Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mom of Boys

By: Samantha S. Daviss

Little boys are amazing creatures. Every day I have a pit in the bottom of my stomach, hoping that old cliché isn’t true that when boys grow up they migrate towards the girl’s family; I hope my boys will want to remain close to my heart forever.
The journey with boys is full of lots of laughs, some tears, but most importantly lots and lots of love. Boys are definitely a breed of their own, but worth every minute of the experience.
Things we talk about…
As a mom of all boys, you may or may not understand this, but a boy mom hears everything, literally everything, in a day. From talking about how to ask a girl to a dance, to the next type of gun they want for their birthday, to arguing with mom about not having the right attire to swim in at the pool.
I think my favorite talks are the ones that begin with a reverse question. It takes me a while to figure out what the question is leading up to, but I finally see the light.
My favorite the other day was…”Mom did you ever go to prom?” And I told him I did, I told him I was lucky enough to go 3 times. Then he proceeded to ask how they asked me…and then it all hit me…we are wondering how we are going to ask our future dates to dances.
Things I manage and deal with…
So as a boy mom you go from one extreme to another. You are constantly picking up clothes, toys, trash, food, dirty dishes…and the next second you are dealing with their OCD habits that won’t allow them to leave the house if their toys aren’t lined up correctly or their towel has to be just perfect on the lounge chair at the pool.
Why can’t some of this pickiness occur within the walls of our home? Why does it always look like a bomb went off, then I pick up, and 10 minutes later another bomb has gone off?
Then there are those moments that I am helping them style their hair so they look good and won’t be embarrassed to go out in public; so that need for mom is still there, and hopefully will be for a while.
But within the next moment I turn the corner and find gum all over one of my car seat belts so I am on Google trying to figure out how to get chewing gum out of a vinyl seatbelt.
Special Moments…
My oldest asked me the other day why I work during the summer when he is home from school. And I told him because my job requires me to do so. I don’t have a job like a teacher or counselor where I get a few months off during the year. But I explained to him that I am lucky in the fact that I get to leave my job every day in time to pick him up from school…and as a mom of boys that is the most important time in the world to me.
They don’t always open up to you, but when they do you had better be there to listen. And that is the time of day I have found that he does most of his talking. Sometimes it is a struggle to get information out of pre-teens or teenagers, but persistence is the key. Don’t be annoying, but be persistent. And sure enough the right time and right circumstances will happen that they will open up and let you in for a brief shining moment.
Now the little ones on the other hand, never stop talking. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. We talk about great ideas they have, trips they want to take, school supplies they want, or just the fact that they want to go swimming or watch trains at that very moment.  But nonetheless I will never ever cut communication off with my boys, no matter how much they clam up.
I am always on the hunt…
And that is another thing, what is it with boys and their shoes? I feel like I spend half of my lifetime searching the house for their shoes. How hard is it for the male specimen to put their shoes in their closet? They don’t have to be put there neatly, just put them there!
Things They Say….
My middle one has a great heart; even at four years old he know to let his little brother win a race now and again; which he does followed by a “Hip Hip Hooray, you just won the race!”
The oldest one is learning the art of protection, and he has asked me if anyone ever makes fun of his little brothers, is he allowed to hit them? Although the gesture is kind and sweet and protective of his little brothers that worship him, that is still another life lesson that I have to teach him.
And the little one is just full of hugs and kisses and tells me constantly not to go to work, and that he loves me.
So their little brains are always thinking and processing, that is why it is so important to set the right example. I am the first to admit, I screw up daily; but I am trying to see the big picture of my parenting, hoping that I am doing a good job and try not to beat myself up too much for the tiny errors that I make.
Just go with it…things I have endured….
This year has been a trying one on old mom. I know I have been the one taking the hits, literally, but emotionally my boys (all four of them, yes including my husband) have put me through the ringer this year.
Let’s see we ended last year with my middle one have 2 staples in his head from the baby launching a sippy cup at his head. Then four days into the New Year, my oldest snapped is ulna and radius in half, after rough housing on a trampoline. So we made it through that fiasco and then 20 days after getting our cast off, it went right back on again. He again, snapped his ulna and radius. Soon to follow my husband endured kidney stones for the first time; I am pretty sure he felt like he was birthing our 4th child…then came the drugs and he was happy once again. The following week our youngest was sent via ambulance to Children’s Hospital in Dallas to manage a rare diagnosis of intussusception, which is a rare occurrence in the large and small intestines.
About 10 days to two weeks after that my husband was doing manual labor on our lot where we are building and a tree decided to meet his head; therefore we ended up with 8, yep 8, staples in his head as well.
And then not 7 days after that the middle one got about a second degree burn on his leg from hitting the engine on our lawn mower.
So the moral to our story is…we will NEVER EVER miss eating our black eyed peas again on New Year’s Day.

