Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Can You Smell The Fall?

Soarin' Over California

Years ago we took our children to Universal Studios and California Adventure in California.  We decided to hit these theme parks and Knotts berry Farm because a few years before this we had done Disney Land and only Disney Land.

On this special trip (the last where we would share a room with our two children in a hotel)  we found the ride “Soarin’ over California“.  If you have been on this – you will immediately know of what I am referring.  Those of you that have not – this is similar to an IMAX experience – only you are strapped into seats that move up and down – high in the air, giving the feeling of actually being a part of the action on the HUGE screen in front.

What’s so special about this ride is this:  To enhance the enjoyment of all the senses they spray things into the air to make you feel like you are there smelling them in person.  On this particular trip they sprayed pine into the air during the part where we were soaring over pine trees.  It was an AMAZING sensory experience and like a wide-eyed little kid – I excitedly said to my kids, husband – and yes everyone around me, “Do you smell the PINE?”

I loved that ride so much – we did it again that afternoon.  It wasn’t until later in the day, on our way back to our hotel room that my own dear SWEET children decided to have a good time (at my expense) and tease me UNMERCIFULLY about my, “Do you smell the PINE?”  – imitating my voice in a much higher pitch than their own, all the while collapsing into fits of giggles.

Needless to say, they have NEVER let me forget about that trip – even though it’s been at LEAST 10 years since we took it.  And I’m so glad to be able to offer amusement to my now GROWN-UP children, every time they remember that trip to California.

I must admit though, I’m pretty much like a kid again when the leaves turn in the fall and when the first snow of the season happens.  If I have students here – I will be the one to stop what we’re doing and look outside, saying, “Look at the weather!  It’s SNOWING!!!”  And even though it has not happened yet – the fall weather reminds me that the seasons change and it will come around again – just like last year.

And like that trip where I smelled the pine – I can tell by the smell of the air that it’s going to rain, breathe in the cold, crisp air of fall and feel something else is coming – and LOVE the smell of snow in the air.

What do you love about this time of year?

Can YOU smell the Fall?

God Bless

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Loosening My Firm Grip

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

I was out taking a walk around the neighborhood yesterday, in one of those rare sunny and fairly “warmish” days.  I had my iPhone/iPod tunes coming through my ear buds and I was humming a happy little tune.

I turned a corner and walked toward a nearby park when all of a sudden the thought struck me:  What if I lost all this great music on my iPhone?  What if my computer had a melt-down and my WHOLE music library was GONE!  In an instant!

Well,  while this and other great thoughts invaded my mind along my walk – I had to ask myself, “would it really be a big deal? – I mean, come on – it’s just music, right?”

I had to admit that it would not be a huge deal.  An inconvenience for sure – but not the end of the world (as in what’s supposed to happen this Saturday – but that’s ANOTHER story).  No – my life and my world would continue on – I would just turn on my Pandora Radio and slowly rebuild my music library again – or just listen to CD’s and the radio in the car until I gathered my music once again over time.

Now while this is a silly example – I thought about the “things” I hold on to.  Those things that I feel ownership over.  The things that are mine.  My personal belongings, my pictures, my books, my computer, my piano, my blog articles and so on and so forth.  What if something happened to them?  Would I be Okay?  Would I survive?  If EVERYTHING was taken away from me tomorrow – would I really be able to make it?  Is my identity defined by all those things?  Would I really be lost without them?

No.  I would be Okay.  I choose to keep a loose grasp on my material blessings.  I can move, sell, sort and get rid of extra junk when I need to – and have in the past done several BIG MOVES across the country and back – to know that I am not defined by things.  I’ve witnessed several households of furniture come and go in 30 years of marriage and have not been devastated when the time came to unload it – or lighten our load.

I believe there is a principle in this for not only the material “things” – but I believe we should be willing to let go of our firm grip when it comes to the people in our lives – even if we don’t want to.  I was determined when raising our two children, that I was NOT going to be one of those mom’s who couldn’t bear to let my kids grow up, change and become independent from me.  It is perfectly normal for them to need me less and less as they mature – and to someday be fully developed and have their own life – apart from me.

