With only two weeks left of school, my kids are getting excited. The mornings are full of lots of ruckus! So the loud hooting and hollering as they ran for the bus did not catch me by surprise, until we looked out the window and saw what all the to-do was about.
There was our Boar happily following them down the driveway to the bus stop. The kids were obviously concerned for his safety but were not about to miss the bus. I give extra chores for that...but would have let this one slide ;) No amount of hollering would deter Boris and he watched his "friends" leave on the bus then made his way back down toward the house.
This mornings antics seemed a perfect beginning to the fun of the summer season for our family. Summertime is what we wish for all year long. Time by the river, bbq's, picnics, working in the fields, and the long day light hours we enjoy in the north. So I say "Let the Wild Ruckus Begin! (Now if only the weather would cooperate!)
Seattle Mariners on Mother's Day!
For Mother's Day this year I did something completely out of character for me. Every year since the birth of my first child, I have spent the day with my children. This year, I have two wonderful friends who knew I was in desperate need of "me" time to recharge my batteries. Knowing only things best friends can know, they planned a quick trip to Seattle, listened to my objections and waited patiently while I made up my mind.
Life has a way of sideswiping a person and the last year has been one where I felt as if daily I was putting on my big girl panties and dealing with it. The nice things about best friends is they can tell when you are running on empty and if they are really really good friends, they put up road blocks and sweetly slap you silly til you listen to reason. I'm blessed enough to have those type of friends, and I'm so very thankful I do.
Our trip began with Lattes in hand made by yours truly. I swear by 11 a.m. we had reached our million word minimum quota and were out to set a world record. I tried to talk my girl friends into moving to Ritz-ville Washington, to no avail. They have a really great Mexican Food place, something our little town is missing. Food and chocolate became really important on our trip. I valiantly managed to keep my diet for less than 24 hours before giving in to the call of garlic fries at the Mariners Game on Mother's Day.
I must confess I was less than thrilled at the idea of attending a baseball game. I have never attended a "real" one, and as un-American as it may sound I just don't like the sport. However, I am ALWAYS game for a new adventure which doesn't require heights or embarrassment! The entire experience from the ride on the train, to entering the ball park, to the excitement of the crowd was pretty contagious. Seattle is a beautiful city. The train ride by the Sound was breath taking. I really desired to stay longer, but Ill have to settle with a return visit.
My time away from home really made me think about motherhood, and the direction life takes women in general. Often times we find ourselves overwhelmed and spending very little time reflecting on the things WE love as women. I for one get so focused on the needs of everyone else I forget about myself. Who has time with all the carpooling, kissing every owie and making dinner? Add work, chaos and a few problems life is bound to bring, and it is easy to lose site of the unique qualities that make us special and help us to feel vibrant and alive! I faced question which made me question whether or not it was a "bad mother thing" to engage in a little self care on (GASP) mother's day.
I came away from my me time with a very firm belief that taking care of myself IS taking care of my family. Whether it be trips to other places, a new hair do, getting my nails done, reading a new book, a walk in the park, or whatever it is which strikes my fancy and helps me recharge my batteries so I am better able to do my job as a woman in this world, is so deserving of my energy. Find a way to afford the time or money to pamper yourself on a consistent basis ladies. Don't listen to the naysayers who believe womanhood equals martyrdom; that's just plain boring and a terrible example to those we care for. I'm learning this life as I go. I'm not going to do it perfectly all the time, but my hope is always to find balance and happiness where I can.
I spent a lot of time debating back and forth whether the death of Bin Laden was a subject I was going to address. I have noticed in my perusal of the internet people seem clearly divided into two camps of either celebrating his death or upset with the idea of our soldiers carrying out the order to "execute" him. I really had to weigh my do-gooder bleeding heart nature with my understanding of the ramifications of a man like him remaining alive.
While I cannot ever celebrate the death of someone, I certainly do not judge anyone who does. I began to ask myself many questions? What was in like growing up in Afghanistan? Was it in his nature or was it a lack of nuturing which led him down the path which ultimately led to his death? Did his mother hold him? Did his father abuse or neglect him? Was it a lack of education, resources, and/or poverty which led him to have a hatred toward anyone and everyone not believing in his particular brand of Islam? With all of these thoughts bouncing around my head, I took to the internet to find some sort solace or understanding. What was discovered surprised me.
First, I learned he was born in Saudi Arabia, not Afghanistan to a wealthy businessman and led a life of privelage. He is reported to be one of fifty eight children. While this certainly may mess with you, it by no means is reason for his to have chosen the path to become the leader and founder of a militant Islamic group responsible for the death of others. This was another part of my education which was lacking. I had no idea he was the founder of Al Qaeda. How this escaped me I am unsure, and I am almost embarrassed to admit it. Maybe I need to rethink this idea of no television.
Bin Laden was an educated man with a degree in engineering. How does a man who was privileged, educated, and reported to be soft spoken and unassuming become the leader of a terrorist group? I have come away with no answers, only a sense of relief that he cannot carry out any more acts of violence nor demand them of others. I cannot help but wonder if in making him a Martyr if we have not spawned a new generation of hatred. Bin Laden is said to have had at least twenty four children. Are they going to carry on his brand of hatred or will they overcome it? Yes, I will pray by some miracle their lives leave a legacy of peace unlike their fathers.
All of this pondering and research has not led me to many answers but has opened my eyes to my own biases and misunderstandings. While I still do not celebrate his death, I feel more at peace with it. This searching has brought me to a place of quiet reflection and prayer. It shows me there are events in life where the only action I can take is in learning to live a peaceful life myself. My heart goes out to everyone directly effected by this man's actions; may a sense of closure be found. His death cannot bring loved ones back, nor pay for the sacrifice of our service men and women and their families, but maybe it can bring sense of relief and the knowledge this one man can no longer raise his hand in the ordering of the death of thousands of others. I pray for the parents and caregivers of the world that we nurture and raise children to love. I dream of a world where children do not know war and the poverty of hatred. While this may not ever be likely, it is nice thought.