Sunday, January 31, 2010

Village Idiot

I will recap the morning I had yesterday for you. It took me 36 hours to write this blog post because that's how long it took me to get over my humiliation.

7:30- I wake up on a lazy Saturday morning to a beautiful snow covered lawn. I stare at the falling snow while having my coffee and playing with Will. Lovely.

8:00- I think that I should start shoveling the snow. We are always the last ones in our neighborhood to shovel snow. And our neighbors across our street are "those neighbors" that are out in their yards at 3 am so they can stay on top of it.

8:15- I ask Rob to shovel the snow, but he is still groggy and I know he won't get to it until noon and I want to impress everyone by being one of the first to have it done.

8:30- I load up my ipod, throw on layers of clothes, pick up the shovel, and head outside.

9:00- I wave at my neighbor as she backs out of her driveway. I am hot, exhausted, but determined. It crosses my mind that it's odd that I am the only one shoveling, but I keep going.

9:30- I am not only shoveling my driveway, but also our sidewalk, and front door step. I rock. I wave at my neighbor as she comes back home and starts unloading groceries. I wave rather smugly. I am so awesome for being the first in my neighborhood to have my driveway cleared. She could learn a lesson from me.

10:00- I come inside and warm up my red nose and ice cold hands and look proudly at my accomplishment. Did I mention that I rock?

10:30- I hear a sound. Surely, it's not. Oh, please, Lord. Is that that water dripping from my gutters?

10:31- I look out my front window. My neighbors driveway is halfway cleared. They haven't picked up a shovel.

10:32- I yell at Rob to look up the weather. Didn't he tell me that it was supposed to be 5 degrees all day?

10:33- He sheepishly admits that was the forecast Tuesday or at least that's what he had heard. He now informs me that the high is high enough for me to have saved myself an hour and a half of manual labor. He is lucky I don't still have a shovel in my hand.

12:00- The whole neighborhood is clear. I am in a funk. And I hope my neighbor wasn't laughing at me the whole way to the grocery store.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ask and you shall receive... whether you want it or not.

My incredibly awesome (or disturbed) brother-in-law read my blog post below and decided to take action. My words on my post about Will being my sidekick were, "I wish we could photoshop all of the pink in the background out, but oh, well. That's what we get for having playtime in Bennett's room." Somebody read my words and took them to heart.

These were waiting in my inbox when I got home tonight. Be careful what you wish for.

Gone but not forgotten

Of course we would move to Kansas the year Alabama finally wins the National Championship. I lived there during the Francione/Price/Shula years where the only bumper stickers I would see were, "Fear the Thumb." (Shuddering silently in horror.)

So after we won I was looking everywhere for some rockin' apparel. But there was none to be had. Apparently nobody in Kansas gave a flip about our BCS success. All I could find were Rock Chalk Jayhawk shirts, a few K State caps, and one or two Mizzou dog collars. I even wore my Alabama hat around town for a week straight and I didn't get one single, "Roll Tide." In fact, all I got was a nod in understanding from an elderly man in the grocery store.

So I was thrilled when a few days after the game my parents sent me a houndstooth scarf and 2 national championship shirts. How awesome are they? And then I opened my front door a few days ago and two dear friends from Montgomery sent National Champs gear for the whole family!

Thanks for making the Kansas contingency of 'Bama nation feel a little closer to home. We really appreciate being remembered. I might just cheer for KU basketball now. That's how generous I am feeling.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My sidekick

Will is my little buddy. He is a lot needier than Bennett was and therefore needs to be held more and needs just a little more attention. I love holding him and tickling him and listening to his belly laugh. He can now sit up and is also rolling across the room. He eats solids at every meal and cries, "Mama," but only when he is upset. He sucks his thumb and has to sleep cuddling a lovey which is just so sweet to me.

We took these pictures of him a week ago that just melt my heart. I wish we could photoshop all of the pink in the background out, but oh, well. That's what we get for having playtime in Bennett's room. Isn't he adorable?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tomorrow is another day.

This morning I woke up and got in the shower. While I was in the shower, Bennett woke up. I hurried out and changed her diaper. I went downstairs and got her breakfast. Then Will woke up. I fed Will. Then I changed his diaper. Then I cleaned up breakfast. I gave Bennett a bath. She pooped in the tub. I cleaned it up. Then I dressed them, packed diaper bags, put on heavy coats, put on hats and gloves, had a baby spit up on me, took off the coat, changed his outfit again, went to my moms group, and came home.

