I love watching the complex relationship that is forming between my two children. Sometimes, they love each other. They cuddle. Leah reads to Chris. He holds out a hurt finger for her to kiss it.
Other times they are co-conspirators, and I can hear them whispering plans, no doubt for some mischief. I was frosting a cake for a party the other day and Chris walked over and looked up at the counter.
“Mama,” he said, “What that?”
“It’s cake-” but before I could finish to say that it was for later, he was off and running to find his sister, yelling, “Leah! Cake!”
And then there are times, which come more often now as Chris gets older, where my kids are enemies. I referee endless arguments over who had what first. I punish Chris when he hauls off and smacks his sister. She purposely pushes his buttons, sure, but I have to teach him we can’t react with out hands (or whatever toy he whips at her head. The kid has great aim.) Even during these times, I have to turn my head away, to hide my smirk.
These children are so lucky to be born with a lifelong comrade. They may have periods where they are not friends, or even where they decide to hate each other. But still, they will always have a special bond, forged by being raised in the same environment. They will always have one another to fall back on. And deep down inside, they will always love one another.
Instead of judging other parents and jumping to conclusions, all I can do is hug my babies close and feel so utterly grateful that nothing bad has ever happened to them. The recent tragic events at Disney have left me feeling heartbroken for the family that lost their little boy. He was the same age as my son, and I can’t even imagine their grief and horror. I can’t even fathom what it’s like to be on top of the world, taking your family on the perfect American vacation to Disney and thinking that things couldn’t get any better than that, only to be beaten down by what was really a freak accident.
Try to understand that most parents want to protect their children. Most parents realize that our babies are our most precious possessions and would never want anything bad to happen to them. We go to great lengths to keep them safe, but it doesn’t always work. We can’t keep them in a bubble, tucked away from the world, no matter how much we wish that we could. Accidents happen, and instead of placing blame when you weren’t even there to see how things unfolded, instead of tearing them down when they are already devastated, just show support. A fellow mother and father out there are going through the most devastating loss that anyone can ever endure right now. My heart just breaks for them.
To the family of the sweet little boy who lost his life this week- I am so sorry for your loss. No words can express the grief that I imagine you are going through right now.
This morning as I was fumbling my way through the coffee making process I heard Leah screech from the living room, “Ewww! Chris stole a half of my bagel and licked it!”
I headed toward them to see if I needed to intervene, but by the time I got there Chris was giggling maniacally and trying to shove the contaminated bagel into Leah’s mouth and saying, “Want some? Have some!”
And that is why I am constantly torn between protecting Leah from too much torture by her little brother and just being thoroughly amused by his antics!
I can’t believe that it has been over three months since I last published a blog post, and before that it was July. I truly apologize to those who enjoy and (hopefully) look forward to my posts. Life has been so busy and I have been living in the moment. That being said, I want to share some of those moments with you- be they funny, heartwarming, frustrating, or simple observations about life and motherhood. I also feel the need to record things here so that I can someday look back and remember these things.
Leah is still her smart and sassy self. She recently told me that she is “polytheistic” and she knew that it means to believe in many gods. She told me that she plans to leave sparkly things out as offerings whenever she needs to ask her gods for help! She is so smart and has a beautiful mind and heart! I am so proud of her.
Last week we got her long hair cut to just above her shoulders. At first I was apprehensive about letting her make such a big change, but then I reminded myself that it is just hair. Leah deserves to make decisions like that. And I have to say that her new style looks absolutely adorable!
Christopher remains my little mischief monkey and he gives us a run for our money every day! He is always getting into something, and doing it with that big mischievous grin and a sparkle in his eyes that I love. He is also a little sweetheart. We have all been sick this week, and the other night I had a coughing fit while holding him. He put his little hands on either side of my face and asked, “You okay, Mama?”