Our children are only on loan to us.  I don’t believe there are any accidents.  God knows what He is doing – and He gave me my children to love and raise.  I do not OWN them.  And when I have invested into them everything I can – (not always in the most perfect way – but with the best intentions),  I can release them, knowing that they are individuals who must answer to God for themselves – they are no longer my responsibility.

Many parents become unhappy when their grown-up children do not need them anymore – when it is very normal and natural that they should NOT need us anymore when they are mature.  Some are bewildered because they feel they lose their control over their children and even try forms of manipulation and even guilt to keep them young – while imposing their need and dreams of the “good old days”.  While this is natural because of the time investment spent in them – it should not be used as a method of control towards our children.  They are given to us – they really belong to God.  It is important to raise our children “in the way they should go”  and then let them go – loosen the grip – release them in love.  Even if we don’t always agree.  Pray for them – and then trust God.

And though I am far from perfect as a mom – I have always tried to let my own grown-up children lead their own lives.  I feel like Greg and I did everything we could do while they were living in our home – and we tried to set a godly example for them while growing up – through good and bad, happy and sad times.

The secret is to have a “loose grip” on the things and people that we don’t feel we can let go.  Have a firm grip on God – and teach your children to do the same.  He will make His plans known to them – and He is ultimately responsible for their journey – when they allow Him to guide their steps.  This is so freeing to me as a parent and I know it will be to you too.  This will lead to a happy life – full of deep joy with no regret.

How’s your grip?  Do you feel it tightening around things you can’t bear to lose?  Can you just relax and trust?  How do you apply a “loose grip” to your own situations?

God Bless

Preparing for Absence

Greg and I are on the verge of launching our baby out into the world.  The count down has begun – he leaves for California next month.

And while we have really been “Empty Nesters”  for a while – you know what I mean – daughter Ashlee moved out 3 years ago – and from the moment Shawn had a driver’s license (on his 16th birthday) – we didn’t see much of him after that.  People think I’m kidding when I say that Shawn eats and sleeps here – sometimes.  It’s absolutely true.  It is still going to be an adjustment around here.

We have plans after Shawn leaves next month.  We are going to go into his room with gloves on and several garbage bags and begin the grueling process of fumigation and bringing normal back into chaos – the room of a teenage boy.

My car that Shawn has taken possession of the last 3 years – will once again be MINE!  A little worse for wear – but still paid for and MINE!  Did I mention that the car is MINE?  Just in case you are confused in that matter – I know that I have been.  Oh you know what I mean – you have a conversation with your teenager and you end up leaving the room muttering someone non-coherent like, “I’m right – I KNOW I am” as you feel all reality slipping from your fragile grasp.  So when I say I was confused – I really mean it.

We plan to clean the inside and outside of MY car – and fumigate it – so that it does NOT smell like a boy’s locker room.  My CD’s will finally be right where I left them – there will be no sticky stuff in the cup holder and on the seats – there will not be wrappers and other junk in MY car.  It will be left in pristine condition – just as I always have left it – BEFORE my son got his license and decided to take ownership.

We will have quiet at night when we turn in.  No more yelling or calling Shawn on the phone to get him to TURN DOWN the TV that we can hear in our bedroom.  No more late night cooking food and smelling it wafting upstairs where we are trying to sleep.  No more late showers and running water FOREVER next to our bedroom.  No more talking on the phone in the middle of the night – or hopping up the stairs and slamming doors (because he always forgets) – to wake us up.  None of that – just peaceful, blissful quiet.

Yes – we are preparing for absence – just as much as Shawn is anxious to be out on his own.  We worry just a little about how he will pay his bills – and survive out there – but we also realize that it is a part of his growing up – to be out on his own and figure it out.

I hope we have prepared him.  He is very grounded and mature for almost 20 – and most of all – he is a loving, kind and generous person – full of talent, laughter and fun – has many friends and has always landed on his feet – through rough times and setbacks.  I’m proud of him and can’t wait to see what God has next for him – as he discovers his own place in this world.  God has equipped him with a love for music and a talent that is his special gift – I’m excited to see how God will use that in him.

