Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Grateful for "The Suite Life"

Okay, so I am a little slow posting this, because the celebrity event actually happened two weeks ago. Walmart brought the twins...Zack and Cody, from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, to Bentonville, Arkansas. Yes, I know, we are so spoiled here! Free concerts and lots of celebrities. If you are a star, and you sell it to Walmart, eventually they will bring you here. Like the New Twilight premier on the set that Aaron was invited to attend, but couldn't justify the cost to his boss....girls are huge fans and were so ticked. That is a sore spot right now.

We found out that they were coming into town several days before. Actually, it was Aaron who found out and didn't tell us, because he knew that it would mean hours of standing in line to meet them if we didn't get up early enough to attend the Saturday morning meeting. He still painfully remembers the day Harrison Ford and Paula Dean came, because he missed lots of football that day. That was before DVR found the Jones Family, but since then, his life with women has become less painful. It has this neat tool that allows him to record and watch any game his little heart desires. Not many hissy-fits thrown by me now.

Getting back to Zack and Cody, but wait, I want to talk about Paula. I am obsessed with her show. Even my kids, at the ripe age of 2, prefer it over cartoons. Aaron and I got up at the crack of dawn to attend the meeting....she is a complete NUT. As if that wasn't enough, I, along with my tortured husband, stood at Sam's forever for her cookbook signing, all the while, he was wearing a hole in the concrete walking back and forth to the big screen T.V. section. True love people.

Anyhow, the girls got wind of Zack and Cody coming into town Friday night. I know you have all heard about Boot Camp till you are sick of it, but if you haven't, just know that I have been getting up at 4 a.m. for the past 4 weeks, and Saturday morning was MY day to sleep in till 7 or 8 a.m. NO WAY was I, in this life, going to get up early and head to the home office. So around 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, we headed to Walmart to see if we could get in line. We, as in the entire family, as in all 9 of us. Forget it, the line was huge. More than 2000 fans showed up that consisted mostly of screaming "tweens" and their "suite" parents who drove them. Just had to do that, corny, I know. Bailey would be so embarassed.

A friend of ours that we used to live by, works for Dannon yogurt, and Dannon was the sponsor for this event. BTW, gave out lots of free yogurts! My girls were in heaven. Free Food. While they were eating, he saw us and told us that there was a chance we would wait in line forever and not get up there. He suggested we head to Sam's where the boys were headed next. Before we left, he offered to take our camera into the tent and take a picture. He even came back with a "real" autograph and not pre-signed one, before we left. Our girls went nuts!

So, taking 2 weeks to write about this has left me thinking. Okay now, you can't tell me that our children are given to us by our Creator out of mere randomness. No way!!! I believe that the children we have are born to us for specific reasons and I think, not only do they chose us as earthly parents, but we chose them too. Our children are here to teach us to become God-like and in doing so, we learn sooooo much, whether we like it at the time or not. I think it is best said by my 5 year-old, Payton, "you get what you get, and you don't pitch a fit."

Some of the big lessons we have learned over the years thanks to our gifts, are how to be loving even when we want to spit nails from their back talking, destructiveness, and messy habits. Yes, unconditional love, that is the word I am looking for here. We also learned how to comfort and show compassion by tending to their daily physical, mental, and spiritual needs, and not just when it is convenient or easy, but rather when it is inconvenient and often difficult. Like when they were sick at night, or needed a science fair project due the next day. Don't pat yourself on the back yet and say, never, if they haven't pulled that fast one. Trust me, they will, just give it some time. I think the word here that I would use would be Christ-like service and patience. The list could go on and on here, but I am suppose to be talking about Zack and Cody!! Just a minute, I am getting to that.

The point that I am trying to make, upon my reflection, is that God knew just what he was doing by sending 6 girls to Aaron. Yes, that is right, 6 girls in a row. One right after the other. The crazy thing is, they asked to come to him and even crazier, Aaron accepted. LOL!!! For those of you who know Aaron, and to those of you who don't, he is the biggest "man's man" that you will ever come by. If it involves hunting and skinning a dear, camping, fishing, basketball or any other man thing, he is all over it. When it came to ballet, hormones, make-up, hair, fashion, "girl problems", decorating, shopping and other girl things, lets just say he would rather have his teeth pulled than to listen and learn. Oh, he appreciated a pretty face and a well-kept girl friend when we were dating. He also loved living in a nice, clean home, kept that way by his mom. He just didn't want to pay for it, know what effort it took, or how it was done. Boy has that changed as Heavenly Father knew just who to entrust his children to.

Some of you might ask, why am I picking on Aaron and not myself. This is my reflection here, and Aaron can make his own. So to answer that, if you know anything about me, I am a true G.R.I.T.S (girls raised in the south) and we all know, we don't sweat, we "glisten." The Lord had to balance us out and send Aaron a partner, who could teach the girls the difference between Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. And if you think you know the answer, trust me you don't. In the South, Fall, is for football, food, and shopping Winter, is for skiing, Santa, yummy food and more shopping. Spring is for bridal parties, drinks with fruit in them, dieting, exercise, and more shopping. Summer is for swimsuits, the beach, and suntans in full make-up and hair. Hard work, but someone has to do it. Only kidding. My point here, is that we are total opposites!

Over the years that we have been blessed with our girls, Aaron has learned more about girl things than he will care to E V E R admit. It is a fact, that he knows more about girl things than most girls and married women. He just will deny it till the day he dies if you ask him. For instance, he is so patient with them when they are upset or having a problem. Yes, the word for that would be hormonal. I want to ride my broom when they get out of line and he is calm, patient and is always there to listen when it matters. He knows that the only way to truly listen when we get that way is with tylenol (for them and him), diet-coke, some chocolate, lots of vertical head shaking and often follwed by the adjective, true.

