Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I read back a few years on the blog.    2 year olds are busy.  3 year olds are hysterical.  4 year olds are sweet.  But 5 year olds?  At least mine - they are tough.  In retrospect, so much of this year in parenting has been hard for me - emotionally, that is.  So hard, that I haven't wanted to blog about it - the stories I have to tell are less than flattering pictures of our lives. 

M's behavior this year has been persistent, insitent and consistent.  My reaction to this behavior has been to feel disheartened, defeated and guilty.  He goes from 0 to 60 in mere seconds - tantruming and overwhelmed.  And I shut down.  I tell him to go to his room, calm down and speak to me when he's not crying.  I'm ashamed to admit that at my best in these times, I tune him out and at my worst, I yell.

But the other night, when he threw a fit because the girls had a different fort in mind to design, neither of those reactions felt right.  I flashed back in my mind to a time in 6th grade when I was so frustrated with my life, I spewed hateful words at my family.  I remembered the kind of cry that feels like it will never stop.  Like you may never catch your breath again.  Like screaming is the only way someone will hear you.

So I knelt down and told him he was being really clear with his feelings.  I told him I understood that frustration.  I asked him how I could help and he climbed right into my lap.  He buried his head into my neck and I felt his hot tears.  I sat quietly and hugged him tightly and soon he was calm.  After several minutes, he said "Girls, I just wanted you to listen to my idea."

Clear as day, he let us know what was going on in that emotional little mind.
Note to self - try to hear what is being said, even through shouting and tears.     

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Repeat Performance

All too often, I find myself trying to recreate past perfect days.  I set up unreasonable expectations about the Salad's behavior, thinking something like "We've been here, we've done this, we loved every second and no one cried or yelled!"  But I don't take into account that particular day's details - maybe we got less sleep than the last time, maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this particular day, maybe someone is coming down with strep throat and I don't know it yet.  Who knows?

So when my parents suggested taking a picnic to the Wings Field one warm October day, I though why the heck not?  We'd gone a very long time ago and had an amazing experience.  But I knew to lower my expectations.  Just in case.

Turns out, it was another awesome day.  We got to spend time with Grammy and Poppy.  We got some much needed vitamin D and watched plane after plane take off and land.  We also got to talk to a pilot and stand close enough to a Medical Helicopter when it was landing that I actually had to hold onto S, for fear that she could be blown backward.  It was as perfect as the last time.
And that my friends, is nothing short of a miracle.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Originally written October 10, 2012

Conversation from this morning:
Me:  "OK guys! Make sure your library books from school are in your backpacks. You have library today."

S:  "Oooooh! Yeah! Books are my most favorite thing."

Picture from this afternoon, as M and A dug in the dirt:
Imagine how awesome her life is going to be once she can actually read!