Who Are you?

After posting Love is the Key on January 19th of this year, it still stands. I just love my dogs.

Maybe they have replaced caring for my granddaughters full time. LOL I do call Teddy Roosevelt (the pup) Penny June (the girl) from time to time. I have even called Penny Teddy, oops.

It must be the mothering thing. It just doesn’t go away as time goes by, it changes. I like that. After all, as we grow out of childhood into adulthood and the decades that entails, we don’t go away…..we change. We evolve. We grow.

We are still there – or here. I know for me, my whole life has grown and changed and evolved. Some of us “find ourselves” at a young age. Some never lost ourselves so therefore, didn’t have to find ourselves. Some of us, like me, did not grow up in an environment that knew myself. But I found me along the way and I love me.

Did you follow that paragraph? I hope so. The bible says to train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. I’ve heard countless times that it refers to faith and spiritual things. I believe it goes deeper than that.

If you have five children you cannot raise all five the same way. You have five different people in your care and all five are individual personalities. I believe that as parents we need to purposely find out who each one is and help them along the way to see who they are and who they will become. Then they won’t have to go on that journey of discovering who they are. They won’t lose themselves in life and then have to find themselves.

Wow. That almost twisted my head. I had two cups of coffee this morning and then a noon latte.

So, back to my dogs….. Teddy Roosevelt is just about five months old now and has already outgrown his brother George Bailey. The games continue….

Teddy Roosevelt

 

George Bailey after Penny June put party hat on his head

Enjoy!

Cate B

 

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Another Mothers Day

Here we are celebrating another Mothers Day. I love being a mom and a grandmom. I love my kids with all my heart. But this Mothers Day I want to take another twist. I want to talk about my Daughters-in-Law.

First there is Dawn. She married our oldest son. Dawn is wonderful. Creative and funny and sarcastic. And she is a lot like me. We had a rough start but we hung in there and fell in love. I just love her company, when we have it, and love the boys she brought into our family. We are so blessed to have her. I love her.

Dawn
Dawn

And then we have Tineke. Lovely Tineke who grew up in West Africa and brings with her an international flare from her Dutch heritage and influences of Benin, Africa. She is smart and witty and beautiful inside and out. She has inspired me in a Bohemian sort of way. I love her.

Tineke
Tineke

And last, but not least, is Deborah. Deborah birthed two babies while attending college and has since graduated and now working. She is musically talented and creative in so many ways. She outshines me as a mother. I admire that in her. She can sooth an emotional four year old in ways I never thought of. I love her.

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Deborah

I could not be more proud of my three sons marrying so well above them. Seriously. I am blessed beyond belief. These girls complete me and my family.

Thank you sons.

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Yes, I have brass knuckles. Do not mess with my boys!

Thank you daughters. I love you all.

 

May all my readers who are mothers have the best Mothers Day ever! And don’t forget your moms.

Enjoy!

Cate B

Amazing Human Nature

As most of my readers know, I am in a season of life where I care for two of my grandchildren while their parents attend full-time University.  It has been an incredible journey for myself and my husband.  We are learning to be loved and to love on a whole new level.

Human Nature.  Sigh………

We are all born into this world with a mind that is so ready to learn.  When I began giving birth to my own babies and found myself in an unfamiliar life setting I read, I talked, I observed and I listened to what others were doing and not doing with their children.  As parents I think we find ourselves in a life full of busyness and just plain old work!  Keeping the house work up to the best of our abilities, changing diapers, feeding our babes and spending loving moments with them.  AND, don’t forget, longing for sleep and time to ourselves and with our spouses.  Our whole world changed – hopefully to the better.  Mine did.  As a matter of fact, we tend to spend so much time tending to the babes physical needs (and that is VERY important) that we wonder if we are fulfilling their other needs that lead them to become the amazing human beings they are meant to become.  We don’t always feel that we are making a difference, do we?

Does that make sense?  I do believe they take in a lot by observing us and how we treat them and others.  Example is nine tenth’s of the law – is that how it goes? Whatever……

But what about that human nature?  I do believe that babies come into this world with a need to be loved and held and comforted.  They have a need to be fed and cared for…… Feed Me!  Sometimes my human nature takes over and doesn’t want to love them right now – I don’t want to hold you, I just want you to sleep so I can sleep…….. Know the feeling?

