Before life got a bit crazy and super hectic with the Hubster working full time and attending University full time we took a minute to really spend time together. We had lunch dates. We went on hikes. We knew that coming up that we would not be able to spend as much time just together. That the time we get is valuable… a really long period of time apart during his military really impacted how we view the moments we get.
On this particular morning we took the smallest of the hooligans to a magical place called Butterfly Wonderland.
Then we went and looked at all the chrysalis. A nursery of baby butterflies. I didn’t know that chrysalis’ come in every texture and color I could imagine. The kids… and me… really loved catching the chrysalis’ shake while the butterfly tried to break out into the world.
Next to the gorgeous Butterfly Garden where butterflies are free to flutter about. This room is designed to look like a rainforest with plants and flowers everywhere. And WOW it was absolutlely beautiful, peaceful and exillerating. Ellie and Four ran around delighted by the little flying jewels and the coi pond. At the time my hair was really really purple so the butterflies really couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t edible.
My favorite part of this entire day was watching my husband with our youngest daughter and yougest son. My husband is an amazing father. Always taking the time to explore the world with our five children. In married life there are always moments that you find yourself falling head over heels for your spouse.
Life gets busy. We have jobs. He is in school. Before he was busy doing army things. We have a whole heck of a lot of kids that always need attention or conversation or guidance. But there are moments where I look up and the world stops. This day was one of those days. The relaxed, joyfulness of his time being spent exploring these little flying bugs with a four year old and a 6 month old really made my heart soar and my stomach flutter.
Discussing how she will grow wings too.
I found a man that loves me. That adores the humans we are raising… that loves babies and toddlers and children (and eventually teenagers but we shall see how much he loves that) being a father . That sits still for minutes and minutes so he can let his four year old inspect the butterfly that land on his head.
I am so glad that we have the life we are building. That we get to rediscover the world through the eyes of our children. Those moments make me rediscover the love I have for my husband. Day after day.
It is Girl Scout Cookie Season. Thin mints. Somoas. Tagalongs. Sugar on sugar on sugar all available from adorable little girls that really just want to go to camp. Available exactly 2 weeks into your “New Year, new me.” shtick.
That time of year that Three really hones her skills as a sales woman… she will sell ice to Eskimos let alone a Trefoil to a diabetic. Where my ethical compass becomes jammed and much like a crack dealer I will sling cookies to anyone that glances at me twice. I will pop the back hatch and sell cookies in the drive thru at Starbucks. I. Do. Not. Give. A. F**K.
HOWEVER: this is her deal. She is a third generation Girl Scout and it is super important to me that SHE, THREE, does the leg work. She brings her order slip to school. She calls family, friends, neighbors. She carries cases around at the soft ball field. She counts the money. She sends the Thank You cards. She sorts and when available delivers the cookies. THIS IS THREE’S BUSINESS. This is the 1st taste of working with costumers, planning and setting goals.
People can poo-poo the Girl Scouts. I applaud it. It isn’t just camping and sewing. It is about learning the skills to succeed. Confidence. It is about exploring the things that interest you. It is about building lasting friendships and making SWAPS.
I am proud of the person that is blossoming. Three is my 1st born. My tiny little perfect human. She is sweet and kind and organized and everyday I see the baby melt away a little more and the bones of the young lady below appear. She takes my breath away.
Since joining Girl Scouts 3 years ago (she was the cutest little Daisy I have ever seen!!!) Three has found her voice. Moving from shy to soft spoken but fierce as hell. I am so glad that she gets the opportunity to hear no. To develop her skills as a future business owner.
Also… she has some cookies if you’re interested…
My baby screamed for an hour. From midnight to 1:15 am. one fifteen in the morning. I held him. I nursed him. I laid him down. I held him. I walked miles (a basic guesstimate) in a circle in the living room. He screamed until I laid down with him and he finally fell asleep.
