Sep 222010
 

I get very anxious about Chase being away at school for eight hours each day. Don’t get me wrong, I would get much more anxious if he were NOT away eight hours a day, but still. That’s the thing about parenting. Anxious if you do, anxious if you don’t. I’ve been trying to figure out what my anxiety is really about lately. It’s not that I don’t trust the school, I do. It’s not that I think they’ll teach him too much . . . as a matter of fact I worry they won’t teach him enough. Chase and I have a little ritual. I say, “What did you learn today, honey?” And Chase says, I learned about Christopher Columbus!” And I say, “Great! Grab a cookie and sit down. Let me tell you that sweet little story from the Native Americanpoint of view.”

The thing is that I’m not worried about my little man’s brain. I’m worried about his heart.

When I was in elementary school, all of these little teeny things happened to me that made me embarrassed, or confused, or sad. Like when I had to stand against the huge cafeteria wall with my nose pressed against the big purple painted grapes, or when all the girls teased me at my lunch table because my hair was greasy, you could start a car with all that grease, they said. Or when the boys never chased me at recess. Or when a classmate brought a Playboy to school, or when my friend Jennifer called me a gay wad. What’s a gay wad? But these things didn’t seem big enough to talk about, and I didn’t want my parents to know that all wasn’t perfect . . . so for whatever reason, I kept all these little sad and confusing things secrets. And keeping secrets became second nature to me. Which didn’t turn out so well for me for a couple decades.

So when it comes to how my kids are doing at school, I don’t worry about academics. I worry about social things. I worry about their time at lunch, at recess, on the bus. Mostly, children learn to read and add and sit still eventually. But not everybody learns that he deserves to be treated with respect and so do others. And not everybody learns that he is OKAY and loved and precious and that it’s all right to feel hurt and all right to hurt others, as long as he cleans up his messes. And not everybody learns that different is beautiful. And not everybody learns to stand up for himself, even when it’s scary. So I worry about that. Seven is young to navigate a big social sea all by oneself. I feel like thirty four is too young sometimes.

Last week, I snuggled in bed with Chase and told him all about the embarrassing, sad, scary little things that happened to me in elementary school. I told him that I never gave Bubba and Tisha a chance to help me, because I kept my worries in my heart. So my worries became problems. I told him that this was a shame. Because the beautiful things about being a kid, is that you don’t really have any problems. You might have worries, but if you share those worries with your parents, they don’t have to become problems. I told him that his daddy and I are his team. That his worries are really our worries. And that the most important thing in the world to us is his heart. And we talked a lot about this scripture.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4: 4-7

I explained to Chase that every night before bed, he and I were going to lay in bed together and try to remember any sadness or worries that he might have had during the day. And I told him that we were going to talk about them and then pray to God to help us with them. And then he’d be able to relax and sleep soundly. Knowing that God and mommy and daddy were on it.

Over the past two weeks, as Chase and I have laid in bed together and remembered his worries . . . I’ve learned a lot about my little boy that I didn’t know before.

Like . . . He thought that the first few weeks of school were a “try out” and if he wasn’t perfect, he could get cut. I was tempted to let him keep believing that one.

Li Like . . . the reason he always wants his dad to take him to baseball practice is that I embarrass him by cheering for everybody whether they hit the ball or not. You’re not supposed to cheer and yell THAT’S OKAY when people drop the ball mom. It’s NOT GOOD to drop the ball. I don’t know if you really understand baseball, mom.

L L Like . . . there’s a big girl on the bus who may be a bit of a bully. And Chase is scared of her. He told me this Sunday night. I told him that his job on Monday was to find out what color her eyes were. That’s all. Just find out what color her eyes are, Chase. I need to know that. Chase came home yesterday and said, “MOM! Her eyes are BLUE! But listen . . . while I was looking at her eyes to find out what color they are for you . . . she quit her mean face and looked away! And she didn’t look at me mean the rest of the bus ride! And then on the way home . . . she didn’t look at me at all! She just passed right by!” Yep, always look them in the eye, buddy. Mean can’t handle the truth.

