Texas One Day at a Time

The above is what we’re missing since we’re in Texas with the Littles.  Thanks, Susie Zavodnyik, for this glimplse of a gorgeous morning in Venice.  But I wouldn’t trade this week for the world.

If we manage to get through today AND tomorrow we will have successfully managed to survive five days with three kids under ten, getting them to their swim team practices, soccer practices and games, baseball practices and games, piano lessons and CCD.  AND yes, school…on time with lunches, snacks, library books and properly clothed (Do they REALLY allow you to wear flip flops, girls?  Well, no, but EVERYONE does it and nobody stops them)

Honestly, I have to hand it to moms and dads these days…the schedule alone is intimidating but then to keep track of soccer uniforms and cletes, swim team goggles, etc. etc. etc.  Erin has it down to a pretty good system and the kids are old enough now to tell us what they need and where it might be found.

Lana (age 9) actually gives me a script to say (to be a good substitute mom)  After breakfast, she tells me, I’m supposed to say, “Good breakfast.  Now go up, get dressed, brush your teeth, wash your face and come down so I can do your hair.”  And I’m not supposed to say it too sweetly…they won’t listen.  I need to sound firm.  (Got it)  And THEN I need to find out what kind of sandwich they want and they’ll pack the rest (sides and snack).  (Got it)

They whine when it’s time to clean up, groan when I send them back to pick up their clothes, sigh and argue when it’s their turn to feed the dog but honestly, they are a pretty cheerful, happy group who haven’t given us any grief when I tell them they have to get up or go to bed or take a shower.  So MUCH easier than when they were little and every time they didn’t want to something they played the “I  want my mommy” card and sat and cried.

Friday was a full day.  Three classes…stories in each one.  I did old stories for the most part…Kindergarten got Tikki Tikki Tembo and Purple, Green and Yellow (Robert Munsch), second grade got Ira Sleeps Over and Sylester and the Magic Pebble and fourth grade got The Summer My Father Was Ten and Ira Sleeps Over (they are beginning a unit on personal narrative in writing and they both worked perfectly for that.)   Jerry came in and we joined three different kids for lunch.  As I said, it was a full day.  I LIVED at the school.

And here’s what I’ve learned (or relearned)

1.  I can do ANYTHING for a limited period of time –be the mom, the teacher, the cheerleader, the finder of sneakers and cletes, the drill sargeart, the nagger

2.  I can’t do anything for unlimited periods of time

3.  Grandparents who ara raising grandchildren deserve a medal (and a lot of help from friends!!)

4.  Teachers also deserve medals (but I already knew that one)

5.  Deciding to become a parent is an act of pure heroism and insanity.Being a GOOD parent requires more than anyone could know till they’re already too far in to get out.

6.  Being a parent (or grandparent) is more wonderful (and awful) than anyone could imagine.  I had tears in my eyes as I kissed them goodbye and watched them take off on their scooters on the final part of their journey to school this morning.

It occurred to me that Jerry and I have about six hours free while the kids are in school.  Today we had things to do but tomrrow we’re thinking of going to Dallas to the Kennedy museum at the Book Depository.  We’ve been wanting to do that for years but never were willing to sacrifice time with the kids to go.

Erin and Brent come home tomorrow night and then Jerry and I are heading for Padre Island to visit my sister, Anne.  (the Houston sister!)   There was Red Tide there last week…maybe it’s gone, maybe not.  Whatever…we’ll be so glad to see them.  It’s been awhile!

And please say a prayer for my mom.  She’s going through rough times and I honestly don’t know how it can get better.  Damn, it’s terrible how some people are stuck spending their last days.

Cracker Barrel for lunch

Cracker Barrel for lunch

Block tower

Block tower


12 thoughts on “Texas One Day at a Time

  1. What a full, busy, tiring, and wonderful week with grandchildren!! Lucky you two.

  2. Hi! What a lovely post, and beautiful grandchildren! So glad you have had so much time to spend with them and your friends up north. I will certainly say a prayer for your mother, and for you for strength and continued courage as you face these tough days ahead with her. I knew you were a special lady when we met in Amsterdam, but I venture to say you are a bright light in many people’s lives. Blessings to you and yours! Becky

  3. Awesome tower…& very proud builder!

    Sent from my iPad


  4. Love hearing about your adventures! I’m jealous! By the time Mark and Siobhan have a brood, we will be “pushing up daisies”. The best part is that you enjoy and appreciate the gift of grandchildren !

    • Are you kidding, Susie?? You’re going to last forever. That’s what Calli would tell you…because you take care of yourself and eat healthy. Thanks again for that lovely sunrise.

  5. A+ Mary!!!

  6. Deirdre Christman

    Your days are busy, but they’re filled with joy. I can see you have a lot more energy than I do! I’d be flat when the kids were at school. Love the photos!

  7. Mary-What a grand time you are having!! Nothing quite like it. Susie’s photo makes me long for the Florida beaches.


  8. Kudos to you and Jerry! I really don’t think I could do it all! Has to be a bit easier as the kids pretty much know their schedules etc. but you’ve still gotta have stamina! God bless you both!
    The turtles and I miss you!

  9. Lovely busy post, Mary. You’re a superwoman! And thanks for the thumbs up for grandparents raising kids. I still don’t know how we did it (still doing it!). Exhausting, exhilarating, frustrating, joyful. We’re ready for a little rest. 🙂

  10. I am thinking of you and your mom knowing how difficult and scary it must be for you to see her decline at this stage of life and not know of anything you can do to make it better. I will send peaceful thoughts to you both. Enjoy your last marathon day with your beautiful, active grandchildren. Have a wonderful visit with your sister and safe travels back to paradise.

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