This time last week we were returning from our first beach vacation as a family of three. We watched as our little girl Mariclaire experienced so many “firsts”. First time putting her toes in the sand, or even seeing sand for that matter. First time seeing the ocean. First time “swimming” in water besides a bathtub or the grandparents’ kitchen sink. There were so many “firsts” I could not name them all, but it was so amazing to see how our little girl was really enjoying taking it all in.
Then it happened. We got our first taste of “I am too cool for you” as parents. And it only took eight months!
Rodney and I have already learned that Mariclaire finds other people so much more interesting and fun that she does us. But I think it may have hurt some feelings (a.k.a. mine and Rodney’s feelings) when we realized that the pool at the resort where stayed was no fun to Mariclaire unless there were other kids around.
Rodney and I could be splashing around, making absolute fools of ourselves, but nothing made that girl smile more than the 10 year old girl who kept swimming around Mariclaire playing peek-a-boo with her. We found it quite annoying. Mariclaire found it hilarious.
Of course we loved seeing her so happy, but just to be honest, it still had us a little jealous that we weren’t cool enough to make her giggle and squeal the same way!
I was so hopeful that one day I would be the proud owner of a Magic Bullet blender. I watched that blender as it was marketed for years.
It was literally the most popular item I have ever seen marketed on a basic cable channel. And it was amazing to see how two people could talk about a blender. For four hours straight. That blender really looked like it could work some magic… on TV.
I would watch as the cheesy, overly excited salesmen convinced me that I could basically blend up a five course meal in 15 minutes. And I fell for it hard.
One of the very first things that Rodney and I registered for when we were engaged was that dang Magic Bullet. And we got it, used it once, and then donated it to KARM (Knox Area Rescue Ministries) who then sold it to some poor soul who should not have paid a THING for it.
So after all of those years of hoping I would someday own a life changing Magic Bullet, there is my disclaimer. Do not buy the Magic Bullet.
I graduated from high school and went immediately into the college scene excited to meet new people.
Above all, I was excited about the thought of experiencing sorority “rush” (recruitment) and all that would entail. I immediately found my sorority home and got involved.
Then I had really “made” it. By my Junior year I had worked my way up the “ladder” and was nominated as sorority President. I was so excited about this role! Ecstatic actually. I felt such pride for my sorority and my chapter. I was thrilled for every new member that joined.
I will always remember my first experience with recruitment. When our brand new members ran across the field toward my chapter, which meant they accepted their membership bid from my sorority on Bid Day. And seeing how excited these women were to be joining our sorority, I cried like a baby out of pure joy! It was literally like we were welcoming these ladies to our family. And after all of the work we had done during rush week to make these girls feel loved and feel that they would fit in with us, it was so rewarding to see how excited they were to be a part of us!
I can’t believe that celebrating Mother’s Day actually has something to do with me this year! It seems so strange, in a way, that this time last year there were just the two of us and now there are three. And now she is a permanent part of my life!
One of the things Rodney and I used to say to each other when our little girl was first born was “Can you believe she belongs to us? I mean, we don’t give her back to anyone at the end of the night! She is ours!“
With all of that being said, we did a lot of babysitting before Mariclaire came along, so we were really used to being able to give the kids back to their parents when they came home. But not anymore! And I would not have it any other way.
With Mother’s Day literally right around the corner, I thought I would share a few things with you tonight that as a new Mom, have really opened my eyes. And also I would like to share a tradition that we already cherish as a family that I just love.
The college years. Like lots of college students, every Thursday through Saturday night I was tearing it up in the bars and clubs. And then Sunday through Wednesday I was making awesome grades, serving in leadership positions, doing lots of community service and playing in my college symphony orchestra on scholarship.
Then after graduation, I moved from South Carolina to Tennessee in 2004. I had met a guy through mutual friends. He was a student at the University of Tennessee and I moved to Tennessee because I just knew he was “the one”.
I connected with him on so many levels and thought we had a great relationship. Yet since he was still in college, he was still into the party/heavy drinking “phase” and that lifestyle was starting to grow a little old to me.
He was scheduled to graduate from UT in 2005 and I knew at that point the drinking and constant partying would stop. But it didn’t. And that became a huge fight between us.
After all, I drank a lot in college, so what was the big deal? I was asked that question a million times. But this was different. I’m not talking about the “social” drinking kind of drinking here. I am talking 100 beers in four days kind drinking. And yes, I counted all 100 bottles.
Have you ever heard that song? The theme song in the Pampers Pull-Ups commercial. It is so catchy. I know. Lame.
But whenever that commercial comes on, I clap and sing to our little girl and think to myself “wow, Mariclaire will actually clap her hands and dance around with me one day”. But when I do this she pays me absolutely no attention. After all, she is only six months old.
But that is only the tip of the iceberg. I daydream about how she will look (with hair) and what extracurricular activities she will be interested in when she is older. And on a much larger level, during her bedtime prayers, Rodney and I have even prayed for whoever it is that will end up being her husband one day.
Sometimes it is hard to grasp that she will be an adult one day and make her own choices. That is the independence we give our children.
Don’t you dare. Not at home, not with friends or family, and definitely not at work.
Don’t talk about it. Don’t hint around about it. That is really going to ruffle some feathers and insult a lot of people so just leave it well enough alone.
Because when we are “politically correct” we are just being polite, right?
So the big elephant in the room. What could it be?