My inspiration for this record of my days:

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” -Anna Quindlen

Friday, March 28, 2014

Younger children

I remember, back in the days when my oldest was little, how shocking it was to have her hang around with kids her age who were the youngest in their families.  They talked differently.  They liked TV shows besides Barney and Teletubbies.  They just seemed so much more "worldly."

I knew they were good kids from good families, but I silently swore that I would always try to shelter my little ones, so they didn't grow up too fast.

Ha!  It's funny to look back on now.  Now that Eli (age 2) calls me "dude" occasionally.  Now that Simon (age 5) wants to play video games any chance he gets, and rolls his eyes if I suggest he watch Sesame Street.

Yesterday was Simon's turn to take the trash can out to the road.  I was helping him pull it at first, but then he decided he was strong enough to do it himself.  As soon as I let go, he grabbed it and took off running.  Over his shoulder he called back to me "Eat my dust!"  Definitely a child who has older siblings.  He can trash talk with the best of them!

The thing I didn't realize at the time was how many great things there are about having older siblings!  They can teach you to tie a tie or spike your hair in the front.  They can share (or you can sneak into) their treats and build really tall lego towers.  They can push you on the swing or bounce you on the trampoline.  And what a great feeling to have a whole house full of people to love you and cheer for you and think you're adorable!

They may not be quite as sheltered as their older siblings were, but around here I'd say the younger kids really have it made!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Angel

The other day I went to  get Eli out of bed in the morning.  I grabbed him and squeezed him and kissed his cheeks.

"Good morning, my Eli!"  I said cheerfully.

He smiled back at me, but he was waiting for a different greeting.

He kept pointing to himself and said "Angel.  Angel."

I corrected my mistake.  "Good morning, my Angel!"  I said, with the same cheerful tone.

That made him happy.  He smiled and nodded and went happily on his way.  I guess I better not mess with that tradition!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The mile run

I got to go to Discovery Park and cheer for Jonah the day he ran the mile.

First you need some background:

Several weeks ago, Jonah's class ran a mile, and recorded their times.  Jonah came in third, with a time of 9:42.  Not bad!  

They knew they would be running it again, and were supposed to be working to improve their time.  I had heard him talk about it, but I didn't really stop to notice how seriously he was taking this training time.  

I did notice that he had asked to pack spinach in his lunch a few times.  Weird, but good.  He had also been making more of an effort not to gag and whine and cry when he saw what we were having for dinner.  Sometimes (certainly not every day) he would even have a positive attitude, and try to eat everything on his plate.  I didn't realize it at the time, but looking back I think this was all part of his training.  His dad has told him that if you want to get bigger and stronger, you have to eat healthy foods, and a good variety.  

A few days before the second run was going to take place, Jonah started doing exercises before school.  He was running laps around the hallway, jumping as high as he could, and using the pattern on the rug to practice his quick footwork.  He wanted me to measure him to see if he had gotten any taller.  Longer legs are better for running fast, you know!

So the big day finally arrived, and Simon, Eli and I went down to the park to cheer him on.  We brought him an ice cold water bottle (as requested), and he was off!

By this time, I had woken up to the fact that this race was really important to him, so I was a little bit nervous.  I watched him pace himself and slowly work his way to the front of the pack.  I cheered for him as he came around the halfway mark, and he looked like he was still going strong.  I (guiltily) got a little excited when the boy in first place started looking droopy, and Jonah slowly passed him.

There was a girl close on his heels, but she couldn't quite catch up to him.  Jonah won first place!! And he beat his time by more than a minute!  He was just beaming!

I was glad I had my sunglasses on so that none of the other moms could see the tears in my eyes.  The tears were mostly ones of joy for Jonah.  He gained some experience that tells him that his hard work will pay off.  He set his sights on a goal and he accomplished it.  I was so happy for him!

They were also tears of relief.  I'm so glad that I happened to tune in to what was going on.  It took me a while, but luckily I realized how important this race was in time to be there for him.  It was a great moment in his little life, and his mom was there to support him.  

I'm afraid that I miss out on way too many of those type of moments.  With so many kids, so many different ages, going so many different directions, I feel like I am constantly "letting some ball drop." In fact, part of my morning prayers nearly every day is "Please help me to choose the things that are the most important today."  I know I can't possibly do all of the good things that I would like to do each day, but I pray that I have the wisdom to know which ones to choose.

I'm so glad I chose the mile race.