Friday, February 28, 2014

stream of consciousness about a boy

he sits there.  in his pjs.  his bare feet are still plump with baby fat, and half a leg showing from the pant leg pushed up.  he looks intently at each page as his dad reads him amelia bedelia.  his curious face is almost too much for me to look at i love it so much.  the way he studies each page and picture and knows if the wrong word is read, i look at him in disbelief.  disbelief that he is mine.  disbelief that he is this old.  disbelief that i don't take more time to marvel at him.  look at him.  look at him.  i shake my head.

we go upstairs to brush his teeth.  he is a ballet dancer on the bottom as he prances up the stairs.  he is spiderman on the top as he slings his web.  every single thing we pass catches his attention, he wants this walk to the bathroom to last forever. he sucks the toothpaste off the brush and then hands it to me to rinse.  i squeeze his jaw and brush all four pockets haphazardly.  his lips pucker cutely and his bright clear blue eyes dance as he looks inquisitively into my own.  i don't care if his teeth are as clean as his sister's were five years earlier.  good enough.  he'll live.  i tell him to go potty and then shake my head at the way he expertly lifts the toliet seat 45 degrees to pee under it, pants barely down, shirt pulled up, back arched.  a year ago i couldn't get him to do this even with my best song and dance, now look at him, a pro.  he forgets to flush.  and wash his hands.  i shrug and we walk to his room slowly.  he's not ready for bed he tells me.  i wish i felt the same.  

he studies his cd collection to decide which audio story to listen to to fall asleep after i leave the room.  he can't decide.  i am equal amounts amused and impatient as i watch him sift through a stack of cds in his basket.  he says he wants to listen to author and friends collection volume one.  i laugh that he refers to it's name in it's entirety.  he wants to listen to francine believe it er not.  he keeps saying francine believe it or not but he mushed the word all together like believeiter not.  this cracks me up.  he can't find francine believeiter not cd because i have taken it back to the library already but he remembers that his dad put it on his ipod for him already.  he gets his little green square full of stories and puts his headphones on.  he asks me to stay for a while while he listens and i do.

i sit on the floor next to his toddler bed.  he tells me the dark is scary and can i leave the hall light on.  i wonder how much longer he will have a small bed.  i wonder how much a twin mattress is.  i wonder if that's the reason we haven't moved him into the twin bed frame in his closet or if it's because this is the last toddler bed and i'm not ready.

his breath gets heavy like a wide awake snore.  he listens and looks at the the ceiling, paying close attention to the words coming out of his headphones.  i love him so much i can't stop staring.  i wonder how much longer i have to stay.  i want to get out of my work clothes, get the girls to sleep, and become one with the couch and my book. i think he must almost be asleep despite the light being on, i see his eyelids are heavy.  he sits up, pauses his green square, takes off his headphones, and looks at me to tell me about francine believeiter not.  francine is acting very strange.  he lays down get the headphones on, pushes play, gets settled.  twenty seconds later again.  he tells me that francine won't let the other kids play street hockey, she just makes them guard the goal.  again settled.  i can't get over how he keeps getting totally out of sorts and sat up and unheadphoned, just to give me the goods on his story.

i keep my hand on his heavy loud chest as he listens and breaths and dozes.  i run my hand across the fleece mickey blanket.  i see his snuggled monk monk in the crook of his neck.  i'm glad he hasn't noticed than he is missing one.  i wonder if i should go get it now, or wait for him to notice, or maybe he won't notice.  wouldn't that be nice if he doesn't notice? i'll get it later if he notices.  one hand on his chest the other in his little hand i kneel beside him and marvel at him.  t think about how i need to write it down.  how i keep missing stuff and not writing it down.  how i keep missing stuff.  how i keep forgetting to notice the details in the tired and in the piles and in the lists.  there is always so much to do and so many who need me.  the noticing, it takes backseat.  but the time flies.

today i wrote it down.  i memorized his long eyelashes.  i remember the feel of his chubby foot in lego pajamas.  the dimples on his knuckles.  today i took the time.  today.

i love this son of mine.  four years. two months, one week, and five days.  the me of the future will appreciate the me of today for not rushing past this oh too short night together and taking the energy to be with my boy and memorize the details in the beautifully mundane.

before i go to bed, one more look in at him.  i have to go get my camera for one quick click.

i don't want to leave the room.  i just can't get enough.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mean girls

This has been a really rough week for me.  I know I haven't blogged for a while.  It may feel like I'm talking from the middle, and that's okay, this if for me.  

Much of this week, in those few precious hours I have with my kids before work and before I tuck them in for bed, the kids, the girls especially, have been… me.  Mean because they over slept, mean because I hurried them to get their shoes on, mean because one sibling took up time that they wanted from me, mean because I said no to another piece of chocolate, mean because I asked them to stop being mean.  

I'm worn.  I feel particularly disheartened because maybe for the first time, I feel like can't reason with them, like they don't care.  They've always cared before.  

These big-hearted loves of mine, they are growing up, and I race ahead wondering what will ever happen to me and my tender heart when they are teenagers.  When their mean is not because they don't want to go to bed, or in an argument over movie night, but it is meanness over stuff that matters and stuff that lasts?  

Am I screwing it all up?  Today I looked at Addie as she screamed at me in anger.  I think it was an emotional issue not a discipline issue.  I did discipline, but it didn't feel right.  I was calm on the outside but raging inside, I had to fight hard for the calm.  Her yelling and raging lasted for so long, I kind of fell apart on the inside, while I told her I loved her and I would help her with whatever it was that was upsetting if she just stopped screaming at me.  Eventually she did, and while she had a nice evening, I couldn't help but wonder if I did it all wrong, letting her have movie night anyway, and sleep in the playroom with her sister.  Finally at bedtime, while getting the playroom sleepover setup, when Addie was sweet and kind and loving, Lily was short and rude and exasperated with me for the third night in a row, mad that I was setting up the bedding wrong.  She sighs heavily and cliches the muscles in her neck and shoulders and shakes looking at me with big eyes like she just can't take me and my annoying blanket folding ideas for one more moment.  While I prayed with her for the first night in 3, I cried because we are hurting each other and we don't know why and we aren't even really sure how to stop.  

Lily cried too.  

Much better at expressing herself than her sister who just whimpers and whines, Lily said that she has felt like she wanted to mean lately and she doesn't know why.  She admitted that it's not just me, she really has been acting mean, and she wants to stop.  She will try to do better tomorrow.  

So will I.  

Tonight though, I sit here sad, and exhausted, emotionally very tired.  And yet ever hopeful and thankful that tomorrow is a new day, that I can live in that day, not race ahead to borrow worries of a day ahead that could be harder than this.