Sunday, July 17, 2011

Caden and the No Good, Very Bad Birthday!

Today is Caden's eighth birthday. Eight years ago I became a mom. This role has defined me more than any role in my life aside from from being of wife. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. It is difficult yet wonderful. It is tiring and exhilarating. It is hopeless and hopeful. It a role that can't be done half-heartedly, not even for a minute.

I love to celebrate my children. It is my favorite! Today was our turn to celebrate Caden. We asked him what he wanted to do, he wanted to go to a local "fun center", eat at Red Robin and have an ice cream cake. Great buddy sounds like a fun day, let's go! So off to the "fun center" go we. We get there and Aubrey said " Mommy my tummy doesn't feel well." Folks, if I had a dollar for every time my kids said this I would be a millionaire a million times over. "Ok sweetie, do you need to go potty?" "Yep, Mom I do." So we go potty and we begin our journey through the fun center. The only problem with the fun center wasn't so fun. Rides were broken, staff was less than great and our poor Aubrey was too small to do any of the fun stuff. I decided to see if we could get our money back and leave to go to another much better fun center. Caden was a good sport. He wasn't as disappointed with the place as we were but he wasn't the one who just spent $50 for most of the rides to not work. We did have our money returned and our plan was to go to Red Robin next. We get to Red Robin to be faced with a 40 minute wait time. We decided to stay because this is where Caden really wanted to eat. Aubrey again said her tummy didn't feel well, off to the potty again. She came out proclaiming she was fine. Lunch was ordered. First round of drinks and fries arrived and Aubrey says again she needs to go to the bathroom. I asked if she wanted me to come, she does not want me to go with her. Two minutes later she comes out and I say "are you OK? She points to her mouth and proceeds to throw up everywhere. At this point I am stuck because in order for me to help her I would literally have to slide across the throw up. I say " Carl take her to the bathroom." I flag down the waitress and start cleaning up what I can with napkins. Then I hear a scream from the bathroom. A loud, heard it across Red Robin during lunch crowd on a Sunday scream which I know is my daughter. I run to see what is going on leaving my other two children in the booth. Aubrey had gotten her fingers slammed in the door along with throwing up all over the bathroom floor. I run into the bathroom to help her and slip on the vomit. Carl tried to stop me from running in but at this point I was totally focused on helping her. (Carl couldn't go in because it was the ladies room, he originally tried to take her to the mens room but it was full) I get over to her and she is weeping. She looks up at me with her giant blue eyes and says "Mommy, I am sorry I ruined Caden's birthday!" My heart melts, I begin to cry. I say "Baby, you didn't ruin his day. It is no big deal. Let's clean you up and get out of here." So we clean her up and leave Red Robin. We get in the car and Caden says "Aubrey, I hope you feel better, I am sorry you are sick." He wasn't mad, he didn't have a pity party he simply took it in stride. He also was worried about his sister. He wasn't worrying that his birthday thus far had been a disaster.

I am so glad this day didn't go as planned. Oh, don't get me wrong I would have loved to skip the puke and whole smashed fingers incident in front of an entire restaurant. However, I learned so much about the hearts of the ones God has entrusted to me. I learned that they love each other and God more than themselves! That my friends is a precious glimpse of the adults I pray they become!

We did proclaim a birthday do-over for Caden. We will try this again in a couple of weeks. Let's hope I don't need to learn the same lesson twice!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Starbucks is Jesus!

I know you are all thinking that I am about to rave about how I love Starbucks. You may think I am about to recite my favorite beverage in such a fashion that it seems as though I am singing a song. Well friends I have news for you, I really dislike coffee. I probably have only spent about $20 at Starbucks in my whole life.

A friend of my friend recently and very unexpectedly lost her husband. He died tragically in her arms a few days before Christmas. She is a very eloquent writer and I have been following her blog as her words have given me so much insight into the heart, soul and emotions of someone who is recently widowed.

Today her blog was amazing. As a writer she frequented Starbucks. She spent many hours there writing and working. After her husbands death she went to write at "her" Starbucks and told an employee her story. She explained to him that her husband had died and there were very few places she could go but she could come here and feel safe. She thanked the employee. Several days later she returned to "her" Starbucks with her children, she spent time playing games and talking about their Daddy with them. A third time she returned to "her" Starbucks. The manager pulled her aside and told her I have something for you, she returned with a bin filled with games, crayons, toys etc. The manager explained that she knew how hard it is just to get the two children out of the house and wanted her to know that this bin would be at "her" Starbucks just for she and her children. "Just ask any barista to get it for you, they all know who you are and that it is just for you." Amazing!

So for those of you who love Starbucks, here is yet another reason to support them. Starbucks is Jesus.