coping, Micah, Zeke

A blessing or a cursing?

I do believe in the possibility that ADHD is over diagnosed these days.   Yet, I also believe in the possibility that when we were growing up there might have been some kids that fell through the cracks.  Richard would be one of them.  He is slightly impulsive and speed (a pot of coffee) calms him and puts him to sleep.  This is not news to anyone who knows us very well.

What everyone might not know is that one of the side effects of his impulsiveness is:  cursing.

Now this drives Micah completely and utterly insane.  She has tried everything she can think of to get him to stop.  The first strategy was to charge him 5 dollars for every curse word.   This failed.  Not only does he refuse to pay the huge tab he has made for himself, but he is not the “money manager” in this marriage.  So I finally explained to her that she is basically punishing me for his misbehavior.  Not that Richard wouldn’t try to blame it on me anyway.   Everything ultimately comes back to me somehow.  Then she tried to charge him 5 minutes of playing a game with her for every curse word.  This worked a little better, except that he is also slightly competitive.   So the games ended up as punishment for Micah!!!      I think she has resigned herself (as the rest of us have) that cursing is just a part of the Shaffer household.   Most of us understand that certain words are for Dad and certain words are for us.  Except Zeke.

Zeke is getting in the car and accidentally dumps his lunch box and back pack all over the ground.

Me:  oops

Zeke:  (in his matter of fact teaching voice)  Mom, that is when you are spossed to say  G-d dammit.

Me:  no baby just your Dad.  We say oops.

Zeke:  No mom, the hims say G-d dammit.

All I can say is that my children can never claim that growing up in this family is boring.  In that way, I choose to see this as a blessing, not a cursing.  After all, no trouble: no story


daddy date night

My husband and I both know the importance of spending one-on-one time with each of our children.  This is a little challenging with 3 children.   Even more so for my husband who is now working two full-time jobs and trying to fit this “one-on-one” into weekends and weeknights.   In spite of these challenges,  he planned a “date night” with our 7 year old daughter, Micah.  They planned to ditch the rest of us one night, and go out to dinner just the two of them.  I was so proud of him for paying this special attention to our oldest daughter.   I have often shared with him how important a dad’s attention is for the self-esteem of a little girl.  I still remember all the after-dinner walks I shared with my Dad; when he would listen to me talk about whatever was important during my day.  I think it is the first lesson you receive about how a man should treat you.   

I made sure that I made a big deal about her “date” when she came home from camp that day.  We got her shower and made sure she was ready to go as soon as Dad got home.  My husband kept me updated with their date through texting, and I knew they were eating at a local restaurant.  Sitting at the counter talking and eating, just the two of them.   After this I got caught up with feeding the other two kids, then getting our baby to bed.  So when I heard my daughter come in, I was excited to hear how it went……………

Me:  How did it go?

Micah:  Mom!  Dad hit another car in the parking lot!

Me:  oh, no….did anybody get hurt?

Micah:  no.. and Dad said the F-word!!!!  He told some lady to fuck-off!

Me:  Hey!…..I don’t want you saying that word….wow, well, besides that did you have a good time?

Micah:  can you believe he said the F-word?!

Sure enough, dear old dad had a little too much to drink, hit a parked car in the parking lot, then told the lady walking by who voiced her disapproval to F-off……   What can I say.   I hope that the lesson she learns from this experience is how much her daddy loves her and how she deserves to be listened to and treated special by a guy.  But I guess if she brings home the boy who drinks a little too much, drives a little too fast, and has a foul mouth we can’t be totally suprised now can we…..


Dear Micah


Dear Micah,

I think many years down the road, you might not remember this Father’s Day Sunday.  So I want to tell you how special it was, and how special you are, to me.

Noah was at a Sox game with his best friend.  And, what your Dad needed most on his day, given the hard hours he has been putting in at 2 full time jobs, was a nap.  So we put him to bed with Hannah, and you and I spent the afternoon together. 

It was an unexpected treat to get to spend one-on-one time with you.  We read books together at the bookstore for an hour.  We then, went next door and got the biggest chocolate ice-cream shake we could buy.  We took that and your books with us to Macy’s so I could find maternity clothes to fit my growing middle.  You were such a good fashion consultant, as you sat with your books and shake in the dressing room.  And finally, we finished off our afternoon with a manicure. 

What I will remember and treasure from this day is the feeling of your hand holding mine.  The fact that you wanted to hold my hand,  warms my heart when I think of it.  Your sweet cheerful voice telling me all about your world, and your excitement about your first day of camp.  The seriousness of your face as you gave me advice about what clothes to buy and what to put back.  Your most important criteria:  soft.  And, the happy confidence of your walk after getting your nails done.    The smile on your face as you shared all this with your Daddy.  (hence, the picture taken by Mr. proud Daddy). 

I could see the future of our friendship as you get older.  You are really growing up, and it is such a beautiful thing to watch.   You are my beautiful butterfly.   This is the kind of day that I wish I could bottle, and save for a lonely day in my 80’s.  I want to always remember these special, simple times.  Times when I get to just indulge in one of my awesomely precious children.  Yet, the best thing about this day, is that it is the beginning.  The beginning of a growing friendship with untapped potential.   The beginning of shared afternoons doing “girl things”.  And the beginning of watching you grow into the kind, fun loving, gorgeous, unbelievable person that you are. 

Always know how much I love you