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.

 

 

 

 

Heart-full.

I love watching my three year old run.  It has become one of my great joys in life.  He runs as if it is what he was made to do.  He runs fast and exuberantly, taking off a block away from the park, knees pumping.  His run is punctuated by involuntary skips and jumps, legs pushing their limits in a rush to get to the playground.   When he glances back at me, his face is pure joy.

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He has kid legs now, long and lean. I can see the muscle definition in his thighs when he runs and jumps and stretches; his arms when he carries, throws, reaches up for me to hold him; his stomach when I tickle him.  His little body is absolutely incredible- a work of art.  God’s perfection standing before me.

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Sometimes he runs just because he wants to, because it feels good.  He runs up and down the sidewalk, through puddles, laughing with delight.  He pushes his boundaries running down our street, glancing back to see how I am reacting as he runs in spurts, farther and farther down the sidewalk.  Someday he will be driving down this same street and I can already feel the lump in my throat, the blood pumping through my veins as I push back the anxiety of letting him go.

Meanwhile, my other boy is beginning to discover his capacity for movement and I can already tell he is going to keep me on my toes, just as he did during his pregnancy.  He shows a tremendous interest in exploring our house, loves holding onto your hands as he walks, constantly.  He’s been crawling for a few weeks, quickly picking up a three-legged crawl in his effort to move from place to place and follow his brother around. He pulls himself up onto anything that will hold him; standing at our toy shelf and systematically pulling everything off it.  I love watching the determination he displays when he moves from one place to the next.  I love seeing the automatic smile that forms when he claps and waves and recognizes my voice.

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I didn’t know what it would be like to form a relationship with another child.  As an only child myself, I didn’t know what it looked like for a parent to have a relationship with more then one child, to give themselves in different ways, depending on the needs of each child on a particular day.  I didn’t know it would feel so expansive, so awe inspiring, to realize during the small moments of our day that I am forming a separate relationship with Cameron that is so different from my relationship with Casey but just as big, just as loving.  I didn’t know that it would feel so good to have a second boy who found comfort in my arms, who just wants to lay his head on my shoulder or hang onto my leg or cuddle next to me in bed, just because I am his mother.  It gives a true meaning to the term “heart-full.”

 

 

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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Motherhood and happiness.

It was last night when I had a moment of enlightening, while sitting on our couch after both boys had finally gone down to sleep.  It’s been a roller coaster these last two months and we have had some trying days with Casey adjusting to a baby in the house.  There have been some times.  Enough said.

I never feel good after I’ve yelled at my kids.  I don’t like losing my temper and there are many times during the day when I get mad at something I later realize didn’t warrant the emotional energy spent arguing and fighting about.

The thing is, I am a selfish person.  I mean not really.  I’m empathetic and love connecting and learning about other people.  But here’s the thing: I’m an only child and, for better or worse, I am used to having things in my family revolve around me.  I am used to having most areas of my life revolve around my schedule and my needs.

But parenting doesn’t work that way.  I don’t get to set the schedule for my children. Besides making sure they are well fed, educated, and taken care of, I have no control over what toys my 2.5 year old wants to play with or whether or not he actually wants to go to Target and wander the isles when I say so.  I have no control over when my 7 week old is hungry or tired or overwhelmed or wants to be totally cute and lay on his back and kick and coo and smile for us.  I cannot exert my will or my schedule upon these boys anymore then I can tell the sun to set at a later hour.  It is not about me anymore.

My job now is to raise these two boys.  It is my job to make sure they are well-adjusted, healthy, encouraged, understood, loved, supported and generally happy.  It is easy to lose sight of this in the moment, after I have said the same thing 5 times in a row, when I am facing ultimate temper-tantrums, when the only answer I get all day is “no” and “I did it anyway”.  It is hard to just want five minutes to myself, to be able to finish whatever it is I am working on or have things go “according to plan”.  It is easy to lean into the resentment and anger that can bubble up.

But this does not serve me.  This season of my life calls for deep breathing and slowing down; for listening, uplifting, teaching, gentleness and understanding.  It is a season of warmth and growth and bonding and even though the hours stretch long and sleep is wanting, it always feels better to take the time and give that extra minute.  It pays to get down on their level and slow down, to try to see through their eyes and understand what the world is like for them, instead of trying to impose my schedule onto them.

All of this came to me last night and it was like a light turned on. It was forgiveness and a letting go of all the guilt I carry about reacting badly when I am stressed out or tired, letting go of all the questions of whether or not I am a good mom.  It was like warmth and reassurance; the innate knowledge that I am a great mother to my boys and that I have so much to cherish and to look forward to.  It was happiness.

It was motherhood and it was happiness.

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