Sunday, April 15, 2012

May the Fourth Be With You

Hey Peeps—

This Spring is flying by and for once in three months, I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief.  I’m about to wrap up my third semester of Nursing School, and this one has been a stretch to say the least. For 16 weeks I’ve been completely immersed in my classes and clinicals, while my sweet little family stands by cheering for me, and quietly wondering if we are having spaghetti again for dinner.  That would be a yes. 

I feel I need to clarify something.  Being married to me is not always bliss.  Billy would disagree of course, and that is one of the reasons I married the guy.  He’s got a birthday quickly approaching, and in keeping with a theme this Spring, I feel I need to write a bit about my husband.  This will make him nervous, as I’ve mentioned him several times before, openly discussing his bad habits such as texting me while spending an extended period of time in the downstairs bathroom. He also has many weird obsessions I’d like to cover, such as his fascination with Star Wars, and brags to our son Jack that it was destiny being born on May the Fourth.  Then he says to Jack with a smirk, “May the Fourth be with you”.   However, this time I’d like to focus on his positive qualities, and try to convey to you why I’m so thankful for my husband. 

For a long time I ran away from the thought that I had any potential to do anything other than be a mom.  My job as a mom has been the best job I’ve ever had, despite the crappy pay.  I’d work odd jobs here and there to help Billy with the finances, until one day I realized I actually might have been designed for more than just shelving books at the library.  At first I didn’t want to believe it, and even now when I’m driving to my clinical site at 5:00 in the morning, I have my doubts.   But because of Billy, I have been able to totally re-invent myself and become a nurse.  He told me to spread my scared little wings and fly, and he hasn’t stopped cheering for me once!

When I took my first Biology class Billy bought me a Hannah Montana folder, and made me a care package with all my favorite candy.  I was too scared to make any noise in class with opening candy wrappers, so it took me a few weeks to get through it all.  When it came time to do papers and presentations, Billy suggested I get the Word suite for my computer and helped me figure it all out.  I almost divorced him out of frustrating,  while he was nicely explaining Excel and spreadsheets to me, but decided he was worth keeping around as I had an upcoming power point due.  Each semester he tells me to buy what I need and hasn’t even asked one time what all this was going to cost him. 

Over the last couple of years Billy has turned down some neat opportunities because of my crazy school schedule.  He’s missed his weekly “beer and Bible club” meetings so that I can study rather than take Faith to soccer practice.  He passed on being in a band because he “doesn’t want to miss out on time with us” even though music is his passion, and not only that, he’s abundantly talented.  He drives the minivan, so that I can have the car with heated seats, and if you ask him about it, he’ll tell you he couldn’t care less what kind of car he drives as long as we’re safe.  The kids support and cheer me out the door in the mornings because they see their dad leading the way.  They hear him telling me, “You can do this!” so they echo him with, “Go Mom!  You can do it!” 
 Billy knows how to make me laugh, which isn’t always easy, as I consider myself the funny one in the relationship.  There have been many days I come home to complain about something related to school, and before I know it, I’m laying on the kitchen floor laughing my head off.  Usually it’s something about our kids—we’re the type of parents that don’t mind acknowledging how weird they can be, or being tickled by something they’ve said.  And in those moments I remember who I am again, and I’m able to let go of the burden of school and rest in the fact that I am connected to four people who have in their own way, given me their blessing to walk this path.

This year on May the fourth, Billy will be celebrating his birthday at the movies with our kids.  I’ll be at home studying for a final.  But that’s okay.  He understands.  As long as there’s pie, he won’t mind.  Thanks babe.  I love you.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Hungry Games

Hey Peeps—

How is it that we have become those parents?  Billy and I used to be cool.  We’ve lived in the south of France.  We used to drive a Subaru.  We used to quote Homer Simpson lines all night long. We knew who Mary Hart was talking about on Entertainment Tonight.  Now we barely even watch T.V.--unless it’s The Voice, cause come on, how can you resist Cee lo Green and his disproportionately short arms? 

Recently it’s come to my attention that we may have been born in the wrong era.  I think we should have been born in the days of Little House on the Prairie.   I’d call Billy “Pa” and he’d call me “Ma” and life with our three children would be simple.  We’d raise sows (I think that means “pig”) and go into town once a week in our horse drawn buggy to buy molasses and horehound candies for the kids.  I’d get patchwork fabric to make our clothes, and Billy would read the Almanac in order to know what kind of seed to purchase for the fields.  And we’d never have to explain to Jack why it is that we are such prudes and won’t allow him to read or see the movie “The Hunger Games”

Everyone told us that it would be okay for Jack to read the books, so we bought them, and told the boy, “Daddy will read them first and if we feel okay about it, then you can read them too”.  Billy started into them as soon as we got home and he needed to use the restroom.  I hope I’m not spoiling it for anyone, but by the time he came out of the bathroom, he knew the plot.  Basically, and this is from Billy so if you disagree, complain to him, but the gist of the story goes like this:  Kids are in a contest to kill each other.  Whoever kills the most kids and doesn’t die in the process wins the contest. 

You have to trust your gut and let your kids do what you think is okay—we certainly aren’t sitting around judging the rest of you for letting your kids see the movie.  Lord knows we’ve got our own issues and would never claim to be perfect parents.  (Please never ask the children about “the incident” on vacation in 2010 in CA when their mommy almost kicked a hole in the hotel wall)  The bottom line is that for us, right now, Jack’s been told no, and he’s rolling with it.  I’m glad too, cause it hasn’t been easy.  All of his friends have seen it or read the books, and sort of look on him with pity when they ask why he hasn’t seen it yet.  He explains to them, “it’s just too violent and I don’t want to watch that until I’m older.”  I’m so proud of him! Tonight at dinner we promised Jack that all the excitement of this movie soon will pass.  Another one will come along, and most likely he’ll be able to see it.  Taking a stand isn’t easy, and looking different from the crowd feels scary.  

Jack’s a great sport and even though he’s disappointed, tonight he decided to have some fun with it all.  He and Will were up in our guest room making a board game out of some extra cardboard we had lying around.  He came down to show me his new game called, “The Hungry Games”.  It has a Monopoly feel, however, with a food theme.   He proudly explained, “the first person to get to the six pound Angus burger wins!”    Seriously, can you beat that?