Oh, How Time Flies!

My baby turned four today, just about two hours ago.  I don’t honestly know where the years have gone.

Two Hours Old...9 pounds 3 ounces

Two Hours Old...9 pounds 3 ounces

 

Three months

Three Months

18 months

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, that is his sisters bathrobe and slippers

In his sisters bathrobe...about 2 1/2

Three

Today, FOUR years old!

 

Happy Birthday, baby … stop growing so fast!

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I know, I’ve been away!

     You’ll have to forgive me, things at the house have been busy.  Why?  Well, after three weeks of public school ( and my 1st and 3rd grader having two HOURS of homework every night) we decided to pull them out of school and attempt that thing known as homeschooling.

     Its going wonderfully (so far!)  We’re kind of easing into it, giving the kids a chance to “switch gears” so to speak.  My parents are 100% supportive.  The in-laws?  Not so much.  Huge surprise there, right?

     I’m loving the homeschooling so far.  We’re trying to make it fun and hands on for the kids.  As an example, the other day we watched a documentary on the Civil War.  Afterwards, we discussed what the war was about, and took a “field trip” to Lynchburg’s Old City cemetary.  There is a Confederate section in the middle with 2200 soldiers buried.  We walked around all the tiny gravestones, talked about how young most of these boys were ( families have started placing actual markers now, as opposed to the original markers that only had initials, division  and state) and gave them a better idea of the human loss of wars.  I think they got it, and as a bonus we got to be outside on a beautiful fall day.

     We’ll get more “serious” about schooling soon, but we’re trying the unit study approach.  I think we’ll do Thanksgiving soon, and tie in the Pilgrims, and Columbus, and then Pocahontas and Sacagawea.  After that, maybe move into Lewis and Clark?  We’ll see where the kids want to go with it.

     Hope you’re all doing well!

Mother

     What a beautiful, painful, terrifying and vast responsibility being a mother is.  The universe hands you a child, a blank slate, raw clay.  Says to you “Mold her.  Shape him.  Give them the best of you, and pass on none of the bad.”

     I find myself explaining concepts that I never knew I could.  Why is “hate” a bad word?  Why don’t we throw rocks at birds?  Why do we brush our teeth?  And why, especially, do we NOT feed our dinner to the dogs?  It’s why?  Why?  Why?

     I find myself pushed to be better — MORE patient, MORE thoughtful, MORE creative.  I don’t want my progeny to be the “typical” child.  They will be thoughtful, polite, creative, independent thinkers.  They will stand up for what they believe in (even if it isn’t popular.)  They will think green. They will fight injustice on the playgrounds of life.  They will do the right thing because it is the right thing.

     I had thought for a time that becoming this person called “mother” meant that I could no longer be “me”  I know now that the word insists that I become MORE me.  Every experience I have ever had, good or bad, I now use to draw on to mold these little people.  It doesn’t matter if I’m tired, or sore, content or not in my daily life, I push for more and for better for THEM.

     I don’t know what I would do without my children.  They are as much a part of me now as my hand, or foot, or eye.  Ask the sighted what they would do if suddenly and terribly struck blind.  That is me without my littles.

     I find myself so often listening to instinct and somehow being strong enough to ignore the criticisms and advice.  Never did I think when I first saw those two pink lines so many years ago that I would be a co-sleeping, baby wearing, nursing on demand, cloth diapering mama.  Never did I imagine going on to relatives and friends about the benefits of extended breastfeeding and baby led weaning.  Me?  Pfft.  Instinct led me down the right paths.  I’m strong enough now to believe that I know what is best and right for me and mine.

     And yet, as much as motherhood has changed and mellowed me, in so many other ways it hasn’t.  We’ve eaten cold pizza and ice cream for breakfast for fun.  I’ve woken my kids and taken them to an all night diner for milkshakes in their footie pajamas.  They’ve watched beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and seen the full moon in the middle of July.  I don’t talk to my children like they are idiots, I speak as if they are small adults.  They are free to try to explore and taste anything in the world that I know won’t kill or maim them.  Our summers are filled with late nights and long days at celtic festivals and Scottish Highland Games.  We’ve explored Renaissance Faires and small county carnivals.  They know the vendors at the Farmers Market by name.  They understand that cows and chickens are tasty (not just cartoon animals), and know where their food comes from.  I bleach their hair and dye it funky colors.  They wear plaid and stripes together.  All of these things are pieces of the “old” me, the pre-mommy free spirit I used to be.

     I want them to see the good in the world.  I want them to believe that the wrong, the bad, the evil are such small small parts of the big picture.  I hate that they cry when they see the destruction of the oil spill on the television.  I want to shelter them from these things, but understand at the same time that they HAVE to know, to understand.  They will change the world.  They will heal the injustice.  The things they see and learn and touch now will affect them when they are adults.  I want to hold them close and shelter them at the same time that I’m showing them what’s wrong with the world.

     My children are beautiful.  And I am their mother.

Have you ever woken in a panic?

     That was me, last night.  At three am.  Because I was suddenly thrown out of a very nice dream and absolutely convinced that Drake was upstairs, suffocating in his bed.  In my defense, I tried not going to check on him.  I told myself all the rational “He’s fine, you silly woman” things that I’m sure you’d say to anyone.  But I couldn’t shake the feeling!

     Now, in my defense, I had given him a good dose of Benadryl before he went to sleep.  And I am always inordinately worried about giving the littles medicines, especially those that can make them tired.  We’ve also just started transitioning him into his “big boy” bed in his “big boy” room on the second story of the house.  We’ve been co-sleeping for almost three years now, and I’m attuned to the breathing and motions of the  little person next to me.  Now that there is no little person to be aware of, it seems my subconscious is punishing me with nightmares of suffocating babies.  I could see him in his little bed, sleeping a drugged sleep, face pressed into a pillow and slowly suffocating…and I flew out of bed.

     My first stop was Drakes room, and he wasn’t in it.  This actually panicked me more, because if he isn’t in his bed, he’s in mine.  I checked his sisters room…nothing.  I peeked in on his older brother, only to find that Gryphon was sleeping alone too!  I ran down the stairs, setting the dogs off into panicked bark mode, shutting off the hall light on my way.  I actually opened my bedroom and turned the light on, just to be certain he wasn’t in bed with me all along!  Half panicked, I stumbled into the living room…

   The husband was asleep in his favorite chair, snoring.  Little man was curled up with Daddy, also snoring.  I actually walked over and touched his chest to reassure myself that YES he is still breathing.  Then I felt like an idiot.

     I laid in bed, alone.  It felt too big, too empty.  Nearly an hour later, I had finally calmed down enough to sleep.

     Everyone told me that transitioning Drake to a big boy bed and out of ours would be an adjustment, something he’d have to get used to.  No one told me that it was going to be such an adjustment for me!  I’m thinking about putting a baby monitor upstairs, just for my peace of mind.  Really, I mean…he could need me, right?

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