Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Value of a Dime

This morning Elizabeth came to me very excited.

"Mom. Mom. Sarah gave me TWO pennies for my ONE dime. TWO PENNIES. How much cents do I have now?"

I think Elizabeth got scammed by her little sister. I think this week will be money lessons.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Discover Oklahoma!...or something like that.

The kids and I were able to spend most of last week in Oklahoma. It was nice. Christmas was the last time we were there. May is too long to wait to see family. The original plan was to stay through the weekend. We made it until Friday. Not that he would say anything, but I could tell that Kermit needed help. Add to that, the kids spent just about all of Thursday grumping at each other. It was time to be home.

On the first night at Gramma's I had the most terrible dream. We were still travelling, the kids and I. I drove off an impossibly high cliff. As the truck went hurtling toward the earth, everyone fell out. The truck landed upside down, the children were scattered like dropped toys. If I could find everyone and scoop them up, they would be OK. I couldn't find Jacob. I had everyone else, but not Jacob. I was frantic. There were two emergency personnel standing by, but they were not helping. They just stood, smiled and did a parade wave. Completely useless. And I was completely helpless.

Monday evening, shortly after we arrived, we went to see Jim Bohannan. The kids, particularly Daniel and Hannah, are seriously questioning how we are all related.

Daniel: "Is Grandpa Bo your REAL dad? Hannah says that he is your real dad."

Mom: "What do you mean by REAL dad?"

Daniel: "Is he your biological father?"

Mom: "Yes. But Grandad adopted Aunt Jada and I when I was your age. He's my dad."

Joe: "WHAT!? You're adopted? Is Franny your real mom?"

It was so much easier when they were younger. They just kind of accepted that everyone in Oklahoma was named grandma and grandpa. Now they are older. They are trying to make sense of the world. I am trying to answer their questions honestly and simply without too much emotional baggage.

I sometimes wonder how my life would be different if the first divorce hadn't happened. Or the second. Or the third. Would I be any happier? The family tree would be less complicated, but that doesn't guarantee felicity.

My 'original' set of parents married much too young. In my adult years, I learned that the relationship was abusive. I understand why that divorce happened. It needed to happen. But the second one...I remember when my mother told me. She was sitting on her bed. I was standing next to the closet in her room. She used his name when she told me. Not 'Dad'. She used his name, like she was trying to erase some of the pain. I didn't know what to say. I didn't know how to react. I couldn't even cry. I was hurt, but I didn't know it yet.

So, I sometimes wonder how my life would be different, but I don't regret my life. All the experiences, good and bad, have shaped who I am today. I feel the inconvenience, the frustration, the chaos, the complexity, the hurt of being a child of divorce. However, it doesn't weigh me down.

I've spent too much time trying to suppress or push away the negative emotions. It is only when I have allowed myself to feel them and embrace them that I found some measure of peace. It's OK to feel bad. It's OK to feel angry or hurt or depressed or whatever. My reactions to the feelings are more important than the feelings themselves. Besides, it's not all bad. I have the most awesome stepmom ever! I can't say enough good about her.

Well. This has been lengthy and rather personal. In order to lighten the mood a bit, I'll close with a 'Sarah' quote.

Says Sarah (my delightful 3 year old) to her Great-Grandma Ellene (equally delightful) about Grandma's new puppy: "If he is bad, we can take him to Texas and my daddy will shoot him with his BB gun."

Monday, May 11, 2009


Got this gem for Mother's Day yesterday. Thank you, Monty and Agnes.


Blessed art thou woman,
For thou shalt be called Mother.
Yea, and thy chores and thy tasks
Shall follow thee all the days
Of thy life.

And thou shalt eat the bread
Of thine own baking and
Thou shalt dwell forever in a
Dirty house if thou doest not choose
To clean it thyself.

Thou shalt arise before the cock
Croweth and thou shalt say unto
Thine self, “Where are the offspring
Which were given me? Yea, and the sun
Has risen high in the sky and the
Hour is getting late; wherefore, I
Have been long at my labors.”

And thou shalt go and find thy
Offspring prostrate on their cot.
And thou shalt say unto them, “Haste,
Arise and shine, for I have many labors for thee
To perform, wherefore, I have
Been many hours already preparing the way.”

And thine offspring shall linger in sleep
And shall say unto thee, “Thou didst
Not watch the late, late, late show
As I did last night and mine eyes are
Heavy and mine bones acheth.”

And thou shalt say unto thy offspring,
“Get thee up from thy cot
Ere I lay hand upon thee
And go ye hither and scrub a
Sparkling tub, for thou has left black rings upon
Its sides.”

And thy offspring shall say unto thee,
“I will go and do thy bidding, ….in a minute.”
And thy rage shall know no end
And thou shalt weep and wail
And gnash thy teeth mightily.

Nevertheless; thou shalt scrub
A sparkling tub thyself and glory
Shall be added unto thee, for thou didst
Not strike the lazy beast.

Thou art blessed above all others
And thy descendants shall call thee
Blessed, for thou prepares a table before them.
Thou cookest meat and all manner of
Tasty vittles, and they shall sit at the
Table with thee and partake with thee.

And they shall add glory to thy crown
For they shall let thee also wash the
Dishes, if thou wilt.
And when the night falleth, thou shalt be pooped.
And thy offspring shall say of thee,
“She is an old woman wherefore
She neither goes dancing, nor does she
Watch the late, late, late show.”

Thy art and thy craft shall make thee
Called on and thou shalt labor at
Many tasks in the kingdom for whosoever
Asketh, thou do his bidding.

Thy back shall acheth with arthritis
Thy cane and thy husband
Shall be thy support.
Thy veins shall be varicose
In thy aching legs but thou shalt
Do thy labor with a smile, neither
Shalt thou gripe for in the day
That thou doest, thy name shall be mud.

Nevertheless, thou art blessed for
Thou art crowned with the angels
On the second Sunday of May on each
And every year.

Wherefore thou shalt be blessed above
All others for thou art Mother
And thou shalt find peace and joy in
Thy offspring forever and ever,
If thou endureth to the end!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Our New Puppy

This is Hank.

Hank is 7 weeks old. The kids named him after Hank the Cow Dog. He is part German Shepherd and part travelling sales dog. He came to live at our house this week. He is a little timid, but also very smart.

Ann is not too sure what to think about her "little brother". Hank certainly likes Ann. He tries so hard to get her to play. She doesn't seem too interested.

The kids like him. Joseph wants Hank to sleep in his bed. Elizabeth likes to play follow the leader with Hank. He will follow her everywhere. Jacob liked the puppy until the puppy started washing his face. Hank was a little sad his first couple of days. Daniel sat with him until he felt more comfortable. Even Dad likes Hank.