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.