Five Minute Friday: Beyond

Where a flash mob of folks spend five minutes all writing on the same topic and then share ‘em over here.

Beyond: Go-

Parenting is an exercise in moving beyond your own ego, your own expectations and ideals. It takes the very heart of you, the core of the cells that make you, pulling them from your center and heaving them into your arms and care. Ready as you thought you were. Becoming a parent takes that raw image of your basic, untended self and spirals it out into the world to discover it anew.  In your children, you experience another version of yourself. Both your best and your worst qualities tangled genetically, forever entwined with those of the person you have loved. You experience the randomness of nature and nurture as your children grow and think and speak and believe. Things you both have grown with, thought of, spoke with and believed. And sometimes; painfully, things you have not. Your children, they move you beyond yourself in a way you could never have asked for before they came to you.

Stop.

corner view: grass

Corner view is a weekly Wednesday date hosted originally hosted by Jane, currently by Francesca. A topic is given and you can see impressions; be it in photographic or writerly in form from around the world: Jane, Dana, Bonny, Joyce, Ian, Francesca, Theresa, Cate, Kasia, Otli, Trinsch, Isabelle, Janis, Kari, jgy, Lise, Dorte, McGillicutty, Sunnymama, Ibb, Kelleyn, Ninja, Sky, RosaMaria, Juniper, Valerie, Sammi, Cole, Don, WanderChow, FlowTops, Tania, Tzivia, Kristin, Laura, Guusje, Susanna, Juana, Elsa, Nadine

Momma Tried: “That’s a whole lot of crazy…”

And that ain’t the half of it, sister! I’ve decided family can be defined as a group of individuals who can spend an entire weekend grouching at one another while on vacation, over one thing or another to then desperately miss each other come Monday morning ; to only then swing the wide tremolo back to cranking at each other over what all didn’t get done over said weekend when they were busy grouching at each other. Need I go on?

We were going on vacation. You know, to the mountains, just for a couple of days; to rest and enjoy each other’s company in a slightly cooler altitude. Only, anyone who has ever taken a vacation with small children knows that rest is not a very good goal for a trip out of the house in the heat of summer. There is of course the need to pack everything including the kitchen sink, followed by the slow and late night discovering of which necessities you certainly forgot, coupled with children who spend the drive up eating due to their impending and certain starvation, only to announce their absolute fullness at the arrival of the restaurant. Then, if you are lucky like us; every stranger you run into, stay next to, apologize to for the flinging of food onto their plate and splashing of pool water into their eyes; will happily coo over your 15 week old while strangely intimately and unthinkingly reach out to help you pack up to go while assuring you that you don’t bother them at all. At each meal. Each swim time. Basically whenever you leave your room. And, because you greatly need to; you believe them.

Sugarplum is still new enough to this sweet old world that people will routinely ask us how we are doing as a family of five and a cat. The answer you get quite honestly depends on the day you ask. And probably my hormone level at that time as well. It goes from ridiculously blissfully sweet moments filled with unending gratitude and a feeling of such rightness, to a three-ring circus blowing in the wind in mere moments. I have to laugh at it. I don’t usually. I haven’t in the past. But I have to now. Slowly, I’m learning to. That’s the gift this third child is bringing into my life. There is something about being able to share these daily ordinary bits of chaos and commiserate with others attending the same circus event that makes it not so bad.  Humorous, even. I know we’re going to miss this. I know as the aging Floridian, playing mermaid with my 5 year old in the pool remarked, “These years when your daughters are young, they are your best. They were my best years.”

So I try to remember that. I try to heed his advice. To hear his kind words that they don’t bother him at all with their rascally loud play that starts early in the morning before my caffeine has been vein-loaded.  To not hush Zuzu’s exuberance too much. To know and really see that the baby is phenomenally  lovely. To be amazed by all our precocious three-year old can do for herself. And to take those preciously short moments of quiet to smile back at each of them.

Because it passes. The good and the bad hours. This past weekend’s aggravations were mostly explained by the burst of the three-year-old’s eardrum early Saturday morning and mostly cured 24 hours later by the saturation of antibiotics in her system once the good pediatrician on-call took our word for it and called in a prescription to a nearby pharmacy. And, once one child stops crying, the others eventually follow suit.

