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The Privilege in “Us”

Posted by casey on February 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

I am about to have a seven year old.
Seven.
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This sweet bundle of love who turned me into a mama, and subsequently a weeping, reminiscing, internally wondering about all around well being and how I may or may not be ruining their chances at survival in life by denying them a sixteen scoop ice cream cone because I don’t want him to wake me up in the middle of the night puking but loving life kind of a person, is seven.  Was that a run on?28goofyBW_edited-1

My former teaching brain which is trapped in there somewhere tells me yes. But I also like to think that it is mom eloquent and that we all ramble internally like that in our thoughts.  If your answer is no, no we do not and you are nuts, just smile and nod your head at me, and if really want to you are welcome to tell me I am pretty too.  It is the little things.

But seven years ago, this little guy so patiently, 31 1/2 hours of labor patiently, changed my world and taught me what real selflessness, worry, love and joy means.  Okay…and exhaustion, confusion and fear get lumped in there. The thing is, what I have been coming back around to lately as I have yet again in this seven year span been really, really focusing on my family is that those first four descriptions trump the hardships because despite the tears and fears, despite the breaks needed, body aching, want to work out, searching for a “me moment” moment, this is such a privilege.  We were gifted the chance to leave a real legacy, a real living example of our selves, love, thinking and kindness and all this gift wants is us.

8W5A2890@SouthernMaePhotography

Here she goes.  Another appreciate the moment, everything is sunshine and rainbows mom forgetting the “in the trenches” days of multiple blowout diapers in multiple kids at the same time who hasn’t slept in months, who…

Nope.
I’m not that cheery. I get it. I remember.  It is still my everyday.  I still ugly yell and then feel awful about it.  I still question, on those really bad days,  the fact that I did this to myself.  I still have all of those wants and needs as a woman and human that aren’t just about my kids.  I am still working on my perspective in this super busy, super comparing world which is what this is more about.  Prove it.

The oldests just woke up, so I am trying to finish my thoughts, because the baby 8W5A2502@SouthernMaePhotography(who is almost two by the way, but will forever be referred to as “the baaabaaay”) is still asleep, and by golly gee wizz gumdrops (see previous post about attempting to no longer curse) if they wake him up because they are stomping around like wildabeasts then I am going to choose to start my day grumpy at them OR I can choose to be so thankful that I woke up early for some quiet thinking and that the reason they are stomping around like said wildabeasts is because those sweet brothers have chosen for the past three nights to have a sleepover in each other’s rooms and immediately wake up giddy to see one another and ready to play.

They just want each other.
They just want us.
As we are.

Why not give it to them?  This is our chance.

This is our chance.
Think about it.  Really think about it.

I have a few moments each day that completely immerse me mentally and physically in my kids that are so sweetly slow and fast at the exact same time. My five year old, loves, LOVES for me to snuggle him at night.  Books have been read, songs have been sung, bladders have been emptied again…and again…and then, he just wants a snuggle.  He slowly sidles his way closer and closer until he is entwined and at peace.  But here is the truth.  It is selfish. Not for him, but for me. This kid, he is SO carefree.  His energy is so positive, calming, and present.  This moment, every night, I am at my calmest.  My day, thoughts, headaches, worries truly go away.  Because he gifts me with the need of myself, I get to just be there as his mom, in the dark, just us.  And then what happens?  He falls asleep.  Not because he needs me there to do it, not because he won’t go to bed without me, but because he is safe.  With me.

8W5A3117@SouthernMaePhotography

Similar theme….the baby, only just before nap and bed, shows us the remnants of 8W5A3131@SouthernMaePhotographyhis babyhood.  He grabs all of the pacis, now deemed “paboos”, snugglies, blankets and well loved items he can grasp and wants cradled.  Like a baby.  If you ask him if he wants songs he will immediately say “yeah” every time.  There we are.  In that chair, folded in together for those few moments.  While I hear myself of my husband singing softly, his owies fade, his toddler frustration of the day subsides and he still makes those little noises as his body relaxes and he nestles in.  We can set him down anytime and he will roll over and go right to sleep. But we can also give him and ourselves that pause.  There he will snuggle, looking at us and around the room we so carefully assembled for him wanting nothing but the attention, love and touch of us.

What a privilege.
They just want us.
They are so trusting and loving of us, that where they can fall asleep, feel safe, want to be is with us.  Because we are theirs and they are ours.

