Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Things I wish my “Toddler Self” Knew

By: Samantha S. Daviss

As an adult, of course we will look back and say “If I knew then, what I know now”…but most of that applies to life lessons, life events, and major bumps in the road that we had to overcome, if we had only “known then, what we know now”.

This collection of thoughts and activities is a little more rudimentary, in the fact that it is just common sense, for us as adults:

1)      Sleep…it’s funny how kids fight wanting to nap, or go to bed at night, or even fall asleep to the hum of the road in a comfy car seat; but nonetheless they still fight it. As if it is some big surprise that they have to sleep. We all need it, and they don’t know that one day they will desire, nay revere sleep. As an adult…all we want to do is sleep. Between work, kids, activities, responsibilities, and life goals…we never seem to get enough of it. What I wouldn’t give for someone to carry me from the car and lay me in my bed and tell me I couldn’t get out until the morning. Ahhh…one can dream.

2)      Eat…Did someone say food? You can eat whatever and as much as you want, as long as it is healthy with the occasional treat thrown in…and not gain an ounce? Sign me up. Oh to be able to eat all day long, whatever I wanted and not be able to eat enough to put on weight because my metabolism is so fast and trying to keep up with my high energy levels. But yet kids sit there avoiding their food only to play or refuse what is put in front of them.

3)      Laundry …the days of your clothes magically appearing cleaned, folded, or hung up a day or two after you throw them into the laundry hamper. It was mystifying, almost like a laundry fairy lives with you. As a child you never really thought about the fact that you always had clothes to wear. You opened your closet and there they were, just waiting to be worn. But now as an adult, my laundry room is my “special room”. You know how men have a “man cave”? Well so do I…and it has a wonderful hum and vibration 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is quite pacifying.

4)      Bath time…Jackpot! To walk into your bath room, with a drawn bath, filled with bubbles, toys, and nice warm water and the scent of lavender to calm me down for the evening before I curl up in bed. Who wouldn’t want that? Well, apparently kids! It is a battle every night to make them realize that they have to get the dirt off their faces and from between their toes. Now, as an adult I am just lucky if I can sneak away for 10 minutes to shower in peace and quiet without an audience.

5)      The Stroller… it is a constant battle to get kids to stay in their strollers. They are always climbing out, or crying because you have strapped them in with a five-point harness for safety. If I had only known then…I would have been cruising around, looking at the giraffes at the zoo, or taking in the sights at Disney World, or even enjoying people watching at the mall…all chill-like with my bottle in one hand and a rattle in the other. But now, I am behind that stroller, with nine bags strapped to me and struggling to push it over the rocky streets or up the sixty degree incline. Man I would love to put my feet up, be pushed around, and maybe sip on a very dirty martini in my stroller, today.

6)      The hip…again, what is with always wanting to get down and walk? I would love to be carried around on someone’s hip all day long. At a higher height, able to see everything, and not needing to exert any form of energy. But now I am the one carrying the 45 pounds on my hip, and I am pretty sure that after three kids one hip is forcibly higher than the other one; either that or my other leg is shorter.

7)      The Bag…they see it, they know it, but they have no idea how much effort is put into the “mom bag”. They know all their favorite snacks, books, trucks, dolls, and toys are in there. They also know if they fall there are Band-Aids, Neosporin inside, plus wipes and diapers when needed. What they don’t know is that it weighs about 25 pounds and has created a dent in our shoulders. I would love for someone to have all my needs on hand in a cute monogrammed bag, like headphones for silence, or a romantic novel, or yet again, a martini shaker, so I can have a cocktail whenever I desired.

Kids these days (well kids of any day) just don’t know how great they have it. If I had only know then, not necessarily any wisdom that needed to be imparted on me, but just the knowledge of knowing how to chill and enjoy life…toddler-hood would have been awesome, and there would have been none of this “terrible two’s” stuff.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What we really do on “Our Time

By: Samantha S. Daviss

Being a mommy really is the best, most rewarding, and most exhausting job in the entire world. I wouldn’t trade motherhood for anything in the world. Even when I am away from my babies at my “day job”, I miss them like crazy. But I do have to admit I love using my “adult brain” too. It took me a while to be able to say that out loud without feeling guilty, like I was neglecting my babies, but I know I am a hard worker, and I am probably a better mommy as a working mommy.

But don’t get me wrong, I was once a stay-at-home mommy too, and it was wonderful. So in today’s day and age, woman have it pretty tough. We are looked down upon if we do work, as if we are neglecting our babies; but then if we do choose to stay home, people wonder what we do all day. And having been on both sides of that fence and I can say from experience…all we do is work, non-stop at both jobs.

There are those times that mommies just need to get away and collect ourselves, our thoughts, and our sanity. And I don’t mean by escaping to the office, I mean…getting away from life, from reality, and just putting ourselves back together, so we can continue putting one foot in front of the other instead of spinning in circles.

What we really do during “alone time”:

1)      A whole lot of drooling…our brains have been working so fast and are so overloaded with noise, toys, “Mommy” being shouted all day, and demands at work…we sit there and drool on ourselves out of pure insanity.

