Thursday, May 24, 2012

getting a sense

when my kids were 1st born i was instantly looking for traits that were familiar.
who did they look like,
and as they grew,
who did they act like.
was it more me or more pete?
and anytime i saw a glimmer of the things they did like me i was certain they were just like me,
but as soon as i saw them kick back like pete i was certain they were more like him.
as they have grown through this year of school,
i'm getting a sense that they are mostly just who they are.
they are sam, will, maggie.
today sam had a field trip to the zoo.
he was extremely excited!
up at 6:45.
he had a dream that he woke up late and missed the bus for the field trip.
we tried chasing it down until dinner and never caught it.
that was one reason he was up early.
the other was because he wanted to decorate a lunch bag to take his lunch for the field trip.
i thought 'oh, that is totally like me!',
so i busted out the brown paper lunch sacks.
that's not what he had in mind.
he wanted a plastic grocery bag.
he didn't want his lunch to rip out of the bag.
i felt inclined to tell him no and make him use the paper.
then the sense hit me.
he is not me.
he is him,
and he wants to take his school lunch in a plastic target bag decorated with zoo animals and flame letters that spelled his name.
i was imagining the turkey sandwich in the bag when he made his own request.
he asked for a breakfast delight.
fyi.... a breakfast delight is a fried egg & cheese with a sausage patty on a toasted sandwich thin glazed with a bit of jam.
that's what he wanted for his lunch,
in his plastic sack,
at the zoo,
with all his classmates.
i only questioned him by making sure he didn't mean he wanted it for breakfast.
he meant lunch,
so that's what he got.
he ate it all.
i know because i saw the empty sack in his lunch bag that he was delighted to bring home.
this all happened 2 days after he said
"mom, do you remember what i brought in my lunch the 1st day of school?"
i didn't forget.
it was tuna & white bean salad, a boiled egg, and watermelon.
he said "when can i have that again? it was the best lunch ever."
i am certain he is just sam,
(and will is will & maggie is maggie)
and my vision for him (& the others) has gotten so much bigger after i realized he's not just a me clone.
he is a real person that will take me on adventures that i would never know otherwise.
however, when i saw him putting together another folder with loose leaf paper this afternoon
and then doing self-prescribed math drills all evening,
i was tempted to think he was just like me.
now i have the sense to know otherwise.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

21:: MAY

so grateful i have a baby who has learned to use the potty before she has learned to talk.
who needs words when you already know how to run to the potty all day when you need to go?
we are only on day 3,
but she got it on day 1.
only 1 accident & always dry when she wakes up.
can i get a THANK YOU, MAGGIE!
there will be many things i miss about not having babies,
like a little girl who says "NUMNUM" anytime she wants something to eat
or "NO, BABY!" for just about everything else,
but diapers are the one thing i will NOT miss.
thank you, maggie!

Friday, May 18, 2012

still happy

see bike post below.
this made me smile so big
because this is exactly how i've been feeling every day since i got my new bike.
i feel like i should tag the quote at the end with....
"...but u can buy a bike and ride it everywhere you go and practice riding with no hands like you did when you were 11 AND that's pretty close."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

17:: MAY

every time i look back on the people that are in my life,
i am thankful i have never had a shortage of people that i needed.
they always seem to be there at the exact right time.
i'm thankful for the way these people find a way in somehow,
and there are many that have found their way in through my salon door.
and i'm thankful for all the reasons they keep coming back.
i have never had a shortage of meaningful relationships.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

16:: MAY

thankful for the days when will wrecks on his scooter and scrapes his elbow.
not thankful for the scrape,
but thankful that because his elbow is "stinging" so bad he can't sleep,
so i get to put him in my bed,
along with sam,
(because 1 can't go without the other),
and lay beside him while he whimpers into my shoulder.
i got to listen to him talk about all the things that will distract him,
like about asking his auntie where she got the leap pads
and about how come they couldn't sleep in our bed forever even though calvin used to and he was as big as sam & will pushed together.
he doesn't often want to snuggle like this,
so very thankful i took the time to do it.
and thankful that i got into bed before pete
so i could fall asleep with these boys still in my bed.
very, very thankful.

