Thursday, December 15, 2011

Honorable Mention II

Going through the archives was scary business. Back in 2009, I mostly wrote about subbing. *shudder*

I originally posted this on 12/01/09. It had 6 comments. (It’s actually a comment thread between Alesa Warcan and me a year later.) Poor me, writing those early posts with no readers. I’m reposting this piece (with a smaller word count) because I wrote it from the heart.

The mother-women seemed to prevail that summer at Grand Isle. It was easy to know them, fluttering about with extended, protecting wings when any harm, real or imaginary, threatened their precious brood. They were women who idolized their children, worshiped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels."

- Kate Chopin, The Awakening

As a rule, I try not to shove my children down people’s throats. Besides, I pride myself on being woman-mother, instead of a mother-woman. But my children are still a large part of my identity, and there are moments when something they say or do stops me in my tracks. I've compiled a few highlights:

1. My daughter periodically and sincerely tells me that I’m beautiful.

2. My son is a gourmet, so if I make an effort with plating, it never goes unappreciated.

3. When my daughter was a baby, if she was hysterical, my humming would be enough to soothe her.

4. When my son was just out of babyhood, he was struggling to attach two Little People farm fence pieces. Determined, he kept at it, until he exclaimed, “I did it,” which demonstrated his perseverity, dexterity, and first three-word sentence.

5. When my daughter was two, she idolized and tried to keep up with her big brother. He was a in big Star Wars phase at the time, so she’d circle the house with him, toting a play gun and squeaking, “Byoom, byoom, Storm Troopers.”

6. My son is a voracious reader, which makes it hard to believe that he ever went through a long and painful period of insecurity about learning to read. When he’s excited about something he's learned, he has to tell everyone about it in vivid detail. I'm not the only one to call him a walking encyclopedia.

7. Until my daughter turned five, any time I checked on her while she was sleeping, she would instinctively turn towards me, and try to burrow into me without waking up.

8. My son has a strong sense of fairness, is kind to his friends, and avoids troublemakers. Because of his “calming influence”, he won Class Peacemaker at the end of fourth-grade.

9. My daughter dives into everything with enthusiasm. She has passion for anything that she does. An aura seems to radiate from her, and her eyes sparkle when she's excited.

10. One evening, my son to watched my daughter for a couple of hours. When I returned, he had cleaned the dinner table (okay, coffee table, where they ate dinner and watched television - I'm a bad mother), washed the dishes, and was in the midst of microwaving apples that he and his sister had cored and spiced. Even though they sometimes fight, she adores him, and anytime he’s in charge of her, he takes the responsibility very seriously.

I love My son is stubborn and bossy (like me), but can be so thoughtful that my heart swells. My daughter is easy-going (except when she’s not), and possesses an intuition to gauge people’s moods, and responds accordingly. My son screams like a banshee when he’s angry, and my daughter has a gift of throwing herself on the ground when she’s furious. Sometimes I’m enraged when they behave this way, and work on teaching them self-control, but other times, I have to smother a smile.

Before I had children, I was sure that differences in gender were nurture, rather than nature. Then my son turned one, and everything that had wheels and could move, became sources of fascination: police, fire trucks, construction vehicles, guns, Star Wars, army, and World War II. When he turned two, I bought him a doll and carriage, which he had zero interest in. When my baby daughter had only begun sitting, she’d gravitate towards baby dolls and pretend to be their mother. As soon as she turned two, her favorite color became pink, which lasted five years. Although she’d play war with her brother, she used her pastel dolls and animals alongside his army guys. In other words, they've learned to compromise in unique ways.

I learn something from my own children every day. Raising them is a privilege. And having the luxury of time to do so is an honor.

For other blogfest entries starting 12/16, click HERE!


  1. What a sweet post. Your children sound so wonderfully unique and strong! I loved reading more about them.

  2. This is wonderful, Theresa! It is a blessing to be a parent, isn't it? I am positive that I learned more raising my children than I actually taught them.

    Have a great weekend!

