Birthday Dancing

January 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm (Kids, Music) (, )

My oldest child turns nine today. Nine! She keeps trying to freak me out, saying things like, “Next year at this time I’ll be double digits…” and “In four years I’ll be a teenager…” and “In seven years I’ll be driving.” She doesn’t need to work so hard to needle me though – I am well aware of the weird wonder of the occasion.

Last week she and I went to a mother-daughter PJ party at her school. She ate ice cream and I drank wine. We laughed with our friends and boogied to Justin Bieber and Katy Perry (oh my twenty-year-old self is shuddering right now, but I’m ignoring her!) I spun her around, her skinny legs flying around the room, the colored lights blurring, and my eyes welled up with tears as I thought, “This is a perfect moment. Please let me hold onto it.”

I can’t of course, any more than I can hold onto the sweet, goofy, smart, anxious, kind, loving, chatterbox eight year old. All I can do is listen to the music and find the groove of nine. Bring it on.

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Con Job

January 5, 2012 at 4:26 am (Community, Faith, Kids) (, , )

I think I got swindled today, not for the first time, and probably not for the last, but I don’t mind too much.  Here’s what happened.

A guy approached me, the kids and the dog as we walked home from school.

“I’m a plumber,” he said, “and I ran out of gas and didn’t have any money, so…”

I pulled out three bucks and gave them to him, thinking several things.  First of all, that he was lying, followed closely by, “why a plumber?” and then the constant refrain of my day, “am I teaching the right thing to my kids?”

As we continued home, our conversation centered around why I gave the guy the money.  I admitted that I thought he probably wasn’t telling the truth.  “Mommy, where was his car? Why didn’t he just call someone on his phone?  Why was he asking other people for money after he got some from you? So why did you give him money if you didn’t think he was telling the truth?”  I told them that his lying was his problem, not mine.  I told them that if they were in trouble and had to ask a stranger for help I hoped that somebody would give them a hand.  I told them I thought Jesus would give money to the guy.  (“But Mommy, Jesus would know whether the guy was telling the truth or not…” to which I had absolutely no answer.)  Finally I told them that we were so lucky to live in our nice neighborhood, in our nice house with not too much to worry about, and that it was our responsibility to help people who weren’t so lucky.

I’m still not sure whether I should have given the guy the money or not, but three dollars is a pretty small price for us to learn those lessons.

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