Here is the thing.  Remember where this started?  That about to be seven year old? DSC_2115_edited-1 He is kind of turning into stinky, “weird” as in silly and I have no idea what you are talking about because we might not live on the same planet who just creeped downstairs and is now sitting on my lap working to READ (babies can’t read, how did this happen?) what I am typing so I better wrap it up boy.

BOY. Kid. Self.

Not just “us”.
Friends and teachers and real world are moving in, and moving in fast.

With him as I so often explain and embrace I have to learn at a faster pace. I haven’t done seven before.  I haven’t done friends and school and Power Rangers and questions and am I doing this right? Will he be okay?  Does he feel loved?

The answer I have to remind myself, is yes, and will be yes as long as I indulge him in the only thing I can control.  The only privilege he has earned without lifting a finger.  The only thing he should be able to trust and need and count on.

Myself.
What a privilege.

8W5A1309@SouthernMaePhotography

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have been summoned to the couch for a viewing of Super Dino Charge with my still six year old, his trying to catch up brother and a cup of coffee.  So if you need be, I’ll be there with them, happy I am wanted hoping I always will be.

 
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Oh, Hello February

Posted by casey on February 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

Y’all.

We are eight days in.
Eight Days.
And February is HARD!

Here is the thing. Come January you hit the ground running.  Exhausted from the holidays maybe, but invigorated with ideas, and perspective, and dare I say it, goals? On the ball.  Ready to change.  Making the change.  Off to that great start.

And then it is February.

And your brain, okay…my brain went, “Oh my, we are only a month in to this whole ‘being present, spending less, laughing more, letting it go, I’m so easy-breezy go with the flow because I’m choosing not to care that my house is a mess and covered in fingerprints because I am a kick-ass, oh shoot I forgot I am working on my foul mouth, kick-booty mom’.  Deep breath in, deep breath out.  Everybody together now.

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One month in.

Grace.  By gee golly, goodness, gumdrops give me all the gosh darn grace.
Please.
(And maybe just one well placed, if I absolutely need it to make a point swear word? No? Okay…no.  Got it.  No Swearing. Not even when the dog throws up on the bed. )

But isn’t that the whole point? That we are imperfect?  Our day to day lives are messy.  Be it as moms or wives or friends, they all fall very much into the imperfect category for me.   So. Let’s not beat ourselves up.  Because I have come to notice that internally, I do that often.  “Ugh, I did so well last month and was really enjoying and embracing the chaos and then the past week has gone to…ummm, gone to, ummm the dogs?”  Is that a non-sweary thing one might say?

Here I am eight days in to the second month of a brand new year feeling defeated instead of celebrating the efforts I put into action last month (goodbye phone in reach, goodbye toxic, goodbye house cleanliness, hello stretching, hello playtime, hello photographing, hello journaling) when the truth is…DSC_1940

A. I still have a heck of a lot of February left.  Hello obvious.DSC_2090
B. I also have 10.5 months left to continue these efforts. Duh.
C. The only one keeping score is me, so the “scoreboard” just went in the trash.
D. Isn’t chugging along in slow progress better than none?

No one cares if February feels hard to you like it does me. NO ONE.
(ironic since here I am writing to you about it but, meh, I’m cool with that)

Okay wait.  That is a lie.  Yup.  That whole “no one cares” bit.  Lies.

We care.  Our brain, hearts and therefore bodies care.  Even with my list of reasonable reasons as to why some of those heartfelt wanted changes went by the wayside, somewhere in there cares.  And if we are beating ourselves up than that is what we have to offer back to ourselves, our homes, our families and our day to day life.  A beat up version of our self.

Womp. Womp. Wommmmmmmmmp.

My five year old really likes to say that, and I have taken to it.  It really just sums up so much.  It is almost like taking a deep breath in itself and allows room to giggle, put on my big girl pants and saddle up.  Because guess what? Ain’t nobody got time for that gloomy gussing, my life could be, I should be, if I had a better hair situation…okay, that is me whining because I may have recently made a poor hair change choice that I am working on accepting along with all of the other accepting because do we really have time to sit around and let our hair dictate our mood.

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Nope.
It’s February friends.
Let’s do it like January.
Gratitude in hand.  Changes in Mind.  Heart in Action.
Grace for Ourselves.

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