Category Archives: Life

Living in the Moment

I’m feeling reflective today after learning that a local child’s parent died. If it happened to my family, what would my children remember? Would they remember how much I love them? The feel of my hugs, the sounds of our laughter, the little details that I try to add to things? Would they remember how many times I said no, when I was cranky?

I can’t even begin to imagine the pain the family is going through—wife without her husband, children without their father, best friend without the best friend. And because I can’t imagine the pain, I think about how lucky my family and I are not to have to go through this experience. Because our lives are so busy and we’re constantly rushing from one thing to another, we don’t often take the time to appreciate what we have. We let the little things, the things we think matter but really don’t, get in the way and don’t stop to think about what would happen if everything I know now, right now, changed?

And then something like this happens, and we hug a little tighter, add in an extra “I love you,” put down our work or turn off the TV and spend a few more minutes together. All of that is great, until we move on. Our lives continue and we forget to add in the extra “I love you.” We snap at one another because we’re over-worked or over-tired and don’t bother to apologize because we know we can do it later.

I start out with the best of intentions—I’m going to be patient, smile more, yell less. I’m going to be silly and goofy and treasure every moment. Those intentions soon give way to reality and my guilt sets in. I should have done this, I shouldn’t have said that. Occasions such as the death of someone make me take a step back and I realize something important. What will I<strongremember? As my children get older and busier, will I remember the fun times we had, the kisses and hugs, the smell of them sleeping? Or will I remember all the times I felt guilty for not living up to my expectations?

I think I’d rather enjoy the moment, while doing the best I can to make moments last a lifetime. And if I’m not perfect, oh well. No one is. And maybe my children will learn that perfection isn’t necessary. That we try as hard as we can, we fail often, but we always keep trying. That “no” is not the end of the world. And we have as much fun along the way as we can.

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Food and Car Salespeople

If there’s one thing I can count on, it’s that my two girls will not like the same food. No matter what I make, if one likes it, the other hates it, and for the exact opposite reason. Especially regarding spices. One likes things spicy hot, the other likes it so bland as to be tasteless. Now, I’ve been on a “cook new food” kick lately, and their opposing tastes just add a new level of complication to the mix. Since I’m not a short-order cook, what I make is what everyone eats. I do try to accommodate their tastes, as well as my husband’s, but what I’ve begun to find is that the key to getting everyone to like the same meal is in the positioning. For example, when my husband calls at the end of the day to tell me he’s on his way home and to ask what’s for dinner, I tell him the basic ingredients—meat, tomato sauce, noodles, etc. I see no reason to tell him specific ingredients that I suspect will just raise his suspicions (did I mention that he’s picky too?). As I’m cooking, my youngest will walk in and take a look at the stove or ask what she smells. Again, I’ll give her the basics—meat, noodles and spice—and leave out the ingredients I know she doesn’t like. That’s the key with her—highlight the spice and her face lights up. Unfortunately, that’s precisely the word that my oldest keys into, resulting in faces, whining and groans. So, then, trying not to miss a beat, I’ll inform her that spice does not necessarily mean spicy, and look, there’s noodles. By the time everyone sits down at the table, they all have their own ideas about what’s for dinner and feel pretty sure that I cooked especially for them. I feel slightly like a car salesperson—this car is PERFECT for you, no matter what your needs are—but everyone sits, tantrums are kept at a minimum, and if I’m lucky, everyone eats at least half of what’s on their plate. I’ll deal with wasted food issues another day!

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