Game Day

Most mornings when I wake up Tucker's face is about 2 inches from mine and he is saying, "Mom, mom... will tuck my shirt in all the way in?" He is usually fully dressed in his t-ball uniform and wanting me to help him get the shirt and belt just so. He is very "just so" about the way he wears his uniform.

In his mind, the game is about to start and he is headed downstairs to our living room to take a few practice swings before his first at bat. I usually head downstairs (much too slowly for Tucker's taste) and try to find my way to some coffee. By the time I have stirred in the creamer, the game is in the third inning. He is 2 for 2, the bases are loaded, Sammy Sosa just hit nice single into right field and Tucker is about to hit his first grand slam for the day. What a day at ballpark. I begin to pull out a few things for breakfast as he slides into home plate (a basket of magazines) and the crowd goes wild (many magazines fall out of the basket and make lots of noise). The clock above the stove tells me it is 7:12am and I am debating on waking up Elizabeth.

I love Tucker's intensity. He lives life as if each day is game day. Each task gets the same amount of intensity and determination. (Unfortunately these characteristics still apply when he decides to have a fit.) For Tucker all things are purposeful and meaningful. I want to be more like him. I want to see daily tasks as part of a chance to be great.By the time Elizabeth gets downstairs Tucker has already set her pink ball, glove, and bat out for her. He greets her with a quick hug and then asks, "Elizabeth - so you remember how I showed you to play defense?"

Today when Tucker woke up I was already downstairs, my second cup of coffee in one hand and James' glove in the other. I was ready to win the World Series and then head out for the best
Target run of my life!

Thanks Tucker!


Personal Victory

Yesterday I experienced a very personal victory.

Two things I really love doing are cooking & baking and serving others. One would think that the best of both worlds would be combining the two. Not so much. For several years now I have been signing up and volunteering to take edible stuff to people whom need it and I have failed. Somehow the simplest of tasks have become large train wrecks. Sometimes I can even see the train coming and just can't get off the tracks. I have spent much mental energy trying to turn over a new leaf and keep simple tasks simple.

Yesterday I did it! I delivered three yummy pies and sugar cookies to a group of ladies in need. I successfully arrived at her house on time with the promised goods. I did not get pneumonia and bronchitis, no one projectile vomited orange stuff, no child pooped or peed their pants, nothing was burned so badly that is stunk up an entire church and the people receiving it threw it in the trash when they thought I was not looking, I did not loose my car keys or my cell phone, I did not get lost or forget my directions, I was not late because of traffic, and I even included sugar cookies for a party favor. They were beautiful.

The experience was so completely satisfying that I might be able to try it again. The best part is that I actually had fun making the pies. Thanks to my sisters for the moral support.

And yes, all of those things have actually happened to me while delivering or serving food to others!


Unexpected Generosity

Just when you least expect it, you find generosity from another human being.

One of the things I think is most difficult in the world of daily parenting activities is loading up to leave the house. Tucker is nearly trained and self sufficient. Elizabeth on the other hand is not. Just to run up to Michael's to grab a pie holder can become an ordeal of great proportion. The process of everyone dressed, gone to the potty (Elizabeth is potty training - so she tries to tee tee in the potty about 5 times before we leave the house), teeth brushed, shoes on, my purse, an extra outfit for Elizabeth, wipes and the coupon I am trying to take advantage of takes at least 20 minutes if there are not accidents or fusses between the kids. This morning went pretty smoothly and we were loaded in only 27 minutes. When I pull up to Michael's it is pouring rain. I pause to gather up coupon, purse, two snacks, Elizabeth's extra clothes and wipes when I notice my purse is a bit lite.

I remember now - had to get my wallet out to give something to the Farmer(my husband James) last night. My wallet is missing - no way to pay.

I sigh - I head home to get wallet. Elizabeth decides she needs to tinkle tinkle. We all unload and barley avoid an accident. I settle an argument between my children over who can jump the furthest and we are loading again to head to Michael's.

I pull up to Michael's and began to gather up my stuff. Your kidding me???? No wallet. I guess in the chaos of the potty incident I left the wallet at home again. I do find my checkbook at the bottom of my purse. I head into Michael's thinking that if they do not take my check then after I shop I could have them hold things at the front until I get back. We shop - the children do pretty well. The lady actually takes my check and we are headed home.

The kids are starving. I have already forgotten the wallet thing and am totally preoccupied with thoughts of things on my "to do" list. I tell the kids we can get tacos from Taco Bueno for lunch knowing that I have three free taco coupons. I order and my bill minus the coupons is 2.47$ When I pull up to pay I remember - oh yeah - I don't have my wallet. I feel so stupid. I just look at the lady - ready to give her back the cold diet coke I was already sipping. I apologize and explain that I don't have my wallet with me and I will be right back - I just live around the corner. And then comes the shocker - she said, "Here you go. Just take it any way and pay us another time.''

SO THANK YOU Taco Bueno girl for your well timed generosity. You have no idea how much it meant to me!


The "Mother-Wife"

Several weekends ago James and I spent some time with another couple (that shall remain nameless to protect the innocent). We had a wonderful time and enjoyed their company very much. However, throughout the weekend, I found myself quite annoyed by the "mothering" the wife did of the husband. Specifically the telling the husband to do "x" and then giving specific instructions on how "x" should be done. Every move he made was up for review. Her actions were not done out of malice or ill intent, but out of habit. His response didn't include anger or even contempt for her critique. Do not misunderstand...they seemed quite happy with each other; I was the one bothered by the whole thing.

Until... James and I went to order our usual Arby's for dinner before the Ranger game and to my surprise I told him exactly how to order. I even said, "Now tell her..."

OHHHH NOOOOOO! I am a "mother-wife"!!!!

I was shocked!!! Did I sound just like the "mother-wife" who had annoyed me so greatly? How could this be? I even went as far as to justify my instructions after I gave them. There I was becoming the woman I was so annoyed by just so he would not order curly fries.

I thought about this incident for days. How could I have talked to my husband (who by the way provides a wonderful life us) like he was four? When you are a mother 24/7 and you do not take much time to yourself, it is hard to stop the urge to mother someone. If I do not tell my son to wash his hands after he goes to the bathroom, he probably won't. If I tell my husband the same...it is time for a night off!

Being a wife and mother at the same time, all the time is not an easy task. Unfortunately it often leads to a women becoming a "mother-wife" instead of a mother and a wife.

"Dear God, give me the strength to be mother and to be a wife and the sanity to know the difference."


Softly Speaking

A few weeks ago a good friend of mine referred to me as "soft spoken". She meant this in a good way and has no idea that it is so stuck in my mind. She has not known me long enough to know that I, Sara Elizabeth Strader Isbell, have never been referred to as "soft spoken". Those who knew me as a child would probably describe me as "way too outspoken" or at least "never at a loss for words". I am so puzzled by this new description that I can't help but wonder if I have changed much over the years.

Has being a wife and a mother (two things I desparately love being) quieted some my own voice?
I don't really know the answer to this question and I don't really think all silence is negative. Maybe my new found desire to blog is a way to hear my own voice again.