Monday, May 14, 2012

did you hear anything?

in this hour of play i heard only one thing:
sam: "scooter, do you want to do this the hard way or the easy way?"
i never heard an answer.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

12: MAY

pete finally convinced me that you don't have to go cheap on everything,
and you don't have to be boring either.
very thankful for my new pink bianchi bike
and the silver basket on the front.

ps... and that it's ok to get what you want.

Friday, May 11, 2012

11:: MAY

thankful to be an observer of childhood play.
thankful my kids have bff cousins who they can dream up elaborate games with a baseball on a patch of grass.
thankful to remember how it felt to be so free,
so imaginative.
thankful my kids are having a fun childhood.
and thankful that sometimes i get invited into that fun world
and thankful that sometimes i just get to watch.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


grateful for shocks to the heart.
especially for the ones that might be keeping you alive.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

9:: MAY

oh boy,
true gratitude for this one.
SO  grateful my kids don't eat their boogers.
yes, they pick their nose,
but no, they don't eat their boogers.
very, very grateful.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

8:: MAY

grateful for when people are nice to me.
even when they don't have to be.
and especially when they don't have reason to be.
thank you.
definitely grateful for that one.

Monday, May 7, 2012

7:: MAY

well, the first day of trying to be more grateful almost went exactly how expected.
i was trying to be grateful for everything,
trying to get that heart pricked feeling that i was really grateful for something.
when will spilled his chocolate milk off the counter,
i tried to be grateful that i didn't get mad,
grateful that i calmly helped him clean it up.
it didn't prick my heart though.
and i wasn't grateful he spilled it.
later in the day i thought i was grateful for sam's creativity for wanting to make his own happy meal  hamburger with thin, sliced cheese, sliced dill pickles, square onions, and ketchup.
still no prick.
and the day was dragging on.
i had a list of things in every corner to be grateful for,
but the feeling felt forced.
i was hoping when i committed to this that i would let gratitude penetrate my heart,
to help me feel all the reasons for living.
well, it felt like just a pretty typical day.
until about 5:00.
i was doing nothing more than sitting in the boys' room helping them hang laundry,
and my heart was pricked.
pricked with gratitude for being able to stay home and raise my children.
grateful that they could be with me instead of someone else.
that will & maggie could make 3 feet bendy straws at our table.
that maggie could chase birds all afternoon in our yard.
that sam has a place on the couch that he knows he will set everyday with me to do his reading.
i am home.
my kids are home.
i don't have a "perfect" home,
and i'm surely far from perfect in it,
but at least i am home.
heart pricked.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

wish for change

december 25, 2007
"to see myself how i really am."
5 years ago my sister gave my family a christmas box.
the idea was to write a gift you would like to give jesus that year.
that's the gift i wrote to give.
to see myself like i really am.
that would be a gift.
maybe more like a gift for me.
or maybe a wish.
it has been the birthday candle wish i have made every year as long as i can remember.
my birthday is in 1 week.
i'm not going to make that wish this year.
it seems i'm having trouble making that one come true.
i seem to be stuck in the same place year after year.
this year i'm going to wish that i will stick to doing the things that i know will help clear my vision.
one thing at a time.
do it until it's mastered,
even if it takes the whole year.
i'm starting with gratitude.
i know we all have things to complain about,
but it can be too easy to focus on those things instead of remembering all we have to be grateful for.
if i can pull it off,
then next year i can at least say i've been grateful.
and that's a start.
i'm ready for this change.
happy birthday to me.

