wisdom

It’s another world in the branches above us.
“It’s another world inSIIIDE the branches too.”
My four year old reminds me
How wise he has become.
But perhaps children are always born this wise.
Maybe it’s age that makes us lose our innate wisdom-
the world’s insecurity thrusting its doubt into us.

Being an adult is such a burden
until we remember.

——-

He finds the parts of his world that don’t make sense,
the inconsistencies, the parts that are incorrect
and he creates order.

How does he order the ugly parts?
How does he make sense of the pain and confusion
that come along with living?

——-

I am one of those moms who thinks that everything is my fault.
I worry too much; think myself the cause of every tantrum, every fit,
every tear-stained cheek gnaws at me.
As if I alone could have prevented every bruise, every wound.

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——-

I never felt like I wasn’t enough
but I have long felt that the world was too much for me.

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One step at a time

Life is just one dream flowing into another

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Yesterday was a tough day.  Tempers flared and my anger got the best of me, I have a friendship on the fritz, a knee injury keeping me from being as active as I would like to be and a house full of messes that I just can’t seem to get on top of.  I just couldn’t seem to shake it off and  I woke up this morning and felt the lingering weight of it all hanging over me.

I got home from dropping Casey off at school and got Cameron out of the car, ready to walk into the house and tackle some project or another.  Instead, Cameron wrapped him chubby hand around my pointer finger and led me down the driveway, with plans of his own.  I let him lead me along and we took a long, leisurely stroll around what we call the “big block”.  On it’s longest side, we walked along a relatively busy rode and Cameron pointed out the trucks and school busses whizzing past.  We stopped, briefly, to crouch down and examine the gravel along the sidewalk’s edge and to sit on the big rocks in one of our neighbors yards.  It was beautiful to simply walk quietly with him.

Later in the day, after we had picked up Casey and taken a surprise trip to the candy store in the mall, I took another walk with the boys, Cameron walking with me and Casey riding one of our scooters.  I let them dictate which direction we walked and set the pace.  Casey raced ahead and then stopped to study an ant hill or fill his little pick up truck with grass while he waited for Cam and I to catch up.  The sun was warm on our necks and bare legs and little Cameron’s cheeks were bright and rosy by the time we turned back into our driveway.

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Taking walks with my boys is probably one of my favorite things to do.  When Casey was a baby I took multiple walks a day, pushing him in his strolled and listening to podcasts or music.  When he was older we would regularly take off on walks around our neighborhood, naming things, talking about colors and flowers and birds.  I don’t get as much one on one time with Cameron to walk like I did with Casey, and often walking when both of them are riding something (tricycle, scooter, ride-on car, etc.) is a bit stress-inducing, so this morning felt really special. With Cameron walking along so independently, swinging his little arms, his chubby feet confident in his newly acquired hand-me-down flip-flops, I was reminded how quickly these days go by and how important it is to cherish them instead of squandering my day away in a cloud of negative energy.

 

We don’t have babies anymore.  We have two wonderful little boys.  Two creative, inquisitive, independent, silly and often exasperating little boys who are full of so much energy and so much life and often drive me nuts but fill my heart with more love then I’ve ever known.

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Cold Wind

If I went inside at the first sign of cold, I would never have noticed the green tulip buds starting to poke through the cold soil. We would have missed the lone purple crocus that decided to open it’s face to the sun. I wouldn’t have been there to pick up my littlest for the umpteenth time when he tripped in the old rain boots he insists on wearing, letting him know that I am always behind him, always supporting.

If I went inside when the first cold wind beat at my face, we wouldn’t have been outside long enough for my oldest to practice his tree climbing and slip, scraping his hand against the tree trunk.  I wouldn’t have been outside to hold him and remind myself  how much he still needs his mama, even though he boasts all the time about being a “big kid” who “knows everything.”

I imagine how tough he must act at school when he gets hurt, wonder if he holds in tears instead of crying in front of his friends, glad I was outside today to hold him and let him relax in my arms and give him space to rest his tear-streaked cheek on my shoulder. If we went inside with the first cold wind, we wouldn’t see how soft we can be, or how strong.

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Hot heat

His hot heat rolls into me,

a ship on fire, seeking

finding safe harbor.