He has learned to bath multiple children at once, or see that when they are older, get them to pass a sniff test to see if they are spic-n -span. He is now educated enought to know that if they tell him they washed their hair, brushed their teeth, or changed their bloomers, there is a good chance that they are fibing. He has learned to pick out clothes that mostly match and the good sense to delegate that to our fashion deva, Hayden, when he is over his head. And don't even get me started on what he has learned by ironing proper, frilly church attire! Oh, the layers little girls must wear. He has also learned that when they are older, bringing down dirty clothes means that it is probably the 10 outfits they tried on before church and thew down on wet towels because they were wrinkled. Wrinkled clothes, now imagine that?

He has even learned how to use a brush, not a comb, and to always stick a bow in their hair before sending them out the door. Okay, well, maybe we are still working on that last one, but a man has to have some faults, right? I am still trying to convince him that just because he adorns a bow on their head, doesn't make them cute. You have to style it and the bigger the bow, the better! As the girls have gotten older, he has learned how to delegate the styling of the hair to the older ones. He has also learned by rants and raves from me, when it "is" and "is not" just right. Smart man. His momma didn't raise "no dummy," however it took a few years for it to all click just right.

While we are subject of learning, just mention the word ballet to him. Go ahead, I dare you. For those of you who know me, I have studied and taught dance for more than 20 years. Ballet was and is my life! If I was not in a production, I was attending one. I once danced the lead as Clara in The Nutcracker. Go me! I had not missed performing or attending since I was 6 years old, until the first year I married my "manly man." Sure, I could have gone without him, but I wanted him to be with me and enjoy what I loved so much, and besides, we were living off of love; broke as could be. I had my reasons for being mad at his pre-marital false advertising when he refused my invitation to go. You see, I recall when we were dating, he once told me under the stars, that he loved ballet. My response under the stars to him was that I loved to hunt, too. We must be a match!!!! At least one of us tried to repent of lying by backing it up, if that is what you call it.

There aren't too many true southern belles, who have never been in the WILDS, who would throw on cameo, pack a gun over miles of dust, cactus, and thistle. Yuck! For all of you southerners who are thinking, what is she talking about....miles? It isn't Alabama people! You actually have to walk to earn your deer. You don't get the privilege of sitting in a tree stand. I had no clue what I was doing and was too dumb to realize it at the time that he sure as heck wasn't looking for my companionship on the hunt, but rather my deer tag. For those of you who hunt legally, you will know what I mean by that. I am sad to say that he didn't get to shoot nor skin a deer that season. Do you think it was the Tide Detergent that I used to wash his nasty, disgusting, cameo in? I do love a "man's man," but didn't dare want him to smell
like one. What would his mother think of his new wife, much less the deer?

Years later, he has earned forgiveness of his lie by picking up, sitting at, or watching more dances than he could ever imagine. In fact, it was this past Christmas, that he attended his very first ballet musical, The Nutcracker. A proud day for me. The Royal Moscow Russian Ballet was performing and the girls were in the children's dance cast. He feel asleep during most of it. He was however, there in spirit, unlike the Alaskan, Ice Road Truck Driver, who was
seating next to us on the edge of his seat. Seriously, he drove hours to see it. It was so funny. This huge lumber jack, remixed biker, ex-solider dude, clapping like a dainty school priss. In the end, the girls did great and Aaron survived the first of many performances. However, I don't think the Lord will hold him accountable for his prejudices against men in tights. That still haunts him and he still thinks it is plain WRONG.

So what has all this got to do with Zack and Cody, you might ask? Well, for me, it allowed me to reflect on what a wonderful husband and father that he has become. Not many men would put up with what he goes thru daily, handling 7 woman and all that we entail. Not many men I know of, even in my immediate family, would dress, fix hair, let alone cook, change diapers, make bottles and share in nightly feedings X 6. Let alone agree to it before he came to this earth.

I guess I am not talking about many men here, nor am I really talking about Zack and Cody. I am talking about this "girl" daddy sometimes called Aaron. A dad, who upon seeing the excitement that his girls had while waiting in line, and understanding their look of disappointment as they were told they might not get to see their idol, showed just how much of a "girl" daddy he had become by taking action. What is a "girl" daddy one ask? It is a daddy who knows how to be strong enough to learn new and uncomfortable things, sensitive enough to show emotion, and smart enough to know when to act upon it.

For Aaron, being a "girl" daddy, is a side that has not always come easy in contrast to his own personality and interest. It is often awkward, and has taken years to develop, but it is a side that has allowed him to be the best "girl" daddy anyone could wish for. Knowing that on this
Saturday, what was more important, was to create a memory with his girls instead of watching football. He stood in line with 5 girls from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m., while I was home with the baby. You see, by being unselfish and standing in line with them, Aaron gave the girls all the hopes, dreams, and silliness of childhood.

I can tell you, there weren't many dads standing in a line that wrapped, what seemed like forever, around the building without the mommies pulling them by their ears. Maybe it was
because most of them were watching football in their Lazyboy. Who knows and it really doesn't matter. However, what does matter, is that God knew just what he was doing when he sent his girls to Aaron. Long after my girls grow up to have babies of their own, they may or may not remember their childhood crush, but what they will always remember, was that they had a daddy, who often sacrificed his wants to make them happy, and that they had a very, "Suite Life."


Alicia R. said...

That was so great! You have such an amazing heart Michelle!

Windy said...

Cute story! You should seriously consider writing stories. You have a talent!

Kelly said...

That is awesome! I can totally see Aaron saying some of those things....very nice!!! ;)