Let me first start off by saying I HAVE MISSED YOU! Oh my gosh I didn't expect to feel a sense of withdrawal! Ha hah!! After writing this blog daily for ninety-four days, I really felt like I needed to step back and sit quiet because no words were coming to mind to share. I felt like I hit a writer’s block. (Does that mean I'm a writer???!!!)
Well, I can tell you that I have felt the loss of our daily connection (even though it's only been a couple of days!). I enjoy our time together and I love hearing from you. We have a special bond; I realize that and appreciate it so much. I won't say I'll write daily again, I won't, but please know I miss you and our interaction!
It's time for me to start blabbing again. I had a thought earlier today that I felt compelled to share. Something I had forgotten I was in the middle of with Chris when he passed; Pride of Ownership.
I know many of you don't know me personally, don't know my family or our lifestyle. You'll just need to believe me when I tell you that we're a middle class, working family, probably like most all of you. Our house is unpretentious, we drive basic cars, shop for bargains and take a yearly vacation that we wonder how we'll pay for. We're your everyday household. I tell you this because it's important to the story.
I was cleaning the shower today and it dawned on me that I hadn't completed a "life lesson" I was working on with Chris. That bothered me. I hadn't thought about it since he passed, I was trying to teach him to take pride in his work, not to cut corners and race through his chores but to actually see what he was doing, pay attention to the details and be proud of his accomplishments.
I know he was proud of the work he did in school and also on the football field but I was pushing him to do this at home with the same gusto. I don't think he saw taking care of the house and his car in the same light as school.
So, I was taking a shower and cleaning it at the same time. I have done it that way for years because I figured if I was already soaking wet I wouldn't break my back from the outside leaning over. I wouldn't have to worry about getting my sleeves wet, accidentally turning the shower on over my dry hair and essentially not doing a very good job in the hard to reach places. Plus how could I clean the glass doors from standing on the outside? Tried it; what a pain to do one and then slide it behind the other to clean the second one. (Am I saying that right? I don't know if I'm painting this visual correctly.) Long story short, I wash me, shut the water off, spray the entire interior of the shower down, use a wet washcloth to clean it all, turn the water back on and rinse everything down. OK, that should do it, picture painted I hope!(Side note - Scrubbing Bubbles is by far the best shower cleaner ever!)
So, you're still wondering what the heck is my story I'm sure. I'm getting there I promise! Well, I'm in the shower cleaning it today and it dawns on me that I never fully got to teach Chris that doing a good and thorough job creates a sense of pride. See, I think I have the whole shower cleaning thing mastered. I kill two birds with one stone. I clean me as well as every inch of that shower. I do it thoroughly and in minimum time. I feel as though I get the award for that one because it took me a while to figure that one out after several backaches and missed spots.
I was working on this pride issue with Chris over the summer. For example, his method of mowing the lawn stunk. He didn't pay any attention to the details. He would mow and send all the clippings onto the driveway. Or he'd weed whack and never rake the debris out of the flower beds. He didn't pay attention to his work. What he needed to learn was that he created himself more mess and spent tons of extra time when he didn't need to. He wasn't paying attention to the details, sizing up the situation and attacking it with maximum results in minimum time. He didn't plan it out like he did with a test or a football play. I wanted him to use those skills in everything he did. I don't feel I completed the lesson when I was teaching him that. I found it frustrating today. I needed more time with him!
Yes, I know that mowing the lawn was not a big deal to Chris. He just wanted it done because he knew if he didn't it meant he couldn't get to Bailey's or his buddies as quickly as he wanted and that he was going to get a ration of crap when he got home. I'd go through the same words you probably use on your children "There's no maid service here", "Who do you think is going to clean this place?”, etc. My goal was just to get him to realize he should do quality work and be proud of it.
His car was another thing I couldn't understand. Why wasn't he out there every weekend washing and waxing it in the driveway???? I did when I got my first car. You might have too. Chris never hand washed his car. I know he was proud of it; it gave him freedom to move about. He bought it and paid his insurance so I know it was meaningful to him. I guess I just assumed he'd spend all his free time vacuuming it and scrubbing the white wall tires like me and all my friends used to do. We didn't go to the car wash. I believe he had pride of ownership in "big blue" although I know he would have preferred something newer had he been offered it. We felt it was his obligation to pay for it since he wanted the mobility. I'm sure he was envious of other people’s nicer vehicles but there was a valuable lesson for him to understand the expense of things and how to spend his paycheck. He knew there was no way we were going into a financial hole so he could drive fancy vehicle.
I used to do a lot of things around the house myself because I knew I could do them faster and better than the kids. Then it occurred to me that I wasn't helping them in the long run. If I just do it all because it gets done faster than what have they learned? Nothing! And I end up frustrated that I have to do it all! That's a nasty cycle. So, the thing I realized and was trying to teach Chris was HOW to do some of the ordinary household tasks in a quality manner so he could assist and take some ownership in it. It didn't really matter if they were done to my standards. Do the dishes have to be put in the dishwasher a certain way or the laundry folded just so? Who cares? It's more important that the kids participate. Eventually they can learn to do a more thorough job but initially they just need to learn the basics and build off that.
So, that's my story for today. It's the one that came to mind and I wanted to share. I hope it made sense and that you're glad I wrote. :-) Go buy some Scrubbing Bubbles and clean your shower or better yet show the kids how to do it!
Thank you for reading.