Monthly Archives: February 2012

The most epic fail and the most amazing man

The other day I drove twenty minutes across town with both of my littles in the backseat – Judah strapped into his car seat, Levi… not.

Twenty. Minutes.

I pulled in the driveway, opened Levi’s door, reached in to help him out… and saw it: the unbuckled belt.

Trying not to burst into tears (and frighten him) I squeezed him tight and told him I was sorry and asked him for forgiveness and thanked God nothing happened and kicked myself for being too busy to notice and rejoiced that all was well… all at once.

Between Judah crying, running late for lunch and naps, getting both kids into the car in a busy parking lot, trying not to lose it while geting the stroller folded up and crammed into our tiny trunk, and stuffing the groceries into the front seat of our car… I forgot one of the two most crucial steps. Judah was buckled, but not my Levi.

Not my best moment.

(Makes me want to cry just thinking about it now.)

I later told Ryan what I did and the first thing he said was, “Are you ok?”

Seriously? Are you OK?

That’s how amazing my husband is.

Obviously he knew Levi was fine. And he knew that I would have been shaken up and ready to tear my clothes and rub ashes on my face and send myself into exile outside the city. So while some would be quick to scold or reprimand or “ugh” in disgust, he simply asked if I was ok.

That, my friends, is grace.

He gave me exactly what I didn’t deserve… but what I needed.

I think about God and hte grace he gives us (oh! the GRACE that we made it home safely with no accident… I’d have never forgiven myself). And I hold in my hand such a tangible example of grace extended to me, both in our protection and in my husband’s response to my carelessness.

God knows I’m sorry. God knows I’ve learned a lesson. God knows that rebuking me would do nothing to make things better.

Apparently my husband knows all that stuff too.

That day I saw God in the response of a man.

How grateful I am for him, and to get to wake up tomorrow morning and celebrate the most glorious day he was born.

Ryan: God’s grace to me.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When’s the last time you unintentionally messed up big time? Was grace extended to you? (I hope so.)

 

Love,
A

p.s. I hope you don’t think I’m an incredibly irresponsible mother. I posted this thinking that most of us probably have a story like this to share. How I wish I could be sure it was my last. 😦

 

Click Clink Five | five minutes a day, unedited
Adriel also writes on motherhood & parenting at The Mommyhood Memos

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Looks really do matter

I was in a new grocery store today and saw these:

Doesn’t that make you want to buy and eat your veggies?

Yes mam. Bring on the brussel sprouts!

As much as we all like to say, “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”, that’s not entirely true.

(And you know this applies to people too… we really are initially attracted to “beautiful” ones, are we not? But that’s a different post.)

If you’re choosing between an apple with a few nicks in the skin or an apple with a perfectly smooth skin, which one do you choose?

Right. I thought so.

You choose the one that looks good. (That’s why millions of pounds of perfectly good food gets thrown out every day in the West. Yup, also another post.)

Marketing experts know this. They not only know it, they exploit it–I mean–they do their job well.

Ever since moving here I’ve had a “beef” with my local Woolworths (equivalent to Safeway). Their slogan is that they’re the “Fresh Food People” but their produce sucks. (Sorry if that’s not nice language to you.)

But it’s true.

I’ve bought perfectly good looking spinach leaves only to find them completely brown and gross two days later. Obviously they were harvested and packaged loooong before I ever had the chance to buy them.

Hey Fresh Food People, I’d like to be able to buy my veggies once a week, thanks. No daily trips to the grocery store for me! (Another good reason to get our produce from the Sunday farmers market.)

But seeing Woollies display their produce like it is now? That makes me think: fresh, straight from the farm, earthy, yum, pretty, healthy, BUY ME!!

They’re doing a good job reeling me in, I must admit.

I wonder if their produce selection will match their fresh, new look?

STOP.

Q for you: How are you swayed by looks? Come on… admit it…

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited
Adriel also writes on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos


War Horse *snore* | Angelina *snort*

I missed all but the very end of the Oscars. (Don’t panic, it’s being replayed tonight after the kiddos are in bed. DVR already set. Yay.)

What I did witness though, was the award for Best Picture.

I haven’t actually seen many of the films nominated yet. (Most movies come out here later than America.) Boo.