Anyway, I’m just happy about this. This worry talk is a little ritual that’s worth keeping. Because if we empty our hearts every night, they won’t get too heavy or cluttered. Our hearts will stay light and open with lots of room for good new things to come in.

Tell me your worries, honey. And we’ll pray. Because that’s what God, and family, are for.



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest


Sep 222010
 


I get very anxious about Chase being away at school for eight hours each day. Don’t get me wrong, I would get much more anxious if he were NOT away eight hours a day, but still. That’s the thing about parenting. Anxious if you do, anxious if you don’t. I’ve been trying to figure out what my anxiety is really about lately. It’s not that I don’t trust the school, I do. It’s not that I think they’ll teach him too much . . . as a matter of fact I worry they won’t teach him enough. Chase and I have a little ritual. I say, “What did you learn today, honey?” And Chase says, I learned about Christopher Columbus!” And I say, “Great! Grab a cookie and sit down. Let me tell you that sweet little story from the Native American point of view.”

The thing is that I’m not worried about my little man’s brain. I’m worried about his heart.

When I was in elementary school, all of these little teeny things happened to me that made me embarrassed, or confused, or sad. Like when I had to stand against the huge cafeteria wall with my nose pressed against the big purple painted grapes, or when all the girls teased me at my lunch table because my hair was greasy, you could start a car with all that grease, they said. Or when the boys never chased me at recess. Or when a classmate brought a Playboy to school, or when my friend Jennifer called me a gay wad. What’s a gay wad? But these things didn’t seem big enough to talk about, and I didn’t want my parents to know that all wasn’t perfect . . . so for whatever reason, I kept all these little sad and confusing things secrets. And keeping secrets became second nature to me. Which didn’t turn out so well for me for a couple decades.

So when it comes to how my kids are doing at school, I don’t worry about academics. I worry about social things. I worry about their time at lunch, at recess, on the bus. Mostly, children learn to read and add and sit still eventually. But not everybody learns that he deserves to be treated with respect and so do others. And not everybody learns that he is OKAY and loved and precious and that it’s all right to feel hurt and all right to hurt others, as long as he cleans up his messes. And not everybody learns that different is beautiful. And not everybody learns to stand up for himself, even when it’s scary. So I worry about that. Seven is young to navigate a big social sea all by oneself. I feel like thirty four is too young sometimes.

Last week, I snuggled in bed with Chase and told him all about the embarrassing, sad, scary little things that happened to me in elementary school. I told him that I never gave Bubba and Tisha a chance to help me, because I kept my worries in my heart. So my worries became problems. I told him that this was a shame. Because the beautiful things about being a kid, is that you don’t really have any problems. You might have worries, but if you share those worries with your parents, they don’t have to become problems. I told him that his daddy and I are his team. That his worries are really our worries. And that the most important thing in the world to us is his heart. And we talked a lot about this scripture.


“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4: 4-7


I explained to Chase that every night before bed, he and I were going to lay in bed together and try to remember any sadness or worries that he might have had during the day. And I told him that we were going to talk about them and then pray to God to help us with them. And then he’d be able to relax and sleep soundly. Knowing that God and mommy and daddy were on it.

Over the past two weeks, as Chase and I have laid in bed together and remembered his worries . . . I’ve learned a lot about my little boy that I didn’t know before.

Like . . . He thought that the first few weeks of school were a “try out” and if he wasn’t perfect, he could get cut. I was tempted to let him keep believing that one.

Li Like . . . the reason he always wants his dad to take him to baseball practice is that I embarrass him by cheering for everybody whether they hit the ball or not. You’re not supposed to cheer and yell THAT’S OKAY when people drop the ball mom. It’s NOT GOOD to drop the ball. I don’t know if you really understand baseball, mom.

L L Like . . . there’s a big girl on the bus who may be a bit of a bully. And Chase is scared of her. He told me this Sunday night. I told him that his job on Monday was to find out what color her eyes were. That’s all. Just find out what color her eyes are, Chase. I need to know that. Chase came home yesterday and said, “MOM! Her eyes are BLUE! But listen . . . while I was looking at her eyes to find out what color they are for you . . . she quit her mean face and looked away! And she didn’t look at me mean the rest of the bus ride! And then on the way home . . . she didn’t look at me at all! She just passed right by!” Yep, always look them in the eye, buddy. Mean can’t handle the truth.