And so as we prepare – with a little over a month to go – we know we are also ready.

And there’s always iChat and Skype, right?

God Bless

A Funny Guest Post From KC Procter

I read something today that was just hilarious.  It is from my new online friend and blogging buddy,  KC Procter.  KC manages a couple of blog sites – is a happy husband and father of two – is busy finishing up some schooling to become an MBA and is active in social networking.  I have enjoyed his humorous take on life and in his many ‘tweets’ and comments.  I would encourage you to check out this blog called “Some Wise Guy” – and in particular the article he wrote today –3 Kid Words Dads Accidentally Say At The Office .  It is about using ‘kid’ words after we’re grown-up – come on – we ALL do it!  If you need a good laugh today – read the article that he wrote and the comments too – it will make your day!

And be sure and add KC to your blog roll – you will enjoy his articles!

God Bless!

Charlie Brown In A Lucy World

Charlie Brown

Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes I lay awake at night and ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ then a voice says to me,  ‘This is going to take more than one night.'”

Charlie Brown

Ever feel like Charlie Brown?  I know I have.  I used to love watching the ‘bumbling through life’ character – who never hid what he was feeling – good or bad.  But now I have to admit – it’s painful to watch him try to ‘slug it out’.  Because I feel like I’m looking in a mirror.  Ouch.

I used to like to identify with the other characters instead – Schroder who says nothing – but just sits and plays the piano – YEARS above where he should be playing.  *Sigh* – but I am NOT Schroder.

Sally is shy and sweet – naive and innocent – but still with an attitude. And much as I want to think that’s who I am – (I have been accused of this) sadly I am not.

And what about Linus?  Linus who doesn’t have great personal hygiene – but who knows how to be a friend and how to give great advice.  Someone dependable and true.  I’d like to think that this is who I am – not the personal hygiene part – but you get the picture.  But I’m not always like this either.

I have WAY too much to say – like Lucy. And NO ONE wants to be like Lucy.  Lucy is loud and opinionated – quick to judge – first to abandon – slow to forgive.  VERY narcissistic.  But that is not me either – or is it?  I hope not.

In the end – I am mostly like Charlie Brown.  At least inside.  Bumbling through life – trying to get people to understand me – trying to fit it – saying all the wrong things – trusting too much – expecting things will always be good – or always be bad – down on myself – totally pessimistic and then totally optimistic.  That’s me.  And it’s probably you too.  Living in a Lucy world.  Trying to impress – do something great – leave my mark – only to have all the “Lucy’s” of the world say, “You’re a blockhead, Charlie Brown”.  Yeah – that’s how it feels some days.

Are you also a Charlie Brown living in a Lucy world?  Cheer up!  Charlie had a lot of problems – but he was the most authentic and real person – never down for long – always ready to pick himself up and try again – no matter how many times he got it wrong.  No matter how many times Lucy told him he couldn’t do something – or how stupid he was.  Charlie is not the brightest – or the best looking.  But he’s real – and he knows who he is.  He’s just Charlie Brown – nothing more.  We can learn a lot about him – and be encouraged.

It doesn’t make all the “Lucy’s” in our life go away – but in a way – it’s a nice reminder.  Be yourself – when you stumble – get up.

Here’s to you Lucy –  GOOD GRIEF – You will NOT win.

God Bless

Happy March!

Balloons-KayEss-1

Image via Wikipedia

The lion has come in – and let’s hope he leaves as a lamb.  We all like to feel a little spring when we turn the calendar to March – and especially me.

This is my birthday month – not just any birthday either.  It’s the big one.  Forty was okay – I didn’t freak out at all – and I have to say that my forties was the very best and worst of times.  Greg and I successfully raised two teenagers during this period – and our daughter even got married while I was 48. And we’re still here to tell about it.

