Monday, May 30, 2011

In what seems like the blink of an eye, my baby boy has crossed over the preschool threshold, stepping into the world of  kindergarten.  Just like that.  A quick flip through a few calendars and here we are, ready for him to enter "real" school.  I remember shortly after he was born (sadly!) imagining him entering kindergarten and all that would mean for me.  Selfishly, my imaginations were laced  with thoughts of free-time, choices, and quiet.  I'm okay with being a little selfish.  I've logged in enough hours to be rewarded a little time off come late August.  I intend to enjoy the quiet and the free-time and the choices, fully knowing that having 4 children in school will fill up my calendar and absorb many of the quiet moments that I am anticipating.   I have watched my Michael grow into a smart little boy, eager to experience the "school club" that his sisters are already seasoned members of . He has said goodbye to his toddler years in many ways over the past year of pre-school.  He's taller and smarter, and more confident.  As he walked down the aisle last Thursday night, with his arms crossed protectively over his body, he gave me a sweet smile that said "I'm ready - bring it on!" And even though I feel a rush of sadness in watching him grow up, I realized that in saying goodbye to this stage, I get to say hello to the next stage for him. Kindergarten - what an exciting and fun stage of life!  

 The stage where he gets to learn how to read; the stage where he gets to eat lunch at school; the stage where he carries a backpack and is responsible for what is inside of it; the stage where he brings home stories about new friends that will accompany him through his elementary school years.  A part of him will always be my baby boy, but I'm so excited to read the next chapter of his story. The last five chapters have been SO good!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tomorrow morning, I am flying away from home to spend the weekend at my sister's house.  There are a few other places that I enjoy as much as my own home and hers is one of them.  Life slows down for me when I am there.  Normally, a visit to her includes my whole family, but this journey is a solo one.  My bags (carry-ons of course) are packed, and I've been stashing magazines that have come in the mail this week saving them for my plane trip.  I picked up a couple of my favorite candies because a  ride on a plane just isn't as fun without a little sweet treat!! Daddy and the kiddies are going on their own adventure, so don't feel too badly for them.  They will barely notice that I am gone.  I am grateful for the days that we will spend apart, knowing that I need a break, and that hugging their sweet necks on Sunday will be a precious end to my weekend away from home.  The truth is, I love home and the only remedy I have found for being home-sick is well... to stay home!  But this mama bird needs to leave the nest for a short time and spread her wings for just a bit. And if you see a sunny smile coming from seat 16c tomorrow, that will be me.  Relaxed, excited and probably missing my little peeps just a smidge. Maybe a little more than a smidge...       

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New American Girl doll, showering with super heroes and bathing with Ken and Barbie

"Life comes in clusters, clusters of solitude, then a cluster when there is hardly time to breath." 
~May Sarton~

We are in a cluster of moments where there are very few minutes to breathe.  I have come to know that the month of May is one of the busiest months of the year for our family.  Days pass where the only time I am sitting down is when I am driving.  Because I am experienced in the mayhem of May, I have decided that the only solution is to embrace it and ride it out.  Take one event at a time, celebrate the happiness that a busy family of 6 creates, appreciate the joy of the combined roles of  the wife/  the mama/ the girl, and squeeze in some breaths where I can.  Some will be deep breaths, some will be quick and shallow, but they will propel me forward down this section of the road that God has paved for me.  A breath like the beauty of a fresh stack of fabric, waiting to be sewn into a twirly-dress for an excited six year old provides me with a sweet smile. Makes me so happy just fingering these beautiful colors. 

Maddie has graduated from another year of Girl Scouts.  She is now a cadet, and is looking forward to another year, and more badges and confidence than her little vest can hold.  I'm so proud of her; she loves being a part of this gorup of girls, and she is a true Girl Scout by definition.
We just about have one year of middle school tucked away.  It's far enough away that she won't remember the "horrors" of being a sixth grader , yet close enough to touch the new friends that she has made, the humor that now shades her perspective on life, and the growing creativity and character that will follow her into the next stage of middle school.  Marky is so much fun to be around.  She makes me laugh and surprises me daily with her bag of tricks that includes wit, wisdom and style (including feathers in her hair).  I'm so glad that she is 12 - 12 has been good to us.  Recently Marky's choir had a concert and she (along with MANY other squirrley kids) sang songs of beauty and entertainment.  Music is one of her passions and it came across on her face while she sang.   