Well, as a grandparent, I can tell you that it’s a whole new ball game.  It is not my responsibility to be their parents.  It’s a new freedom to be able to love on them and comfort them and spoil them to some degree and then send them home.  Since I have them five days a week, and most of the day, I, of course, change the diapers, take to the potty, wipe the snot, etc.  BUT, I also have a different perspective than when I was the mommy.  I get to see things about children I didn’t have the time for when I raised mine.  It’s amazing.  Well worth the wait for this time in life.

But back to that Human Nature.  We teach them to love and be kind, and we better, because in each of us is this uncanny ability to be mean.  There, I said it.  I sat here and watched as the little one (one and half years old) approached the bigger one (almost four years) and wanted what Sissy had.  Thankfully, Sissy is kind, most of the time, to little sister.  When Sissy wouldn’t give in to little one, the little one became a human piranha – her mouth flew open and she came at her sister with the intention to bite.  And bite she did!  Other sibling confrontations have been pushing, knocking little one over, etc.  All normal behavior as far as I’m concerned.  Usually they work it out among themselves or parental – type intervention comes in with time-outs and good talks.

Have you ever wondered this – we teach them to love and be kind and to help each other, etc.  But how did they learn to bite?  How did they learn to want what the others have?  They seem to pick up on all the selfish traits and desires much sooner than they do the love and kindness and sharing.  It is born in us. Baby, you were born this way……..

So, that being said, what is our “job” as parents, grandparents?  I see it as a very serious and high calling.  Guess what peeps?  These little ones have come into our charge, whether we were expecting them to come or they were a total surprise.  And these very little ones will be the people who are in our government offices or businesses or neighbors when they grow into adulthood.  These very little ones are the future of our world.  This is serious stuff.  Don’t ignore them.  Feed them with love and kindness and giving hearts.  Listen to them.  Get to know them.  Each little babe is an individual human being with a built in personality and gifts that we, as parents, need to discover and nurture them into the adult they were meant to be.  There is no one solution for every human being.

A particularly favorite Proverb of mine is: English Standard Version
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

This isn’t easy.  It takes some serious time with our babes to see who they are.  It would have been much easier for me, as a parent, to have treated my four all the same.  Even the same discipline techniques did not work on all four – I know, I tried.

So, Dear Parents and Caregivers, let’s do our best to know our children and raise them along that path.  Then, when they grow and mature into adulthood we can look at them with love and pride.  We can continue to cheer them on and we can rest assured they will do their best to make right decisions for themselves and others and this crazy world we live in.

Who could not love these………

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11018675_10204041471779489_6075986558168864039_oEnjoy!

cate b

 

Stop In The Name Of Love…….

……. before it breaks my heart.

Love is a funny thing.  It’s something we all want and need.  But it is also something we tend to run away from.

We’ve all seen others do it or have done it ourselves.  Just when the love is being poured out on you, you want to run away from it.  We start laying brick upon brick faster than The Flash himself!  Then we stop.  We hesitate, with the next brick still in hand.  Isn’t this the love I’ve been waiting for and longing for?

Drop that brick!  Stop resisting love.  I’m not talking about desires and one night stands or even about the guy or girl that may not stick around.  I’m talking about true love.  Love that accepts us the way we are – baggage and all.  Love that we pour out on someone – with their baggage and all.  Sacrificial love.

Sacrificial love.  It comes it many shapes and sizes.  Currently mine is for the two little girls that I care for.  The daughters of my youngest child.  Is caring for them inconvenient – yes – not all the time.  Is it hard physically – sometimes.  Am I tired – yes.    Could I be doing something else for myself and maybe even making money doing it – yes.

But that love.  That look from their eyes into yours.  It goes very deep into my heart.  It is a love I have longed for and a love I have longed to give.  That love they dish out on you even though you are way older.  It’s a love that they feel secure in when mom and dad drop them off.  They feel safe, they feel at home.

