When You Come Back Down

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I'll be on the other end
to hear you when you call,
angel you were born to fly
and if you get too high
I'll catch you when you fall 
I'll catch you when you fall
~Nickel Creek

I had the opportunity to help chaperone Zoe's class field trip to the local fire station the other day.

Confession: I might have been more excited than she was about this opportunity. She wasn't embarrassed that I was coming or anything, as I imagine she will be in another five years. It's just that in the last month or so I'd been trying to find my way into her classroom without edging into helicopter parent land, and this opportunity finally struck. As soon as that note came home with a call for chaperones, I had it filled out and returned to her backpack within seconds.

It's a strange adjustment to go from having tabs on exactly what one's child is doing 24/7 to suddenly having thirty hours per week that are something of a black hole. I mean, I know generally what she is up to: learning to write ABCs, twice per day recesses, lunch at 11 a.m., the occasional birthday party for a classmate. I soak up everything my daughter is willing to tell me about how those thirty hours are filled, and then I ask even more about it. Which friends did you play with? What letters did you learn today? Which books did your teacher read today? Were there any students missing today? What was something particularly kind that you saw happen? Was anyone doing anything unkind?

It Doesn't Have to Be This

Sunday, October 1, 2017

It's 7:39 am, which is not that early in the grand scheme of things. In some interesting twist of the clock, my older children chose to sleep in just a little later than usual.

The baby was up at 4 o'clock for her morning feed, but she is the easiest kid on my radar these days. Eat, poop, coo, snuggle, sleep and start the cycle over. This third iteration of motherhood means that I have babies down to something of a loose science, an expected rhythm.

It's her four-and- a-half year old sister, struggling with jealousy and growing pains, and her two-and- a-half year old brother, learning to use the potty on his own, who leave me and my husband spent. The unpredictable extra bit of sleep they need in the morning is generally welcome; one less minute in which our minds are engaged in anticipating the next fire that may need to be put out.

But of course today, as Murphy's Law would have it, we actually have some plans which will require our eyes to fixate on the clock a little more than usual. Early rising may actually have been helpful so as to avoid the ticking time bomb known as rushing your kids out the door.

Fly On the Wall

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This morning, in the hallway, Joel bursts into tears after accidentally biting his finger (being two is rough in terms of unintentional self injury). Phoebe, laying on the carpeted floor is startled by the sudden loud noise of his crying and begins to slowly push her bottom lip into a pout - it's so sad to watch but it's also one of those cute baby things that makes you smile. Joel, being comforted by Mark notices that Phoebe is beginning to cry and mumbles some muffled words through his own tears, and runs to the living room. He grabs Phoebe's little cat doll (he always seems to keep track of exactly where it is), and as he runs back I finally understand what he was saying - "Phoebe's doll! Phoebe's doll!" he shouts repeatedly until he lays it down next to her and then collapses again into Mark to continue his cry. Mark and I "awwwwww!" to each other and cheer him on for his empathy. The cherry on top to this moment was Zoƫ, who heard the commotion and also came running with a small stuffed McDonald's happy meal toy that Joel has recently grown attached to in order to help comfort him.

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