Thursday, May 21, 2015

Another End to another School Year

By: Samantha S. Daviss

And so the panic ensues. What are we going to do with these creatures that we were blessed with for three whole months? Not only have we put the clutch in as parents somewhere around late-March to early April, forgetting to pack lunches, don’t lay the clothes out anymore the night before school, and bath time is no longer a routine it is just pure necessity when the odors begin to linger around the car and the house.

The end of school is such a joy in many ways, we get to take summer vacations together as families, we get to spend time at the pool playing and laughing, or quality time floating and splashing in the lake. You don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn any more, for at least two and a half months; not that you have been at this point in the school year. You’re lucky if you’ve been rolling out of bed in time to wake them, cram a granola bar down their throats and rush them out the door.

Your calendar looks like the Bic pen factory threw up all over it due to all the after school sports and activities, all of the end-of-the-year school programs, the birthday parties that are happening for all the summer kids, and not to mention the possibility that you might get a night off with your significant other to sit and have a breather from it all. But that is most likely not true. There are highlights, white outs, games cancelled, and games re-scheduled.

May is such a pretty month, but it is the most dreaded month for all school-aged parents. It is non-stop from sun up to sun down. You have to get camp clothes together in the midst of all these activities. You have to make sure the kids are tended to during the day if you work during the summer, and you have to come up with activities for them to do and coordinate playdates with other parents.

May is the month from hell. There’s not a calendar big enough to handle all the goings on during the month. I think May wears me out more than the holiday season does, I look forward to nothing more than this month to end.

And then the unknown of summer begins. The inevitable… “What in the world do we do with them all summer?” These little creatures are climbing all over you, bored to tears, and you just want to pull your hair out. Even though they have a garage full of toys, games, bikes and all sorts of activities…you literally have to draw them a road map as to how to entertain themselves these days.

When I was a kid, I woke up, had my cereal in front of my summer time cartoons, threw my swim suit and shorts on and didn’t come back in the house until my mom yelled for dinner. I was either in my playhouse pretending I was taking my imaginary kids to school and running errands, or I was swimming, or I was playing hide-out with my dog under some bushes where we had created our own secret fort.

But soon all of us parents will be utterly exhausted from the activities and entertainment of summer, and will have to get prepped again for school. Fresh haircuts, new back packs, an updated wardrobe, and of course the energy to start all over again. For the first few months everyone will lay their clothes out the night before, baths will be taken, and homework will be done. Then come the holidays, the homework is left at school, the clothes are wadded up on the closet floor, and the lunches get made about half the time.

And once again April will roll around and there will be no baths, clothes will be worn again without being washed, and the lunch money will have to be driven back out to the school because not only was a lunch not made, but the money was not exchanged between parent and child at drop off.

And thus concludes another exciting school year and the start of summer chaos.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Choose Beautiful not Average

By: Samantha S. Daviss

Dove soap is doing this amazing campaign right now about how women really perceive themselves. Do they see themselves as beautiful or average? They set up two doors for the women to walk through, and the amount of women that chose average during the ad absolutely amazed me.

This doesn’t apply to just women, it applies to men, to young girls, to teenage boys, to older ladies, to distinguished gentlemen. I say always chose “beautiful”, because regardless of how you see yourself on the outside, or how you think others perceive you on the outside, that doesn’t matter.

And yes it’s true, not everyone is beautiful on the inside. We have all made our fair share of mistakes, really bad judgement calls, sinned a little (or a lot), and broken some commandments; but that is not our burden to carry. What is our burden to carry is to correct those mistakes and move forward with your life and become a more beautiful person inside. Right your wrongs, apologize for your mistakes, own up to what you have done in the past that has made your inner beauty a fading memory.

Those around you see you as beautiful, so never ever choose the “average” door. Always choose the “beautiful” one. Because in someone’s eyes you are the best mommy in the world, you are the friend that’s there for them whenever they need you, you are the spouse that is there to pick up the pieces when a cloud of doom looms over your household.

You are the friend, the confidant, the believer, and the cheering squad that everyone in your life needs. And so for that you are beautiful, you are way above average, you are extraordinary. What this campaign is trying to teach us all is not to judge a book by its cover. Typically the most beautiful “books” are the most awful reads; but the “books” that have a few imperfections and flaws are the ones that you want on your night table or in your collection of re-reads forever.

Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so never ever judge yourself by the reflection staring back at you in the mirror. Be the person you want to be, don’t talk about being a better person, just actually be that person. Take pride in your beliefs and let others know just how you feel about them, the world, and the person that you are.

Don’t ever walk through the door of “average”; because if you feel that’s all you deserve then change your stars; be the person that is comfortable walking through the “beautiful” door and forget what others will think about you. Have the confidence to know you earned that right to walk through the better door.

On the outside, yes beauty is an external crutch; but this is teaching us to look past all the clothes, all the makeup, all the hairstyles and really get in touch with who we are as a human race. Be the beautiful person you know you can be…empower yourself.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

To my Future Daughter in Law

By: Samantha S. Daviss

Dear Future Daughter in Law,

I don’t know who you are, but I am excited to meet you one day and welcome you openly into our family. But only under two conditions…one that you love my son unconditionally; and two, that you accept and love our family as your own, and understand that once you are a part of our crazy, fun-loving, chaotic household, you are a part of it forever…so please don’t hurt him or us.

As his mother I was blessed to be a part of the “all boys mom club”. Which means I have done over 10,000 loads of laundry, been to about a million sporting events, and pinched my nose about a 1,000 times before entering their bedrooms.

It also means I was there when this tiny creature laid on my chest for the first time, I was there for his first steps, I was there at every bath time, I was there for his first (and numerous ER trips), and I was there for every single major life event.

This man that you are now willing to give your entire heart, soul and being to, captured mine the minute the doctor laid him in my arms. Actually before that, he had my soul the first time I felt him move in my womb.

This man you are about to share the rest of your life with is still and will always be my baby. Since the moment I had him, through the years watching him grow into the man he is today, I have dreamt about you. I have wondered what kind of woman you would be, what kind of person you would be, and hopefully what kind of mother you will be. But my one request is that you love him totally, completely, and fully. Don’t love part of him, or hate his quirks, or get irritated how he eats his cereal. Love him fully. Because all of those little habits make him the man you fell in love with.

And be honest with him, with yourself, and with each other. Don’t hurt him. If you aren’t happy, then discuss it; if you need more, then talk about it; or if some changes need to be made, then request them. Just please don’t ever be a coward and take the easy way out. You are about to make a promise to my baby, the little boy I still see in his T-ball uniform, the toddler I can still see with the scraped knees, and the teenager I can still see in his cap and gown.

I have been there for every step of his life, so now I am handing him over to you. I understand that now it will be your smile he looks for, your hand he reaches for, and your hugs he needs first. I am happily willing to relinquish my title and position to you; but under the condition of truth and honesty.

This man is handing you his everything. I have his past, while you have his future. So I ask of you to love him like I have loved him, care for him like I have cared for him, and trust him like I have trusted him, all the while allowing him the same from you.

Your Future Mother in Law