Monthly Archives: March 2014

Every Special Moment

Jessica, Allen, and Aiden

The three siblings, when Aiden was a baby.

My son’s birthday was last week. The youngest in our little five-member family, Aiden, is now five. The past week has flown by so fast. The five years have flown by so fast.

Sometimes I wish that I had made note of every special moment. Somehow recorded it or remembered it. They go by so fast and too often pass into that place that seems almost oblivion (but perhaps is kept somewhere … somehow … by Someone).

But I remember a few, and they bring a smile to my face when I think of them.

My son running up to me as I got out of the car last Tuesday – his birthday. “Mom, mom!” His excited shout, his joyful face.

“What?” Waiting to hear what interesting thing he’d been doing with daddy while I was at college.

“I’m five years old now!” he exclaims wrapping his little arms around my waist and squeezing tight. I know he’s five. I’ve been helping him count down the days for the past month or so every time he’s asked, “How many days is it until my birthday?”

Kind of like I did five years ago waiting for him to arrive on the scene, which he did after only five hours of labor. As with everything else in my little boy’s life and schedule, I guess he didn’t want it to last too long because he gets bored quickly. I can picture him in my tummy. Okay, enough of those squeezy contraction things. Let’s get this show on the road. I definitely didn’t mind him hurrying things along that time.

Another snapshot highlight of the past week occurred a couple nights ago. It was past “lights out” time. And the boys still had the lights on. I peeked into the room, ready to help them turn off the light and get into bed (little boys seem to forget sometimes). And Aiden was sitting next to his big brother, Allen, my seven year old who would opt for drawing over reading any day. But he sat next to Aiden and read him every page of a storybook. I kept the light on for a few more minutes.

Then there was Saturday, when we celebrated Aiden’s birthday. I’m always nervous about parties, especially hosting them. As simple as I usually keep them, there is always the unknowable factor of children; who knows when and how hurt feelings or frustration will develop, and why it seems to increase exponentially with each kid added to the mix? Although there were a couple huffy moments and a squabble or two on the side, for the most part the kids got along great and had a blast. I think the big kids (aka adults) had fun too.

And the next evening, Aiden handing his new Hot Wheels hovercraft and tow truck to his little cousin, telling her, “You can keep this with you for the night.” I had to do a double take. Did my son just share his new birthday toy with someone else? Maybe those repeated pep talks about the joy of sharing (that I and my husband have been giving him half of his life) are finally getting through!

Every smile is a highlight. Every hug. Every question that exposes a mind thinking and feeling and growing. Yes, the challenging moments definitely exist and at times can seem like all there is. But I guess it depends on what we, as parents, focus on. Perhaps seeing my son turning five and growing up so fast has caused me to try to focus more on the good, the brighter points, during the past week.

But if so, I hope to make it somewhat of a habit.

What methods work for you in recording the high points of parenting? (One friend of mine posts all her fun parenting highlights on Facebook and that’s her way of keeping a record.) Do you have any tips on focusing on “the brighter points” of parenting and keeping a positive perspective in spite of the tougher moments of being a mother or father? Would love to hear from you in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

Jess, Allen, Aiden 2013

The siblings today. A day at the lake, Autumn 2013.

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Time to be a Child?

child with bubblesI meant to continue posting here in mid-February, after a break of about a month at the start of the year. We’re now in sight of April. Not only is 2014 well underway, but it’s nearly a quarter over.

In the past few months I’ve had a number of ideas for short posts on parenting. Lots of stuff has been happening in my kids’ lives, and in mine. I even started writing a few times, but nothing felt right. I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe it’s seeing other mothers with elaborate websites, thousands of followers and hundreds of comments, their parenting mission seeming very clear and successful.

And I look at myself, trying to keep a basic grasp on being a mom in the midst of school, work, writing, and a myriad of random and sometimes very time-consuming (and mentally or emotionally exhausting) issues that arise on any given day.

The other day I was trying to work on an editing project and couldn’t focus because Aiden had gone up to about 75 decibels with his fire truck noises and Allen was describing to Jessica his idea for a new Tigger movie (and she was telling him exactly how it should really be done). I finally told them, “Guys, go play in the backyard so I can focus.” Of course as soon as they went out there, I wished I could join them. I turned back to my editing and still couldn’t focus because I felt guilty for having lost my patience with them.

It’s not their fault their room doubles as my “office.” I know more space would not necessarily be the answer. That’s the problem, I guess. I don’t really have all the answers. The answers on how to be an awesome parent. … Or I do know some answers but fail to implement them.

Maybe I am approaching it the wrong way, looking at things like the negative of a photo. Thinking I see a picture, but the colors are inverted so that light is dark. So dark. Maybe it is not that I should be trying so hard to be the mom sometimes, but to be more of a child.

We read a poem by Robert Frost in my English class today, about a man thinking of tree climbing (among other things). We talked about nostalgia and happy childhoods and looking back over these times with an element of longing and perhaps regret.

I am not a child anymore, but my kids are. And perhaps I should be that more too … by just being rather than trying so hard. By climbing a tree or playing shadow tag, blowing bubbles or sitting down on the floor and building a stack of colorful blocks right up to the sky. Maybe then I won’t have to worry about looking back with regret and longing, knowing I made the most of every moment.

All that to say, I’m going to try to begin posting in here again, if nothing else to keep some sort of track of my days as a mom of three young (and rather awesome) kids. I’ll try to post some things by other moms too, whose books I’ve read or am reading, and who capture the essence of motherhood so much better than I can.

If you’ve read any good books or seen a great quote on parenting, please share it in the comment section below. Or if you have any other thoughts you want to share on parenting, I’d love to hear from you.