Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Expectant

December 25, 2013.  Quiet. Cold. Expectant.  Excited.

I was in bed this morning trying to think about how our kids were feeling. Or how they would be feeling in a few hours.  I remembered back to my childhood and for the first time in a long time, I could remember in great detail my childhood room.  The smell, the feel of the wallpaper, the crunch of the carpet.  But mostly the excitement of Christmas morning. It was the presents, the family, the fun, the food.  But mostly the expectation.  The thought of Christmas morning. The idea of it was almost more fun the actual morning.  Chris and I were driving the kids around looking at lights last night, and we said we just wanted one more week before Christmas.  As that came out of my mouth, I was struck with the contrast in how kids just ache for Christmas to be here.  They are pushing for Christmas to hurry while we adults are pushing back to enjoy the moments of expectation.  Of course, for all our pushing, there is no changing the inexorable march of time.  Christmas is here.  Or at least in my kids world, it will be here in a couple of hours.  I am up, with the Christmas tree lights on.  Looking at the tree, hanging out with the memories of my childhood, but mostly expectant.  Expectant for my kids to come crashing through the door as they make their memories.

Merry Christmas to all the kids and former kids out there.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Foggy

November 16, 2013.  Early, foggy.

This week was one of those weeks that you notice changes in your kids.  I know they are changing all the time, but I think we only see it in waves and even then, I think we always see it late.  That is we always think of them as being younger than they actually are.  We sort of ignore it until it is forced upon us, and then we notice all the changes that have happened since the last time we opened our eyes.  Perhaps we as parents would go a little nuts if we noticed the changes every single day.   

Normally, when we read to the kids, they fight over who gets to sit in my lap.  So we have a routine where Brown gets to sit in the lap at nap ("when there is sunshine") and Joseay gets the lap at night ("but its darktime, it is my turn").  That has worked well for quite some time.  So long that I guess I hoped it would be the same.  Until high school.  Or beyond.  So this world was shattered this week.  We were climbing in the reading chair after pajamas had been put on, teeth brushed, books picked out and I realized they were not jostling to get in my lap, but they were each trying to stay out of my lap.  They were fighting to not sit in my lap.  Oh misery.  Its hard to be animated reading Cat in the Hat when you want to cry.

Ok, maybe that is a bit of exaggeration because I am sure the next time I read, there will be good snuggling and we can pretend that they are not growing up.  But I have been served notice: This will not last forever.  Childhood, like the rest of life, is a vapor.  

The morning fog is very nice and even comforting this morning.  But the sun and the winds of change are coming soon.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Morning Fog

November 16, 2013.  Early, foggy.

This week was one of those weeks that you notice changes in your kids.  I know they are changing all the time, but I think we only see it in waves and even then, I think we always see it late.  That is we always think of them as being younger than they actually are.  We sort of ignore it until it is forced upon us, and then we notice all the changes that have happened since the last time we opened our eyes.  Perhaps we as parents would go a little nuts if we noticed the changes every single day.   

Normally, when we read to the kids, they fight over who gets to sit in my lap.  So we have a routine where Brown gets to sit in the lap at nap ("when there is sunshine") and Joseay gets the lap at night ("but its darktime, it is my turn").  That has worked well for quite some time.  So long that I guess I hoped it would be the same.  Until high school.  Or beyond.  So this world was shattered this week.  We were climbing in the reading chair after pajamas had been put on, teeth brushed, books picked out and I realized they were not jostling to get in my lap, but they were each trying to stay out of my lap.  They were fighting to not sit in my lap.  Oh misery.  Its hard to be animated reading Cat in the Hat when you want to cry.

Ok, maybe that is a bit of exageration because I am sure the next time I read, there will be good snuggling and we can pretend that they are not growing up.  But I have been served notice: This will not last forever.  Childhood, like the rest of life, is a vapor.  