So what will a new decade bring?  I’ve never been one to dwell on age – and it IS just a number – so why do we freak out about it?  We are only as old as we feel, right?  Yeah – that’s what I’m afraid of.  In my forties I felt pretty good up until a couple of years ago – then little things like upper body pain from sitting too long – or not bouncing back as quickly from exercise and sickness – are just some of the wonderful joys of getting older.  One lovely senior woman once told me many years ago – “Cindy – don’t ever get old”.  Great.  I’m working on it.

The happy news is that my husband is a couple of years older than I – and most of our friends are hitting this happy spot on their journey too – Yes, Ron – I’m talking about you my friend – you will join me soon after my birthday.  And a few of our friends are already there – waving us on – like Barbara and Bob Coccia.  They say, “Hey it’s not so bad!”  And so I have no other choice but to believe them.  One of our friends is 10 years older than Greg – and when Greg turned 50 he told him – “You think the time went fast from 40 to 50?  Just wait until you see how fast it goes from 50 – 60”!  Great.

Well I plan to take the whole month to celebrate – even though my actual birthday isn’t until the 11th of this month.  And spring better hurry up – my capris and sandals are looking a little lonely in my closet – and you can’t have a spring birthday without those!  And if you are in this ‘season of life’ – take heart – you are not alone – I’m right there with you!  Let’s CELEBRATE!!

 

God Bless

The Baby Magnet

A young girl kisses a baby on the cheek.

Image via Wikipedia

I have always LOVED babies.  I remember being about 10 and begging to help take care of them in the nursery at the little church our family was attending.  It was a little young – but if there was an adult there, usually they would let me help from time to time.  I have always loved how babies smell – like powder and sweetness.  And how I could rock them and stop their crying.  There was a precious baby boy named Nathan that I was in love with.  Big brown eyes and curly dark hair.  He would look for me on Sunday morning and I couldn’t wait to hold him.  It’s amazing to me to think that this ‘baby’ that I cuddled and rocked is now about 40 years old!  Ugh.

The ‘baby’ phase disappeared over time and as I grew up I developed new interests and became busy.  I married young and wasn’t ready to even to consider having babies of my own – until we had been married about 5 years.  We had been married 6 years when baby Ashlee was born – and then 4 years later – our baby Shawn was born.  They were quite enough baby for me – there’s nothing quite like your own child in your arms.

But children and babies have always liked me.  I smile and pay attention to them – and children LOVE that.  I think that’s why I have always had success teaching young children – because I genuinely like them – and they can tell!

The other day I was waiting for my appointment at the Chiropractor’s office.  There was a nice young couple there with a baby, one year old – complete with a cute little dress, shoes and braids in her hair.  She was sitting on the lap of her father, and she spotted me and I smiled at her.  She was one of those really pretty babies with the big eyes.  She squirmed and tried to get away from her father.  He held her fast, even when she struggled and tried to go.  After a while he handed her to her mother and she tried in vain to distract the child and stop her from whining and wanting to get away.  Finally they could not detain her anymore and let her carefully walk around the coffee table, all the time staring right at me – in an attempt to come over to me.  She would not be dissuaded – but kept coming until she had finally reached me and then, would you believe it, she actually crawled up into my lap?! I’ve never witnessed anything like it before!  She was not shy at all – but kept looking at me and wanting to be held.  She even put her little head on my chest and did NOT want to be parted from me.  It was really something.  Her parents did not appear to speak much English – but clearly they were amazed too.  I managed to find out the baby’s name and how old she was – before they called me for my appointment.  Getting up I  handed her to her mother and this was not received well at all – she fussed and cried!  I was really amazed by this display of affection.  I guess you’ll just have to call me a ‘baby magnet’.  🙂

But although I really like babies and children I can safely say, no more babies for me, thank you very much – but I will really enjoy being a Grandma someday – especially because I know that it will be okay – they seem to like me.  And no I don’t think I like the word ‘Grandma’ – it sounds old – and I AM NOT!  I think I prefer ‘MiMi’ instead 🙂

 

So bring on the babies – they can sit in my lap and I will coo and fuss over them.  Just make sure you DON’T call me Grandma.

 

God Bless

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