Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer in the mountains

Then followed that beautiful season... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I love that quote. It so sums up my feelings that come with summer. This week, my Oliver has gone to play in the mountains at his grandparents' house. They live in little boy heaven. Lots of trees and bugs, deer and wild turkeys... and even the occasional bear. It's a beautiful place lifted from the pages of Thoreau or Longfellow. Who wouldn't want their child to go there for a week? Well, last year I really struggled letting him go... You may remember my blog entry at that time. I was a bit of a mess.

Well, this year is totally different. While I am missing him this week... I feel like my left arm is missing, in fact... I'm not sad or even worried this year. I didn't even cry when we dropped him off. I know that he is in the most capable, loving hands of his grandparents, who will spoil him rotten and will love every minute of it. And he will make such amazing memories on these trips. I hope he has a blast! (But I still can't wait to see him Friday!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


My 2-year-old son Charlie and I have a pet bug aptly named Bug. He's invisible.

He has impeccable timing, often appearing on the cusp of a hysterical meltdown and deftly diffusing the situation.

My mother found Bug one day as we were shopping together with Charlie. He was mid-meltdown, screaming, tears flowing, trying vigorously to climb out of the big red shopping cart and attracting all sorts of attention (and not the good kind).

Mom, cool and calm as a cucumber, reached into her pocket and seemed to retrieve something small. She held it tightly in her hand and said, "Charlie, do you want to hold my Bug?" Charlie, completely caught off guard, abandoned his tantrum to see what his grandmother held in her hand. Mom opened her hand and put the invisible insect into Charlie's tiny palm and quickly closed it up. "Now don't lose my Bug," she said.

Charlie opened his hand to look inside and mom shouted, "Oh no! He flew away! Better catch him, quick!" Charlie let out a big belly laugh and quickly grabbed at the air in front of him and caught the invisible Bug. This game continued until we checked out. The whole way home from the store Charlie clutched his fist tight, so as not to lose his new pet Bug.

Now, whenever I need to stop a tantrum in its tracks when we're running errands, I pull Bug out of my pocket and give him to Charlie. And I thank God for blessing me with such a beautifully creative, imaginative and silly mother, who so kindly gave us Bug.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Folding up memories

This past weekend, I cleaned out my toddler's closet to make room for size 3T clothes. I carefully folded the size 2T and 24 month outfits as if I were going to stow them in the attic, as I have been doing for the past nine years with all my children's clothes. But it suddenly hit me that I wouldn't be packing his clothes up for the next child. Instead, they'd be making a trip to Goodwill. Charlie is, as we lovingly refer to him, the caboose. When he outgrows toys and clothes, they no longer move to the attic. They move on to another family.

When Oliver, my oldest, outgrew clothes, I'd happily pack them up into tubs, and Dave would move them to the attic. When Henry came along, we did the same. We always knew we'd have three kids. And, as blessings would have it, we did. And, to top it all off, all three were boys, and so all of those clothes that were so carefully packed away were put to good use. Many many memories were folded away in those tubs. As fun as it is to unpack them for the next child, it's equally as heartbreaking to have to give them up.

Tonight, as I folded my daily two loads of laundry, I had to remind myself not to resent the process. Pretty soon, all of the little pairs of shorts and popsicle-stained tee shirts would be outgrown and not needed.

Tomorrow I'll be taking two more bags of clothes to Goodwill. I sure hope the next little boys who wear them create happy memories in them too.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The best surprise...

Last week, we went to Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando. It was amazing. Amazing...
We planned the trip months ago and decided to keep it a secret. The boys had no idea. We only told them we were going to their grandparents' house, which we did (as a rest stop for our trip). We spent the night at Nani and Papa's and the next morning woke the kids at the crack of dawn and popped the surprise. They literally were speechless. Once it registered that the next six days would be filled with nothing but Disney and Harry Potter magic, they were so fantastically excited.

We arrived back home a few days ago, wearied from from the frantic pace of racing from roller coaster to roller coaster and the excitement of meeting our favorite characters... I may never catch up on the laundry that accumulated during the trip or the sleep that I lost. But my heart is full because for an entire week I got to be a little girl again and enjoy the wonder of a magical place. I got to witness such sweet joy in my little ones.

The laundry will get done... eventually. But that's not important. When my boys become men and think back on their childhood, they won't remember how clean the house was or how many loads of laundry piled up in the laundry room. They'll remember the fun times we spent together, like that morning when they were 9, 6 and 2 when their mommy and daddy woke them up before sunrise and whisked them away to Disney World.