If Only Time Stood Still

January 21, 2009 · Filed Under Stay at Home Sanity, The All Sports Mom · Comments Off on If Only Time Stood Still 

OrologioBy Paula Schmitt

When I was a young child I remember hearing grown-ups talk about time slipping through their hands and how time flies. I didn’t understand what they meant and how time could actually fly. Part of the beauty and innocence of being a child is their carefree ways and simply living for the moment. That was me as a child and I remember it well.

As I approached my wonderful teenage years my parents actually held on tight not wanting to let me grow up and venture out. You would think with all the hell I raised that they would have my bags packed and ready to go. Not my parents. They were enjoying and holding on to every single minute with their young daughter before letting her go. Of course, I did not understand this at the time, how could I, I was a young, rebellious woman, still carefree and ready to adventure out into the world. I did not see that my parents were still clinging to sweet memories of me as a child, their only daughter, and that they loved me.

Years have passed and time moves on as expected. I got married, as my parents prayed that I would, and now have a family of my own. From the time I held my first born son in my arms I started to realize what my parents were feeling. Even though my precious baby was just minutes into this world I couldn’t bear the thought of him growing up and leaving me. Silly, I know, to be having such thoughts when your child is all wrinkly and new, but now as a parent, those thoughts were real.

When my son Tony was seven we lived in a small, friendly neighborhood that we were very comfortable in. He wanted to show his three younger brothers how grown up he really was, mind you, he was all of seven years old. He called us all outside to watch his dare devil event. He was going to ride his two-wheeler down the street and back. Not just in circles in front of our home, but down the street! How adorable. How innocent.

This same child, only three years later, wanted to drive his father’s pick-up truck. Seriously. We would find him out in the driveway in the driver’s seat ready to go. Minus the car keys obviously. How could this be happening to me? My baby is growing up. He wants to grow up. I realize

how time is passing so quickly and not only are my children growing up but that I am getting older. Could this be a good thing? I try not to think about it but as I see my children wanting to experiment with riding their bikes further away from their homes and jumping in to their father’s truck and getting behind the wheel pretending to be driving away, I can feel that I ‘m starting to hold on a bit tighter. I have become my parents.

Now my baby, Tony, is sixteen years old, a junior in high school, actually driving his father’s pick-up truck with the keys. He’s even been dating the same girl for over a year. I feel so old. Wasn’t I just sixteen, ready to conquer the world? Time’s flying.

My son Nick, who is fifteen, is taking Drivers Ed class at school. My God, not another child ready to drive away in his father’s truck!

My son Phillip who just turned twelve is starting to get phone calls from girls. Yikes! Not my innocent, sweet Phillip. He is still just a little boy. My little boy. I don’t want him to grow up. We had a conversation the other day and it went something like this.

I was at my desk working at my computer and he entered the room.

“Hey, Mom. Do you think I could go on your computer in a few minutes?” he asked while shuffling his feet and looking down.

“Sure. What’s up?” I asked.

“Well, Katie and Olivia are going to be on IM and we’re going to chat.” He replied blushing three shades of red.

My grip is getting tighter. With each day I can feel it. I know I should be a cool, hip and groovy Mom, but it’s just not that easy. What am I going to do after my children are all grown up and out of the home? I’m not saying that my husband is a bore or my life is dull, it’s just that I’m used to picking up legos and matchbox race cars. I’m used to making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cutting them in half, and I’m definitely in the habit of tucking my children into bed at night and telling them how much I love them.

My youngest son, Joseph, who just had a birthday a few weeks ago and is nine years old, came to me yesterday and matter-of-factly stated that he is going to be a professional basketball player in the NBA. I don’t doubt it as this child was born with a basketball in his hands. I couldn’t help but smile and give him a great big hug. He didn’t want to be hugged.

He pulled away from me and asked, “Mom, NBA basketball players don’t hug their moms do they?”

I took him in my arms and replied, “Yes, Joseph, they most certainly do.”

I’m still holding on today.

Creative Commons License photo credit: pizzodisevo

It’s A Guy Thing

January 21, 2009 · Filed Under Stay at Home Sanity, The All Sports Mom · Comments Off on It’s A Guy Thing 

My husband is as blind as a bat. OK, ok, not really, but when it comes to seeing things or finding things that are literally smack in front of him, well, then yes, he should be hanging upside down in a cave somewhere.

My boys think it’s hilarious and they get a big kick out of it. But the scary part is that my four sons are their father. I can see them following in his footsteps already. It is, quite simply, terrifying, a blind Twilight Zone if you will.

I present for your approval.

The boys and I are in the breakfast room getting ready to eat and my husband enters the kitchen. He notices that we are having hamburgers for dinner and that there is no pickle relish out on the table. He goes to the fridge, bends way over, shoves his nose deep inside looking all around, checks out all the side compartments, then beginning to look a bit panicky, he shuffles from foot to foot saying, “Hmmmm”. The boys and I stop and watch him, knowing what’s coming next.

Sure enough, as predicted, my wonderful husband turns to us and asks, “Anyone seen the pickle relish?”

It never fails.

I walk over to the fridge, reach in and without even looking, pull out the damn pickle relish. Blind as a bat I tell you.

Another typical scene. After our hungry family is all seated and gathered around the dinner table, we say grace and give thanks for this wonderful meal before us. Not a minute into our feast, I notice my husband’s scouring eyes. (Here we go again.) I decide to offer up some assistance before his meal gets cold.

“Uh, what were you looking for, sweetheart?”, I asked as the boys all turned to look at dear old dad.

“Has anyone seen my glasses? I know I put them right here on the table.” He responds and then scratches his head only to find the missing item.

Case solved.

I think it’s a guy thing.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Mr.Thomas

Reflections of Motherhood

January 21, 2009 · Filed Under Stay at Home Sanity, The All Sports Mom · Comments Off on Reflections of Motherhood 

By Paula Schmitt, The All Sports Mom

Hear Paula in her own words..

Just the other day one of my boys asked me what I wished for this Mother’s Day. I thought for a moment. Hmm, what do I wish for this Mother’s Day.?

I sat looking at my young son’s innocent face and then closed my eyes and began to drift.

I instantly found myself back in time 35 years ago when I was five years old. It was then that I heard a voice; sweet and soft calling my name. I turned to the sound and there she was; my mother and she was outside on a beautiful sunny day trimming a fragrant Gardenia bush with a little girl at her side. I remember my mother’s Gardenias and how the sweet scent filled our home. What a pair we were, my mother and I! Inseparable, like two turtle doves. This is just one of the things I wish for this Mother’s Day – to go back in time and relive my younger days with my mother all over again in just one special day.

I blink and drift once more. I hear the sound of an infant cooing. I see baby blue walls and a stuffed cuddly blue bear sitting in a rocking chair. That is when I see her; a young mother nursing her baby boy, looking down at him, holding him close and never taking her eyes off him. I remember this day as a first time mother and the love I felt for my child. I would do anything for him, even if it meant staying up all night to comfort him when he was teething or ill. My child was a part of me and a gift from God above. Another wonderful gift for Mother’s Day – to spend time watching my children growing up again in just one special day and holding on tight to those memories.

Again I am slowly drifting. Suddenly, I hear my daughter’s voice asking me to hold out my arms. I feel a small, warm baby and I pull it up against my body. My daughter is smiling at me and caressing the baby’s cheek. She has become a mother and I a grandmother. I am looking into my future. What a special gift for this special day.

“Mom?” my son whispers as he taps my hand.

I open my eyes and look at my young son’s innocent face. I smile and tell him just what he has been waiting to hear.

“This is my wish for Mother’s Day. To be a mother for my five children and to always have the special memories that I hold deep within my heart.”

Happy Mother’s Day to you!

Confessions of an Antique Shopper

January 21, 2009 · Filed Under Stay at Home Sanity, The All Sports Mom · Comments Off on Confessions of an Antique Shopper 

By Paula Schmitt, The All Sports Mom

Rusty irons. Cracked 1875 spectacles. Chipped, faded paintings. Dusty,
yellow paged books.

Ah, these are the good things in life.

Yes, you may know me; I am the ultimate antique shopper and my motto is and always will be “the older the better”. Just ask my sons. They see all too well how their mom will search high and low for that Dasher butter churn, even though she won’t actually be making homemade butter any time in the near future, or for that handy dandy ice cream scoop where the handle is just barely hanging on, even though we already have two others that work like a charm and will scoop on demand.

The nerve of kids nowadays. They want everything shiny, hip and new. God forbid they keep anything for more than, say, two months. Unfortunately they just don’t see the beauty in a 200 year old treasure the way that I do. They don’t seem to be capable of imagining what it may have been like for the original owner so many years ago. I once left home to pick up some milk and returned with a beautiful, slightly worn 1890’s ladies bureau. My children greeted me at the door and took one look at my pride and joy and asked if I had stopped at our local dump on the way home. I asked them to take a closer look, to look beyond the loose handles and scratches. They obliged. Then they continued to ask if the past owner had taken a sledge hammer to the piece while out in the pouring rain.

