Setting an Example

I am a hand talker. This fact is most evident when I am angry. Or when I am driving. Or worst yet, when I am angry AND driving. (I couldn't decide whether to say worse yet, or worst yet, so I went with "worst yet" as it felt to have the greatest amount of emotion, so don't correct me if it's wrong. I took literary license.)

Anyway. I'm a hand talker. I make gestures (not those kind of gestures!) when I talk.

Also, when I don't know someone's name, I make a name for them that describes what I know about them.

For example, years ago, my kids and I always ran into the same guy on Friday's at the donut shop (don't judge me. YES, I fed my kids donuts faithfully every Friday for many years, and it didn't stunt their growth; though I once had a three year old tell me that he couldn't have a donut because, and I quote, "donuts make you flabby and weak." Wow.)

Back to my story. I have blog ADD today.

So, we saw this guy every Friday. And the thing that was the most notable about him was that he bounced when he walked. So we called him "bouncy man."

Really, my whole family does this naming thing. We have named all the chef's at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse. They have names like "rock star guy" or "sweaty man" (sweaty man is one of the best there).

When I broke my leg several years ago and the paramedic tried to PULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the skate off my broken foot, Zack named him "Captain First Day On the Job."

I have many other stories about names I have given people whose real names I don't know.

The most common place I "name" people is in my car, while driving. People get names like "Mr. Oh-That's What That Lever Is For On My Steering Wheel. It's a Turn Signal!" (Most of the names aren't that long.)

I digress.

So the other day I was at a four-way stop and there was a dad there with two kids on bikes (with training wheels).

Brave Dad. (that's not the name I gave him)

He had his hand on one set of his kids' handlebars and was waiting on the other kid to catch up (at said four-way stop).

So, "Mr. Safety Dad Man" was waiving on the cars at the stop sign he was standing next to, FORGETTING the fact that there were 3 other stop signs at this FOUR-WAY-STOP.

He almost got us killed.

So I said, "Hey, Mr. Safety Dad Man, how about letting the TRAFFIC SIGNS do their job? Okay? Cool with you?" (Of course I didn't say it TO him, more "at" him, in the privacy of my own car. I HAVE mentioned my road rage issues, right?)

Then, all the sudden, I realized I had the twinderellas in my backseat. And they were listening to me. So I switched into "Mrs. See What a Good Mom I Am" and said, "Look at that nice daddy helping his kids on their bikes. That's so sweet."


All that to say, I am going to have to work on remembering that I am setting an example.  I guess technically I have been setting one for a while. Hopefully a few of my better qualities have shown through as well.  Time will tell, that's for sure. Those Twinderellas. They keep me humble.

You're Looking Pretty Good Carol Jones

I don't know why, maybe because I knew I had to leave my house today, or maybe because it's my birthday and that warranted a little bit of extra time looking in the mirror; but no matter the reason, I stood in my bathroom this morning, staring at the woman looking back at me.

photo credit: Tim Barosh
My attention initially fell to the curves I seem to have acquired as I have aged, but I wasn't put off by those curves as I often am.


Today I looked at myself and said, "You know, Carol Jones, you don't look too bad for a woman of 53 years. You've got a few wrinkles and some junk in the trunk, and let's get real, a boob job wouldn't hurt you, but generally speaking, you're one hot mama."

(yep, my actual conversation with myself)

I don't know, something about staring at myself in the mirror and talking to myself out loud made me giggle.

Hearing the noise in the background of our home, the girls laughing, iTunes playing,  I smiled, thinking how different my life *is* versus how I imagined it *would be* at this point.

I think somehow I pictured that I'd be in Paris or on some remote sandy beach sipping fruity drinks adorned with pink paper umbrellas. Trust me when I tell you, in no way did I ever imagine I'd be starting all. over. again.

Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom.  In fact, I think it's been my very best work.  I just didn't see myself here, at this stage again, at this point in my life.

But in the best and most fulfilling of ways, I'm glad I'm here.

And I'm thankful for every single thing God has allowed in my life, because each of those things, from the greatest of joys to the deepest of sorrows, has shaped and molded me into the woman I have become - every curve, wrinkle and flaw included.

All that to say, "Happy Birthday Carol Jones. You're looking pretty good, girl."