Open armed, I am unafraid.

I know all the tips and tricks now-

Cool breath and a damp cloth

comfort us both.

 

In the hours between dark and dawn,

this hot heat brings me life.

Where days drag,

when dawn beckons,

hope is reignited.

The path ahead is hazy

in the hot heat,

cracked earth being

the only next right step-

Open mouthed, parched lipped

Seeking to quench this thirst.

 

My body feeds him-

the milk of life

brings his hot heat to a

simmering warmth.

Sleep sets in

worldly cares filed neatly

away, hidden in ever deepening

heart folds.

 

His hot heat brings me alive.

His body rolls to me and I

guide him into safe harbor

open armed, unafraid.

I drop anchor here.

No matter how hard the gales

or how high the waves,

our ship will hold.

His hot heat is hope

reignited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do

How do you stop when you are already at the breaking point? How do you talk yourself back from the ledge before you take the step you know you’ll regret? How do you accept the balance of the universe, knowing the good will always be balanced by the bad? The positive will always be equal with the negative. Or can you somehow spin that- change your perception enough to see the negative as just another momentary occurrence, no better or worse than those moments you perceive as positive?

Today, backing up from the ledge meant getting both boys in the car and driving until they slept; parking and listening to Tchaikovsky’s moody violin concerto. Finding a way to give myself a little breathing room until I was able to appreciate the beauty of the rain falling gently on verdant ground, until my heart was full of joy at the beauty of my growing family. With the dulcet tones of the violin and the accompanying melodious piano chords as a backdrop, I was able to give myself over to the balance of the universe.

It was a challenging day for us. We all threw temper-tantrums at different times. Yesterday I wrote in my journal that “my patience seems to have increased as of late” and, as children will, today both boys found a way to push my patience to it’s newly stretched limits. But too often, our bad days find a way to bring us down. It’s so easy to feel anger and resentment, when you are having a tough day, especially towards those that are having a better time. What if instead we chose to see our rough days as a blessing? If the universe truly finds balance in every moment, then our bad days are allowing someone else to have a good day. It is a blessing to have a bad day every once in a while, not only to keep us grounded and remind us of our own humanity, our own limits, our own strengths, but to also allow the universe to use us as a tool in it’s balancing act.

Today, my sister-in-law, whom I love dearly and consider a true sister, got married to a wonderful man who she loves with her whole being and who I am proud to consider a brother-in-law. I couldn’t be happier for them. I was thrilled to get the pictures from their private, awesome New York wedding through texts today and I was thinking about them and what an amazing day they were having the entire time I was dealing with one of the rougher days that I have had with both boys. I think it was the universe aligning itself- allowing them to have the most beautiful, magical, wonderful day ever by balancing it with a less then stellar day here. And I feel fine about that. I feel honored that in some small way, I could shoulder a bit of burden so that they may have none on their hallowed day

Thank you universe. Congratulations Emily and Preston. I couldn’t love you both anymore….and I couldn’t have been more happy to toast you ( a few times) this evening. I hope today was magical and by the same token, I hope tomorrow is even better all around!

Blueberry picking

I carried one boy on my back as I tried to convince the other one to put as many blueberries in our bucket as he was putting into his mouth.  The sun shone bright overhead and warmed our shoulders as we bent towards the bushes.  Cameron fussed from behind me, pulling small twigs and leaves from the bushes when he was close enough.  I wrestled them from his hands, blindly, relying on my three year old to make sure nothing had gotten into his mouth.  When he asked if he could give his brother a blueberry, I said  “Sure, as long as you bite it in half first.”  I watched him choose just the right berry and then pop it into his own mouth.  I bit a berry in half myself and peeled as much of the skin off with my teeth as I could.  “Hey, look at this little tiny one I found! Aww, it’s so cute.”  I reached back and put the peeled berry in Cameron’s open mouth as Casey gently put the tiny berry in our bucket.

We had started out picking Currants, finding vines dripping with the delicate, translucent balls.  Even though they are incredibly tart, Casey kept putting the few he picked into his mouth. With Cameron fussing from the stroller (which we ditched soon after) and lacking the concentration needed to collect the small berries, not to mention the sour reward for our efforts, we quickly returned to the farm store to exchange our small bags for a bucket and were pointed in the direction of the blueberry patch.

This was my first time picking blueberries.  I think I am in love. The color palette alone was enough to make me drool- the frosted blue and lavender berries, the brilliant green leaves, standing in sark contrast to the bright yellow hay piled around their bases.  It made me want to come home and paint our house; to rip up the bushes in our backyard and replace them with blueberry bushes. I had daydreams of a blueberry and lavender farm and I imagined the beauty and abundance of our crops for years to come.

The afternoon felt lazy.  We gorged on blueberry banana muffins while blueberry currant jam cooled in jars on the counter.  There’s still a pan of blueberries in the refrigerator waiting to be mixed into pancake batter, added to tomorrow mornings cereal, and eaten by the handful.  Still, we can’t wait to go pick more.

 

 

 

 

The Center Must Hold

I realized recently that I am the center of this family.  The point around which each person orbits; the axis around which this family unit revolves.  To my boys I am like the sun that lights their way during the day and the north star that leads them through dream land at night.  I am their home base- the place they run to when they are hurt, tired, scared, sad, excited, curious, bored.  I am the kisser of boo-boo’s, the righter of wrongs, their teacher, play pal and confidant all rolled into one incredibly tired and sometimes completely overwhelmed package.

When I wake irritable and cross with the world, the boys around me echo my sentiments (except sweet Cameron who is still young enough to wake each morning with a smile, happy simply to be awake again, glad just to see me and excited to begin exploring the world). The rest of them- their cranky footsteps, pouting faces and silent stares remind me that in order to teach kindness, I must be kind.  If I want a calm and happy home, then I must lead them there by managing my own anger, acting in ways that convey empathy, understanding and interest and displaying a loving and accepting self even, no especially, in those times when I would rather scream and shout and slam a door.

I am the center and the center must hold.

My husband is like a small island in the middle of this great big, often torrential sea, providing me with a place to land when I am in need of rest and a reminder of what is true.  Sometimes I lose sight of the island and become weary that we will not make landfall this day, afraid that I will be left to drift off alone in this vast expanse.  But then the tide recedes and there he is.  He is a great source of truth for me, reminding me of what is real, gently helping me to steer when I feel off course, always seeming to know what to say to reel me back to myself.  He sees me in a way that no one else does and he chooses to continue loving and supporting me day after day. There are few words in the english language which express the gratitude and comfort that I get from this.

My boys are the waves of our great ocean- coming at me full steam most days, forcing me to strengthen my strokes and take deep breaths before diving in.  But they are also the warm sand on which I rest, the sunshine that brightens my days and the heart-center of our foursome.  They give me strength even as they wear me out and fill me with joy and light even on the hard days, even when I wake irritable and cross and yell because wining doesn’t make pancakes cook faster and because one drop of chocolate milk spilled on our shirt dictates a huge laundry emergency despite the shoulders that are stiff with wiped off snot.  :::sigh:::

Choose what is most important in every moment
Listening to the voices in your head
And learn to hear your truth
Learn what feels good and what is right for you
Find ways to love those parts of yourself that have been undervalued

I see the echos of myself in my boys, in my husband and sometimes I don’t like what I see.  As the boys get older, especially Casey, it becomes increasingly evident and important to model good behavior, appropriate ways to deal with big feelings, right actions and deep empathy.  I don’t always manage to live up to my own ideal but I am learning.

I’m learning that it’s ok. It’s ok to not feel the way I think I should feel. It’s ok to feel the way I do. It’s ok to get mad, to be annoyed, to let them cry a bit, to not give in, to give in, to take alone time, to step away, to want to always come back, to want to hold on a little longer, and to grieve for the loss of a moment that just passed. It’s ok to want to just go inside, to just want to curl up and want quiet for a few moments. It’s ok to some days prefer one boy more then the other, to prefer on game over another, to get tired of playing with toys, to not get to the to-do lists. It’s ok to cry and it’s ok to laugh and to feel everything in between, sometimes at the same time and it’s ok to not know what to do with that. It’s ok to realize that I am not perfect, that I want to be perfect, that I can’t live up to this, that neither are they perfect. It’s ok to apologize sometimes and it’s also ok not to.  

I am the center and the center must hold.

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