  3. They both sound like a lovely mixture of you (and your hubby, I'm sure:)
    One thing I love about my children is that they can both sing like angels, a gift from my mother:)

  4. It was good the first time and it still is!
    I'm glad your newer readers get to read this piece too! : j

  5. What a lovely post. I was surprised by how much nature had a hand in my children's personalities too. I have twin girls and they couldn't be more different :-)

  6. I didn't start liking pink until I was 39! LOL!

    Awwww your kids are adorable! and please don't shudder about your earlier subbing posts!!! They still featured largely when I followed your blog and they were as amazingly written as any of your writerly posts!! Yay!

    Take care

  7. Beautiful! The post certainly came from your heart. I'm learning how fast they grow up and change into these people independent of their parents with my own children. How I love watching them take on the world!

    I love watching them interact as different genders too. :o) Makes me smile. Thanks for sharing, my friend!

  8. This makes me appreciate my children all the more. Great post!

  9. Hi,

    Lovely reflective post! Kids can be such fun, horror moments lost in the glow of good times. ;)


  10. A lovely post Theresa, which deserves a wide audience. Very heart warming.

    Mine will be up soon.


  11. Your children are very special and I enjoyed reading about your
    relationship with them. Excellent choice for re-sharing!! Thank you for
    taking part! :)

  12. @ Kelly, thank you. I'm proud of them. Sometimes I think they're turning out well DESPITE my bad influence.

    @ Karen, being a parent makes me feel like I'm a better person too. I've learned a lot as well. Like how to be more patient...

    @ Brigid, singing like angels? That must be lovely. It's interesting to see what they inherit. I hope my children got all the best of us and none of the bad.

    @ Alesa, thank you. Think, if you had never commented, it would've had 0 comments.

    @ Sarah, I believe you. My mother is a twin. While the sisters share similarities, they are two completely different people.

    @ Old Kitty, now my daughter's favorite color is black. She asked if she could color her walls black when she got her own room. She's 9. Aack! We compromised by promising to paint 1 chalkboard wall.

    I remember your nice comments on my sub posts.

    @ Jackee, thanks for visiting. The transition from smushy, sweet-smelling baby to own person is amazing.

    @ JA Bennett, thank you! It's nice to take time and reflect once in a while, isn't it?

    @ Francine, I agree. I'm lucky to say we have more good times than horrors. I'm glad they don't bicker more often because it drives me crazy! When summer ends, I get melancholy to lose the extra time with them.

    @ Denise, thanks. I'll keep an eye out for your post! I'm spending tomorrow (in the US) visiting the deja vu participants.

  13. Oh dang, I have to pull out this level for the Deja Vu fest? lol

    Theresa you did it again. I don't want kids and I've never seen the benefit of having them but this is possibly the first post that made me see such a wonderful and appealing side to being a mother! (Remember I told you a while back I wish I had a mom like you?)

  14. I don't have kids but I do love being around them and yours sound like great ones. Wonderful entry. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  15. Very sweet... I have a son and stepdaughter, and they amaze me day after day. My son loves to read and make up awesome stories. I love it!

  16. This is beautiful, Theresa. I'm glad you reposted it.

  17. There should be more mothers like you. Your children sound great, and I bet that they'll grow up to follow your example.

  18. Lovely post - definitely straight from the heart! And yes, it's a real blessing to be a parent!

  19. What a sweet post! They sound like lovely children! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Children are such a blessing. I love looking back. And I love seeing how our children are just like us - the good and the bad!

  21. This is a beautiful post, Theresa. I love the "Byoom, byoom, Storm Troopers." I always love posts like this :)

  22. Lovely, lovely stuff! I love how each of your points demonstrates your son's quiet, persistent personality and your daughter's outgoing, enthusiastic one. Isn't that fun? They're like little inspirational characters. Too cute, and such a great post. (Also love the Chopin quote... :o) <3

  23. What a lovely post! Your kids are AMAZING. Seriously.

    Thanks so much for participating in the Blogfest!

  24. Reading your words here makes me wonder what your mother might have written about you when you were that young and if blogs had been around. This is a great window into a universe that I don't live in (because I as yet don't have children). Thanks for sharing it. You sound very blessed.

  25. Aw that's such a sweet post. Hopefully one day I will be as devoted to my children. :-)

  26. This is AMAZING (and so are your children)!!! And you're right about the "nature" thing, of course with exceptions (and those exceptions should be "nurtured")!!!

