We are a little bit crazy at our home and I was having a moment – like – Oh, no! We’re too crazy. I hope I’m not setting such a poor example for my kids that they won’t grow to love Jesus. (We are a bit wild 😜)
So, I said to Ada, “Ada, I am so sorry! Do I give you too much freedom or make too many poor mommy choices so that you’ll grow and not love Jesus? Because he’s the most important person you’ll ever meet/need in your life.”
She looked at me and said, “Mom, I love Jesus!”
Just like that.
In all my craziness of life and mommy-ing —- She loves Jesus.
And parenting is hard and greatly imperfect and an adventure. And you always always second guess everything that you say or do.
And most of what you do is slightly wrong 😉
But – Momma! But – Daddy!
Your kid is going to be a-okay.
In the end, we do our best and pray the greatest prayer we can …
May our precious babies love Him.
Because, in the end, He has them way more than we do.
So, we had just returned to America (in the midst of Covid) and were through our quarantine at home – I mean, after all, we had just traveled halfway across the world in the middle of a pandemic …
It was the month of my mom’s birthday – April 2020 – and we also needed a few supplies at the rental where we were staying.
And, let’s just be a little honest, I wanted out of the house. To explore.
To see the world!
So, we hopped in our borrowed car and drove straight to Walmart!
My encounter there reminds me of fan favorite (and my personal favorite) Fresh Prince …
You remember the theme song?
If you do, you can sing our story …
Now, this is a story all about how
My life got flipped-turned upside down (Thanks, Covid!)
And I’d like to take a minute
To sit right there
I’ll tell you how I returned to a town called Chandler
In west Chandler born and raised (Actually born in Mesa)
On the playground was where I spent most of my days
Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool
And all shootin some b-ball outside of the school (Erie and Knox! AJHS & CHS)
When a couple of shoppers who were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood —- Walmart that is
I got in one little verbal fight and my husband got scared
He said ‘You’re not allowed’ back in your hood … #chandler
You got me. It wasn’t really a verbal fight. Sparring match. Or encounter of physical form at any time —- BUT —- believe me when I say, Walmart Chandler off of the 202 and Arizona Avenue heard from me!
And this is really how my story goes …
My husband (the better half of the Two Makes Crazy) and I were shopping, birthday shopping, Easter shopping, Mother’s Day shopping —- just generally, masked-up, crazed hand sanitized, shopping without littles or a teen in the mystical land full of all sorts of creatures – called Superstore (aka Walmart).
I found my mom the perfect gift. Yes, at Walmart. It couldn’t have been more perfect for my mom – let me explain why.
If you have met my mom, she is sunshine and delight. She is rainbows. And she is unicorns.
She is laughter and encouragement. The world needs more lovelies like her in it.
And her mom – my eldest daughter’s namesake, Marguerite (aka Tootsie), was laughter. She was a pint-sized miniature granny in a bottle.
She lived a full and extremely hard life. She lost big big big (burying 3 of her children, two as infants, and her husband) – and, yet, still managed to laugh well.
And Tootsie, sweet, feisty, amazing, Tootsie had a fan-favorite toy – if you could call it that.
It was a dancing bear that would dance and sing at the push of a button.
And the cackling laughter of a woman that has lived long would fill the room. Her laughter was loud. It was squeaky. It was combined with lots of exclamations.
And it was infectious.
Even if you didn’t think the stupid, dancing bear was funny, it would take you 2.3 seconds to, all of a sudden, find the obnoxious bear amazing. And you would push the dancing singing paw over and over again – simply to hear Tootsie laugh.
So – when I saw IT at Walmart, I just knew.
It beckoned me.
It called my name.
It was shiny.
It was musical.
It was a unicorn.
And it sang.
It was the perfect gift for my mom.
And, in the nostalgia of the moment, reliving the past while in the present, I pushed the button of this musical, dancing unicorn in the middle of the aisles of Walmart over and over again.
Best of all – it was the VERY LAST UNICORN on the shelf!
I had won.
Best gift of 2020 was going down with my name on it. And I just knew my mom would laugh – maybe not as loud, long, or hard, as Tootsie – but I knew it would bring joy!
And so I placed it in my cart, turned my back, and began looking for a card and bag to accompany it.
Within 2.5 seconds, there was a whoosh!
Like a flash.
So I turned.
Behind me, in my cart, was nothing.
And that’s when the Chandler in me came out and I threw down.
Okay, not literally.
I hollered, very (let’s just leave it at one very and, yet, imagine a very – very – very in there) loudly,
“Oh, COME ON, PEOPLE! DON’T STEAL FROM PEOPLE’S BASKETS! GET REAL!”
With my loud proclamation came, immediately, literally, before I could blink my eyes, a small crowd of curious shoppers.
“Are you okay?”
And the funniest of all —- “DID SOMEONE STEAL YOUR TOILET PAPER???!!!”
