Archive

Posts Tagged ‘li’l d’

Reindeers & aliens

In first grade, my class dressed up as reindeers and did aerobics for the school’s Christmas show. Dressing up was bad enough for me; I did the bare minimum workout, and totally sat out the neck rolls, despite glares from the adults in my life. 

I’d decided that getting in trouble was better than doing all that ridiculousness.

Last night, at a weekend Cub Scout event, my eight-year-old was expected to don a costume with the other members of his pack. He wailed and railed against it. He said he’d rather not have candy than gain it by wearing “the stupid costume hat.”

Even when he did finally put it on, he sulked in our tent for a full ten minutes. After he emerged from the tent, he continued to sulk–mightily–straight through photos and the beginning of trick-or-treating. 

He eventually decided that candy was worth wearing the hat, but I’m kinda glad it took him a little while to get there. His obstinacy tickled me, bringing me to imagine my mom was right there with us. 

I envisioned her laughing with my husband and saying, “I didn’t hold it against her. I told her she’d get her own taste of it someday, and here she is! Here she is.”

Thus were Christmas then and Halloween now woven together … and my mom, gone in body for more than seven years now, no less powerful a presence in her reluctant reindeer’s heart.

Advertisements

becoming ours

Before I was a parent, my apartment was filled with plants. After I became a parent, remembering to water them fell further and further down my to-do list. Eventually, I had no more plants left to water. I stored their pots behind my rental house and thought I might fill them someday. Maybe.

Today, my older son (Li’l D) and I each picked up a plant at our favorite botanic garden. D was so disappointed there weren’t more full-shade plants there that I offered to take him to a nursery.

He was overjoyed to see all the plants at the nursery. Unfortunately, his little brother being undernapped, we had to make our trip a quick one.

Each of us picked out one plant. After buying them, we loaded them in our car and headed home. Read more…

little boys laughing

I awaken at 3:30 each weekday morning, do an hour of work, and then spend one rushed hour getting ready with my kids. I’m then in traffic for an hour or so before beginning my full workday.

Yesterday, I had an early doctor appointment. Instead of rushing out the door, I spent two and a half hours hanging out with my kids. I helped my older son, Li’l D, scramble an egg before snuggling with him on the couch and reading Charlotte’s Web aloud. I walked him through homework corrections and then, after my three-year-old (Littler J) was really awake, laughed at the sounds of my little boys racing through the house while hollering their mirth.

I grinned the whole way to the doctor’s office. It was just such a perfect morning!

After my appointment, I called my husband to tell him how it’d gone. It turned out he was at the grocery store on the same block as the doctor’s office, so I met him in the store. I savored the weight of Littler’s hand in mine as my husband pushed the shopping cart. Littler made an adventure of even a shopping trip, so that I beamed the whole way through the trip. 

As we parted ways in the parking lot, I told my husband that the morning had been absolutely perfect. I said I’d have to make a point to do this more often on the weekday. Once a month, maybe?!

I grinned as I began my late drive to the office.

Nine years ago, before I had an inkling I was on the verge of parenthood, my perfect morning involved a couple of hours of World of Warcraft and then a six- or seven-shot latte en route to work. On the very best mornings, I’d spend a little time staring at the ceiling and daydreaming about the weekend, too. 

My perfect morning is so much different now than it was then. It’s busier and louder by far now, but, oh! It is ever so much more full of love, and–best of all–little boys’ peals of laughter.

good company

D’s 5th birthday

Three years ago,
my oldest son celebrated
his fifth birthday
with friends.

I was
so thankful
he didn’t know
what it meant to be
one of the odd ones.

Today,
he celebrated his
eighth birthday, still
side-by-side with
the little boy
from his 5th
birthday
pic.

He’s lost touch
with the little girl,
but:

It’s okay.
He’s not
keeping
track.

He’s here,
now, and just
so happy to be
here, now, in such
good company.

