Monday, April 27, 2015

The Awakening

As a child, I ran through life and all of it's seasons: sticky summer days of sweat and popsicles, crunchy autumn mornings and refreshingly cold snow angels.

As a child I never longed for Spring. Of course I was out running around barefoot and coatless the first chance I had, but Spring came when it came, and always arrived before I had a chance to miss it.

In fact, the first time I consciously remember longing for Spring was the winter after Mark and I married. We were living in the charming, Chardon, Ohio at the time. In an area called the snow belt. We'd had 151 inches of snow that year. (To compare, on average, Chicago gets just under 40 inches.) 

I was living in a snow globe. A snow globe that some toddler never tired of: one who shook and shook my world over and over again, covering it in snow.

There was a tree outside our kitchen window in that house, that I became slightly obsessed with. I looked at it every morning in April, looking for little green buds-- willing them to come to life. I watched that tree slowly awaken, at its mesmerizing, leisurely pace.

That was the first time I reveled in the awakening that is Spring. The tiny changes every day: the crocus, the daffodils, the buds on the trees... It taught me a special kind of patience.

Since then, I examine every day of the Spring. I find myself studying nature and looking for those tiny changes: listening for the birds and frogs, watching the grass get greener, noticing the color coming back into the rose bushes. 

The world is quite remarkable when you take the time to notice. And this year, as the world is awakening, it seems: and so am I.

The inspiration to this post came from a charming piece from a cousin (in law) of mine: Katie McMullen. In this post, she wisely points out, "My garden rituals remind me that waiting is good, and I can't control much." 

Which is exactly how I feel about Spring. Midwestern Spring certainly takes its sweet time, but the waiting and the anticipation can be a stunning experience.

What's your favorite sign of Springtime where you are located?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

It All Depends on You.

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Beautiful Day

I knew going into parenthood, that it would be my job to teach my children. Teach them their alphabet, teach them to share, teach them right from wrong, teach them compassion...

Teach them, teach them, teach them.

Everyday. Because there is so much to take in, and so much to learn in this world.

What I didn't realize going into parenthood, is just how THEY would teach ME. And I'm not just talking how to change a diaper. I'm talking about serious life lessons.

Every day when we walk outside, Henry declares its a beautiful day. But not every day is the same kind of beautiful.

Yesterday Henry declared. "What a beautiful, bright, sunny day!" I energetically agreed. 

But then, this morning I was putting on a sweatshirt, a little irritated that the weather was under fifty degrees. It's supposed to be SPRING. I want a sunny, sixty degree day, with blue skies and white fluffy clouds.

So when we walked outside and Henry declared, "What a beautiful, cool day! This rain will help your garden grow!" I laughed. Because he's SO right, isn't he? Every day is beautiful in it's own way. We need the rainy days, to enjoy the sunny days filled with flowers. We could look forward to that sunny day, or we can enjoy this day we have now. 

My children are just so very present in every moment. Something I am striving to be. I need to spend a little more time in their world. A world that's new and wondrous, every single day.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Oh, Henry.

I'm quite convinced that if Henry had a camera crew following him around, he would be an instant hit. Every day his wit surprises me, and most definitely makes me laugh.

The other night I went to play trivia with a friend. When I got home Henry was still awake so I played five minutes of trivia with him before he went to bed.

"How many fingers on one hand?"
"What color is the sky?"
"What letter does Helicopter start with?"
"H. Like Henry."

While we were on the trivia kick I thought I might gain some insight into the world of Henry by throwing in a few opinion questions.

"What's your favorite sport?"
"Being naked!"
Today I was threatening Henry with a time-out because he wasn't doing so well in the listening department. Lately he'll say "Shhh... don't talk!" when I'm scolding him or telling him not to do something. Since I continued with my threat he yelled, 

"I don't like you!"

Which is the first time I've heard those words from him. (Surprisingly, this didn't hurt my feelings quite as much as I thought it would.) I took the opportunity to say we shouldn't talk like that to anyone, it can really hurt someone's feelings and we can't take words back. He looked me straight in the eye when he said:

"When I don't like you, I still love you, Mama." I should note that he says "wike" for like and "wove" for love. Which only makes this 3 year old's piece of wisdom cuter.

[I laughed but I surely hope he remembers this wisdom when he's a rowdy teenager.]
Easter really resonated with Henry yesterday. He hasn't stopped talking about that bunny which he calls the "Oyster" Bunny thanks to a Bubble Guppies Episode. Today while I was finishing up lunch with William, Henry snuck away with a bag full of Reese's Pieces. I'd promised him candy after lunch, so I pretended to look the other way. He then snuck by me again (hand shielding his eyes-- the classic if he can't see me, I can't see him toddler logic) to get a basket full of empty eggs.

He was being awfully quiet in the play room (which is the first sign of trouble) so I peeked in to check on him and he immediately screamed, "You can't look at me! I'm the Oyster Bunny with a special treat for you! But you can't see my hide the eggs!" So I went back into the kitchen (I can see him from there, he just doesn't know that. He proceeded to hide the eggs and then hop out of the room. And if you know Henry at all you'll know what a hugely sweet gesture sharing something with sugar is, as opposed to just eating it all himself.

"Otay, Mommy! The Oyster Bunny is done! Go find the eggs!"

I literally couldn't find the eggs, so I loudly proclaimed, "Wow, this Easter Bunny did a great job! I can't find the eggs anywhere!"

"Maybe you should look in the toy box!"

Moral of the story is I really need to clean out the toy box because I still can't find the eggs.
"Henry, do you know what Daddy's real name is?"
"Yes, Mark!"
"Good job! Do you know what Mommy's real name is?"
"Yes, Babe!"
As my first child, experiencing Henry grow up has been nothing short of wonderful. When they are babies it's magical to see all of the firsts and have that cuddly little bundle need you so much. Then they hit one and two, and you're amazed by how much they learn and take in every day. They start walking and talking... and talking... 

And now we are well into three and I'm beginning to glimpse the person Henry will be. His big personality shining out of that little body. 

Sometimes these little things accumulate and hit me all at once in a heart-bursting moment of profound happiness. 

And I think They are only three and one. Think of all the adventures that await