Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hi. My name is Lisa ...

Hi. My name is Lisa. And I enjoy sports.

I've not been blessed with much athletic ability - bad knees have plagued me ever since I ran cross country and track in junior high. But I do enjoy being a spectator ever since I was a young girl and watched the Toronto Maple Leafs and Nascar with my Dad.

We recently celebrated the Winter Olympics; the boys and I and got wrapped up in the excitement of following the athletes and the competitions and we bouyed up our Canadian spirit. March Madness starts this week (Go Duke!) and at our house we already have the brackets for the first round picked.

This June the World Cup tournament will start. Since our boys were little, soccer has been the game of choice in our house. All four of the boys have played, to varying levels and with varying degrees of success, and Eric has played and coached. Even I played indoor soccer in a women's league for 5 seasons, before finally giving it up because of my knees. It is labelled as the "beautiful game" and when played with skill and heart, it can indeed be a beautiful game (not so much when I played though).

But I think the sport I enjoy watching the most has become volleyball. Gone are the days of "side out"; these days each serve garners a point for the side that wins it. To be honest, I don't understand half of what my son talks about - running "X's" and hitting 53's - and I couldn't tell you if a team is out of rotation. What attracts me the most is that each side must play with skill in order to earn their points. Certainly you can win capitalizing off of the other team's mistakes, but you need to be quick on your feet and able to move forward point by point. Teamwork is a must.

I think that's really the key - teamwork. Not just on the volleyball court or on the soccer field, but even in the every day happenings of life and home. How well are we able to work together with each other, with family, with friends, with co-workers?

Hi. My name is Lisa. And I want to be a team player.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Motherhood ...

So I was on the bus coming home from work today and couldn't help but overhear two young women talking - I'm not that nosy ... they were speaking that loudly. If I had to guess at their ages, they looked to be in their early 20's. I gathered from their conversation that the one already had at least 2 kids. What caught my attention was when this young mother told her friend "When my baby was little I could hardly wait until she said "Mommy". Now when she says it, it's like nails on a chalkboard."

Wow. How sad that this young woman's experience of motherhood is such that the sound of her child calling her grates on her nerves like that. I can only hope she was exaggerating.

I love being a mom. It's not always easy and sure, sometimes I'd love to have a break from the realities of life as a mother. But I enjoy my boys.

I love standing in the kitchen with one or more of them and yakking about their day, or about the soccer or volleyball practice they came from, or about what piece they're working on in jazz band;
I love to sit at the supper table and just watch the boys interact with each other and see where the conversation takes us;
I love that when I bring home a new t-shirt for BJ (that he actually likes), he tells me that I'm his favorite mom;
I love that every once in awhile Zackery still needs to snuggle and give/get a "grizzly hug";
I love that when I text Corey during the day and tell him that I love him, I can count on him to text me back and tell me he loves me too;
I love that Nathan and I share a favourite TV show (NCIS) and we both can hardly wait for Tuesday nights to watch it together.

I'm so thankful for my boys and for the young men they are becoming ... despite my many mothering mistakes. How wonderful it is to love and to be loved in this way.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Can you hear me now??

I have a voice ... but is that what's really important? Is it more important to be heard or to hear? And not just to hear, but really listen?

I wonder if the skill of listening is becoming lost to us. It's a bit of a dog-eat-dog, survival of the fittest kind of world out there; the reality is that we all want to be heard and sometimes we just hear whoever can speak up the loudest and longest.

My husband Eric has always been a skilled listener; I have always been amazed at his ability to hear beneath the words and to hear someone's heart; to be able to parse and then enunciate even more succinctly what that person was saying and experiencing than that person themselves! After being married to him for over 20 years, I hope I have learned a thing or two and am becoming a better listener.

I wonder if listening is a way of loving? I think it might be. When we are able to really listen to a person's heart, then we're able to love them better (but sometimes it's just to like them more).

Sunday, March 07, 2010

I have a voice

I have wanted to get back into writing some posts, and often discover great subject matter while I'm riding the bus to or from work, or doing the dishes, but then when I sit down at the computer and face the screen, my mind seems to turn to mush and I have nothing to say. It's hugely disappointing. Why? I think it's because I want to have a voice and to be heard. I have thoughts rumbling around in my head, but have difficulty being courageous enough to get them "out there".

I used to sing in a lot of groups and actually did a fair bit of "vocalizing" in my younger days. Not so much any more. In all my years of singing, the one comment that always came to the forefront was "You're too quiet". Even when it came to singing, I think maybe I was scared to be heard then too.

It's a big thing for me to believe that I have something to say that someone else might want to hear. For a long time I have believed that what I think really doesn't matter. I'm not sure exactly when that changed for me - perhaps when the kids came along and all of a sudden what I had to say was important to someone. Or perhaps it was the constant affirmation of my husband. Of course now some of my kids are teenagers ... but I still am able to believe that what I have to say to them has value. They might not always believe that or want to hear it, but that doesn't negate the truth of the matter.

And the truth is, I have a voice. I have value.