Slow Down

Please don’t roll your eyes at me
I know I’m embarrassing
But someday you’ll understand ..

I am your biggest fan
I hope you know I am
But do you think you can
Slow down

( Nichole Nordeman )

We have our best conversations on road trips. Once a month we go south so that I can attend a support group for caregivers. It is specialized: designed for those whose spouses have been identified with Early Onset Alzheimer’s or Dementia. While I attend my meeting, my husband spends some quality time with our middle child. It is a special time for them both.

Yesterday we concluded that our children had a pretty good childhood. We enjoyed reminiscing about some of the fun that we had with them as they grew up. Some of the highlights included taking the children out on the four wheeler. We’d pile them into the wagon and go through the back trails. Sometimes we’d just hunker down in the back field among the tall grass for a picnic. One time we even camped back there. One of our favorite memories was looking for deer. First thing in the morning, and just as it was getting dark, we’d take a spin down back to see how many were out. It was one of the kids favorite things to do with their father.

My husband loved to play with our children. He’d hook up the sled to the back of the four wheeler in the winter and take them for rides up and down the driveway and through the barn yard. They would squeal and yell for him to go faster, while I stood on the sideline and yelled for them to be careful.

We bought 3 trampolines for the kids: THREE. We lived on a very windy hill, and it was unkind to trampolines. I insisted on sides for safety, so each replacement was costly. The children would jump on the trampoline for hours. They even tried sleeping on it overnight when they had friends visit. They particularly loved it when my husband would play with them. They would play “pop corn”, and curl up like balls, while he jumped. They would get tossed all over the place. One day they decided that I should join them. It made me sick and I begged to get off of it. It was a game they would have to play with their father.

One summer we spent big money to put in an above ground pool. It was all my husbands idea. I am frugal and didn’t want to invest that much money into something that would be costly and time consuming to keep up. I was overruled. I’m glad I was. It provided hours and hours of good clean fun for our children. Other kids wanted to come to swim, so we often had a yard full of children. We didn’t mind. We knew where our children were and we didn’t need to worry when they were home. One day our son dragged the trampoline over next to the pool!  I could see where that was going, and put a stop to that idea some fast!

Gum drop fights, forts in the living room, movie marathons, snow ice-cream, stove top popcorn, lots of pets and farm animals, dancing and gymnastics in the living room, BBQ’s on the deck, “No Prom” Parties, games in the dark, Christmas lights, spice cake, camping, house renovations, sleeping on the kitchen floor, listening to The Left Behind Series on road trips, island get-aways, and lots of therapeutic ice-cream runs… The list is long.

In the winter, we would take the kids to a nearby hotel so that they could enjoy cable, we could order room service, and the children could swim. Sometimes we’d even take in a movie. Winters are long in the north and it helped to elevate the winter blah’s.

There is nothing that warms my heart more than the laughter of my children. I loved a busy house with extra children coming and going. I loved dance practice, baseball, basketball Sunday’s, field hockey, cheering, softball, music concerts, church, and school functions. We missed very few, and when it was necessary, the children have a grandmother that would step in. Mimi would take the first day of school pictures and clap loudly at the music concerts that were performed during the day.

We were, and continue to be proud parents who absolutely enjoy our children. Some stages were rough but were dug in, held on, prayed hard, and did every thing we could to guide them and keep them safe. It is my earnest prayer that they always remember that we are the President and Vice President of their Fan Club and that they make us so very proud. It is a pleasure to look back at “Days Gone By”, with a smile, a chuckle, and a heart that overflows.

Slow down.


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