Monthly Archives: March 2016

It’s Finally Happening…

 

Before I say anything on this subject, let me assure you that I know what Easter is truly about. I know it’s not about the Easter bunny or who wore what to church or anything like that. I know Easter is the celebration of the fact that my Redeemer lives. Having said that, I have a few more comments on the holiday.

As a child growing up, Easter was always the time of year when we got new clothes—something fancy for Easter, because my mother insisted that new clothes on Easter Sunday was an important tradition.

For me, it was more often the cramming of my body into clothing that was stiff and new and most definitely not of my choosing. There are pictures of me as a child in little green sailor dresses and pastel plaid skirts with pleats and little headbands full of flowers, etc., you get the picture.

Worst of all, believe it or not, were the shoes and stockings. We couldn’t just wear regular ones—it was either socks with stiff decorations on them that made my ankles itch, or even worse, white panty-hose stockings that made my legs itch all over and which invariably had a large blot of mud on them somewhere that I got by climbing carelessly out of a farm vehicle. The shoes were no better, white patent leather, black patent leather, it didn’t matter. They were stiff, uncomfortable and frequently made my stockings snag.

My mother dressed me up in these outfits in the name of “Easter Sunday Fashion.” She couldn’t help it; it’s what her mother did to her and probably what Grandmother’s mother did to her. It was a family tradition of misery that went way back, and while we celebrated the Risen Lord, we itched, scratched, tugged and stained our way through that fateful day.

We usually went to some family dinner or another after church, which meant we had to keep those miniature torture chambers on and try not to get our ham dinner on them—for me an impossible task. We were allowed to change into more comfortable clothes after dinner, but usually I was too stubborn for that. I continued to wear the dress-up clothes and sat tugging at my collar and itching my legs while everyone else ran around and had fun in their old jeans.

When my own girls were growing up, I tried once or twice to go the dress up dollies route, but it seemed I was either too broke or too busy to get the job done right. I was pleased with myself. I hadn’t forced my girls to wear silly headbands or gender-defining tights (at least, not very often.) By the time they could voice a real opinion, they thought that if the jeans were Silver Jeans, that was dress-up enough. As for flowery headbands—forget it. I once used ribbon and a headband base to make them fancy, braided, elegant headbands with elaborate bows on the ends. Those little engineers were far more interested in how they had been made than how they would look in their hair. It took little time for them to deconstruct them, discard the headband base and use the ribbon for something more fun—like, decorating the dog!

No, I was not like my mother. I was not going to force my daughters to dress up as I had to. I was feeling pretty smug about this until today. Today, I was sent a picture of my grandsons, enjoying the Easter holiday. And what were they wearing? Little suit outfits I had sent them crowned by the bunny ears headbands I had put in their Easter baskets.

Hear that splash? That’s the dam breaking as my mother starts to leak through!

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Flying—need I say more?

There are a few things I do because they are necessary and inescapable. Physical exams, root canals on my teeth and flying…don’t forget that. If I had a choice of flying or being run over by a fast cyclist, I believe I’d take getting run over!

Unfortunately, getting run over by a cyclist will not get me rapidly from one place to another, so I must fly. I know I should have paid more attention in science class and if necessary, I’ll take a make-up exam now if it will help, but so far, no one has been able to tell me to my satisfaction how that giant, heavy machine can stay in the air like that. A balloon, maybe, but not a plane.

In spite of all my misgivings, getting to a family wedding this week made it necessary for me to get on not one, but two planes. There were some handicaps involved in this enterprise, the main one being my tendency to make wrong choices, and the other being that I was wearing glasses that were ten years old. Why, you might ask, was I not wearing my current prescription which would have allowed me to properly read airport signs? Well, because this last week I made a wrong choice in laying my good glasses down and the dog made an even worse choice in eating them!12514086_1035695299802233_1135785988926585391_o

With this handicap, I spent a lot of time peering through these old glasses and asking random people, “Is that Gate T17 down there?  Do you see any bathrooms listed down there? Is the Sioux Falls flight on this baggage carousel?” Not the best way to make friends and influence people, I assure you!

Once I actually got a ticket and checked my bag, I had the joy of security, but there, surprisingly, I generally have pretty good luck. They take one look at me with my hair hanging in my face, my handbag slung around my neck and my boarding pass in my mouth and they decide that I’m probably not a threat—a terrorist threat anyway. This time, however, they ran my hand luggage through their scanner and decided it needed a further check. What red-flagged it? The fact that I had the papers I was correcting for school all neatly paper clipped—with those giant, oversized clips—a lot of them.

