Tuesday, August 14, 2012

For a minute.

Today I woke up before the sun.
Yet my first born beat me. He has always been an early riser. Summer seems to make him wake earlier.
It wasn't soon after his awakening when the begging for breakfast began.
Before I knew it six little hands were diving in to cheesy, fluffy eggs.
Thirty fingers were coated in cinnamon sugar.

Somewhere between whisking eggs and buttering toasts, I brewed some coffee.
The aroma filled the room. Taunting those of us over the age of five.
Ahh, that smell. The sweet smell of sanity.
And then I poured myself a cup of steaming deliciousness.
Black. Crisp. Strong.
And not to mention, my favorite mug.

For a minute, I thought to myself...I'm getting good at this.
Breakfast served and kitchen cleaned by 7:45. It's going to be a good day.

I walked over to sit on the couch and bargain with the tyrants for a switch in television channels. There is only so much Ninjago one can handle before 8:00 AM. Can I get an amen??
The bargaining...well it didn't work. But my coffee was still hot.
I'd settle for that.

And then, they wanted MORE.
The pleading began, subtly and the before I knew it little voices were filling the kitchen. Again.
More eggs, more toast, more sticky cinnamon fingers.
I think the warnings about our grocery bill quadrupling started the day we found out Alexander was indeed another boy. A few people waited until he started table food. All those people were wrong. My preschoolers...well they have teenage boy appetites and last time I checked no one was in high school.
I obliged.
Sipping my no-longer-steaming coffee in between washing sugary hands.

For a brief minute, I thought to myself this job is never ending.
The reality, IT WAS 9 AM.
Then, Mason taught Max how to clean the kitchen table. Together, they sat there and doused my table in soap and water.
They sponged away.
Making more mess then cleaning, but together....with no competition and arguing.

Then.. I thought they make it all SO WORTH IT.  When it's good. Even when it's never ending.

The day progressed smoothly, we ran a few errands. Swung by the gym. I doled out some (read: enough for a small army) snacks. The baby went down for his nap with no fight AT ALL. If any part of my day seems to flash before my eyes it's nap time.

The biggies agreed to watch The Lorax. Together. ON THE SAME COUCH.
They even shared a blanket.
I thought for a minute, wow, this is calm. Relaxing even?

I even let Max talk me out of an afternoon nap. WHY SWEET BABY JESUS? I will never know what made me lapse in judgement. I love him so very much. I love every minute I spend with him. But home slice is just NOT ready to skip his naps. 

Fifteen minutes in to our serene afternoon "quiet time" theater showing.
Max started cart-wheeling. And hopping around like a crazy man. Just jamming in his own little world.

I want to know the source of his energy? Then I'd like to siphon 1/8 of it away from him and store it for myself for the next 50 years.
It didn't take long for Mason to follow suit and by 2:30 my living room was a GODDAMN ninja training arena. Mini ninjas were on the loose.

That's when I started thinking...Dang. How am I going to make it until bedtime? But at least the baby is asleep. Until they needed ninja gear from upstairs. Suddenly the baby was no longer in that sweet slumber.

We headed outside. Fresh air is my go to cure for the crazies.
We "played chalk". Got eaten alive by mosquitoes in 100 degree weather. But y'all, chalk makes me happy.
The rest of my afternoon flew by. Swiftly.
 Only once did I have to remind them that we don't "chalk the baby up".  Two children were more than half way unclothed. I WIN.

I thought, I love afternoons like this. I LOVE PLAYING CHALK.

Mason drew our family...everyone was peach and tan. I was stark white. Casper. Brutally honest. Thanks dude. We chatted and he told me some stories, about the wishes he'd made today and about the dream he had the night before last. He told me how excited he is that Kindergarten is coming soon and how it's really silly that Max believes there are real monsters in their room (ummm, because MASON TELLS HIM SO). He even kissed my cheek, got his brothers some water and buckled the helmet on the baby.
All unprompted.

I thought wow..he's a good kid. A really good one. I must be doing something right. I must be  am lucky. Incredibly so.
I am really going to miss the days when he doesn't want to sit outside with my at 4:00 and draw self portraits. And hearts. And smooch me.
And share nicely with his siblings.
Because we are going to be at football practice or swim meets.

And then he pushed Max straight off his bike.
And I thought this isn't fun...this is really challenging.
How do I punish my sweet, sensitive boy after he was so helpful and charismatic?