  27. Great post. And I found the same thing with my kids. They are very different people right out of the chute, so to speak.

    "it never goes unappreciated."

    Therein lies the inspiration for much in my life.

  28. A great attitude toward child-rearing. Parenting is a sacrifice, but for me it was well worth it.

    I can relate to having those early posts with no readers. This one that you've posted today on it's original appearance got 6 more comments than the one I've reposted. I went for quite a while with no comments on most of my blog posts. It can get pretty lonely.

    Tossing It Out

  29. Great posts. Children are wonderful. Even when they grow up, they're still wonderful children.

  30. Both your kids sound like such pleasures! (And you sound like a fantastic mom!) I hope to be as lucky when I have kids one day.

  31. I have six children, five girls and one boy. My boy is number 3. Even in the midst of all these girls, he naturally exerts his male-ness. The way he plays is very different from his female siblings. All this is nature, not nurture. We didn't push any of them into stereotypical roles. Raising kids certainly is a privilege and an education--about them, but more about yourself.

  32. Great list--kids are awesome,right? Mine gave me my favorite "job."
    I love that your daughter could be soothed via humming--mine preferred the vacuum. :)

  33. Aww, sweet post, and I think you've got 2 amazing kids!

  34. What a lovely post, Theresa, and well worth another read. Those are beautiful observations about your children--showing your love for them instead of simply telling :)

  35. I love this post, Theresa. So sweet and wonderful, jam packed with a mother's love. I'm so glad you reposted it!

  36. What a wonderful post! I enjoyed it so much! It makes me think of all those little things you love about your kids, both now and when they were younger. It goes by so fast - my oldest is a freshman in college this year. How did THAT happen?! It seems like just yesterday she was cheering my son on (literally!) in his attempts at potty training :)

  37. Aw! Children are the best! This is so sweet. Great post!

  38. What a lovely tribute to your children. Thanks for sharing!

  39. Aww, the things we remember as mothers. Each stage changes so fast! I agree that boys come to us liking things with wheels, and girls come liking pink, for the most part. I'm glad you have one of each so you can enjoy having a son and a daughter. It makes me realize how blessed I am to have three and a half!

  40. This is a beautiful, sweet post, Theresa. Your children are fantastic. :)

    Have a great weekend.

  41. @ DL, thanks for thinking of such an excellent blogfest. I'm glad you were finally able to leave a comment after being the first one to leave a comment, according to my e-mail.

    @ Sophia, you're too funny! Be happy it wasn't the drudgery of subbing I pulled instead.

    I do remember you saying that part about me being a mother. I wonder if my kids are that thrilled with me!

    @ Jules, I know what you mean. Maybe I'm biased, but I enjoy being around mine. Usually.

    @ Alexia, that sounds so cute! Nothing like the imagination of kids.

    @ Carol, thank you. I appreciate your comment.

    @ Neurotic Workaholic, thanks. I think you're giving me too much credit. They are so strongly who they are and I just try to steer.

    @ MISH, thanks! I appreciate your visit.

    @ JC, thanks. They have their moments!

    @ Laura, it's so true. When my son is stubborn and opinionated, I want him to be less like me. But I love his strong sense of right and wrong.

  42. @ Len Lambert, I love when they find a way to play together despite their gender and age differences. Just last night, they had some game going on for hours. I let my daughter stay up late because I didn't want to ruin the fun.

    @ LTM, it was fun to reflect on that post two years later. They are those people, only more so. My daughter is less dramatic (slightly) and my son is a little more reasonable (usually). Observing people I know so closely does make it easier to write characters!

    @ Lydia, thanks. That's sweet of you to say. And thank you for hosting such an excellent blogfest.

    @ Michael, my mother stereotyped my sister and me from an early age. I was the 'artistic' one while my sister was the 'smart' one. My mother didn't think of us as much as she thought about herself. I actually wrote a post about how I had to shed her version of me in order to become myself.

    I do remember I was shy around strangers, talked to much in school, and thought about things deeply. People came to me with their problems and I dispensed advice freely.

    @ Misha, I think for many, having children is transformative. It can't help but become mostly about them. You'll do great!

