Monday, May 2, 2011

Respect, Appreciation and Love

Last night, we experienced a momentous occasion. I would be remiss if I ignored this event as it relates to us today. My father was in the Army. My grandfather, my husband, my cousin, my friend…they have given their all to support our freedom in the armed forces.
And as I watched the news, I spent some time reflecting on what this means for us. Without delving into the politics and morality issues of war, our military is full of men and women to be proud of.  They deserve respect and thanks from every one of us. I try to instill this thinking in my children. It was only a week ago that I was in the grocery store with my kids when we passed a man in fatigues. As we walked by, I smiled and thanked him for his service. My son then told me that while on the school bus one day, the children all yelled and waved to a military vehicle that was next to them on the road.
As I raise my children, I try to impress small lessons that sink in quickly. I try to lead by example. Table manners? Sure. Never wander off? Absolutely. Respect? Ok…let's face it, that's a tough one. Even if I think they don't always show it properly, at least now I know they give it when it counts.
I was a fairly good kid growing up. I had my rebellious years for a bit, but like everyone else, I never thought I would be a strict parent. After having kids, it's much easier to appreciate my parents and what they did for me growing up. Being a mom is a tough job. We have to make rules and know when to draw the line between friend and parent. We have to put up with the "No!" and "I hate you!" and "It's not fair!" screams. It's not all cupcakes and sprinkles.
The good thing is, there are many more wonderful moments to remember fondly. The first giggles, first steps and first words are always exciting. But then there are the times that you get to see your child developing an individual personality. Or watch them enjoy their own achievements. One of my favorite moments with my son, now 11, is watching him get his first hit in baseball. As he ran to first base, I could see the glow of disbelief and pride on his face. He has also shown some great artistic potential. Going to the art show at his school was important to him. You could see it in his bubbly energy as we all walked in together. He nearly skipped to the exhibit to find his items. At his first guitar performance, he refused to look at me, probably knowing I was tearing like an embarrassing mother would.

My daughter is only four, and she is a whole different breed. It was obvious from the start that everything she did would be on her terms only. She can be indignant and frustrating. She can also be incredibly entertaining. Even when she misbehaves, my husband and I struggle not to laugh at her actions in order to show that being disciplined is serious. She's brazen and clever, and I think some day she is going to pursue her dreams with tenacity.

Even when they are exhausting, sometimes it's helpful to sit back and watch them for a few moments. Smile at their playfulness. Adore their quirks and expressions. The years pass quickly and each year holds new and wonderful changes. There are no words to say how I truly feel about my kids. They make me proud and joyful every day. They fill my heart and flood my soul.

It is my honor to direct you to our next blogger, Crystal. She will be posting her entry tomorrow at Domestic, But Not Martha at tomorrow.
Crystal has become a dear friend of mine on Twitter @DmstcBtNtMartha. She is a young mother and military wife and I find the timing poignant that she was scheduled so early in our tour to share her story. She is constantly working to help others with fundraising, volunteering and prayers. She is a kind heart and a beautiful soul and I am lucky to call her a friend.
Please be sure to continue the tour with her tomorrow!


  1. Beautiful....and no, it is not all cupcakes and sprinkles...but true Mom Magic is part weathering every storm and difficult to discuss topic, and part slyly slipping in life lessons that hold immeasurable impact in to every day life!

  2. What profound respect I had for my parents once I became one! It is difficult at times to be the strict or unyielding parent, but I know deep down that my children will thank me some day for being their parent, and not trying to be one of their agreeable friends all the time.

  3. Great post Christine! I also LOVE "its not all cupcakes and sprinkles".

    I am loving the May Mom Blog Hop so far!!! ;o)

  4. I am enjoying reading the May Mom Blogs and once again am touch by what you have written. Wonderful blog!

  5. Great post. I love the picture of your daughter too - too cute! Thank you for inviting me to be part of your blog hop :)

  6. For as much work, blood, sweat, and tears as goes into being a mother, the joy of it comes back two-fold and is more than worth it!

  7. What a wonderful and heartfelt post. Thanks for including me in the blog tour. I love the "It's not all cupcakes and sprinkles" too.
    Also, I have an award for you on my blog. But no rush to retrieve or accept it.

  8. This is so beautiful. We do try our best to teach them all that we know and it is so sweet when we sit back and watch them grow.

  9. **New Follower**

    Wonderful Post, Loving your photos!

    Hopping over from
    "All work and no play makes mommy go something something"