And as for me- well, I am hanging in there! I am working on my final semester before I will graduate with my Bachelor’s degree. I have decided to take a little break from school before pursuing my graduate degree. As I have told my mom, I need one holiday season where I am not scrambling to write final papers right up until Christmas Eve!
For those who follow me, I appreciate your patience. I will do better.
I often say that things are just things, and it is people that are most important in my life. That is true, but I do place a lot of sentimental value on certain things. Some people may see furniture as just objects with which to fill your home. They serve a functional purpose, and then you redecorate and get more furniture.
This morning I received my first piece of furniture, however, that means the world to me. A dining room table. It is special on so many levels. First and foremost, it was handmade by one of our best friends in the world. Nick spent painstaking hours working on this table, his biggest project to date. I knew that it would be a thing of beauty, but now that I am looking at it in my dining room I am astounded by how absolutely stunning it is, and I can’t even wrap my mind around the fact that this solid, sturdy, gorgeous table was made by someone we love so much.
Nick may or may not realize that he gave us so much more than a spot to put our plates down when we eat. He gave us a place to gather around each evening while we discuss our day, and a place that we can fit our extended families around to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. He created the place where Leah will do her homework and Christopher will learn to color in the lines. The place where we will decorate cookies at Christmas and host game nights with our friends.
It’s a beautiful table, but it is also so much more than that. Someday when Dave and I are older and I tire of hosting big family events (okay, as if that will ever happen!) we will pass this table down to Leah, and we will remind her that her Godfather lovingly built it with our family in mind.
Dave and I have worked so hard to get where we are. We have a home, we always have a pantry full of food, and now we are beginning to pick out things that are ours. In the past year we have become the owners of a stereo system, a king sized bed, and this table. But I have a feeling that the table will remain my favorite item in my home (besides the people!) for years to come. To our best friends- I can’t thank you guys enough. We can’t wait to have a meal at our new table with you!
There is nothing I love more than watching the little moments between Chris and Leah that show how much they love one another. Lately it is like they have their own way of communicating with each other just with looks. It melts my heart.
We recently went on vacation to the ocean, and we stayed in a room where Dave and I shared one pull out sofa at one end of the room, Leah was on another at the other end of the room, and Chris was in a pack n play in between us. On our first night there he went to sleep with no problem, being that he was exhausted from the trip. At around 2am, however, he awoke. And that is when he realized what the sleeping arrangements were. First he stood and looked at me and Dave and giggled. Then he walked to the other side and saw Leah. For the next hour he stood there calling “Yeeyah!” while she slept on, oblivious!
During our trip, we ate tons of good food. We had lunch at a place that overlooked the beach and the entire restaurant was open to the sea air. I was sharing a delicious snack of cheddar chips with Dave and enjoying a glass of sangria all while taking in the view, when I happened to glance over at my children. They were sharing an order of chicken fingers and fries, but I had given the little cup of ketchup to Leah. Christopher was silently handing Leah his fries. She would dip the fry in ketchup and hand it back. He smiled and nodded slightly, shoving his dipped fry into his mouth. It was an unspoken agreement between them, and just one of those tiny moments in time that made my smile on the inside and on the outside. It was a moment that although small, I will never forget.
I am one of those moms who lives for school vacations, now that Leah is in school. I can’t wait for her to have the summer off and be home with me every day. I know someone else that is really looking forward to Leah being home as well.
Lately, Christopher has taken to walking around the house all day long, yelling at the top of his lungs- “Yeeyah!!! Yeeyah!!!” He starts outside of her bedroom door, but when she fails to appear he wanders around looking for her in other places and yells out her name. The other day I saw him open up a cabinet, peer inside, and yell for his sister.
It reminds me of that scene near the end of The Graduate where Benjamin, played by Dustin Hoffman, is standing there banging on the glass at the back of the church and desperately yelling out “Elaine!!!”
I love how much by babies love one another, and I can’t wait for vacation to get here so that they can be together every day. And then, when Christopher yells “Yeeyah!”, she will appear, and he will giggle with joy.