Saturday, March 2, 2013

A kid story

I got to thinking about a humorous story when the boys were young due to a recent note Coach Clawson's wife, Stephanie, sent to me.  She got me to thinking about a moment I went thru and I thought I'd share it.
On a side note; don't you find it interesting what moments in time stick in your brain? Why is that?  I mean, I can recall the day my father left for the hospital, it was the last time I saw him.  I was seven and sitting outside on the front steps of our house and he came down the stairs with his small suitcase in his hand and told me he'd be back in a few days.  I never saw him again until his wake.  I also recall doing cartwheels on the front lawn when I was about eleven, over and over and over - thinking I was an amazing gymnast.  How come I remember those things and not the hundreds of thousands of other events that were a part of my life?  I'm sure you have plenty you could share too.

I've always been curious why it is that certain memories remain so vividly and so much other stuff from our day to day life just evaporates.  How come we don't remember all of it? Or none of it?

Well anyway, Coach Clawson's wife, Stephanie, reminded me about a time in my life that was very vivid. They have a very young family.
She sent me a message the other day asking me about Chris when he was a kid.  Now keep in mind I never met Stephanie until Chris passed.  Why would we spend time together?  I don't know any of the other teachers/coaches spouses.   
Plus, I didn't even know Coach Clawson other than talking to Chris about him.  Of course I knew who he was but I had no interaction with him.  Why would I?  Chris was 17 and able to discuss things with him directly.  It's not like when Chris was 7 and needed me to run interference.  So, I never had a direct conversation with Coach Clawson.  I don't think he knew who I was until Chris passed.
Funny enough, I remember having conversations with Chris when he was home at night after football practice and I would wag my finger at him and say silly things like "Did you tell Coach you want to play Tight End! Does he KNOW you're too small to play line in college?!!!"  To which Chris would look at me and say - with sincerity "Mom, I meant to but it just didn't come up"... I used to get my back up and that sweet kid just didn't get ruffled.  He knew where his team needed him and where he meant the most.  I got annoyed (not that I even knew what a tight end did, I just heard his father say it from time to time and so I opted to add fuel to the fire).
So anyway, Stephanie reminded me of this one day when I had just about had it with the kids.  Mike was out of town working and I remember looking at the calendar being overwhelmed because I knew it was just me and the boys for four days.  No in-laws coming to help me, no secured play dates; nothing.  Just Jeremy, Chris and me.
It seemed the kids were on overload early in the evening, really early, like 4pm.  I remember thinking to myself "how will I get thru the next few days? I'm going to flip out!.”
To, paint the complete picture, Jeremy had to be five, as he was not yet in kindergarten which means Chris was two.  So that means I was 30. Home alone, taking care of these feisty kids and two dogs by myself. Hmmmm.
So, the kids were acting up, Mike was away and I was mad.  Very annoyed he was stress free and loving life in his quiet hotel room while all I did was entertain the boys.  I was tired and annoyed.  My patience was running thin and the kids grated on my nerves.  All I wanted was some relief; a break so I could regroup and get back on track to being mom.  

If only there was time for all that. I prayed and wished that my time "on duty" as mom was elongated.  If I could have shorter spurts of it by myself I would have done so much better!  My tolerance would be greater; I'd play more, be more joyful and be willing to teach them.  But I recall looking at the calendar before Mike would go away and all I could think of was "oh my God, I have 90 straight hours of being the only one here for the boys!"  I would get myself worked up and become mad and resentful.
So, this one day, during one of those terrible stretches of "aloneness" I had hit my melting point.  I don't even know if the kids were all that naughty but I had hit my peak.  I was done.  Well done.  Probably burnt. In a moment of exhaustion and frustration I had an epiphany.  I would give myself a time out!  Lord knows I gave the kids plenty of them and many times they were not effective. So I did a role reversal.  I marched myself upstairs, walked away from the boys and locked myself in my room.  I thought "I need to cool off!" 

I had a mini meltdown, tears rolling down my cheeks, heavy heaving breaths, the whole nine yards.  I was sitting on my bed attempting to pull it together and I heard Jeremy and Chris outside my door quietly talking.

