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family

The Bullseye

Let’s get one thing straight right now:

I. Am. An. Alarmist.  My family knows it. My friends know it. Even I know it…..

Strangely enough, my neighbors have caught on …. “Yea so, we didn’t tell you about the break in two streets over because we knew you get…..ummmmmmmm……scared very easily.  Remember the last neighborhood break-in you heard about?  You suggested our street hire the swat team for extra protection?”

My children have learned to roll with it. But sometimes I think I may embarrass them.

IZZY: “Momma, why did you have to run through the parking lot of the Country Club in your pajamas? You were wearing those ugly fuzzy slippers (you promised you’d throw away) with your arms flailing and screaming “NO! NO! Stop Izzy – get away from the balcony, you’re about to fall! Hold on…..Mommy’s coming!!! STOP!!!!  GET BACK!!!!!!!!!!”

MOMMA:  “Well, excuse me for living, Miss Priss.  I came to pick you up a lil early after your dance and imagine my surprise to see your body dangling from the second story balcony?!?  Why would you lean over the railing for heavens sakes, those things aren’t fool proof, you know?!!! Instantly, I imagined you losing your balance and before my very eyes, your body would be splattered on the ground below.  It was devastating.”

IZZY:  “I was not dangling. We were taking pictures on the balcony.”

MOMMA: “You dangled and you know it!!!!”

IZZY: “Ok momma.  Would you please at least brush your hair before leaving the house next time?”

With catastrophic thinking, a side effect is the dreaded CLAUSTROPHOBIA.  My children are accustomed to this as well. Just this past week in Hilton Head….

JAKE: “Momma, we know that you’re not dashing up and down 4 flights of stairs ‘for the exercise’, you’re afraid the elevator will break.”

MOMMA: “I’m not scared.  That man standing in front of us was a heavy breather and he was sucking up all the air.  Besides that, the elevator made a sound. I distinctly heard it.  The elevator clicked a little.  I had to hop out so I could be the one to call the fire department when it jammed.  You should thank mommy for being so alert…….”

JAKE:  “Yea. Soooooo you didn’t have to shove the nice man outta the way….”

And I can explain.  I have several good reasons, countless really, to justify my alarmist mentality.  Let’s put it this way. Just recently, my own sister told me: “I was talking about you the other day.  I told my friend that my little sister has a bullseye on her back.  If something bad is going to happen, it will seek her out and POW! Hit her right in the kisser! It’s amazing, really.”

Amazing huh?

When my sister told me this, I felt very sorry for myself.  Truly, I did.

But then, all my self-help reading and writing kicked in and the thought occurred to me: So yea, maybe there IS a bullseye on your back.  So what?  Maybe you should consider yourself lucky. And just maybe, from now on, that bullseye will attract only GOOD things. Instead of being a target for the bad, you are destined and marked for only good things.

And I liked this idea much, much better.

Last week, my two children and I had a most fabulous New Year’s Eve trip, maybe the sweetest eva… It was quiet, beautiful and confrontation free.  We went to our condo in Hilton Head Island where we hopped in the reclining chairs, threw those babies in reverse, cracked open boiled peanuts, read books, watched movies and hit the after Christmas sales.

For once, nobody got bored: “Momma – is this all there is?  Like dirt and water?  Can we leave early?  There’s so much more to do in Atlanta.”

There was no complaining: “Oh looky here momma, all my friends had a surprise birthday party for Mary. Here they are on Instagram having fun while I stare at dead horseshoe crab carcasses with their guts spattered on the beach.  Good call, mom!”

When it rained, nobody sighed loud venomous sighs of defeat – “If we were back in Augusta, we could be going to the movies with our friends – yep, there’s a big crowd going at 4:00.  I think they’re up to 14 people.  Yea, gosh.  And I’ve really been wanting to see that movie……”

Instead, as it rained, we all three lined up on our balcony – 3 black beetles parked on a slice of white bread during a Sunday picnic. Snuggled under our blankets (we all bring our own or arguments over who has the softest blanket erupts) to watch the poor innocent lovers dash madly off the beach to keep from getting their hair wet.  Doesn’t anybody ever look at their weather channel for crying out loud?

Life was good and bullseyes free.

This morning I woke up at 5:00 to write. Ok 5:20.  I checked my email and saw a video of the Hilton Head condo below us burning.  Since we had just left days before, my alarmist mentality kicked in.

Now, I will be honest, those people would not have wanted me at that fire.  I. would. Have. Gone. Ballistic……

I hate this side of me, truly I do.  I watched the video over and over and over.  What if it was that sweet crippled man that lives in our condos was trapped?  Are our smoke detectors working? Are the people coming in behind us ok? What if we were still there and all had on our wind machines and didn’t hear the alarms?! (This is very possible due to the fact that we all carry our own noise makers, click on our cell phone white noise apps and add the bathroom fans for extra measure.)  Don’t ask me why.  We are weird.

I staggered around my room this morning, trying to find my lap top to watch the video more clearly. All the while, my mind is racing…..

What if?! What if?! What if?

And then it hit me – settle down, sister. Had you and your children still been there, it would have been ok.  You would have known to get them out safely and since they automatically take the 4 flights steps with you, they know the exit route well. Instead of imagining you and your children being there next to that fire or worse yet in that fire, you have that bulleyes slab dab on you.  And remember, from now on, that bullseye means you are marked for GOOD things.

