Conquering Fears (all in one weekend)

This weekend was big in terms of conquering fears within the Williams household. Did you know that forgoing free stuff can be a legitimate fear? Well, it’s true. For me, it’s hard to pass up free stuff and when you are offered a day and night of it, it’s hard to keep your head on straight.

   
    
 Spencer’s company provided us with a free night at the JW Marriott in San Antonio during the Valero Texas Open, where they have a villa above the 18th green. Did I mention a/c, free food and drinks and 18th green? So, free badges to the best seat in the house, a night at the most beautiful resort I’ve ever seen and 24 child-free hours with the man I love.

   
    
 
For me, the hard part was the free booze. In four days, I will not have had a drink in one whole year. May 1st is the marker and yet this occasion made me want to throw it all out the window. I’d convinced myself that it would all be so much more glamorous feeling if I had a glass of wine (or 3) in my hand to really feel out the whole experience. Thanks to the prayers of a few of my friends, I abstained. And then Spence and I proceeded to have the best night ever. We had the whole pool to ourselves and acted approximately 10 years old. I think we needed a dose of silliness and a reprieve from being parents/adults. In the end, I was so glad I passed on the drinks. For me, it just lights a fire that doesn’t go out.

  
In the smaller end of our house, my son is a conquistador. He is scared to death of mannequins (we are talking the kid won’t even enter an Old Navy), so as you’d expect of Spencer, he ordered one. Yep, we now have a mannequin in our home so Brooks will learn that it’s just a piece of plastic and nothing to be scared of. Little by little, the fella is warming up to the fake human and realizing it’s just that.

  
I guess you can say we are big fans of exposure therapy. Aside from mannequins, Brooks is not a fan of loud noises. BUT the kid loves monster trucks! So, Spence took him to a Monster Truck Jam where he was timid at first and then warmed up and stayed the whole time. No melt-downs, a few jaw drops and many cheers later, he returned home to inform me that monster trucks are REAL!!!!

   
 It’s unclear where Brooks and my fears originate, but we are putting on our big kid pants and facing those fears day by day. And that’s what I love most about kids; present is the only place they know to be. 

“Oh, Look! They must be doing really well!”

“Oh, Look! They must be doing really well!”

I can’t stop thinking about what this statement means. And it’s because my best friend asked me point blank when I used it flippantly. I’d shared with her that often my Facebook motivations are aimed and bringing up this little thought in others. Lorraine knows my heart and when she questioned me, What does “doing well” even mean? I sat back for the very first time and thought about that little phrase that gets thrown around all too often.

Maybe I heard my mom saying it a lot while I was growing up and it always meant financial wellness. But more and more I am really (like really, truly, deeply and to the core) learning that money isn’t the answer. It doesn’t solve every problem and often only creates more. So, what is the wellness I’m really after? It’s spiritual and relational. My looks are guaranteed to fade. I will age and we can lose every dime we have at any moment. We live in an unstable and unpredictable world. But the Lord does not waver. And that is where we must be rich if we are to survive here with any hope of thriving.

So I am thankful for my key relationships and that they are rooted in God.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

This morning, I’m sharp. I got to spend the weekend with my best friend. We shared our souls, spoke truth, laughed and cried.  And then I was able to come home and do the same thing with my husband last night. As I rocked my daughter to sleep before I put her in her crib, the thought flooded my mind that even if we lost the house, the cars and our money, we are doing really well.

I want to invest more in my eternal wealth.

Persons’ Personalitites

As your children grow, you get to know their personalities. I love both of my children dearly, but they are very different. It really does fascinate me that two people made from the same genetic stuff can be so opposite, but here we are with two kids who act as differently as they look.

   
 
My son is cautious. As soon as I walk away, he’s close behind. I know that he will always leave when I leave and I have learned to use this to my advantage, particularly because I have another child who wouldn’t even notice being left behind all day.

  
Last weekend we went to a birthday party at a kiddie wonderland. It was a blast, but the only rides Brooks truly enjoyed were the ones I could accompany him on. We had to stop the boat and cars early so he could eject. That option wasn’t available for the planes, so he hid his head until it was over. He did great on the carousel, Ferris wheel and train, where I wasn’t too big to ride.

   
    
  
 Sabra on the other hand whinnied at the wind blowing in her face. She giggled and loved being on the move. She is a thrill seeker and rarely searches for my hand. And while B didn’t even attempt the pony ride, Sabra’s appetite was bigger than her stomach. Once she actually got up to the pony, she held on to the trainer tight and was quickly returned to my arms. Honestly, it’s refreshing to see her exhibit fear!

  
   
  

We had a great day of sweets and thrills and no naps. And I’m continuing to learn how to encourage each kid’s strengths and work with their personalities.

   
 

Following the Rules

Yesterday I read a blog post about following the rules. Let me back up a tad, the post was really focused on the author communicating to her children that they aren’t that great or special. Within this explanation, she repeatedly reinforced following the rules.

I thought about ways I break the rules, then this morning it hit me where I think I’m special. I’m especially irreverent to school, namely preschool. Sure, I get my tuition in on time and we support the annual carnival fundraiser, but I could care less about the Yankee Candle fundraiser, school pictures and the school mascot, which I translate as unnecessary parent homework.

See, on Monday, we got Huggy. 

  
I hadn’t heard of Huggy until Monday, but he is the school’s mascot and travels home with each student for a few nights. Along with his journal. It’s a sweet idea and I love that Huggy is more than a village of germs, but really I’m just calculating what I need to keep up with him and wondering what the minimum amount of work is that I need to do before he goes to the next dude.

   
 Huggy’s journal is filled with his adventures and photo proof of said adventures. They are written “Dear Diary” style. Of course parents do the chronicling, but I was so bored reading through the previous highlights of Huggy’s life that I decided to shake things up. So, for my journal I wrote something funny! I made the Williams family seem bonkers for letting me drive before age 16, eat blondies at 9:30am and dance to DJ Snake during clean up. I didn’t say “it was straight up dope” but that was implied. I read my clip to Spencer right before bed and we both got a laugh. “Nobody cares,” I said when he raised an eyebrow.

Then this morning, as I was flipping back through my masterpiece, I noticed a sheet glued to the front of the book. There were instructions! What?!? And, get this, Huggy’s adventures are shared in CHAPEL!!!! Ouch! I tore out the pages I could and went straight. I made what I could cutesy and rated G. 

   
 And in the end I found myself scolding myself for not just following the rules like everyone else. There is a reason they are there and I’m not that special–these are things I’m trying to teach my kids, so maybe I should lead by example.

Also, maybe I should put a little extra effort into my penmanship. It’s borderline atrocious.