The morning fog is very nice and even comforting this morning.  But the sun and the winds of change are coming soon.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Autumn Song

Have I mentioned the kids are growing up quickly?  Brown is taking such initiative, from simply grabbing his own food, to deciding where he wants to go, to simply making up his own games.  When I got home yesterday, he insisted that I pull into the garage so that he could change my oil.  Then, we pulled mom’s car into the garage so it could be just like the oil change place that he had been to earlier in the day.  Then he and Joseay began to do all sorts of things, fill up the tires with air from the hose (an old rope) looking under the cars, opening the doors…


Joseay is certainly flowering more fully into herself which means we are getting a more full picture of her strong personality that has good and bad sides! She is so powerful.  I got this email from Chris the other day while I was at work: Thought you would enjoy this sweet song Joseay just made up when I was tucking her in for nap. I thought it might be God's favorite praise song He has heard all day: 
"God, I love youuuuuu. 
The sunshine is so pretty. 
The bees are so stingy. 
God loves us so much, much, much. 
He loves me so much."

So stingy. Awesome.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Home Barber

Well, I suppose it had to happen.  Is there anyone who gets through childhood without some sort of brush with this experience?  Chris and I were on a date, riding bikes to dinner.  We get a call from the babysitter which of course is never a good thing.  She says the kids were laughing really loud as she was cleaning the kitchen.  She went to see what was happening and this is what she found:

According to the kids, it was Joseay’s idea to have Brown cut her hair.  Luckily it was in the back and is really hard to tell and really, no harm done - though it did take Joseay 3 years to get her hair this long!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pride on his face


So he has been riding a balance bike for about a year and a half, and has been peddling the little go cart around for a year or more.  So he has all the skills (pedaling and balancing).  But we just hadn’t taken the time to push him to ride a regular bike.  He is quite timid and so it was going to take some pushing to do this.  So I started jogging with him on the streets around our rental house at the beach as he peddled and pretty much just leaned on me as we motored around.  He had knee and elbow pads for the inevitable wipe out that was coming, but he never caught the fever.  So this went on for days.  One, day we were pretty much just playing in the surf.  I had pointed out several kids as they went by on the beach riding their bikes.  You could tell he was thinking, putting the pieces together.  But when his cousin and Nana got on their bikes and started down the beach, that was it.  He simply said, I want to ride my bike.  I said I would get his pads and all and he said, I don’t want them, just my helmet and shoes.  And with that, he put on his shoes, donned his helmet, got on his bike, and with a little push, he took off and that was that.  How proud we all were, including Brown.







video


Monday, July 22, 2013

The Tooth of Time

My dad has been out at Philmont scout ranch doing some training this summer.   We spent a week or two there when I was a kid and I remember they have this mountain or prominence with a large exposed rock that they call the tooth of time. It certainly looks like a tooth, but why it is called the tooth of time, I don’t know.

Brown lost his second tooth this weekend, and actually kept up with it this time - I am convinced he swallowed his first one.  This second one was hanging by a thread and it kept him up his whole nap time fiddling with it but eventually he came out with it in his hand smiling really big.  He is growing up for sure.  Its nice that we are designed in such a way that our physical bodies change  as we grow up.  This is a great reminder to me that both my kids are maturing on the inside as well.  Not only has he lost all of that babyness in his form and is a long and lanky boy now, but he is learning about the world, how it works, and how he fits in.  Every time he loses a tooth, we can remind ourselves that he is no longer a baby.  Each tooth is brick in the building.  A rock in the mountain. Step by step, we grow, change, mature, and learn.  Time scoots by.  May I savour each moment. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Reading, Riding and Rithmetic (at least subtraction)

So we are blessed with children who love books.  They love to be read to and are both loving the idea of being able to read, pointing out letters and guessing what the words are.  Today, Joseay read me a book, making up the entire story herself.  Of course the book had nothing to do with her story, but that is where we are hanging out right now.

Joseay has been riding her bike well for a year or so, but just last week week, I went for a run for the first time with her riding her bike.  Me pushing her up some of the bigger hills but her doing everything else. Braking, steering, staying to the side when there was a car.  It was great fun.  It felt like she was about 10 years old which is, I am convinced, how old she thinks she is.

Brown did a great first the other day as well.  We were eating manicotti and he had it all cut into pieces on his plate.  He counted “1,2,3,4,5,6.  Ok, now I take away one,” as he put one in his mouth “and then there are 1,2,3,4,5.  He was so proud of himself.  I think he suddenly got the idea of subtrction.  It was really cool to see it happen.  So then he took another bite.  And said 5 take away one is 1,2,3,4.  Then he took another bite and without even looking said 3.  Took another bite and said 2.  Another then 1.  After taking the last bite, he held up his thumb and first finger in the shape of a zero.  He was so excited, his cheeks were full and we all cheered as he finally began to chew that mass of manicotti in his mouth.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A glimpse of perfection: Easter in the rearview

I didn't know Chris had mentioned the snow globes yet.  But here was my take on them post Easter.


