Friday, December 18, 2009

7 Quick Takes (Volume 62)

1) All the chickies are back in my nest. Drummer Boy came home from college Wednesday, although he won't be home as much as we thought. He'll go to the Holiday Bowl with the Husker band and will be gone for about a week since they're taking a BUS to California. He's excited, but a little bummed he may miss out on an extended family Christmas.

I knew from my own band experiences in college that there are some great free trips to be had from playing an instrument, but it didn't dawn on me when he was a squirrelly fifth grader who had to be reminded to practice that this could be his future. Even though it's tough to let a kid grow up, there are some rewards in seeing what they become too. I hope he has a blast.

2) Speaking of watching our offspring, we've been on a kid's concert circuit. Each one of them had a concert in the last WEEK. Drummer Boy's was last Friday, Miss Innocent One on Sunday, Drama Queen on Monday and Ladies Man last night. This is the last year we have four kids in four different schools, so that will help. We leave the elementary behind next year. Sometimes that makes me ecstatic and other times makes me feel old and nostalgic for our precious little kids, until I remember they weren't always so precious, even at 7.

3) Drama Queen loves to weasel out of us what her Christmas gifts are. She asks all kinds of questions--Is it something I will like? Did I ask for it? Have I mentioned it lately? Where did you buy it? Did any of the other kids get one too? She goes on and on, even when we refuse to give her any details.

Drama Queen: Oh, Mom's smiling. See I guessed it, didn't I?

Me: I'm not saying anything.

Drama Queen: Yeah, but you smirked. I'm close, aren't I?

Me: You're not getting anything out of me.

Drama Queen (to Dad): Is it what I asked for? Did you order it online or did you buy it at a store?

Dad (cashing in on the opportunity to drive her nuts): We made it ourselves.

Drama Queen: No you didn't. You wouldn't do that.

Dad: Money's tight.

Drama Queen: No sir. You're lying. It's a sin to lie.

Dad (egging her on, giving her just enough information to confuse her): I'm not lying. We made it.

Drama Queen: A home made gift? That's gonna suck.

Dad: Thanks a lot.

Drama Queen: You didn't make it. . .did you?

Dad: I told you we did.

Drama Queen: That doesn't make any sense. You didn't do that.

Dad: Well, we'll just wait and see, I guess.

Drama Queen: Wait, I bet you made a gift as a gag and then you're going to pull the real gift out after I open the gag.

She smacked the table.

Drama Queen: That's it! I figured it out.

We say nothing, just let her mull over her revelation.

Drama Queen: It's a gag gift. . .right?

Dad: No. We made your gift.

Drama Queen: But it's a gag and then you'll give me the real one. . .right?

Dad: What's wrong with a home made gift?

Drama Queen: You really didn't make it, did you?

It's so fun to watch. She thinks she has it all figured out, yet still questions herself. It's too easy to get her going. I'll fill you in on the actual gift AFTER the fact. I'm not taking any chances she'll figure it out before Christmas.

4) Remember when Miss Innocent One's friend said she was "too churchy?" Well, apparently the friend is over it now, because she gave Miss Innocent One a little Christmas gift with a note that said, "Thanks for being my best friend." I found Miss Innocent One's response interesting. She wasn't overjoyed and didn't put too much stock into it, like she didn't want to let herself believe it.

"Hmm," she said, "I guess she's okay with me now."

She's forgiven her and decided not to bring it up, but obviously she hasn't forgotten. Emotional wounds cause us to protect ourselves and she's keeping up her guard. On the one hand I'm proud of her for having the wisdom to do so, but on the other feel sad an eleven-year-old feels the need to do it.

5) After Drama Queen's concert on Monday night, Ladies Man had a couple of freshmen girls he knew in Middle School last year come up to him. They hugged him and talked and flirted and talked. One girl talked to him so long I finally had to go up to them and tell him we were leaving. I did the good mom thing and gave them some space while they finished their conversation, but on the way home I wished I hadn't when he blurted, "I did something really wrong at the concert."

My mind started spinning, expecting some horrible confession I wasn't prepared to hear from my fourteen-year-old.

"What?" I asked, bracing myself.

"I gave that girl my phone number."

6) There's one week until Christmas. How will you prepare? I'm hoping to finish all my gift shopping this weekend, do the food shopping on Monday and spend the rest of the week at home, wrapping, cooking, taking my sweet time to complete everything. There's something very peaceful about just being home, isn't there?

Often when I feel stressed, I find myself blaming it on the commotion, the noise level, the ungrateful slobs who inhabit my home and never lift a finger to help (can you tell this was my hormonal week?), but I wonder if the real problem is my expectations, both on my family and on myself.

I don't want the days before Christmas to be hectic, so I'm going to kill myself this weekend to make sure I have a few days next week of puttering in my house, quieting my spirit, preparing myself to be truly grateful for Jesus.

7) Here's a little something to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Have a terrific weekend, friends.

Catch some other Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

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