I’ve had thoughts lately of when the kids graduate from the university and find jobs, who knows where, and they will move and begin a new chapter.  Where do I and my husband fit in?  I’ve even thought of hardening my heart, laying brick after brick to my wall that is ever so tempting to build,,,,,, why?  So I won’t get hurt when they say goodbye.  So my heart does’t break in a million pieces when they don’t need me anymore.

Then, like the slowly rising of the sunlight on my window, I realize I can’t live without the love they give me and the love I have for them.  So, we will do our best to follow them and care for them until…. until …. until they have to care for us – Hahahaha.

I’m saying this because the love I have for the grand girls, and for the grand boys we had to leave back east, is stronger and ever growing.  I never want to build the wall of protection over my heart because, no matter how convincing we are in our heads, that heart wants the love.  And with great love can come great hurt, BUT when we surrender to love it comes around to great love again.  Love doesn’t go away.  Love works to heal, to stand, to hold  and to continue.  Love never fails.  Love is truth.

And, Dear Readers, love originated in God.  His heart is so big and so loving and so merciful.  He has taught me to lay down the bricks and let His love come to me.  And that is how, and only how I can give true love to my self, my husband and my kids and their kids and to friends and strangers.   And most of all the only way I can love my God.

Let Love in today and everyday.

Enjoy!

cate b

Love Hurts

It’s been about three weeks since we moved into our new town and our new place that we call home.  It has taken me awhile to post with all the unpacking, cleaning and getting things into working condition.

As I have posted before, I have the privilege of helping our youngest son and his lovely wife with their two fantastic daughters while they attend University full time.  That is why my husband and I moved to the small mid-west town that we affectionately refer to as The Burg.

When we found this rental we were getting a bit anxious.  We had been looking for months to no avail.  We had a planned road trip vacation to the east coast coming up the end of June into July and wanted to secure a place before we left.

Well, we did.  And we are thankful to our God for this home.  The Burg is a small college town.  The University takes up a good portion of the center of town, so you will see many students living, well, everywhere and anywhere that will take them outside of dorm living.  It was hard to find a house with a fenced yard for the dogs that wasn’t trashed by intellectual  a house full of students with landlords that really don’t seem to mind.

Aside from securing a home before we went on vacation, I had it in my head to move in a couple of weeks after returning. I wanted our thirteen year old grandson – who was returning with us to Missouri until the first of August – to see where we would be living and to experience our new location.

More on the area next time.  Now for the real reason I’m writing this post.  Love.

Almost fourteen years ago, I had the most amazing experience of my life.  My oldest son’s wife invited me into the birthing room for the birth of her third child, the one who came home with us this year from vacation.  The one I mentioned above.

During his mom’s pregnancy, I talked to her womb often.  I basically said. “Hi.  It’s okay.  I’m here.”  When the moment came and this wonderful little boy popped out into this strange world – he cried.  The nurse took him over to the other side of the room to wash him and weigh him and so on.  He was lying there on a table just crying his lungs out.  I walked over to him and said, “Hi.  It’s okay.  I’m here”. And he stopped crying instantly.  We bonded for the second time at that moment.

This incredibly talented and big hearted boy and I became very close from that moment on.  When we left the east coast, five and a half years ago, my heart tore and cracked.  I didn’t think I could do this journey without him near me.  I was wrong.  My friend Jesus was there every step of the way for both myself and this young lad.

Every time we visit our family there I cry when we leave.  So you can see how important it was for me to have him see where I would be.  So he could have a visual.

Well, on August first, he left me again.  My husband did too.  They flew away together and my husband had business so he was gone for a week.  I thought that it would be a fast moving week because of all the unpacking and such that I had to do.

It was rough.  Here I was in a new town and just the dogs to talk to.  My buddy went home and the tear in my heart hurt.

When I had children my heart grew.  But when I had grandchildren it got stinkin’ big!

I never knew I could love so much.  I never knew that true love can hurt so bad.  We lost a daughter and our hearts exploded.  But our hearts heal.  The scars are there and the cracks and the wounds and cuts are there.  I do believe that these things make our hearts stronger and even bigger…….. if we allow.

There are times I want to close the door to loving someone.  To getting close to friends or loved ones.  I know it’s because I don’t want to hurt if they leave or when they leave.