For Christmas this year the item I wanted most was a “new” antique chair for my desk. Of course, my boys thought this a riot. They asked me if Santa shops at his local flea market or watches the newspaper for a good yard sale. Comical. My quick reply was that they better talk nice about Santa or they’ll be sorry come Christmas morning. That quieted things down a bit.

So I confess. I love old stuff; objects that have meaning and have been cherished over the years. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Someday when I am gone from this world I hope that all the things I own and care deeply about will be passed down to others and bring joy and happiness to someone else’s life just the way my precious antiques have brought pleasure to mine. However, for some reason I don’t expect that my Revlon curling iron purchased at Wal-Mart will be quite as valuable or distinguished as the authentic circa 1920’s Bell telephone I bought for my husband last Christmas.

A Mother Knows She Has Boys When…

January 21, 2009 · Filed Under Stay at Home Sanity, The All Sports Mom · Comments Off on A Mother Knows She Has Boys When… 

By Paula Schmitt, The All Sports Mom

As a mom there is life B.B. (before boys) and then there is life A.B. (after boys). I question any mother’s sanity should she decide to continue onward for that junior basketball team of five. I know all too well what it is like to raise boys. I have four and quickly stopped there as I pondered the consequences of my future. Not a pretty picture.

A mother knows she has boys when…

The walls and accessories in each of the rooms of the house are shades of blue;

She gets a shower of gold upon every diaper change;

She finds that her home and the surrounding yard of said home are decorated with every sports ball imaginable;

She begins to imitate the sounds of toys to family and friends daily, i.e, toot-toot and vroom- vroom;

The television set only knows Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine;

Frogs and lizards become indoor pets, naturally;

The walls in the house have dirty handprints throughout (so artistic);

She enjoys the karate chop of her favorite action figure come playtime;

During holiday season shopping her cart is filled with Hot Wheels, G.I. Joes and Nerf balls;

Doing laundry she discovers pockets filled with rocks and dirt;

Everyday when her children come home from school and when asking them what was the highlight of their day they respond, GYM;

There is a constant stale odor lingering in the air (you know, farts are funny);

The permanent position of all toilet seats throughout the house is UP;

She can no longer see the blue paint of her children’s bedroom walls since sports posters have covered every square inch of wall space;

She grocery shops every week and the food magically disappears within a couple of days;

All her children’s clothing features the word NIKE;

She is off at a sports event 365 days of the year;

She’s on a first name basis with the staff at the emergency room;

The teenage girls are swarming the house like bees on honey;

She thanks God for those boys every night.

A Mom Knows She’s A Sports Mom When…

January 21, 2009 · Filed Under Stay at Home Sanity, The All Sports Mom · Comments Off on A Mom Knows She’s A Sports Mom When… 

By Paula Schmitt

As a mom there is life B.S. (before sports) and then there is life A.S. (after sports). To be quite honest, I have forgotten what it’s like to be a B.S. Mom as I’ve been a dedicated A.S. Mom for the past fourteen years. I know all too well what it’s like to be a SPORTS MOM.

A mom knows she’s a Sports Mom when…

She finds that her home and the surrounding yard of said home are decorated with every sports ball imaginable;

All of her clothing features the NIKE or REEBOK symbol;

She is off at a sports event 365 days of the year;

She’s on a first name basis with the staff at CHAMPS;

She understands and can explain to others the infield fly rule;

She considers the yearly school sports banquet a good night out;

She does all her holiday gift shopping at DICKS Sporting Goods Shop;

Her kids soccer coach asks her to tone it down a little (PLEASE);

She considers it a treat to have a “sit down meal” at Pizza Hut instead of the drive through at McDonalds;

She understands, can explain and demonstrate to others a reverse, behind the back lay-up;

She walks into her kids’ rooms and she is greeted by life-size posters of the entire L.A. Lakers basketball squad;

Her graduating senior refuses a full scholarship to Harvard because “Mom, their basketball team stinks”;

The high school basketball referees recognize her by voice alone;

She’s on a first name basis with the staff at the emergency room;

She thanks God for her Sports Mom status everyday.

Canning Your Tube by Paula Schmitt

January 21, 2009 · Filed Under Stay at Home Sanity, The All Sports Mom · Comments Off on Canning Your Tube by Paula Schmitt 

Ever consider canning your tube? You know that square or rectangle magnet-like box that sits in the corner of your family room. The one that sucks you in and turns you into a couch potato zombie. Yes, that would be the one, with all its misleading shows and commercials, and there’s never a shortage of those annoying commercials.

I remember quite vividly the days of our family life with television. The morning routine of getting everyone up and ready for school, only to find that instead of brushing their teeth or making their bed, the kids are stuck like glue to the TV set begging for just a few more minutes of The Power Rangers or Ninja Turtles…Ugh.