We have been waiting for two big breaths in Meredith's life.  The first, losing her first tooth,  led to the second, buying her american girl doll Kanani with her own money.  Meredith has been saving every penny that she has earned, (and has also accepted cash donations to her AG fund) since January.  She has been focused on the prize, and has not swayed or been talked into spending a cent on anything else.  She has also been DYING to lose a tooth.  Being one of the youngest littles in her class, I knew that it would be late in the year if even this year that the blessed event would occur.  But on Saturday, in the middle of a bite of apple, she lost her tooth.  She was with Daddy when it happened and he described her as completely shocked, surprised and excited when that tooth exited her mouth.  The sweet tooth fairy somehow knew that Meredith was a few dollars short of her $100 need, and the dollar difference was left under her pillow along with a cute little note.  When Meredith woke up on Sunday and  discovered that she had enough $ for her doll, her excitement spread through the whole house!  Her sisters got online, showed her how to "buy" the doll, and then revealed the disappointing news that she was going to have to wait for a week or two until she arrived.  It was then, that I decided that we would be making a trip down to the Denver branch of the store so that Meredith could be instantly gratified with holding her precious new friend. She was so excited to buy Kanani.  As we got closer to the store she said "Hang on Kanani - I'm almost there!" Worth every minute of rush hour traffic, and every cent of the almost $4 a gallon of gas in the tank.     
And as if this post isn't long enough, I must include news of my sweet Michael.  As good as 12 has been for his big sister, 5 has been magical for him.  If I had the ability to stop time, I would do it now.This.Very.Second. 

 Maybe it is his impeding  entrance to kindergarten that has me enjoying him so much, I don't know.  But he is cute, sweet, sensitive, handsome, polite, and his only "issue" right now is that he won't give me kisses on the lips.  "Gross" - he says.  Then I go after him and steal a wet one; next he "wipes" our exchange clear away.  Its a fun game and at least I got to feel his sticky, smooshy, precious face next to mine - I don't even care that I have to pin him down for a few seconds for it.   
Lastly, Mother's Day was sufficiently enjoyed by all.  Saturday, the kids and Daddy took Grandma and Grandpop on a hike. 

Mommy stayed home with the dogs and her flowers, a great book and plans to prepare a birthday dinner with friends for later that night.  I enjoyed the unfamiliar quiet, took a couple of long, deep breaths,  and felt so grateful for the time to myself.  

On Mother's Day, we spent many moments breathing together as a family.  We rode bikes, played in our creek, rested, planted flowers and veggies in the garden, had a picnic on a recently discovered Colorado "beach" , and visited with my in-laws.  I was celebrated, thanked and loved on by my family, reminding me that I have the absolute best job in the world.  It isn't the easiest job, it isn't the most exciting, it isn't the most compensated job, but for me, it is the only job.  I would miss out on so much if I wasn't a mother. The minutes of insanity that  cast momentary shadows on this stage of life are few and far between.  Without my kiddos, I would miss out on so much joy and even more personal growth. My life would be void of love and activity.  My baths would be surrounded by beauty products rather than Mattel toys, and super heros would remain imaginary characters in movies and books rather than flexing their muscles on my shower floor. 

I wouldn't laugh as much, cry enough, worry at all or pray as often. As each day passes,
 I accept more and more the beauty that is my life, enjoying it in the big and small things.    
Life with my family is good, and it is all I want. 
I hope that  your May is light on mayhem and heavy on good, deep breaths. 

ps - for those of you who notice or care - Meredith does have other clothes, and the shirt that she is wearing in EVERY picture does get washed regularly.  I promise.