Driving through town today we saw many parents leaving their kids at the University for the first time.  I saw it on their faces.  It was all too familiar.  You are happy for them and their adventures but your heart is aching and cracking a little as you say goodbye.

It’s part of life as a human.  You have, you have not.  You love, you get hurt.  You give and you take.  We do have a choice.  We can choose to love so much that it feels like the earth flew off it’s axis.  Or, we can decide to with hold love – giving and taking it – so that we will not hurt.  That’s the worst.  I know.  I’ve tried both.  I’d rather risk the hurt than never have loved.

Alfred Lord Tennyson said it well:

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

If you have read any of my previous posts you know that I do like adventures.  So here I am, once again, beginning a new adventure.  The University begins classes this Tuesday.  The little lassies will be over to Mammy’s house and we begin a new school year adventure together.  I write this with a tear in my eyes thinking of the journey I am on with these grand daughters.  To be able to be such a part of their life is amazing.  Just as I am a part of my grandson’s life.  We still have that bond – even though he is entering his teen years – I am his Uma and will always be.

Keep your hearts open, my friends.  Love is there, around every bend and in every step we take.  I hope you choose to take the love.

The Glory of Love

You’ve got to give a little, take a little
And let your poor heart break a little
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love

You’ve got to laugh a little, cry a little
Before the clouds roll by a little
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love

As long as there’s the two of you
You’ve got the world and all its charms
And when the world is through with you
You’ve got each other’s arms

You’ve got to win a little, lose a little
And always have the blues a little
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love

As long as there’s the two of you
You’ve got the world and all its charms
And when the world is through with you
You’ve got each other’s arms

You’ve got to win a little, lose a little
And always have the blues a little
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love

Songwriters
LOVETT, LYLE PEARCE / HILL, WILLIAM J.

 

Enjoy!

cate b

 

Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes

new shoes
new shoes

Three years ago a lovely little baby joined our family. Our first grand daughter and fourth grand child.  From the start you could see a confidence in this little one that was astounding.  Her mom was attending a University at the time of her birth and her dad was making a career change to also go to school.

They needed me.  I wasn’t working at the time so I decided I could care for this little one.  I was challenged.  She wasn’t sure she really liked me.  She hated having her diaper changed.  After a few months we began to get along better.  I really think she associated me with the fact that when her parents left her with me, that meant they were leaving.  Her intelligence frightened me a little.  But those big blue eyes (eyes of which I never experienced from my own brown/hazel eyed kids) fascinated me and kept winning me over, no matter how mad she was at me.  She made me laugh.

We just celebrated her third birthday and she also has a little sister now who is six months old.  As I have watched her grow into an amazing little girl – it causes me to reflect on my childhood.  On my personality.  I see similarities between her and I.  I see a stubbornness that is familiar to me.  I see an attitude that convicts my heart to soften my attitude towards others without giving up the strong person I have become.

For her birthday, I posted a picture on Facebook, along with a little conversation we had recently:

Me: Hey Lucy, let’s get dressed and I’ll take you out to ride your bike.
Lu: No.
Me: Come on, don’t you want to ride your bike? Get your helmet.
Lu: No ride bike. Can I ride a horse (with big smile)?
Me: Horse? Well, how about a bike ride?
Lu: No bike – I want to ride a horse.
Me: sigh

We share the same love of horses – but as a child I only experienced riding my bike – often (once I learned to ride it)  – she has ridden a horse at least twice now in her young life.  And she fell in love.

A good friend said of this little one: “It’s easy to imagine you as a child Cate!”  I liked that my friend said that.  But the truth is, I wasn’t that way as a child.  I had different parents and different home life.  I didn’t have some of the advantages that this little one has.  Simply because it was a very different upbringing. 

I had the imagination and an imaginary horse.  I loved that horse.  But I greatly lacked in the confidence this little shows at such a young age.  As many arguments that we have (and yes, you can argue with a two year old) and the many time – outs she receives, I cannot help but love her so much that it makes me cry – good tears.  I take it very seriously the task I have been handed to help care for and raise this little one.