Yes, in the middle of a pandemic, you would think that would be a logical thing to get upset about – so imagine the surprise of the other shoppers when I said, “No, my magical, singing and dancing unicorn.”
Their concern for my cart-thievery did not hold.
After all, they did not care about my unicorn the way I did. Perhaps their toys that would dance and sing were not as memorable as mine.
So, they left.
And my cart remained empty.
But, no! I was not done.
I shouted again.
Let’s just say, the volume was ample.
“Really! A gift for my mom! Get real, people!”
And then I decided to do something kind-of stupid. Something that I would tell my teenager to never do – I went looking for a “Cart War!”
After all, they messed with my cart, I was coming after theirs!
So, I left the aisle I was in. I left my husband. I left my empty cart – and I began the trek around Walmart – eyeing everyone’s carts. Seeing if I could find the sneaky soul.
I know how to confront. I am not afraid of a fight. After all, I have broken up teenage fist fights in my neighborhood in Poland by grabbing their ears, as well as chased away bad men that were beating up a homeless man at a tram stop in Poznan.
I have served murders soup in my home.
And I have released my dog on approaching robbers in the middle of the night.
I have watched my daughter surrounded by machine guns at the Temple Mount.
And I have taken money back from a man because he did not deserve it. Literally – opened up his jacket, reached into his pocket, and took it back.
So there is no way that some lunatic at Walmart (I use that loosely, as I am most likely looking like the lunatic here) was getting away with my unicorn.
I mean, fortunately …
My mission was very short lived.
Apparently the cart thief did not think my unicorn worthy of a fight. So they ditched it on a clothing table.
My prize – tossed – haphazardly – in the middle of a pile of messy clothes.
I am sure it had a soft landing.
I picked it up, looked around for guilty faces. Saw none. (Sly thief)
And pushed the hoof.
Sure enough – the song and dance once again filled the store.
And laughter my memories.
Holding onto my unicorn, I found my husband (who did not pursue this unicorn on foot like I did). We made it through the rest of Wally’s World without incident – and the lovely, hard-fought, unicorn…
Well, let’s just say, it made it to my mom.
With a story to boot!
Maybe the unicorn doesn’t make her laugh as loud as Tootsie’s bear. But, with each push of the button, my heart is flooded with memories.
And, now, a new reason to smile.
I was back in my hood.
“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.”
I don’t come to And 2 Makes Crazy often — my life in Poland turned into the mundane. My children grew bigger. My sanity slowly returned. And, yet, despite it all, life really hasn’t slowed. Life hasn’t gotten less crazy #worldpandemic, and, truth be told, we are still 2 — 20 years married now (YIKES) — and we still drive each other crazy. Er. I mean, we’re both crazy. Two and Crazy. Hence the title.
But, through it all, as the world spins, and time seems to fade away, my heart still remains my heart. And that will never change.
Even in a decade.
As October’s golden sun and brilliant leaves grace the skies and grounds – and we head into a month of thankfulness, I remain, forever, indebted to the littlest heartbeat of all for soul-crushingly teaching me the truths of life, delicate life, and love that has absolutely no end.
Okay. So, technically, I had to look up the word Musher. And really figure out what it meant. I mean, we went dog sledding. That one is obvious. Musher. I mean, I am a mommy, I am a “Professional Musher” of mashed potatoes, right? That sounds like a musher. You know, like smashing a lot of potatoes so they are mushy and buttery and delicious.
Or I love my children so much my daughter sighs, rolls her eyes, and proclaims, “Oh, Mommy, you are SO MUSHY!” Making me a Musher Mommy, right?
Well, according to the real dictionaries my Mommy-ition of Mushers is all wrong. Apparently a Musher is a driver of a dog sled.
So, I am happy to report that as of nearly 1 week ago, I have become officially (for an hour) a real-live Musher.
Also joining the “Musher Nungesser Crew” are: Richard (the dad), Adelyne (the decade plus two eye roller), Maxwell (the Half-Musher as he helped the Main Musher French Fred), and Me (Brookie—the Mommy Musher). Josephine was not a Musher. She was a Musher’s company—meaning that she was plopped into her daddy’s front part of his sled and got to enjoy the VERY bumpy ride. Good thing Daddy Musher did not tip, eh?!
Anyhow, dog sledding was an absolute and lovely blast that I highly recommend for all!
You first have to arrive where all of the dogs are chained up (just like in Iron Will) and then prepare with the instructions of driving your sled. Let me tell you, I nearly wanted to be a passenger after the mini-Mushing-class (kid you not timid smile and nervous laugh inserted here).
Our instructor, Elizabeth got out a sled and said, “OKAY! Here is your brake. It is VERY important.”
Yes, Elizabeth—you were SO right! Holy COW!!!! Know how to use your brake!
