Friday, October 10

Dear Josephine {4 years old}

This year is turning out to be quite the year for you little lady bird.

You've started school, taken big leaps with your already independent nature, and are showing how ready you are for life's adventures.

Which is why the happily anxious reserved side, that you showed on your birthday this year, caught both Grammie and I off guard.

It was one of those moments I consider a memory gift. One I will reflect on in my more quiet moments and baffle at in disbelief laughter, during joyful times, for years down the road.

The bold, fearlessly, stubborn, spit fire of a baby I am accustom to, was caught, idly standing in the kitchen, with her party dress on, nervously turing it's hem, tentative in motion.

It didn't last long.
Your friends came in, you ran off and played, but that moment of hasty hesitation, cautiously standing with the protection of your grammy by your side, is one of those memories that is a gift in itself, leaving Grammie and I standing dumbfound, speechless, and oddly heart broken at this side of you.

You showed the same kind of emotional wavering on step-up-day for school.

You held my hand, wanting me to keep my security close, while looking up at me frequently for encouraging head nods and comforting smiles.

Again, if only for a brief moment, it was there... and I was thankful to have been as well.

Just this morning, when I went to drop you off at school, you asked for me to stay in the van.

You confidently jumped out, met your classmates in line, excitedly waved back at me, blew me a kiss, and march into school.

There was no hesitations, no reservations, or idle doubts.

It's hard for me to find my own reluctancy to you becoming older.
Your excitement for all that this age bring, holds my sadness for my baby growing, at bay.
For the most part anyways.

I revel with pride in our common ground being found in stubborn, reactive, and independent.

But you bring a sassy vibe with you that can't..... or will not .... be ignored.
4 years has brought me accustom to you're confidence in receiving attention and at the same time leaving me shaking my head that girly, pink loving, giggly, you, could have come from tomboyish, earth tone, mild me.

So far, year 4 is broadening that realm for us by keeping me on my toes in ways unexpected. The force that you are naturally, the big space that you fill for being so small, is what I have come to expect of you.

You're ready for life, you always have been, but this year especially, it's showing me how willing you are for it as well. But sometime with want, come worry and it's nice to see that part of you stem. It tells me awareness is present in your moments, and what is the point of living this life, if we are not aware while doing so.

This new layer of shy, has caught my attention in a way that's unknowingly funny and sweet.
And that I absolutely love........ as well you....


Wednesday, August 6

Fighting for Fair

This summer I have been pulled to the trenches in the constant battle of fairness.

I'm sure it's more of a trickle effect in learned behavior, but it's felt like with one fell swoop all three have found themselves under the socially misguided impression that all that is fair, is doled out evenly, across the board.

It's actually rather appropriate timing for my kids to be casting this behavior, because I've also been maneuvering though some of the exact same projections on an adult level.

Now that I'm writing this, I am more than likely hyper aware of this attitude in my kids, because of my frustrations with those of an outside sources. Regardless, I've allowed myself to easily shut the complaints down as soon as they start, with the cut of bud response, "life isn't fair".

As effective of a retort as this is in getting them to turn on their heals and take their frustrated little selves else where, it doesn't really address the matter at hand.

No, life isn't fair... the statement alone does nothing but allow excuses to be made and in our case, to throw blame to the others we feel have an advantage on us... whether this actually be the true or not.

As true as that statement may be.... it also brings a sense of righteous wronged without the justification of retained reasoning.

Just the other day, the battle cry of things being 'unfair' was at its peak... the repetitiveness literally was driving my patience short and my temper long...  I was mentally dwelling on things I couldn't control in others and right then I realized the equally repetitive dismissive response from me of "life's! not! fair!" truly was very unfair to them.

Stepping back a minutes, I realized this wasn't something I felt was healthy to encourage within those I'm responsible for positively guiding into this world. In fact, I was only supporting their path of blameless.

So I'm slowing it down. Helping them work it out, while helping myself work it out too.

Life's not fair, but I'm not sure when we even feel under the impression that it was suppose to be.

I very well could be spinning my wheels in a false sense of progression, but maybe I'm not.

But, it's only fair for me to try. For them.

Thursday, July 10

Play-less Summer

So far our summer has kept with the end of school craze. I've been telling myself "after the 4th" is when we'll be able to take a step back and catch our breath… it's after the forth, we haven't surfaced for air and if we don't… that's fine too, because I'm not complaining, we're having fun, busting life at the seams and catching the memories along the way.

It's also this time of year, I like to think, is what makes me family folk tale materiel a few decades from now.

