Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ready For Summer!

Another school year come and gone. Kinley finished up his second year at a private pre-school. I think he came into his own a little more this year, gaining some confidence and learning a lot. It's hard to believe that the little boy who made me mama five years ago will soon be walking into a new school as a kindergartner. I remember being pregnant with him and thinking that he would learn Spanish as we taught him English because naturally. Oh, that mom was cute. That mom went on to have three more kids in the next four years and now barely knows English herself. Still, I'm very proud of my oldest. He loves to be outside. He will squeeze all the daylight he can out of each day this summer.
Abel also finished up his second year at preschool. His Pre-K class has been good for him. I think he enjoys the structure and routine that school brings. Familiar faces greeted him while he attended and I think that has helped to make him feel more comfortable. His progress has jumped in the past few months and he surprises me weekly with the things he says and does. One of the goals I have had for him was to mainstream him as soon as possible. We are going to try that in the fall when he will hopefully start a mainstream pre-k with his typically developing four year old peers. I'm excited for him. I know he can do it!
I also got another year at home with my Merit. He's two now- two going on five. He wants to do everything Kinley does and certainly holds his own in brother conversations, quarrels, and joy. He thrives at being the only big boy at home when he can. We often had a few mornings each week together, just the baby, Merit, and me. I'll cherish those. He is great with chores, eager to learn, and independent. His laugh will fill up a room, but he sure does have some strong, ever-changing opinions, too. Watch out for this one. At heart, he's a good boy.

And now that the school year is over, that means my baby is almost one. I have no idea how that happened. I never knew a baby could be so sweet. Saylor's smile is contagious. I can't stop kissing her. She loves to fuss when she sees me and I'm not holding her. She loves her mama, but she won't say it. She just says "Dada" all the time. Her latest party tricks include pointing, waving and saying "hi" and "hey". I look forward to more one on one time next fall when some of the brothers filter out into their school system.

Until then, we're going to have a great summer. We kicked it off yesterday with a pool party and a few of our closest friends! I plan to document our summer here on the blog so I hope you'll come back frequently. I'm determined to not plant these kids in front of the t.v., but instead to get out and live in the sunshine!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Are You Haley?

I stumbled across this piece of art at a coffee shop I grew up in. What I mean is that for four years of my early adulthood, I met people at this place to talk about love lost, to medicate with sugary, caffeine- plenty drinks after staying up too late in the computer lab, and to study some more in this small sanctuary called Poet's in the town in which I completed my Bachelor's degree. The picture was titled "Haley had a dream", but I looked at it and thought, 'Isn't this the picture of motherhood?'
I see myself in this girl. Her hair is beautifully curled. She put something nice on to wear. For the most part, her house is clean and tidy. While those things rarely describe my life, it's something I'm encouraged to believe is an easy task to accomplish. Yet, it's harder than it may seem. I see myself in Haley because she seems to have made such an effort, but still, there's uncooked food sitting beside her. It's messy, dripping, and the clock is ticking for her to salvage it into something more desirable. I imagine there are many children under this table, pulling on her leg. They're probably needing a diaper change, their nose wiped, their shoes tied, and more hugs than she's offered up today. The demand she feels in every direction has closed in on her in this moment and she just has to lay her head down and breathe for sixty seconds. I see me.
I like this picture a lot, actually. It reminds me that not everyone exists in tiny picture perfect Instagram squares. It helps to remind me that the incredible strength of a woman comes from God and that it's Him who keeps me going despite the growing demands a society places on me. I like it because it's peculiar--like it almost wouldn't make sense to you unless you were a little strange yourself. I feel this way because I know many of you who are reading this right now don't understand me. You likely wonder why raising young children is emotionally and physically exhausting. I know. I remember thinking those thoughts long ago, too. I even remember when I had two children under two and managed to keep my house in order, my body fit, and whatever else you may think is good and proper for a young mother to do. Their little bottoms were covered with cloth diapers. We ate fresh, clean foods. I was figuring this motherhood gig out! Then, two became three and shortly after that there were four. One by one, I've begun to let some things go. The perfect mom facade was never for me. Here I am. Like Haley. I'm tired, but I'm strong. When I finish writing these words, I'll lift myself up off the table again and handle whatever may be thrown my way today. And grace. I'll give myself plenty of that.
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