Thursday, November 7, 2013

Me and the Two Little Boys

“Jesse?” Penny asks with slight concern in her voice, “What happened to your eye?”

She doesn’t actually need to ask. It is no rare occasion to see our little allergy-prone kid in a state like this (even after being pumped full of Benadryl):

Still, Jesse begins a reply: “Ah, I don’t know. I think I was just allergic to . . .”

But Penny has abandoned concern. Instead, she shrieks in mock-terror and runs from her brother.

“Penny!!” he calls after her, “Wait! It will get better!” He pauses and then adds, “I think.”

Poor fella.

But what can you do? Sometimes life is hard. And swollen eyes, itchy skin, and asthmatic lungs aren’t the only troubles out there either. . . .

The other day, after leaving the gym, I made Jesse walk with me an entire 1/4th block to a nearby bookstore and THEN, back to our car!

Imagine expecting so much.

I noticed he was lagging on the journey back, but it was cold and I was eager to get Anders into the car. After buckling Anders, I turned back to the sidewalk to call “hurry it along”s to Jesse, but what I saw was a boy who was done hurrying anything along.

Completely done:

I have a little trick I sometimes use: a little way I make myself happier with this whole being-a-mother business. Every time my kids do anything cute. Anything sweet. Anything mischievous. Pretty much anytime they do anything that any small part of me recognizes as happy; I mentally grab ahold of that and say a quick little prayer in my mind thanking Heavenly Father for these kids and the things they do and let me experience.

I suppose it’s kind of a mental “gratitude journal”, but it feels pro-active and it helps me feel happy and in the moment. It works with anything you maybe haven’t been properly grateful for – house, talents, body, spouse, etc.

The above moment was one of those where a little prayer went up. Dear little stinker boy lying in the middle of a cold downtown sidewalk. Yes. Grateful.

He’s been working on his Christmas list. It stays stuck to our fridge with a magnet and daily I am told something to write on it for him. Sometimes it’s an item that one of his siblings owns and won’t let him use. More often it’s something he wants to fiddle with. Here are some of his list high-lights:

Printer, heater, oven-timer, blender, DVD player, smoke detector, clock (with NO cuckoo bird), and “a few not blowed up balloons”.

Here is a fitting shirt cousin Blaire sent him the other day:

Also, the two of us set the camera up on a stool with the self-timer yesterday and took some pictures. He typically has zero tolerance for posing in front of the camera; but something about hearing the camera beep, beep, beep and then click (with neither of us anywhere near it) -- and then running back to see if it did indeed take a picture -- was absolutely grand to him.

I always feel a little silly putting myself in front of the camera, but I’ve been reading on some photography blogs about several photographers “self portrait” projects that were actually quite intriguing and challenging. Sheepish or not, I might put myself on the other side of the lens more often for a little experimentation.

Anders joined us for a few shots, but the self-timer beeping mostly made him want to hop up and run grab the camera.

And speaking of him (and the sending up of “THANKS!” prayers): the other day I snuck up to the girls’ room to clean up a few things without Anders knowing (he can destroy that room in five seconds flat). Unfortunately, after about five minutes I heard his little feet running about as he called, “Mom! Mama!” Another minute or two more and up the stairs he came. He burst into the girls room and shouted triumphantly, “MOM! You FOUND me!” as if I’d won the prize of all prizes.

Which, clearly, I have.


jami said...

oh, how i love this post. and how i so needed it. i love your mental, gratitude prayer of thanks. i may have to do this more often. :)

love the amazing pics. love that you are braving the other side of the camera. :) love your adorable little people and what they say.

Jaymerz said...

I love your gratitude prayer, I think I am going to try doing this more often!!!

Michele Johnson said...

Mental gratitude journal--I love it. Also, if we lived closer, I'd be begging you to stop by and take such beautiful photos of my kids.

Marnie said...

As usual, I adored this post. And definitely take more pictures of yourself - but please just don't call them "selfies."

Mr.Mrs.Pack. said...

That was awesome to hear about how you say a prayer of thanks when your children make you happy. I do that as well, but should do it even more often!

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