Five minute Friday – see

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photo 9For over 20 years, I’ve been collecting Christmas ornaments for my three sons.

I would see them on my trees and anticipate the day when they would no longer hang on my branches and proudly announce that I was gathering these ornaments for a very special moment.

photo 8All over the world – El Salvador, Peru, Germany, in Maine, Florida and beyond, I saw ornaments and brought them home and remembered to tell my olive shoots that one day when they got married, those gifts would go to live in their homes to be enjoyed by their own families.

It was joyful seeing all the lovely tokens and memories on my trees. There is a sushi ornament, a snowman mowing a lawn, a giant “X” because that’s my middle son’s middle initial, the homemade Christmas bell Nate made when he was a wee little boy, so many I want to tell you about each one!

Oh and the enormous sparkly ball that Aaron faithfully prominently puts on our largest tree (a family tradition)…

photo 7This year after the holidays, I saw my hands doing the thing I had promised long ago.

Something that caused my heart to tug.

I packed those ornaments I had long saved in two separate boxes

Because two of my olive shoots are getting married. I see this as a good thing, a wonderful thing actually, but it also makes me a little sad.

This blog post was brought to you by the word “see” and the 5minutefridayenjoyable gang at Five minute Friday!

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Truth is, as a mom I’m not a straight A student…a parent report card from my kid

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This picture might indicate a lack of parental perfection.

Two people trying to do this thing right .

When it comes to parenting, I’m not perfect.

I’ll wait for a moment while you take that in. I know it’s difficult to imagine.

As long as you don’t ask my kids, the previous statement should have shocked you.

But look at this.

It’s a parenting report card filled out by my orange hair, freckle face olive shoot back in 2007.

Here is my parent report card from my youngest olive shoot.

Here is my parent report card from my youngest olive shoot.

I so wish I could remember the name of the book where I discovered this idea. For my family, it’s been a gem assignment.

With no advance notice, we would print copies of the blank report card for our olive shoots to complete. Prior to our report card day, I didn’t load the guys up with yummy desserts and new electronics, the objective was to be honest. Usually I’d just tell the Hubs it was report card time for us.

P1010749Aren’t you curious to know what your kids would say about you?

After returning the completed the report cards to us, the Hubs and I would chuckle and compare notes. “Oh, yes you DO do that!” we’d scold each other and do our best to impose guilt and shame upon one another. That is a sign of a strong marriage, btw.

Then sheepishly we’d gather together to discuss the results.

To give you an idea as to how our olive shoots approached this task, they often wanted to apologize for not being able to give us a higher grade. It’s like we all entered a safe and sacred place. Never did I find our kids were wise in their own eyes in this instance. The Hubs and I were assessed on our parenting prowess. We took the feedback and tried to do better.

And there were recurrent themes, for instance, apparently I yell. For the record, the Hubs is inconsistent.

But, hey I am good at keeping things fun and got an A+ for building family traditions.

Ike didn't miss the chance to speak the truth in love and safety.

Ike didn’t miss the chance to speak the truth in love and safety.

On one level, it’s wildly amusing.

On another, it’s immensely humbling.

"Oh yes, I'd very much enjoy providing you with a loving and respectful assessment of your ability to parent me. Thank you for asking."

“Oh yes, I’d very much enjoy providing you with a loving and respectful assessment of your ability to parent me. Thank you for asking.”

I’m not a great math whiz. History was never my strong suit. I failed Political Science in college which messed my GPA up for the remainder of my college career. I shouldn’t be surprised I’m just a B average mom with spontaneous moments of greatness. That might be as good as it gets though I’ll keep trying.  It would be nice to make the A-B Parenting Honor Roll one of these days. Not gonna give up!

Question: What do you think about this idea? What do you think your kids would say? Is there anything you’d add to this list? I look forward to hearing from you!