Wednesday, April 29, 2015

We Could Be Heroes

Judah and Noah both love superheroes and all their TV shows throw the word "hero" around like confetti at Mardi Gras. Creepy steam engines with faces, curious monkeys, Hispanic toddlers with talking backpacks - these are all regularly declared 'heroes' for doing relatively nothing.

This is our lives - ALWAYS.

But even so, my heart felt a flutter tonight when Judah said - Mom, you're my hero - as I kissed him goodnight. He's never called me that before.

Who knows if he knows what he's saying...but I swear there was something in his voice - softer, sweeter, even shy...

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Today in the car I heard Judah and Noah's first hypothetical conversation with each other. Amazing.

Noah: Judah, if there was a bear in a cave, it going to eat you.

Judah: No, I would fight it! [throws some air punches and kicks] Or I would zap it [sticks out his finger as if a laser would shoot out of it.]

Noah: You need a sword to fight it! You need a sword!

Judah: No, I don't need a sword. I could just...[does punching motions] or use nunchucks...

Noah: Yeah!

Of course I was sitting there, just dumbstruck that my kids ARE HAVING A HYPOTHETICAL CONVERSATION WITH EACH OTHER as if they are real human beings and not babies!

And I was basking in the glow of brotherly camaraderie, which actually has been pleasantly abundant between these guys since the earliest days.

Greater love has no one than this - a brother (or sister).

Noah admires and copies Judah. Judah loves being the hero/guru/big-guy on campus. Noah respects Judah's limits and actually obeys when Judah tells him not to touch his 'spaceship' or 'Hotwheel'.

Noah never fails to give Judah the response he was looking for when he shows Noah something special. Noah faithfully and genuinely says "Whoah Judah, that's awesome! Can I see that?! Whoah." Mission accomplished. Ego stroked.

And mom pleased.

As a mother, there is nothing I desire more than that my kids genuinely like and care for each other. Nothing gives me more pleasure and so far, we appear to be on the right track.

Last week we were at Macy's and the store clerk had a revealing conversation with Judah.

Clerk: You're so cute! How old are you?
Judah: Four...and a half!
Clerk: Do you go to school?
Judah: I go to preschool!
Clerk: That's great! Do you have lots of friends there? Who's your best friend?
Judah: My best friend is Noah. He's my brother.

[Camera pans around to me, grinning from ear-to-ear and beaming with joy.]

And I think the feeling is mutual because the other day Judah asked Noah - Noah, do you love me more than mommy? And Noah, to all of our surprise, said "yeah."

[Camera pans around to Judah and me exchanging a wondrous look and grinning from ear-to-ear and beaming with joy.]

Monday, April 20, 2015

Let It Go

Many moons after the hit release of Disney's Frozen, Noah is still obsessed with the movie and the theme song.

Most days end with him twirling around (I spin like Elsa, Mommy!) belting out - Let it go! Let it go! Don't hold it back anymore!

When he feels like branching out he'll belt out - SUM-UH!

He informed me last week that for his next birthday, he wants Elsa and Anna. I don't really know what that means. Mini-figurines? Or the actual people?

One of my favorite Noah-Frozen moments is when he changed up the lyrics and sang - Let it go! Let it go! Go away, close the door! Don't come back anymore!

Brilliant lyricist, this one.

Noah singing his favorite song before bed - Let it go!

Every parent on Earth is sick of this song by now, but I still love it. Probably because I still need it.

Motherhood so often feels like a call to death. A call to let things go.

Let the clean house go.
Let the organized files go.
Let seeming put-together and in-control go.
Let the interesting articles in your newsfeed go.
Let the trips to Napa and Chicago and Europe and Thailand and Greece and...and...and...
Let the hobbies (knitting) go.
Let the kick-ass career go.
Let feeling important and accomplished go.
Let the big city life go.
Let the shows and movies and fine dining experiences go.
Let the abs go.

Let the idea that you can just have one freaking moment to yourself to enjoy your day without a bunch of kids or chores clamoring for your attention go.

Let it go. Let it go.

The old is gone. It's resurrection or bust.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Actually, Or Else

Noah continues to impress me with his ever-growing language skills.

My baby who's not a baby.

A few weeks ago he demonstrated his grasp of the word "actually". Unfortunately he used it in the context of nursing (yes, we're still nursing, sort of, whole long story, no time for it now...), but whatever. He said:

Mommy, I want nurse boo-boo. [pause] Actually, I just want touch it.

(ew, gross, that's where I draw the line)

And then a couple weeks ago he demonstrated his grasp of the phrase "or else". As in:

Mommy, give me chocolate, or else I gonna cry.

How thoughtful of him to tell me how he's going to torture me, before he does it.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

What He Said

Today Judah came in from the backyard soaking wet with colored chalk marks all over his hands.

He informed me that he and Noah had been taking our sidewalk chalk, grinding it down with their feet and pouring rain water on it. And when they ran out of rain water, Judah turned on the hose and let 'er rip.

