Lifted Up, Right When I Needed It

It is amazing how God puts the right people in your path, right when you need it.

I had occupational therapy for Littles today. Smash-N-Break had occupational, speech, and behavioral therapy. Littles was way overtired. He was happy playing on my phone for a bit, but then wanted to build blocks. He asked me to help. I immediately shut my iPad, got on the floor and started playing with him. That’s just what you do when a 2 year old asks you to play with them. We built a castle, then Kitty (his stuffed Beanie Boo that he cannot go anywhere without) needed a castle. That was followed by Kitty needing a tower (or 3), a castle, a house, a bed, and a chair. I had one email come in that I had to read from Bubba’s teacher, but once I realized it wasn’t important I put my phone back away.

Smash-N-Break’s therapist came out and we all go back to chat. I left my stuff in the waiting room because I’m stupid and too trusting. We left, went and got pumpkins and dinner with Bubba and Plus One, and did our normal routine.

Imagine my surprise to open my iPad hours later to find this note*. It nicenotedelighted me. I was feeling down because I have a date for the formal autism evaluation for Smash-N-Break. I was doubting myself. I felt like I yelled too much today. I felt like my kids will only remember “angry mom” and how I need to work on that. I needed this today. I needed to know that others see that I’m not always “that mom” trying to make her kids behave and failing. I have been feeling that fight-or-flight instinct for a few days, and can’t pinpoint why other than I feel like my whole family needs someone better than me. I feel like I’m failing my entire family most day. I cannot express how much this meant to me. It came when I needed it. To know that someone unbiased sees positivity in what I do with my kids was a needed reminder that I am enough.

If you see someone doing things right, tell them. We are all so quick to judge and find others lacking. Instead of knocking people down, lift them up. Let them feel what I feel right now. You won’t regret it.

*The note says:

You are the MOST AWESOME mom. 🙂

I think you are doing an excellent job. He is precious and playtime with you made his day – and my week!

Joy to observe you – Brilliant!

Keep it up!

You are doing everything right. 🙂 He said thank you – 6 x’s. I counted. AWESOME!!!

 

nicenotecomparison

Texas Homecoming Mums – Steel Magnolia’s Lost Scene

Homecoming mums and garters.  If you’re from Texas, you know what I’m talking about when I say those words together.  If you’re not from Texas (like me), prepare to be edumacated!

What Are Texas Homecoming Mums?

In case you forgot your camera her mum has a spare.
In case you forgot your camera her mum has a spare.

Basically, a homecoming mum is a large decoration of ribbon and trinkets, personalized for the girlfriend and/or date to the homecoming dance.  The boy will ask the girl to the dance, and then a few days later present her with the mum if she accepts.  She will wear this at school, and I’m sure hang it in her room.  She doesn’t wear this to the dance itself – I was worried as some of these things are bigger than the girl!  I didn’t understand the point of wearing it over your dress to the homecoming dance.  Plus, the pictures I’ve seen are of girls wearing them while they are in jeans.  I didn’t see teenage girls wearing jeans to the homecoming dance.  Some mums are very pretty.  Some are…..not.  Some have LED lighting in them.  You can pay upwards of $300 for a homecoming mum.  Girls can also present their date/boyfriend with a garter.  This is NOT the leg garter that I knew about from weddings.  It’s an arm band – a much smaller version of the mum.  I ordered Bubba a garter for his homecoming game this year.  When in Rome and all that.  Plus, I want to embrace Texas culture, as I don’t want or plan to move out of our house unless I’m in a casket.  So, if my boys are going to be raised in Texas, I want and need to understand the culture.

I am betting mum envy is a real thing. Thank God I only have boys.
I am betting mum envy is a real thing. Thank God I only have boys.

The story goes that, years ago, a boy gave a girl a single flower to ask her to homecoming.  From there, this flower has developed into a steep tradition that is cute and sweet.  (Most of the time – bigger does not always mean better.)  I’m not buying it.  First, as Plus One pointed out, the mum does resemble the Native American battle shield.  This makes me wonder if it’s closer to some Native American roots.  Second, come on.  We ALL know what a southern woman means when she says “Bless your heart”.  I’m pretty sure the first mum of ribbon and trinkets was a passive-aggressive “Bless your heart”.

I Prefer The Steel Magnolias Version

Imagine Truvy and M’Lynn from Steel Magnolias, sitting around drinking wine.  Both ladies had boys.  Those boys dated.  Imagine if they didn’t like the girl their son was dating.  They were brought up properly to not say anything.  (I’m closer to Clairee – don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me.) But, from experience, mothers can be incredibly passive aggressive if they don’t like the whorish she-tramp trying to steal and trap their precious son.  I haven’t done this yet and vow not to do this, just had it done to me.  So, I can SO EASILY see Truvy and M’Lynn drunk Pinteresting and making a homecoming mum for their son to ask their girlfriend to the dance with.

Int Room – Afternoon (Immediate)

*Fade out music*

Clairee is serving wine, letting Truvy and M’Lynn vent away about the she-devils their sons have been dating. 

Clairee

Why don’t you say something? White or red?

M’Lynn

White, please.  It wouldn’t be proper.

Clairee

Pours glass and hands it to Clairee 

Then do something.  Here’s your glass.

Truvy

Like what?

Clairee

Pours another glass for Truvy. Hands it to her

If you won’t be direct, be indirect.  Make something for your son to give her for the school dance.  Here, have another glass.

M’Lynn

What good would that do?

Clairee

If she is raised right, like y’all, then she will accept it and wear it without saying a word.  But she will know.  Oh, she will know.  Here, let me top you off.

Truvy

What could we make?

Clairee

I’m sure I’ve got craft supplies around here.  Give me some time.  Oh, we’re out of wine.  How about some scotch?

Truvy and M’Lynn

Slurring tipsily, yeah they are day drunk

Sure.

Clairee

Why don’t we make them a battle shield, but with girlie things?  Tell them it’s to protect their heart or something.  Y’all are proper – you can spin it.

Clairee

Leaves and returns in a moment with craft supplies and scotch.  They drink more, and then do drunk Pinteresting before Pinterest.  They’re southern, so it still looks pretty decent, but the message is clear.

Like Truvy, M’Lynn, and Clairee this mum is lit yo!
Like Truvy, M’Lynn, and Clairee this mum is lit yo!

 

Here is a big huge mum covered in ribbon and trinkets that you are to wear as marked property of my son’s.  I made you this, because you don’t measure up to my expectations.  It’s pretty enough, and hides a lot of you.  I expect you to wear it.  And you cannot say anything bad about it, or I will be insulted and the victim.

End Scene

Seriously, Why Did They Do This?

Seriously, some of these things are monstrosities.  There is no sugar coating it.  Some of them are very pretty and decent, and I would have been happy to wear one.  But, the first girl who got a true homecoming mum with ribbons, trinkets, stuffed animals, maybe even lighting, made by your boyfriend’s mother – there is no way to hide the fact that it was made to probably embarrass the poor girl.  The good news is it didn’t work, and a new and proud Texas tradition was born.

Side note:  I still vow to not be the passive-aggressive you don’t measure up to my expectations mother of the boyfriend/groom/husband.  If/when my boys want to do this, if I cannot make it look pretty with my crafting inabilities, I will buy them one.