Friday, October 28, 2016

Right Now

Last night I had a dream I was holding a tiny baby. I don't believe it was my baby. I think I was just holding the baby for someone else. But I loved that little baby. So small and sweet and precious. I could even smell that new baby smell. My heart was melting.

When I woke up I expected to feel the familiar pangs of longing that usually accompany that dream, but I didn't. It was just a nice dream. It seems, though I still love babies, I am really enjoying my kids and where we are at right now.

The other day as I was dropping the kids off at school Tommy gave me a little wink and said, "Enjoy your surprise!" and then ran off into school.  I wasn't sure what he was talking about but chuckled and went on my way. Later that morning as I was unloading groceries into the fridge I saw a note that Tommy had taped on one of the fridge shelves. It said, "Love you mom. Have a great day - Tommy"
I'll tell you, it made my day. When the kids got home from school I told Tommy how much the note meant to me. Ben must have been listening because the next day I found a similar note from him on my computer. God, I love these kids.

Yesterday, I told Joey that we needed to head out to look for some basketball shoes for him after school. Kohls was having a massive sale and if we could find some shoes on sale that would be great. These stupid basketball shoes average around $100 and I just find that absurd. Anyway, Tommy started to plead his case for a new pair of basketball shoes but I told him it was a no go. Not only do his shoes from last year still fit but we also have another pair (Joey's shoes from last year that are like new) that are the next size up. No new shoes required for Tommy. Tommy lamented that all his friends get new shoes all the time but I reminded him he wasn't born into that kind of family. Tommy acquiesced and went about his homework on the computer. Since Tommy was on the computer Joe asked if he could use my phone to look up basketball shoes. It wasn't until later that evening when I was using my phone that I noticed the search Joey had done for his new basketball shoes, "cool cheap basketball shoes". Aww. Something about that just got me. It seemed so thoughtful. I never told him his shoes had to be under a certain dollar amount. I didn't even really complain about the price of the shoes at all. And yet secretly Joey was trying to do his part. It warmed my heart.

Lately we have taken to playing a little "game" at dinner. We used to do "high/low" where we would tell about our high and low of the day. However, I recently changed it to focus on the positive. Now we pick out our favorite, or high, part of the day, and then we also name something we did that day to show kindness for someone else.  The kids have taken this pretty seriously and really give their answers a lot of thought. I am so delighted to hear how often they stick up for someone who is getting teased and how often they play with the kid who was standing alone. Love my kids.

Grace loves to point out how she and I have so much in common. When I am reading she always grabs her books and comes to snuggle in next to me to read. I even find her off in a corner or alone in her room with her books. She has already read Anne of Green Gables and just finished The Secret Garden. She is a reading machine. She is so smart. When I marvel at her reading she says to me, "I'm definitely your daughter!" It is just so precious. And yet she is completely comfortable being her own person too. If she doesn't like something (regardless of if I like it) she will let me know. I love that. Yesterday Grace mentioned she would love another "ladies weekend" with me. Last time we went shopping (mostly a bookstore), to lunch, and then to a theater performance of Ella Enchanted. It was so much fun. And I am so glad she loved it as much as I did.

This morning the kids and I quoted The Holy Grail all the way to school and when they got out of the car they galloped into school complete with coconut/galloping noises. I must have looked like a lunatic as I laughed like crazy exiting the parking lot and drove home. These kids of mine are seriously hilarious. It made my day. Man, I love those kids.

So, yes, while I still love babies, I am so incredibly happy with my kids and where we are at as a family right now. And though they are more apt to talk back, be cranky, sass talk, and misbehave at this age than they were as babies, I still am loving this. This crazy, fun, exhausting, hysterical, trying, loving time in our lives is pretty great. I love right now.

***Disclaimer-  Sorry if this seems like a braggy post about my kids. I really do need to write down all the times they do something sweet, funny, loving so that when they are acting like turds I can go back and remember how much I really do like them. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Falling Short

It was a beautiful fall day. The sun was shining, the breeze was light, and the temperature was just right. It was the kind of day that promises all kinds of warm, lovely, wonderful things. 

It was also my mom's birthday and I had all sorts of lovely visions of us with my mom at the pumpkin farm. Unfortunately, instead of all those warm, lovely moments we ended up with grumpy, sassy, yuck instead. 

It started when my mom got lost on the way to the pumpkin farm/orchard. It continued as I attempted to get our name on the waiting list at the cafe and was told the wait would be 2 hours. It went further downhill as my "starving" children complained and whined. Things really went to crap when we attempted a quick photo shoot for our fall family picture and the sun was apparently frying everyone's eyeballs out. It was sunny, I will admit but nothing a little squinting couldn't handle. Even when we moved into a shady spot a couple of us could no longer fake a smile. I was not happy at this point. I was done. And I was disappointed.  I had such high hopes for the day and for my mom's birthday lunch. 

You'd think by now, after so many years of having children, I'd know how to manage my expectations. I am usually so good at keeping them low. But today seemed such a recipe for a lovely time. 

Ah well.

We did manage to turn the day around a bit with some apple cider and cute baby animals. It got a bit better still when we found another restaurant to treat my mother to lunch. And it was a delicious lunch. Overall, we pulled through.

Still, when I look at this photo it just reminds me of the struggles of the day. And now that I look at it closer I also notice it is off center. Ha! Had I not been in such a hurry to get the picture taken I would have moved that hay bale over and centered the bench. Oh well. It's not perfect and neither was the day. But we made it through and eventually turned it around. I bet someday when I look back on this picture it will give me a chuckle.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson