Sunday, April 16, 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017

"I HATE THAT GINA WAITE" the aforementioned, Gina Waite

I love long drives in the car during Sunny, Spring weather…the car windows down, recently-rained-on-grass smell and the feeling of HOPE for things to come almost tangible, in the air. I think Spring is pretty aptly named, don't you? It's a season of awakening that puts a spring in my step and a desire to be a happier person. I wonder, friends, if I'm the only one who feels this way in Spring? I feel like I'm normally a pretty happy person, anyway, but I definitely think there HAVE been times where my attitude toward happiness has been called into question. The more I think of it, the first time I really invested time in thinking about my happiness was after eavesdropping on a conversation between my son and daughter.

Eleven years ago this month I was preparing to throw a birthday party for my then, four-year old daughter. With both children in tow throughout the day, we ran errands, baked and wrapped to the point that after the birthday party was over…ALL three of us had over-extended what was left of our energy storage, patience and pancreas. Over-sugared, freshly bathed and beyond exhausted, I ordered my kids to bed to get some sleep so that in turn, I could get rest, too. Pleading with me to stay up longer and allow them the chance to show me just how good they could be, my children utilized the BEST mediation skills they had by teaming up to say,

“Mommy…please. Please make a good choice; please let us stay up with you!”

Unable to appreciate the talented, negotiation skills of my small children, I responded,

“Kids look. I’m not your Mommy, right now. Do you see the clock? It’s ten-o-clock. That means Mommy is OFF duty and Gina Waite is here to take her place.”

Now as this scenario had been repeated multiple times previously, my children knew that when Gina Waite was “in the house,” there wasn’t much negotiating for them. When the ALIAS
"Gina" was there, it was ALL business and, at that point, NO exceptions to a bed time hour would be happening...and most of the time, this method worked so well there wasn't a thing the kids would say about it! It was magic!

After laying down the law and walking out of the room I quickly became aware on that particular day, that the kids were really taking the idea of the grumpy, no nonsense "Gina Waite" to heart. Normally, after the pleading of their bunk bed release, together...and the obvious snub to their plea...I would hear little giggles and discussions about how they would work it the next time. This time...the room was completely quiet. I snuck back down the hall and hugged the corner of the children’s room. As I looked through the crack of the slightly opened door, I could see the two kids looking at each other from around the railings of their bunk beds...completely disgusted and deflated. About 5 seconds passed and my daughter grabbed her well-used, night time pacifier, put it in her mouth and forced out the following, muted statement, 

"Jordan...I HATE that Gina Waite!”

Now, I realize as well as the next Mom…you can’t laugh OUT LOUD at that statement. It would only encourage weeks and weeks of my daughter saying the phrase over and over, just to get the desired response…LAUGHTER. I held it in and tried to walk back down the hall to the kitchen as quickly as I could…that is until a loud sound, similar to that of a whale blowing air up through it’s blowhole...left my mouth and I burst into laughter. At that point the gig was up, the kids started laughing and my time as grouchy, evening-rule-enforcer, Gina Waite, was up.

It was in that moment of walking down the hall, laughing with my children in their room...that I contemplated how I wanted Gina Waite to be known. Just like most, she was a generally happy person, at least I thought she was...but apparently the only side my kids had witnessed was someone who was grouchy. I decided from that day forward "Gina Waite" would be a happy person to her children. How'd I go about doing that you ask, "decide every morning to be in a good mood" whether it's Spring or any other season of the year. 

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