I fed Bennett lunch. I washed hands. I fed Will. Then he peed on me. Then the dog peed on the couch. I cleaned it up. I walked up and down the stairs 50 times. Then Will spit up on me. I changed his outfit again. I changed my outfit again. Bennett went down for her nap. I had to wash bathmats. They peeled apart in the dryer. I cleaned my dryer out. I vacuumed. Will went down for his nap. Bennett woke up 5 minutes later. I cried. I changed 5 diapers in between.

I folded laundry, I soothed boo boos, I gave hugs, I watched Mickey Mouse, I played with trains, I had squash spit up on me, I gave piggy back rides, I cooked dinner, I made beds, I cleaned rooms, I sang songs, I did dishes (twice) I read about 50 books, I had a pillow fight, I colored pictures, I emptied diaper genies, and I played a fantastic game of hide and seek.

And I am tired. I am very tired. So my question is this- where are the soaps and bon bons that I signed up for when I decided to stay home with the kids? Anyone? Anyone? Not even one bon bon?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Things I am wondering

1. Where do my socks go? I know this is an age old question, but seriously! I am going to put a hidden camera in my dryer to see what in the world is going on.

2. Why did I hear a certain someone singing the theme to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse last night at 2:00 am? Hint- it wasn't Rob.

3. Will I be able to watch any NFL game next year if Favre doesn't retire? I can't enjoy the game because I think something is going to break every time he gets hit.

4. Is there anything sweeter than a baby who is absolutely delighted every time he sees you?

5. Will people still want to help the Haitian people 6 months from now?

6. Will anyone watch American Idol next year without Simon?

7. Why do women hide their faces when reapplying lipstick? Every time I am around girlfriends and someone yells, "Let's take a picture," I see women cover their faces, turn their backs, or go to a bathroom to put lipstick on. Why is this a taboo? Reapply proudly, ladies. We all do it.

8. Why have I only had one cup of coffee today? Not cool.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Anatomy of a fight

Hey, little brother. Thanks for coming to play in my room. Oh, no, wait. Those are my cheerios. You can look, but you can't touch.

No, seriously, Will. Those are mine. Why don't you play with the turtle? I'm going to tell on you if you're not careful.

Hey, wait! That hurts! Ow! Give it back! Stop it! I am bigger than you and I will squash you like a bug!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

On the flip side.......

I wanted to add an addendum to the blog post below. Yes, Bennett is wonderful and brilliant and a future Rhodes scholar who will bring about world peace and all those other wonderful things, but she is also....almost 2!!! And the tantrums have begun. With a vengeance. I just couldn't in good conscience blog about all the things she's learning without blogging about what I am learning as a parent. And that is that it 'aint easy.

B will have about 2 "come aparts" every half hour. She hits her friends (Sorry Levi), she demands certain books and food and cries when she doesn't get them, she wants her way constantly, she hates to be told No, and she doesn't like it when you won't get her what she wants RIGHT. THAT. SECOND!

Here is a picture of a post melt down Bennett. She is in love with her pillow and she can't sleep without it. I had washed it one morning and had forgotten to put it in the dryer before naptime. When I tell you that she screamed, well that just doesn't do it justice. She finally opened the dryer, pulled out her pillow and blankie, and laid down on her bedroom floor. She wouldn't move. She was so mad at me and was so suspicious that I would take her pillow again, that she wouldn't budge.

The good news is that she seems to understand punishment and she genuinely seems to be sorry when I put her in time out. I know she's trying. The best part is that she is never mean to Will. She adores him. She always kisses Will and she calls him her, "Best fawrind." Plus he is the only one she will share her toys with. Even here when she still wouldn't move because she thought Mommy was going to try and wash her pillow again. I finally had to bring Will into her room to play and she did not take out her bad mood on him. Whew! All is not lost.

I can't keep up

I desperately want to capture all of the changes in Bennett right now, but I just can't keep up. She is changing so much every day and Rob and I both agree that she is so different even from Christmas. It is absolutely fascinating to watch her string words together. She is speaking in more and more sentences every day. I love watching her realize that words she has known for months fit together. It is joyous to watch.

And she is too smart for her own good. She got a new book last night at a great new small and local children's book store and when we came home to read it, I realized that it was too advanced for her. So I made up a story using the pictures in the book. This morning she is so mad at me, because I can't remember the story. She remembers everything I told her last night and keeps trying to get me the same thing, but I can't. Oh, the frustrations of childhood.

