You and your Dad rocked mother’s day! Thanks 😉
I loved every minute of it 🙂
As promised, here are some photos we took on Mother’s Day visiting Grandma Margaret…
Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I have to say: you nailed it!
The morning started with cartoons on the sofa with my little man, Buddy. Kitten and Daddy went out to bring home the (literal) bacon…and Starbucks.
For brunch there was cheese and baguette with a side of bacon – heaven! I got a whole assortment of flowers: sunflowers, carnations, roses, lilies, and some very nice crayon-embellished paper ones 🙂
It was a beautiful day outside, so we got in the car and drove down to the cemetery to wish your Grandma Margaret a happy Mother’s Day too. On the way down we played the alphabet game and Eye Spy. Kitten would only let people spy things in ROYGBV order and Buddy only wanted to spy red things. On any other day that might have been prelude to a meltdown, but today – in the beautiful sunlight of Mother’s Day – it was adorable and funny.
At the cemetery Kitten helped Daddy artistically place flowers while Buddy played his favorite game: Run Off. Despite his best intentions I got several nice pictures of the kiddos – the cemetery was beautiful! (I’ll post pictures soon – promise!)
Amidst his shenanigans, Buddy stopped suddenly and turned to me very urgently saying, “I need go potty, Mommy!” Uh oh.
There were absolutely no accessible bathrooms, but there were plenty of accessible trees – all conveniently Grandma Margaret-adjacent. We rejoined Kitten and Daddy and explained the situation.
“Seriously?” Daddy said. “Well, sorry about this Mom…” as he led Buddy over to the nearest tree.
“Look at it this way,” I said, “She’ll be so proud that he’s potty trained!”
Later, as I buckled Kitten in for the ride home she asked, “When do I get to meet Grandma Margaret?”
“Well,” I fumbled, “she’s in heaven right now.”
“Oh, ok….So, when does she get back from heaven?”
“Well, she won’t, sweetie. We’ll have to meet her up there. But not for awhile, ok? She’ll wait for us, I promise.”
Kitten suddenly got very agitated, “But, Mom! What about Puppy??”
“Puppy? He can come with us, sweetheart. Ok?”
“Ok. I think he’ll like Grandma Margaret.”
God, kids can really pull at your heart strings, can’t they?
On the way home in the car, Buddy (who remembers the names of a total of 5 people and one of them is Lightning McQueen) started singing a song for Grandma Margaret. It was the first time that he has ever said her name. It mostly consisted of repeating her name over and over with some less intelligible words thrown in, but it was really quite sweet. I’m sure she loved it.
The rest of the day unfolded nicely. There were naps, a nice dinner with my mom, lots of hugs, baths, and more hugs. A really great Mother’s Day.
Thank you, kids, for making me feel like the luckiest Mom around. Thank you, babe, for raising these adorable and ridiculous kids with me. Thank you, Mom, for everything you have taught me. Thank you, Grandma Margaret, for everything you taught your son.
Happy Mother’s Day!
When I was pregnant with Kitten, my mother gave me a necklace for Mother’s Day. It has a round pendant with the tree of life on it. The tree of life is a prominent Celtic symbol that means that everything is connected; the branches interconnecting with the roots. I love it!
For some reason children are obsessed with this pendant. Every child under three that I hold immediately grabs for it and attempts to shove it in my mouth like I’m some kind of coin operated fun machine. Every. Time.
I roll with this. I pretend to chew it up then spit it back out. Back in it goes. Back out it comes. Over and over.
I’m sure this is not what my mother had in mind when she gave me the necklace, but I find it so incredibly appropriate that children are attracted to and endlessly amused by my mother’s day gift. One day, when Kitten is carrying her first child, I will pass it on to her and – just like the tree of life – the branches will meet the roots.
For your edification – and because I want to and it’s my day – here are some mom-related posts for you:
Thank you for making me a mother!
I love you,
Photo Credits: See individual posts for credits
Heart in Hand Card
Need a last minute offering for mother’s day today? Here’s one all moms will love. Cut out a tiny heart from plastic (I used some plastic that a set of stickers came on. Lay it on your paper, paint up your kids hand, then press it right on the heart. Viola! Cute Card!
When you were born you were so precious. We took you home – despite our protests that they were making a mistake, that we had no idea what we were doing! We had a crib, a bassinet, and a cozy little infant seat for you, but you slept on my chest for the first two weeks. You were so little and you fit so perfectly there with my arms cradling you. I was terrified by how much I loved you. Literally, terrified.
Back when I was pregnant with you I started making your baby book. I put a quote on the first page, “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body” (Elizabeth Stone). I thought it was sweet. After I had you I knew that it was true – really, really true. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest and was laying on the changing table in front of me, cooing and chewing on its toes. It was unbelievable. Perhaps that’s why I kept you so close to my chest those first few weeks.
Over the years I’ve grown accustomed to the feeling. There goes my heart on the jungle gym. There goes my heart to school. So, when your brother was born I wondered how that would feel. It wasn’t terrifying the second time. I got the jump on the fear and simply gave him my heart.
So, there you two go, my heart walking around outside my body; one half on the swings, the other half on the slide. You have no idea, do you? Have you every wondered why I hold you so close? It’s just my heart coming home for a visit.
Dear Kids…or rather…Dear Shoe Manufacturers,
Please consider creating a line of ‘mom shoes’. These shoes should be fashionable, of course, and also allow me to do the following:
1) Kneel & squat for no less than ten minutes while I put on my children’s socks, shoes, jackets, and (most likely) their shoes again.