I pride myself on my kids look at me with disapproval, my kid's friends refuse to believe I'm anything but joking, my kid's friend's parents returning blank looks, and my kid's friend's parent's friends knowing me as "the friend I was telling you about who...."{<--- those are the exact words that give me that hope for above mentioned folk tale statues}

For the last 3 years, as soon as that school bell signifies the end of the school year, it duly notifies the start of the end of video game season for the kids.

No Xbox, no iPhone, no iPad, no DS, minimal TV, no computer, no borrowing your grandmother's phone and quietly  hiding under a blanket with hope to be forgotten, no 'I just want to see how my Clan is doing and if the dragons survived the attack or if the elixir is down and then carry on with initiating a few attacks of my own and checking just 'one more' thing for the next 38 hours."

Now don't get me wrong, the kids still get their fair share of screen time, between friend's houses, babysitters, and if for a second you don't think I use it completely to my advantage when 'Mumma needs a break' then you've got another thing coming.

However, I'm not a fan of defeating my own purpose.
So even that, is few and far between.

For me, it falls under the same category as to why I don't allow my kids to play devices during their siblings sporting events, school concerts, or the whole length of long distance car rides.

I feel they need to learn how to properly behave in situation they aren't 100% satisfied in.

Now, I have a friend who sits completely on the opposite side of this approach. She feels here kids work hard throughout the school year, so their summers are theirs to be spent as they please. She packs any device necessary to get her daughter to stay quiet during her son's school play and she has extra sets of headphones in her vehicle 'just incase' the ones to their van's DVD player happen to be break along their way.

She literally laughs in my face, often makes fun of me, and calls me names along the line of "sucker". She's baffled by my tactic, as much as I am hers, regardless, I think she's a great Mumma and her kids are tolerable great too.

That works for her.
This works for me.

It's hard to have the kids not tuned in, at times I'm tempted by effortless, but I don't want raising my babies to be easy and I'm not convinced it will be done properly by Mind Craft.

I consistently find reinforce when their redirection is often found toward the side of creativity.

I marvel in the world that opens up in front of them and often follow their lead in imagination and vision.

Somehow, with the force of hand to play less... there is no handicap provided when it comes to my kid's summer being spent playing more.

Wednesday, June 11

Dear Calvin, {6 Year'sOld}

Right now, you're in your bed after a hard day's play. This time of year is a hectic one and I love the soundness in which you sleep and dread the time in the morning I have to wake you up. You like your sleep and are cranky when you get little of it.

I like that you're grouchy to greet the day, it complements your daily cheerfulness nicely. Plus, I love being one of few who know this side of you. Your happy go lucky, charm filled self is shared with so many, that I selfishly like to keep that crusty side of your bright, just for me.

At age 6, I hope you remember how in the mornings, I lay beside you and rabidly kiss your face until you pull the covers up over your head to hide your smile. You always declare a hatred for school, I know you don't have and then I sing you a ridiculous song that will end up having the word "poop" in it, because that's my ace in the hole to get those giggles started every time.

Helping you out of your morning crankies, helps me work out mine. I like it.

The other morning you prompted me by saying 'until I laugh, I'm not really awake, remember that Mumma.' I'll remember that.

At 6, you still snuggle on my lap and kiss me goodbye before school.
You triple check for cars before crossing the road, despite still holding my hand.
Your shadowing Wesley will soon become annoying and looking after Joey like you do, will never get old.
Your kindness and sincerity leads my own.

This year for your birthday party day, it rained….a lot. You played with your friends regardless. You had fun, looked happy, and hopefully felt as loved as you are.

Kip came to you this year. You've been asking for a cat consistently for some time now. Your father couldn't resist, the sweetness that is as deep as your brown eyes, any longer.

True to your nature, you're cautious, even toward something your heart wished. You're getting braver by the day with him, but you break my heart with how personal you take even the smallest of scratches.

Despite being hesitant at times, you're protective of him too, there is no second guessing with how you should love him, when your brother and sister pester him relentlessly.

Where part of you can be timid, that other part is so sure.
I love watching you grow more steady in that sureness.

You've dabbled in being mean lately.... Simply mimicking behavior by others displayed around you and toward you. It's more funny than offensive to watch you try, it's just something that doesn't come natural to you.

You upset yourself more for having tried to be mean, than the subject of your directed meanness... which is mostly me... and I thank you for allowing me to be the one you try to figure yourself out with. 

It's your soul's fiber sewn the drive the purity of your genuine heart, by this I am continuously smitten.
Sometime soon, you'll realize I'll be easily hoodwinked by that smile.

You're a reseved mischievous
a tender heart
a sensitive soul
a do gooder
a rule follower
and mine.

