This morning when we sat in the kitchen, the rest of the house still asleep, we created a memory that will last with me forever. I asked you for some lovin and you said, “wubin? What’s that?” I snuggled your face and nibbled your cheek and gave you hugs. You hugged me right back and gave me a kiss on the lips and said, “That wubins?” “Yes.” I said, “That’s lovins’.” We cuddled some more and I asked you if I could take your picture and you said yes, and looked right into the camera and smiled.
Right now, your 2 ½ year old self, you are so lovable and sweet. You will turn to me throughout the day and out of the blue you’ll exclaim, “I love you.” We play games in which you pretend to leave and I beg you not to. You’ll turn around and assure me that you’ll be back. When I pretend to cry you come running to me and with a huge smile you’ll say, “I’m back. I’m right here.” We hug in mock reunion. Sometimes when I hug you it is a bit bittersweet for me because I know your baby softness will soon be lost to the muscular body of a little boy. I try not to dwell too much on losing your babyhood and instead I focus on the unique and awesome boy that you are becoming. I treasure you. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you and where your fun and loving personality will take you.
I have been telling the boys that I’m making them backpacks
and with much enthusiasm Ben has asked me several times since then, “Are you
making my packpack?” He thinks I should be able to whip it up instantly and
hand it to him. Well this morning I was finally able to give them their “packpacks”
along with a little drawstring bag in which to stow their treasures.
Ben immediately put his special blanket (DeeDee) in his “packpack” and cars in his drawstring bag and went outside to ride his bike.
Without realizing it I created the perfect solution to one of his biggest dilemmas - how to play outside with his blanket without getting it dirty.
I found the pattern on Made By Rae. This is the 2nd pattern of hers that I’ve tried and I plan on making her Lickety Split bag soon. I think she’s a genius! The fabric was selected by the boys themselves at Sew to Speak. Miles picked the pirates and Ben the race cars. This pattern had many steps but it was easy to follow and fun to watch come together.
This weekend was full of good weather, good food and good play. The boys set up a shop with hockey gear on one side and toys on another. They built some fancy “doors” to the store where there were strict rules about where big people, kids and babies had to pass through. Miles took the whole shop idea very seriously.
Here are a few snapshots of the rest of our weekend:
:: Tim & I making french bread.
:: quiche with swiss chard and ham
:: meal made from local ingredients - French bread, roasted tomatillo salsa, egg drop soup, peaches, low fat buttermilk ranch dressing
:: Some art
:: and a walk
I grew up hearing my dad’s stories about his childhood. How he’d lost his mother at 12 in a car accident, and moved with his younger brother and sister to his grandparent’s house where they were finishing up raising 15 children of their own. I was always very interested in the details of his childhood mostly, I think, because he lived a childhood that most kids fear. These stories translated in my child’s mind into black and white snapshots.
Driving back to see the house where they grew up after their mother was killed; I finally saw these memories in their full color.
On the trip my dad revealed a few details that he’d left out of his narrative to me as a young girl. Now, as a mother myself, his childhood came into full color in my mind. In the car I sat beside my own son, close to the age my grandmother was when she died. I thought about what it must have been like for my 12 year old father to come here as an orphan. I wanted to travel back in time as the mother I am now to those 3 children who so desperately needed a warm place to fall. I saw this story for the first time as a mother, as his mother who, without a choice, was forced to leave her 3 children to fend for themselves. As a mother I feel the pride that my grandmother would feel to see that her son grew up to be such a wonderful human being.
I know my father has experienced loss in his life. I also know that without loss, you’re unable to really see the beauty of life. Life must be poignantly beautiful for him at times and for that I am grateful.
This week we went into the woods with cousins, formed new
bonds and witnessed the blossoming of some lifelong friendships. We celebrated
my dad’s 67th birthday, got lots of bumps and bruises, swung on a
vine, hiked some trails, did some fishing and swimming, sat around a lot of
campfires and ate a lot of smores. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
We’ve had a rough couple of days around here with Ben’s mantra of “I do it myself” and Miles full-time preoccupation with tormenting Ben. While I know it’s a good thing that Ben is becoming more independent it’s tough when that is paired with bull-headed determination.
I know where that stubbornness comes from, I know it so well. I called my mother yesterday and told her I was sorry.
I read in a book I keep handy written by Steve Biddulph called, “Raising Boys” that at 4 years old a boy gets a huge increase of testosterone that makes them do boyish things such as becoming interested in super heroes and playing more aggressively. Miles is right on track with this with all of his gun and sword play. Sometimes it’s tough to give him the freedom to explore playing with weapons and the power that they bring him and not to color his otherwise innocent play with my adult prospective. While raising boys is challenging and exhausting, it is exciting and fun and I really am enjoying it. They are such cuddly and loving little people.
For all of the work that comes with this parenting gig there are some overwhelmingly beautiful moments such as today when we took them on their first ever boat ride. Showing them the world and having them look up at you to explain it is beyond humbling.
Sometimes I think if I really pay attention my 4 year old he can teach me a lot about living life to the fullest and with complete joy. Who doesn’t need a reminder of this lesson from time to time. Here is what I’ve learned from him in the last few days:
:: sleep is a waste of time : paint your body every chance you get
:: getting naked in the backyard and jumping in water is great fun
:: being the bad guy is usually more fun than being the good guy
:: it’s ok to have candy for breakfast sometimes
: paint your body every chance you get
I finally got some sewing time in and had two flops and 3 hits. So, I guess overall it was a successful weekend. I made the guest room slippers that are in Heather Ross’ Weekend Sewing and found that the pattern runs a little small. I made 2 pairs at once and so both are a little too snug. So, I will be gifting these to someone with smaller feet. Then, I made the Buttercup Bag from a free pattern found here.
The pattern is easy to follow and I love the way they turned out. I made 3 because they take so little material to make and I just couldn’t decide which material to use. All of the material and buttons are from Sew to Speak.