2) Stand for hours while rocking from foot to foot holding an 8-16 lb infant.
3) Walk slowly and hunched over while holding the hands of a 1 year-old learning to walk.
4) Run in sprints after a 2 year-old who doesn’t know where the heck he is running to, but just likes the feeling of running.
5) Lunge side to side to create a human baby gate between a precocious 1 year-old and the unguarded dangerous thing at someone’s un-kid-proofed house.
They will need to be rain-proof, juice-proof, spit-proof, urine-proof, and vomit proof. They will need to be able to go in to the washing machine with the rest of the items covered in those liquids. They need to feel great when I put them on at O-God:30 in the morning and they need to feel great when I take them off at Past-Bedtime O’Clock. And, for God’s sake, they need to cost less than a week of daycare.
If you can do all that – well, you might just make a buck or two.
If you two ever want a glimpse in to the parenting theory upon which you were raised, look no further than “Confessions of a Slacker Mom” by Muffy Mead-Ferro. I read this book before I had children, while I was pregnant, and again after each of you was born. I dog-eared and underlined it then leant it to my sister – a new mom – who added more dog-ears and underlines. To be honest, I have loaned it to so many moms I don’t know where it is right now and that’s ok. I’ve started buying new copies to give out (although, if you find a copy with my name in it, I would love to have it back).
Based on the book, I’ve developed my favorite parenting guidelines:
1) Keep the kids alive.
2) Make do or do without.
3) Enforce it the first time.
4) Let them make their own mistakes.
5) Limit the stuff.
6) Be prepared to be inconvenienced.
A little more on each guideline:
1) Keep the kids alive. Parenting at it’s most basic. Everything after that is gravy, right?
2) Make do or do without. If Kitten doesn’t want that spoon, she wants Buddy’s spoon, then she is going to have to make do or do without. I’ll be honest, this is hard sometimes. Appeasing a child takes 2 seconds, making a point can take 10-20 minutes (hours?). But I hate whining – hate it – and enforcing this means less whining. It’s also important for kids to learn that not getting what they want is NOT the end of the world.
3) Enforce it the first time. This is the key to ‘slacker’ parenting; front-loading. Do you want to spend your whole shopping trip – every shopping trip – chasing junior down the aisle picking up every thing he’s taken off the shelf? Nobody does. That’s a lot of work! This guideline means taking junior by the hand – every time – and having him put the item back. It’s annoying, but eventually he will get it and you will be the envy of every parent in the grocery store when you say, “Put that back, Junior” and he DOES! Now you can be a slacker – you’ve already done the heavy lifting.
4) Let them make their own mistakes. Mistakes = learning. I think this is something helicopter parenting has really robbed children of – learning by experience. Protect your kids, sure, but don’t over protect them. Let them play in mud and learn that it doesn’t taste good. Let them mix every color in the paint box and learn it makes mud, which (horray!) they already know doesn’t taste good. Let them try something, fail, and try again. It’s fun! It’s life! Our job as parents is to make sure they don’t damage themselves, others, or property (much). Other than that, just see what happens. You might learn how much fun it is to watch your kids discover on their own.
5) Limit the stuff. Limiting toys teaches self control and appreciation for what they have. Every spring and winter Kitten and I – and Buddy when he’s a little older – go through their toys and stuffed animals and take out toys and stuffed animals to give away. This helps control the toy and stuffed animal population and it’s a good lesson in giving. It also helps her appreciate more the toys she keeps. My part in this is encouraging family and friends to give us open-ended toys; toys like blocks, a tea set, dinosaur figurines, cars, pirate sword – all of these can be used in many ways and require you to use your imagination. Dead-end toys, like the ones where you push a button and watch it do one thing over and over, don’t require much imagination or interaction at all and usually don’t last long in our house.
6) Be prepared to be inconvenienced. I can’t overstate it enough. Parenting is inconvenient. Parenting is fun and rewarding, for sure, but the meat of parenting revolves around the inconvenient stuff. Without that stuff, you’re just the fun uncle. It’s leaving a cart full of groceries to take a kid to the bathroom, to take a kid outside for a talk, or to take a kid all the way home. It’s not being able to wait until you get home – even it you’re so close! – for a potty break, a diaper change, a bottle, or a drink. It’s slowing everything down – practically to a halt – so you can explain something, teach something, or correct something. But, even still, or maybe because of all that, parenting is incredibly rewarding…and funny. Sooo funny.
I usually write to the kids, but I just had to get this on the record. There’s something about being a mom that makes you reflect frequently on your own childhood; you suddenly see everything from both sides. And with that in mind I need to express a little gratitude – not just for the diapers changed, the moods tolerated, or the hair held back – but for making me feel every day – happy, sad, or otherwise – that I was loved more than I could probably appreciate at the time.
You loved us without regard, condition or restraint. And, honestly, that felt so good. Now that I’m a mother, I know how overwhelming a parent’s love for a child can be and I’m glad that you did not hold back one ounce of it. I felt constantly awash in your giddy love, and – bouyed by it – made it through some tough times. No matter what went wrong there was always the safe place of you to return to. It was a love without judgement, without caveats, and without shame. I can only hope that the love I have for my own children can be near as empowering to them.
Some parents worry that they will smother their children. I do not believe that children can have too much love. Love, in itself, is not overbearing. All love has good intentions. It is the fear of letting go and calling it love that is smothering. The real trick to parenthood is seeing your heart walking around outside your body and being ok with it.
So, Mom, thank you for the gift of love and life and for teaching me by your example how to be a loving mom.
I love you too.