I love you, Monkey Man.

Love, love,

Saturday, April 26

Our Easter: 2014

This year our Easter weekend was slow paced and easy going.

We didn't have the rush of busy, that always comes with Holidays in this house. Admittedly, I thrive in that rush… in fact, I'm always the one who sets the pace so steadily…

I'm not sure why this year played out to be so nonchalant, but it did, and though I do love the high that comes with the exhaustion of being full steam ahead, I nestled in the low that this past weekend provided.

The Easter bunny not getting their crap together until Friday night
Or extra eggs not having been dyed
Forgetting to get Bunny Bait laid out the night before
And not having one single Cadbury eggs to be found
…. things turned out alright.

Imagine that.

The kids had fun, were funny, and on a constant sugar high, regardless.

I love going the extra mile in small details, putting effort into the things others don't notice, but I will miss if I don't.

I seek self validation on setting that bar at an almost unachievable high, yet somehow meeting my mark.

I get that way sometimes, thinking its the above and the beyond that creates the traditional memories for Holidays.

I know it's not and I don't apply that type of mentality to our day to day, where I know the memories are made in the details of the unexpected, subtle, and naturally provided, but special occasions provoke that part of me, what can I say.

My brain is in a funny place right now, little memories, details of things I should know, and simple approaches to the every day, are all hiding away, not offering themselves up, until I put the mental leg work into seeking them out.

Last Friday, I had a mild panic moment in the kid's school hallway, when a friend mentioned the Easter Bunny's 'big Easter gift' .... I couldn't remember if we did 'big Easter gift' ... {we don't}... but as my memory scampered around my brain looking in every nook and cranny, while up turning tables, muttering "Eastermemory, Eastermemory, Eastermemory" to its self... I was in a full state of dumb found...

When Easter past thoughts rallied and school hall conversation concluded, I couldn't help but feel an odd mixture of frustration for not having this information at my forebrain, but also a sense of relief for having been able to remember it all.

Easter night, I listened through open windows to the kids playing outside and filling the air with belly laughs, they were cracking each other up and talking about statical defenses again zombie attacks.

They were throwing rocks into the woods and bursting at the seems in a fit of giggles when one of them would drop the word "poop".

They ran over to pet the chickens and raced back to grab the better of the two swings, compromised on turns taken with out any tattlers running for the house.

It's was comforting to listen to, completely supported our reasons behind not doing the big gifts on Easter and why I feel there is so much more value in the day's pace provided, especially on a Holiday day.

Even when the extra details get forgotten, the pace notched at an unusual slow, and despite my memory lacking….

I know, my kids are not.

Wednesday, April 2

I Want My Sexy Back

Allow me to warn you... I'm the perfect storm of inhabited writing right now... I'm tired... physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually ... I'm pretty sure the monthly beast is on her way and that beer I've had… yep… straight to the head.

This typically is the time where I would harass my friends… relentlessly…  but I'm trying to do better by them… if only for a night.

I have so many talons of frustration clenched into the stress of my shoulders right now, coupled with the weariness of having many irons in the fire along with an aching back….. literally, my back aches.. mostly because it has confused itself with one that should be 81 years old…

Regardless, there is so much I could spout off about…all as equally as petty as the next…

Right now, the kids are all in their own beds… Nate's gone to sleep as well and here I sit…amongst snoring dogs…  dimmed lights… Citizen Cane's pandora station streaming… some Bravo show on the TV… a beer buzzed head…and the specifics of those mundane daily woes have been fuzzy…

Except one griff…{is griff even a word}… anyways… the one thing I can't shake lately, is the feeling of being my less than sexy self.

There I've said it, I miss feeling sexy.

Now wait…. before my phone starts buzzing with encouraging text from friends telling me all the things I don't need to hear about beauty, support, love, and bitch slaps… read on… my confidence has not wavered… I don't question the character that is held within my statured walls… I'm not challenging myself for growth… I know my strength and am not currently thumb pushing my weaknesses…. what I'm simply saying is…. I'm missing my sexy.

And damn it, I want my sexy back.

Maybe it has something to do with my hair growing in an awkward stage of gross.
Maybe it has something to do with spring feeling like a never ending winter.
Maybe it has something to do with extra weight feeling awkward on my frame.
Maybe it has something to do with needing a hell of a lot more sleep than I have ever needed before.
Maybe it has something to do with not having enough Jack Johnson in my life.
Maybe it has something to do with knowing my mind hasn't rebounded fully yet.
Maybe it has something to do with having a back that feels like it's in it's early eighties.
Maybe it has something to do with the a certain over sized maternity hooded sweater I'm driven to wear nightly.
Maybe it has something to do with my avoidance of writing.
Maybe it has something to do with a combination of it all.
Maybe it has something to do with nothing at all.