    @ Christina, I couldn't agree more. I am always nurturing those bits that don't stereotype them as a certain gender.

    @ Donna, thanks for the comment. We can bemoan what we have or appreciate what we do have. It's much better to live life in the latter camp, right?

    @ Arlee, ha! If Alesa hadn't gone into my archives a year later, I would've had 0 comments. I know my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, husband, and sister read it originally, but they didn't comment.

  43. @ Helen, I'm sure I'll never stop being a parent. I can't imagine what it will be like when they're adults.

    @ Shelley, thank you. That's very sweet. Sometimes I think they're who they are despite me.

    @ The Golden Eagle, thank you.

    @ Margo, thanks! I appreciate it.

    @ Colin, thanks for commenting. It's nice to have children of both genders because I think they learn a lot of from one another. It makes them better boyfriends/girlfriends in the future.

    @ Coleen, I love my job too. If only it made better... The vacuum is a pretty neat trick, though I have to say less convenient when the kids are getting shots at the doctor's office!

    @ Krispy, thank you!

    @ Sarah, thanks. I hope they read these posts when they're older, so they know how I feel about them in a 'show' rather than 'tell', as you point out.

    @ LynNerdKelley, thank for reading the post!

    @ Susanna Leonard Hill, it does go by too fast. I can't imagine what life will be like when one and then the other go to college.

    As for potty training - glad that's over!

    @ Nisa, thank you!

    @ Vicki, thank you for reading the post!

    @ Emily, thanks. 3 and a half? A pet?

    @ Medeia, thank you. You had a great weekend too.

    @ Alex, thanks! I like 'em.

  44. Wonderful! Your kids sound like my kids. (The coffee table) Uh, er, yeah, I'm a bad mommy too.

    It is an honor. And you know what? The older they have gotten, the more they have taught me. Ha!

    Your kids sound fantastic! They are our future leaders, my friend.

    Merry Christmas.

  45. Wonderful post, Theresa. Your children are so sweet as wel as strong.


  46. Awww, Theresa...Thanks for sharing this part of your life with us. :) It was really precious.

  47. I loved 'meeting' your amazing children through you, Theresa. They sound amazing. Thanks so much for reposting this wonderful post.

  48. So sweet! I love seeing posts like this. Something to treasure for when your children can older. You're obviously one very proud mama.

  49. Lovely that you reposted about your kids. They sounds wonderful and your are so fortunate . . . they are, too!

    Have a great holiday with your family. See you in 2012.

  50. That's a beautiful post. You have such great children! I like that they learned to compromise with playing soldiers, but including the dolls with the army figurines.

  51. I call my son a walking encyclopedia too. Good choice for a repost. Written from the heart.

  52. What a sweet post (and the perfect time of year for it)! Sometimes we should remind ourselves (and others) of how great our kids our. Too often we get bogged down in the day to day defiance and hard-to-wake-up and homework help. I feel so lucky to have such wonderful kids. They're smart and funny and they like all kinds of foodie foods.

    Happy Holidays, Theresa!

  53. LOVE this repost - so glad you chose it! :)

    My views on the nature/nurture debate when my son grew so differently from my daughter! :)

  54. Wow, great post Theresa! Your children sound amazing, and they're lucky to have you as their mother. I smiled at your son winning Class Peacemaker - that's a wonderful quality, and I bet that takes him far in life. :)

  55. I'm just getting around to reading the deja vu posts (busy taking care of two kids who just had surgery).

    I loved reading about your kids and mothering. There's something about seeing children grow and mature that takes your breath away. Thanks for sharing!

  56. I don't have children, but I could make a list of wonderful things about my husband!

  57. I like the posts you write about your children. Perhaps your love for them gives those posts the extra umph they need. Good companions to this one I think would be the one where you point out how your son described the boy at the park by his shirt instead of his skin color and the one with your daughter and the dancer.

  58. That was lovely, glad you reposted it:) I felt the same re nature/nurture and gender till I had boys... certain differences seem to be inate:) Merry Christmas to you and yours x

  59. Your post made me smile. YOu should print this out and save it to give to them. :-)

  60. Beautiful post and I love your last lines. It is a wise person that learns from their children and appreciates ALL the moments. :-) Love these blogfests and finding new bloggers. Happy Holidays!