Here are a few sentences to help me remember Bennett as she fast approaches her 2nd birthday.

-Where did Daddy go?
-What happened to Will?
-Mommy, I'm all done. I get out. (of her booster seat at the table)
-I watch Mickey Mouse.
-Shhh...... Will is night night.
-I talk to Aunt Lisa. (She wants to call her family on the phone constantly)
-Read the book, please.
-Mommy, where are you? I downstairs.
-We go bye bye in car?
- I want that one. That one. That one. THAT ONE!!
-Come inside, Kirby. No, Meg.
-Oh, no. I broke it. (her colors) Fix it, mommy. No, you fix it.
-Hold you, Mommy. Your Lap. Now, Elmo book.

She can also sing Twinkle Twinkle, ABC's, Jesus Loves Me, Jingle Bells, Party in the USA, Elmo's world, and part of the Mickey Mouse clubhouse theme. She can count to 10 (but not in order at all) and knows a few letters and the sounds they make. She just started getting her colors as well. She will now ask for the green ball or the blue crayon or she wants to wear the pink sweater. She can say "Lauren and Rob" when you ask her what her Mommy and Daddy's names are. Currently she is obsessed with cukoo clocks, trains, and dogs, but that will all change next week.

And there are more sentences that I can't think of. Rob suggested last night that we write down all of the words that she knows, but that's impossible. She knows far too many for me to record anymore. Those days are over. I just love her little mind and I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to watch it grow. I absolutely love introducing her to new foods or new places. I love watching her laugh, dance, jump, run, and play. I love hearing her little feet fun all over our house.I love the fact that I have been there since day one to watch her develop and grow. I think I just love being a Mom.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Kansas City is a whole lotta fun. There are so many things to do here that are family friendly and reasonably priced. So over MLK weekend we had a staycation. In three days we decided to do fun touristy things on a budget and I think we succeeded.

Day 1- We went to Coco Key Water resort. We don't have great pictures because the camera kept fogging up, but hopefully you can see how cool this place is. I still can't believe that we were wearing bathing suits in January. It is a huge indoor water resort. Bennett went down water slides, played in a pool, shot water guns, and even Will joined us on the Lazy River. Kids under 2 were free and adults were only $15 each because they were offering a winter special. And we didn't cave on the food there. We came home and ate.

Total Budget- $30

Day 2- Monkey Bizness. A huge indoor jungle gym. We had a blast except Bennett turned into Nellie Olson. She pushed and hit her way onto the slides. After her third time out, we left. When I talk to Bennett about the green slide, she says, "I not nice." Indeed. But we did have fun in between the tantrums and she was very sweet to one little girl who loved B and introduced her to her parents. Whew. All was not lost. And we only spent $4.50. Total. Whoo- Hoo! Adults were free as were babies, so we only had to pay for Bennett.

Total Budget- $4.50

Day 3- Crown Center. We went downtown KC to eat at B's favorite restaurant, Fritz's. This restaurant has a huge train out front, the food is cheap, and all of your food is delivered to your table by a train. Bennett got to wear a conductor's hat and was overjoyed the whole meal. Afterwards we hung out in the Crown Center and let Bennett play in the giant Crayola store and pick out one piece of chocolate from a chocolate factory.

Total Budget- $21.

So we had three fabulous days filled with fun activities for a grand total budget of $51.50. That's pretty good for a family of four. When we weren't out and about we were snuggled on the couch watching "Beauty and the Beast," coloring pictures, having pillow fights on the bed (Daddy lost), playing dress up, learning our letters, banging on Fisher Price drums, clapping for Will as he tried new foods, and being together as a family. I'd say that this was the perfect weekend.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Better late than never

So I am about 2 weeks behind in posting snow pictures. And I completely forgot to post Christmas pictures. That's what happens when you have a toddler, a baby, 2 dogs, and a computer in the basement that you never go to. Anyway, here are snow pictures.

And for the record why is, "Let it snow?" a Christmas song? I refuse to limit my enjoyment of that song to December just because star 103.5 tells me to. I will sing it until April if need be.

My Dad was in town and he got to enjoy the snow with us.

Rob pulling the kids in our sled. Notice Meg in the background trying to keep up.

Will and Bennett aren't nearly as excited about the snow as we are. I think Will looks like the lttle brother in "A Christmas Story" in that outfit.

She only came back because I bribed her with a treat.

My family. We absolutely love moments like this.