All I'm trying to say is, it's something and the result of this is that I don't feel sexy…. and I miss it.
Who knew there could be such longing.

Now don't get me wrong… It's not like I'm normally channeling that Jessica Rabbit vibe all the live long day… but I can't ever remember a time in my life I haven't been able to pin point the lack of sexiness to a specific.

I'm left empty handed here and there really isn't too much I can do about it, but wait it out until it finds its way back to me.

Until then, I'll have to settle for pulling from all the areas I have that drive my confidence, which are so many…. and resort to Kings Of Leon lullaby me to bed every night… because that doesn't hurt kicking off any sort of search and rescue.

Wednesday, March 19

Dear Wesley, {11 years old}

It's been 3 months since you've turned 11.

I've been trying to write you this letter for a while now, but seeing as you have been grounded over half of your time labeled as an 11 year old, it's always turned into a lecture post that suggested more than a few times about smartin' up and giving your poor worn down Mumma a bit of a break.

Who knew this parenting thing meant diligence on being consistently stern.
Every inch given, a mile taken.
Taming one fire, only to have another ignite.
Lessons not learned.
Let me tell you Wesley, it's exhausting.

Anyways, I'm digressing.

What I'm trying to say is, I didn't want this birthday post…. or any birthday post for that matter…. to be stemmed from my frustrations of our challenges. And the last few times I've started to write to you, that is what it have been.

Aired frustations.
Fault Focused.

But, just the other day, you were antagonizing and tearing apart everything that came out of your 5 year old brother's month, with 11 year old sass.

I put up with it for awhile, tried to gently remind you that you're knowledge base, on whether a goat could jump over a house, was a little more realistic than what your brother was saying, but that his imagination was doing just fine without your interrupting.

After a while longer, I spun on my heels and went on one of those verbal rants I can get going on…. you know the ones, where I just talk….. non.stop… where I really dig deep into the specific annoyance that I'm having at the moment, but then bring up every thing else that has ticked me off over the last 31 years of my life… pulling things out of left field… things that have little to no relevance to the actual situation….then I make ridiculous analogies about things that you can't laugh at, because you know I'm mad… but I know you want to…. I know… so you literally bite your lips to try and hide the encroaching smile…. start to raise that one eye brow to distort your face into one of serious concentration…. and after awhile… because I can't stop myself from talking... you finally reside to that glazed look and just agree to everything I'm saying…

So yeah, I was in the midst of one of those…. and it was one of my best ones yet, let me tell you…. it was right after the cocked eyebrow, but right before the glaze shadowed and I was saying….

"…. because it's your job, in this world, to not give into every forsaken impulse you have… if whatever you're thinking is only driven with a force of negative ill purpose and leaves nothing good in it's wake, it doesn't need to be said…."

Right then… I realized… I… your mother… am asking you… my 11 year old…  to have the same level of cognitive control, that most adults can't even bring themselves to display in their day to day as grown ups.

And that's not fair.

Now, if you're expecting me to let you off the hook…. cut you some slack… give you a break….I wont… because it's those very adults that drive my diligence and consistency of expectations for you.

But I will work hard to be better centered.
Because at 11, things really aren't that hard for you or I.

But, I love having those humbling thoughts flood me.
I love a dose of perspective thrown at me unexpectedly.

And as always, we will diligently continuing to find our ebb and flow.
For the times when things are that hard for you and I.

As of now….
Your wit impresses me each day and you don't know the pride I feel when it's compared to my own.
Clearly a compliment to me, because how could I ever be as clever as you.

You wont kiss me when I'm dropping you off at school anymore.
And I wont not call you out on it each morning.

Daddy things we are weird when we expand on imaginative stories to the level we can and laugh like we do.
Weird is more fun.

You still sleep in your brother's bed on the weekends.
I sometimes stand to listen to your giggles through the door, though it's way too late for you to still be awake.

I'm right on the cusp of being that embarrassing mom.
You should know, over the next few years, I plan on diving in head first.
Remember when I screamed "i love you, i love you, i love you" from the van window dropping you off at school?
I've never seen you run so fast.
I've never loved laughing more.

You kiss the top of your sister's head at the most random times, when you're not even aware I'm watching.
It's always when I need to see kindness most.

I get overwhelmed at times.
But I think we're doing ok, Bubby.

I think we're figuring this whole thing out just fine.
Diligently and consistently.

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I love you,

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