Thursday, September 15, 2011


My visitors have gone after four days of riot and chaos...
of the happy kind.
I miss the sound and sights of children,
especially this time of year when school begins.
It was a real treat for me to have Turkey and Bear here.

Grandpa Fuzzy survived, 
though with less enthusiasm.
He is used to a quiet life.
Children are not quiet when excited and happy.
Not that he was unhappy to see them,
just ready to have his quiet life back once they had gone.

So this morning I sat in my quiet on the patio,
sipping my coffee and reflecting on the past few days.
The man and I often talk about our families and how we were raised and how we raised our own mobs.

The man came from a fairly strict old school type family...
dad came home from work tired and ready to relax...
so mom shooed the kids aside and out of his hair.
Dad time for them came on weekends and vacations.
Unless someone was in big trouble and dad came on duty as the 
dreaded enforcer.
Children were supposed to be quiet unless spoken to.
They played in their rooms where childish noises were not overheard.

My home as a child was riot central.
My dad walked into the door each day and was met by
five balls of chaos...
all chattering at the same time...
all thrilled that dad had come home.
We were caught up in the excitement of dad!
He was equally happy to see us and tired his best to hear every word flying out of our mouths and to comment on them.
There were hugs and tickle fights...
and odd thing we called "fanny pats" when we had done something particularly good... like a good grade or something we had figured out.

Okay... break for explanation.
A fanny pat is where dad stands facing one way...
kid faces the other way...
hip to his tall leg.
Then you pat each other rapidly on the fanny...
much in the manor of birthday swats.
Believe it or not, it was a reward we all sought.

The point is that my dad came through the door 
wanting to see and enjoy his kids.
Both he and my mother were children people.
I recall clearly going to other children's homes and coming face to face with the "Ssshhhh.... daddy's home!"
attitude and being confused.
Why did anyone have to be quiet around a dad?
They were fun people!
They were the center of a kid's universe.

But I digress.
The point here is that I see a real difference between my upbringing and the man's and the affect it has on his kids and mine.
The man has a great family.
They all get together fairly often.
However, they are more serious and sedate.
They are less affectionate toward each other.
Hugs are quick and happen on leaving.
Sort of like that French fashion of  quick kiss on the cheeks.

My family is just as chaotic as the one I grew up in.
We are random huggers caught up in the joy of being together.
The man actually likes this about my kids.
Chatter begins as soon as we are in ear shot of each other 
and we are still calling things to each other as they leave.

So as I sat here reflecting...
I thought perhaps it is a good thing that the man and I met later in life.
I could not have parented any differently than I did.
I can see how our parenting styles would have come into conflict...
had we raised children together.
Fortunately we don't have that issue to worry about now.

I'm not saying that either style of parenting is right or wrong.
Just different.
We are what we are... and we get it where we came from.
I still parent the same,
be it my grand kids or his.
I happily take on his grand kids for the most part
while he seeks shelter when he needs it in his shop...
coming and going as his nerves can take kid exuberance.
I don't mind a bit.
I like the noise, the joy and the random thoughts
of small people untarnished.

We had a wonderful visit.
Bear said that Turkey cried himself to sleep on the ride home...
saying "I miss grandma."
I shed a few tears myself once they were out of view.
But they will be back.
And we are always in some way


  1. Aw, I think your childhood home is the one I'd elect to grow up in, anytime! You are so right, we are who we are, and it is heavily influenced by how we ourselves were brought up. I think the most important thing, however the style, is both parents present an unaminous front to their children, well, that and love (of course)!

  2. Shrinky- I would have been a child constantly in trouble in the man's childhood home. I was often in trouble at school for talking and being a tom boy, I was in love with making noises... so many of our made up games required some sort of loud sound. I am still loud.
    The man is quiet and calm all the time. I admire those qualities and wonder what its like to have that sort of peace about you. It is fortunate that we compliment each other as opposites. He likes that I am "weird" and that I still hop around like a nut case when I'm extra happy, or that I still run out and pick up the odd snake that slithers through our yard... even if he refuses to hold one. We add something to each other.

  3. probably is good you guys met after your kids were grown. i'm glad though that he can enjoy the chaos that comes with our brood and that you had a fun visit

  4. Growing up, my house was half way between your house and the man's house. My dad had his moments when he wanted the kids out of the way and we had to be quiet, but there were times when he talked to us (I think I get my love of biology from his animal stories) and many times he would proudly watch us kids drive the dune buggy, tractor, and minibikes. He loved throwing coins into the pool and have a houseful of kids dive for them. I remember sitting in his lap watching many boxing matches. As I said, my dad had his moments.

    When Mr. Cube and I started our household, it was a warmer place with more demonstrable affection. More hugs. More noise. Mr. Cube still talks about coming home and rejoicing at the sight of our girls squealing at the window that their daddy was home and then their rushing to meet him at the door.

    Loud people, way too much teen-eyerolling, too many animals...yes, my house is a zoo, but it's a happy zoo.

  5. I'm glad you had such a great time! My life was much like the Man's... I still occasionally flinch when I run into huggers. It was a joke with one of my colleagues in my old job. But, I do like hugs...

  6. lime- He does enjoy it very much, but the noise can be a bit after awhile for him. But he has his shop or office to hide in. =:]
    I do think you are right, I would have still been the noisy mom who had noisy kids.

  7. Cube- I often think that I would be right at home in your zoo. =;] And very happy too.

    My dad had his grumpy times too... the closer we were to teens, the grumpier he got. By the time I was the only teen left at home, he was well set into Oscar mode... as in Oscar the Grouch. But little kids and all their noise was his happy place.

  8. NoRegrets- I can understand the being repelled by a hugger. I'm a hugger with people I know well. Not so much with those I don't know... and absolutely repulsed by thoes who hug that I don't like at all. =:/

  9. LOL. I think you'd be right at home at my zoo, too.

    I hear you about the older kids. In my experience, the little kids are much more pleasant for everyone. The eye-rolling teen times are not.

  10. Glad to hear the visit went well. You deserve to have wonderful visits. I am freaking out about having 2 balls of chaos at home ... well 3 if you include Tank. It is going to be a wild ride. Take care and good luck to the Ducks this weekend.

  11. Something interesting to think about. My dad was not real involved. My own kids' dad was not real involved (when they were younger).
    Given what I've seen though...I'm just as glad to have met DR later in life when the family raising is in the final stretch.

  12. Cube~ =:]

    Mr.Shife~ As you know, family is the best! K is so adorable, you'll have twice the fun... and Tank triples it. I can't wait until your new one arrives and I get to see a pic! My Ducks won, so thanks for the well wishes. All is right with the world.
    laura b.~ I could have begun dating earlier than I did after things fell apart with the X. But I know myself well and to have a new man step in and try to take over raising my kids would have opened up the door for failure. I could not have shared those choices unless we agreed. I'd have turned from silly rabbit into scary momma bear. As it worked out, the raising is over. Yay! My kids like the man and he likes my kids. Its a good fit for everyone.Phew!

  13. You were wise to wait about finding the right man. Many make the rebound mistake and that's never good.

    I'm glad you're good now.