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Must-Read Moms: Guess the Blogger
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I'm in awe of Olive's development, her rubber band wrists and eight arm rolls. She's grows while I write, busting snaps open on her onsies, forcing me to weed through her drawers again and again. Too small, too small, too small.
Elias fought for every ounce gained. He still does. We feed him cream and olive oil and butter and still he wears no fat.
Elias works so damn hard for everything and here his sister just grows. Magic, it seems, and yet it's just her developing as healthy full-term babies do, without written goals or agendas.
I see Elias watching her and know it's coming: Why can she do so easily what I work so hard to do? I hope I can answer his questions in a way that preserves his smile. His spirit. His joy.
You ever have the experience where you scroll through someone's friend list on Facebook to see who else they know and see who you know in common... and then you notice that there is almost no diversity in their "friends"? I always notice that and it bugs me when folks have pretty much zero diversity. I'm like, for real? You don't know ANYBODY of a different color that you'll even be Facebook friends with?
Lately, I have been letting myself sit on the couch and read things that are in no way work-related because I figure this is my summer off before grad school. But it's hard to get used to leisure activities. I tend to feel guilty if I'm not doing something that either has billable hours or is useful to the family. Brett keeps saying that my sanity is useful to the family but I don't believe him since I've been nuts for several years now and no one's seemed to mind all that much.
A wise mentor once told me that being grown up means seeing things the way they are instead of how you wish they were. Once I became a parent, I had a conscious choice to make each day, each moment. I could lament the fact that I did not give birth to my children and that my DNA and my husband's did not swim in their veins. OR I could be ecstatic that my children were who they were. In other words, I could see my life in a way that made me sad and frustrated, or I could see my life in a way that made me fulfilled and happy.
It's only when I'm NOT conscious that I choose the former. When I'm making the choice with full awareness, it's sensible and easy to choose the latter.
It's funny, you'd think after enduring over two years of a kid not sleeping through the night, I'd have some sort of useful experience to draw on. Advice to share, even, for those who ask. But no. I have no clue what I'd do if faced with another non-sleeper, not that I will be because, ha ha ha, oh BOY am I ever done having babies, I've got the FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY sign on my vagina and everything, but speaking hypothetically, I wouldn't have any idea what I'd do differently.
Back in my younger days, it seemed that real love had to have some sort of drama. I thought that was what I wanted. But my relationship and later marriage displayed none of that. I wondered what was wrong with us, why didn't we love that hard? As I am older now, and very happy, I have come to the conclusion that if this is what "hood love" is, I will have to take a pass. I personally can't exist in any relationship where there is cussin', fussin', screamin', a battle or scars. I can't feel like leaving sometimes. A real relationship should be simple. There will be disagreements, yes, but knock-down, drag-out screaming matches, NO! We should trade in the cussin' for conversation, get rid of the screamin' for some seduction, and lose the battle and scars to add bliss and sanctity.
Yesterday, whilst tootling around doing errands with the kids, I fell to trying to perfect various farm animal sounds. One has to while away the minutes somehow: can you name a better way? I had the chicken down pretty well, but the turkey escaped me. So I continually returned to the chicken, the one that made me feel like, Man Do I Have a Cool Parent successful. Then the girl child casually pawned off this gem: "Baba, if you practice chicken, you're going to get nowhere with the turkey."
Well shet my mouth. Now, whenever I find myself avoiding the shin-skinning scramble of challenge for comfortable, guaranteed, no-effort success, well. I'll just remember the deathless words of my five-year-old: If you practice chicken, you're going to get nowhere with the turkey.
My younger daughter lying next to me as I type. I look down at her and still see the toddler who shrieked as she flung herself onto the ground and banged her head against the concrete, unable to communicate with us in any other way. Now she has all the words she needs, and she knows how to use them -- with us, with her classmates and teachers, with our neighbors, with anyone who comes to our door or calls us on the phone. She's utterly charming.
I still worry. But as I observe her burgeoning independence, asserting itself more each day, I worry less. Both she and I are doing something right.
Every night, Sam sings a series of songs (all chosen by him) for his bedtime routine. It started out with "ABCs" and "Twinkle Twinkle" but now also includes "Jesus Loves Me" and "Jingle Bells" (yes, every night). Tonight, on our slightly amelodic version of "Jesus Loves Me", Sam proudly belted out a phrase that cracked me up...
Jesus loves me this I know,
For the bible tells me so.
Little to ones to him belong.
Because Jesus' butt is strong.
No disrespect to Jesus by the way. I'm sure ALL of his body parts were equally strong.
A few days ago, my funk seemed to lift and I no longer experienced every last corner of my life as a sad memory of my son. Then Josie and I saw Where The Wild Things Are, and, as we sobbed our way through the movie, I remembered that grief and loss are not avoidable, that they are part of my fabric, and the very fabric of the world.