Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ode to my Oldest Son

My son is great. Probably all moms thinks their boys are great; I am no exception.

He is agreeable, even when his Itouch gets baby finger marks on it, there is no hot water left for his shower, or it rains, hard, the entire track practice. Little does he know how far this trait will take him in life.

He is kind. Kind in the very depth of his soul; kind to infants, kind to brothers and sisters, kind to other kids -- especially if they have problems. As a first grader we applied him to a private school which had one opening for a boy, and he was given the spot over 50 some other little boys after he ran to help another boy who had fallen during PE. Apparently he helped him get up, showed him what to do, and cheered him on. The teachers were impressed with his empathy then, as they are now.

He is funny. Hysterical, actually. He has a big, loud voice and laugh (which he puts to good use just as the younger kids are trying to fall asleep ... what a great sound to hear as they drift off!). He has matured enough to see the humor in small things like a certain younger brother using his hair brush every day. His motto: Don't worry, be happy!

He is interested in the world. He cares about people. He is cute. He is a straight A student.

We are lucky, lucky, lucky to get to live with this boy. He is a jewel.

We love you, buddy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mattell wins

Today we went to the consignment store where I sell our things which don't get completely destroyed.

We went in to look at their toys. You know, toddlers outgrow interests quickly, and they are happier when busy.

I pulled out an alligator xylophone. Nope. I showed her a LeapFrog alphabet toy. No thank you, Mommy. I showed her a cute pull along doggie. No.

What did she go for? Ready? THE BASKET OF BARBIES.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring in Oregon

We are lucky to live within a long but reasonable drive to the Columbia River Gorge. Hundreds of waterfalls, stunning scenery, inspiration.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tiny Presents

We are huge fans of indoor play parks, my Emmeline and I. We usually hit three to four a week.

Last week I actually ran into someone I knew. This never happens because I am the Old Grandma Moses of mothering, and allllll the moms I know have kids ages ten and up.

Anyway, one teacher from our kids' school was there with her daughter. We had become friends before she got pregnant and when baby was born they were over-the-top happy. I smiled & gave her a big box of (slightly used) baby items (because I would never need them again, hahaha).

After that, for her more babies did not come. They tried, and tried, and tried. Tried everything and then some. Still, nothing. I remember we huddled under the school breezeway one rainy, blowy day during recess and she spilled her story to me.

She looked good, when I saw her, slender and put-together. Her daughter looked good, too, enjoying the balance beam. She was startled to see me -- and more so when she saw Emmeline. "Wait. You had another baby." Not so much a question as just a blurt. I introduced Emmeline and saw emotion in my old friend's eyes. "We're thinking of adopting, actually. We're happy with one but another would be so nice." I told her that was great and mentioned how darling her daughter was. "You know I would love to have more. I just can't seem to."

And with that our kids ran in different directions and we stopped talking. Emmeline was ready to go, and I said goodbye to my friend while struggling to tie Emmeline's shoes. It was not a very personal parting.

I pray I always remember what a gift my children are. Let me remember the magical moment when they were each born, and how the time continuum stopped as I memorized each tiny face and fell so, so deeply, completely, and forever in love.

These children of ours are gifts. Not everyone is lucky enough to be given them.

Let me remember.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How to be cute in a swimsuit


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter briefly in photographs

My apologies for this bad layout. Don't have time to fix ...

Emmeline's comfy spot

The hunt is on

Oh thanks, I didn't see that one!


Dear woman whom I passed on the street:
We walked by one another today, you and I. Me, carrying Emmeline, and you, walking with a small child with a teeny, tiny bundle of a baby wrapped to your chest.

We made eye contact and you stared at me, defiant. Or angry, or defensive. Maybe you thought I was judging your appearance: long-to-the-waist multiple braids of brown hair, set off with beads of many colors within the braids; loose, flowing, unisex clothes; Birkenstocks. Your child was indistinguishable as a boy or girl.

You probably glanced at me, fresh out of our SUV, in a white blouse and tidy blonde pony tail carrying toddler in white (!) cordouroy dress with pink tights and pink shoes, and thought I was not someone you would befriend.

But I wasn't judging your clothes, or your hair, or your somewhat grimey child. What caught my eye was the exquisitily tender manner you held the child's hand, and gently, subtly corrected his path as he wandered too close to the road. I watched the child glance at you full of awe, love, and wonder. I saw at the same time how you never stopped touching your newborn's back and legs. The three of you were so beautiful in that moment, so loving. I hoped I sometimes look like that.

So, I wasn't judging you. I wish I had turned to say your kid is amazing, and good job. You seem to already know.