After deciding that my research papers on the Grapes of Wrath were probably not a threat to national security, they sent me on my way. The next step is always the hardest because I like to be there early. What do I do with all that time on my hands? Sometimes I read, sometimes I write and sometimes I just watch the people coming over to join my flight group, trying to determine what a terrorist would look like and making bets with myself about how close to me the couple with the fussy baby will be sitting; ordinarily, it’s somewhere within a row of me!

This particular time, I got a ticket for a middle seat. For a woman of my size, a middle seat is a torture test, not just for me, but for the poor passengers on either side of me. I found my seat in row 25, seat B (the middle seat). I sat on the woman in seat 25A, tried to grab her seatbelt to fasten and wedged my heavy bag under the seat in front of me. No way was that thing going to budge during flight!stm51658b789b9f520130410

I apologized to the poor woman I had sat on and then settled back. Glancing to my right, I got a look at the seat row on the overhead compartment: Row 26. It was necessary for me to grope the woman beside me again to undo my seat belt and then I spent several minutes huffing and puffing as I un-wedged my bag again. I crawled over the lap of the disgruntled man in the aisle seat in row 26 and crawled over the lap of the disgruntled man in row 25, sat on the disgruntled man on the other side of me and groped him as I found my seat belt. I spent another few breathless minutes as I again wedged my bag under the seat.

Now, you might think I would re-check the row number one more time, just to make sure, but you would be wrong. I sat in that seat which I believed to be Seat 25B and never looked to the right the entire way to Chicago. If I was still in the wrong row, I just didn’t want to know about it!

Flying is definitely for the birds!

 

 

 

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Slipping through my fingers

I always have the television on when I am home, mostly for the background noise. I was working this morning and the movie, Mamma Mia! came on. Most people won’t admit it, but I for one, kind of like this loosely-woven story wound around some good songs—mostly ABBA. My favorite song in that movie is one I can’t identify by title, however. It’s the song Meryl Streep sings as she’s helping her daughter get dressed for her wedding, contemplating the rapid passing of time.

“School bag in hand, she waves goodbye with an absent-minded smile,” go the words, ending with, “Slippin’ through my fingers all the time.” Sentimental thoughts, but for nearly every parent alive, so true. We get so lost in the day to day tasks of being a parent, that we forget the fact that our children grow more each day into the human beings they are going to become.

I remember worrying about my daughters getting good grades, making friends so they would be happy and achieving things, the evidence of which I could hang on the wall and claim bragging rights. I look back now and realize that sometimes I lost the valuable moments in a flurry of worry about things that in the long run don’t matter. Their grades will be what they want, friends can sometimes be more of a burden than a joy and all those accomplishments are intended to shape their character, not inflate mine.

What I remember best, though, are the times I sat deliberately alone in the bedroom, because I knew one or both of them would show up. Sometimes we talked, sometimes we read books, sometimes we just sat together. I took them out to breakfast on Saturdays, because I liked doing that, and I think at times it made them uneasy, but I remember some real conversations there, too. And how fast it went; those fleeting years when they still believed I knew what I was talking about. And there was me, forgetting that it was ‘slippin’ through my fingers.

Young mothers, frazzled, worried, harried, are told over and over, “Enjoy them, because it goes fast.” Most times they look up from whatever childish disaster they are fielding and nod, but it frequently doesn’t sink in until that child is wearing a mortarboard and gown, or perhaps wedding clothes. Sometimes it’s just when the child heads out on their first adventures alone.

Perhaps that’s why grandparents indulge their grandchildren. They get a second chance to pour too much ketchup into the plate if the child wants it or serve morning Fruit Loops on an upturned laundry basket, because the child wants to watch cartoons in the living room with breakfast. Personally, I send boxes of treats to my grandchildren, not because they need anything, but because I remember being that age and loving to get a package of anything in the mail.

For the most part, children turn out the way they are supposed to, perhaps in spite of us as parents. As parents, however, we have a duty to ourselves to appreciate every moment, when they are small, when they are growing and when they establish lives of their own. I love that song, even if it’s part of a not-so-great movie, because it reminds me that no matter the age, we must not let the time go “slippin’ through our fingers” without savoring the moment. “School bag in hand, she waves goodbye with an absent-minded smile….” Yes, I love that song and I love that thought.

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