Friday, May 4, 2012

by alison meghee and peter h. reynolds

someday is a mother's heartfelt wish for daughter- that she will grow up healthy, experience joys, and someday have a family of her own. the book traces significant moments in a girl's life from infancy through adulthood, chronicling both achievements and heartache along the way. the simple illustrations add to the emotion of the book just as much as the simple text. it is a tender read for a mother, and the illustrations will draw even the youngest listener in. this is a nice, sentimental book to keep on your daughter's shelf or to pass along to your mother as way of thanking her and admitting how much you can relate to her now.

there are several reasons i'm thinking about this book tonight:

1. my sister-in-law gave me this after maggie was born, and mag & i have started it reading it together lately. i didn't think maggie would take to it so young, but she often picks it by calling it her "baby" book.
2. i have spent the evening alone with just maggie, and that can be a rare delight. with this book fresh on my mind, i couldn't help but better see the childhood joys that she is experiencing as well as the hope that i feel for her life to always be so full. as we pulled into home from our cookie date, i was reminded of a line from the book ("someday you will look at this house and wonder how something that feels so big can look so small"). that's the home i hope to create for all of my children, no matter where that home ever is.
3. mother's day and my birthday will be on the same day this year. this book somehow makes me feel really special that i was born on mother's day. i would have liked to have a mother's day baby.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

won't you be my neighbor

if you were our neighbor,
then you will find us outside,
on the sidewalk,
riding scooters,
a lot.
it has become maggie's favorite pastime.
and, yes, she is  really riding the scooter,
and yes, she just turned 2 a month ago.
will you come ride with us?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

i believed

(photos by will.)

i felt like i was walking on the moon all morning.
that whole "just believe" lesson i wrote about yesterday was working.
(until i had a late afternoon disaster with a paint sprayer)
my heart wasn't doing that anxious motherhood racing at all.
instead it was more like exploding,
but the good exploding.
the kind of exploding you have when you look at your kids and can feel how much you love them and everything they do.
i was calm,
and my life was calm.
we played at the park,
like that kind of play that was fun & not forced,
i worked at home with them right by side playing in their own world,
and snuggled with sam after school & really connected.
still trying to figure out how to keep my heart calm longer than a few hours.
perhaps the trick is to just be grateful that it comes like this at all.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

just believe

i have some anxiety.
there, i said it.
not about everything,
and one big thing in particular.
the anxiety doesn't come from not loving it.
it comes from loving it so much that i don't want to mess it up,
not even in the least little bit.
i think about motherhood ALL THE TIME!
guaranteed more than i think about anything else.
at any given time there's a stack of parenting books on my nightstand.
so much anxiety i can't even read one and finish it.
instead i try to read them all at once and get my brain so overloaded and my heart racing so fast that i blow the whole mothering thing out the window and get nothing.
i just want to be a good mom.
i want happy, peaceful, content, & confident children.
i want it so much that sometimes i don't even see that i have that.
i worry so much about getting it right that i struggle enjoying it when it is here,
happening right in front of me.
don't get me wrong,
i know we all love our children
and want to be good moms,
but i'm certain my level is entering the disorder stage.
it is troubling to me.
very, very troubling.
i know somewhere beyond my textbook knowledge of parenting,
and the racing heart that distracts me,
and my overall insecurity with my mothering skills,
there is a really strong sense of how to just do what suits my family.
i get muddled though.
tonight there was a moment of clarity.
sam was laying in bed talking to me about his soccer game tomorrow.
they don't have what you would call a winning team,
but sam is a natural & they have fun,
except for nights like this when sam says he wishes they could score more than 1 goal.
i found myself teaching him that he has to just believe he can do it
and then he will.
i gave him an example
(a silly one, but one he related to)
about playing the game of life the other day.
it was my turn to draw my house card.
i always want the beach house.
i truly believed i would draw it,
so much so i said it out loud.
sam & will were in total disbelief when that was the card i really drew.
i wasn't.
i truly believed that would be my card,
almost like i willed it so.
ok, kind of random.
as i was relaying the "just believe" message to sam through this example,
he said "oh, i get it! you don't really have to be good at something, you just have to believe you are good."
i told him you get good by believing you are good.
his whole demeanor changed.
he said "then i believe we will score 100 goals tomorrow."
(that lesson was expounded on with realistic expectations. kind of. :) )
then i got it, too.
i don't always have to be a good mom (aka perfect mom),
i just have to believe that i am.
that belief will do more good for me than anything i could read in a book.
thank you, sam,
and thank you me.
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