Thursday, February 28, 2013

Prayers, Winter, and . . . Spring

When Jesse prays, there is no wondering where his inspiration comes from. One merely has to squint one little eye open to see his own eyes wandering about, hither and yon -- “We thank thee for our bowls . . . and our couches. We thank thee for our nebulizers . . . and our sinks.”

However, tonight, when his eyes rested on an empty spot in our kitchen wall where a cabinet once sat, and he cheerily prayed, “ . . . and we thank thee that our cabinet fell off the wall,” (breaking nearly every plate we owned as it did so, I might add); Penny --immediately recognizing error in his thankings -- leaned towards him and urgently and loudly began whispering prompts in his ear: “And please help it get fixed! And please help it get fixed!”

Without missing a beat, Jesse echoed agreeingly, “And please help it get fixed.”

I suppose there are worse things than being a bit overly grateful.

And I know I said I would resist talking about the old atmospheric elements until “at least spring” but, when I said it, it hadn’t occurred to me that I might be promising an eternal silence over matters of weather.

Here we are – March upon us – and Spring, apparently, has hit the snooze button.

She is likely dreaming amongst piles of cozy down quilts – blithely unaware that it is time to get to work – melting ice and softening soil; prodding little perennials to be up and about their business; encouraging the dreary, stiff and yellow grass; and turning snowfalls to warm, soft rains.

I’ve said it before: I do love snow. It would be a blood betrayal; daughter of Sharon that I am, to feel otherwise; but there is something about March, after long months of snow and bitter cold, that feels like a little seed that has lain dormant in me is suddenly sprouting and pushing up and out; pounding on the insides of me as it shouts for sunlight and rain and warmth to let it flourish.

Every time I walk out front, I notice the frozen, stiff soil in our flower beds and marvel that I ever dug into it with a simple trowel; fear I shall never again hold back loamy earth with one hand as I place a delicate root-entwined start in with the other.

I suppose one could find a metaphor in all of that; but, I am going to shake myself off, roll up my sleeves, and take a page out of Jesse’s book: embrace whatever there is to be embraced.

Tonight I sent the kids out into the cul-de-sac to ride bikes and scooters. Coats and gloves were a must, and, more than once, a child came in crying due to a drippy nose or snow filled shoe, but before long (dark and cold though it was) neighbor kids joined in, and you might have thought it was a regular summer night of play out there.

And here: pictures from a cozy and snow-filled weekend at the cabin.IMG_4018_edited-1IMG_3980(There is something about these next two pictures that I love. Something about the light and hair and eyes that seems so clearly “morning” and “just up”. Looking at them, I know exactly how warm it was, how tired I was, how late in the morning it was, and how happy I was watching Penny play Rook on a team with her dad.)

Still, with my embracing, I might add, as Penny did to Jesse’s prayer, a small plea to “help it get fixed”. . . .  I would dearly love a little spring time.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Just a lot of Pictures

Kids after school:

Jesse – doing the kind of thing he does:

Penny in shadows:

And, because I am trying to quit being so snobbish about what I take pictures with and when I take them (good camera and lens, lovely lighting, etc.), and because Dropbox has made phone photos so easy to access on my computer, here are a few recent ones off of my cell phone:

Abe. Age 12.

This oldest boy of mine doesn’t always appear on my blog as often as he used to.

He doesn’t spill his milk or play in toilets. He no longer demands I take pictures of his latest Play-Doh creation or mistakenly say silly words that don’t make sense.IMG_4377_edited-3IMG_4381_edited-2

He’s growing up. He has come to a stage that takes a bit more thought for me to write about (Legos and messy faces are easy) -- a stage that I feel deserves a bit more care and caution when it comes to putting his life down here in a public place.IMG_4385_edited-1IMG_4393_edited-1(And let’s be honest. He isn’t always the most willing photo subject.)

But, it may surprise you to hear (particularly if you just read my post of despair over Anders getting a buzz cut and looking slightly less babyish) that I am not pining away for days that are past; not full of panic over “kids growing up” and the passage of time.

I loved little boy Abe. And, I occasionally get nervous about the things older Abe will confront as he goes through his teenage years; but, . . . I like my growing up boy. I like so much my life with little ones, yes, but not just little ones anymore.

I like having someone who will recommend a good book to me, or stay up late to watch an older show with just Mike and I. I like laughing with someone not just because they did something silly and cute, but because they actually said something maturely clever and witty.

It’s not so bad having your babies grow up a bit after all. I kind of like seeing those tiny, wonderful and exhausting babies turn into . . . I don’t know . . . real and enjoyable humans. (Although I suppose my little people are technically humans as well.) IMG_4382_edited-1

What Have I Done!!!?


Weep. Weep. Weep.

Here was my Anders on Saturday morning:IMG_4454_edited-1

By Saturday afternoon, he looked something like this:

I don’t recall feeling so distraught by a first hair cut before. But with this one . . . well . . . I wanted to fall on my knees next to his little pile of shorn hair and cry, “Why! Why would you do such a thing to your own son? What kind of mother would ever remove such beautiful soft fluff!?”

The back was far too long. I knew it was coming. In fact I kept asking Mike to do it. He wondered if I wanted to take him someplace to have it done, but I insisted that he would just scream for whoever cut it and it would be best if we just buzzed it quickly here . . .

I spent the rest of the day, and the following day, wishing I could reverse time; wishing I hadn’t turned my baby into a little boy in one quick swoop.

Luckily his cousin Blaire sent him red moccasins on the same day. They softened the blow. (How could they not! Look at them!)

But until I get used to it, I just keep kissing him and hugging him and . . . missing him.

And telling him I hope he likes long hair . . . because we will never cut it again. . . .

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Root Beer and Cards

We don’t drink soda outside of the kitchen.

Definitely not in the front room.

And especially not while playing cards (balancing soda precariously -- picking up and discarding).

And, as a mother, I know consistency is crucial. Things can’t be fine one minute and forbidden the next. . . .IMG_4174_edited-1

Which is why I never bend the rules.

Never. No matter how darling the would-be rule breaker might be.

I am glad I never waiver in my strict adherence to rules. My rigid control. My kids know never to even question it. IMG_4236_edited-1

The End.

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