Will with his Grandaddy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Still heavy

My heart is still heavy tonight. I sat down to blog about the kids as usual. I wanted to blog about Bennett now speaking in full sentences (Where did Daddy go? I found it, Mommy!) and I wanted to blog about my sweet Will's 6 month check-up. But I can't. Not yet anyway. I am still too burdened about Haiti.

I can say that I sat in the middle of Will's check-up and cried. Not because he was getting shots, but because I was too upset thinking about the children suffering as I sat there. I was so happy that my boy was so well fed and that he was getting vaccinations and it hurts me beyond belief that there were children dying from lack of food and medical care as I sat in a nice and clean waiting room. The senior pastor at our church wrote a note about Haiti this week. I am including part of what he said. Fair warning- it is extremely disturbing. This was taken from an e-mail sent by a missionary who had already been in Haiti when the earthquake happened.

The injured just keep coming and coming into the compound--I'm doing all I can to help--cleaning blood off of them so the medical team can assess damage. Thank goodness we had an orthopedic surgeon on our team, as well as a GP. I have watched literally dozens of legs, arms, and feet be set by using plywood splints. I had a little boy, about 8, die in my arms last night. I can't quit thinking about him. He had no family with him--someone found him in the street and brought him into camp, and he had a horrible gash on his leg, which was sutured and wrapped. He fell asleep on my knee after he was given a pain injection, and I got up to go help two little girls who had broken limbs. When I went back to check on him, his breathing was so labored and having trouble breathing. The doctor tried to reinflate his lungs, but he died in my lap.

I was playing with Bennett and Will yesterday and I had to stop and just compose myself thinking of that 8 year old boy who died away from his Mother. Bennett crawled in my lap and said, "You okay, Mommy?" and I held her for as long as she would let me.

I don't have answers. Just pray. Thank you so much to those of you that sent me e-mails about my last blog post. If only 10 people read this post and if 2 of those 10 gave $25 because they read this, then maybe I will have helped in a tiny way. Thank you to those of you that have called me as well. In fact, I heard from an old friend I haven't talked to in over a year who shares my burden and she and I are going to start praying together about what we can do (Hi, Melissa! I'm praying.)

Please donate money. Help stuff relief kits. When the time is right, consider joining a team flying to Haiti to help. Just pray. That is the best thing you can do. I can't reiterate enough- this country was in desperate need of help before this happened. What it needs now is a miracle. And it just so happens that I am a big believer in miracles.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


My heart is so heavy tonight as I sit and think about all the devastation that has consumed the nation of Haiti. I won't pretend to be an expert on the island, but it has a very special place in my heart. My former church in Alabama had three full time missionaries in Haiti and I had the honor of knowing all three. I had many conversations with them and saw many pictures and videos over the years and that led to an extreme burden for the country.

A few years ago I was employed by a Christian television station and I produced a 10 minute package on Haiti. I spent weeks and weeks poring over video and interviewing missionaries there. It became one of the best packages that I ever put together. I became so entranced by the stories I heard that I did three segments on my kids television show on Haiti. We interviewed missionaries and asked other kids in the viewing area to pray for Haiti. Rob and I began to financially support two children in Cape Haitian and then we had the privilege to actually go to Haiti.

I met these people. I saw the extreme poverty. I prayed with the sick. I danced with the children. I used the little bit of French that I knew to speak Creole to the natives. I hung out in a make shift hospital with some elderly women and I hugged them. I played soccer with some local boys. And I cried. I wept over the helplessness of their situation.

Rob and I were so burdened by the plight of the children there that we gave an option at our wedding to adopt a child in lieu of wedding gifts. I was thrilled when 2 children were adopted and many donations were made to our foundation of choice- The Starfish kids. When Rob and I were choosing a honeymoon spot, we chose the Dominican Republic. A main reason for this choice was that it was on the same island as Haiti and we wanted to see how one island could support extreme poverty at the same time as extreme luxury.

I say all of this not to claim any superior knowledge of the island but rather to give a small bit of background information on how much Rob and I have felt connected to Haiti over the years. And I am so incredibly sick tonight. I don't think you can even begin to imagine what the conditions are like there- and this was before the earthquake that hit the island yesterday.

I have never ever seen such extreme poverty. It is considered a fifth world nation. There is no infrastructure, no sewage system, nothing. Families sleep on boxes if they are lucky. We saw concrete foundations that were considered homes. I wish that people here in the US understood that even a very small one bedroom apartment would be a luxurious mansion to so many others. The unemployment rate is 90%. The food that is sold on the streets is contaminated and rotting. The streets are littered with rot, feces, garbage, and fires. Witchcraft is the main religion in the country and we went to sleep at night to the sounds of voo doo drums banging.

