Sunday, June 20, 2010

Savoring Summer

I can feel it -- it's going to go too fast. It's already going too fast. But I'm just trying to enjoy it. Something has clicked in me this year. It's only taken me eleven years, but I'm doing better this year than ever before at detaching from "my" stuff to play more with my kids. I'm a slow learner, I know. But it has given me hope that maybe I can get even better over the next eleven years in savoring the time I have with them while they are still under our roof.

So, if the whole get-on-the-floor-and-play-with-your-kids thing doesn't come naturally for you, either, I hope this can give you hope, too. ;)

Here are some of my favorite memories so far.

- The end-of-school party with #3 and her friends. (#1 and #2 were on a trip.)

- Sitting on the grass in the cool evening, cuddled on a blanket, reading. (We did that again tonight.) I love to close my eyes and listen to the birds and the breeze.

- Sitting around the table, or on the couch, or on the bed, laughing together. We tend to get a little silly around here.

- Going to a movie with #1 and #2 while #3 was on a trip with her dad. What made the memory fun was that I forgot my wallet, but #2 just happened to have hers, so she paid. (She also paid for the new shoes we got after the movie -- I'd forgotten that my wallet was MIA.) It was funny to watch her count out her money to bail out her mom's spaciness. I played it up a little, too, clinging to her and begging as we walked to the cash register: "Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze will you buy it for me? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze?"

- Spending time with my girls sewing princess dresses. I'm not a seamstress at all, but they and their cousins came up with a new imaginary game and they wanted to make dresses. I figured it was a chance to try to teach them some basics while we spent some time together. (It was fun until I tried to tackle sleeves last night. Uh, ugh. Yeah, I guess they aren't the only ones learning. Ahem.)

- Playing tennis with my fam at sunset.

- Introducing the children to Icees (cheap treat -- a buck each at BK). (One child noted, quite astutely, that the first bite tasted like medicine but then it tastes good. Artificial schtuff doesn't taste as good as it did when I was a kid, that's for sure.)

- Family parties with out-of-town siblings in town!

- Surprising hubby with an amazing collage of photos of the kidlets for Father's Day. We had so much fun sneaking around, keeping that a secret. I have to say that I am regretting my no-photos-of-children policy about now. They are sooooooooooooooooo cute. (I'm such a mushy mom. I cried when I gave it to him.)

(Does anyone else struggle not to feel like they simply can't NOT use a photo from a photo shoot? Sheesh, these companies are smart. That free 8x10 sure ended up costing us, er, more than $0. Now we know why I don't do professional photos very often. But hello? Who's going to pay $120 for a digital copy of four photos?)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Life is Uncertain. Carry a Leash.

We both noticed the dog at the same moment as we pulled into our driveway. I think the same thing was going through our minds, too. "Who's dog is that?" with a simultaneous "I hope it doesn't poop on our lawn!"

(We don't have a dog for a reason. For THAT reason. I paid my poop dues with diapers, thankyouverymuch.)

It was clear that this dog had no other place it wanted to go. She looked at us, wagging her tail in anticipation of our exit from our vehicle. She even sat, patiently, while we sat in the car, giggling at the playfulness on her face and being able to easily see where this was going.

Sure enough, when hubby opened the door of the car, she was by his side in a matter of a second or two.
(All I could think about was how we inherited a cat when I was a kid, all by being too nice to it.)

I noticed the dog had a tag. Hubby called both numbers. No dice. The address put her as being well over two dozen blocks away from her home, if that was, indeed, her home.

There was only one way to find out. I wasn't about to leave the dog to wander off and get lost (or to poop on my lawn, thankyouverymuch). She was awfully cute, after all. (Were I to ever get a dog, I'd like one like this one.)

I called her to me and led her to the car. (Hubby's car, of course. Less cubic footage in which potential dog damage could be done. He wasn't so sure he liked that idea.)

Let me just tell you that that two dozen+ blocks was quite the adventure. She was all over the place -- on my lap, on the seat, licking my face, bumping her head on the windshield, sticking her head out the window.

As she whimpered, I worried. Is she trained? Am I going to regret not bringing a towel? Am I going to get a ticket for driving a bit like a drunk person as this animal was jumping all over me?

I was relieved to get to the address on the tag, although by this time I was beginning to wonder if I'd really made a mistake by bringing her.

I knocked. Again, no dice, although there was clearly another animal inside. Right after I decided I needed to let her down to, er, take a break in the grassy area between apartment buildings, a man came out with his three chihuahuas. Grrrrrrrrrr. Little dogs were growling and snipping and pouncing, and I was panicking. "I'm sorry," I explained. "This isn't my dog...I'm trying to find the owner." Fortunately, his dogs were on a leash and he did all he could to reign them in so he could take them in.

By this time, the dog had turned the corner on the neighboring building. I had visions of trying to explain to the owners that I had found and then promptly lost their dog....

"Can you help me get that dog?" I cried out to a tenant of that building, explaining again the fact that she wasn't mine.

"Do you need a leash?" I felt like I could have cried with gratitude.

Long story short...I finally found a neighbor home, who agreed to keep the dog and put a note on the owner's door.

By the time I got home, the owner had called my hubby's cell phone back. And I had the humorous experience of telling the tale to my neighbors. As it turned out, the suspicion that crept into my head as I drove to the apartments was true...

...It was my neighbor's son's dog who had gotten out while they were at dinner.

(Well, at least they know I care, right?)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stop the race! I want to get off the track!

We usually talk about the rat race in terms of business or the crazy, money-making world out there.

But gollygeewhittakers [or is it willakers?], it actually really frustratingly (adverb attack was annoyingly deliberate; I'm feeling off tonite) creeps into the realm of motherhood. AND I HATE IT.

I know in my heart of hearts that motherhood is not a good place to be playing comparison games, but sheesh. Try telling that to my brain.

And then summer adds a whole new dimension, because now children are home! Now is when you really show your momma stuff! (Maybe summer is a good time to avoid reading others' blogs. When you sleep half your day away, you're not going to be able to pull off much of that Fun Momma Stuff. Meh.)

I have to keep reminding myself that there is more to my mothering than just how Fun I may (or may not) be. And I'm not knocking Fun, either. I just need to figure out how not to care so much about what I can't do (or even just what I'm not doing) and just let myself be me and let our life be what it is. To figure out what for me, for us, is good (best?) and right.

As I talked to a friend about this today, a thought I had is that learning to discern what is right for your particular situation is a key part of the journey. And trying to sort through that in the role of mother is some serious soul work.

Just more evidence that motherhood isn't just about the growth of the children.


 ˙ʍou uǝbʎxo ןɐnʇıɹıds ǝɯos ɟןǝsʎɯ buıʌıb :ʇdıɹɔsʇsod*

Friday, June 4, 2010

Spring Perfection

It was a simply stunning evening tonite. The clouds went on to the edge of the horizon in a beautiful pattern of puffs. The wind came in gusts strong enough to keep tennis balls rolling in perpetual motion on the court, but not so strong that we couldn't enjoy some great volleys.

I haven't been on a court for probably a year, and didn't realize how much I missed it until I was out there.Wow, I love that sport.

And headache notwithstanding, it was as if a bit of life was breathed into me by that wind. I couldn't resist just stopping occasionally to breathe in the marvelous spring air. I even did a few slow twirls, with my arms fully extended, Julie Andrews style.

For me, I dare say there is nothing better than a gorgeous spring evening, the chance to play tennis, and priceless time with my precious family.

It was the picture of perfection. Too bad I didn't have my camera.