And It Begins

By Bectoria Stafford Crandall

Beginning new projects should always be looked upon as fun adventures. It is my hope that my excitement exudes through each entry as I begin this new blog project with some very dear and undeniably talented friends. On a side note, I want to offer a special welcome to all followers who have ventured over with me from my other blog “Naptime Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom.” I am confident that this group of ladies will have numerous funny and informative entries that will be enjoyed by all readers.

Deciding which areas we might each be uniquely skilled at writing about was pretty easy as each blog contributor brings her own unique set of gifts with her. Mac is incredibly savvy and always has amazing money saving tips, coupons and resources. She is also, dare I say, obsessed with organization but has a knack for breaking these projects into more manageable undertakings. Stephanie has some mad cooking skills and so much interest in continuing to explore the culinary world that I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if she began answering the phone saying “bonjour mon ami”. Oh! And she has 1,000 kids including a set of twins, which helps when discussing all matters multiple. Our dear friend Jaymee is one of those creative minds that people just love to be around. She is also bitchin’ at stitchin’ and very good at, as Mac puts it “all things artsy fartsy”, but has the skills necessary to actually complete projects in a timely manner–an admirable trait in itself.

And then there’s me. After listing all of the wonderful skills and attributes that everyone else had, my dear friends thought that my abilities would fall under “family well-being”. Hmm. Not sure how to take that one. My initial reaction was to respond by asking “Okay. So you DO know that I am a real deal, all-the-way grown up lady, right?” I sometimes get the feeling that my friends forget my humanness and akin me more to an animated character. Maybe it’s because I related too well when the character “Kenneth” from 30 Rock saw his surroundings as a world made up of puppets. Or maybe it’s because my mind assigns a soundtrack to every conversation I’ve ever had. I remember wishing one day that she was wrong when Mac told me that she envisioned me thrusting windows open to snip fresh herbs while birds chirped and I sang a merry tune. The all too real truth, however, is that she was spot on! Maybe that is my personality. I am that mom who wakes her kids with a song just for them, and I do have the constant need to break up the day with impromptu dance parties. If wonderment and whimsy are my talent, I’ll own it!

While I’m always game for unorthodox fun, I do realize that part of being a good mom also requires boundaries. My training in child development and my professional background as a social worker, counselor and foster parent have taught me that kids thrive in a well-structured environment. Having worn the parenting hat with so many kids each with unique personalities, I have learned that kids are happier and the home has more harmony when there are boundaries to bounce off of. Having said this, I feel inclined to say that, in all things, especially in dealings with children, there has to be a healthy level of moderation and flexibility. In other words, kids should know their boundaries and expectations, but they should also expect parents to understand the wonderment of childhood and to incorporate their own brand of magic into everyday life. While my kids know they are expected to practice safety at all times, like wearing a life vest in the pool, they also know that I am SO the mom that will catch them when they jump to me 100 times. While I do make them take their medicine when they’re sick, I’m also the mom who wakes them up for their 3AM dosing with a spontaneous cake party!

In retrospect my friends are right. If it means writing about how to add silliness to structure, I am the perfect gal for the job! Whether they be big projects or quick little hints, I am all in for unloading my bag of tricks that add spice to this journey we call life.

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