Nothing Better to Do

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 58 Comments

Cole, Caleb, Conner, and Carter


These are my boys. Each sporting their state championship football rings. 


All four of them have one. Two from 2010. Two from 2015. 


And as you can see, all four of them are handsome (disagree and I'll fight you). They're also intelligent, well-behaved (enough to stay out of big trouble), and thoughtful (well, there was the time I  was given the animal skull for Mother's Day...). 


But generally speaking, they are awesome.

So awesome that I have been asked several times this week-

How did my husband and I raise such good kids?

Hmm


Could it be our superior training in child development and enhanced parenting skills? 


I'd say sure, but I'd be a liar. 


Raising genius kids can be freaking hard work. There is nothing tougher than pairing puberty hormones with a mind that can run logic circles around you in a debate. On one occasion, I was caught in an argument with boy #1 and was quickly losing ground, so I flipped him off. 


Yep. Flipped him the bird. The middle finger. The not-nice one. 


Shocked, he yelled back, "Nice parenting, Mom." 


To which, I replied, "Hey, sometimes, that's all I've got."


Perhaps it was our non-violent approach to discipline. I'm not a spanker. 

And I'm also about as friendly as a momma bear around her cubs, so my husband never got to be a spanker either. 


But then, there was that time...


Two of my boys got into a shoving match in the hallway. It was quickly escalating into what I feared was going to be fisticuffs. By the age of twelve, every one of my boys was taller than me, so I was completely unable to physically break up this little cage match. 


In a panic, I screamed (a blood curdling, carries-right-out-of-our-house-into-the-neighbor's-house sort of wail), "You will NOT fight your brother. If I have to get a freaking ball bat and bust you both upside the head, I will do it."


(For the record, I did not ever have to use the ball bat.)


But still, there goes my award for sweet, peaceful mom of the year. 


Maybe it's because our house runs so smoothly...


Dear God, I almost couldn't type that line without laughing.

Truth is, we have too many animals, too much clutter, and we can never find what we need without it being some sort of treasure hunt. I've sent my kids to school with lunches that I forgot to add the food to. I've forgotten plenty of deadlines, promises, and dates to remember. And they know pick-up times are flexible.

Once, I totally missed the school reading award ceremony. My little boy left for school so proud of himself for winning. He reminded me before he left that I was supposed to come to the school and watch it


I totally forgot. Then, to really make by-the-book-parents cringe, once I realized my screw up, I took my little guy to Wal Mart to bribe him with a toy. I even had the presence of mind to get him to sign a waiver that he was content and happy with the bribe and would not hold my absence against me in the future. 


I still have that somewhere in case I need to defend myself to his therapist. 


Speaking of therapy...


All the crap my kids caught me doing wrong...I'd tell them I did that intentionally so they had something to tell their therapist in later life. I am as smooth as the best political spin-doctor.

It goes like this:


Kid: That's not fair.

Mom: Be sure to log that for your therapist; you'll need something to blame me for later. 

See? Far from perfect mom material. 


The more I think about it, the only thing I can say for certain we did right is that we never had anything more important on our agenda than our kids.  


Thanks to our hosts LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in!  



Looking for something good?
Check this out!
The Thing that Turned me has a release date!
Kudos to Randi Lee. She is working so hard on this anthology. I'm so lucky to be part of this wonderful effort.









58 comments:

  1. I'd been all right growing up in a house like that.
    I think stability has a lot to do with it. (I'm sure that one made you snort out loud!) But by stability, I mean between the parents. When mom and dad are grounded and centered with each other, the kids feel secure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't snort- much. LOL.

      I have been blessed to be in a very happy marriage. You're so right, that makes a big difference.

      Delete
  2. I never had a stable homelife as a child and it sticks with you. Heres to stability in all things! X

    shahwharton.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mother was sick quite a lot, which was out of her control, but it still gave me anxiety as a child. When I had my kids, I made a conscious effort to try to keep things solid.

      Delete
  3. 'runs so smoothly'

    I can relate. Thoroughly enjoyed. I would still keep that bat handy. It isn't over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. There will always be the husband to deal with...

