Little Red Riding Hood or how I tried to help out Grandma

Hi, it’s me again, Fred.  What, you don’t know anyone by that name?  How about Frederick Von Wolfhausen III?  No?  Well, okay, maybe you will recognize me by this horrible nickname:  The Big Bad Wolf.  Oh, so that one you know?  I really don’t like that name, it hurts my feelings.  I have been trying very hard to change everyone’s opinions of me and having to use that name doesn’t help at all.

It is all those awful little pigs’ fault.  Blow down a couple of houses that were only held together with sticks and straws and I’m the bad guy.  Does anyone ever mention how poorly those houses were constructed?  No?  I didn’t thinks so.  I bet just knocking on their front doors probably would have been enough to topple them over.  But that is a story for another day.

I have spent the past year trying to prove that I am not that guy.  I am not ‘big and bad’.  I am really soft, fluffy and friendly, actually the nicest wolf you could ever hope to meet.  At least that is what my Mums and Pops tell me.

I have been very busy doing good deeds around the forest, trying to prove how kind I really am.  I rescue little animals that get trapped in the thickets.  I work hard to free them, but then what happens?  The minute they are loose, they run away screaming “it’s the big, bad wolf!”  Why would they do that?  Didn’t I just rescue them?

I pick up baby birds and put them back in their nest too.  But then their mom chases me away like I had plans to eat them for my next meal or something.  It’s just not fair.  I only want to be friends.

And yesterday, this happens.  I was walking through the woods, minding my own business, when I saw Grandma Gertie working in her garden.  I went over to say hi and to see if she would like some help.  What do you think happened when she realized it was me?  She jumped up, pretty fast for a grandma by the way, and ran screaming into the woods yelling “the wolf, the wolf, the big, bad wolf!”  “I just wanted to help you”, I yelled after her.  So, with nothing else to do, I kneeled down and began pulling up weeds from the garden.  Her garden looked pretty pitiful and it seemed like the least I could do.

After a few minutes, I began to hear whistling off in the distance.  Yay, Grandma must have calmed down and decided to come back.  In desperation, I wondered if maybe Grandma saw me dressed like she was, then she wouldn’t be scared.  So I grabbed some clothes off the clothesline and changed into them.  I put on an old gown and slipped a lace cap on my head to cover up my ears.  Now, I that I look more like her, I bet she will seee me as a friend.

grandma-wolf (dragged)

As the whistling grew closer, I saw that it wasn’t Grandma after all.  It was a little girl in a red cape and hood.  She was skipping toward the garden carrying a picnic basket.  Oh boy, a picnic.  I love picnics.  They are so much fun!  Lemonade, sandwiches, cupcakes, oh my!

When the little girl came close enough to see me, I noticed she was squinting.  Oh, maybe she lost her glasses.  This may be my chance to help her and she can tell everyone how kind and helpful I really am.  As the little girl skipped even closer, she tripped over a rock on the path.  She reached out to grab me to stop her fall, but she accidentally stuck her hand right in my mouth, gross!  But being the polite wolf that I am, I didn’t say anything.  “What big teeth you have,” she said.  (How rude I thought, but did I say that?  No.)

“Umm, the better to eat that picnic with”, I replied.  I never, ever said the better to eat you with, I promise!

After wiping her hand on her skirt, she reached down into the picnic basket.  I thought she was bringing out the cupcakes, but no, she pulls out her glasses.  As her vision focused, her eyes widened and she let out a ear splitting scream.  The basket fell to the ground as she ran screaming off into the woods.  What just happened?

Not knowing what else to do, I sat down and looked in the picnic basket.  Hey, she left it sitting there and I didn’t want it to go to waste.  But please don’t tell my Mums, she gets upset if I eat too many sweets.

By the time I got back home, the story was already being told that ‘the big, bad wolf’ had scared Grandma Gertie away and then had tried to eat Little Red Riding Hood.  Why would she say such things?  I don’t eat pigs and I don’t eat people.  I like cake, birthday cake to be precise.  And maybe ice cream too.  But people, yuck!

So now I am asking for your help.  Please help me spread the word about what really happened.  And if you are ever out this way would you mind bringing me some birthday cake?  I have a feeling I won’t be getting invited to too many parties anymore.


A New Kind of Mother’s Day

Your Mother’s Day takes on different looks as your kids grow up.

The first ones—all glowing because they are so little and your day is filled with cuddles and kisses.

A few more years go by—the handmade cards or a handful of flowers picked from your yard.

A few more years—maybe they’ll fix you breakfast and then leave the kitchen a mess,

High School—treat you to lunch and pay for it with the money from their first job (or they’ll leave the tip while you pick up the check).

College—a phone call or maybe the first card they picked out by themselves just for you.

But this year, I am finding out what it means to be the mom to two grown men and I have to say, I am loving it!  No, I won’t be able to actually be with them on my day, but you know I realized something this year-it is just a day out of the year and any day can be Mother’s Day when you get to spend time with your kids.

Already this year I got to spend a week at my oldest son’s home in NC.  He had picked out places for us to go where I could take pictures to my heart’s content.  He even met me at the airport with a sign that said ‘cool mom’ just because I had always wanted someone to be waiting for me when I got off a plane with a sign and my name on it!  We took his dogs to the beach and walked them around Carolina Beach State Park.  He didn’t mind driving me all over town, stopping the car so I could get a good picture, or even circling the block a couple of time so I could get just the right angle.   And for the first time in a long time, we just took time to hang out, sit around and talk.  No rushing around, no schedules, no agendas.  I enjoyed getting to know my son as the grown man he has become.  And I am so proud and humbled by the man he is today.

This past weekend, I got to hang out with my youngest son and his new wife.  They came down to spend the day with me for an early Mother’s Day as they’ll be busy moving the next few weeks.  They forgot my present, (2nd year in a row i might add), and I am beginning to think it is now hanging on the wall of their apartment!  They apologized again and again but what they gave me this weekend was more precious than any present they could ever buy in a store.  They gave me hours of just us three sitting around, no TV, no distractions, just sitting around the den, talking, laughing, looking at pictures, and connecting.  They are so busy starting out in their new lives, that uninterrupted time to just talk is almost non-existent.  But that day, we discussed childhoods, family, dreams, religion, trips, moving, you name it-we discussed it-and I couldn’t have been happier.  Not only did I get to see how they are learning to interact as an old married couple, but I was able to connect to them as a couple.  I know, sounds silly, but it is hard to go from seeing your son as a little boy, now turned into a grown man with a wife.  But that day I was able to relax and get to know my new daughter better.  I love how she makes my son a better man and how she welcomes me to be a part of their family.  I love how she feels at home here.

I will always love my boys, but I also like the grown men they have become.

So no, I won’t be able to spend the official day set aside to honor us moms actually being with either of my kids, but what I’ve learned is that you have to change and adapt.  You have to grow up as they do.  You have to learn to respect that they have their own lives now.  Just as past Mother’s Days changed as they grew up, you have to change too.

Any day you spend with your kids is a Mother’s Day.  Every day is special and should be treasured.  As they grow up, we may feel less important, but that’s not true.  You are the person who is always in their corner, who is there when they need a shoulder to cry on or the encouragement to keep trying.  You are the representation of home, no matter where you may be.  You are the one who has loved them at their worst and loved them at their best.  You are their mom, and while it is only 3 little letters-it represents so much more.

Happy Mother’s Day to us all-every day of our lives.