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Absence Makes the Heart Grow...What?

I've just returned from a week-long trip in the Maritimes with the Girls Night Out tour, speaking in five different communities in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Comedian Leland Klassen went on first, and then I spoke afterwards. (He does this whole routine about how big his hands are; hence the picture comparison once I got up on stage). Sometimes he was just so funny and the audience loved him so much that it was hard to get up there, but we had so much fun, the guys on set & Leland & me. The other three on set were mini-comedians, too, and I spent much of my week apologizing to waitresses for all their kidding around (don't worry, nothing inappropriate, just very funny).

Anyway, I really, really missed my family, and it was great to come home. But I learned a number of things about myself this past week and I'd thought I'd share them, in no particular order.

First, I don't like airports these days. They had the full body scanner in the Moncton airport, and boy does it look scary. I've looked through the literature on it, and I just don't think I want my daughters getting scanned. They have nice figures, and I don't care how private they say it is, how do I know? I think I'd prefer they were patted down by a female. That's what I chose. What do you all think?

Second, I need to have more fun at home. Lately home as been a bit of a grind. I'm finding that life is just getting busier with the kids getting older. It's not that Keith and I are busier; I've always spoken quite a bit (though this is the longest tour I've ever done), but now the girls' lives are busier, and it's getting harder to keep it all together. It was a lot of fun this week meeting up with people (I saw some friends from university I haven't seen in years), and speaking, and joking around on stage, and I hate to think that I enjoy that more than being home. I don't, because everyday I kept thinking, "If only Keith were here to see this, or if only the girls were here," but the fact is that there's something about being somewhere where there's no pressure on you.

Sure, I had to speak, but that's fairly easy for me. The point is I didn't have to do dishes or laundry; I didn't have to chauffeur anyone anywhere (instead people were driving me places); I didn't have to tell anyone to practice piano. And I liked it.

My life at home has become too much about logistics and not enough about fun.

I know I've written about what fun is here on this blog, and it's not that I disagree with what I wrote, it's just that I'm in process on this subject right now. I'm thinking and praying and wrestling through it. I do enjoy life usually, but I would like there to be just a bit less pressure. How do I accomplish that? I don't know. Carving out one night a week (Tuesdays) just to have fun with the family really helps. Other than that, I'm at a loss. No answers to this one, just questions.

Third, my husband is a really good dad. When I got home last night he had the whole house cleaned up. But when I started to talk to my daughters, I found out that one of them (I won't mention which one) had a pretty hard week last week and hadn't finished all her schoolwork. She had, however, informed her father that it was done, and she had gone to several social engagements this weekend.

Needless to say, I was not impressed. However, this particular daughter has had some big disappointments lately, and my first instinct was to hug her (she was crying) and try to comfort her. Keith was not so kind.

He laid the law down pretty hard last night, and there was kicking and screaming, and I so wanted to intervene. Didn't he know how much she was hurting? But at the end of the whole thing, she completely agreed with him. She didn't give a fuss about giving up some things this week that were important to her in order to catch up on work, and she didn't bat an eye at me taking away major computer time. I would have given in; Keith did not. He was right. I had an easier time disciplining the kids when they were younger and the infraction was obvious. Now things are never as black and white because feelings are involved. But Keith said, this is the rule, we can't budge, and it worked.

Today she got up early and immediately began working, and didn't complain at all.

Maybe we moms should give the dads credit for understanding the dynamics in our homes more than we do. I may understand the children emotionally better, but when it comes to setting boundaries, he's often right.

So with being away, did my heart grow fonder? Yes and no. Yes, because I desperately wanted to see my family again and missed them a ton. No, in the sense that I have this vague uneasiness that we're not having enough fun at home, and that somehow I'm losing a bit of effectiveness as a mom. But perhaps I'm wrong on the last one: perhaps I'm being more effective because I let Keith step in without stopping him. I still need to think about how to increase the fun quotient, though.

