Mothering is a 24/7 job, good thing the pay off is priceless!
Mothering is a 24/7 job, good thing the pay off is priceless!
/moov/. verb. 1. go in a specified direction or manner; change position. 2. change or cause to change from one state, opinion, sphere, or activity to another.
noun. 1. a change of place, position or state.
My day started with a tearful Jax sullenly dragging his sleepy body back to his bedroom. Mike and I were pajama-less and I told Jax he could hang out with us on top of the covers or go back to bed in his own room. Taking my response as total rejection, iridescent globes of his pure little heart welled up at the edge of his eyes and silently slid down his sun-kissed and freckled cheeks. I struggled to rush through the waking process, trying to use my hands to sit myself up and rub away the sleep all at once, accomplishing neither. His crushing sobs bounced down the hallway which contorted the sound into an almost laugh or squawk which confused my morning mush-brain even more. By the time I located my robe, haphazardly discarded on Mike’s side of the bed, and plodded down the hall to my middle son’s room; I found him cocooned in 3 layers of blankets. Consoled by his stuffies, which were dutifully snuggled underneath his chin. One of his favorites, a corn-flower blue fuzzy bunny shielded Jax’s eye with a floppy ear. His face full of peace. I would have thought I dreamt the whole event had there not been the telling streaks of dried tears on his freckled face. Jax had been sleep walking again.
Like the other moments before, Jax would not remember this interaction. I, however, am left with the feeling of moving through a moment without being able to … i don’t know… what am I left with? A moment that I am experiencing alone, and yet not alone? So… weird.
On todays agenda was to hike with a new friend. We became acquainted through Jax’s friendship with her son: a really fun, spirited kid Jax loves to be around.
We had talked about getting together to hike for weeks. I had noticed something going on with her. Today she confides that she and her husband are separated with the intention of divorce. My heart felt so heavy for her. One look in here eyes and I could see the steps she walked were made with thoughtfulness and intent. Yet, I wanted to take her hand and start to just run. Run down the block and jump off the concrete street as if it were a runway and take off into the brilliant sapphire sky. I wanted to help her glide through the clouds and have the wind wick away the tears and hurt she was so honestly showcasing despite our fledgling friendship.
Instead, we hiked; we took off into the winding paths of Lake Chabot. As we talked and pumped our healthy legs to the rhythm of our raw truths, the world looked like velvet. The landscape, a blanket for our honest and raw words to softly land, despite the sweat-filled pounding of our feet. It was as if we were the toddlers Mother Earth held close to her belly and let us beat our fists against.
As our hearts pumped with action both verbal and physical, we were safe. Discovering new pieces of each other and realizing how alike we may be. I tried to keep my listening ears on and not talk so much or offer my suggestions; just listen. I didn’t do as well as I wanted too. I did my best in that moment.
I felt honored she shared such an intimate moment with me and trusted me enough to be so real. When I looked at her, as we finished our walk, I saw such a strong woman -walking in the present and toward the future she had not foreseen -with the purpose of being the best woman and mother she can be.
I was moved. Empowered, I hope to model some of her strength and intention into my day. What am I not doing for myself that I should be doing? What is the truth that I am not speaking? What actions am I not holding myself accountable for?
Maybe my feeling of being challenged by my sister-in-laws comment of “having all the extra time now that Ziva is in school, why was I not writing?” she asked, “What am I filling my time up with these other projects if writing is what I am passionate about?” Instead of saying, “good question!” I felt defensive and dismissed it. Now, in this moment… I see what she sees; why am I not being true to myself and putting this passion first (or even 5th!) No one is asking me to be a martyr or to have the cleanest house on the block.
Working on being real, letting people in and learning to trust and share my inner thoughts is what I should be practicing. Not worrying about what people will think if my kitchen floor has layers of dog hair, squashed strawberry tops and coffee grounds. If they are real friends, they will know that 3 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cat and a busy husband leads to an always moving household.
Though I love the pictures in my Dwell magazine and Architect Digest, they are no match for the epic pillow fights that spontaneously erupt in my front room. Or the awesome dance parties we have to shake off a funky day.
It is only 1:18PM and already I have learned a lot…the day is not nearly over. I am excited to go, walk, proceed, progress, advance, change, budge, shift, act; to Move.
What about you?
Laugh hard. Love strong. Live to serve!
“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?” — Dr. Seuss
Jax, Ziva and I are howling Christmas songs while on our way to pick up Luke from school. We are waiting through a red light and Jax suddenly asked, “Did the Romans place Jesus on the cross, in the sunlight, so he could turn golden like he is on the cross at Grandad’s church?”
I mentally broke away from the shopping list I was preparing in my head and replied “No, Jaxi, the Romans didn’t intend to make him golden. But now that you mention it… because of their choice, Jesus is golden to us.”
His 4 year old face was washed with concern and after a long pause he finally said, “ Well I wish Daddy was there so he could have fought those Romans with his sword and save Jesus!”
Ah, the innocence and wisdom of a 4 year old! How incredible is it that these little human beings look at the world and everyone in it as having the purist of intentions (making jesus golden like the sun) or to protect those that they love. Jax, feeling that his daddy was powerful enough to fight off Roman Soldiers as one man, and save Jesus.
I was amazed, again learning more from him than I could ever teach. I was also humbled. We are so Mighty to them. In their world we manifest food, home, all of their needs and most of their wants. Many of those wants are so simple. Our time; the opportunity to look us in the eyes when they are discussing the dynamics of how they think Santa squeezes down the chimney; the freedom to be themselves and not the reflection of what we hope others will see them to be; compassion, hoping as parents, we remember how frustrating it was to learn how to tie our shoe or how painful it is to have an ear ache.
My moment with Jax reminded me that kids think their parents are Super-Heroes and that our mission is to champion FOR them and not fight at them or against them.
My wish for you this New Year is to be in the Present and enjoy everyone around you. Be the Super-hero your kids believe you are and Choose Happiness.
Laugh Hard. Love Strong. Live to Serve.
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Math, teaching, copious metaphors, and drawings that will never ever earn a spot on the fridge
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