I had no idea that when I accepted the challenge of caring for this lovely that I would be smitten.  That, like the Grinch whose heart was two sizes too small, mine grew that day.  It grew more and more at each argument – “Calm down, Mammy, just calm down” – and other similar occasions.

This little one taught me about love and encouragement and hope.  Not only for her, but for myself and others.  I can see that she travels to the beat of a different drum, so to speak.  And that will be a challenge for her as she matures and goes off to school and other places where some may not understand her beat.  I know this because I go through this.  I did as a little child, and I was gently pushed into the corral and told to just obey and do as you’re told.  I made it through childhood :D.

Parents, we have to know our children.  It’s a day to day process as they grow into a child.  We have to take the time to know their personality.  You can have four children ad each one will be diversely different.  We cannot grow them the same way.  It’s work.

And grand parents, we can bring hope and love and encouragement to them like no other can.  They aren’t ours to raise completely. but our wisdom and cookies can go a long way.

I thank God for my five grand children.  Some I am closer to than others, but the love I have for them each is huge.  I pray often for ways I can show them.  Ways that I can help them.

I cannot walk in their shoes, but I can encourage them to find their own beat and walk in it!

going places
going places

Enjoy – one of my favorite singers –

cate b

 

Wonder

Now that I have the honor and the privilege of caring for two of my grandchildren, I have the time to really look at the miraculous event of new-born babies and human growth.  It is amazing.  When I was pregnant, I knew that a human being was forming in my womb.  I read a lot about the process and the birth and what I could possibly expect.  I was as ready as I could be ahead of time.  But pregnancy and childbirth and child rearing is a hands on, learn – as – you – go type of thing.  I think it is best to be prepared and not go into it blindly.  But the real learning is in the trenches.

When grand parenting comes along and you are able to be involved in their lives, it is a whole new ball game.   It is a wonder – wonder |ˈwəndər|nouna feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable : he had stood in front of it, observing the intricacy of the ironwork with the wonder of a child.• the quality of a person or thing that causes such a feeling : Athenswas a place of wonder and beauty.• a strange or remarkable person, thing, or event : the electric trolley car was looked upon as the wonder of the age.• [as adj. ] having remarkable properties or abilities : a wonder drug.• [in sing. ] a surprising event or situation : it is a wonder that losses are not much greater.

The trenches are furnished and comfortable.  You get to hand the child over to your child and just watch and wonder.  You see how all you went through has paid off.  You see your “baby” handle their babies with love and patience and things you tried hard to instill in them (and occasionally wondered if it worked, only to find out it did!).

Looking into the face of a few week old baby and seeing traits of your family and their mother’s family is indescribable. What a miracle.  All parts put together in such a way to form a totally unique individual.

Now begins the part where the parents, grand parents, and others who influence this newly formed human being, get to mold and shape them the way they were meant to be.  The bible states in Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go (and in keeping with his individual gift or bent), and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  Seems that a lot of bible believers think this is limited to raising them into their beliefs.  While that may be true, the verse implied that we should keep with the way each child is bent, their individual gifts.  Here is where the work begins.  Who is this little person that was inside us and made with our love together?  That all gets unfolded as their lives grow before us.  Finding their gifts and the way they are can be difficult.  It means to pay attention.  I marvel when I see a small child act a certain way that can be so easily misconstrued.  Sometimes their behaviour can really mean – hey, look at me, I really love horses – or whatever the case may be.

I hope my husband and  I did well in this area.  I’m sure we weren’t perfect at this.  But I do know that I have spent much of my adult life trying to be free and find my “bent” and gifts in this life.  I was raised to be like my parent.  I think it was easier for her, a single mom, to raise me to do things her way and her way only.  It was hard growing up under that.  I do not blame her.  She did the best she could and what she knew.  What that upbringing did for me was to teach me to think for myself and therefore help my children to be their selves.  I relate very closely to the little girl in the Disney movie Brave.  I just didn’t and couldn’t fight for myself as a child.

So, as a grand parent, I can do that for my grand children.  It is pure joy to speak life and hope in them.  I want nothing more than to see them know who they are and to grow into who they were made to be.  It is truly a Wonder!

Enjoy!

wingedprisms