Jeremy:  "what do you think she's doing in there?"
Chris: "ma, you in there?"
Jeremy: "Don't talk to her she's mad at us!"
Chris: "Hey ma?"
Jeremy: "I think she's having a time out"
To, picture it, you need to think cat-like.  Have you ever seen a cat try to put its paw under a door?  You can see it beneath the door jamb.  Well, that's how the kids were talking.  Jeremy had his mouth up against the bottoms of the door as if he purposely wanted me to hear him.  Chris being so small had no true idea of what was going on but wanted to be with his brother and sat right in the stairwell with him trying to figure it all out.

Needless to say, my meltdown went from tears to giggles.  My frustration and fury turned to intrigue as I listened to the conversation unfold between the boys.   It didn't take long before I gathered myself and opened the door to find these two adorable kids cross legged on the rug waiting for me.
I must have been a good playmate because they opted to wait it out til I was ready to rejoin the trio.  I never forgot that little episode.  It was very humorous as I ran the gamut of emotions from boiling over to laughing in a matter of minutes.
So, to Stephanie and Coach Clawson with their crew of youngsters, I say, embrace it all.  When you don't know what you're doing who really cares?  Do the best you can and try to make the best decisions at the moment.  There isn't anyone who knows your kids better.  They will push your buttons forever in one way or another.  If you need a time out, take one.  As long as they're safe when you do it go right ahead.  It won't take long for you to pull yourself back together and get back in the game.  No different than being exhausted in the football field.  Sometimes you just need a little breather!

Thank you for reading.


  1. I keep seeing this post circulating around facebook: "Behind every great kid is a mom who thinks she's doing it all wrong." Truth!!! My kids are 6 and 9 I think about all the time with them that I have missed or wasted already. My little one is laying out a card game to play with me right now as I type, so I'm going to sign off. But I love seeing these baby/young pics of the boys. Absolutely adorable. Thank you for sharing!

  2. My husband also traveled all the time when our kids were young. I remember many of times like this. It is amazing how fast time goes. In a blink of an eye it is gone. Often your posts will bring back a memory to me that had been pushed to the back.
    Thanks for sharing. Prayers always.

  3. This post brings back many memories for me as well. At the time it was all so overwhelming but to tell you the truth, I would have it back again in a minute. Knowing the boy's were all under one roof at the same time and I knew they were safe. It is funny how you wish a lot of it away but when they grow up you want it all back. Had many mini melt downs in my time as well:) Pictures of the boy's are adorable, and that last one I assume maybe of the Clawson baby is so cute!

  4. Regina,
    Thank you. I am sitting here and laughing myself, just picturing under the door. I remember oh so well doing the same thing. My ex would go to Boston for his job, leave Monday morning and return Friday evening. I had an 8 and 5 year Olds plus a newborn. I remember bro.b so mad at my ex for leaving and there were moments that I would be holding the baby while he was crying and the other two fighting or running around like little banshees. I did the same thing, made sure everyone was safe and went to have a good cry in the bathroom. I had completely forgot the doorknob was no longer on the door so I look and there is an eye staring at me through the hole where the doorknob was. That was my moment. I wouldn't have changed anything because the relationship with my kids is so strong. Thank you for sharing and God bless.

  5. Regina,

    I too had a lot of time alone with my kids..I am married to a college basketball coach, I was a single parent from October 1st to March 30th every year, oh sure he'd come home at night around 9:30 between recruiting, games, practices...etc...but by then everything was done...

    Oh the memories...and yes I have very specific moments I remember from my childhood and from my kids...
    Like one time hearing someone scream when I was in the shower, and I ran out as fast as I could, not even thinking I was in the shower all I could think was something was wrong or someone was hurt,I came flying out of the shower to find out the two older ones were wrestling and I stood there dripping wet with my heart racing and my adrenaline up put my hands on my hips and said "How many times do I have to tell you not to scream!!!I am serious, do not scream unless there is danger!" when my 10 and 12 yr old said..."ummm, mom we can't take you serious you are naked!" and burst out laughing and oh my goodness I was!!!(sorry for the visual!) I didn't even realize it,I was so wound up from the scream! my kids to this day remind me of it and then they burst in to hysterics...even now 10yrs poor son I hope I didn't scar him!!!

