I’m just going to put it all out there for you right now, no beating around the bush, no denial. I’m a hot mess at the moment. An emotional, wet noodle of a frame. I hope you are sitting down, cuz this one’s coming hard and fast. It’s freakin almost June and my kids are not even close to finishing the school year. I’m experiencing an emotion I rarely, if ever, feel. Envy. I’m envious of all you moms whose kids are sent off for their schooling from Aug-June! This is crazy ironic because all year I laugh at you. I crack up at the back-to-school resolutions ya’ll make (been there, done that). I get all giddy when I’m waking in the morning and leisurely getting the kids up, eating an un-rushed, healthy breakfast, starting school in our pj’s. But today, today, I’m not giddy. No, not at all. I’m actually freaking out. You all are done, we are not! What does this mean? How can this be?
“They must be beat,” the small 60-something woman standing in front of me said. Horrified, I gasped, “Never!” We were standing outside the small Catholic Church in Bryson City, NC and she was one of many delightful people we’ve met the past couple of weeks that we’ve been here. She prefaced the above statement by gushing over the kids’ adorableness. “They are so beautiful,” she said. “I’ve just never seen such beautiful kids. Even mine weren’t as gorgeous.” I laughed out loud. “And they are so well-behaved. I told Bill, they must be beat.” “Never,” I shrieked. And that’s the truth. Our kids are not parented under the umbrella of fear. They are parented through love, empathy, compassion and discipline … the teaching kind.
This lady, whose name I have forgotten because I’m horrible with names and anything to do with memory, really, then said, “I don’t know how you do it, but you should write a book.” I smiled because I have written a book, but outside mass didn’t seem the right time to self-promote myself. She hugged me and went on her merry way. Of course, her kind words carried me through most of the day, but so did the assumption that corporal punishment was employed based on the behavior of our kids. I wondered if she would feel the same way if she encountered us at the park, or pool or any other outdoor activity where our kids are encouraged to let loose and go crazy? Would she think our kids were beautiful and well behaved? Would she assume they were “beat”? Or would she think they were wild Indians who had little to no parental guidance? I think the latter, simply based on the parents we’ve encountered both at home and on the road. However, there is a time and a place for everything! More
We ran the Color Me Rad 5K and got completely covered with colored corn starch from head to toe. It was a lot of fun for the whole family!! Best 5k EVER and for a great cause – the Columbus one benefited The Children’s Miracle Network!!!
So, while filming we thought it was the first time Coby ever rolled, HOWEVER, he was entirely too good at it, he even rolled himself off the bed! Not good! It’s cute overload though AND then, we kill it on the BURLEY Columbus Wave … if you haven’t been there, you MUST!
A day on the Mulberry with fellow Jackson Team Member, Jeremy Adkins … Maddy’s first real river run and guess who else accompanied us?? Kerry Kellogg!! I kid you not!! Then we hit the road and hightailed it down to Columbus, GA to check out the infamous wave shaper they are fine tuning and it was everything the hype claimed!!
Our camp gets destroyed by a storm that takes down trees and blows away Susie’s kayak. The RV gets stuck in the mud and has to get pulled out by a bulldozer. Good thing we had one handy.
Day two of the Alabama Mountain Games festival ends in an all out fight. Punches thrown…direct hit. Cardy’s first kayaking competition. Kayak jump and more. Another day full of fun!!
Day one of the Alabama Mountain Games includes the Huckfest off the big waterfall on
Short Creek and the Boatercross race off the waterfall and under it. It was an awesome day of paddling. This was Kady’s first waterfall, and although she was scared at first, she ran the waterfall about a dozen times!! Super fun!!
A little baby love goes a long way in this video. Coby gets all the girls, cuz all the girls just love him sooooo much!! Everybody loves Coby!!!
“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black and white.” – Mark Jenkins
The above quote made me think. It made me think really hard. There is so much wonderful happening in our lives right now that it is hard to imagine not having taken this leap of faith, this calculated, yet, life-altering, heavy on the risks, journey. Yet, I do, however seldom, question our decision in the dark recesses of my mind, late at night while listening to the even breathing of the people I love more than I could ever express, more than life itself. Perhaps occasionally I allow my mind to wander to the criticisms of others. Perhaps, occasionally, I let the hooks of indoctrination pull me back into the societal norms, the empty promises echoed by the “real world”. I do this, of course, because I am a mom. My children have been entrusted into the care of Dan and myself by God Himself. There is no more important facet of my life than to raise the most amazing, giving, kind, loving, productive and happy people the world has ever seen. My desire isn’t to raise lawyers and doctors. My goal is not to have wealthy children, who have all the luxuries the world can offer. Not even close. My deepest desire, my whole reason for being is to raise 12 children who will grow to be individuals who change the world. Literally change the world. More