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the j-blockade

This morning, my three-year-old son awakened mere minutes before I left for work. I heard Littler J whining the moment I stepped out of the shower.

“What’s up with the little guy?” I called to my husband.

“He doesn’t want you to go to work.”

A few minutes later, I put on my shoes and headed toward the front door. There, blockading the exit, was Littler J.

“Don’t go!” he howled. “I don’t want you to go!”

Leaving against his wishes made me more than a little sad. Still, I’ve grinned every time I remember that image: one little boy trying to block his mama from leaving through one big door.

His body may still be small; his will is anything but. I hope he keeps that … and also that his older brother will never be too far away to end any J-blockade with a well-timed question or two:

“Wanna play trains? They’re in the bedroom!”

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Categories: Family, Parenting Tags: , ,

we will

On Thursday, I had an experience that kinda changed everything for me. I’m not able to write about it in detail, but the core of it was me asking:

Can you change any of what happened yesterday? No? Then what do we do about making tomorrow better?!

Yes, I wrote a sad post yesterday. Yes, it was about how much yesterday influences today, especially for people who grew up in chaos.

But, you know what? That was already the remnants of something that had to be let go, for me to move on.

Because in that moment of arguing for tomorrow (and someone going, the next morning, “DEB FOR PRESIDENT!!!”), I saw: 

This is what it means, to show care for what happens next, for everyone’s children.

My own littlest is snuggled next to me as I type this and think,

Fuck, yeah. The future’s gonna be okay.

We can–and will!–make it that way!

Categories: Reflections Tags: , , ,

my island

Last weekend,
I wrote about how much
(and why) I love
the movie
Moana

Yesterday,
I bought
the soundtrack
for commute
brightening
purposes,
but:

The best
part of yesterday,
easily, was the Moana
bedtime dance party
I had with my three-year-old

On a 4×6 rug,
we went
away, away,
laughing and
twirling
together;

on our own little
rug-island
in space and time;

Like Moana and her
(granted, fictional) villagers,
having been there once,
I will now, always
be able to find
my way
back
(home)

Categories: Movies, Music, Parenting Tags: , , ,

“I’m obnoxious.”

My little boys love racing each other down a ramp near our house. Yesterday, much to my two-year-old’s chagrin, my seven-year-old, Li’l D, only wanted to run down twice.

“Could you please run down one more time with him?” I asked D. D, seizing the opportunity, said he’d run down it one more time … if I said I was obnoxious.

I weighed his proposal for a moment before mumbling, “I’m obnoxious.”

“What? I couldn’t hear you,” he teased.

“I’m obnoxious!” I said, much louder.

He grinned before racing down the ramp with Littler J. 

“Again?!” D asked. 

“I’m obnoxious,” I replied. 

Both my boys laughed as they raced down the ramp one more time, and I? I laughed, too.

My happy scarers

My two-year-old hides behind his hands, then throws his arms out wide while shouting, “Boo!”

I shriek as if startled, which makes him scream in delight before devolving into giggle-fits.

We repeat this over and over. Sometimes, we’ll do it a hundred times in one sitting.

My seven-year-old recently asked, exasperated, why I pretend to be afraid.

I replied, already wistful, “Your brother will understand soon enough that he’s not actually scaring me. So while he still believes it, I’ll keep on shrieking. I’ll keep on cherishing the sweet sound of him laughing, knowing he’ll soon enough be on to other joys.”

“Oh. Will you scream if I do it, too?”

“Sure, if your brother’s around.”

So he tried, too, and I shouted in mock horror.

Now, for at least a little while, both my little boys take turns scaring me, and I’m happy.

Snugglemonstercake

My two-year-old, Littler J, stretched his arms all the way across my chest and nestled his head beneath my chin.

I closed my eyes and pressed my cheek against his fine, curly hair. “Oh, snugglemuffin,” I said.

Noting snuggling that excluded him, my seven-year-old appeared and wrapped his arms around me and his brother. “If he’s your snugglemuffin, then that means I’m your … snugglecake!”

I chuckled as Li’l D squeezed even tighter. “That you are, snugglecake.”

“Because cakes are bigger than muffins, and I’m bigger than him!” he explained.

“I gotcha, snugglecake.”

“But I’m your snugglemonster,” he mused aloud. “If I’m your snugglecake and your snugglemonster, that makes me your snugglemonstercake!”

I laughed as I soaked up my little boys’ love.

Snugglecake, snugglemonster, snugglemonstercake–whatever you call all this, it’s bliss to me.

brothers

A year ago, and just as sweet

If Earth were heaven

My two-year-old, Littler J, really likes to dance.

If he hears more than a couple of notes of any tune, he turns to me and asks, “Wanna dance wif me?!”

He just now busted moves with his toy pig, which made me smile as I remembered a few minutes from last night.

“Final countdown!” shouted my seven-year-old, Li’l D, as he played with Baymax, a Captain America shield, and a motorcycle.

“Final countdown,” I sang back.

“What’s that?” he asked.

“It’s an … old … song. Here, let me play it for you.”

I played the song, which he found highly unimpressive.

Autoplay moved to “Eye of the Tiger” next. (Of course it did.) Strangely, Littler barely seemed to notice.

But then? Then “Living on a Prayer” came on. Littler’s face lit up and he called, “Wanna dance wif me?!”

We bounced around the living room hand in hand until the last minute of the song, when my husband took over as Littler’s dance partner.

I surveyed the two for a moment, smiling at the wonderful, silly scene before me.

Do I wanna dance wif my boys? Why, if Earth were heaven,
I’d spend every second doing just that.

happy run

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