It’s just another regular, long day. Half way thru 5pm rush-hour traffic, I realize what would be nice to take the edge off. No, it’s not a delicious cup of hibiscus tea. But it is something just as red and just as sweet. It’s wine. As soon as I get home, I run to the bathroom. (I have to pee. And after 4 kids, my bladder isn’t what it used to be.) After sweet relief, I head the kitchen and pour myself a 1/2 a bottle of wine. (Yep. I have a wine glass that can hold that much!!!!) And I drink. I sip while I cook dinner. I sip while I check homework. I sip, and dance a bit, while plating the food.
Now, some people might look at me like a failed mother when they see me drinking in front of my kids. And trust me, I’ve gotten some weird looks before. Here’s just a quick reference of times when I drink in front of my kids:
-At the Levitt Shell, I drink beer in front of my kids.
-At a bar on a Sunday around 2:15pm, I drink beer in from of my kids.(On sunny Sundays when beer is cheap.)
-At a restaurant that sells wine, I drink wine in front of my kids.(Unless my budget says otherwise.)
-At a restaurant during brunch, I drink mimosas in front of my kids.
-Around a fire pit, I drink beer around my kids. (Unless it’s too cold outside, then it’s hot cocoa.)
-When we bowl, I drink beer in front of my kids.
-At home, I drink wine in front of my kids.
-At home, I drink beer in front of my kids.
-Whenever I feel like drinking….I drink…..even in front of my kids.
I don’t call it “mommy juice” nor do I call it a “grown-up drink.” I call it wha it is: Wine, Beer or Liquor. Whenever my kids ask what I’m drinking, I tell them. And when they asks if they can have some, I tell them no. Not because it’s a “bad” drink. Not because they “won’t like the taste.” I tell no because they aren’t old enough. Period.
I don’t believe that alcohol is bad, nor do I believe that it taste bad. So why would I tell my child that? Have I ever been embarrassed due to drinking in front of my kids? YES! When Kroger first began to sell wine, my oldest child was so happy. At the register, he began, “Mom, Kroger is going to start selling wine. I know this makes you so happy. (Now to the cashier.) My mom loves wine. Do you want her to go get some? All I could do was tell Aiden that I didn’t want to buy any wine and tell the cashier that I was ready to pay.
Have I ever been wasted in front of my kids? No. I believe that everything can be done in moderation. I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking that alcohol is some evil, forbidden thing. Only to find themselves incapable of handling it in moderation during college into adulthood. But I do want my kids to see that drinking and being drunk are 2 different things. I do want my kids to see that it is possible to drink responsibly.
FYI….I also drink tea and water as much as I drink alcoholic things.
I was scrollin’ on Facebook when I noticed an advertisement for a FREE PARENT’S NIGHT OUT! I did a double take and re-read the post. Yep, a FREE Parent’s Night Out from 6p-9p. I quickly jumped on this opportunity and signed each child up. I texted Hubby to keep that night free and smiled. This is a parent’s dream. Someone providing entertainment for kids for free! Not the “Please fill out this survey” free. Not even the “Let us post stuff on your social media page” kind of free. This was the Free FREE. This amazing event was put on by an organization called Engage. (It was a friend who shared the post.)
When I explained to Hubby about the free FREE, he was elated! We didn’t know what we were going to with our FREE night, but we weren’t going to waste it indoors. When the night arose, we packed our 4 kids into the car and headed to corner of Kirby and Humphrey’s Blvd.
When we walked in, we were welcomed as if we were long lost relatives coming back home. Seriously, their welcome was invigorating and genuine. The young woman spoke to our kids as if she’s known them from birth. She explained all the fun activities they were going to do that night and the different types of pizza they were going to eat. All the while, Anthony and I filled out “safety” paperwork to ensure the right kids were released to us when we arrive for pickup.
Then we asked, “What type of organization is this that they can offer FREE Parent’s Night Out?” The other young woman who was taking our information simply stated, “We’re a church.” My mind was blown. A church. A CHURCH!!!!! I should have known. The exuberant greeting, the “I’m Home” feeling the place was radiating and the way my children just felt so comfortable. THE Spirit was telling our spirit that HE dwells here.
This small church gets it. They really, really, get it!!!! In today’s busy world, how do you rebuild, or strengthen, a family. You start with the parents of course! You give the parent’s an opportunity to breathe and remember themselves before they had kids. During this breath, they will remember that a church sought to help them where they needed it most. You minister to the children. You display every fruit of the spirit within a 3-hour window. You impact their life forever.
If this is what this small church do for complete strangers, I can only imagine what they do for their members. This shouldn’t be so mind-boggling to me, but it is. I have always had a church tell me what I need. I don’t think I’ve every encounter a church that met me where I needed them most. What if every church in Memphis served their community by offering Parent’s Night Out? What if every church in Memphis asked parents, “What do you need?”
Don’t we say it takes a village to raise a child? Well, Engage Church believes this to be true. I bet they offer family-nights too. I bet they offer financial growth classes! I bet they have some type of organization to assist with navigating through every stage of life for their members. You can never outgrow a church that grows with you.
This upcoming Sunday, we will be visiting Engage Church. And I have a feeling we will be welcomed with open arms…literally! If you haven’t checked out their website, please do so. It speaks VOLUMES.
BTW…the kids didn’t want to leave that night! They had a ball and made lots of friends.
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This is a Public Service Announcement.