What I did see, however, was War Horse.

I’m sorry if you are my facebook friend or my husband or my neighbors, because what I’m about to write is old news, BUT…

WAR HORSE? For Best Picture? Really?

(Just be glad they didn’t win. Then this post would really be a rant.)

But seriously, I’m really shocked it was even nominated for such a prestigious category.

Steven Spielberg, yes. The man is amazing.

THAT’S half of why I was so utterly dissappointed in the film.

Here’s the other half: Silly story. Too many stories in stories. Dumb concept altogether. Super annoying cinematography/lighting/set design. And DON’T MAKE ME CRY over a horse in a stupid moving using your touching music!!

I seriously walked out of the theater (with a tear in my eye, darn it) thinking I’d have been more entertained surfing facebook for the night.

*yawn*

Anyway, at least Angelina Jolie was entertaining. *snort*

Can’t wait to watch the rest of the show tonight after dark.

STOP.

 

Q for you: War Horse, yay or nay?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | five minutes a day, unedited


WWJD in the face of a messy toddler meltdown?

I try not to talk too much about parenting on this blog, because that’s what my other one is for.

But… I’m a mom and I spend a lot of time with the littles. A lot. So of course they occupy much of my headspace. And of course my headspace it’s what ends up here on this paper space. Er, web space.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I parent in two areas: discipline and getting my baby to sleep. naturally those are the two issues that I’m most immersed in at hte moment – helping Judah’s basic needs to be met (feeding, sleeping, and cuddles), and helping to shape the foundation for our parenting philosophy and style in the area of disicpline (helloooo, little toddler!).

And since I’m a Christian, I’m asking myself this question a lot: how does God parent me? (Because that should shape how I parent my littles.)

To put it in today’s (cheesy, over-used) terms: Would Would Jesus Do when dealing with a tantrum? or a fussy baby? or being woken up at night? Or food landing anywhere but the little one’s mouth?

I try to imagine Jesus dealing with a toddler in teh midst of a meltdown over toppled blocks and wonder… would he sweep the kid off to a time out? Would he use stern words? would he give him a giant hug? Would he remove a priviledge? would he distract? Would he spank? (Oh, the controversy these responses stir up!!!)

So many questions.

Of course i don’t know all of hte answers. And I can only imagine what Jesus would actually do.

But I do have expereince of how God’s treated me as an “infant” Christian. He was always so gracious, so kind, so slow to anger. His rebuke never felt stern. I can never remember him barking orders. I don’t recall him demanding obedience or punishment. I don’t remember him even removing “privileges” so to speak.

I just remember him loving me. And trusting me. And giving me opportunity and responsibility and the chance to make a difference.

ANd as I grew to love him and know him back, my desire to obey and serve and be like him just naturally followed.

I grew to love what he loves and live by his value system.

Doesn’t mean he never corrected me along the way.

But when he did correct (and still when he corrects me now), he does so gently and with respect.

Often he even whispers, nudges, suggests a better way.

And his boundaries are clear and unchanging and set up for my own good. (And even bring freedom – what a concept.)

How does this translate into how I parent my littles? How does this translate into that moment – life in teh eye of a tantruM?

That’s where the rubber really hits the road.

These are my questions… These are my thoughts…

This is my parenting being shaped.

So. Much. To. Learn.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How does your faith shape your parenting?

 

Love,
A

p.s. Yes, I did go over time on this post. Like a whopping two minutes or something. Yikes, you’d think in two minutes I could have at least fixed up some of those typos! 😉

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Tiny little blog fail

When I wait until the end of the day to write I end up serving up leftovers.

*Head bowed in embarrassment.*

I had several “aha!” moments today as I went about my day – things that I couldn’t wait to sit down and write about.

And now it’s bedtime and I realize I’ve not done it.

Fail. little tiny blog fail.

I suppose it’s no big deal since my readership is pretty tiny.

But you, tiny readership, are important to me.

You deserve more than my leftovers.

You take your time to read what I might say…

And so you deserve better.

“God’s mercies are new every morning.” I’m so glad for this truth.

Tomorrow I will wake up and begin afresh and no doubt I’ll have some riveting story to tell you.

Or maybe I won’t. (Have a riventing story, that is.)

