It’s Day 402 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and a recent outing with my teens confirms the fact that no matter how old we get, we still scream for ice-cream! Figuring out fun things to do with a thirteen and soon-to-be fifteen-year-old can be daunting. They’re both at the stage where screens hold more allure than almost anything except for hanging out with their friends instead of their mom. While that’s pretty normal, quality time with them is too important to let it fall by the wayside. Still, when I ask what they’d like to do, they fluctuate between being fairly non-responsive, resistant or downright refusing to go. But lo and behold, at the mention of a trip to The Cone –– a local family fun soft-serve ice cream stand shaped like a swirl cone, with pinball games –– and suddenly they’re all in! No matter that they’re no longer the babies who used to literally jump up and down pumping their fists in the air, or even that I’m now the almost fifty-year-old mom who has to watch my calorie, fat and sugar intake, we still scream for ice-cream!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose mom, I have to admit –– most days I wish I could turn back time to the days when things were simpler with my children. Back when everything I suggested was met with enthusiasm and being together was as good as it got. But you can’t go back and time doesn’t stand still. My babies are teens who will quickly grow into young adults. Finding common ground isn’t as easy as it used to be but is so worth the effort. Over my daughter’s coffee flavored shake, which she couldn’t finish but ended up giving to her brother, his key lime freeze with a blueberry shell and my strawberry shortcake –– no calorie counting or weight watching there –– conversation and laughter flowed. Like the good old days…We’ve changed in so many ways both as individuals and as a unit, but I’m thankful that some things remain the same. Like the fact that we all still scream for ice cream!
What simple pleasures do you still enjoy? Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about making sure you make the time for them?
So I given the choice between seeing Incredibles 2 or Ocean’s 8 with my teenagers, I’d have chosen the former hands down. But since the latter is rated PG-13, they got their pick. I enjoyed watching how my kiddos got this complex plot nearly as much as I enjoyed the movie – which, I surprisingly did. Getting to know the new young people they are becoming made it a good time. And I have to admit, though it is a crime/action film, it’s a smart one. So are my children!
Day 131 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project is Halloween and though the day started with thoughts about my tween and teen, soon it brought sad tidings. Originally, I’d planned to blog about the holiday and my children, but once I received heartbreaking news, I felt compelled to write about another young man as well. Though I want my blog to be positive and uplifting, sometimes it has to deal with the hard stuff. I hope you don’t mind.
I’ll start with the lighthearted. My children are with their father for Halloween, so I didn’t have anything to do with costume choice for tonight. When I asked my tween son what he planned to be, he informed me he’s going to wear two different masks – last year’s werewolf and this year’s bloody teddy bear (So not my choice!) – so he can get double candy from each house. I’m not thrilled about his duplicity, but on the other hand, I’m happy he’s just being a kid who wants extra candy. Coming from a broken home has taken a toll on my sweet boy and forced him to grow up way too fast…That being the case, more power to him! As for his teen sister, last I heard she was debating whether to trick-or-treat or just pass out candy. Again, I feel at fourteen she’s growing up too fast and wish she’d still go out and be a kid. Then again, she’s always behaved like her little brother’s “sissy-mama”, the hilarious but fitting name he once called her when he’d had enough of her bossiness!
Now for the not-so-light-hearted. This morning, as my hubby and I waited for me to be seen at our family physician’s office so I could be referred to a specialist for my chronic abdominal pain, he received a devastating text. A young man, Mark, who my husband has mentored over the last several years, was killed on the job. While riding a lawn mower near a pond, it flipped and pinned him underwater where he drowned. Mark was excited about becoming a first time dad and leaves behind the pregnant girlfriend who sent the text, as well as his parents, for whom he provided care. Mark was killed on Thursday but his girlfriend just accessed his phone. He’d last spoken with my husband Wednesday and she knew Mark would want him to know. Though gone for a few days, he was alive until my husband got the text bearing such sad news.
Although my husband wasn’t a family member, he, my stepsons, and my surrogate son, are all grieved by this loss. My husband initially met Mark when having auto body work done. From a poverty stricken background, Mark was one of the hardest working young men at the shop. My husband recognized this in him and had him do odd jobs for us on the side to supplement his income because more times than not, his paycheck was spent sacrificing to meet the needs of others who seldom showed any appreciation. Because of his excellent work ethic, he soon became our go-to handy man. Never having had nice things growing up, Mark was grateful for every article of clothing my husband gave him and he was over the moon when given the opportunity to work off payments to for a rare used sports car. Mark loved that car and lovingly restored it. Yet he was willing to sell it in order to provide for his baby. Recently, my husband went with him to a quality thrift store where he bought a crib and changing table for his unborn child. Knowing how he wanted to care and provide for his child the way he never was, my husband couldn’t hold back tears when he told me, “He would have been the best dad in the world.”
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick with a teen, a tween, and a grieving husband, this Halloween is bittersweet. To get the news about Mark today is surreal. In light of Mark’s life being snuffed out so soon, concerns about Halloween costumes and antics fade. This humble young man once told my husband he was the only one who ever treated him with dignity and respect. Hopefully he somehow understood how much he blessed others in the little things. I’ll always remember his servant’s heart as I enjoy the fruits of his labor like my beautiful white painted walls, window and mail boxes. When I went to take a moment by the flower box, I spied a small tool laying in the grass. It seems Mark unknowingly left it behind as a keepsake for my husband.
Since I don’t believe in ghosts, my Halloween “Keep Calm and Haunt On” pumpkins are for decoration only. But I do believe in prayer. Mine for Mark is that he rests in peace.