29 October 2013

4 years old

Today I'm reminded of a similar day four years ago.

The colors had changed, a chilly breeze had taken Prescott by surprise and a frost was expected that night. Winter was quickly approaching and I was told that would bring on this large bundle I had been carrying. And it did.

Strong contractions started around 8pm and continued through the night. By 4am I couldn't sleep any more and knew he would be arriving soon. (well, he came about 20 hours later.)

I was a mixture of excited, thrilled, panicked and emotional. This moment was one I had dreamt of for as long as I could remember.

Fast forward four years and here we are, the 29th of October, and the weather is almost identical. Last week it was a warm 75-80 and today it is a high of 52. Frost is expected tonight, the wind is carrying away our beautiful fall colors and the sky is patched with clouds and a winter chill. It's one of my most favorite types of days. A perfect day to have a baby, if I do say so myself.

Time has swept up my baby and somehow turned him into a little boy. All the baby is (nearly) gone. He has so much to say, to share, to laugh about and confess (yes, he inherited that from me) He is so much fun. Almost every night after he's in bed John and I look at each other and smile, shaking our heads. He is really something. We can't believe we get to be his mama and daddy.

This year we learned how to navigate through potty training. And Jack did it! It took us a while, but thanks to some helpful hints from Uncle Andy and our great imaginations, he did it. He's so proud and so are we, buddy! (and he has a great new collection of cars to show for it, haha)

We learned how to show empathy with our baby sister when she was learning to crawl and walk. We also learned how to share attention both at home and at physical therapy for Zoey. Jack was a trooper and is one of Zoey's biggest fans.

I can often hear him in the other room talking to Zoey in a high pitched, kind and gentle voice saying, "Hi Zo-Zo, are you okay, sweetie? Come here, honeyyyyy." He loves his sister. They can be grabbing toys from each other one minute and the next be cuddling on the floor. I love watching this relationship grow.

Starting last October 2012, Jack has grown so much!


My dear goose,

Happy 4th Birthday, buddy! I am so thankful for you and every day I see your heart and character grow. I am so proud of you (you are?? you often say.) and YES. yes I am.

I love your honesty; the way you tell me right away when something not so great happened and when something wonderful happened. I love your heart.

I love the way you can recall song lyrics, Bible verses and quotes from one of your shows. You have a great memory and your pitch is really great, pal. I can't wait to see if you have a love for music like your dad and I do. (I think you already do ;)

This year we've been singing "I like you just the way you are" a lot. We try to sing it to you daily. I see how it lifts your spirits and how much you love it. I truly do love you just the way you are, Jackboy. I always will. Thank you for teaching me the importance of loving people the way they are, just like Jesus does.

I love seeing your empathy develop. For Zoey, for hurting people we know and don't know. I know sometimes it's scary to see people hurt or sad, but you're doing great learning how to love on people. I love that about you.

You love to take things apart and put them back together. Though sometimes those toys don't go back together and you get a little frustrated. I get it. Just the other day you were trying to fix something and you said, "I think I know what to use to put this back together!"

You also love play dough, to color, paint, and cut (you LOVE cutting) Sometimes I can't quite keep up with all the craft ideas you have ;)

You are so special and I am so, so glad I had you. I can't wait to see where the next year takes you. You just woke up from your nap, dizzy with sleep, but eager to get back to playing with your new toys.

Happy Birthday, Jackboy! I love you just the way you are.


Happy Birthday, Jack! I am so thankful for you!

17 October 2013


It's been a while.
It's becoming increasingly more difficult to keep up with this, but I really want to. Really want to have something to remember these years by.
They're growing so quickly and I'm trying to be present and not let my nostalgic-keepsake self take over.

I hope I can remember the feel of their little fingers on my shoulders.
Their little voices that say, "Mama! Mama!" and beg to be picked up and chased or tickled.

Or that fine, delicate baby hair that grows at different speeds and is just now long enough to pull into a pony tail. 
Those full moon sky eyes that radiate joy and trust and cheekiness.

And as summer's warmth slips away, along with it goes the monsoons and stormy skies.
Snow flurries are coming in the next couple of months and as each season changes I love it more and more.

This summer was especially green. Once the heat of June passed and after the loss of the Hotshots, it was as if the rains couldn't stop. They were too late, but in a way it felt like the city was mourning too, wishing it could go back in time and have been pouring that Sunday afternoon.

Sometimes it's hard to slow down enough to embrace the moments. To stop and rest and choose to see the small joys that could easily be overlooked.

Kiddos do make it easier. They enjoy the moments much better than I can (part of why I love them so.)

Here are a few things and moments that I've loved this summer.

Eating popcorn in the morning.

Displaying hand-picked wild flowers from my boy.

Making forts on the floor and reading books on blankets.

Watching these two develop a friendship.
Today I overheard Jack from another room give Zoey her toy back and say,
"Sorry I took that from you, Zoey."

Such empathy and kindness and tenderness has sprouted from my little guy. He's all adventure, spirit and energy, but there's this sensitive side that Zoey is so greatly pulling out of him. I often wonder why I didn't have two boys; it just seemed like I would. I think I'm beginning to see one of the reasons why. Zoey's tiny features and wobbly walking stirs empathy and calmness in all of us (myself included) and her pleasant nature makes laughter more contagious and encourages more dance-a-thons.

But for my sweet people person son, she has really become a playmate and friend. I find them giggling behind couches and under cushions, reading books or driving around in his jeep. I know they'll go on wondrous adventures, those two.

And for this guy...his little person is developing more each day.
His spirit is ever ready to do more, see more, feel more, and learn more.
This week I've had a hard time keeping up with him. He's always on to the next thing, next adventure and idea. (sounds a lil bit like another male in our house)
For a while I felt like maybe I couldn't handle keeping up with him, maybe he needed more.
but then I remembered how brief childhood is and if not embraced, how much we would be missing. How many creative ideas used to be born in this age and are now limited to "classrooms" and monitored play and scheduled activities. I have nothing against preschool. I love it. But the kid will be in school for the next 16 years, maybe more. I don't want to lessen or cheapen him of his childhood experience at home, outside, at the park and zoo. Allowing him time and freedom to be 4 and nurture his relationship with his sister and to learn how to be alone and imagine exciting adventures all on his own too. Being okay with being alone has never been so lost as it is among us today and I just don't want to take that from him.

'cause this is it. this one short life that we have. I only have the privilege of having him home for the next 14 years. that's it. Can't believe our little goose is almost four already.

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