Let’s not forget the after school shows. I would be so happy to see that yellow bus pull up in front of our house, the kids smiling faces, to hear about their day, only, wait a minute, where’d everybody go? They blew right past me and headed to something “more interesting”…Hello.

How about some good, fun family time together after dinner and before bed time; anyone up for a game of Parcheesi? Oh, I forgot. MTV’s on. So much for Parcheesi…Hmmm.

The time had come. Time to say farewell to that blasted brain cell destroyer. Could we survive? You bet. The transition was shocking to the kids at first, to say the least, but before long, we started to actually communicate with each other and it felt so good. Sure they missed their shows and sure they didn’t know all the latest catchy ads. But you know what? It didn’t hurt.

The morning routine now kind of goes something like this. Everyone up and ready for school. Few extra minutes, great, let’s get some homework accomplished or how about reading the newspaper…now there’s an idea.

Here comes that yellow bus. Hurray, they notice me! This is a good time for some outdoor activities and I’m even invited to play. They actually have time to tell me what went on in school today…even look forward to it, I think.

How about that close family time together after dinner and before bed. Step aside MTV, it’s time for a game of cards and sometimes even Parcheesi…imagine that.

On a more serious note, research shows that children age 2 to 17 watch an average of 3 to 4 hours of TV per day, or approximately 28 hours each week. By the time children complete elementary school, the average child will witness more than 100,000 acts of violence on TV, including 8,000 murders. These numbers double to 200,000 acts of violence and 16,000 murders by the time they graduate from high school. Children who watch a lot of TV have a greater risk of obesity, increased alcohol and drug use, and earlier involvement in sexual activity.

Overall, children who watch 3 to 4 hours of TV per day spend less time on school work, have poorer reading skills, play less well with friends, and have fewer hobbies. These statistics are quite shocking.

With the hustle and bustle of life these days, and we all know how that goes, the importance of family time tends to take a backseat, unfortunately. Quality time together is so important; you’ll find that if you stop and listen to one another, you just may learn something you didn’t know before, like your sons science project came in first place at school, or your daughter aced her last math test. You’ll also find that you have more time to accomplish things in life for yourself and for your family instead of caving in and becoming that couch potato zombie.

Whatever you choose, regarding your tube, even if it’s just for a weekend, or every now and then, simply unplug it. Take a break. You just may learn something new about your kids and who knows…you may even like it.

Child of Mine

November 11, 2008 · Filed Under Stay at Home Sanity · Comments Off on Child of Mine 

Creative Commons License photo credit: Foxtongue

By Paula Schmitt, The All Sports Mom

I gaze out the back kitchen window to see you sitting peacefully under a maple tree, while the leaves are gently floating to the ground. A robin has perched on a limb and captured your thoughts. I watch as you smile and reach towards the sky.

I peek out the back door and call to you. You turn to me and our eyes meet.

I notice your black, satiny hair, and how it glistens in the sun. Arms up and open, you glide as light as a feather into my welcoming arms.

I stand and turn to go into our home with you beside me. You hold out your tiny hand and I take it into mine. I remember the day when we first met, not that long ago. I had waited many months for that special day. To see your face, hear you laugh, and to hold you in my arms.

You will not remember your journey home as you were very young at the time. It was a very memorable day for me and will not be forgotten.

As we are walking together you look up and ask, “Mama, does that birdie have a mama?”

We stop and I kneel down next to you and answer, “Yes sweetheart. I’m
certain that birdie does have a mama and I would bet that its mama is very close by.”

“I hungry, mama. Do you think the birdie is hungry?” she asks, squinting in the afternoon sun.

“I am quite sure that the birdie’s mama will feed its baby birdie. Just the way I feed you when you are hungry. Now, how about some lunch for my hungry little girl.”

As we are eating our lunch I know that your inquisitive mind is at work when you ask, “Mama, why did you choose me to be your little girl?”

I am speechless at first. I rub my hand over your smooth hair and reply, “Angel, I prayed for you to find me and I asked God everyday to help you and here you are. Mama has been truly blessed.”

“Will the other kids find a mama soon?”

Her concern for the other children tells me just how compassionate my thoughtful little daughter is and I am a very proud mama at this moment.

“Sweetie, you are very kind to think about all the other children. I pray, in my heart, that they too, will find a mama and a loving home.”

I watch as she continues to take a bite of her sandwich as she swings her legs, rhythmically, back and forth under the table oblivious to my infatuation.

This child of mine so gentle and innocent. I only wish for good things in your life and that as you grow you may experience the beauty that surrounds you day by day.

Just like the robin perched in the maple tree.

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