Sicker than anyone has ever been

By Angel Kane

 

So the “I’m sick” bug has hit our home. And if your children are like my crew of 3, their “I’m sick” bug is way stronger than anybody else’s.

For the last week every counter in the kitchen has been laden with bottles of Chloraseptic, Mucinex, and “Mama’s Magic Elixir” a.k.a. liquid NyQuil… That’s because when my 3 get sick, they ache more, cough more, and sneeze more than the average person.

Don’t believe me?

Just ask them.

So with the flu, stomach virus and Zika going around, you can only imagine how hard this last week has been on me…I mean them.

It all started on Facebook when several friends began to report they had been diagnosed with the flu. Post after post depicted aches, chills and fevers and as I read one after the other I could literally feel the temperatures rising in our home.

By that evening all three of my children were sicker than anyone else they knew… including those they lived with.

By morning the humidifiers were humming, the hot tea was brewing and Vitamin C was our candy of choice.

And the competition was on!

“Feel my forehead Mama,” is the usual way the games begin. As I go one by one, determining whose temperature is the highest, my job is not done until a winner is declared.

And the winner gets the master bed (to themselves), the remote (to themselves) and the electric blanket (to themselves). The losers get the two chairs in my bedroom and non-heated blankets.

And as luck would have it, the winner only felt better so long as she was watching a Fixer Upper television marathon …. a fact that enraged the other two….even through their Vicks vapor rub induced haze.

Ironically as hoarse as they were, I could still hear the screaming in the next room…to “put something on we all can watch!!”

Interestingly as weak as they were, at some point they were able to rise from their chairs to wrestle the remote from the weakest one.

As frail as the weakest one was, she somehow found the strength to make her way to the kitchen to inform me that they other two “are not sick! Make them get out of the  bedroom and give me back the remote!”

And my Saturday pretty much went much like this until their father finally loaded them up and took them to the nearest clinic.

Three hours later, we learned it was not the flu, not strep and not Zika. Instead it was the common cold.

Not that that changed anything. It was still “the worst cold ever!”

Thankfully, after a week of cold medicines, throat lozenges and exiling each to a separate room and a separate remote, my crew is on the mend.

Of course, now their father and I are sick and while you may not believe this, when we get sick, well, we are simply sicker than everyone else.

It’s true. Just ask us.

To read more of Angel and Becky’s columns go online to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com.

 

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Round Two

By Angel Kane

As I write this, we’re heading out to take our daughter back to college. Two cars once again heading east, packed with all her worldly belongings, as well as a few of our own.

Round two. Year two is underway.

At the same time this weekend my FB feed has been flooded with a multitude of photos from moms and dads dropping their kids off for their first year of college.

We were them last year.

Behind the fabulous photos of decorated dorm rooms and eager freshmen faces, I can see the twinge of fear in those older eyes. And if you look closely, in some of those younger eyes, as well.

Fear that this is the end of the line of parenting as we know it.

Fear of what and, more importantly, who might happen to them far from home.

Fear that they won’t succeed because we dreamed too big for them.

Or worse yet, fear that they will not only succeed bigger than we ever dreamed, but so much so, they’ll never return.

Fear of what might become of us if we no longer have young ones to tend to.

Fear that we’re getting older and might not always be around to see what will become of them.

Fear that time is running out for our own dreams.

Or worse yet, fear that our best dreams may now be behind us.

I can see it in those glistening eyes because mine were filled with that very same fear as well.

Our firstborn moved away last year. And although we still had two more at home that still needed raising, part of me, felt that my mommy days were coming to an end.

My husband took up cross fit and I remodeled my law office. Our middle daughter charged ahead as the eldest sibling left at home. Our youngest grew inches overnight.

We looked for a new house. Just because. But mostly because I was sad.

Our eldest called home, adamant that we could not sell the house she grew up in.

We went on trips without her.

Sent her care packages, less so as the year went by.

Marked milestones, just the four of us.

Celebrated her homecoming each break as if a celebrity were in town.

And when she finally returned for the summer, I could breathe deeply once again. But things were slightly different. We had all changed. Each of us having learned to be without the other.

On the other side of fear there is freedom.

She found the beginnings of her own life and we found we still had one.

And that, my friends, will happen to you too. With brave wings, they will fly, but so will we.

 

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The Mom(s) who raise you

By Becky Andrews

I’ll never forget that first parent teacher conference. I sat in a tiny red chair outside the classroom, nervous and hoping that tiny red chair was made for a child because I could only fit one cheek on it. When it was my turn I was led into a classroom where I had to sit in an even smaller chair.

