Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'm a Sucker for Christmas Lights

I love looking at Christmas lights, even if it means walking around the botanical gardens in freezing cold temperatures while your children have discovered that their favorite part of the night (even more than Santa) is rolling down the hill and collecting dead grass all over their hair and clothing. Good thing the Johnsons and Browns had the exact same sentiments. The moms were all oohing and aahing, probably to a level of annoyance! It was so beautiful. I also met another Lyric for the first time, as her children discovered that rolling down the hill was more fun than Santa too! Interestingly, her last name is Smith (which is my maiden name of course).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Parenting payoff

You always hear older parents say the payoff for all that blood, sweat and tears offered as parents will present itself eventually. I am starting to understand that a little bit. Maxwell has made me really proud several times the last few months. The kind of proud that is a little bit of parent payoff! I have always hoped he would become like Steve, who happens to be one of the most thoughtful and kind people I know, and I see little signs of that happening. Max went through a stage of side semi-hugs when he would see grandmas, grandpas, aunt and uncles. He has officially outgrown that stage and is now a big squishy hugger! When I watch him on the basketball court he is the first to high five his teammate who made a good play, especially if they don't normally get that kind of attention. His 4th grade teacher told us that Max is the All American kid. He said that he has never seen Max treat anyone unkindly. And Max is his favorite kid in the class to tease because he can laugh at himself, which I actually think he gets from me. I was forced to learn this because I am such an easy target! During Thanksgiving dinner, my mother-in-law invited her good friend, Anne, to join us because she didn't have anyone else to celebrate with. Anne is a huge sports fan and couldn't miss out on watching the Dallas Cowboys game after dinner. Max plopped right down next to her and cuddled up to her for the entirety of the game. They were teasing each other and talking football stats and just really enjoying each other, even as all the other cousins were running amok. It was a really tender thing to watch. Anne passed away last Sunday of a sudden heart attack, and as I spoke with Pat about my last memory of her with Max, Pat said that Anne had told her several times that she couldn't believe how sweet Max was, especially as a 9 year old boy. She shared with Pat how much she had loved that afternoon. He has given some really thoughtful answers to questions we ask during scripture study. One day we were talking about miracles and we asked the kids to tell us of a miracle they could think of. Max told about the wicked man, Saul, changing and becoming the righteous man, Paul. That is a miracle, but not the kind we typically think of. I won't even apologize for my overindulgent bragging because it is things like this that make it all worth it. Now I'm getting it!!