Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

I understand why you used to threaten to throw all of our toys away when we were kids.  We thought it was unfair and ridiculous, but I see it clearly now.  I understand why you expected us to help with the chores. 

Sometimes, it’s just too much for one woman to handle.  I’m beginning to think that maybe you were the Asian Superwoman.

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I get it now. Even though we had a ton of toys, you still continued to buy us the new ones because we just had to have them. I understand because even though my kids have mountains of things, we continue to add more things.

The proof that mountains can grow is in each of their rooms.

In fact, it has now gone beyond their rooms.  There is even a mountain of toys that started growing in front of the bathroom door today.

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These kids are small, but mighty mom. You should be so proud. They moved those there all by themselves today. I had them neatly put away in Jackson’s new toy box.

I’m amazed how easily these children move mountains. They do it so quickly and so effortlessly.

Much more quickly than I was, when I spent hours putting everything away only days before.

I have been working on getting Ashley to start helping by cleaning up her own room. Take a look at what a great job she did.

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She says this is clean because before she pushed the mountains of toys against walls, I couldn’t even walk through the door and get to the bed.

So mom, I understand now. Perhaps it took me 32 years, but you can write that one off of your list.

Love,
Your daughter Michelle

First Rite of Passage

I read somewhere that you never really know just how little you know, until you have children.  I now understand why.

At my daughter’s last dental cleaning, the dentist discovered she had a couple of loose teeth.  He told her that his guess was that she would lose a tooth before her next cleaning in six months.  She was very much excited to hear that.  For weeks she has been wiggling that tooth, trying to speed the process along.  She could not wait to have her first encounter with the Tooth Fairy.

The dentist was right.  My daughter lost her very first baby tooth yesterday.  This event was a pretty big deal for us.

Last night, I told her we had to get the tooth ready so that the Tooth Fairy could collect it while she slept. We placed the tooth in an envelope and sealed it.  She completed the package by writing the words, “Tooth Fairy”, on it and placed it under her pillow.  Then came the questions.

“What will the tooth fairy do with my tooth? How will she be able to get it?  How much money does she leave? Where did she come from?”, she asked.

“Well, the tooth fairy collects the teeth and stores them away.  She can get it because she has wings and she’s magical.  I am not sure how much money she will leave.  I am not sure where she came from, but it’s some place magical”, I answered.

Her questions led me to wonder myself how the story of the tooth fairy originated, so I did some research. Even grown-ups enjoy a good fairy tale every now and then. So parents BEHOLD, the Legion of the Tooth Fairy.

Tooth Fairy – 101

Primary teeth were an important piece to a superstition in Europe centuries ago, during a time when many people believed in witches.  It is said that witches would use parts of a human, such as hair, fingernails and teeth to brew their spells and could cast a curse on you, had they acquired any of these parts.  For that reason, when a child lost a tooth their parents would instruct them to bury it in the dirt so the witches could not find it and cast a spell against them.

This had nothing to do with the tooth fairy at all.  In fact, the tooth fairy wasn’t imagined until quite a while later.  As time went on and the tradition spread, the story and reasoning for hiding primary teeth changed.  People no longer believed in witches and spells.  That craze was over.

Parents later modified the story to replace the witch with something pleasant, like a fairy.  And so, the legend of the tooth fairy was born.

In America today and in places all over the world, the legend of the tooth fairy is still very much alive.  Many of us enjoy carrying on this tradition with our children for a number of reasons.

  • Some choose to carry it on simply, because it is tradition. These parents have fond memories of the tooth fairy and the anticipation she brings from their own childhood.
  • Others carry on the legend because of the innocence portrayed by children who are still young enough to believe in fairy tale’s.  As a child, this period of time does not last long.
  • Some parents use the tooth fairy as a means to teach their children the importance of dental hygiene.  Children with clean, healthy teeth will receive a larger reward.  Those with bad teeth will receive less, or maybe even nothing at all.
  • One final reason is that the loss of baby teeth is considered a rite of passage in some ways.  The loss of baby teeth signifies that a small child is growing up and will soon have their permanent teeth; The same teeth they will have throughout adulthood.  So, in a sense, it is the first step (or rite of passage) to becoming an adult.

This is why this was a big deal for not just my daughter, but for me as well.  I was happy for her because she was excited about the tooth fairy and the reward she was to receive, but it also made me sad.

I still remember the days, vividly, when her only means of transportation was cradled in my arms or carried on my hip.  That was only five years ago.  Now, she is losing her baby teeth.

Those baby teeth that she had grown, not long ago, that had caused her pain.  When mommy was running around searching stores, sympathetically, trying to find something to ease her teething pain.  Back when mommy researched by asking other mothers and searching the web for anything that could help her.

I don’t know what I will do next year when she starts school.  If I feel this way over the loss of her first baby tooth, I can only imagine that I will be a complete mess then!

Time Flies

Time Flies QuoteI came across this quote today and I really enjoyed it.

I think back on childhood and I wonder where the time has gone.  It’s like one day, out of no where, it was over.  Think about the future, say eighteen years from now.  It’s hard to imagine isn’t it?  Eighteen years seem so far away.  That’s what childhood was though.  We had eighteen years of it and it came and went, just like that.

I see the adorable posts of newborn babies on Facebook, swaddled in their hospital blankets and in the blink of an eye, they are suddenly walking.  After a few more blinks, they are off to school.

My own children seemed to have grown in a flash.  It was only 14 months ago that my son was a newborn, wrapped up in his hospital blanket and seeing the world for the first time.  Now he is walking up and down stairs, getting into mischief and tormenting his big sister.  I never expected any of that to be happening so soon!  My children are growing so fast, and maybe we did too.  Maybe our parents feel the same way.

I have never asked my parents if they felt like that period of time flew by; The period of time they spent raising us.  I have strangers, whose children have grown, approach me and are always saying,  “Enjoy them now, they will not stay that little forever.”

I believe them.  If nearly two decades of childhood seemed to have flown by for us, imagine how quickly it will seem now that we are raising children.  Maybe one day we’ll wake up to an empty house and wonder where the time has gone all over again.  Try to envision yourself twenty years older with children who have grown and left the nest.  It’s tough to imagine isn’t it?

This quote though, it is a good reminder that you are in control of the time you do have here.  You can use that time however you please.  There are places to be seen, things to be done, and maybe even relationships in need of mending.  Create a list of what you would like to do with the time you have now if you have to.  Map it out, because you are the pilot of your time.

How will you choose to spend it?