Starbucks Therapy Session

by Cate on October 4, 2011

Mystic and I escaped to the movies a week ago.  Let me save you twenty bucks … skip Kevin Hart’s Laugh at My Pain.  The only reason we chose it it because it had been probably a good two months since we went out, just the two of us, and movies have become one of our “things.” Well, the Dine-In Cinema at least.  Not a regular movie theater.  A full-on straight-up comedy routine sounded perfect, just what we needed.  Yeah, well, not so much.

On the way home, we were one block away and he asked me if I wanted a frappuccino.  It was only 830 pm.  I wasn’t ready to go back home yet.  Starbucks sounded perfect.  After we ordered our drinks (that new gargantuan size that Starbucks unleashed a little bit ago is pretty perfect for Mystic), he led us to the outside tables.  I’ve lived in town for 10 years now, and have only sat outside the Starbucks one other time.  We watched the passers-by, the sky darken, the traffic, and talked about some of life’s great topics.  (There was a picture of all that in last weekends’ round-up here)

Responsibility.

Respect.

Character.

Things which are huge to us.  Both for us.  And for our kids.  We shared stories.  Ideas.  Connections.  And talked about people we admire.  Moments that deserve respect.  That left us in awe.  Both good and bad.

I can’t tell you what a high it is to have a conversation, an adult conversation.  Knowing the little people at home were being taken care of.  Being able to finish sentences, thoughts.  I tweeted later that night, something short and simple … “Heart.  Full.”  And I meant it.

Mystic has many pretty awesome qualities, but one of the top three that I’m most attracted to is his ability to know what I need, sometimes before I even realize it.  Whether it’s a light bulb for my refrigerator that I didn’t even realize was out or a one hour chat session lit only by the headlights of oncoming cars, he is completely there.

* * * * *

Speaking of respect, one of the stories that I shared was a part of a recent episode of Giuliana & Bill.  Reality tv is one of my guilty pleasures, sue me.  Giuliana threw her husband Bill a surprise birthday party to celebrate his 40th.  A gathering of close friends and family led way to several toasts about Bill and his character.  To  hear the way they talk about him totally choked me up.  One of Bill’s friend’s mentioned something he learned about Bill recently.  Bill was on a flight, in First Class, and noticed a serviceman board the plane and sit in coach.  At some point, he spoke to the flight attendant and said he wanted to switch seats with the serviceman, but didn’t want him to know he was doing it.  He didn’t want the thanks.  Or the acknowledgement.  Or the tabloid story the next day.  He just wanted to do it.  And he did.  The only reason Bill’s friend knew about what Bill had done is that he had overhead a conversation between Bill and his wife.  It was a silent moment about showing respect.

It took me forever to find online clips of that part of the episode.  You can watch part of Giuliana’s speech to Bill right here, and you can watch the whole episode right here:

To skip to the speeches, scroll over to minute 36 and watch from there. (There is only one pop-up on this site, just close it and all will be fine). The toasts from Bill’s friend, his sister, and Giuliana, and later his to his mom, just speak to what a stand-up, grounded, loyal guy he is and it was heartwarming to watch. To me, that’s what it’s all about.

It’s those moments of quiet character building that make my heart surge.  And it’s how we endeavor to raise our children.  When my kids apologize for something they’ve done, they know it’s not good enough to say “I’m sorry” unless they know what they’re apologizing for.  Otherwise, it’s all just words.  I want them to think, really think, about their actions.  Their reactions.  The consequences.  And no, I don’t think these are too-big lessons for their age.  It starts at the beginning.  Same with character building and respect.  I want them to respect me because I’ve been a good role model for them.  Because they may admire a decision I’ve made.  Because they might want to emulate something they’ve seen.  Not because I say so.

Someone mentioned over the weekend  how good Nick is with Madeline, and it’s so true.  Yes, they have their moments of  bickering and times when they need to be separated, but at their core?  A relationship where they look out for each other.  If I’m out with Madeline, and she gets something (lollipop at bank, sticker at doctor, what have you), she always, always, always asks for one for Nick.  Without being prompted.  Because she loves him.  He will grab her hand to guide her when we’re walking.  Just because.  Not because I asked him to.

And those are the moments that drive it all home for me.  The moments when they do the right thing, be it protection, respect, manners, completely on their own.  It means that they really *are* listening, noting, taking it all in, understanding, and, best of all, putting it into action.

When I was downloading pictures last night for the Weekend Photos in Review, there was one that I downloaded to Flickr, but accidentally didn’t make it to the review.  And that actually worked out perfectly, because it speaks directly to what I’ve been talking about here.

Manners

Friday afternoon, as I was getting Madeline buckled into her car seat, Nick left the car and I started to yell at him to get back into the car, until I saw what he was doing.

He went back to open the door for this elderly couple going in.  Without being asked.  I love that kid.  And I love that deep down, he gets it.  Oh, and I totally love that the couple was holding hands.  That never gets old.

So to sum it up?  Keep at it.  Giving back.  Being loyal.  Showing kindness.  Being respectful.  The pleases.  The thank yous.  The yes ma’ams.  The opening of doors.  Delivering cookies to neighbors.  A homecooked meal for a friend.  The doing unto others.  The smiles at strangers.  And good deeds just because.  Even when you don’t feel like it.  It never goes out of style.  Whether you’re married or single.  Have kids or not.  And for those that are raising kids, even when it looks like they’re not paying attention or listening or heeding, they are.  I promise.

October 4, 2011 – Bonus Photo
Luke
I rarely get a picture of Luke, mostly because he is always darting around here and there. He naps a lot with Madeline though, so once in awhile, I get lucky.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula Ann October 5, 2011 at 9:03 am

Love it. There is no more important job than raising responsible, respectful, loving, kind children. It’s not a job for the faint-of-heart. The rewards of a job well done,however, are immeasurable. And Mystic- he sounds like a keeper. There really are good men out there. I’m glad you found one of them. I met mine 25 years ago and married him 22 years ago. He’s still my best friend after all these years.

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Cate O'Malley October 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm

25 years – that’s awesome! And I completely agree, he’s a keeper. :)

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Joanne October 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Your site wasn’t working this morning so I didn’t get to get my daily dose of Cate in! It was tragic.

My heart absolutely burst while reading this. I’m just so happy for you.

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Cate O'Malley October 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm

I didn’t know it wasn’t working – thanks for the heads up!

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christy October 5, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Thats perfect!! I love that show and many other reality TV shows. :) I dont have kids yet as I am 25 and not ready but I take great point from your blog for future reference. Thank you

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Cate October 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Reality tv is my guilty pleasure. shh, don’t tell anyone.

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Betsy October 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Such interesting and important topics to talk about. But if you don’t mind me asking, I was always curious how those conversations come about. Just spontaneous. Sometimes, if I pull something out of the blue, I feel like I am doing 20 questions (albeit important). Maybe I have to work on how I segue topics.

You sound like a great pair. Very happy for you.

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Cate October 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Usually after a good dinner and an adult beverage! Kidding. Well, mostly. That particular night, we had been talking about some similar issues we have with the kids (sharing custody and how the kids handle the weekend transitions), and it segued from that. I think a lot of the very best conversations happen that way … stream of consciousness thinking, but in an outloud way.

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bobolink October 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm

About three weeks ago I sent my college sophomore (20) an Italian Beef Sandwich pack (A Chicago legend) from our delicious local store. Last night he called during dinner to say he and his roommates were enjoying and Italian beef sandwich dinner. Warms my heart.

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