Before I could offer an apology for his genetic disposition to be more of a talker like his mama and not a thinker like his dad, his teacher told me he was doing great.  My son, my firstborn, was doing great. When I said he didn’t listen, she said “he’s a boy.” When I said he had a short attention span, she said, “most creative people do” and “he’s a boy.” When I said he hates homework, she said, “So do I.” When I said he was small for his age, she said, “He’s the fastest on the playground.” When I said I worried he would not be an honor student, she said, “being an honor student doesn’t mean you are destined for success.” When I broke down in the ugly cry with tears and snot I  told her I worry about doing everything wrong, she smiled, offered a hug and said, “It’s second grade not medical school. Take it easy on him and you.”

Being a mom didn’t get any easier but to be reassured by another mom that I wasn’t totally screwing things up gave me the lift I needed that day.

Two years later I asked a friend I met at story time how I should approach the coach of my son’s football team. He wasn’t getting to play as much as the other kids and it was really ticking me off. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of any full contact sport but, we paid the same fee everyone else did and came to all of the practices. She listened and carefully chose her words of advice.

“Does it bother him?”

“No. He’s as happy as a clam cheering on the team.”

“Then don’t worry about it. Pick your battles. This one isn’t worth it.”

Over the years, the faces of my “other mothers” have changed. They have been standing next to me during soccer games, sitting next to me during Disney on Ice and in front of me in the carpool lane. We’ve shared sitters, batting coaches, recipes and totally inappropriate jokes via email. We have met for coffee, a run, or drinks. Sometimes I listen, sometimes they listen.

Whether it’s L encouraging me to keep writing, A challenging me to work harder (and keep a list!), B listening to any problem I have, and telling me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear, M making me laugh even when I don’t want to, H for knowing too many of my secrets and immediately forgetting them, or C for fierce loyalty to her friends and family, these ladies and more have raised me to be a better mama. They are my village.

From them, I’ve learned the language of motherhood. A language that can be kind and include curse words. Over the years, their advice, experience, and honest perspective has given me the confidence I needed to see that I’m a pretty good mom and my confidence allowed my children to be better versions of themselves. The village that surrounded my family wasn’t just a source of recipes and conversation during day long baseball tryouts.   They raised a mother.

Some say, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I disagree. It takes a village to raise a mother who can in turn be the best mom to her kids.

 

Your village is right there with you. Even when you think no one in the world would understand, trust me someone speaks the dialect you’re looking for.

Questions or comments? Email becky@wilsonlivingmagazine.com

 

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And so it begins again…

By Angel Kane

I think back to school shopping should be an Olympic sport.

Because nothing, and I mean nothing, tests my endurance more than looking for an 8 1/2 x 11, three pronged Plastic Portfolio Pocket Folder WITHOUT holes. Not to be confused, mind you, with the Mead Five Star Laminated Paper Folder, which we all know comes with three hole punches, four internal pockets and absolutely no prongs!

After years and years of shopping for this elusive product and many others like it, I’ve come to realize that the “back to school supply list” is a test of wits, patience and perseverance in order for teachers to weed out the children that are truly loved by their parents and those that are not. Either that, or a sadistic inside joke that all teachers are part of.

But jokes on them because on Monday my children and their folders, with or without holes, and their back packs filled to capacity with notebook paper, multiple boxes of Number 2 pencils and enough Elmer Glue sticks to cause massive amounts of destruction, will all be promptly delivered to the school house doors… way before 8 a.m.

Let the new school year begin!

And by that I mean, college applications, ACT’s, soccer, tutors, football, promposals, reading assignments, strep throat, flu shots, retreats and the dreaded weekend science projects.

I, for one, could not be happier to get back to the school year routine.

On Saturday evening as I sat through our first middle school football scrimmage of the season, swatting mosquitoes, talking shop with the other mamas (aka, ‘what color did you decide to paint your den this summer Jennifer?’), I could smell the pre-teen sweat waft through the air. A familiar smell that means routine and normalcy will soon follow. A smell that also instantly reminds me to pick up more Febreze Sport next time I’m at Kroger.

Like everyone else this week, we intend to start the year with the best of intentions. School clothes are washed and ironed and ready for the week, the makings of a healthy lunch is waiting in the fridge, my alarm is set so I that can be up early to cook eggs and toast for the kids on their first morning back.

And then by next Monday, the real routine kicks in –  two sips of milk, an untoasted pop tart and a Flintstone vitamin and we are out the door! A text message will appear on my phone promptly at 8:45 that someone has forgotten something that they must have immediately or the world will surely end. Another text by lunch to remind me I once again forgot to add lunch money to their account and they are now mortified because the lunch lady said something to them about it.  A quick call between their dad and I after school, coordinating who has the lawn chairs, water bottles and what game we have where and who has which child when. Followed by a series of texts and calls about — what’s for dinner?

And so it begins…again.

With one in college now and my other two quickly catching up to her, I’ll happily be there!

To read more of Angel’s and Becky’s columns go to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com.

 

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