Pardon the rant tonight, fair warning you guys. For the love of all that is good in the world, SEND ME SOME PATIENCE TODAY… PLEASE!?
As a boy mom, I have a quiet but vast knowledge of all the best superheroes, video games, and fart jokes. My home is always loud and always crazy, then at night it fades to the quiet sweetness of cuddly, sleeping angels. I gaze at them most nights for at least a couple of minutes each while they sleep, just before turning in myself. Their sweet deep breaths are a refreshing peace after long, eventful days. I am done having biological children of my own, but I know I am not done with this mothering gig.
Whether it ends up being pups, cats, kids, or giraffes… I love to feel needed, to care of others. I think I would like to foster children in the next several years if at all possible. As much as I sometimes complain, recently I have noticed that this complaining is a lot less frequent. As these boys have grown, their reliance upon me has changed. With increased freedom and independence myself, I am starting to enjoy and appreciate them more. I feel like the first couple years of motherhood are just a really difficult test of survival skills, peppered in with sweet moments of baby cuddles. While wonderful in their own way, for me these baby years were not all sustaining. I love the interaction, the give and take, in the relationships our family enjoys now. I love the silliness and the quirky personalities that are developing. I love seeing these guys take on new challenges and learn new skill sets.
My first grader had his first spelling and math tests this week. He is learning (age-appropriate of course) about 9-11 and asking big kid questions that I find exhilarating to be able to discuss with him. He wrote an actual love letter tonight to a girl in his class and proudly showed it to me, asking for my feedback. My preschooler is learning how to play practical jokes… today he purposefully left a fake doggy poo and a fake bug on my desk while I was on lunch break, then giggled furiously when I came back to work and saw them. He now tells me all the time, “I love you Mama, you are so silly!” This kind of stuff to me is what little giggles are to you baby lovers out there.
I am so grateful to be their mom, and they have made me a less selfish person by somehow softening my sharply pointed anxiety and depression. They are forgiving, even when I start the day grumpy and crabby (cough cough, today, cough). We are learning to apologize to each other. Though I am not perfect, they don’t need me to be. They need to me to be real and present each day, warts and all. They see their dad and I occasionally bicker – but always make up, usually by laughing. These kids see us show up to help with their classroom, listen to endless Minecraft stories, and coach their soccer team. I watch them watching us. I find it fascinating that sometimes I can see them learning from our everyday lives together in real-time, and evolving with their imperfect parents into weird little wonderous humans.
We are all a work in progress, aren’t we? When we are young it is so easy to say, “I would never do that” or “This is right and that is wrong” or “I would never want this or that”. Things change, we change, life changes, as I have discussed previously (Perspective on Change). When I look back over how things have come to be so far, I am glad I didn’t know what would happen or where we would go. (You Just Never Know) Because where we are now, is right where we need to be. On the couch writing, checking our fantasy football scores, practicing spelling, laughing at AFV on the tv, cracking fart jokes, and cuddling with popcorn. Does life get any better than this? I think not.
My 6-year-old son is many things… funny, sweet, silly, loving, smart. He is also recently becoming a world-class liar. I don’t know whether to be disappointed or proud of his gumption, honestly.
Well she did it, folks! My mom retired from the Postal Service after almost 38 years. Did she retire to sip leisurely from tropical drinks on the beaches of Florida? Well, no. In fact, she starts her new job next week… teaching preschoolers (insert shudder here).
I see my grandpa, but he is not really there.
I can hold his hand and touch his warm forehead.
I can give him comfort, but he cannot return the favor.
Sometimes he knows me and my children.
Other times, he asks when I will graduate high school.
Is it me, or am I the only one who LOVES shopping for back to school supplies?! The fresh smell of crayolas, the trusted pointiness of number 2 pencils, and the sharp, clean lines of new notebooks. Limitless potential abounds… what will these small tools help our littles create this year?
Toddlers always smell sticky sweet, like an old lollipop. Occasionally after a nice long bath and that baby-scented bedtime lotion, a flicker of baby giggles flits into my memory and we snuggle up close before bedtime. I loved having my babies, but I do not miss actually having young babies. I may be in the minority, but I sure do favor the sweet innocence and simultaneous, often challenging beginnings of independence that bubble up as little children grow into bigger ones. Don’t get me wrong. Toddlers are frustrating and beyond exhausting. They are also hilarious and excited by everything. Every single thing is brand new and so as a result, you get to experience the newness right alongside them. Holidays become more than just another day on the calendar. First times of each new experience are captured religiously with cameras as we try to sear these memories in our brains for the future. Shall I go on?
A door, kissed long and hard by the sun,
Splintered wood, peeling red paint,
Brass knob, hot fingerprints, weeded cement bellowing out below.
Pounded by storms and slammed by ghosts,
A lifetime of entrances, exits, and foot steps,
Oblivious to the world changing constantly just beyond its horizon.
This is still my home, my messy soul.
Chances are you will never meet,
The dusty crevices housing a million memories,
Lucky to stand for so long, sturdy and sure.
Bold speck of reassurance,
Splatter of color in a grey world,
Rooted deep, part of one girl’s beginning.
Replaced today with chalky beige; the new owners favor boredom?
A photograph, to remind of a gloriously palpable youth,
Not quite the same, but she will do well in her new glass case.
Hanging above me to whisper,
You are always with me, and I am with you, kid.
Bittersweet comfort. I go on, as she would insist.
I am married to the absolute best man in the world, and the hands down best father. Often, we find ourselves passing like ships in the night, as I go to bed most nights just before he wakes up. We don’t always have the time, between raising two little boys and working opposite full time schedules, to connect and tell each other how much we care. But this man shows he cares in everything he does. I may not get roses on Valentine’s Day, but he knows I wouldn’t want them. He does so much more than flowers.
Perfect parents do not exist. They are a myth that we compare ourselves to when coming to terms with our own shortcomings. Whether we think about it often or not, we continually compare ourselves to our friends’ parenting styles, in an effort to identify and define our own selves in relation to them. It is a normal thing for our brains to do, identify similarities and differences in order to organize people and things into meaningful groups. Us and them. Same or Different. Totally normal, but important to note that although this is a normal phenomenon, it is not always healthy.