2)      A lot of nothing…when I am in my car alone, I discover that I may have driven almost 30 miles before I realize that my radio is OFF! The silence is golden. You would think it would be deafening, but it is subconsciously desired.

3)      SLEEP! All we really want to do is sleep when we are alone. But I have found that I still manage to interrupt my own sleep even if I’m not at home or the kids are away. Something manages to wake me up in the middle of the night or I wake up early, for no apparent reason.

4)      Go blank…you would think that when you have alone time, you would take the time to think about the things that YOU have been wanting to do, or to accomplish, but no…your mind actually shuts off, and goes blank for a while.

5)      Organize your life…when I find myself in a kid-free zone. I try to get a head of the game. I clean out my fridge, I straighten my pantry, and I even wash and vacuum my car out to try and get the two years of ground in fruit gummies and raisins out of my floor board. I know it doesn’t really sound glamorous, but that’s what we do.

6)      Movies or books…when we have a chance to get away or hide, we usually go see a movie in a theater that we haven’t been able to do in three years, or actually sit down and finish a book, that we haven’t been able to do since high school.

7)      And the one thing that we do the most when we are by ourselves is…BREATHE. We enjoy the fact that no one is asking anything of us, that we aren’t asking anyone to do something (like a chore or homework), and we can actually just sit there, not saying a word and quite possibly staring at a blank wall for no apparent reason.

8)      We imagine…we pretend we are in some far away land, drinking wine, being fed grapes while being fanned by some really young Cabana boy, all the while you are curled up in your sweats, no makeup, and loving every minute of it without judgment. Or you are in a land of chocolate, where your jeans are never too tight, your hair always looks perfect, and you are at your ideal weight for the rest of your life and scales no longer exist.

And then those few fleeting moments of “alone time” are over, and you are back on duty as mommy! You wouldn’t trade it for the world, but it’s those few and far between moments for yourself that keep you going from day to day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Feels Like Yesterday, Feels Like Forever

By: Samantha S. Daviss

As we are all aware the days seem to be getting longer, nights shorter, and the earth is spinning faster. I feel like there is never enough time in a day, but yet they fly past as if in a blink of an eye.

This week marks the two-year anniversary of my entire family losing one of the most wonderful human beings I had the privilege of knowing, loving, and respecting….my dear sweet mother-in-law. I don’t like using the word anniversary when it comes to the passing of someone, to me anniversary carries such a positive connotation, and this was definitely not a happy time for us.

I will never forget the morning we had to tell her goodbye. It was Texas/OU weekend, and the reason I remember is because I was sitting on the top floor of Baylor Hospital in Dallas, overlooking the State Fairgrounds, watching as the sun rose over the Cotton Bowl and the preparations for the big game were in full swing.

Most people that day were throwing on their school colors, filling their coolers, and loading up for a great weekend of fun and laughter; while my family and I were trying to figure out how to say goodbye to the woman we all loved with all of our hearts and souls. We were trying to figure out how we were going to be able to forge forward in life without her sweet hugs, kind smile, and adoration for her kids and grandbabies.

I was trying to figure out how to keep her spirit alive, so my boys knew just how much their Memom loved and adored them, until her last breath (and still continues to love them, even though she isn’t able to tell them). I want them to know that this woman was the kind of person I hope they each have just a little bit in their souls; the kind of person that could find the good in anyone, the kind of person that didn’t speak ill of anyone, and the kind of person that had enough innocence in her soul that a certain inner peace exuded from her pores.

Now don’t get me wrong, this wonderful person was no push-over. Standing at a mere 5 feet tall, I have heard stories (hilarious ones I might add), but nonetheless stories of how this tiny tower stood the test of time. Through friends, men, children, grandbabies; and just funny stories of her in her younger years as a 20 and 30 year old gal.

She lived her life with no regrets, no sadness, and no qualms. My husband and I talk about her on a daily basis (amongst ourselves and with our boys). We want our boys to remember her as the spirit and protective guardian angel that surrounds us on a daily basis; not a distant memory that is only talked about at holidays over hanging the Christmas stockings or the Thanksgiving turkey.

Even though there are some days it hurts me so much not to have her here on earth with us; I know she is at every soccer game, every t-ball game, every basketball tournament, every baseball game, and most importantly every ER visit we have to endure. I guess it’s the selfish side of me wanting her in the here and now. I know she is in a better place and out of pain; but the selfish side of my soul wants her here to squeeze her grandbabies, to cheer them on at games, and to sign their numerous casts that they have worn.

But even though she is no longer tangible to us, I know she is here. I feel her love every single day, and her protection over us as we go through life.

I can only hope that when it is my time to go, I leave such an impression. Maybe not on the world, maybe not through some scientific discovery, or by saving the environment; but by leaving smiles on people’s faces when they think of me after I am gone.

That is my goal in life, is to be a good enough person to affect someone in some positive manner. I want my millions of gallons of tears missed (being tears of laughter, sadness, or just because I watched a Kleenex commercial); I want my ability to drone on and on about a topic missed; and I want my love and protection of my friends and family missed (because when I love, I love big).

Make your mark on the world. It doesn’t have to be earth shattering; but make your mark, and make it a permanent one.

Carpe Diem—Leave each day to the fullest.