Then she said, “ALWAYS hold onto your sled. IF YOU LET GO, THEY WILL LEAVE YOU AND THEN YOU WILL HAVE TO RUN AFTER THEM…In the mountains. In the snow. ”
BRRRRR. And, NO THANK YOU. I don’t even run after my own children, much less DOGS!
Finally she said, “BE THE BOSS!”
Easy for a lady that WAS the boss of the dogs.
But, in the end. She was right. You had to be the boss or those crazy huskies would roll around on the snow and want to go whichever way the butterfly traveled.
Okay—so there weren’t really butterflies considering it was like 19F, but, whatever. Those dogs were hilarious.
Therefore, not only did you have to be “The Boss” (Sorry, Springsteen) of the dogs, you HAD to…Like a MUST…know the lead dog’s name. Without that name, the dogs following were like, “La-di-da-da-da!”
With the lead dog’s name and a rowdy, “Let’s go, Chaussettes (Socks),” the others would pop up and follow your Socks (literally, the name of my dog in French was Socks). Which would then give you an opportunity to “Woo-hoo” while holding on tight—at times, bending the knees for the little “pop” over the crazy hill so you could feel like you were a true Musher and sway with the sled (lest you fall off and then are dragged while HANGING on so your dogs don’t run away for like…ever).
And there you have it. You have officially become a Musher. For an hour.
And the hour goes FAR TOO QUICKLY. And you wish you had the whole day. And you loved every minute although you and your family laughingly recall the moments you almost went over the railing of the bridge or smashed into the tree or tilted to the extreme sideways as your dogs did not stay on the path but crossed the icy hill ahead of you to take a shortcut. Those lazy dogs (smile and wink for the feistiness of the husky).
Yes. All things that pretty much happened in your hour as a professional Musher. Or your professional Bucket List kicker!
Which is, after all, what you just did! Filled and kicked that Bucket List right up with an awesome experience that your GoPro actually recorded so you have evidence of every “Woo Hoo” and “WATCH OUT FOR THE BRIDGE” moment.
Life with children can sometimes be mundane. Messy. Tiring. And well…a million other things.
But life with a Bucket List and littles keeps life #fresh and #exciting and #exhilarating.
And Mushing. Yes, I recommend putting that one on your list.
Life can be lived in the simple moments of family and nature, enjoying two of God’s priceless gifts.
I reflect, and often, on how my life was once full of sorrow at the hope destroyed of a baby we lost, bitterness at a marriage struggling, fear of a son dying, and exhaustion that it all never seemed to end. Seasons that seemed to toil forever.
Then I see these perfect mountains and I count 3 perfect children and I see a man I admire most on this earth and I realize that time can pull you through all things.
And God was there, steadfast, through it all.
Silence and struggle does not erase quiet, infinite care.
God bless you and yours, our friends, in your seasons of life.
Okay, we have had a lot of laughs on this particular blog site about eyebrows. I, alone, am a living, walking, talking, breathing eyebrow failure of a woman. BUT TODAY…today it was all about a lesson my son was teaching my youngest daughter. And, I am willing to bet, it’s a lesson that YOU, AS WELL, didn’t even know 😉
Maxwell (age 4), sitting at our lovely farmhouse renovated table, messy hair, and slightly hoarse morning voice, eating the “talking” cereal with his little sister, GoGo Bean (aka Josephine Diane), looked excitedly at her and proclaimed, “JOSEPHINE!!!!! You’re growing EYEBROWS! Soon you’re going to turn into a MAN!”
And as excited as he was for Josephine to turn into a man, this newfound knowledge did not sit as well with his 3-year-old sister who then proceed to cry, “I DON’T WANT EYEBROWS!”
I was dying today talking about my life with friends that I only have the immense love & privilege of seeing one time a year when I fly from Poland to the States to see and be with my parents and family.
Like…I was on such a roll—sometimes I don’t know how I pull myself off of the floor and actually walk around in this life-like motion at all. I should be more like Walking Dead Momma—and my kids should be GRATEFUL for that momma.
Anyhow—it totally dawned on me today that I am just a bit of drama.
You see, I thought my daughter was all of the drama.
I thought she got it from her daddy.
He is the Drama King. I made him a crown.
But today when I was recounting all of my guilt trips and psycho parenting moments with my children and my HOW DARE MY HUSBAND SAY THAT stories, my peeps…my tribe…those that will ALWAYS tell me the truth told me that I was the drama.
I literally had no clue. HERE I WAS—blaming ALL of the drama on pretty much EVERYONE else in my family.
It’s kind of like those that have problems with everyone they meet—turns out it is THEM! Yep—the ones with all of the problems.
Apparently, out of the mouth of true friends, I am that THEM.
But, please, please, please, please…let’s totally keep this a secret from my husband. I still need him to think that it is ALWAYS ALL HIS FAULT!