Categories: Family, Parenting Tags: , , ,

the lost year

Sorting through old paperwork last month, I found a letter I’d received after being rear-ended. My eyes drifted toward the date. Was it January that I was rear-ended, or maybe February?

I was stunned to find that the accident had happened in September. That would have been when my oldest son was newly back to school, which I should have remembered.

Why didn’t I remember? Because I barely even noticed his school year.

I was learning about the world–about politics and history, and how colonialism didn’t disappear so much as change form; unwittingly, I’d participated. 

I was horrified, outraged, heartbroken, and more to discover virtually everything I’d ever believed was wrong. I lost myself in trying to understand all the mistakes I’d made, and how lives have been lost due to the misunderstanding of even the best-intentioned people.

I lost sight of my sons, my husband, my friends, and all manner of things that have traditionally brought me joy. I simply stopped seeing them.

That’s what that bill’s date revealed to me: how much I’d lost in a year of favoring my learning over my love.

A week or two ago, my older son curled up with me on the couch. We talked about school and all was as ordinary as if I hadn’t lost a year of such moments. I took a moment to thank God that such wrongdoings can be rectified, and commit to ensuring I never again lose so much as a month, let alone an entire year. (Sometimes, emergencies may necessitate a week or two away.)

Last night, I watched my two little boys hop-race around the house. I laughed and told them I love to watch them play.

I turned to my husband and asked, “I gave up this for a year, for Twitter?”

“Uh-huh,” he confirmed, giving me his well honed bet-you’re-sorry look.

I’m glad he was so patient, and that my sons felt my love even when I was only barely present. But these are gifts to cherish, not squander, and I mean to cherish them. 

Books can fill me with knowledge, but only such knowledge as is useless without love.

the pee alarm

My older son and I sat facing each other on the kitchen floor. We were as far away from his little brother as possible in our small house, and spoke softly to have more moments alone together.

“When it’s Christmas Eve,” he told me, “I’m going to drink lots of water so I can wake up and see my presents really early!”

I laughed. “I did that once.”

His face lit up. “Did you see Santa?”

“No,” I said, smiling. “I mean, I drank a lot of water to make sure I’d wake up on time. I was going to research killer whales and I really, really did not want to miss my train. My alarm didn’t go off, so I ended up waking up on time only because I’d had so much water to drink before bed. I had to pee so bad.”

“Why didn’t your alarm go off?” he asked.

“I don’t know. I’m just really glad I had all that water, because I wouldn’t have been able to go to Canada that summer if I’d awakened five minutes later.”

“Why not?”

“I didn’t have enough money for a new train ticket, and I would have missed some connections that would have left me stranded for days, even if I’d had enough money.” When one of your connections involves a tiny personal boat out to an unpopulated island, timing is key.

Our conversation moved onward, but that bit returned to me as I drove to work an hour later. It was incredibly sweet to sit with two different kids who haven’t spent much time together, yet: younger me and one of my own sons.

Sometimes Li’l D asks me, “Why didn’t you tell me that?!” when I relate this or that memory to him. I explain that most memories only float to the surface when something today reminds me of something from yesterdays. 

I hope we uncover many more such memories together, whether from our kitchen floor or wherever else the years ahead may take us.

the love

Monday was a special day for Ra, a family friend. She had lunch with my husband and our sons (among others). She and I met for dinner.

Later, she sent me pictures from the day. I giggled at one particular picture; my 7yo, Li’l D, was tickled how one letter made the difference between “your earwax” and “our earwax.”

But the other picture? It choked me right up. 

A few months ago, I wrote about an exchange with Li’l D’s first grade teacher. I explained how I wanted him to grow in two areas: critical thinking and compassion.

When I saw Ra’s second picture, I saw–blazing!–the one of those two qualities harder to measure on a report card.

Look in those eyes and tell me you don’t see it, too–the love, and the believing that whatever someone is doing, it’s all the very best they can do now.

Categories: Friends, Love Tags: , , ,
%d bloggers like this: