The fruiting season


In the Spring, the world is green again.
The soul stirs as tiny buds begin to open.
The trees burst forth in multi colored regalia:
split pea green,
bright cherry red,
cauliflower white.
The fruiting season has begun.

In the Spring, we walk.
Relieved to be outside,
soaking in the sunshine,
reveling in the wide open spaces,
we look for any excuse to meander
down the dandelion lined sidewalk.

I watch our shadows as we walk
stretched like the long warm days.
I study the shadow-mother, wondering:
Is she as exhausted as I feel?
Or are her worries as weightless
as her form?
Her curves are exaggerated,
the bow of her lower back deepened
counterbalanced by the bundle
now strapped to her chest.

In the Spring, everything grows and multiplies.
I study the extra shadow accompanying our walks
the extra set of limbs that expands my edges.
The delicate scent of pear blossoms
The musky molting earth
The jelly-bean colored flowers’
-raspberry, lemon, blueberry-
sweet scents fill my nostrils
and dance with wisps of blonde
belligerently blowing across my eyes.
The fruiting season has begun.

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Our day in parts

Part 1: Science Experiment – Shaving Cream Rain Clouds

The original experiment, to drop colored water on top of shaving cream and watch it “rain” down into the water below, kept Casey interested for a surprisingly long time before we needed another clear vessel to just mix the colors in.20170329_102131

And a bowl to pour the water in.

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But of course in the end it all came down to being allowed to just play in the shaving cream!

 

Part 2: The Park

The walk over, pure attitude.

New Tricks!

 

Part 3: Home down time : Down home time

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Part 4: Disc-Golf

Late naps and decent weather = Get outside and wear them out!

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The Dance

When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor.
It’s to enjoy each step along the way.

I’m still getting used to “mother of two.”
Still learning the dance
and tripping over my feet.
Some days we waltz
we gaily trip through
Most days are improv jazz
riotous rhythms
and a staccato beat,
beat ing
keeping time
to an as yet
unknown song.

Equally surprised
by the ability to love
and the quickness to anger.
The music pulls me back.
The laughter, the tears
the screaming and shushing-
all part of the symphony
making up the soundtrack
of our days.

How astonishing, some days,
to look down and recognize
this second life
that has been added
to our company-
To look up and see
the little boy sharing
the spotlight-
To find a conductors wand
clenched within white knuckles,
a blindfold hiding bloodshot eyes.

Thank goodness for the friends who dance along beside me.
Thank goodness for the women who have already danced,
who remind me to forget about the steps and just enjoy the music.
Thank goodness for the tiny hands who hold onto mine
and the tiny feet that step onto my own
trusting me to hold them as we begin to move.

Thank goodness for the wind that carries us
and the earth that holds us up,
for the heaven above that promises us.

– for baby giggles and sweet smiles,
unbridled laughter and silly made-up songs,
late night talks and the ability to forgive,
for a marriage that continues to grow roots
and take shape, solidifying a foundation,
creating the stage upon which we dance.

The tide of parenthood.

I’ve been swimming against the tide all day today.  Each wave crashing over me, leaving me tumbling end over end, fighting, reaching for light and gasping for air.  

I felt my anger rising this morning, almost from the moment I opened my eyes.  It simmered just underneath my tired sigh as I peered at my wide awake, smiling 4 month through one eye, hoping that he would go back to sleep and knowing that he wouldn’t.  It bubbled up over coffee as I negotiated a cranky toddler and dealt with the nagging guilt of not being able to give myself fully to the baby, content in his crib.  A hesitant moment of negotiation broken by screams and shouts of “no!”  Moments of excited reconciliation ending in sighs of frustration and fierce, defiant wails.  

Finally, I couldn’t fight the tide any longer and I let the next wave carry me under.  A final kick (to my shin) and my anger burst forth ferociously, uncontrollably. I yelled with the voice of a mad woman, so loud my voice cracked with rage and tears began to leak from the corners of my eyes.  I yelled with all the rage of a hurting heart; pushed past my breaking point, I lost my self-control.  I was tired of being kicked, tired of being defied at every turn, tired of having to say everything 5, 6, 7 times and still not have it done.  I couldn’t take any more and I let the waves carry me.

It is not a good feeling to let your anger get the best of you and act out towards your child. Even when they are hitting you and kicking you and they don’t stop after you ask again and again, it does not feel good to act in anger towards a tiny being who is as much an extension of you as your arm.  It’s as if, in that moment, you can see their light dimming in front of your eyes.  And in the back of your mind, even as you are gasping for air and fighting the urge to hit back, to throw something, to just start running and keep running until your lungs burn and your legs give out beneath you, you know that their behavior stems from being over tired, that if you could just have a minute to calm down, everything might be ok.

I got both boys secured in their car seats and they were asleep within a block of our house. And when I was finally able to take a breath again, it came out in sobs.  I cried so hard that I almost had to pull to the side of the road to keep us all safe.  But each mile that passed allowed me to breathe deeper and gave me the space I needed to forgive myself, to begin to understand, to allow the waves to settle and the sea to calm.

Their lights are so bright, my boys.  I never want to dim that.  I want to be their home base, the one they run to when they are hurt and tired and in pain.

Having children opens your eyes to the areas of yourself that need work, the areas that are strong as well as those that are weak.  As Casey navigates these new waters of big emotions and increased autonomy, I sometimes find myself wading in muddy waters, trying to figure out better ways to handle my own big emotions, trying to identify the places where I need to exert more control and where I can give a little.

It’s not easy, this mothering thing.  I am not perfect.

When he woke up from his nap, I got down on his level and apologized to Casey, told him that it was mommy’s job to help him when he felt angry or out of control, instead of becoming out of control myself.  I gave him a cake pop from Starbucks.

“Thanks Mom,” he said as he reached up and wrapped his body around mine, resting his head on my shoulder and sighing with release.  I felt his light then, felt the brightness return. Children forgive so easily and so completely.  They give themselves so entirely to us when we allow them to.  My job now is to forgive myself, to continue to work to allow Casey to give himself to me, to accept him and guide him in his every step.  It is my job every day to work to turn myself towards the horizon and move with the eternal rhythm of the tide of parenthood.

32

These moments when both boys are napping are like nuggets of gold tucked into my day. Half the time I don’t even know what to do with myself.  I always have a to-do list floating around and a running mental list of things I want to get done, but the last two days the name of the game has been “I can’t even…just do it.”

I’ve had a terrible head cold for the past few days, following a brief overnight flu that came on quickly and left me aching and tired. Even small tasks like picking up the used tissue I just dropped on the floor seem harder when my head is heavy and my eyes are watering. Combine this with an almost three year old who can destory a room like a tornado and a 4 month old who delights in diaper changes- I can’t even… With a sigh I mentally coax myself into action. Just do it! One foot in front of the other; trudging through

Yesterday was my birthday and although I spent it with a stack of kleenex tucked into my pocket, it was a lovely day full of moments of relaxation, surprise and joy.  Birthdays are a good reminder for me of how lucky I am to be surrounded with so many people who care about me.  I got cards and gifts in the mail. My husband took me on a mini shopping spree at TJ Maxx and a few other places.  Just the fact that he went shopping with me at all was enough to show me his true devotion.  We had nachos and drinks ( I had water) before going back to my Mother-in-law’s to pick up the boys.  I walked in to a lovely surprise party complete with birthday balloons, a birthday banner and a cake covered in m&m’s that Casey had helped make.  At Casey’s prompting we lit all the candles and he helped me to make a wish and blow them all out.  Then he used the ice cream scooper to help himself to a scoop of cake 🙂

It’s these moments in life, the moments that are only shared with a close few, low lit by birthday candles and punctuated by giggles and hugs, that make the days of trudging through worth it.  These moments make my heart sing.

Welcome, 32. I hope I have many more of these moments with you.

Brotherhood

I lay still as I listen to him breathe 60 calm, even breaths; as I take in his face and the feel of his soft hair beneath my fingertips.  My baby is becoming a little boy.  Some days I can barely keep up.  He pushes me to my limits as he tests all of his- physically, behaviorally, emotionally.  His favorite word is no and sometimes he screams and covers his face when he doesn’t get his way or someone says something he doesn’t want to hear.

But he is still my muse.  He has always been my muse.  My first born who helped me to find my voice and unlocked the dam to a million words.

And now there’s another boy who is slowly stealing my heart, beginning to inspire his own words.  Poetry seems slow to come these days, overshadowed by the inelegant daily concerns of figuring out how to meet the needs of two little boys.  As an only child myself, I am winging it.  I don’t know what it’s like to grow up with a sibling, to share that bond, to share the attention of your parents.  I find myself overwhelmed a lot by how to give myself to both boys without feeling as if I am letting one down, without feeling like I am being ‘mean’ or ‘bad’ in the mom realm.  I am plagued with questions and guilt about whether I am giving Cameron the same attention and opportunities that I gave Casey.  One of the hardest things is realizing that their first years in this world will be different from each other and that that’s ok.

Just when I am plagued by this whirlwind of thoughts, I catch a glimpse of their brotherhood- Casey running to get a toy for Cameron before he goes to bed so he can give it to him in the morning, helping me find a pacifier, showing Cameron his trucks, telling me why he thinks Cameron is crying and telling me to go take care of “my brother” when he fusses.  Cameron unable to take his eyes off his older brother, fascinated, laughing and cooing when Casey talks to him, grabbing onto his hair or his shirt or his hand when he sits close, laying still and watching him as he plays.

Cameron is growing so fast. I forgot how fast they grow. He is rolling over both ways and will be sitting up in the next month or two.  He is already so aware of his surroundings and I can’t wait to see what it will be like when he is able to begin “playing” simple games, when he is able to begin to communicate with us.  I can’t wait to watch these brothers grow together.  As my own comfort level with raising siblings grows, I have hope that poetry will return but for now my words will serve to simply document our days and keep track of my running thoughts so they don’t spin out of control.

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