I made a mess Mommy!

Yeah, I can see that Judah.

But it was a beautiful mess, Mommy.

Oh my heart. Me too. Life is messy. Relationships are messy. Parenting is messy. Figuring out how to not crash your boat between the Scylla of a mother's need for her OWN space and life and the Charybdis of a child's need for his mother's space and life is messy.

And by grace, beautiful too.

Monday, April 06, 2015

At least the pics were nice...

Some lovely photog friends took pictures of us and the kids on Easter.

Noah, as always, didn't get the memo to look at the camera. Toddlers, ugh.

Baby bow-ties = +50 cuteness points

Judah and Noah were beyond excited when they feasted their eyes on 500+ plastic eggs scattered across the church grounds just waiting to be scooped up into their baskets. I daresay they would consider this one of their happiest experiences ever.

Greedy little horders.

What these pictures don't show is how harried I felt trying to get everyone and everything ready for service. The stress culminated in a moment of weakness when I did what I would normally condemn.

As I handed the kids their Easter baskets from last year there was immediate bickering. Noah wanted Judah's bigger basket and Judah would sooner die than reliquish it. I SHOULD have told one or both kids to suck it up.

You should be thankful you get a basket at all.
I'm not going to get you new baskets because you can't learn to be content with your perfectly good old ones.

Except, I caved. I swung by the store and bought them new IDENTICAL baskets instead of teaching them to be content with their perfectly good old ones.

Terrorists - 1
Mom - 0

Sigh, happy Easter.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Order and Space

Having kids made me realize that I have a high need for order and space.

Much higher than a lot of other moms I know.

Said "other moms" seem to cruise through their day taking a lot of chaos and disruption in stride. They don't mind being touched and crowded from morning to night and are always up for some more snuggling.

Not. Me.

This is fun...for about the first 90 seconds.

I have always felt like such a mom-failure until I started to accept this. Ok, I still feel like a mom-failure but whatever. I need order. I need space. Things go very badly if I don't get enough. I start doing things like the following:

--Judah randomly put his feet on me while we were sitting on the couch. I don't understand why, but I recoiled and screamed something like - GET YOUR FEET OFF OF ME!!!! It was completely involuntary, I swear.

--I was bending over, putting something in the car and Judah stood behind me and put a roly-poly on my lower back (where my shirt had lifted above my pants). I freaking screamed and lost it again.

--Noah wants to be held and cuddled for 3 hours a day. I hate it. I try to bribe him with all kinds of toys and candy to get off of me and GO PLAY for the love of goodness.

--I hate crumbs (and spills, and stickiness, and greasiness, and randomness) with an unholy passion.

--I'm so tired of always having 'company' when I'm trying to poop. Seriously. This one has GOT to stop.

From morning to night, night to morning, little people are in my face and up in my business. Imma bout to go crazy up in here. So. I need to find some more babysitting.

End rant.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

All That and a Bag of Chips

I blog a lot about the frustrations and trials of parenting little people. Because it's the truth and I want to encourage other moms out there - YOU ARE NOT ALONE! If you just want to park under the shade of a tree on your way back from Rite Aid and ugly cry because you feel exhausted and defeated, you are not alone. Been there, done that.

But I don't want my gentle (child-free) readers to get the wrong idea. Parenting little people is not all pain and suffering--ok, it is mostly pain and suffering. But there is another facet that I often completely ignore - transcendent joy. Truly.

There is nothing like parenting and the joy it brings. Just as I could never adequately describe the hell, I also can never do justice to the ecstasy.

But gosh darn it if I don't try, just a little.

To a little person, you are the world.

You are the sun, moon and stars.

You are all that and a bag of chips. A rock star. THE rock star. The one and only greatest rock star in the history of the world.

When you are there, smiling at them, you give off more light than the sun.

When you leave, they lose their mooring for a while.

And when you return, they are over-the-moon delighted.

It brings me so much joy to know that all Judah needs in order to be okay is my hugs and kisses. When he gets rejected by his friends. When he gets scrapes and bruises. When he comes down with fevers and rashes. When he loses his favorite objects. When he is sad and offers no explanation. All he needs is "some huggle snuggle time with Mommy."

And I wasn't even the one who figured that out. Judah taught me that.

I would offer candy, new toys, fun diversions, like a magician frantically pulling things out of his hat, but Judah would reject them all for just a few minutes of hugging on the couch.

Not a day goes by without my kids telling me they love me. Or picking a flower for me (sorry neighbors!). Or drawing/writing me love notes. (Even Noah scribbles on paper and says - This say, I yayu Mommy!)

Two of the gazillion love notes Judah churns out like a factory.

How many people (without kids) can say they get to drown in such bottomless oceans of love? When was the last time you got a handwritten love note, just because?

And when, if ever, did you have the power to make someone feel fully loved, unconditionally secure, and wholly sated with your mere attentive presence?

I'm sure that will slowly change as children age, but such is the gift of parenting the wee ones.