Yet, there was hope. There are many Christian organizations with missionaries doing amazing things. As I alluded to earlier, Rob and I support a ministry called Starfish kids which allows Haitian children to go to school and it feeds them and gives them clothing. When we went to Haiti I was able to see with my own eyes where my money was going. It is a wonderful organization that is changing the lives of the children in Haiti. We also met children at a local church and they were so happy to see us. I don't know where they got the clothes they had on, but they were dressed in the most beautiful party dresses and they waited outside for hours to meet the group from my church. Tears are pouring out of eyes as I write this and I am praying that they are safe.

I don't know what to do. I just needed to blog to process this. My heart is telling me to jump on a plane and go help, but my head is telling me to wait and pray. We will be donating to Samaritan's Purse until we feel that there is anything further that we can do, and I would urge you to do the same. I cannot stress enough that this country was in need of help before this happened. I cannot imagine what it must be like now. Please pray for the people. Pray for the children. Pray that they will come to know the one true Savior. Pray for help.

A few pictures from our trip to Haiti taken in 2005.

These were some wonderful women waiting at a free health clinic set up at the missionary compound we were staying at in Cape Haitian.

A woman cooking food in what would be considered to be her kitchen.

There is no sewage system to speak of. The streets are littered with waste.

This is me with a precious little girl from our church, Garrett. We are working with a translator to see if Garrett can play with the local children.

Rob took along his video camera and he spent a lot of our trip delighting little boys who had never seen themselves on camera before.

Rob led worship several evenings for the local families and I captured most of the trip on video. I used the footage when I got home to put together a video to raise awareness and money for the people of Haiti. I only pray that it did some good.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I get by with a little help from my friends

It snows here in Kansas. A lot. And it is cold. And we are the nerds from Alabama who didn't even own a shovel until 2 weeks ago. When it is snowing we see our neighbors in their driveways shoveling all night long and we are sitting in our living room wondering if there are any church jobs opening in the Bahamas. With both of us having bad backs, shoveling so much snow is a daunting prospect.

So, I need to publicly thank our hero. Our savior who rescued us poor southerners from the harsh realities of a Kansas snow storm. Our dear friend who owns a snow blower and who has not once, but twice now shown up in our driveway after a heavy snow and freed us. What a wonderful heart. What a good friend. And Jerry Pullins- if you're reading this, what in the world can we do to make it up to you?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Crimson to the Core

I have to publicly congratulate my beloved Crimson Tide for winning the 2010 BCS National Championship. I am beyond myself with excitement and am so incredibly happy about their win. I think anyone who is strongly passionate about a team will understand what I am about to say. I never had a choice. I was crimson from birth.

Someone recently said that true fans were the ones who went to that school and you weren't really a true fan unless you were an alum. I cannot disagree more. I didn't go to the University of Alabama for many reasons and none of them were because I didn't love the football team. When I think of the football team, I think of-

-Learning to say "Roll Tide" along with my ABC's.

-My Grandaddy telling me to never use the colors orange and blue together when coloring a picture for him.

-The old picture of Bear Bryant hanging in my grandparents house.

-My grandmother almost flipping over the back of the couch when Alabama won a game in the final seconds.

-My Mom cheering so loudly when Auburn lost 25-23 to Alabama on Van Tiffin's last-second, 52-yard field goal in 1985. The fact that it was Bo Jackson's birthday made it even better.

-Going to an elementary school where you knew which team every single member of your 2nd grade class cheered for. Enemy lines were drawn along these decisions.

-Receiving an Alabama trash can for my room when I was 13 and thinking it was the best Christmas present ever.

-Watching the 1993 National Championship against Miami at our home in Northern Virginia and all of my friends who were Redskins fans couldn't understand why I loved NCAA football so much.

-Talking so much smack about Alabama beating Tennessee all 4 years of my college life at a small school in TN and having my car rolled in orange every year.

-Walking into Bryant Denny and seeing the sea of crimson.

And so many more. I have been a Bama girl since birth and I always will be. Congrats to my team. Congrats on a SEC championship, a Heisman, a Butkus award, having 6 members selected for the AP first string All American team, and a National Championship and more. What a season and I have your 2 newest fans in training. They take after their Mom. Roll Tide!

Fan #1
Fan #2

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Growing up...

