Monday, February 29, 2016

Brother and Brother

Judah's car song:

Brother and brother
We're BFFs
We're BFFs

Brother and brother
We're BFFs
We're BFFs

When Noah is sad
I comfort him
And when I'm sad
He does the same for me too

We're BFFs
Best friends for life!

I have always given Judah a lot of credit for establishing the good rapport the kids have with each other. I think the oldest child sets the tenor of the whole relationship - is it nurturing? Is it competitive? Is there generosity?

And because Judah, by temperament, hates to see other people suffer, he has always chosen to satisfy Noah's needs ahead of his own. NOT because Judah is a saint but because, as Judah puts it, "It gives me a headache when Noah cries. It makes me feel so bad, mommy." I think he's like me - extremely conflict avoidant.

So even when Judah was only 2 and half, and desperately wanted some huggle snuggle time with me, he would forgo it because Noah cried the second I put him down to make room for hugging Judah.

But recently, I realized Noah should get quite a bit of credit for their brotherly love. He worships Judah like a hero. He thinks of his brother often. When he gets a treat or a goodie bag at school he always makes it a point to share it with Judah. But this is the part that really blows me away.

Noah doesn't just share his treats with Judah, he insists that Judah get the bigger part of it "because Judah is bigger than me, mommy."

Noah, though being in very nature like Judah, does not consider equality with Judah something to be grasped. Okay, sorry, that was just me messing with the Bible.

But seriously, it is Noah's extremely high esteem of Judah that also keeps the relationship train running smoothly. He always gives Judah the best seat, figuratively and literally at times, and that really satisfies Judah's need to feel superior to his brother.

Yes they are selfish little monsters. Yes they are greedy little grabbers. Yes they fight and bicker and argue and whine. But somehow it just far...

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Very Short Hike

Last weekend all the stars aligned (weather, work schedules, school schedules, social calendars) and we got to do something we haven't done in TWO years - take a hike in the redwoods.

Sounds simple but, y'all, lemme tell you - I WAS SO EXCITED!!!!

There is nothing. Nothing. NOTHING. I love more than hiking in the redwoods.

Before we had kids we literally did this every single weekend. It was the one time in my week I felt totally and utterly happy. Freaking kids.

Of course I prepared myself for the excursion by way wayyyy wayyyyyyyyy lowering my expectations. I knew what to expect. Whining. Fighting. Complaints of being tired. Thirsty. Hungry. Possibly inconvenient urges to poop or pee. And a very short hike.

All smiles but not for long!

It started off well enough, although there was an early chorus of "I'm bored. This is boring," from Judah. But as we got into it even Judah was bewitched by the quiet majesty of the kings of the forest. We had a great time...for about a whole 20 minutes or so.

Judah pretends to be his favorite animal of the moment - a jaguar!

From that point on, Judah's energy started to flag and he opted to sit in the stroller the rest of the way. And at the 35 minute mark Judah hit his all-time low - even sitting proved too much apparently. Judging from this pic, you'd think he was on the March of Bataan.

Who knew sitting in a stroller was SOOOOOOO HARRRRRRRRRRD?

But it's nothing a little milkshake couldn't fix. We stopped by this awesome little burger joint before heading home and the kids kept exclaiming - What's a milkshake? We've never had a milkshake before! What is it?!?!

This is what drinking happiness looks like.

Way to make us look like weirdos to all the other patrons. Thanks kids!

Monday, February 15, 2016

On Love

Love is patient.

Love is kind.

I'm not very good at being either.

But these two hearts forgive and forget so easily.

I've learned more about love in the last five years than I have in my entire life previously.

And I've felt more love in each single day for the last five years than I ever had previously. (But I can sort of say the same about frustration).

So basically, every day is Valentine's day.

Reason #26,745 why kids are awesome.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Plan

While I was driving the kids to school this morning I overheard Judah saying this to Noah:

Do you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to get you a baby! Then you can be a big brother too! It's really easy. Just get mommy some candy and make her a nice birthday card. And let them have the sex.

What. The. Heck?

Kindergarteners be crazy yo.

But hearing them eagerly plot another sibling did make me reconsider my current "I'm all done" stance. Actually, for the last few months they will tell me at least once a week how much they really really really want another baby.

Judah plots how to relive this precious sweet moment. It *almost* makes me reconsider...

And then I remembered all the night-time wakings. All the tiny choking hazards (aka, Lego pieces) scattered all over our house. All the bodily aches and pains from lifting, hoisting, holding, wearing, carrying, rocking, a 15-25 pound delicate but squirmy ball of flesh around for the better part of a year. How much I hate nursing. And how the sound of crying makes me lose my mind.

And how I'm about to sell our crib, diaper changing table, and rocking chair on Craigslist because we are now DIAPER FREE!!!!!!! for the first time in 5 years.

Yeah, I'm still done...I think...

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The Time When

Often Judah and I will have a big chunk of the day to ourselves because Judah's school has a ton more days off than Noah's preschool.

Our tradition on those days, like this past Monday, is to drop Noah off at preschool and walk to the Starbucks across the street for breakfast.

Happiness is a bagel with cream cheese and just the two of us.

I don't know if it's the pastries or the company that makes Judah so radiantly happy during those times. But he is as happy and content as I've ever seen him then.

"Mommy, can we have a conversation?" he asks.


"Mommy, who do you think is stronger, the blue bionicle or the green bionicle?"

As you can tell, it's not the most scintillating conversation for me, but I love how open his heart is during those moments. If I wanted to instruct him or impress something on him, that would be the time to do it. That day I told him I was cutting down his precious TV time in half (it had ballooned from 1 show a day to 2 shows) and instead of the expected meltdown, he accepted it with equanimity and even grace.

"Okay mommy, I don't want to watch too much TV."

As Judah gets older, I'm realizing that the openness of his heart is what I'm most afraid of losing. He has always loved me with abandon and banishing any sadness or pain was as easy as having huggle snuggles on the couch. Literally, that's all it took.

But will it always be that easy?

Will my love always be enough?

Judging from the surly anger of every teenager that has ever lived, no.

It's a horrible, dreadful, creeping realization that I will recede and other forces - cultural and social - will loom larger.

The boy who occasionally tells me - Mommy, I'm sad I'm not a girl because then I can't ever be a mommy like you - will be no more.

But he will still have my heart forever.