Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Intervention of Angels

Two weeks ago Pretty Girl's life was miraculously spared.

Our family was attending a local Halloween event. After unloading all the kids from the car, I rounded the back to pull out supplies. As I reached the back of the car, I realized not all the kids had stayed on the side of the road (next to the car) as we ALWAYS instruct them to do.

Pretty Girl was standing in the middle of the road, lovingly staring off across the street at the festivities. She was blissfully unaware of the car four feet behind her that had just come to a sudden halt.

I didn't sleep well most of last week. Lots of turning and self loathing and a million ways I could have prevented this. Many thoughts telling me, "You have too many children!" "How do you expect to be a good mother if you cannot watch them all?" and most prominently, "This is your fault. You should have been there. You failed."

The driver of the car turned out to be a distant neighbor. When I talked to her later, she told me in the moments before the near-crash, she felt an unknown slap come from behind her head and a direct voice that made her look to the side of the road where Pretty Girl was standing with her brothers. The voice told her to pay attention - at which point Pretty Girl walked right into the road.

I have no answers for why some children are spared and some are not. But I know our days and years are numbered from an eternal, solemn perspective. And if Pretty Girl still has more work to do and more to teach her parents, then there could also be hope of God's confidence in my abilities as a mother.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Consultant

Last year my son hired a consultant to keep him motivated while doing his homework.

This year the consultant hasn't been following the plan.

I don't think we'll be hiring him next year.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Resolution #973

Spend more afternoons like this.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Kids Best Music, Top 5

In the McKinnon household, music tastes run up and down the charts. Fortunately our family comes together over a few albums everyone agrees on. When these pieces start floating over the sound waves, the singing of little voices together is music to my ears.

#1 - The Beatles, 1

This album is our number one family album. Everyone is happy when this CD starts to play. And we all have our personal favorite song;

Dad - We Can Work It Out
Mom - Paperback Writer
Big Guy - Yellow Submarine
Sweetie - Hello Goodbye
Pretty Girl - She Loves You
Pirate - Get Back (the "Jo-Jo" song)

#2 - Michael Jackson, Thriller

Never underestimate the power of Beat It to a pair of young boys going to a soccer game. Or the dancing moves that emerge to Don't Stop Till You Get Enough. We all love this album.

#3 - Hans Zimmer & James Howard - The Dark Knight

We still don't understand how our kids are so crazy about music for a movie they have never seen. The kids unanimously request this album at least 1x a week.

#4 - Strong Bad - Strong Bad Sings

No, this isn't a joke. We just like Homestar Runner that much. And PS - we're lip syncing "Dangerous" at our next New Years Eve Party with Greg's family. All we need are some "cool, cool glasses".

#5 - Rodgers & Hammerstein - The Sound of Music

The kids aren't fans of Climb Every Mountain or the song when the Captain falls in love with Maria ("Ewwww! Mom, can you please forward this one??") - but they cheer every other song on this album.

Runners Up

Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley - Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

Yep. Oompa Loompa songs make our house a happier place.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Green Thumbs

All of us experienced jaw-dropping moments this past summer while watching the flower pots change. Seriously. The boys did an amazing job.

They're already dreaming of what to grow next spring...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

This Just Feels Wrong

As previously confessed on this blog, I love playing video games with my kids. We're Wii Sport connoisseurs. I haven't met a bowling ball or racket I didn't like.

Except boxing.

Punching a computerized representation of my child just feels completely wrong. Like I'm taking my energy out in the wrong place. And then there's the whole dilemna of the child punching the parent. And what about sibling punching sibling? Is this right? Does this encourage peace within the family?

And PS - my arms are sore.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I love poetry. Honestly. I love poetry. Whatever work of fiction/non-fiction sits at my bedside table there is almost always a companion of poetry lying next to it.

Poetry is good for walking.

You can read the stanzas in a rhythm as you walk. And when you glance up to watch your path, the mind can digest each phrase. These days I have zero time for this type of activity. And I can't take my books of poetry into a lap pool or on my road bike.

My favorite poem - and it has always been my favorite - comes from this man.

And at least once a week I find myself quietly whispering lines...

I grow old...I grow old...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing each to each.

I do not think they will sing to me.

Occasionally I read poetry to my children at bedtime (in between Harry Potter & Roald Dahl). They're not crazy about most of it - but I still manage to sneak it in every so often.

They will tolerate Ben Jonson and occasionally Edgar Allan Poe. They hate Keats. And they don't know it yet, but Shakespeare is coming...

In the meantime, they delight most in the prose of Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout and the one who cannot go to school today, named little Peggy Ann McKay.