But I will promise you to not bring left-overs to teh table.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What are you glad for a fresh start tomorrow for?

 

Love,
A

 

###

Click Clink Five: five minutes a day, unedited.

 


The one that’s not about Morocco

When I imagine the prefect space for writing, two images come to mind.

One is a second story cafe in Newington Green, London. It’s a bit dark, a bit smokey, and has a couple small windows that overlook an old cemetary.

In no way does this place excite me as a writing space, but I always think of it.

Perhaps that’s because I have distinct memories of sitting alone there, journalling my heart out as a 19-year-old. Handwritten, of course, in little books…. long before the days that laptops were as common as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

The other place I think of is a small office on the second story of an old farm house. There’s an oversized desk, a huge window, and lots of natural light. On the desk are a couple of framed photos, few pieces of paper, and several pens scattered aorund. (Why are there pens? I write on my laptop.) Ouside there’s a looming oak tree, sprawling lawns, and of course a babbling brooke.

(This place doesn’t exist. Well, I’m sure it does. I’ve just never been there.)

I’ve never wanted to live in teh country. But I can certainly imagine wriitng there.

Neither of those places are my ideal writing spaces, and yet they are the ones I always think of – one real and one pretend.

When I sat down to write this post I was going to write about Morocco.

About the shapes of the doors and the colors of the shoes. About the flicker of lanterns and the cobblestone alleys adn how it all made me long to write and create so desperately.

How did I get to a smelly old cafe and imaginary farm house from that?

Someday I will write about Morocco. A strange and beautiful and far away place.

Until then I’ll keep writing from my couch in this old Queenslander I call home.

STOP.

Q for you: What’s your ideal creative space?

Love,
A

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.


My inner critic

Apparently sixth grade was a big year for me:

The year I learned about autism.

The year I did my first volunteering (outside of a church setting at least).

The year I wrote my very first report. (The report was about koalas. Oh, the irony as I write this from Down Under 23 years later.)

It was also the year that I got my first B.

I’ll never forget it.

Mrs. Smith handed me my report card and there, next to “science” was a B. A big, fat, dreaded B.

I was devastated and burst into tears.

Cry. me. a. river.

My 11-year-old logic: My family didn’t have much money. If I wanted to go to college, no doubt I’d need to get there on scholarship. And if I wanted a scholarship, no doubt I’d need to have a perfect school record. Perfect. Six grade included.

(Where does an 11-year-old get these ideas? Certainly not my parents for the record! They were thrilled with my B and never, ever pressured me about grades during my entire life. Not even once.)

But there I was, an 11-year-old with ruined college and career plans.

maybe I couldn’t become a child psychologist after all. (I wonder what a child pychologist would say about my ideas back then? Hmmm… another post for sure.)

I’ve since earned a few B’s, and when I got to college I actually got a C once. It was in math or science, of course.

But you know what? I don’t even remember what exact class that C was from… because it’s not important.

I’ve since learned that I will never be perfect. I will never have “straight As.” Not on my report card, and not in life.

Most of the time, I’m at peace with that; sometimes I still wrestle.

beginning this five-minute-a-day blog is an excercize in beating that inner perfectionist to death.

Do you know how hard it is to just write and not edit and then the world see all of my flaws and typos and scattered thoughts?

But it is working. It is helping.

And I am becoming more comfortable to just write. Write without reservations.

Thank you Mrs. Smith for helping me to see that a B is still really, really good. I’m sorry it took me a few years to figure it out.

Q for you: My inner critic is the perfectionist. What’s yours??

Love,
A

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.


Jonathan, the boy with autism

In the sixth grade my teachers took my class to the swimming pool on Fridays to work with the kids from the Alice Hatch Center.

The Alice Hatch Center was a preschool for kids with special needs.

I can’t remember any of the kids, or what kinds of “needs” they had… except for one:

Jonathan.

Jonathan was “my” boy.

He was three years old, slight for his age, with blonde hair and gray-blue eyes.

Jonathan had autism.

For whatever reason, Jonathan decided he liked me and trusted me.

I was the only one he’d swim with.

To say we were buddies was an understatement.

I loved that kid.

I’m pretty sure he loved me too.

I looked forward to seeing him each Friday afternoon.

