Friday, November 25, 2011

Little Kids

So today I realized that I don't want my kids to grow up anytime soon. I would like to freeze them just as they are...tantrums, tears, drama, and all.

I know I think that quite a bit, but today it hit home harder than usual.

I took my little ones to a playground in our neighborhood because they were driving me nuts in the house. They ran off to swing, climb, and well, just run while a pretty large group of older kids hung out and played as well. These big kids - a whopping 9-12 years old - were hanging out on the swings and around the equipment. Talking to and mocking each other. Some boy said something rather mean to a girl and she shouted back numerous times, "I WILL beat you you if I have to!"

The mommy in me wanted to break up this spat (which didn't get physical) and send the kids playing and sharing happily and peacefully.

But no, these weren't my kids. They weren't even being supervised by any adult. These kids were on their own.

It made me turn back to my kids. I pushed D on the swing. C climbed a really tall piece of equipment and made me nervous.

I realized that I never want her (or D) to be one of those kids exchanging words unsupervised on the playground. I want to shelter her under the safety of my wings for as long as possible.

Maybe thats not the best method. Maybe thats not teaching her how to "live in the real world" but truthfully, I don't care. The world didn't birth her. The world hasn't poured every last ounce of effort, love, and devotion into her.

I have.

And I think I should have a say in her life.

And I think I should be able to shelter her if I want to.

After a little while, I got tired of listening to the tween drama next to me and I instructed my kids to come play on the little kid playground off to the side. They ran off together and played on the seesaw. Then they raced down a set of matching slides over and over again.

We eventually left and headed back towards our house. They raced to a wooden swing and back to me as we wandered homeward.
Obviously, C won by a landslide, but she casually said as D came trailing behind her,
"Whoever comes in last is the winner."

My heart leapt.

How is it that she is so kind and thoughtful towards her little brother?

He simply shrugged and replied,
"I know. I won..."

He played it cool but I know he was beaming. These days, all he wants to do is race. We race other cars on the road when we drive - well, not REALLY race...he just thinks we are. They race to see who can get undressed for the bath the fastest, they race up the stairs, etc.

C wins every time. To him, winning is big. And he had jut "won" thanks to his gracious sister.

I praised her and validated her kindness.

We stopped at yet another set of swings close to our home and I let them swing off some more energy without the distraction of other older children.

I pushed D and C pumped.

D said, "I'm going HIGH!"

C followed up with,"I'm going high too. I can almost touch the trees!!!"

She then closed her eyes as she swung as if to will herself higher into the sky.
"but I'm being careful...." she added. She knows me, a safety nut, so well.

I tried to soak her in. Soak them both in as they swung. And giggled. And squealed as I ticked their feet.
It made me realize how thankful I am to have these little kids who are not ashamed to play like little kids. They aren't trying to be cool. They aren't trying to impress.

C isn't embarrassed to be seen with, play with, bathe with, and snuggle with her little brother.
In fact, they are the best of friends. They love each other to no end.
And that is why I love having little kids. And I wish I could freeze them at this age forever!
I should note that I didn't actually have my camera with me for most of this outing. It wasn't until I stood pushing D on the swings when I was trying to soak every bit of them in that I actually called B and had him walk my camera out to me. After he delivered it, I begin photographing the kids.

My mind just wasn't doing justice. I was too afraid I'd forget.

Forget their smiles. Forget the hole in C's leggings and her big clunky tennis shoes, forget D's yellow crocks and rolled up blue jeans. I was just too afraid I would forget it all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lessons Learned

Sometime, lessons are learned the hard way. Yesterday D and a friend learned why we do not throw rocks...


I hope this will translate well when I tell him not to throw rocks again, or sticks, or run in the street, or run with a sucker in his mouth, etc...

I am just glad it hit his ear and not his eye or anywhere else on his face.

Sorry if this picture grossed you out! ;-)

Thursday, November 17, 2011


My middlest started preschool this week.

I can't really believe we are at this stage for him because it seems like yesterday that I was at Ft. Bragg dropping C off at preschool and spending three mornings a week with just my little baby boy. We bonded. We went everywhere together. He never went in childcare. He always went with me.

And now here we are. I am now taking him to preschool and spending the mornings with my youngest, my next little baby...who goes everywhere with me.

Its like my family and life with D, my middle man, has come full circle in just two short years.

My same baby boy that runs around in a shirt and underwear most days, still pleads with me before every nap to "leep with me, mommy," kisses his sister goodbye moments before she steps on the school bus, and snuggles into my lap sucking his thumb to read a story is now going to school.

Some days he looks so big.

And then just moments later, he seems so little.

He did great on his first day. I knew he would. I said good bye to him twice as he stood on the little rug with his classmates. He was more interested in the children throwing fits and having a hard time saying goodbye than he was in me.

There may have been a part of me that wanted him to throw a tiny fit about me leaving. Or maybe just cling to me a little longer. But he didn't.

He just stood there quietly waiting for instruction from his teacher. Like I said, I kissed him and hugged him twice...and then I slowly walked out the door...peering over my shoulder and watching him as I did.

When I came to pick him up, his teacher said he did great. She said, "he belongs here." I couldn't be more proud of my little big guy. My crazy D.

All I can say is watch out world. D is ready to take you on. He is starting with matching cards, using the boys' bathroom, and learning his 5 senses, but he's coming.

And he's a heartbreaker...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christmas Decorating. In November.

I am one of those "crazies" that decorates for Christmas well before Thanksgiving.

On facebook, I have discovered that for some people, this is an unheard of practice :-(

I say, pish posh to them. I love Christmas and I don't think its ever too early to decorate!

Here is why I decorate so early....

1. I start decorating for Fall in August because by August, I am done with the hot summer and and ready to move on to some Fall colors and scents. November, I have seen my Fall decor for 3 months. I am ready for a change.

2. My kids do a lot of waiting through out the year - They wait months to see their grandparents. They wait weeks at a time to see their Daddy. They wait a year for Christmas. So to me, if I can make Christmas come two weeks earlier than the rest of the world, I will. They get it that much quicker. And it lasts that much longer! Its a win/win.

3. I don't skip over Thanksgiving like some people believe, but for us, Thanksgiving just isn't a big hoopla. We are going to gather with some of our church friends and have a big feast at one of their homes. I am really looking forward to it! This is happening the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving itself, B will be packing to leave for another long trip and I am thinking we may just go out to eat as a little family for a good home cooked meal - maybe Cracker Barrel. B won't be home again until well into December, so at least he will have a little taste of some of our Christmas decorations before he leaves for a portion of the Christmas season.

4. Putting up Christmas decorations take a lot of time. Its a big deal. So, I would rather look at them for as long as possible. Plus, we go home to Atlanta for the last 10 days of December, so we don't get to enjoy our tree then....see why it makes sense to put it up 10 days sooner than everyone else?

5. Most of all, I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I love Christmas so very much. Its in my blood. My mom already has two trees up. My youngest sister already has her tree up. And my cousin fully expects to be fully decorated (inside and out) by this weekend. Its just what we do.

Call me crazy.

It probably wouldn't be the first time. ;-)

So, if you are not completely against the fact that today is November 15th, and I am done decorating my house for Christmas, please feel free to enjoy some pictures from our evening.

As always, I feel the need to capture every moments for our family in Atlanta and for my husband who is out of town once again. He has missed 5 straight years of tree decorating - I am beginning to think he is doing this on purpose!