But the one thing I have learned about being a boy mom, is the power of touch; even though they are rough and tumble, they still need love, hugs and kisses. And the older they get the harder it becomes, but we have a “one hug a day” rule, not to embarrass them, but to let them know we are there for them no matter what…especially the older they become.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer Camp…best times EVER!

By: Samantha S. Daviss

As a kid if you ever had the opportunity to go to summer camp, those are probably some of the best memories you ever accumulated, right? They sure were for me. I still talk to about four or five of my cabin mates, I still remember my first “real” kiss was behind the ice maker on Dance Night, and I still remember getting camp favorite…I went to my summer camp for nine summers in a row and loved every single minute of it.

Regardless of which camp you are fortunate enough to attend, it is all about the memories you make, the friends you acquire, and the lessons you learn from camp that stay with you for a lifetime.

My oldest has been going to the same camp I went to as a child for the past four summers now, and I can see in his eyes the same anticipation and excitement I got when my parents pulled my trunk down from the attic and the packing process started. It was pure elation that I got to spend another two weeks in the happiest place on earth to me, with all my best summer pals, making more memories.

Now that I am an adult, I look back on my times as a camper and realize that I learned so much more than how to swim a mile, or ride a horse, or jump on the Blob (a water activity loved by all kids). So here are a few things that I reflect on as a former camper, and what I took away from summer camp:
1.      Your clean underwear in your drawer isn’t a mysterious collaboration, that lady you call mom puts it there daily. You learn to appreciate that after two weeks of turning your undies inside out and backwards just to make it a few more days…without good ol’ mom around.
2.       The dreaded shower scene—you may think I am talking about Psycho, but I am not…I am talking about the first time you step into that group shower unit and realize that your body is light years behind all your cabin mates.
3.       Simple as it is…you make friendships and memories that truly last a lifetime.
4.       Your first crush—really did turn out to be something special. It was your first “real” kiss and that is something that stays with you forever.
5.       Washing your hair after a full day in the lake isn’t a request, it is a requirement; especially when your hair is starting to look like the seaweed at the bottom of the lake.
6.       Being selected by your fellow campers as a campfire lighter or favorite, really is a pubescent confidence enhancer and right of passage.
7.       Dance night is the most terrifying night of any pre-pubescent or pubescent’s life. You stand there wondering “Will I be asked to dance?” “Do I really have to ask her to dance?” “If we do dance do we have to touch and hold hands?” The eternal fear of every child/teenager is revealed for that hour and a half on the well-lit tennis courts.
8.       It is a must to hang your swim suit out to dry after the day’s activities, because after a few weeks at camp the mildew WILL start to grow…but always check for scorpions. A very important life lesson, as a camper.
9.       Every child needs the experience of climbing on a bus or being dropped off by mom and dad, waving good bye, and surviving on your own for at least a week. It teaches independence, confidence, and the ability to say good bye.
10.   And most importantly…as a camper you really learn you who are: Are you a nature lover or a couch potato? Do you co-exist well with other outside your family? Are you flexible and willing to go with the flow or are you more of the leader? And most importantly does this new adventure put a smile on your face every day or do you complain about all the activities and having to rise and shine early?