My kids are both changing so fast that I just can't keep up. I love documenting their milestones on this blog mainly so I can easily access them later. I am sad to say that Will is rolling over, almost sitting up, and he is able to reach for his paci and put it back in his mouth all by himself. I have not blogged about any of this and I think I blogged about Bennett rolling over about 5 minutes after she did it. So here is a quick update just in case none of this makes it to their baby albums. :-)

My sweet, vocal, vivacious, and precocious little girl. She is going through a huge Mommy phase, but I really do think it is because things change in her life so much and I am her only constant. My day 5 of our 10 day trip to Alabama, she wouldn't even go to my Mom. She only wanted Mommy. But she really is my little buddy. We do everything together all day long. Even as I type this she is laying with her head on my lap, her feet up in the air, and she is singing, "Hot Dog," which is them theme from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

She is growing and learning every day. She can sing "Twinkle Twinkle" and she can sing most of her "ABC's." She also can sing the chorus to "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus. Blame her Mom on that one. She can also identify about 13 letters and tell you what sounds they make. She loves to count, but she can't count in order. We will hear, " 1,2,4,8,3,14,7,1,2." She is obsessed with Mickey Mouse and she loves cuddling at night. She has to sleep with her pink pillow and her paci.

She delights her father and I ever day. Just yesterday Will was watching Baby Bach and when it was over Bennett said, "More Eintstein, please." We didn't even know that she knew that word. It is just new words, new ideas, new tricks, and new ways to delight us every day. I am going to try to post video of her singing her ABC's, but she gets distracted every time the camera is on and only wants to see herself. That's my girl.

Will- Just typing his name makes me want to smile. He is the cuddliest, sweetest, most lovable baby. He just loves to be held. He will cry if you put him down and walk away, but you can lay him on the couch next to you and he will be content for hours- as long as he can see you. He can roll over both ways, play with toys, and he said his first word, "Mama!" Whoo-Hoo!!! He only says it when he is crying really hard, but he will say it repeatedly when he really needs me.

He isn't nearly as good of a sleeper as Bennett. He was sleeping through the night at 9 weeks, but about 2 months ago that stopped. His naps are erratic as well. He is just not a schedule baby and wants to play by his rules. He is teething right now and he will grab your hand and bite it all day long if you're not careful. He loves to laugh and will give you huge belly laughs if you tickle him or even if you just laugh at him first.

It's funny, but I can already tell such a difference in my two kids. I don't want to compare too much, but it's hard not to. Bennett was always a lot more independent and Will is needier. Bennett was already pretty vocal at this age in terms of squealing and saying "Mama" more, but Will's hand eye coordination is better. He can open toys and grab pacis better than Bennett could at 10 months. They are both so special and unique and created by His hand and I couldn't love them more.

Thanks for letting me gush about the wee ones for a minute. I must run though because those darling angels mentioned above are both screaming loudly for me and are making me want to retract a few of the kind adjectives posted above.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

An open letter to mankind

Dear people of the world,

I have a request. It is hard for me to write this because I used to be one of you. It was not so long ago that I walked in your shoes. I too was a sophisticated traveler. There was a time in recent memory that I was flying first class from Athens to Rome. I hopped on a plane and flew from Barcelona to New York. I enjoyed my ipod, my books, my comfy leg room, and my lobster bisque. I, like you, prayed whenever I saw a child board a plane that they would not be sitting next to me. I scowled at parents who couldn't control their children and I silently mocked their helpless plights. I now feel ashamed.

See, I have become them. That woman running down the terminal with a screaming toddler on her hip while stuffing cheerios in said toddlers mouth has become sadly familiar. That parent on the plane who is bribing their child with every toy imaginable to no avail has become yours truly. Instead of carrying a bag filled with my journal, a bottle of water, and my wallet, I now carry a oversized bag filled with plush toys, Dr. Seuss books, and sippy cups. I now know their pain and I apologize for all previous mocking.

And I ask you to do the same. If a 1 year old is jumping on her airplane seat repeatedly and it is causing your seat to vibrate, don't get mad. If a baby is wailing because their ear hurts, try to understand. If a Mickey Mouse doll somehow gets chucked at your head in a screaming fit, calmly hand it back. And if you see a woman holding two children that are sliding down her leg and she is trying to open a stroller with one hand, for the love of Pete, please help her.

After all, you may one day be her. And she does not need your scorn. She needs your prayers.

Lauren Webster

The calm before the storm. Notice how she is wearing my watch. The, "I will do anything to keep her quiet" operation had already commenced.