Tuesday’s continuation of my aggravated mood were alleviated by a cyber-summing up of it, writing it out and letting it go when dear Lisa-Jo so unnervingly timely in her sentiments, unknowingly commiserated with our momma-failings and reminding us that we are doing it. That things go wrong. We lose our temper. We regret losing our temper. We’re tired. We feel guilty. We feel frustrated. We want to cry and when no one is looking, we do. Fact of the matter is, the cat throw-up did get cleaned up. The groceries did get restocked. The kefir spill was on the linoleum and not the carpet. The pediatrician did call in the prescription. A few moments of quiet gazing at a still lake and twinkling stars did happen. The birthday cake was infinitely delicious with its three milks and sugar glaze, even if it wasn’t eaten on the exact birthday itself. The neighboring strangers were endearingly kind rather than sharp with us. And, we will do it all again in a heartbeat. Just as soon as that ear infection is gone. And the laundry is put away. And the shower curtain is cleaned. And the dishes are washed. And the grass is mowed. Or maybe before then….probably before then.

Five Minute Friday: Enough

Joining Lisa-Jo Baker’s friday ritual of a five minute writing exercise on a topic she gives. If you care to join in come here.

Go:

“Enough!”

I look down and see a tear start in her eye and feel one start in my heart. I am tired. Tired and not able to hear Zuzu’s needs at the speed in which they zoom from her brain to her heart to her mouth.  I say it too often. I think it daily. I feel it when I need to lie down just for a few more minutes. At 6:05 am, when the chatter is next to my ear before I’ve even had time to say good-bye to my dream and caffeinate for the day ahead. At 8:19pm, when I intended for them to be in bed already snoring softly. When one child’s crying lets up just as the cascade of the other’s tremolo starts up. Before I can tell myself I have said it enough; the words hang in the air. Really, enough with my words, my thoughts. I want it to be. I want the energy needed to stay present and focused. I want my brain to stop crying from the oversort it needs to do to filter in what they really are asking for. What they really are saying to me. I know years from now; months from now, it won’t be enough. It never is. I bend down, I wipe her tear from her eye, apologize and ask Zuzu to repeat what she just said. She smiles. She hugs my neck and bounds off…

Stop.

corner view: what makes me laugh

is their laughter….

Corner view is a weekly Wednesday date hosted originally hosted by Jane, currently by Francesca. A topic is given and you can see impressions; be it in photographic or writerly in form from around the world: Jane, Dana, Bonny, Joyce, Ian, Francesca, Theresa, Cate, Kasia, Otli, Trinsch, Isabelle, Janis, Kari, jgy, Lise, Dorte, McGillicutty, Sunnymama, Ibb, Kelleyn, Ninja, Sky, RosaMaria, Juniper, Valerie, Sammi, Cole, Don, WanderChow, FlowTops, Tania, Tzivia, Kristin, Laura, Guusje, Susanna, Juana, Elsa, Nadine

sunday still life

Sunday Still Life is an evolving mindfulness project; a weekly invitation to pause the busy of our days, to re-center and celebrate the beauty and depth of life. If you are leave inspired to join in, please leave a link in Erin’s comments.

Her babyhood is fleeting. With it she both takes and brings back the familiar memories of her sisters baby time. With each of the girls we were fascinated watching them stretch themselves into a new sunny day. Sugarplum’s early morning calisthenics pump her little legs out of the swaddle, signaling the daily readiness to leave the nest she had settled serenely into the night before. Then comes the rise of an invisible symphony as  she conducts unseen notes waving her slim fingertips through slices of morning light. All the while as she coos her ancient secrets through soft lips that circle and part with words to come. That milky baby smell  that draws me closer for an early morning nursing makes it hard to leave our bed; but in a good way, as I mentally thumb through these same moments shared with each of her sisters. It is these sweet and quiet morning minutes before the rest of the house comes alive that are the ones I want to bottle for when these girls are grown and gone.

gratitude journal

1. learning to focus

2. a baby tucked and snoring in a sling

3. looking down to see sparkley blue eyes beaming back up at me

4. Lovey’s 4th of July apple kuchen

5. reconnecting with good friends

6. grilled sweet potatoes with lime, cilantro & salt

7. strawberry rhubarb pudding cake

8 pimentto cheese broccoli

9. water play

10. birthday parties

11. little rock stars

12. Parenthood

13. The Vampire Diaries

14. A good cardiology check for Sugarplum

15. sizing up on the Quail’s shoes

16. Random offerings of cake

17. Lovey’s nickname of “Lil Tugboat” for Sugarplum

18. Seeing Sugarplum grinning up at me like a cute lil loon one morning after the last several nursing having been mostly sleepy, closed eye cuddles

19. Instagram

20 hen gathering

21. a week-night dinner invite