Just let me dust off the keys on my keyboard and blow the dust off of my blog…
I was just lying in bed, reading about photography and close to falling asleep when Craig said, “this should be a FB post” and up I stood and lumbered over to my chair to update my status. And for the umpteenth time I thought, I really should write a post. How many bloggers out there say that to themselves? The inspiration for this one is mostly to remember this past month and the moments I am having with my children. They are getting SO BIG.
The other day, a mom looked at Isabel and then looked at me and said, “hey, she’s more than half your height.” Yes, I have noticed that, too. Isabel loves this fact and often brags to herself, to Daddy, or to anyone, that she will be taller than Mommy. Her bragging is almost always accompanied by a huge grin on her face and, when she remembers, she will add, “yeah, Mommy is the shortest person! She’s the shortest in our family!” And by our family, she means the extended one. (Thank you, Uncle Mark!)
We went swimming not too long ago and my friend said, “she’s going to be competitive,” and I replied, “hmmm… I’m not so sure about that. Her friend just asked her to play and when she said okay, the girl said ‘Let’s race to the other side of the pool!'” Isabel looked at me like “what’s a race?” and by then the girl was half way to the other side. (Those of you who know me surely can guess how that made me feel, but I stayed cool.) My friend then said, “well, did you hear what she just told me? I asked her if she was going to be a good swimmer like Mommy and she said, ‘Well, I’m going to be much bigger than Mommy, so I’m going to be even better!'” While I can appreciate the trash-talking and admit to even enjoying it, I will still feel much better when I see her walking the walk. No pressure, Isabel!
I have been slowly (very S-L-O-W-L-Y) getting back into teaching her to read. She has the short-vowel sounds down and can now read one-syllable short vowel sound words. The other night I open up my magazine and tell her she’ll be reading soon. She says, “I don’t know how to read.” I said, “yes, you can. Look.” And I point to the word “plan.” She says, “puh-luh-ah-n, PLAN!” She was very excited about that, and since then I will catch her trying to read other words. Hopefully, this will get me started on the right foot for homeschooling!
Let’s not leave out Little Man. Yes, he’s still little. Craig comes up to me the other night and says “Isabel could flip the switches when she was two.” “So can Thomas, can’t he??” I ask. “No.” I don’t believe Craig so we test Thomas. Oh! The reach! The frustrated whine from his lips! Well, he is only 2 and 4 months, he’s got time! And he makes up for it with a lot of attitude and executive behaviors (to put it kindly.)
Thomas is also talking up a storm. If he is not crying or whining or sneaking an i-phone, he is talking, talking, talking. I realize how much he learns just imitating and answering Isabel. I know this sounds totally trivial, but my mommy-brain still can’t grasp how quickly little people begin to understand the nuances of language. I say about Isabel, “Look, Thomas, there she goes!” And as he runs after her he says, “There I go!” That he took “she goes” and properly conjugated his action to “I go” made me stop and appreciate just how smart little kids are.
One memory I don’t want to forget is how Thomas seems to know just how to pull my strings. We were playing at my parents’ house and after picking through an assortment of balls he finds a yellow volleyball. It is tucked way behind some trees, the furthest from reach, but the yellow ball it must be. After pulling it out he starts tossing it with me and then suddenly runs away. He remembers that we have a floating net we used in the pool and he hands it to me because he wants to throw the ball into the net. If you don’t know, I played and LOVE water polo. How much better can it get than tossing a yellow ball into a net? Oh, but it does! After a few tosses, he hands me the ball and says, “it’s your turn, Mommy.” He then takes the net from me and lets me throw the ball into the “goal.” Here I am, standing 15 feet away from him and he’s letting me take shots!
Really, he had me at yellow ball.
All of the above aside, the absolute best part of being their Mommy is when they tell me how much they love me. I can see how Isabel’s mind is starting to grapple with the abstract: “Mommy, I love you more than space, and the space above that, and the space above that, and the space above that…” (That will continue until she thinks it’s enough.) Thomas, learning quickly from his sister (and also learning how to manipulate me with his new tools) will say to me, “I love you more Earth, Earth, Earth!” How can I not forgive him everything and smother him with hugs and kisses when he says that to me?? And how can I say no when he looks at my i-phone and tilts his head to the side, squints his eyes (and strangely covers one eye with his finger) and in his most angelic voice asks, “just for a little bit? just a little bit, Mommy???”
These are the moments that help me to relax when they let the hose run to make mud and cover themselves in it. I love my little babies.
And here’s a little thought on Gratitude:
“A man’s indebtedness… is not virtue; his repayment is. Virtue begins when he dedicates himself actively to the job of gratitude.” – Ruth Benedict