Anyway, I’m just happy about this. This worry talk is a little ritual that’s worth keeping. Because if we empty our hearts every night, they won’t get too heavy or cluttered. Our hearts will stay light and open with lots of room for good new things to come in.


Tell me your worries, honey. And we’ll pray. Because that’s what God, and family, are for.








Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest


Sep 182010
 

My Sister walked onto a big silver airplane and flew back to Rwanda last night. I felt myself getting very sad on Friday afternoon, and I knew I had to do something to ward off a full-on-funk. I have this tendency to fall into a strange state of mind that they used to call “melancholy.” Now they call it depression, but I still prefer melancholy. Makes me feel very Emily Dickinson-y. Either way, what helps me fight off the funk is to hold a little meeting with myself and demand that I pay close attention to the Little Beautiful things in my life. To look for them, notice them, and insist upon being dazzled by them.


I now present to you my weekend of Little Beautiful Things.

The Melton weekend always starts with a Friday Night Dance Party. After dinner, Chase sneaks over to the IPod and busts out some Miley Cyrus. I don’t know who can possibly remain seated during Party In The USA., but it’s nobody at this house. The only Dance Party Rules are: everybody dances and last song is always Man in the Mirror.




When I tell my friends that Amma has been break dancing since she was fifteen months old, I’m never sure they believe me. So here’s proof.









Every single time I give him the camera.




Saturday morning, mommy works on her hair while daddy makes breakfast. Blueberry pancakes. Since mommy’s still doing her hair after everyone’s done with their pancakes, daddy does the dishes too. My mom used to have a sign on our kitchen wall that said, “No woman ever shot a man while he was doing the dishes.” I liked that sign.






Then we headed off to a Fall Pumpkin Festival to celebrate the beginning of Fall. Because there is just nothing cozier or more comforting than Fall.







Next stop: Hay ride. Which we climbed onto before remembering that Craig is allergic to hay.



 









This is when I modeled for Amma how to be brave and touch the goats. Go ahead honey,touch the nice goats. it’s okay. You’ll notice that I never actually touch the goats though. Because eeewww, goats.






Craig took this picture right after I said, Make sure you get my watch in the shot. This is my new watch. My mom and I bought it last weekend. After I’d been wearing it for a few hours, Tisha looked down and said, “Are you going to set it?” And I said, “What? I never thought of that.” Because I always just think of watches as bracelets, really. I once wore a watch for two years without setting it, and when people asked me what time it was I just looked apologetic at them and said, Oh, I’m sorry, it just broke.

But when Tisha suggested
really setting this one, I thought the idea might really match my new and improved organized self, So I did! I set it! And then I spent all day at the farm hoping someone would ask me what time it was. So I could tell them and appear to be the type of mom who totally knows what time it is. But nobody asked. Not even this goat, who was like six inches away from my watch and had to have seen it. I mean it’s bedazzled. I’m just saying that I thought ignoring my new snazzy watch was a little passive aggressive of him. Whatever, goat.










Here are two of my best friends on the whole Earth, Manal and Lida, with their little beautiful things.



One of the things Momastery readers often say to me in emails is I wish we were friends in real life. And I always think…..Eh. You’d be disappointed. I’m actually not a great friend. I don’t stay in touch. I don’t remember birthdays, I don’t don’t really understand how to keep track of people. But I’ve promised myself that this is the year I’m going to learn. I’m going to take better care of my friendships. And I’ll be watching Manal to learn how it’s done. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s going to tutor me, so I can learn from the best.

Oh, also, Happy Birthday, Manal. I remembered.





When Lida hugs me, she always holds on for a little bit longer than necessary. She just squeezes and squeezes with blatant disregard for basic human hug timing etiquette. She hugs me like she trying to send me a message . . . like she’s saying, all is forgiven, you are loved. She hugs me like she’s recently heard that I’m in a tough place. And every single time, even though I know those extra few seconds are coming, I get choked up during my Lida hugs. Because Lida knows that we’re always in some type of tough place. And so Lida’s not in a rush to let go, even when she knows it’s probably time. And that is why we’re still friends.




I wanted to slip an index card with the Momastery link to this Mama Pig. I just felt like she needed us.





Right after this extreme feat of bravery, Amma turned around and screamed, “I TOUCHED THE COW!” Oh well, third kid, not as much time for farm animal lessons.





I live for little beautiful moments like these. When a hundred kids are running, running, running up the hill to take their coveted place in the long slide line. And suddenly you notice that your boy is letting them all pass. So he can help his baby sister make it up the hill too.




And you think, well, we certainly don’t have this parenting thing all figured out. But something is going very right.





Thank you for this one, Universe. Thank you for Craig. I promise, promise to take good care of him.







 

 

Then off to baseball practice. We are doing it, guys. We are showing up at practice, and sometimes (not often, but sometimes) we are actually hitting balls!







Home again, home again, jiggety jig, and while the girls eat a vegetarian, protein packed lunch (what can I say, I’m a choosy mom) . . .







. . . Craig works on prying open the bathroom door that Tish locked and then shut. For fun.

Craig thought that this was a big problem. I thought it was a nice opportunity to keep the bathroom clean. Until I realized that my zit cream and hairdryer were in that bathroom. At which point I said Husband don’t you stop ’till that door is OPEN. Three hours later . . . hairdryer rescued.



Then off to dinner at Leigha and Pablo’s. For dinner with friends. Dinner with friends. Love that. So grown up.







Pablo and Craig doing what they do. Discussing walkways and stuff.

 



This is Anna, who belongs to Leigha and Pablo. Last year, she was eating with us and asked if she could say grace. She said, “Dear Gosh, Thank you for our food.” Then, on Halloween, she dressed up as Cinderella and introduced Leigha as her “Fairy Goshmother.” I have never known a person who goes to such great lengths to avoid taking the Lord’s name in vain. Anna is one of the beautifulest little things I know.



Here’s Lexi. She’s Anna’s little Sis and stays busy being too cute for anyone’s good. She and Amma are Best Friends Forever and Leigha and I pray that one day they will begin using their two year old powers for good. Let’s just say it’s gonna be a long year for Leigha and me.



This shiny blondie is Kerstin, and she belongs to my Angel Friend, Karen and her hubby, Eric. Karen and Eric managed to avoid my camera all evening. But they cannot hide forever. Jeesh, it’s like they think I’m going to publish their pictures for the whole world to see. Paranoid.



And then it was down to the fire pit for Smore’s in Leigha’s driveway. And it was little glowing faces covered in marshmallows and the warmth of the fire on our outstretched hands and then staying a little too long into the night just to squeeze out a little more little beauty.






And then it was into the van and we’re home and up the stairs and into bed without brushing their teeth. And it was tucking my little beauties into their warm beds and kissing them goodnight and remembering to silently say Thank you, God, for good friends and sticky little cheeks and warm beds.


And then it was a good night’s sleep.


And we woke up on a lazy, lovely Sunday and made breakfast and started saying to each other…you know, maybe we should start going to church again Next Sunday. Yeah. That’d be good.

Which was okay. Because we’re fairly certain that God is at the Farmers’ Market, too.







And then home with our peaches for MOMMY, MANDY AND JOHN ARE HERE!




 









And then it was Sweeties…Faith is believing what we can’t see. Which is why we’re still Redskins fans. Get your jersies on.



 








And then out to the front yard for baseball with John at half-time. And watching John with Sister and the kids and listening to him teach Chase to throw the ball with three fingers, buddy. And realizing that he brought his own glove just so he could teach Chase how to throw. And thinking, I LOVE this guy. He is one of Us, this guy.






And then it was God Bless Us, Every One.


And Goodbyes that weren’t fit for shooting.



 

But left us feeling like this:



And Even So.


It was staying up late and putting together this post and looking at all of this little beauty. And then it was laying my head down on my cool pillow and realizing with amusement that the weekend’s final score was:



Glennon: 1

Melancholy: 0

Here’s to a beautiful little week.

 



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest


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