One more thing: I have some big news to share on this blog in the next week about a book contract I just landed. You'll love the title. I spent a lot of last week on the phone with my agent and on the computer mulling deadlines and chapters and thinking things through. I'm really excited to share about it, just as soon as I can.

Here are two questions for you this morning: what do you choose for TSA screening at airports? The scanner or the pat down? And what about for teenage daughters (even if that part is only hypothetical?). Has your husband had better insight into discipline than you? What happened? I'd love to hear!

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At 11:23 AM , Blogger Deborah said…

I've been thinking a lot lately about TSA, scanners, and pat downs. (I'm so thankful that I won't have to fly again until next summer--I hope some sanity has returned by then!) In the past, I undoubtedly would have said that I choose the pat down versus the "naked body scanners." But now I'm reading all these stories about pat downs that are more similar to sexual assault than to a mere security screening, and I don't want anyone--male or female--touching me or my infant daughter in those ways. Just today I read a blog by a mom whose infant son was *removed from her sight against her will* by a TSA agent. I really wish I could just stop flying, but I'm currently living overseas due to my husband's job, and next summer we have to fly home at the beginning of the summer and then fly to our next post at the end of the summer ... my husband is not agreeing with my hints that if sanity doesn't return, I'd be up for a position that keeps us stateside so we don't have to fly. I just don't see myself acquiescing to sexual assault (visual with the scanners or via touch with enhanced pat downs) for myself or my daughter (even though she is too young to notice) just so we can fly. You'd think the TSA would have heard of the Fourth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution.


At 11:25 AM , Anonymous Carrie said…

Airport scanners - I don't like the levels of radiation being given off and being a private person I don't need anyone else, other than my husband, seeing me "naked". If they are going to continue to institute them across the world, I'll be driving to my "destination" as often as I can and planning family vacations a little closer to home.

I also prefer to let my husband "set the household law" straight during times when our daughters have chosen unwisely. We make sure we are both there when we sit down with them though so the girls know "we're in this together". As you mention, they're usually not very happy at first, but I'd rather punish once so that it doesn't happen very often and helps them understand their boundaries. GREAT POST!


At 2:08 PM , Blogger Kelli said…

I agree with Carrie about the pat-downs. I'm not a fan of raditation (threw out my microwave a long time ago!) and at least with a pat-down, clothing is still on. X-rays see everything.

We've always enjoyed flying, but we're leaning more towards driving now-a-days. :)


At 11:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

I have not flown anywhere for several years and have no plans to fly in the foreseeable future. And I'm glad about that, with all that I have been reading about airport security.

Nurse Bee


At 7:43 AM , Anonymous Alicia said…

TSA- I would rather be scanned (in theory) than have some stranger touch me all over, eww. Look, but dont touch.

We don't have kids, but I can speak for the rowdy nephews. My husband is a big softy but when there is misbehaving he can be tough and I think it's impressive. He's serious and once he's had enough he enforces it and they listen. They are all very young right now, so it will probably be harder when they are older.


At 3:22 PM , Blogger Katy-Anne said…

I'd rather my kids be scanned than be sexually abused even by someone of the same gender.

I have to wonder why you'd chose to have your daughters sexually abused rather than go through the scanner, even though both are wrong.


At 3:25 PM , Blogger Sheila said…

Katy-Anne, that sounded a little harsh!

I think there are valid reasons for going in either direction. If it's a pat down, even an extensive one, by a member of the same gender, that's not that much different than a doctors' visit. But I don't know where those photos are going, or who is looking at them, and they're very revealing.

I'll end up going with the scan, I think, after getting everyone's feedback on Facebook, but I can understand choosing the patdown.


At 10:06 AM , Blogger Katy-Anne said…

There is no reason anyone should choose a pat down, and no, I'm not being harsh. With homosexuality, it's sexual abuse even if its someone of the same gender groping your genitals. Anyone who does that, or allows it to be done to their kids belongs in jail for sexual assault.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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