    Love your post Regina...ALL of them,you are great!!!

    God Bless, XO

  6. Regina,

    I loved today's post. At different points in my husband's career he worked on projects which involved overtime. I especially remember Y2K being a big one! This went on for about two years and I was working part-time for the state, had a business on the side and had to get the older three to all of their activities. During baseball/softball season, I would pick up a pizza from Dom's on Rte 9 and we'd eat standing in the parking lot of one of the fields. Then I'd drop my daughter off and go to the baseball fields across the street. When my husband showed up at the T-ball field, I'd run over to her game! Those were a few crazy years! Looking back on the "hockey years", they were even crazier! Seven days a week between practices and games for the two playing...three games for each one every weekend plus basketball practices and games for my youngest son! Would not change a thing though because we have so many awesome memories and so do my boys!

    I know I spent times in my room with the door closed crying! Sometimes life was just overwhelming! Then there was my youngest son who never shut up when he was really little. I remember some days closing the bathroom door and covering my ears and saying "please God just make him stop talking for 5 minutes!" He would follow me around all day long, talking!!

    Oh and the fighting! They still have knock down battles every once in a while and with their sizes I am always afraid one of them is going to need medical attention! At least they don't bicker back and forth all day over stupid stuff like the used to. That drove me absolutely batty!

    But like you said to the Clawsons, embrace it because time does fly by! My "kids" are not all kids any more! My daughter will be 26 this month! My boys are 23, 19 and 17 at the moment. My "baby" is a senior and will be graduating from high school, which is really hard to believe! So enjoy it all because it is all a part of life! One of my friends asked how I can stand the fighting part. I said my brothers were the same way and I remember having some hair pulling, nail scratching battles with my sisters as well! It's what siblings do and it prepares them for the real world!

    Thanks for sharing. Love all the pictures you posted today!
    hugs and peace.

  7. I love all the pictures and the stories. Seems like how things sometimes go in my house.

  8. It was so nice to read your post. As parents we sometimes feel all alone and like we are doing it all wrong. I have had many mini meltdown and am glad to hear I am not the only one. My 13 and 17 year old are involved in our high schools musical and they had a 5 hour practice today and I was sitting in my house thankfu for the time I spent with them when they were little ( Iwas a stay at home mom when they were little) because I am starting to realize I don't get near as much time with them that I want. I love watching them grow into young adults but I would go back and start over if I could because looking back it goes by way to fast and i do miss my babies.

  9. Regina,
    I thank you for making me smile tonight after reading your post! I guess you might say I gave myself a "Time-out" this week, but I am now back in the game! :) I remember when my Philip was a toddler and at that point my husband had just been elected into a political office. Life was crazy and all I remember doing is spending time at the commons park hoping to meet other mothers and make play dates to fill up my time, so I wasn't going stir crazy at home. I must say though, I had it much easier than most people as I spaced my children out so I never had the whole sibling rivalry thing going on! My children are 29, 17 and 10! This made life much easier for me! When my oldest was graduating I was pregnant with my youngest! Well I guess I am proving that I do have some memory! My memory is nothing like your's however. I wish I could remember the detail that you do. Quite amazing! I take all kinds of supplements to help me with my memory, but you, my friend, are spot on!! Time for me to call Dr. Oz or maybe Dr. Regina!! :)

  10. Reg, That picture of chris in the football hat is priceless! All of us moms have had days like great we do remember some and not all! The moments good or bad are cherised forever. Your kids know you love them and thats all that counts. Keep on keepin' on.

  11. Hahahahaha....Regina I was laughing out loud at this one! Amazing that they can get us so worked up...I found myself there a few times this weekend with my 2 1/1 year old. I told her at one point on Saturday afternoon that I had changed my name and it was no longer mommy. She was very confused! Hahaha...I look back now and laugh at it...of course the minute afer I told her she was tugging at my leg saying "Mommy, I want you." How do you ignore that??? I smiled and scooped her up of course!