After the five thirty meltdown we moved inside.
Hello, air conditioning.
And also, dinner time. Why is Easy Mac not an acceptable meal seven nights a week?
I spent some time persuading...or brainwashing them to believe that tomato soup was just "slimy ketchup". Why do little boys love slime so much?
Dinner dilemma solved. It was gobbled up and all over the floor in ten minutes.

Bathtime assembly line began.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Lather, rinse.
Freshly bathed babies. All in a row on my bed.
Heads full of damp waves and curls and spikes.  Sleepy eyes on the horizon.

Around 7:00 a knight in shining armor arrived. Also known as daddy. He finished the dishes and joked with the biggies while I rocked the baby to bed.
I thought for a long few minutes, man, this is sweet. And I love this part of the day.
When he lays contently on my chest and plays with my hair.
And drifts off to sleep.

Bedtime with the older two isn't so dreamy. There aren't many rainbow and butterfly feelings to it. It takes  some stern "no more getting up for anything" talks. And a lot of "I'm really serious about getting up again" conversations.
After jammies were on and books were read. Lights were out.
Can you hear it?
And then, someone wanted water. And one more kiss.
At 8 someone had to pee. Again. And maybe ONE LAST KISS.

A few minutes before sitting down to write this, I peeked in on all of them.
Soundly sleeping. Dreaming of grand things I hope.
Each of them smelling like coconut shampoo.
And lavender calm lotion.
Quiet. Angelic. Tranquility.

Sweet little boys, a gift to me. I've been given the gift of raising them.
Each of their very cherished lives entrusted to me. All of their days mine to fill with joy and happiness.

And I thought for a minute, the thing about this job is...
well it starts before the sun and doesn't come with an allotted coffee breaks.
This job is good and undoubtedly never ending.
They make it worth it.
When they're peacefully tucked away in their beds.
Even when their ninjas.

I thought for a minute this job. I love it. Every bit of it, it's challenging and fulfilling and sweet.
And there is no gig in this world I'd prefer, then working for these three dudes.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Twenty one days.

We have just twenty one days until this guy starts Kindergarten.

 I feel like I just woke up from a midnight feeding session of snuggling him and indulging his sweet newborn scent. And now it's August. Five years later.

People always tell you "You are going to miss this" and "Don't blink, they grow so quickly". Is it just me or does it seem like you are always so kindly reminded of this by others when your two year old won't stay in his highchair, is flinging his ketchup, and your husband and you are attempting to "tag team" your crew so each of you can quickly finish your lukewarm dinner. I'm going to miss this? As the day creeps closer.... I'm starting to think they just might be on to something.

Don't get me wrong, I will gladly partake in a hot meal where all (or most) of my children stay seated and condiments aren't worn on all of our clothing as we leave the establishment, which hopefully doesn't have to have a play scape. I won't miss that. But it all seems to go hand in hand.
And him. Oh I am going to miss him. A lot.

The harmonized, yet unorganized chaos is just life right now.
And now it's all going to change.
It's just the beginning of the change.

These uncharted waters are what make it so difficult. It's not that it's sad. Or scary. It's just unknown. And it is change. And I know change is good, but its never very easy.

I've been able to to have him pretty much all to myself for five and a half years. Now, I'm going to have to share him daily. He is so excited and anxious to start this new chapter of his life as a school aged kid. He really is. So I am really excited for him. I know he's ready. In May, as he graduated from his preschool class, I thought I was ready. And now, I just don't know. A big ole patchwork of mama bear emotions seemed to surface today. 

I plan to relish these last twenty days of summer.

Just enjoying his company.
Admiring his smile, appreciating his curiosity. 
Delighting in his laughter.
I want to stay up past bedtime, draw on his back while his breathing slows and his eyelids get heavy.
And watch his eyes light up as he realizes we are up way too late.

Each picture of him I take lately I seem to analyze. He looks SO OLD. Yet, he looks exactly as I remember him the minute he was first handed to me. Pink, tiny, new.
His eyes golden and twinkling. His lashes thick, substantial, and oh, so long. His lips pursed, soft, the color of a pale rose. His head all fuzzy and perfect. 
A treasure.

I knew these years would fly by and man, have they ever. These next twenty one days are going to fly too. I already know it. Too soon our time together will be limited and shared.
We are going to paint the town. I am going to drink him in.