Five thrives on human contact. On physical reassurances when he is having a difficult baby moment. Cuddles and the warmth of love is how he is soothed. (Totally different from the others) Last night was filled with lots of 9 month old difficulties. Teeth and growing and maybe a little stress from face planting while walking around uneven surfaces.
This is sooo hard. I am exhausted. Husband is exhausted. One to Four are wide awake. They slept like logs. Getting up this morning was painful; my eyes burned. Five had finally fallen into that deep floppy baby sleep at 6:30. Which is ten minutes after I was supposed to be up getting the other kids ready for school.
Exhaustion can lead to a snappy crab Momma monster. Coffee can keep that beast lulled. But there is really only so much coffee.
Today, after a long and painfully sleepless night, after running the older kids to their respective schools: Four and Five made my heart soar. They were playing together, Four showing Five how to use the little xylophone he received for Christmas and she would dance. The dancing, the music, the laughter. It filled the morning air. Playing together without bickering or crying or any of the other things that constitutes “playing together” when you have siblings. Just making joyful sound.
Moments like this make me remember the lyrics to one of my favorite songs by String Cheese Incident:
Can I lay down tonight
Without feeling regret?
I know the love that I give
Becomes the love that I get
The small moments when they are in the world all alone are moments that rejuvenate me as a mother. Honestly, as a human, these moments giving me faith in the future and that maybe I am doing ok. Even when I accidentally forget to make sure they all of jackets when we leave the house. The love of my family lights my way and grows exponentially… even when I haven’t slept in 10 months.
Life can be trying but sometimes we just need to have a moment where we dance to a feel good song.
There is nothing like playing peek-a-boo with a teething baby while trying to shampoo my hair to really bring my life into perspective. The other 4 are currently screaming at each other through the bathroom door about who needs which Lego (I think that is what they are saying). I have no privacy and no dignity.
Every so often I have a moment of “Huh.”; a moment that makes me stop dead in my tracks and think: How did I get here? A bit of an existential crisis. Especially since I was sort of thrown into it headlong. Which is what happens when you fall head over heels for a person with children. But how could I not fall head over heels for One and Two? They are absolutely amazing little guys and I am in awe everyday about how very lucky I am to GET to be their Momma.
However, I really miss privacy. Quiet. Sleep.
Because I am a human I sometimes think what our lives would be like if we hadn’t had children. If we had somehow met earlier in life and neither had the relationships we had before this. What if and could have been flood my mind while looking at the screaming 5 year old that happens to look exactly like my sister lays on the floor of the cereal aisle. Should haves haunt me when I am cleaning baby food off of my ceiling.
Life could be… Quiet. Smaller. Probably with a lot more BIG adventure. Probably more opportunities for “romance”. BUT “romance” is why we have 5 kids. Four is a statement to the truthfulness of “just once”. But what if we had chosen no kids.
Maybe. Or we would be as big of train wrecks as we were at 20 and 21 except a decade older. We weren’t exactly the most pulled together humans when we first met. Basically we found another person that enjoyed us despite the demons we were dealing with.
Then I look into the eyes of these tiny humans. These people that are developing into doers and shakers and jokers right before my eyes. That have their own interests and hobbies and personalities despite genetics and parental guidance. (Three is very organized and persnickety… Husband and I cannot figure out where this trait comes from). I’m in awe. I am suckered into parenthood over and over again by these hooligans.
If I had to choose even in moments of my absolute selfishness (oh sleepy lazy mornings how I miss you) I would choose this path I took. Over and over again. I would leap head long over the cliff, having faith in the arms and the potential of the broken man I fell for. I would open my arms and most importantly my heart and soul to One and Two. Discovering how faceted love can be. I would choose singing out of tune “peek a boo!” with a screaming 9 month old with shampoo running into my eyes. I would chose phrases like “Work it out or the legos will all belong to MEEEEE!”
Every single time. Because this is heaven. And who needs sleep, privacy or dignity while in heaven?