-Teachers - My kids have 2 parents. If there is anything concerning the kids, please message/email/dojo both parents. Yes, we can easily relay messages to each other, but sometimes one parent is a little more forgetful than the other parent. So to make sure we get your message, send the message to both parents. Also, on the parent contact form, please provide enough space for BOTH parents’ information. We are tired of trying to squeeze both of our information legibly on 1 tiny line.
-Grandparents - There are 2 parents. Communicate with the parent of need. For example, if the kids are at your house and they are suppose to be picked up by 3 pm by Mom. Don’t text Dad asking him when Mom will be picking up the kids. Just text/call Mom. You can also use that tech savvy brain of yours and create a group text for both Mom and Dad. Group chats are great.
-Kids - You have 2 parents. Stop passing Dad in the kitchen to tell Mom in the bathroom ON THE TOILET that you want some water, or a snack. Dad is perfectly capable of getting food and water for you. Stop passing Dad in the kitchen to tell Mom in the bathroom ON THE TOILET that you want some water, or a snack. Dad is perfectly capable of getting food and water for you. (No that wasn't a typo. You have to say things multiple times for kids.....)Furthermore, you may not know this, but Dad is a really good cuddle too. You should get out of Mom’s lap and try it sometimes.
-Strangers - Yes, I have 4 kids. And yes, they all have the same father. Stop acting as if this is so odd. And yes, all of my kids have the same last name. It happens to be my husband’s (their father’s) last name that I earned when I married him over 10 years ago. And finally, yes, our marriage is still going on strong….with the 4 kids.
We were at Whole Foods, buying what our meager budget could afford, when my 5 year old asked, “Mom, can I see my phone so I can check my account? I want to buy some candy.” It was there, in the middle of Whole Foods that timed stopped. People did the slow turn and soon all eyes were on the Lockhart Family. Then one brave soul approached me and asked, “Do they ALL have phones?” I replied with a hearty, “YES.” And of course, Elliott chimed in, “We all have debit cards too. But I’m saving my money right now.” The brave soul slowly rose her nose in the air as high as it would go and turn her back to us in the rudest way possible. Other patrons at Whole Foods just looked on and quietly got back to minding their own business.
Why do people look at me strange whenever I tell them that my kids, ages 5, 7, 7, and 10, all have cell phones and debit cards? I understand that’s it’s unorthodox and there’s a host of articles that state that cell phones are bad for kids. And from my minimal research, because I could care less, here are a list of reasons why “people” say kids shouldn’t have phones:
-Awkward social skills
-Lack of social skills
-Poor grades in school
-Decreases physical activity
-Blah blah blah
But I completely disagree. Those online predators don’t live in a computer. They aren’t fictional characters. They are actually real people. If we teach our children about stranger-danger at the age of 4, then why not teach about stranger-danger online as well? (My kids don’t have social media accounts, but one day my 10 year old may ask for one. And I will have full access.) I’ve taught them each about accepting request from people they don’t know. They don’t give out any information over the phone AT ALL. The are more likely to “swipe up” and ignore a call or text if you interrupt their game anyway. While, they primarily use their phones to play games, they also have the ability to make phone calls and send text messages. They usually text each other. (With the exception of the oldest hobbit.) Therefore, they have memorized every important phone number, Mom’s, Dad’s and Grandmother’s. They also understand the responsibility that comes along with taking care of an electronic device. Water is BAD. Charge when DEAD. Phones on coffee table during meals, naps and bedtime.
As for awkward social skills….puey! Anyone can be socially awkward given the right situation. As for overall social skills…I thing that anyone who has met my kids know that they do not lack ANY social skills. All of my kids have great grades in school and half of them have good conduct as well.
As for their debit cards, I looked online for 3.25 minutes and couldn’t find an article that disagreed with kids having debit cards. So I guess the public can agree that teaching kids financial responsibility at a young age is a good thing. My kids understand how to earn, save, and donate money. Being financially independent is a small joy that I always want them to feel. Plus, the tooth fairy also sends her payments as direct deposits.
I want my kids to be able to operate in a society that is powered by technology and money while maintaining the fruits of the Spirit. I don’t think that parents should shy away from allowing their children to use general means of technology. Children must be taught how to appropriately use cell phones. We, Hubby and I, teach them that neither tech nor money should consume their life. We have a saying, “When company is around, phones down.” Therefore the kids know that cell phones are a “no-go” during meal times and social gatherings. They understand that when you are around people you love and appreciate, you should choose to share that moment with them. Because your loved ones will not always be around.
And if you would like to know how my kids have cells phones that cost $0.00 a month, just ask.
The people celebrated the apostle. They were the physical signs of his works. He was the shepherd made after God’s own heart, to lead us with spiritual understanding and knowledge. The people in his wake are simply the products of his mission.
The apostle’s choice were stricken from him the moment he said, “Yes Lord.” He no longer decides what he wants to do for himself. He no longer decides the manner in which he will live his life. For his life is forfeit to the one true God. His actions and his steps are ordered thru God and conveyed by the Holy Spirit.
In a sense, he has completely sacrificed all that he has known to aid in the battle for souls. He is the first on the battlefield and will be the last to leave. We stretch our hands towards him and pray for his protection. He goes forth to do the work of God. He goes forth against principalities and spiritual wickedness in high places.
But whenever the shepherd grows weary, he shall only need to look back. Not only to see how far God has bought him, but to see those who follow him faithfully he leads them to Jesus Christ.
These are some of my thoughts, questions, comments and "could-care-less"...