Easter is about perfection and imperfection, God and the world.  And about the invasion of one from the other.  We thought he had died, another disappointment when there seemed such promise.  Yet we were used to imperfection, so we were ready to go on.  But Easter is about that perfection rising again, something we are not used to.  Easter is the promise fulfilled, about making whole what was broken.


broken again
So it was fitting that we had a small picture of this in our house this Easter to remind us of this conjunction.  Have your kids ever had those glass snow globes that you shake up to watch a brief snowfall over some seasonal scene? Have you ever wondered why in the world we would give kids a glass ball where the object was to shake it? Should we be surprised at the outcome?  so several weeks before Easter, we went through the all too predictable scenario of having one for each child, then broken glass and water everywhere, cleaning, finding more glass, telling them to be careful with the remaining one, then repeating - broken, water, glass, clean.  So they were both broken well before Easter and I thought that was the end of it.  Then unannounced, two more showed up at our house on Easter weekend.  Gifts. Thanks.  Did we learn? Not so much.  within hours, here was the result: broken again.


So this has been my picture of our imperfect attempts, over and over to learn to live in Gods kingdom, knowing that grace is our only ticket.  We try, we fail, we remember grace.  Not a bad lesson from some two dollar trinket.
hope for next year

By the way, we did tuck the last unbroken snow globe away until next year.  
It will serve as a symbol of perfection. 
A symbol of Easter.  
A symbol of life where death is expected. 
Then we will try to pull it out and not break it.  
Again.  
Any guesses as to the outcome?

Stunned, pre Easter by Chris

Butter and Papa (Chris's parents) are back in town after a 4 month leave to Baton Rouge. We haven't seen them since before Thanksgiving so the kids were very excited for their reunion a couple of days ago.  One of my mom's loves in life is buying little fun things for the kids to spoil them. It was like Christmas morning over here as she dragged in 4 big bags of loot for them. Two of the presents were a huge hit - rolling suitcases - Minnie Mouse for Joseay and Buzz Lightyear for Brown. They have adored them! Hours and hours of entertainment through the house as they have raced each other and pretended to go on all types of adventures with their new suitcases.

The other huge hits were the two Easter snow globes. Little bunny rabbits in a glass globes of glittery water. I'm not sure how they have gotten so much entertainment out of these things, but they love them! Different strokes...  So this morning, Brown was walking into the kitchen and dropped his snow globe and of course it shattered glass and glitter water all over the floor. Stunned. Sadness. Ugggh. He looked at it and quietly and sadly said, "aahhhh... I broke my snow globe." He wasn't crying or pitching a fit - just obviously bummed about it. We were getting the broom and dustpan out and Joseay yelled, "BROWN!!! YOU CAN HAVE MY SNOWGLOBE!!!"  Again... stunned. But it was ME being stunned. Man! She has done this kind of thing so many times lately. A three year old. One who adores her snow globe. And she is giving it to her brother. And her face lit up when she handed him her snowglobe. She sees the hurt and she wants to make him feel better. She sees a need and she does something about it. I have been so thankful and amazed to see this naturally flowing out of her. It is so cool!

Last week we had some friends over and their youngest girl, Bella, is 2 or younger. We were all just hanging out in the kitchen and suddenly Joseay yelled, "GUYS!!! I have something for you!" She took off running to her room. When she came back, she had one of her very favorite dress up outfits (Minnie Mouse dress) in her hands and she gave it to Bella and said, "This will fit YOU! It's too little for me! You can have it!!!" She was so excited to give it to Bella. And then she remembered she had the Mouse Ears Headband to go with it and ran back and got it for her. So Bella put it on and wore it around the house and then wore it home.

I am amazed. I believe that God creates us all so differently.  I'm thankful because I feel like when God created her, He gave her a little extra dose of compassion or empathy or generosity. I don't even know what to call it. I'm just really thankful that God placed that in her heart and I hope that she will always use it to bless others and glorify God.  I'm very proud that she is my daughter. And still a little stunned. :)