Through My Daughter’s Eyes by Erin Farwell

IMG_3021_1I love plans. I like to know what is coming up and what I need to do about it. I make weekly to do lists with some tasks to be performed on specific days and other just listed as it doesn’t matter when I complete them as long as I get them done. This helps me feel like I am accomplishing something even if it is just grocery shopping or cleaning the cat litter box. I can cross the task off the list as “done” and this is a good thing.

Since “the flood,” which I say as though it were of biblical proportions, making and keeping plans and schedules have been nearly impossible. The house is slowly coming together and we can now use the kitchen. The office is still in the bedroom but the television has moved back downstairs. Every task from painting to setting up a book-case takes longer than expected and unforeseen problems crop up like mushrooms in the rain.

Now we have two weeks left of school, I have a jewelry/book event up in Michigan over Memorial Day weekend, and a clay camp for eight to twelve-year-olds to teach the Tuesday through Friday after Memorial Day. I am stressed, worried, and unsettled.

And I have a blog to write.

I planned to discuss the treasure hunt that has been a part of my life since strangers packed my kitchen after the flood, but then something magical happened: Mother’s Day.

When Willow was young I received crayoned pictures, thumb-printed flower pots, and painted birdhouses. I cherish them and keep them safe, these mementos of a CIMG1462child past. As she’s grown older she still makes me a card every year and shops with my husband to get me something special.

This year Mike purchased soaps and body wash and made me bath salts, all designed to help manage my stress. Willow assisted by putting these things in a pretty basket that was a joy to receive, as was his hand-made card.

Willow also made me a card but she did so much more. She also created a “World’s Best Mom” certificate which she mounted on pretty paper. Then she gave an amazing gift. A jar that held scraps of paper on which she wrote all the reasons she loves me.

Some of these reasons are funny and sweet, like the fact that I take her shopping or that I am just awesome in general. Others are based on how I treat her:

• You listen to me
• You help me with homework
• You protect me
• You are always so happy when I come homeCIMG1464
• You help me fix my problems
• You take care of me
• You save my ipod/phone when I almost lose it
• You give me what I need
• You love me
• You are the perfect mom for me

My heart melted a bit with each slip of paper that I read. I told her I might cry. She asked me not to but I could tell she was pleased at how much I loved her gift. It is clear she understands that I am in her corner no matter what. I know she is on the right path when she says that I give her what she needs versus what she wants. This is a big difference and one she appreciates.

While these statements were wonderful, what astounded me was what she wrote about how she sees me:

• You are creative
• You are supportive and kind
• You are respectful, honest, and braveCIMG1459
• You can tell when someone needs help
• You are very smart
• You are a great author
• You are very forgiving
• You are daring
• You are inspiring
• You try to find solutions for problems
• You are beautiful inside and out

I am awed and humbled that she sees these qualities in me when I sometimes I can’t see them myself. I trust that she knows these traits are a part of her as well. If not, I am here to remind her, just as she did for me.

Nothing in my life has changed since I opened that jar and read the neat penmanship on the colorful slips of paper. There are still deadlines, obligations, post-disaster construction, and the general messy process of life. But my heart is lighter as I see myself through her eyes, for I am brave and daring. I am supportive and kind. I am the perfect mom for her.

You can learn more about me at:

Farwell-Shadowlands-Final Cover.inddAHE New Cover


Let’s Makeup

Jennifer FlatenThis post by Jennifer Flaten

Last weekend my youngest twin asked if I would drive them over to the dollar store. They wanted to get some new scrap booking supplies. Before agreeing, I asked them if they had the funds to buy these new supplies because sometimes when kids say they want to buy something, they mean they want you to buy them something. They said they had money so off we went.

I was more than happy to go to the store with them because if they had scrap booking supplies than they had something to do besides poke at each other and their brother.

At the store, we all went our separate ways.

As I browsed the Christmas decorations, I spotted some glitter tape. My girls love tape and glitter and here it was all smooshed into one awesome product. I picked it up went to find them.

I cruised over to the scrap booking section. No girls. Huh, maybe they were looking at candy. I headed for the candy section. Imagine my surprise when I found the girls in the makeup section.

I showed them the glitter tape, which they each agreed was cool, but I noticed they weren’t putting it in their baskets. Instead, their basket held a selection of colorful eye shadow and mascara.

Huh, I don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out the real reason we came to the dollar store.

Pointing at the makeup, I asked them if that was really why we came to the dollar store.

Looking extremely guilty, they nodded yes.

I asked them if this was their way of asking me if they could start wearing makeup to school. Again, two nods.

Why didn’t you just ask me? We thought you would say no. Well, as you see I figured it out.

I shrugged and told them it was no big deal (and really, it isn’t). I told them they could add light eye

Woman applying cosmetics to her lips.
Woman applying cosmetics to her lips. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

shadow and mascara to beauty routine, which currently includes only lip-gloss. I let them start wearing lip-gloss in late 6th grade. I knew “real” makeup was inevitable.

They were so excited I said yes. They spent the rest of the weekend practicing and have really developed a deft hand at applying the makeup.

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