Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Oscar Speech (of sorts)

When I was a little girl, I just KNEW I would one day stand before an audience of millions and thank everyone I knew for my great honor of achieving the gold statue of acting. I started practicing when I was 8. At that point in my life I didn't have very many people to thank. But every year I rearrange my speech. I add, I take away.

One year I was so tired and the Oscars had gone on so loonnnnngggggg, and that one dude practically had a heart-attack screaming his gratitude that I decided when I won MY oscar I would say only "Thank You." and then get down. I think that was when I was 25.

So today, at the age of 36 I woke up and decided I was never going to win an oscar. Crazier things have happened, but when I got out of bed this morning I noticed I suddenly (SUDDENLY) had jowls. My back made an audible creak. My knees tried to give out. It was time to stop hanging on to impossible dreams. I think I may have become an adult this morning.

So, feeling a bit melancholy about giving up my annual planning of my Oscar speech (seriously I think I have finally outgrown it) (It's time dontcha think?) I am going to give you my speech. But without all the movie and acting stuff, because the only thing I have accomplished in my life is... well LIFE. And frankly, that is an accomplishment deserving of a speech. Get ready, because ain't no music gonna cut me off.

I can't go any further without thanking the ones who made all this life stuff possible. Mom and Dad, thank you for loving each other enough. Not sure I should go anywhere else with THAT train of thought. But seriously, without your love for each other, I would be a distant nothing of nothingness, my life, not even a thought in all of eternity.

And thank you for not throwing me out a window. I know you were sorely tempted at times. But, well, look at what happened because of your patience! LIFE! MY LIFE! Gracias mi padres, del bajo de mi corazon.

And I want to thank a few incredible teachers who told me I was not stupid and who gave me the ability to FLY. Mr. Smith, Mrs Solan G Freeman, and Mr. Popovich. You all deserve this mention in my achievement of life speech, because of you, I love learning, I love experiencing life through education, and I am pretty sure it is all your fault I never graduated from college. How could I finish when there were so many other interesting things to study and learn?

I want to thank Christina Moon, the Burns girls, Michelle Sass, Brittany McFarland, and Tara P and Gwen W for making sure every era of my life was filled with friendship. Michelle, you get a special note of thanks for making sure my teenage self did not park her car in front of a train.

I want to thank Seth and Renee, two of the best (and worst) siblings a girl could have ever wanted. You made me successful in parenting. No way would I have been able to achieve my level of obnoxious parenting without having had all the practice you provided me with.

Now I want to thank a few nameless or partially nameless people. Missionaries from 3rd grade GA camp, Missionary from Russia from the GA mother daughter banquet, Missionaries in all those stories I read. Marion or Miriam- I am sorry I forgot your name, and Mrs Smith? Thank you for bending a teenage heart towards missions.

Listen carefully, you did not just change MY life. You have changed the lives of every person I have ever shared my faith with. You have touched the lives of countless children in Florida, teenage girls in East St Louis, un-wed mothers in crisis pregnancies in St Clair county, single teenage moms in Granite city, and young people, children, and adults in Loja, Ecuador.

Dustan. Ummm, thank you for not throwing my moody self off a bridge. Thank you for loving me in a way that makes me better understand Christ's love for me. Thank you for encouraging me in my every endeavor. Thank you for being the weight to my helium ballon personality.

Heavenly Father, Savior, Creator of my being. To you all thanks belong. The very breath I breath comes from you, every person in my life, every opportunity, every blessing, is your gift to me. My life is the best birthday present ever, and THAT comes from you.

Thank You. Thank you all!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

A Letter to my Mom on Mother's Day

Dear Mom,

When I was a little girl you used to say such things as, “When you grow up, I hope you have a little girl just like yourself.” and “When you grow up, you will be terribly sorry for how you acted as a child.” and “One day you will thank me for this.” and “One day you will wish you could take naps.

So on this Mother’s Day of 2011, as I sit staring out my window, at 9:00 in the morning, and already longing for a nap, I have a few things to say to you.

First off. In answer to your “One day I hope you have a little girl just like yourself”. I got one. Only he is a boy. And I will never wish himself on himself. You need to write me a letter of apology. NOW!

Secondly, I am sorry. Remember that time I stole Dad’s antique coin collection and spent it on popsicles and pencils? Remember how embarrassed you were when the school called to tell you had had been buying penny erasers with coins from 1800? I am sorry.
I am also sorry for the call that sent you to the school after I walked into the boy’s bathroom, the one that sent you running when I tried to pull out another girl’s hair, and that time I played my Rhino bowling game in the school hallway (I bent over and ran down the hallway and counted how many kids I knocked down.)
I am kind of sorry I finally got the boot from school. I am definitely sorry for all the embarrassment you had to feel over my misbehaviors.

I am also sorry for being a brat as a teenager. In fact I AM SORRY FOR BEING A TEENAGER at all!

I am sorry for changing my major 18 times in college.
I am sorry for telling you that you were the worst mother on the planet. I am even more sorry for all those times when I made you FEEL like the worst mother on the planet. For all those times you wished I would run away or wanted to slap a “For Sale” sign on my back... I am sorry.

I am sorry for bickering and fighting with my brother and sister. I am sorry for locking Renee out of the house and for slobbering on Seth. I know now how miserable that had to have made your life. I am oh so very sorry. (Can you please call my kids and ask them to stop now? I am pretty sure justice has been served)

Thirdly, THANK YOU.

Thank you for loving me even in those times when you thoroughly disliked me. Maybe even hated me. But you still loved me.

Thank you for homeschooling me, even when you didn’t want to. It made a huge impact on my life, and I am successfully educated because of it. You did not deserve to make that sacrifice, but because you did, God blessed my life in great ways.

Thank you for teaching me to read. And for loving everything that I write. You are my biggest fan and I LOVE that about you.

Thank you for teaching me about boys. And about Men. Thank you for pushing me towards patience when it came to them.

Thank you for being funny even when you were angry.

Thank you for filling my parenting tool box with such things as “I will hang you upside down by your toenails” and “Would you like me to lock you in the whine cellar?” and “Let’s clean the baseboards! With toothbrushes!!!” Those tools lighten up every one of my tense mothering moments.

Thank you for valuing education and seeking yours even into my adulthood.

Thank you for all the memories. For cows in cars, for powdered milk covered walls, for egg yolks on daddy’s head, for Swat team investigations, for after school spankings, for piles of books, for thumb twiddling lessons, for mornings spent under the covers of your bed, for hair brushing torture sessions, for half a trip to Granny’s house, for a year’s worth of groundings...

I thank you for all of them.

And as a token of my thanks, I post the following touching video: