5 things

May 3, 2009

I haven’t done a meme in a long time, but this is an interesting project. HBM and David have suggested doing an around the world meme on a topic that is easy for me to write about:  5 things that I love about being a mom.

1. Being woken up with joy, two little blond heads popping up over the edge of the bed, ready to start the day.

2. Spending mornings adventuring through the back woods of our neighborhood or the concrete jungles of downtown Washington, D.C., with tot friends and mom friends, confident in the acceptance and ease that comes with knowing you’ve all got the same interests and principles at heart (1. love kids. 2. help kids grow. 3. keep kids safe), though you may be so different in experience or heritage or plans for when the kids grow up.

3. Snuggling two sleepy little ones for afternoon nap, cuddled up in their beds reading book after book, and telling stories until they fall asleep.

4. The freedom I have to fill their days with digging in the dirt, squealing over wiggly worms, talking about how plants grow, and being there when they ask, “Why, Mommy?”

5. Watching with pride as one comforts the other after a stumble on the pavement.  As I rush to cuddle and comfort the one who hurts, the other invariably gets there first, wrapping his tiny arms around his brother, dipping his little head on brother’s shoulder, and saying, “It’s okay, brudder.  It’s okay.”

That last bit reflects hard-earned empathy for these children, these wonderful children who have grown through the tragedy that was a mama who couldn’t hold them when she was sick, couldn’t run with them through the wet grasses, couldn’t take them to see the world because she was sick in bed from chemotherapy.  These children rallied, and comforted me as I comforted them, always loving, always careful, and being with them every moment possible, as they are the lights of my life.  The empathy is hard-won for them, and while I regret that they had to go through so much, I am proud that for them it produced kindness, concern, and compassion for each other, for friends, for stray animals, and for their daddy and me when we stub our toe or burn a finger.

These children, these little children, are teaching me how to live.

And I am grateful.

Join the project — post your response to “5 things I love about being a mom” and David and Her Bad Mother will link you up.  Don’t wait for a tag … by reading this, you can be sure that I’m tagging YOU.

Our Little Bear

April 20, 2009

from Widget this week:

Mama, I think Bear is here to make us happy.

You know what?  I think, in large part, he’s right.

Little Bear is such a bundle of pure, absolute joy.  His laughter echoes from wall to wall.  His joy is evident in every step.  When he moves from place to place, he pulls his little arms in by his side, balls up his fists, opens his mouth, and runs like the wind, laughing as he skids to a stop just before the far wall.  His eyes are bright and sparkley; his brain full of good ideas, expressed one word by one word as he can get the concepts across.  (He is, after all, only just two.)  When he wants to go somewhere, he grabs a grown-up’s hand and gently tugs you along to share his fun.  When he looks up at you, oh, when he looks up at you, the shear joy in his eyes is almost too intense to take.

And when he sees a friend or family member hurt, he immediately runs over, gently puts his arms around you, and says, “‘s okay, brudder,” or “‘s okay, mama,” willing you to feel better with his mighty little spirit.

Tonight big brother Widget put his toe in the bath too soon, and it was hot.  Little Bear put his arm around him, said “‘s okay, brudder,” and then when Widget started to do it again, Bear put his arm out in front and said, “No. hawt,” not letting him make the mistake again.

Now they’re all cuddled up in their beds, snuggled, snoring, and sleeping at last.  But I had to share this with the world, just as I have always shared my little boy with the world through this blog.  Because I think I agree with Widget on this.

Bear is here, in part, to make us happy.

Oh, what joy he brings.

Maddie’s Legacy: Notes from the NICU

April 14, 2009
Remembering Maddie

Can toddlers leave a legacy?

You bet they can.

If you’ve been on the mama-net this week, you’ve seen the outpourings of love and well-wishes and heartbreak, all for two little toddlers that were lost this week.  There are so few words at a time like this …. so many of us have turned our blogs or avatars purple in memory of little Maddie.  We’re now beginning to process the new grief that is the loss of little Thalon.

And we know that we will never be the same again.

In Maddie’s memory, I’d like to point you over to her mama’s blog, for a post that she wrote just a couple weeks ago to help other parents who may find themselves or a close friend’s child in the NICU.  It’s a great post about how to help, at one of the times when friends need us most.

honoring Maddie

April 10, 2009

in honor of Maddie, our family will release a purple balloon this weekend.

her story is not mine to tell, but i join with the internet in missing her, and taking action to further research that may one day save another baby. or thousands.

Heather and Mike, our hearts are with you as you grieve.