Summer Goodness.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

I know a few things to be true.
Before you know it, there you are.
Having outgrown one phase you thought would never end
and already moved on to the next.
Just when I thought our days of living at the ball field would never 
end, 
a new plastic consolation prize has quickly found a place on the shelf, next to last year's.
Just when I feel rooted in a harried summer (but predictable) routine,
I'm packing up my kids' jersey's and cleats (that SURELY won't still fit next year,)
preparing for yet another new season of an entirely different game.
Just when I think the chaos and noise and whining will never subside,
that our screen door couldn't possibly hold up any longer against the myriad neighbor kids coming and going all day,
another day ends.
The house is quiet.  
My anxious and tired and overstimulated mind has found my breath, yet again, 
and returned to truth.
I am a young mom and know very little.  But I know this.
This won't last.  All the goodness and heartache that comes with mothering.
I know one day we will arrive to a more permanent quiet. 
Where we are left with only pictures and memories and paralyzing nostalgia for what used to be.
I will anyway, because that's my thing.  I can't help it.
I am a "nostalgic" person, if that's even a thing.
Working daily to be present, 
but so easily finding myself stuck in "the sad mood originating from the desire for return to one’s native land."
My native land. . .motherhood. 
Something that will always be a part of me now but constantly shifting right under my feet. 
I am learning each day, as hard as it is to let go, 
all I can do is walk with it.
I remind myself of this as much as I can,
even on the days chock full of sibling battles, the tears that follow,
the incessant beggings and "I'M BBBBBOOOOOORRRREEEEEDDDD." 
So I dust off the melancholy and continue on.
Because that's the only way.
The neighborhood kids are afraid.
I have no idea why.
I exude nothing but peace and love in my husband's Halloween pajama pants.
Nothing but kind, poetic words fall from my mouth.
Peh!
If only my fellow Yoga students knew the woman at home, they wouldn't recognize her. . .and might be appalled.
Hey.  I'm not perfect.  Far, far, far from it.
I do my best each day. 
Some days, (note image above,)
I've given up upon waking.  And I'm good with that. 
My kids are at great ages and are learning so much and awaking to the rest of the world, yet. . .
are still kids.
DUMB as hell sometimes.
I love them.  They are my life and part of (I believe,) my purpose for being on this Earth.
But I just am DUMBfounded daily at the things they choose to do.
I don't get it.
The pic above is a not representation of the things they get in to.
This is good 'ol harmless fun.
But some of the instances I'm referring to may include walking down the stairs with a blanket over their head (you can guess where that goes.)
Eating chewed gum off the bottom of a park bench.
Sticking their tongue to the railing (Charlie this winter.)

I just don't get it.
They're SO bright, so smart. . . yet, such blasted idiots.
"WHAT in God's name are you THINKING!?!?" is a daily phrase screamed behind clenched fists.
"If you and your brother run into each other going full speed on your bike, you're GOING to get hurt.  And I won't feel bad for you."
Good choices, people.
I'm all about scaring the shit out of my children so they learn and know how serious the consequences of their choices can be.
I've given up on other approaches.
Fear and a firm voice (yelling) works best for me.
We're past sticking things in light sockets, eating non-food items (bugs, Lego's, marbles,) or riding mini two-wheel bikes in to oncoming cars.
But they still do things that put their little lives in harms way that could be totally avoidable.
Jumping from high places, picking mosquitoes bites open to ignite disgusting infections, running in to each other on their bikes because they're never paying attention. . .or on purpose.
The number of times a day we seem to narrowly escape death or serious injury, is astonishing.
But this is parenting at its finest.
They require constant coaching and reminders and an occasional slap upside the head until you know they're getting it.
At the end of the day, they're kids and need guidance.
In the meantime, summer (Fall) or whatever the it is,
is beautiful.
It's long days in our friends' beautiful pool.
One day it's tank tops, the next cozy sweaters.
We don't complain.
The weather here can't seem to make up its mind, but that's fine. 
We go with it.
(And try to incorporate a little more alcohol to take the edge off mommy.)
I always try to stay true to that battle of limited electronics.
But it's July now, practically August.
Time to know when to surrender.
Some days, the reprieve from worrying about one of my kids getting ramshackled by a speeding car in front of my house,
because they were riding down the middle of the damn street for the 87th time, 
is nice.
So I let them.
Because at least I know where they are and for now,
they are with me and they are safe.
I'll swap brain-melting activities for a safe child sometimes.
As the day progresses on, more and more children seem to migrate towards our home.
Which is good, and noisy. 
I always wanted more kids.
My kids are growing up and I can hardly handle it.
Did I mention that?  Nostalgia?
Staying up later, sleeping in just as late.
Choosing their own outfits and making their own lunch.
Charlie's style and sense of humor never cease to amaze me.
"Um, ok, buddy.  Can we button that up?  We're getting out of the car now."
"Mom!  No!"
"Yes, dude.  You have to button up your shirt."
"No, mom.  This is how you wear this.  Trust me."
Oh dear God.  My one goal for him is to teach him self-respect and the virtue of dignity.
We have a ways to go.
He pees everywhere and likes to pull his pants down to get a laugh out of bystanders any chance he gets.
Gracie's moody, then clingy then moody then tired, then moody.
Then reading.  Then crying.  Then reading again.
She LOVES to read which makes me so happy.
That she has found the joy in getting lost in a book.
And makes me feel better about the time she spends on electronics watching shows that she probably shouldn't be.
Jack is almost 10.
I hug him as much as I can.
It feels so good because he's not quite taller then me, barely fits under my chin.  And still loves and appreciates me and is okay with being snuggled.
But he's already spending his days running around the neighborhood, a free bird with his friends,
making frequent trips to the gas station with allowance money,
to stock up on Slurpees and Beef Jerky and Sunflower seeds.
I'm trying to give him the freedom to make his own decisions (including how he wears his hair.)
But within still lies that little boy with a childlike curiosity for everything.
The enthusiasm to learn and explore which is so precious and such a gift.
In between, I'm waking up each day, more and more grateful to get to live in such a cool town.
One historical AND picturesque enough to attract people from all over.
We get to live here. 
And play here.
 Explore here.
I have been forcing myself to sit at the childrens' sporting events/activities, 
and try not to take a picture.
Nearly impossible.
Or check my email.
Or look at Instagram.
Or slog through Facebook.
Also a challenge.  We're so connected.
Most of the time, all those things do is take away from the REAL life we're living.
It feels good to disconnect too.
Some days Charlie will ask me to turn the radio off in the car when we're driving somewhere.
"Mom?  I just want some quiet."  I love that.  That they can sit quietly and watch the world go by out the window.
As the sun sets on each new summer day,
and the house quiets down and the last dish is put away,
the last wet bathing suit is tossed in the dryer,
I am grateful for it all.
"Perhaps it is only in pausing every now and then to gaze behind to where we've been, 
that we can turn face forward again with hearts full of gratitude for the ground beneath our feet."  -Katrina Kenison
So I continue to work at that.
Embrace my nostalgia, but let go of the fight to slow down time, to resist progress.
Accept what is, that life is constantly moving forward and changing, no matter where we choose to stand.

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