Have you ever had a compliment immediately bubble to the surface only to be dismissed as irrelevant or taking too much time to share? Happens to me a fair amount. I will be out and about – could be the grocery store, at church, in the gym or walking outside – and I see something I find beautiful or sweet and I just internally smile and keep walking.

Now more than ever we are craving connection and purpose. If we are not here to give away our gifts and help others in need and make this path we are all walking just a little bit easier, then what are we here for?

The other night my Dad’s football team he has rooted for his entire life was a headliner for Monday night football. It just happened to be a jackpot night for all of us as I actually had a decent family meal planned and with the exception of my college Freshman (see https://titanimom.com/2020/04/16/senior-year-a-cliffhanger/,) we were all going to be home to enjoy it together. We invited my Dad over to sit by the fire and watch the first half. (Now mind you, this demonstrates what a great bond my husband and his Father-in law have and props go to my husband as my Dad’s team is half of the oldest rivalry in football and from my husband’s perspective he roots for the OTHER guy!)

So dinner was almost ready and my Father knocks on the back door only to be greeted by my youngest daughter. She gives him the sweetest hug at her full stature which is somewhere with her nose in his midsection. She exclaims “Dzia Dzia (JAH-jah, the americanized Polish version for Grandpa) you always smell so good!”

The look on my Dad’s face was just one of pure love, appreciation – mixed with surprise – for the utterly sweet declaration. It was precious.

It took less than 5 seconds. And I know it was impactful beyond my words here.

Because of the two players in this story, and a similarity with my own experience almost 30 years ago, it reminded me of my Grandfather (also with a different endearing term, Pappy) when I was a High School senior.

I took my boyfriend and Senior Prom date over to my Grandparent’s house to show off our finery and stop in for a visit. When I moved in to give him a kiss and a hug, he said “You sure smell pretty Jenny.” (If you knew me before 1991 you called me Jenny.)

To this date almost 30 years later I will never forget what he said to me. Pappy was sick with cancer and ended up succumbing to the disease about a month after this visit. To my recollection, I think this was one of the last things he ever said to me.

We don’t know about tomorrow. We have today and the words we can choose now. Make a choice to share the best of them and have this kind of everlasting impact when it really matters.

Are you in the midst of experiencing some challenges in your life or are you finding yourself on a new path? Have you been inspired to move towards some growth for yourself? Request my new Jumpstart to Clarity resource here https://mailchi.mp/bbd8dfc41edd/jumpstart-to-clarity

© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cherry Pit Spitting and the Limbo

After packing suitcases for two days, 16 hours in the car, numerous poopy diapers, a couple of classic Chicago traffic jams, stuffing everything but the kitchen sink into the back of my car and listening to too many ear worm children’s CD’s it has been confirmed yet again – my family is so much fun.

It was with great anticipation that we took our first long road trip with Little Bee this past weekend. The mission: to celebrate my aunt’s retirement from teaching.

The most enjoyable part of the party was sitting down with her and witnessing the expression on her face as she reminisced about her career.  Who has a job for 49-1/2 years anymore? Amazing. Her interview consisted of talking with one person one day and being told soon after, “Which class would you like fourth or fifth grade?” She chose fourth grade for 20 years and then just for good measure she taught third graders for another 29-1/2 years.  Nowadays she said you must go though approximately 10-11 interviews, the last being with the district superintendent.  Oh, and the applicants for her city’s available teaching positions currently number in the THOUSANDS. Just in the nick of time Auntie…just in the nick of time.

The party was complete with the requisite backyard barbecue party games my family likes to play. Usually we get musical chairs and the back-breaking fave the limbo going. This tradition dates back at least 25-30 years. But this time around the new game on the block was cherry pit spitting. Hysterical fun. Whether you are 70 or 7, you are kind of curious about how far you can spit that pit.  Top it off with homemade cookie and ice cream sandwiches and s’mores over the fire pit, now you are speaking my language.

My aunt wistfully shared that if she was reincarnated she would choose the same career.

I feel the same way about my family. I wouldn’t change a thing. Pits and all.