Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More in the Box Than We Bargained For

KJ brought home one of those projects the other day, you know, one of THOSE projects... All About Me. The only project with the power to paralyze me worse than a bridge project is the "All About Me Project"

An All About Me project means that I will be scavenging through the photo box for a kindergarten picture from 9 years ago. My powers of memory recall and personal trivia will be measured and tested;
  • "What time was I born?"
  • "How much did I weigh?"
  • "What was my first word?"
  • "What was the name of the grandson of the lady who lived four houses down that I sprayed with the hose?"
 I should probably confess right now, that I don't know this stuff. I am not the mother who can recall the thing you were eating when you lost your first tooth or what colour ribbons you wore in your hair on the first day of school. Heck, the other day I forgot how to print the number 9 my kids are doomed

If you are one of those super Moms you probably think very little of me right now. If you have ever had to ask one of your children to confirm their birthday or grade in school you will sympathize with the pain I felt when that first question went live on Sunday evening... "How much did I weigh when I was born?"

I tried to be the good Mom..."8lbs 4oz." I blurted out. Immediately I realized I was wrong, I could tell by the look on Michael's face. His expression resembling the look you might expect if grandma willed you the false teeth. The debate was on. I tried to rationalize KJ's birth weight by ordinating it among Lula and E-man's weights but I had those wrong too, so my strategy was flawed from the start. Eventually we all headed upstairs to "the BOX"

I have a box for each of my kids, each box containing hospital bracelets, footprints, cards, locks of hair, favourite dresses, hats that sort of thing. I went into motherhood knowing that detail is not my strong suit and knowing that I better have a strong back up system.

I opened the box, and I choked up a little, looking at my girl holding up the little sleeper that she came home from the hospital in, (she has bras bigger than it now.) I reached for the hospital card that listed her details...7lbs 11oz...."Ok, I loose." I conceded. Then I watched as KJ sifted through the rest of the box, giggling and snickering. All I could think, was how much things change, and how far she has come.

I was lost in reflection when KJ asked "One shoe, why is there only one shoe?"

I laughed, I had forgotten all about it. "Because your sister has the other one." KJ looked at me like grandma had willed her the false teeth.

I looked at her and I started with ....

...."when you were born we were broke, like really broke." (and we were, a string of layoffs and ill timed plant closures, a broken car and a house held together mostly with duct tape and bubble gum. We were living on love and fumes.)

"When you needed walking shoes, we could afford to steal the pair from your sister's baby box."

Still she was holding grandma's teeth, except now she was laughing.

"That's where you come from" I said. THAT is why I get frustrated when you kids complain that you don't have everything you want... there was a time when you only had 1 shoe.

She left (rolling her eyes, I'm sure)

Then I laughed harder. E-man's box doesn't have any shoes (yes, he wore them too!)

Gratitude that while we were busy concentrating on the things that weren't 'things' we came a long way too. Gratitude that life has unique ways of reminding you what is important.

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


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