Thursday, June 19, 2014

the birthday card I can't send

Dear Leora Mae,

For the past few days, I've been counting down the time until your birthday. Every year, I do the same. Just yesterday, I was informing my sister "Grandma's birthday is tomorrow!" We decided we would celebrate with slushies and that I was super you would approve.

Remember how we went to Dairy Queen so many times just for slushies or Blizzards? So many great treats we enjoyed together...

I miss you like crazy. I have songs on my phone I swear you would LOVE and I wish I could share them with you. Instead, I share them with my children and husband and say "my grandma wpd LOVE this."

I wish you could hold my babies. They're so beautiful. You would laugh as you watch them play and your heart would be full. You were right, Gma, I was meant to be a mom. And you were right, God wouldn't keep me from being one. I have three children now, Gma. I just welcomed home a baby girl 8 weeks ago. 

As I said, I miss you. I miss you every single day, but I see this photo of us and I remember that, while you left "too soon" by world standards, I am incredibly blessed by over twenty years a of movies and love that grew from our relationship. I see countless ways you've influenced my life, and I know so much about you. Unfortunately, so many of my cousins and siblings cannot say the same. I'm a very lucky lady, and I hope I can help you live on down here.

Happy birthday, Gma. Dance with Jesus.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Things I need to tell myself...

No creative title today. Today, I bring you a personal list of sorts, of things I need to tell myself. I need a few reminders, or perspective alterations, to help me improve my mothering on a day I'm not really ready to get up out of bed.


1.) Spencer loves the mess out of you

Sure, he's started this new thing recently where every 17.58941 seconds he asks for a hug, and then asks for a kiss, and then turns around to move and asks for a hug, and often asks for another kiss...

Yeah, approximately half the time it is being used as either a stalling technique (you really do need a diaper, Spenk...) or a way to butter me up instead of being frustrated, but, if he didn't love me, he wouldn't be doing it, because he doesn't just hug everybody he meets.  It may be exhausting at times and keep you from accomplishing much of anything in the three spare minutes you have between feeding three mouths and changing three diapers (unless someone goes again in their new, fresh diaper... again), but he's showing he loves you all day long, and he's excited and loves doing it. You best not forget it!

Someday, he won't want hugs and kisses as much, and maybe not at all, so, cherish them now, mommy.


2.) Collin is hilarious.

Yes, the way he is short tempered (probably because he refuses to sleep as much as he should) lately and is perfecting the art of half-hour tantrums is enough to drive a mom to buying noise-canceling headphones and hiding in the garage some days, but at the same time, it also is amusing. 

The way he flops his short little body into the floor (or couch, or yard, or playground sand....) so suddenly looks like it could hurt, but he's so graceful about it, and let's face it- it looks ridiculously funny. He makes you laugh 80% of the day at least, so why not up it to 90% of the day and just be used by his upset over a leaf falling on his head, and move on instead of feeling agitated?

Someday, he will be even worse when he's upset, possibly swearing or throwing things and slamming doors like many teenagers do, and you're going to wish it was as simple as belly flopping into sand.


3.) The boys are best friends. 

Sure, they spend 3 hours of nap/quiet-time laughing and yelling the words to "Green Eggs & Ham" instead of laying in their beds sleeping, but they love to be together. Heck, half the time you find them sharing a bed. They may get into mischief together, be loud and wild when you're on the phone, or create a scene as they laugh hysterically at one another doing... nothing but shaking their heads in a restaurant, but they love each other.

Someday, they may not get along at all. That really does happen to brothers in some cases. Smile, breathe, and know they're perfect together.


4.) Norah needs you. 

She loves you. She wants to be on your chest all the time, feeling your heartbeat. Sure, it seems like she's hungry every nine minutes and nurses for three hours at a time, but she needs you, and you chose to help her grow and thrive by giving yourself to her. She may have been "unplanned" and an incredible surprise, but you you love her no less and from the moment you saw her, you knew she was a perfect addition to your life.  

Someday, she will not need you so intensely, and you will ache and long for those moments where the only thing that could make the world right were the sounds of your heartbeat and the warmth of your skin (just like you did with her brothers). You will miss the image of her tiny fingers searching for and clutching yours as you continue to give her the gift of sustained life. You will miss the way she looks up at you grins her huge, toothless grin, as she fills her tummy at 2am, 3am, and again at 5am. So hold onto those moments now. You'll be free to be busy enough with everything else way too soon.


5.) The house is chaos. 

It's messy and loud here during the day, and kids are crying and laughing and hugging and fighting and jumping and sleeping and everything in between. The dishes aren't completely done and you might not have swept yesterday, who knows. It wi get clean enough to keep you safe and hopefully sane, and the craziness will die down around 10 (or maybe 11:30) tonight, you will have a snack and some milk, and watch a little tv before going to bed and hopefully getting at least a nap before doing it all again. 

Someday, your children will all be gone, living elsewhere and maybe starting families of their own. You will be lonely, missing their laughter and their cries. So take it all in and remember these years fly by too quickly. 


Okay, momma. Time to face the day. You got this.