Saturday, April 20, 2013

My Three Sons

Ooh. Is that a chicken?

Come here little chicken, I’ve got a tasty treat in my hand.

Ha! You fell for the oldest trick in the book! Now I’m going to grab you by the scruff of your neck!

Never mind the chickens. I’m going to drive some little cars. And eat strawberries . . . though, if you don’t mind, I’ll just call them “apples”.

And you, kid, what are you doing just lounging about on the hammock. Aren’t there better things to be doing?

Ah yes, the grill could use a little tuning up.

And last of all: I wish the making of a model of our solar system – with both planet size and distance from the sun done to scale – on none of you. We only made an “edge” of the sun. Leave us alone. By the time we’d figured a reasonable scale for everything else, we realized the sun would be about as big as our house. Well. That was an exaggeration. Still. The edge of the sun . . . a very small edge . . . was a great solution.

Wait. Was this post about three sons? Well, never mind that. Here are two of the three daughters:

I love this Penny trampoline picture.

And Goldie on the 4-wheeler. Don’t get up in arms. We are very serious helmet wearers in our family. Heaven knows how she got away with this. I think I just got busy trying to pan for a minute. I’d like to get better at panning pictures.

This Girl

She keeps trying to grow older.

Every spring she insists she’s added another year.

Of course it’s all nonsense. She’s just a little girl; just like she’s always been.

But, we humor her. We make a cake, and sing Happy Birthday, and give her presents.
Hello Mystery Date! Mike finds the coolest gifts. Such a bummer when you are all dressed in your evening gown only to have your date show up in his bowling attire. (Imagine!) . . . Of course, even that is preferable to the misery of the DUD showing up on your doorstep! . . . I have no idea what attitudes this game might be teaching them, but no matter. It’s fun . . . and it’s cool because, you know, it’s retro.

Here our little spring-time girl is with her sisters a few days after Easter (when I forced them back into their Easter dresses to make up for a lack of picture-taking time on the actual holiday).
Wait a minute. Those last two pictures are not the birthday girl. Somehow Goldie snuck in.

When we returned from taking pictures, Mike and the boys were in the backyard weeding.

Our backyard terrifies me in the early spring with its screams for attention.

Anders was among the weeders, but I don’t know that we can technically call what he was doing “yard work”. We might better call it “breaking side-walk chalk and throwing it to the chickens to eat.” Yes. That might be a better thing to call it.

And, back to the birthday, a glimpse at a few members of the audience during Daisy’s present opening.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Anders Takes a Bath


And takes my heart, as he usually does when he . . . well, . . . does pretty much anything.

I never tire of watching him.

I love that watching a little person do such . . . ordinary . . . things feels like . . . uggh. What does it feel like? It feels like magic . . . mm . . . that’s too generic of a word. But maybe close.


It’s just running about and saying little things and making little demands, but it seems more like watching wonders unfold: someone setting off fireworks; a poof of smoke and something disappearing; two colorless liquids combining to make a glowing, shimmering blue; a bunny being pulled from a previously empty hat. Oh dear. Now my comparisons are just turning ridiculous. But I feel very much like a rapt audience member -- clasping my hands excitedly together, eyes wide with astonishment, mouth oohing and ahhing over impossibilities and wonders.

Chocolate all over this little boys’ face? Miraculous. Little feet running – going up and down almost more than forward? Astounding. A chubby little hand pushing a toy car? Beauty.

I know. You’ve read this before. Different words, but the same thing. I keep writing it. Again and again – whether about this child or the others. But, I just want to get it right. I just want to get one exact entry that freezes it. All of it. That takes every feeling and memory and puts them here -- where time can’t steal them; where I can come back and read, 30 years from now, and suddenly have my little ones right there in front of me again; as real as they are at this moment.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Great Plan

The other night the winds never did make it this far, but the night wasn’t completely still and peaceful either. There were disturbances from a crying baby, an eight year old crawling into bed next to me, lights left on (presumably by little ones who had woken to use the bathroom?) but, most notably, there was Jesse -- my poor little asthmatic -- who had woken with one of his characteristic coughing fits and come to find me.

20 minutes of inhaling-Albuterol-through-his-nebulizer later, I bundled him up in his penguin blanket (“Pingu blanky”), slung sock-monkey next to him, and carried him back to bed. As I bent down to stick him on the lower bunk, I whispered, “I’m glad you came and got me when you were having a hard time breathing.”

“Yah,” he said sleepily, closing his eyes and snuggling out of my arms and into the mattress, “It was my great plan when I knew I was sick.”

As I gently pulled my hands free of him and tiptoed from the room, I nearly laughed . . . and then nearly choked out a little sob.

That was it? That was his “great plan” when in distress? “Go find Mom”?

The absurdness as well as the responsibility of those words settled onto me as I headed back to my own bed. How much can I actually solve? How much can I fix? Not much, really. Thank the Lord for Albuterol. But for most problems that arise in my little ones’ lives at this stage, “Go find Mom” is probably the depth and breadth of their solution. It is a humblingly large weight, particularly, knowing as I do, how much exists that I won’t be able to fix with a dose of medicine and a tuck back in bed. But, somehow, it still feels like a tremendous privilege to be the “great plan”, the single solution, for the troubles that come to them, and, I find myself almost tearfully wishing that that could be enough. That for the rest of their lives, when any difficulty or trial came their way, they could simply think, “I better go find Mom.” And, in turn, I would be able to make it all come right again.
And . . . pics from the cell phone! (The tractor pictures of Penny and Jesse were actually from Mike’s phone – which is probably about as old and non-smart phoney as any phone in existence. How he got such great photos is beyond me.)


(This post also appeared on Mormon Mommy Blogs.)

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