Summer camp, no matter how long or short of a term it is, is a blessing in so many ways. It teaches you who you are, how to manage your clean and dirty underwear situation, and it also teaches your parents how to let go a little bit too.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Never Take Him for Granted

By: Samantha S. Daviss

I know every girl has an awesome story or two to tell about their man and how he surprised her with something, or bought her something she never even expected; but my husband did one of the most romantic things I have ever received…and that was my most favorite thing to do in the entire world, and that is to travel.

He surprised me with a trip, recently. Our stars had aligned and apparently Congress had passed another bill allowing this to happen, and that was the gift of us having a few days alone together. So we knew we wanted to go somewhere, but he insisted on handling all of the arrangements. So I put my Type A personality to the side, and relinquished all duties. It was kind of exciting.

I knew we were going somewhere, but I had no idea where. I figured since we both love the Texas Hill Country so much, that we would jump in the car and head south for a few days. Taking in some wineries, maybe climbing Enchanted Rock outside of Fredericksburg, all the great stuff we love doing down there.

But I didn’t ask, I didn’t want to know; I was having more fun not knowing, than I was wanting to figure it out. All he did tell me was to pack a swimsuit and a sun dress or two. Now immediately our minds go to the beach…and that makes the most sense, but in Texas that could just be the staple requirements to beat the Texas summer heat.

So the night before our trip, I threw a few things in a bag, and I was ready to go. We headed north towards the airport, so this was already shaking down to be a different trip than I anticipated. We typically fly out of Love Field, because we love Southwest Airlines so much; but we zipped right passed the Lemon exit and headed up to DFW (Dallas/Ft. Worth) airport.

I still had no idea where we were headed. He dropped me off at the curb and handed me my boarding pass to get through security, and it was a DFW to San Francisco boarding pass. So of course I was thrilled with that. It is one of our most favorite cities. But it was funny, the first thing that crossed my mind was that I was going to have to buy a sweatshirt or something upon arrival; since the temperatures get a little chilly there; and I totally packed wrong for San Fran.

So the flight was great and we arrived safely in San Francisco. As we got off the plane he told me he was hungry so I suggested going to grab a bite at Fisherman’s Warf. But he lingered around the terminal area for a while…I was a little perplexed. Then I asked “We aren’t leaving the airport are we?” He just grinned. At that point I realized we had another flight to catch.
We sat around and ate and had about a two hour lay-over. Soon he told me it was time to board again, still having not the faintest idea of where we were headed, I got to our gate, and at that moment the sign for our destination flashed up…and it said “Los Cabos”.

I lost it…I just turned and looked at him and said “Thank you! Thank you for doing this, and thank you for loving me this much; I’ve never had this before.” So like two girls we are both standing there hugging one another in the terminal, he is smiling with a tear or two in his eyes; but I am bawling like a big ol’ baby! It was that ugly cry, you know, where your entire face wrinkles up and no amount of makeup can make you look pretty.

And I wasn’t crying for the destination, although I adore Cabo San Lucas, it is gorgeous; I was crying over the thought, the effort, and the amount of time he had to put into this trip to make it happen without me having a clue.

That is what romance is to me. It’s that old cliché … “It’s the thought that counts”. And that is so true for me, I don’t care what we do, what we have, or where we go…it’s just the fact that you thought about me, what I might like to do, and making it happen.

I was married once before, and never felt special in his eyes. I know that seems kind of sad to say, but I never felt like I was of importance to him. But I feel so blessed and protected with my husband now, that I know I am always on his mind; along with the kids too. We are his number one priority and I have never felt that before.

We live such a crazy hectic life, between his work schedule and the kids’ activities, that sometimes it is so important that we just take a time out together. Whether it is to the local coffee shop to chat, or a nice tropical vacation to really reconnect and “date” again; never taking each other for granted or our love for one another for granted is imperative in our relationship.

Always, always remember, you fell in love with that person for one reason or another; so keep that reason alive on a daily basis. You have to work really hard at marriage, it is not a one way street, and it is and always will be a team effort.