Raising children is hard enough on the best of days. As they grow up and start to get a mind of their own (what they can think for themselves now??) the arguing starts. Although I don’t remember arguing with my parents as much as my children argue with me, it seems it is the sign of the times. I am sure I did, but I also knew that when my parents said ‘no’ or ‘go clean your room’ we seemed to just do it. Because they were the parents.
When asked ‘why’ when the answer is no, I often have used the good old fashioned, ‘because I said so’. This was old when I was a kid, so I am feeling like it is old now too. Or I was until I attended the Dad2.0 conference in Washington D.C in February. I was there as wing woman with Julia Rosien and Restonic Mattress ,who was one of the sponsors. On the second full day of the conference Michael Strahan was there doing a Q&A that mostly talked about healthy living and waking up happy. One of the questions asked by the audience was, “How to you get your kids to stop eating junk food?” Michael’s response has stayed with me since February and has changed the way I answer my own kids when they don’t want to do something or I just say ‘no’.
Michael’s response was “Just say no.” and then, very animatedly “Because you are the Parent”!! Brilliant! Why should we even be questioning this? Have we come so far into a different world that we have grown up with that our own kids feel they have a choice in each and every thing?
I will be the first to admit that sometimes just letting them do whatever, eat whatever, wear whatever for the sake of not arguing seems like the easier way out. But since I have tacked on, “Because I am the Parent!” when my children as ‘why’ or ‘why not’ my life has become increasingly easier. They have nothing to say to that because it is true. It ends the argument right there. They may still ask for clarification on why I said no, but I don’t always give them more than that. I shouldn’t have to because…. wait for it…. I am the Parent!
My cousin passed away recently and so unexpectedly that it leaves just a wee little hole in my heart. We had not seen each other in person in many years, however, we had some great phone calls. Some on purpose some accidentally dialed.
Way back when, he lived with us, I think I was around 10 or 11, but I remember him staying with us and it was like we had a brother for a while amist all us girls. I would like to say he was here for a year, but it may have only been 6 months. For some reason I related to him in ways that I did not with others. He was a straight shooter, no fuss, no bs, if he disagreed with something he let you know or called you out on it. He was a gifted man with a generous heart.
Not long after he lived with us, he left the East to work in the forestry industry in West. Not an easy life to live in a remote town, but he did it and did it successfully, only returning to the East a handful of times over the years. It is there that he married an amazing woman and created a family. A family to be proud of.
Last week he would have turned 54, to me that is just too young to say goodbye. He left behind four wonderful children, who will miss him dearly but will carry him with them where ever they go. My heart goes out to my younger cousins who must go on without their Dad. He may not have done things the way others would have but that just wasn’t his way. He was the guy who danced to a different tune. He would give you the shirt off his back if you said you needed it, even if it was his only shirt. His laugh was contagious and his smile will forever be ingrained in my mind.
You will be missed. Until We Meet Again.
Two of my favorite images I have of him (both scanned from film prints taken 25-30 years ago).
The crazy thing about living out in the country (even when you are really not that far in the country) is the amazing sunrises! Each and every day we see something new and beautiful. Sometimes it is hard not to share every morning, since each of them are different and amazing, but I can see it getting old sharing every day.
We don’t take it for granted one little bit, this amazing place we call home. Sometimes it is hard to believe this is where we live when not even a year ago we were surrounded by too many people and couldn’t see the sunrise until lit had risen over top of all the other houses.
As we continue are transition into country living, we find that getting around the city is actually easier from out here (unless it is snowing, then nobody goes anywhere), which is somewhat ironic since you would think closer to the city meant easier. Just getting out of the neighborhood traffic added an additional 10-25 minutes of driving depending on the time of day. We now just skirt around all of that and get to our destinations faster. It has been a nice bonus to our move.
Over the holidays we continued with a few final pieces to our kitchen reno and it is almost ready for a final reveal. Our main floor will now be complete and we can focus on the last couple of rooms in our upstairs. We have two smaller bedrooms, one is the master and one is my office, although the layout will stay the same we are considering opening them up to look like one big room. This will have to wait for the warmer weather so, I think (hope) we are done for the winter months and can just enjoy.