Jun 162015
 

He got to ride a fire truck this weekend so he wears his red plastic firefighter hat as he helps me make dinner, clumsily stirring the sauce in the pan, helping me break noodles to put into the pot, dry noodles flying everywhere. I watch his dimpled arms reaching for the can opener and it almost hurts to see the innocent concentration on his face.

My first little son lost his first little tooth and now I call him “Toothless.” He talks with a small lithp now and he still cries sometimes when he gets hurt or is upset. He cries when his baby sister has to get her immunizations. I’ve stopped taking him anymore because he’s harder to handle than the one getting the shots.

My small baby has one dimple on her left cheek and fine, curly baby hair that we’re convinced will never grow. She’s learning some baby songs (just the actions), and I watch her touch her head, then her toes, head, toes, head, toes, eyes…..ears…mouth. Clap, clap, clap. Yay!

My first daughter will let me help her pick her clothes out but I can’t do it every time so she comes upstairs wearing sparkly black and pink pants with an equally sparkly pink sweater (in the summertime) and she asks me if she is pretty. “You are always beautiful,” because what else could I ever say?

Just in moments, little moments, sometimes I grasp what I am going to miss when they grow up, up, and away. Thank heaven they are still little, just for now.

Jan 132015
 

This post was written and meant to be published at the very end of 2014 but you know how it goes, right?

My energy-efficient curtains are closed most of this dark season. We are insulated and isolated while the cold billows outside. The snow is still today, though, as we hide in our cocoon. The Christmas rush is done, as is the exuberant cheerfulness of yuletide and now I have a moment of pausing and contemplating.

This season of our lives is similar to that outside. We are still and quiet and life moves on without too much excitement and I appreciate this time to be grateful. Grateful for the four growing children who are healthy and usually pretty happy and who, every day, turn a little more into people I can be friends with. I am grateful for my husband and the blessing of a happy marriage—not only happy, but symbiotic and collaborative. I am grateful for spirituality, for art, for music, and for food (plenteous in nature this time of year).

As the new year approaches, I feel as though I am at the top of a slide. We’ve climbed up here, juggling our four little people and now we’re sitting at the top, enjoying the view and the company before we plunge into something new and exciting.

This year has been good, even if I feel that I’ve been treading water most of the time, trying not to drown while juggling a house and lots of little children who need to eat and have their bums wiped. It’s been a time of enormous personal growth for me, during which I’ve come to accept Emily for who she is and even enjoy her sometimes. My little man started Kindergarten, my daughter started preschool and dance class, my little boy learned to talk and potty trained himself, and the baby just grows and grows.

There is so much to be grateful for as I sit here in my warn house, in my pj’s, with my family at home, while we listen to the snowploughs outside and prepare for what the future holds.