Article courtesy: Chrissy Kelly, Life with Greyson & Parker
We are deep in the throes of Summer. Incredibly smitten with our favorite season and grateful it comes around every year and stays awhile. Before we blink twice I know it will be over so we are doing our very best to soak it all up.
Both boys have three hours of Behavior Therapy each day and an hour of Speech Therapy each week. We’ve been spending lots of time in our pool.
Or asking to go in the pool.
We’ve burned through a few zillion pieces of side walk chalk.
Grey is OBSESSED. He draws the same five or six things over and over again.
And I am obsessed with his drawings. It takes me asking a million times for him to tell me what each drawing is. This here is a monkey. Cutest one I’ve ever seen.
He hasn’t answered me on this one yet.
And this is an air plane.
His drawings scatter and fill the entire walkway in our back yard. And when he fills it all up, we rinse it down and he starts over again. And this has been our Summer. Not crazy and exciting. Not dreadful or horrible Wonderful and somewhere in the middle. Like most of life.
Look what happened while I was talking to my friend Wendy for seven minutes today. The funny thing is- I was three feet from him and I didn’t even notice. He loved the mud so much I let him just totally go for it.
By the time he was done, I didn’t even recognize him. Friends, meet facial hair, Man-Doodle.
Yesterday the boys and I were at Bath and Body Works with a friend. The nice woman that worked there kept asking us if we would like to try their new anti-bacterial gels.
“Would you like a sample of our Honey Dew Cooler anti-bacterial gel?”
“No thank you”, I would reply- then dash to the front or the back of the store.
You see- Greyson wanted to leave the store because the smells overwhelm him- so he kept running to the front. Parker loves to go behind cash registers in the back. He also loves to pick up anything remotely breakable.
“How about the Pink Grapefruit pop?” She would ask- popping out from thin air.
“No thank you”, I would respond before darting off.
“The Coconut Colada smells terrific! Would you want to try that one?”
No. No thank you. (AGAIN. ummm- I’m good with my bacteria ridden hands! Thanks!)
I spy Parker in the back of the store grabbing a large glass candle and I’m off to stop the tragedy before it happens. I grab the item from his hands and throw him over my shoulder before he can freak out. I see Greyson by the front door so I start to run towards him so he doesn’t leave. In slow motion I see the woman animatedly talking to Greyson as she is referring to the (SURPRISE) antibacterial gel in her hand. I hear her finishing.
“…so, would you like to try some?” She asks with a huge smile, holding the gel out towards Grey.
Greyson responds with a No. Not a regular no- a Greyson no. VERY DIFFERENT. It sounds like this.
It’s the same way I would respond if I saw someone in significant danger- like-about to run in front of a moving bus. It’s so loud it STILL scares me- and I hear it about one hundred times a day. It’s so loud that traffic stops and the music stops playing and people everywhere within miles jerk their head so fast to look that they get whip lash.
The ladies eye’s grow wide, her smile slowly falling off her face. “Oh my.” She says in surprise. “Is somebody having a bad day?” She asks recovering her smile.
You guys- I couldn’t stop laughing. And laughing. I am still laughing about it today. Greyson just gave his natural response. A response I kind of felt like giving after the third request to try the damn hand gel. Being an adult means feeling like you always have to do and say the right thing though. Sometimes it’s exhausting.
Sometimes we are so focused on being polite or saying the right thing that we swallow how we really feel. We say the right thing- but it isn’t honest or genuine. It isn’t our truth. And we often do this a million tiny little ways each day. And here’s the thing- the more we say the fake right thing, the more we don’t even know what we feel in the first place. We start to lose the ability to know how we really, really feel about things. I’ve met people like this and they just feel like robots- conditioned after years of saying the fake right thing. We slowly injure our real truths and hearts and feelings and opinions. We mask our truth with politeness and social acceptance. And then we either turn into a blob of exactly the same as every other person doing the exact same thing we are doing- or we get pissed at others and ourselves because we don’t feel like we can be who we really are inside.
I am drawn to people who tell the truth. People who express their honest opinions. People who can say, I agree. I don’t agree. You hurt my feelings. I don’t think that’s the best idea. That shirt isn’t flattering. You have spinach in your teeth.People who are polite AND honest. The two are not mutually exclusive. Why are we so scared of honest? Are we afraid that people won’t like us? I have to work on telling my truth. When I don’t it builds up until I explode. It’s something I am working on in my marriage too. Our counselor said I need to express when I am mad – IN THE MOMENT. Not a week later when seven other things pissed me off until I finally just blow up.
We are all chalk works of art in progress.
I prayed to God for it soon after we moved to the Central Valley of California five years ago. Please God- bring me friends. Even just one friend who is fun and kind and honest and has a similar mothering style. Someone who shows up when I need them. Someone who lets me show up for them too. Someone who is available and who doesn’t flake and texts back. Someone who makes friendship a priority. Someone I can be strong with and weak with. Someone I can laugh and cry with. Is that too much to ask, God? And it took a long, long time. And a few friends I thought were friends but just weren’t.
And I am SO excited because this weekend I’m going away for an overnight trip with friends of my very own. It took moving to a new town and starting all over for me to realize just how important friendship is to me. I can’t imagine this Moming gig without it. I’m really nervous to leave the boys- but like I mentioned in my last post- sometimes living deliberately means being inconvenienced or scared.
I can’t wait to spend time with you, Annie, Andrea, Lisa and Wynema!