba. But, sometimes, that change sneaks up on a Mommy and kicks you in the stomach when you least expect it.

For instance, without warning, about two weeks ago, Peach decided that her new favorite television show is Dora the Explorer. We had never even watched Dora, but suddenly it was all she wanted. No more Word World. Apparently, we have grown beyond the animals made of letters, and have moved on to the psychotic map and object eating backpack. Well, at least I have an entire new set of songs to get stuck perpetually in my head.

Luigi also switched modes on me very quickly. While we still practically worship the trains, Lightning McQueen and crew are making more and more appearances. Also, my darling boy has started imitating his brother more. Luigi used to be excited about school. Now it is "boring," and "dumb," and "fine, whatever, I guess I'll go if I have to." Hmmm...I believe I have heard this all somewhere before.

But, the one that really got me was Mario. Just this morning, we were having a rare moment alone at the breakfast table. He looked up at me and said, "I want you to know that I have decided to call you Mom now. When I say Mommy it makes me sound like a baby. I don't want to hurt your feelings, because I know you really like Mommy, but I think it is time for me to start calling you Mom. And Dad will be Dad." I looked at my sweet, first-born child, who was looking at me earnestly, as though if I told him no, he would still call me Mommy just to spare my feelings. "That is ok," I told him. "I like Mom, too. And you are right, you are getting older, so Mom works just fine for me." He smiled and said, "Thanks, Mom, I knew you would understand," and dove back into his chocolate chip waffles.

And just like that, I have gone from Mommy to Mom. And the changes just keep coming...


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Trouble with a Capital "T"

I always wanted a daughter. I love my sons more than life, I really do. But, deep down inside I always wanted to have some pink in my life. Then, when my darling Peach came along, my dreams came true. With two big brothers to protect her, I thought it was a perfect way to complete my family. When I told my mother that we were expecting a tiny bundle, of the rosy-colored persuasion, she immediately said, "And I hope she will be just like you." Hmmm... Well, I was an awesome daughter, so really, that would be a blessing, right? Yes, well, we all know how very, very wrong I can be sometimes.

My Peach is a sweet, curly-haired, bow-tie-mouth, princess-loving, gown-wearing, shoe-loving girl. And yes, Zaz, she is exactly like her mother. There were signs that she might take a bit after me when she started using tears to manipulate the people around her. Not that I have EVER been able to squeeze out a real tear to make someone do my bidding, but DAMN! This girl has a gift! I have a feeling that someday, when she is in high school, her poor father's head will explode while listening to the two ladies in his life battle for power.

...Sigh... It really didn't hit me, though, until this evening. Tonight sealed in my mind the fact that my daughter is NEVER able to leave the house without me, because she will surely be EXACTLY like me. Which, looking back now, as a mother, is not all that spectacular.

It is a typical Saturday night in Mario-Land. We are relaxing in front of our best friend, the television, while the Goombas giggle at Looney Tunes, and Bowser and I sip on a beer. Peach crawled up on the sofa next to her Daddy, batted her long eyelashes and said, "Can I have a drink, pwease?" Now, the boys have both tried our beer before and they think it is gross. With this in mind, he thought, "Sure! I'll give her a sip, what is the harm in that? She is going to think it is disgusting anyway!" Apparently, he does not remember that my love of the golden bubbly stuff goes way, way back to my early years. And this, my friends, is how I know that my daughter is going to turn my hair gray sooner rather than later...

She took a small sip of Bowser's beer. She looked at him, her eyes lit up and she said, "Yummy!!! More!!!!" AAAK!!!!! Surely this is just her being silly, so he offered one more small drop to her. "This is GOOOOOD!!!!" she said, with her wild curly hair framing the blissful look on her face. Dear Lord, I know that look. I better start praying now....


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Every Life is Precious

I really have been struggling the last few days on whether or not I should write this post, but, at this point, I feel it is worth talking about. This is not a lecture on abortion, as it might seem in my title. This is simply a short message on how precious life really is.

My very, very dear friend, lost her sweet nephew on Sunday morning. He was born at only 23 weeks gestation and was given a 10% chance of survival. The little man put up a good fight, until he succumbed on Sunday morning to pneumonia and God called him home. My heart is breaking for my friend and her family. I can't help but think of the age-old, unanswered question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" I can only think that God must have needed a very special angel in Heaven to help Him watch over others.

As this was happening, my Goombas have been home sick. Of course they did their usual complaining, whining, and needing. Normally, this would have sent me over the edge and caused me to down a box of wine to drown out the noise. But, yesterday, instead of snapping at them, I decided to hold them all a little closer, for just a little longer. How lucky am I that all they had was a slight fever and some sniffly noses? Other mothers around the world are dealing with far worse, I can handle a "just-a-virus" for a few days.

Too many of us take for granted the fact that our kids are healthy. In the past year, besides my friend that just lost her nephew, I know a mother whose baby boy is battling leukemia, another mother that suffered a miscarriage, and one that delivered her baby at 30 weeks and had to endure test after test in the NICU for 10 weeks. Sure, we all have our rough moments, but all-in-all, most of us are fairly lucky to only have to deal with the occasional sniffle or broken arm.

So, today, instead of yelling at your kids for being too loud, or punishing over a glass of spilled milk, hug them instead. Tell them how much you love them, even when they aren't perfect. Giggle with them about a silly show. Leave the clothes in the dryer so you can push them on the swing for an extra minute. Cook them macaroni and cheese for dinner for the 6th time this week because they love it. Read them that extra story they beg for at bedtime. And pray for the babies that can't do those things and for their mothers, who wish they could.