That was when I decided I wanted to be a child psychologist and work with autistic kids.

I was eleven.

Obviously that dream didn’t stick with me for the long term. (It did for about 4-5 years though!)

I’m no child psychologist today, nor do I desire to be. But I always have had a special soft spot in my heart for kids with special needs.

They are so often misunderstood. Misunderstood and even feared.

I sometimes think about Jonathan today. He would be about 26 – all grown up. I dont even know his last name.

I wonder if he lives independently and what his life is like.

I sometimes miss him too.

What great teachers I had – Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Fox – who gave their sixth graders a chance to help kids in need, and a chance to be changed in the process.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What special person from your childhood do you miss?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.


Thank God for 12th grade English

By teh time I was a senior in high school, I was pretty over it.

I had all of my credits finished the year before and had begun taking classes at hte local community college, but I left 12th grade English for 12th grade becuase everyone told me that I shouldn’t miss out on my senior year.

Even though i could have easily finished it the year before, i left it so i could have my “senior year experience.”

Turns out, I thought it (school in general) was a giant waste of time and wished I had just finished up the year before.

But soldier on, i did.

School was always easy for me. I didn’t have to try very hard. (Unless it came to memorizing stuff like science terms or historical dates.)

In my 12th grade english class I never even read the books. I could easily join in class discussions and even write essays abotu the books just based on what others said in class. (I’m an excellent bluff-er.)

I was a total faker. A faker getting straight As.

And then my teacher – Mrs Hurley? – assigned The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

I’m not even really sure why since it was a thick, thick book, but I decided to give that one a try.

I read the entire book in about three days. Loved. It.

And that was my turning point.

I read the book, engaged (for real) in class, and wrote a stellar essay about it.

After that my teacher asked me to be a student teacher and help her mark the other student’s papers.

I didn’t grade them of course, but I did critique their writing, write remarks and comments, etc. and then pass them onto Mrs. Hurley for the “real” grading.

it was my saving grace that year.

If it weren’t for that class I may have never started reading again. (And I might have never gone to class again either.)

I loved Mrs, Hurley. I loved that she not only saw something in me, but then she gave me a platform.

I’ve always loved reading – ever since I was a little kid. But that’s the class where I discovered I wasn’t just good at writing, but I enjoyed writing.

Thank you Mrs Hurley for helping me to discover a little something about myself. Now here I am, 17 years later, actually beginning to do something about it. (I stil have a long way to go, but hey, at least I’m going.)

I never did tell her that all of my “A-graded” papers until that point had been based on a bluff.

STOP. (just went nearly a minute over!)

Q for you: Did you have a teacher that changed things for you? How did he/she influence your life?

Love,
A

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.


I write to remember

There are many reasons I write.

I write because I enjoy it. I also write because I’m good at it. (And don’t we all like to do things we’re good at?)

But I also write to remember.

I’ve never been one of those people who can sit around and tell stories.

My husband is like that. I lvoe that about him – he’s never without some story to tell.

Often I try to think of stories to tell… and I just can’t think of any. Seriously. It’s like they don’t even exist in my brain.

I know they must be buried in there somewjere, but wherever that somewhere is, it’s not close to the surface.

So one of the reasons I write is to remember.

I really started writing when Levi was a couple of months old. I’m SO glad I did.

Even now I thnk back to those days (which aren’t that long ago) and the details are hazy.

What helps me to remember are the things I wrote about and the things I photographed.

If I’ve somehow captured it on paper or in image, it’s much more cemented in my mind. (Luckily I have thousands of photos to help jog the old memory!)

But what I don’t have much recored abotu are my travels.

This makes me incredibly sad.

I’ve been to around 35 different countries I think, some of them multiple tiems. Some just for fun, adn some with my work.

I remember a story here and there. I remember how I felt. I remember random facts about hte people I met or something I ate or did.

But largely, my memory is hazy.

How I wish little laptops had been available then like they are now!

I’d have volumes and volumes of stories recorded.

I’m grateful to have (already) lived such a full and interesting life.

I only wish I could remember it a little better.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you write? If so, why?

 

Love,
A

P.S. This is the same reason I’m a “list person”. I’d remember nothing if it weren’t a part of some list or another. *sigh*

 

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.