  61. Here from the blogfest!

    This is a sweet post. How I miss my son being young.

  62. What a fun idea for a blogfest. Wish I'd known about it. :)

    Happy holidays to you! Good luck with your move.

  63. @ Robyn, glad to know I'm not the only bad mother.

    ; )

    That's funny about leaders. I used to say my son would make an excellent dictator of his own country. But then he won 'Class Peacemaker' in 4th-grade. Now my daughter is in 4th and her teacher wants her to take on an even bigger leadership role since she's a role model.

    I hope when they become leaders, they support me in my full-time writing career.

    @ Romance Reader/Riya, thanks. I appreciate the nice words.

    @ Sharon, thanks for reading it. I try not to do too many child posts. Too schmaltzy.

    @ Nas, thank you. I loved seeing your family photos recently on Facebook.

    @ Carolina, I am proud. Most days. I like writing some of these details down. Its easy to forget them with time.

    @ Jennifer, thanks. Now that my son is in middle school, his sense of fairness is even a bigger asset.

    @ Connie, I hope everyone is feeling better. Don't feel bad about not rushing to respond to posts. There were over 200 of them and this is a busy time of year as it is.

    @ L Diane Wolfe, you should make a list. He'd probably appreciate it!

    @ Cleemckenzie, thanks! That's sweet of you to say.

    @ CD Meetens, now they find common ground by practicing taekwondo together. I hope they always remain close.

    @ LG Smith, it's nice when our kids like a subject so passionately, they become walking encyclopedias!

    @ Vicki, it's so true. Kids demand much in way of time and patience and energy. But they give much too.

    @ Jemi, the nature-nurture is so true. While my son is sensitive, his interests are studying battles, cool cars, and other "boy" interests.

    @ Brooke, thank you. I try not to write posts about my children too often because I figure parents are always enamored of their children more than anyone else (except maybe grandparents). I guess anytime we write from an emotional place, it makes our writing stronger.

    @ Missed Periods, thank you!

    @ Words a Day, while different genders can share personality traits, what they want to play with is pretty stereotypical. I remember going through so much trouble finding "girl" Legos for my daughter so she could build. She didn't really want to build.

    @ Jennifer, I will share these posts with them someday. I'm glad I've recorded a few of these moments so I'll remember them more clearly.

    @ Tracy Jo, thank you. I appreciate your comment. And yes, it is great to meet new bloggers through blogfests.

    @ Em, thanks for visiting. I'm trying to savor every moment because time seems to be slipping through my fingers. How is m son 13 already? And my 9-year-old is clearly not a baby anymore!

    @ LR, over 200 people signed up. Can you believe it?

    Happy holidays to you too.

  64. Hey, Theresa. Sounds like you have a pair of wonderful kids.

    All the best for Christmas!

  65. Aw, your kids are fabulous! So funny about the gender comment. We did the same thing, and my son was excited about trucks he saw from our car when he was six months old! I, by the way, haven't subbed in a long time, but I plan to start soon--possibly this spring, but probably in the fall. Maybe I should check out those posts! :)

  66. How adorable. I can see why your children make you smile.

  67. Your kids sound like amazing individuals, and I'm so glad I got to read about them. It makes my heart ache for my nephews, though.

  68. Very introspective and beautiful. You should frame this post and give each of your children a copy. Though I'd wait until they were older. Thanks for sharing this.

  69. Well you most certainly got more than six comments this time round. Well done you!!! Have a wonderful New Year Theresa!

  70. @ JL Campbell, thank you. I hope you had a nice Christmas. Happy New Year!

    @ Dawn, I do have a few advice sub posts. Good luck when you sub again. Happy New Year!

    @ Clarissa, thank you. Happy New Year!

    @ The Blogger Girlz, you sound like my sister. She treats my children better than I do! Happy New Year!

    @ Andrea, I think you're right - I'll wait until they're older to share this post with my children. If I showed it to my son now, he'd probably tell me to take it down. Happy New Year!

    @ Ann, nothing like a blogfest to get you lots of comments. Happy New Year!

  71. This was a really sweet post! It's good to gush about your children every now and again.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog during the blogfest last month!