 

Pink Puffed Cotton Candy Head

cotton candies,food,snacks,treats,sticks,desserts
Being a single momma does not leave a girl with much time to do “nothing.”  Or anything that is considered “silly,” “a waste of time” or “fruitless.”  Especially when one (meaning me) feels like they are trapped inside a cotton candy machine, and can’t seem to find their way out ~ I need to keep myself focused on what’s important.  I am not in a particularly  joyful mood these days.  I’m like… trying to to get myself situated over here by: learning to tweet (I still and will forever feel like a twit ~ who in the poopy cares what I’m doing throughout my day, I don’t even care to know what I’m doing throughout my day?!)
And that dreaded point system that I so loudly declared I was doing… Have I really even started on it or am I just now starting to start seriously or merely considering to start? Hmmmm?  As if this is not enough on a girls plate, I’m working on my second book and gave myself the deadline of June 1. 2013 to finish it. It would be much easier to meet said goal if I allowed myself to sit down and actually peck away at the computer instead of staring at it and then madly rushing out the door to avoid being alone with it….
Next, there’s those ‘people’ I live with…you know the boy and the girl??? They need my attention too.  Cooking, cleaning, mixed in with trying to exercise ~ which is supposed to clear your brain when you feel as though you have wad of puffed cotton candy lodged inside your head and can’t seem to push past it….anyhow, you get the picture.  I’m busy.  I don’t have time to “waste.”
This brings me to my point: Yesterday morning, I’m rushing around like a wild chicken, throwing colored papers, ribbon, hole punchers, markers etc into a bag as I dash out the door.  Since I woke up at 3:45a.m., one would assume, my brain would not be all puffed cotton candy; that it would be calm and clear, right?  No such luck. Foggier than ever.  I’m tearing down the street when a Nosy Busy Body calls me on the phone.
Nosy Busy Body: “Wanta go out to lunch?”
Moi: “No, I can’t.  I’m headed to do a kindergarten authors visit this morning and I will have just enough time to get back to pick up Izzy from school.  Sorry.”
Nosey Busy Body: “Why would you bother to do an authors visit to little kids who don’t even know what you’re talking about? Are you getting paid?”
Moi: “Errrrrr um no, I never get paid for my author visits but I ~”
Nosy Busy Body: “You have to be home to pick up Izzy? Sissie, you live across the street, the child is 13, she doesn’t care if you pick her up from school. Let her walk!  It’s stupid!!! And that authors visit, you know a bunch of 5 year olds won’t be paying attention to you.  You’re wasting your breath!  Come on, bag it and come to Aiken with me!  Just say you forgot.  It’s nothing.”
As I hung up my phone, I started thinking: maybe Nosy Busy Body is right?  Do these little people even care if I come?  Do I?  Shouldn’t I be home on my computer or tweeting or blogging or something worth while?  And yes, I do live across the street from the school. Why do I kill myself every single day to get there 30 minutes early so I can be one of the first mothers in line?  Am I just wasting my time with this as well? Ugggggg, how can I tell what is wasting my time and what is not?  Oh this puffy cloud of cotton candy, I wish it would float over my head and out of my life so I could start thinking clearly again…
Nevertheless, I drove to the kindergarten class to make my authors visit.
I told the children how Bella Blue was having a terrible day, that she wanted to be the best at something and she took things too far, she broke the rules and as a result, Bella Blue fell and broke her arm.  Now, Bella Blue had to think of something/anything to make her day go better.  “Was it even possible?”  I asked the children.  Even though they were only five years old, did they have bad days too?
“Oh yes!!!” They all squealed! “I have a bad day when my little sister pinches me!”  Said one.  “I have a bad day when my tummy hurts!” Shouted another.  And yet another “I have a bad day right this very day!!” A little fella said, all puckered faced.
“Well good grief!”  I told the lil fella.  “You know, Bella Blue figures how to make her day go better….”
“How?! How?” The little fella asks all, jumpy and excited.
“She stops thinking about herself, her own sad day and she asks God to put somebody on her heart to bless.  And you know what? God always will.  You just have to ask.”
So yesterday, on this day that I was sure I was going to have a wasted dratted blah blah day, I sat down with 3 kindergarten classes and we all forgot about ourselves and made homemade get well cards for sick children in the hospital…Photo: The Kindergarten Class at Reid Memorial made cards for sick children in the hospital!  :)
I watched them, they were all so careful to make their cards just right; perfect for somebody who was sad or sick or lonely…It is the first time in weeks that I found myself laughing and smiling….  Happy.
They were  so very proud of themselves…..I hugged them goodbye and walked down the steps and into the cool afternoon thinking about those sweet babies ~  All the way home, I kept wondering if they would ever know how much they blessed me by allowing me to bless them?
Photo: Authors visit with Reid Memorial's kindergarten class :) Precious!!
I arrived just in time to be the third momma in our carpool line to get Izzy. You may think this is a time waster and that’s ok. But as for me:  I know that my time is limited where she will actually want her momma to be there first in line; that very shortly she will think I am a complete idiot and run from me and not to me.  It is these days that I cherish and have decided that they are indeed not time wasters, not silly and not stupid.  It is what works for me and my sweet family ~ small but mighty.