autumn days

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dear Brother

Dear Brother,

Your childhood was a painful one.  You were hurt.  I was a child myself and we tried to protect each other from the violence (emotional and physical).  You got the brunt of it as the only son.  I wish I could have made things better, but my world was as small as yours.  Shortly after your wedding day you told me I was no more your sister than you were a Mexican ballerina.  I lay on the floor for hours like I'd been punched in the gut.  You had chosen to keep me out of your life and you've maintained that distance for the last decade.  In our years apart, I had emotionally let you go to live your life without me.  I found peace with knowing you didn't want to see me, your only sibling.

Why is it then that you moved three hours away from me and I somehow saw you at a busy tourist port?  You left without seeing me and before I could say hello.  My emotions are once again unsettled and I am searching for a reason to why our paths crossed once again.  You still do not want to communicate with me, this I know for sure.  You know how to find me when you're ready.  Am I supposed to set you free once again?  Do I just let the years tick by without introducing you to your niece and nephew?  Will this space you held in my heart remain open for you?  Do I hope without really hoping?  I suppose so.

What I want to say is this: Look at what I have accomplished in just one generation.  I married a stable, thoughtful, kind man.  We have two healthy children whom we protect and love.  I want you to see what I have accomplished, to see what is possible.  It was hard work getting to this point, but it was so worth it.  My children and I speak of you in our daily dialogue as if you are away on an extended trip.  Regardless of if we should ever speak again, you know I love you.  And in my heart I know you love me too.

With love,
your sister

Luscher Farm

Ladybug Girl Hannah walking to story time with Grandma

We've found an excellent alternative birthday party, free of gifts and full of free time with friends.  Luscher Farm has a wonderful story time each Wednesday in the summer, so we met our friends for stories, the children's garden tour, played a bit, and then took some time for cupcakes.  As with the Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad book, each child had a chocolate cupcake with their own candle.  We sang and each child took their time blowing their candles.  Some children ate lunch at the farm, some saved lunch for home, and then the children went to work digging, exploring, running, finding edibles, and most of all using their imaginations.  This was such a special way to enjoy a birthday with our friends.  We look forward to spending more time at this awesome farm this fall.

Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy enjoying stories

Liam exploring the farm on his own

friends at the farm

under the bean teepee

time to run free with friends

digging in the sand and dirt with a helpful ant (on left)

the fairy scare crow overlooking the children's garden

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

balancing and mothering

It is continually amazing to find parenting is so complex.  There are so many things to balance and learn.  I'm always out of something: patience, energy, time, productivity, meal ideas, patience again.  It feels like something is always off kilter or needs adjustment, and I can't quite put my finger on the solution.  My brain comes up with possible solutions, such as getting the kids to sleep before I collapse in exhaustion, going out one evening a week for a date with a friend or by myself, having one hour to myself a week to bathe or write, staying really busy, staying home in pajamas all day, or cuddling more with my babies.  Whatever the challenge, solution, or emotion, there is an ebb and flow to it all like waves licking the sandy beach.  I often take comfort in providing healthy food for my family, spending quality time with my little ones, or talking with other moms about similar feelings and predicaments.  And that is often enough to get me through another day being consumed by my sweet needy children.

Just this morning I had a lovely conversation with two friends about how we are unable to concentrate or speak articulately or remember like we did before our worlds revolved around young children.  It helps to have others around to remind us that we are not alone in the sea of mothering.  It helps to hear that other moms have befriended fairy godmothers and babysitters to spend time with their children so they can get things crossed off their endless lists once in a while.  A mother doesn't have to accomplish everything with children clinging to her legs.  There is hope in hearing a veteran mother share that having young children is the most physically exhausting time of mothering (while the teenage years are the most emotionally exhausting).  Our children will grow quickly and we'll look back and see they were young for such a short time.  These are the days to practice our patience, to love on our children, forgive ourselves for being out of balance, and to let them pull us to the ground for some more cuddles.