My 5 year old. He is so smart and funny. He's been really good this week and I am so grateful. He is helpful and kind (mostly) and just really wants to be a good boy. My mom says that I micromanage him, which I do (I cannot help it) but right at this very minute, I am not micromanaging him at all. He is next door with his best good friend jumping on the trampoline. I love him very much. I am envious of his energy and enthusiasm. There is a lot to be learned from this boy.
My 3 year old. He is sweet and sensitive, a venus fly trap disguising itself as a delicate flower. He is also sick. He is having a rough week, still suffering the effects of dog exposure from 5 days ago. I feel bad for him and his lungs. He loves stickers and art projects and when we watch Peter Pan, he just cuddles up and snuggles on my lap like a little puppy. With his little puppy.
This afternoon, I was trying to talk to my husband on the phone. I sent the boys away so that my burned out brain could finish a sentence. Things got quiet. Too quiet. I assumed trouble but hoped for the best. When I got off the phone and walked towards the deafening silence, muffled giggles filled my ears. Those boys of mine - those brothers in crime - were hiding under my bed, having secret conversations about sea creatures, starfish in particular. I startled both of them by lifting up the bed skirt and we all three had a good laugh...until the Chick tried to stand up under the bed and whacked his head on the frame.
I've been thinking a lot lately about my role as a mother. What it really means to be "the mom". It is nothing that I ever expected it to be but it is such a valuable use of my time; not sure what else I would ever be or ever do that is as important. Sure, I get frustrated and exhausted like every other mom out there, and I of course do my fair share of complaining but I really don't know what I would do without my kids.
Years ago, I used to think that I'd be a working mom. That I would be able to balance family and work and church and everything else like my mom does and like my sister does. But that isn't me. I really enjoy being home, being causal, and hanging out with my kids. What other job in the world lets me be a coach, a pitcher, a photographer, a teacher, a chef (and a short order cook), a crafter, a decorator and interior designer, a domestic servant, a nurse, a champion baby rocker, an occasional nap taker, an historian, a list maker, an organizer and planner, a fount of knowledge, a motivational speaker, a tickler and laughter, a punisher, an errand runner and Target shopper (and much more!) all at the same time. I get to go to the zoo and natural history museum by day, and watch House Hunters International by night.
Lately, I've been frustrated. A little bummed out. It could be the swollen ankles and the interior belly jabs bringing me down (and at least for the kicks, making me smile, too). Mostly because the joy in my journey has been a little lost on me. Life just feels hard right now. Like the bottom might fall out at any second.
Except the bottom is no where near falling out.
I'm just dramatic!
Spending countless hours a day as a "poop coach" - trying to convince my three year old to let it out instead of hold it in for days (and days and days) isn't such a glamorous or rewarding thing. But, compared to a lot of other things I could be doing with my time these days, I suppose that I'll take sitting on the red stool in the bathroom shouting words of encouragement and giving high fives for bathroom success.