We have to help him.

I had a conversation about my dad’s current situation with my 4 year old yesterday.

I don’t remember how my dad came up… something about going to see him in the future or going to Legoland or Disneyland or something??

Anyway, it went something like this:

Me: Well… we can’t go see him because grandpa is in jail.

AJ: Why is he in jail?

Me: Because he had a fight and he bit someone.

AJ: Who put him in jail?

Me. The policeman.

AJ: And we have to tell the policeman to take him out?

Me: No, grandpa has to stay in jail because he did something bad.

AJ: So we can’t see him because he’s in jail?

Me: Yeah.

AJ: But why did the policeman put him in jail?

Me: Well, when you have an argument with someone, are you supposed to bite them?

AJ: No…

Me: That’s right! We talk it out. Well, grandpa got very angry and instead of talking, he bit someone.

AJ: And he was bleeding?

Me: Yes.

AJ: A lot a lot a lot?

Me: Probably.

AJ: And biting is bad?

Me: Yes.

AJ: So that’s why he’s in jail for a long long long time?

Me: Yes.

AJ (Getting teary eyed): ….  We have to help him!

I was surprised that AJ wanted to “help” his grandpa get out of jail. I guess family is family?

In all seriousness, I don’t think he quite gets the concept of criminal activities and jail and lawyers, etc… but wow.. that little kid. The hubby and I always joke that he’s going to bring us a lot of heartache but there’s this compassionate side of him that amazes me. I made a voice recording of the end of the convo so I could remember the moment in the future. And I guess blogging about it helps too?

In my recovery group, we talk about helping others as if it was a bad thing. It’s linked to co-dependency and we talk a lot about boundaries and self care and detachment… and a lot of people attribute it to having grown up with alcoholic parents. But I think that’s not the entire truth. What’s wrong with wanting to help others? Service gets such a bad wrap. All the messages in the world says looks out for number one. But Jesus said to lose your life to gain it, right? I mean, I get it. I can’t give to the point of resentment. But the desire to help someone, to rescue them, the desire itself is not wrong. It’s only wrong if you are doing it to serve yourself. To get something in return. Or to manipulate them afterwards. Even a four year old gets that…. I think.

2013 – First Post

Hello 2013.

Hello blog.

It’s been a while.

I got a letter from Compassion that my sponsored child will be graduating from the program this year. I am very sad.

I am happy that she has made it thus far. She’s going to college and on the right track… she seemed to have a bit of a burden to provide for her family once she graduates though. They give an option for us to stay in touch if we mutually want to… and I am pretty sure she will want to. I hope she will…

Took the kiddos to Disneyland over Christmas break. Did a bunch of other activities as well… like the USS Hornet in Alameda.

IMG_1072

They liked it. AJ kept on pushing all the buttons and I had to carry him down most of the steep stairs… although, towards the end, he wanted to do it “All by myself.”

I’ve been thinking about my One Word for 2013 for the past few days and I am leaning towards Embrace. Or Enough. Embrase will remind me to live in the moment and to embrace whatever is in front of me at that moment. Enough will remind me that I have enough. That I am enough. That God gives me enough. I am still really liking this way of doing resolutions.

2012’s One Word was humility. Boy, I learned a lot of lessons about that. Mostly about how sinful I am. I scare my kids with my anger sometimes. I scare myself too. I am on step 10 in al-anon so I’m trying promptly admit it when I am wrong. First pick-up from school in 2013 started with, “I’m sorry for… do you forgive me?” Of course, my Christian forgave me without hesitation. Children have such big hearts. No bitterness. No resentment.

Christmas season was a little bit insane for my etsy shop. I totally did not expect that. I raised almost $1000 for Compassion. I shall be better prepared this year!

 

 

Christian Answers the Proust Questionnaire

I’ve been following Julie’s lovely documentation of her children answering the Proust Questionnaire and thought it was a wonderful idea. I’m copying her. In case you are new, Christian is my son and he’s five years old. He’s turning six on the 14th though. SIX! In FOUR DAYS!

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Having to be with my mommy and daddy.
2. What is your greatest fear?

Dragons. (We just read a book about dragons today. I guess he got scared.)
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? (Julie had great explanations of terms that kids could understand and I copied those too.)

Be mean to somebody automatically.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
When like they boss me around.

5. Which living person do you most admire?
My friends.

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

Having 600 dollars.

7. What is your current state of mind?
Very having fun.

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
When people think someone is funny when they do something cool but it’s not.

