Tuesday, April 07, 2009

SPT Challenge April 7

Self-Portrait Challenges for the month of April, as per Lelly's Musings (go there if you'd like to see more challenges) will all deal with the concept of "Gifting". NOT to be confused with RE-Gifting, as per Seinfeld. Rather, in keeping with the tone of Easter, gifts from us to others.

Challenge for week one is a gift to a family member. Her rules state no money is to be spent on these gifts ........ (Remind me not to exchange gifts with her at Christmas. I think she's missing the point, as personally, I *like* for people to spend money on me!) But ok, Lelly states: "let's focus on the gift of service, the gift of a smile, the gift of a repurposed or gently used item, the gift of a kind word. you know, those gifts that would be hard to wrap in a box with a pretty bow."

Since I was out of town and didn't know what the challenge was until late Sunday night, that meant I had one day, yesterday, to figure out what was a gift I give my family. You know, BESIDES the gifts I give of doing all the cooking and cleaning and laundry and taxi-service. (NOT that I'm shallow or bitter or questioning my status as a stay-at-home mom or anything just because its like pulling teeth to get anyone to pick up a damn thing around here and would it be too much to ask if someone ELSE ran the god-forsaken vacuum once in a while and for the love of Pete why is it MY FAULT when a certain twelve-year-old who shall not be named -- Brayden -- can't find her ipod????????) ***

***Kidding, I'm totally kidding. We re-vamped our chore charts three weeks ago and the kids are ROCKING the chores! Although I was being serious about the ipod ---- she's misplaced it, and it's TOTALLY my fault. Whatever.

Where was I????

Oh, yeah. Gifts.

So I thought about what constitutes a typical Monday for me, since that was the only day I had to come up with a self-portrait. Mondays are the day I normally volunteer at the school, and yesterday was no exception. I made copies for teachers at the elementary school, helped grade a few papers, and I also helped chaperone (a term that is apparently synonymous with "hold jackets and lunchboxes") the sixth grade chorus on a brief field trip to the college next door.

But I don't consider those things "gifts" to my family.

Then I pick the kids up at school and drive them to piano practice. Then we stop and have our Monday-afternoon ritual of letting them buy an icee at 7-11.

But I don't think those things are "gifts" either. They're just the sorts of things that parents everywhere do.

About a month ago, Kellen and one of his best friends, Chance, decided they'd like to meet at the gym near our house on Monday afternoons to shoot hoops. It's our church gym and both of our families have memberships, but since the boys are under age 14 they must have an adult with them. Kellen and Chance like to play for about an hour (or as long as we'll let them). Yesterday, it was so unbelievably nice when two local firefighters offered to play a pick-up game against the boys. The boys LOVED it, playing against the firefighters, and Kellen says he and Chance won, although I have no doubt that was another kindness on the part of the grown ups.

They play from around 5-6pm. That's a hard time of day for me. I haven't even been home yet from volunteering, and then piano practice. It's the only night of the week we don't have soccer practice, and at some point in there I have to prepare dinner. The other two are at home with Blaine, HOPEFULLY finishing their homework, while he finishes up whatever household chores didn't get done over the weekend (which translates into "finally putting that damn load of clothes in the dryer.")

But you know what? Kellen enjoys it. Chance enjoys it. And selfishly, it's a great opportunity for me to get better acquainted with Chance's mom, who I like a lot.

So on Mondays, I choose to give Kellen the gift of MY TIME. I make sure to fix a meal in the crockpot beforehand so we can eat as soon as the boys are done playing. Kellen always thanks me for taking him, and I hope I'm showing him through my actions that making time for him is important to me.

And if nothing else, it lets me watch hot firefighters play basketball ... so really, a win-win.


jenn said...

how great! whats better than the gift of your time to your child, or anyone that you care about for that matter?!?! and your gift of hot firefighters to watch!:-)

Dacia said...

What a great mom you are sacraficing time for your child to do something he likes!

Sarah said...

Time is a great gift. I am sure he is grateful for it.

Anonymous said...

LOL about the hot firefighters. and what a nice thing you do for Brayden! BTW, have you seen the Houston Firefighter's Calendar? Google it, and i hope you find it b/c girl, it is soooo worth it!!!

Claire in TX.

lelly said...

wait! an icee is TOTALLY a gift!!

i was going to do an spt of my son and i playing with action figures. doesn't matter which action figures, just action figures. that would have been a lot more fun with firefighters.

GREAT read!

Renee' said...

In all seriousness, time will be the gift that the kids remember down the road. They better anyway!!
BTW, I love Kellen's hair!! It looks great!
See you SOON!

shara said...

I always love reading your blog! Icee Mondays- that sounds good... not as good as the Fire Fighters, but good... We might try it on Wednesdays. I think 7-11 should be givin' you a deal.

Mandy McMahan said...

I loved this post. You're always hilarious when you talk about how hard you work and how crazy your to-do lists are ... but this particular post was so sweet because it's clear that behind all the exhaustion in what you do and the humor in your writing, the only reason you do all of that for your family is because you love them so much. Thanks for the reminder that it's okay to feel tired and worn-out and (sometimes) un-thanked when it comes down to doing something important for the ones who matter most. Moms are true heroes and you are DEFINITELY one I admire.

Date Girl said...

Sounds like a great time, for both reasons! ;-)

sportzmom said...

There were no hot fire fighters at the zoo where I was gifting my children with my time! Lucky you!

M said...

Oh my Fireman? I'm in!
Once or twice a month there is a training day at the firehouse right by my school...and in the morning they get there early to work out...in their shorts, tank tops (or not)....and I get a little treat on my way in- and if I am lucky on my way home too! Is that a gift?

Cozyflier said...

Kristy, I agree, the gift of time is worth every frustration we might encounter as SAHM's. I surprised my kids with lunch at school yesterday and they were thrilled!

Karen - Mommy to four sweeties said...

That is so nice.
You really are a great Mom!

Trish in Leesburg, VA said...

The gift of time is the best gift of all!

Lene said...

Wow the gift that gives back.

Alisa said...

Love the cute pic of the two of you-
Firefighters and basketball. What a combo.
Funny that the firefighters have sure lit the fire in the comments.

Lori Grainger said...

Haven't been to "visit" in ages Kristie--glad you are all doing so well! Is that a Beagle I see in the pics? We have one--is yours totally self-centered and yet lovable too?? Lyza and I have a standing date that we go to 7-11 at least one evening every weekend for a slurpee (I guess what you call an icee!), even all winter long in minus 30 weather (what can I say, we are Canadian!).