      Delete
  4. lol I can't recall being flipped off, but I have been told to f off as I was winning arguments. No bats, but I did hit my brother in the head with a hammer once, oops.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know you've won when they start cussing at you. My sister once hit my brother with a brick. It wasn't an oops. She threw it through the window at him.

      Delete
  5. "... sign a waiver that he was content and happy with the bribe and would not hold my absence against me in the future."

    THAT cracked me up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure that's legal and binding.

      Delete
  6. Hahaha! I was just talking with a friend about how we hope our children realize we're doing our best as parents. But hey, we have our bad days too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hahaha! I was just talking with a friend about how we hope our children realize we're doing our best as parents. But hey, we have our bad days too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I kept waiting for you to claim you were trying to marry them off. But you disappointed me. I want to do that with my sons, and thought you might break ground for me. If it worked for you than I'd jump in with both feet and both boys. But alas, no such declaration. Oh well, if they're single maybe they won't mind taking care of their old mom, especially if I keep doing the laundry. Right?
    Lovely post, truly handsome sons. We are both lucky in that regard. Shah mentioned stability, and I agree, it's key!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm all for marrying them off! Just so long as I get to pick the wives. LOL

      Delete
  9. I love bribing w/toys (or candy) it's the best! I admire families w/lots of children, I only have one, and it still feels like I'm drowning some days. So go you! And yes, handsome boys! =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truth be told, one is as hard as a dozen. (okay, maybe not) But my grandma always said, "Anything after one is just numbers". The adjustment is getting used to sharing your time with a being totally dependent on you.

      Delete
  10. You raised great kids! And how awesome that they all have championship rings. Does any parent really feel like they're doing a perfect job? But if you raise four and none of them end up in jail, I'm guessing you did something right!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is no such thing as perfect. They just tell us that crap to make us feel guilty.

      Delete
  11. If you raised four boys who are awesome like that, you did good. And you don't need to be perfect to do so. :) Have a terrific weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny thing was, the day this posted, two of them fought over who had to pump gas at the gas station. I got so tired of them bickering, I did it myself. Kids are never perfect, they're always awesome.

      Delete
  12. It sounds to me like your house was full of life, love, and real emotions. Obviously it worked so don't be so hard on yourself! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One thing I have always striven to achieve and that's congruence. I want who I am inside my house to be the same outside. So, yeah...it is important to keep life real.

      Delete
  13. No, you haven't convinced me - I still think you're an awesome mother, just because you have so much love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Annalia...I do love them, even when they're brats!

      Delete
  14. You did a wonderful job with them. They all seem accomplished and headed towards great things. Your household sounds interesting. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The most important thing I hope for them is that they're happy. No accomplishment matters if you have no joy in your life.

      No, I don't think life here is ever boring.

      Delete
  15. Yes, I agree, stability between parents is a wonderful thing, especially these days. Sounds like there was a lot of love in your home. You certainly have 4 boys to be proud of. Can I borrow them to do some moving please? Why did you name them all beginning with C. One of the guys that runs the bowling alley did that with his kids, 3 Bs and his dogs!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish we did live close enough to you! We could oust those damn bugs in a day. And my boys will happily work for food, and you've got that covered.

      The C thing...I always liked the name Caleb. I picked it when I was in college. And my husband's middle name is Allen, so Caleb's middle name is Allen. That gave them both the same initials CAS. Then when Cole was born, I choe his name because I liked it, and the nurse pointed out he too was a CAS. Then when boy #3 and 4 came along, I decided I'd stay with the pattern.
      Oddly, without trying, they all have the same number of letters in their names. My husband realized this filling in insurance bubbles.
      Caleb Allen
      Cole Austin
      Carter Aric
      Conner Adam
      Each one has ten letters.

      Delete
    2. Interesting especially as it wasn't particularly planned. Wish you could send them up, I could use their help and as you say, food would be no problem although I figure those four would eat a lot.

      Delete
  16. Those are boys you can be proud of...and neat that they all have the rings! I'm betting it's because you weren't a 'perfect' parent (And probably didn't give huge effort to try to fit the mold) that they turned out so well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I don't fit into molds very well. And I've always been suspicious of anything perfect. Perfection is the biggest lie.

      Delete
  17. Love, love this post. Especially since I forgot my son had a birthday party to go to yesterday. I rsvp'd, bought a present, and forgot to take him. He was devastated and I feel horrible. Glad to know there's still hope for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it does them good to learn that we are all human and we make mistakes.

      I forgot several birthday parties when mine were little. Fortunately, they got old enough to make their own calendars and reminders!

      Delete
  18. This is one the most wonderful posts I've read! I love it! I'm not a parent myself so I have nothing to compare (other than having been a kid myself lol) and I reckon you guys are amazing parents. I lost my mum when I was 13, it was so hard to lose a parent so young and I think of her often. You have a wonderful family... I'm very envious!
    Suzy x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have so many talents, Suzy! I can imagine you'd make the best mum, should you ever want to go that route. I don't believe it's the birth and pregnancy that makes us parents, it's in the care and upbringing. And there are always kids who need love and attention in this world.

      Delete
  19. You were a super mom--ARE a super mom. You've covered all the necessities for those boys to succeed, even the material for the therapist. I don't think I did that for mine, but I'll call them and check. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everybody needs some stuff for the therapist. I'm sure you gave yours something to complain about. I'll never forget my niece telling my sister she was angry because she never bought her thick-sliced bologna. That's a good thing for the therapy couch.

      Delete
  20. My home life was far from stable growing up...fights, moving a lot, fights, divorce...I hated it but it made me strong. But I like your parenting style. I'd probably be just like that. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have been blessed to avoid fights, divorce, and moves. Some things are out of our control and we have to just do the best we can.

      Delete
  21. I don't think there's any perfect way to raise kids, but you've clearly done an excellent job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm like Picasso. To most people, it's like WTH? But from a distance, it's a thing of beauty. LOL

      Delete
  22. Sounds like you've done a fabulous job!
    I think stability plays a HUGE role.
    You were always there when it mattered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm beginning to realize that stability has been the key. I have been blessed with that!

      Delete
  23. Hi, Elizabeth...

    You should be proud. You and your husband raised so great boys! No one is perfect, but you had the "MAGIC" that every parent needs... LOVE.... you have endless amounts to that and how could a child not turn out right as long as there is unconditional love... You and your husband need to pat each other backs for a job well done!

    Let me know if you need any info on Chicago! Would LOVE for you guys to visit this summer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michael!! He has been negotiating between NYU and Chicago Law trying to get the best scholarship deal possible. It may come down to who gives him the most money. I'll keep you posted.

      Delete
  24. It sounds like middle fingers and bats aside you did pretty damn well. My mom threatened to end my life a lot (especially when I was winning arguments) and I'd like to think I turned out mostly okay. Also, I like that you gave all of your children C names. My mom did that for all of her kids, except with B names. My name starts with B, and I'm an only child.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You lucky dog, you. No noogies? No farts in your face? I suppose I'll keep all my scars and siblings. LOL

      Delete
  25. Perfect parent or not, I can see why you're so proud of them. :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am proud of them. They're not perfect either, but I wouldn't trade them for the world.

      Delete
  26. Congratulations on their championship victory!!! You must be a proud mama :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. That's a fun, witty household. I love that you flipped your son off and his response was "Nice parenting." That's pretty awesome. I also love Cale's hair. Is he the only red-head in your family?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are always judging me, Robyn!

      My husband's brother and my brother had red hair.

      Delete
  28. Hehehe, I hope my kids turn out well. Right now it's a 5 yo and a 2 yo, and I'm doing my darnedest trying to figure out how to convince my 2 yo that it's not funny to hit his sister. *sigh* Hopefully it won't come to a future of fisticuffs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My brothers never learned it wasn't fun. I think they thought I was a squeaky toy.

      Delete
  29. Fabulous post, Elizabeth. I have laughed. Great looking boys and such a wonderful, fun, quirky upbringing. I wish I'd have thought of some of that stuff when I needed it :) It's obvious that you've one great loving family. Wishing you all a super weekend (flipping fingers and all).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are unique and a touch rotten, but I wouldn't have them any other way.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...