9. On what occasion do you lie?

When I do not want somebody to know when I did something that’s not good.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Cuz me and my mom are not the same.

11. Which living person do you most despise?
SKIPPED

12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
I like because they sing rock and roll.

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Because they look pretty.

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Mom and dad and AJ.

16. When and where were you happiest?

At the airplane museum.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?
Being a good spinner of blay blades.

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Not having fun.

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My birthday getting to be soon.

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

SKIPPED

21. Where would you most like to live?
At a house that has stairs and lots of guns that are toys.

22. What is your most treasured possession?
Toys.

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Somebody’s not being nice to me.
24. What is your favorite occupation?
Coloring.

25. What is your most marked characteristic?
Cuz some of the people have pee pees and some of them don’t. (Pee pee = penis at our house.)

26. What do you most value in your friends?
Loving.

27. Who are your favorite writers?
Dr. Seuss.

28. Who is your hero of fiction?
Spiderman.

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
SKIPPED

30. Who are your heroes in real life?
Daddy.

31. What are your favorite names?
Pablo. Cuz it starts with a p.

32. What is it that you most dislike?
Not winning games.

33. What is your greatest regret?
I wish I played greatest I could in my soccer game.

34. How would you like to die?
SKIPPED

35. What is your motto?
I can do this.

********************************************

I love the last one. I can do this! =)

You’re Not Mad?

Today my son AJ (3 years old) did something that he does every once in a while. He spilled milk. All over his table. It was his high chair table, and there is a ridge, so none of it spilled out on to the floor or onto him. It was quite a bit though, about 1/3 of a cup?

Normally when the kids have a big spill, I get mad. I yell. I say “WHY DON’T YOU BE MORE CAREFUL?” Of course, it’s not really a question. I know it’s not their fault that they spill (ok, maybe a tiny bit?). That they are just young children and that their motor skills aren’t finely tuned yet. And that even adults spill. But it’s my default reaction… to get angry.

However, today, I did something different. I did not get mad. I just said something like, “Oh no, you spilled the milk. That’s ok. Accidents happen.” I don’t even know why I didn’t get angry. I just didn’t.

And then Christian (5) said, “You’re not going to get mad?”

As in, “I was expecting you to get mad.”

I felt sad to hear him say this. Sad that my son was expecting me to get angry. Expecting anger instead of grace from his mommy.

And I felt good at the same time. That I hadn’t gotten mad.

I was surprised that I felt so good. Instead of angry, I felt full of grace. I felt like a good mother.

I made a note to myself to react more like this in the future.

And I hope that my kids aren’t so surprised when I react with grace in the future.

– Mary

 

 

Total side note: During this small “ah-ha moment” I was reminded about that scene in Mad Men when Don’s wife #2-to-be (you know, the pretty Canadian secretary) casually cleans up when Don’s son spills milk at the restaurant. And Don is so impressed by her. And the kids are impressed by her. And all is well and the world doesn’t come to an end just because there is milk all over the table.

Yay air freshener.

So, I go to Al-anon. There is a meeting on Sundays that I like going to sometimes. They have a room that kids can play in, with a TV and video, and videos! And toys. It’s right next to the meeting room, so it’s kind of awesome. Sometimes, other people bring kids too. But the room, it has an awful, awful smell. Like someone vomited in there. Or the room has B.O. (body odor). The room has really really bad BO.

Today, I grabbed my bottle of air freshener on the way to the meeting because I had both kids in tow and didn’t want them to have to smell that smell the whole time. It’s a huge bottle of Fabreeze. I got it for free a long time ago, because I blog over at Kimchi Mamas and sometimes, people like to give bloggers free crap.

When I got into the room, I sprayed like 20 squirts of the air freshener. I hoped it would do the trick. I popped in a video and the kids were content. About 10 minutes into the meeting, my older son comes out and tells me that his stomach hurts and that his throat feels funny. He proceeds to vomit all over the (thank God) vinyl floor. It starts to stink really really bad. Way worse than inside that room. Someone thankfully brings me a whole bunch of napkins. I clean up the vomit (it’s a LOT) and am SO glad that I have the air freshener with me because I spray the heck out of that room. It doesn’t smell like vomit anymore and we can have the meeting in relative peace.

I have no idea why today, of all days, I decided to bring Fabreeze to my meeting. But I am SO glad that I did because it would have been sooooooooooooo gross (more gross than it already was) if everyone had to sit through the entire meeting with the stink of vomit vapors filling the room.

Thank you God.