On This Thanksgiving Day

hugging+children+with+wings This blurry iPhone photo taken three years ago today reminds me of how incredibly grateful I am for our little lot in life.  This is what Thanksgiving feels like.

Wishing you all a blessed day spent with those you love. 

Love, us.

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Saying Yes to Summer

A lot of time has slipped away here, without personal words, and for good reason I suppose.  As I turned the calendar to welcome a new month, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad about the rapid pace at which this summer seems to be moving.  I’m committed to having plenty of unscheduled days for Lucia and Adrian to be together during the summer months.  It’s not the norm around here, but I’m certain that it is what is right for my little family.  Lucia has a few full days of camp each week, and Adrian has a few hours of drop-off classes.  And although ages 3 and 5 smooched together are certainly wild and chaotic, (and I sometimes wish for more time to breathe), I’m thankful that the majority of our summer days each week are spent together.  I want the children to learn and explore beside each other before the schedules that come along with the school-year come back into play. I want them to experience summer together.

I’ve been watching this mighty bond so closely, and it is growing deeper and richer than I ever imaged

It makes me inexplicably happy.

Summer Fun With Kids

Despite  its challenges, motherhood has definitely helped me tap into my own sense of gratitude.  My kids, like most, are inherently joy-filled, exuberant little people – always eager and open to new adventures.  So many things, albeit small, are new and exciting and viewed as gifts.

saying yes to children

When the summer began, I made a promise to myself to say “yes” more often. It’s not that I wasn’t saying it before, I just wanted to be more intentional with my “no’s”.  I’m not talking about overindulgence in treats or gifts, I simply made an effort to examine my internal response before even responding to my children.  A small chunk of time at the playground after camp or a trip to the beach despite the rain helps to shape our days and collective outlook in really positive ways.

family fun

Sometimes I can’t believe, that with the turn of the next calendar page, I’ll have a first grader and a little boy entering nursery for the first time.  I’m glad that we still have a solid chuck of summer days left, and grand imaginations to stretch as far as little feet can carry them.

Special thank you to my friend Leslie at Gwen Moss Blog, for reminding me of the importance of continuing to record the personal, in this space or elsewhere.

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Mirror Mirror On The Wall

I spend a great deal of time reflecting on the mirror moments that occur in parenting.  With characters to help build, compassion to instill, and little people to send off into this world – my example frequently becomes their compass.  And more often than I’d like to admit, the mirror reflects the most tremendous catalyst to self improve. 

I often overlook the ways in which I am led by characteristics and responses that are unequivocally my children’s. 

This week I’m thankful for a perspective shift in sporadic storms and heartfelt play between the raindrops. 

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Between Four Walls

Like most siblings, my children have their share of squabbles, hurt feelings, and episodes of what I perceive to be I-want-that-toy-right-now-because-he/she-has-it-syndrome.

Yet every single night they fall asleep to the sound of each other’s voices, the monitor fills our hearts one last time before silence sets in.  Giggles, squeals and comfort in the dark. Knock-knock jokes that make entirely  no sense.  Silly songs composed by mama, sung by tender hearts in unison.  Companionship upon awakening – they are never alone.  And in their shared space they plot grand schemes, bursting through their door, arms linked in solidarity.  “Let’s make cupcakes” seems like more of a possibility when your fellow ally is gripping your hand.

I pause to thank my lucky stars for whatever path lead me to this life and to a city where space is sparse, yet love is so so rich cocooned between four walls.

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Five {a Birthday Letter}

 “Though she be but little, she is fierce” – Shakespeare

To My Darling Lucia Paloma,

It’s been five years since the day we first met you.  One entire hand.  Half of a decade.  1,826.25 blessed days since your tiny lungs filled with air and set us off on the most sacred journey.  Our dream come true. 

It’s been five years since I have been learning to be mama.  Five years since we have been learning to be us – in the imperfectly, beautiful, chaotic way that we are all we.

You awoke this morning to a room filled with balloons and pink roses.  You described the streamers hanging from your door as “the most beautiful car wash I have ever seen.”  We awoke to your giggles and the excitement of you stuffing balloons into your brother’s crib.

You my love, are an immensely creative imaginative child.  Just when I thought that your pretend play can’t possibly become more elaborate, you surprised me with your “snake warrior” transformation at bedtime last week.

You typically have multiple transformations each day.  Your love for dress-up has increasingly grown since the age of two, and you are most comfortable in some sort of costume, accessory or prop.  Head gear and wings are usually a necessity.

I am convinced that there are healing powers in the songs that you sing to me.  The soundtrack of your life must somehow make my heartbeat stronger.  Your little narrations are hysterical, this morning you serenaded us with a  tune about “bus children and hot lunch” – two school enigmas that you apparently want to experience first hand.

You love to dance.  You also love fancy – grand ballrooms, magnificent chandeliers, things that sparkle and poofy dresses.

This past year has been a year of tremendous growth for you.  When your Kindergarten teacher contacted me during school to inform me that you were “climbing the pipes in the school bathroom on multiple occasions” – I inwardly cheered for your adventurous spirit – since I’ve seen a bit more caution set in as you’ve grown.  You are changing my girl, at what feels like lightening speed. You are beginning to read and your growing empathy and compassion make us so immensely proud.  You are also beginning to ask the hard questions, often questioning the mortality of those you love – especially mine.

You have grown into quite the big sister.  Your brother’s arrival during your second year of life was not an easy transition for you – but now the two of you are little pals.  We awake to the sounds of you both playing in Adrian’s crib and we listen to your chatter as you two fall asleep at nightYou have a handful of interesting pet names for Adrian, including my squeaky, popcorn and bo bo.  When you return from school with a special treat in hand you always ask me to cut it half to share with your brother.  Your father and I love the little lingo that the two of you share – silly phrases that you have collectively created that only have meaning to you both.

Although we were unable to fulfill your birthday request of seeing a live volcano erupt we did surprise you with a family adventure to the Big Apple Circus – our first family trip under the big top.

As I watched your wide eyed five-year-old excitement, I wished for a glimpse of the lens in which you view your world.  If we could all live in the level of joy you reflect, I truly believe that this world would be a better place.

Welcome to five our darling light dove.  You are pure inspiration, hope and beauty.  May you continue to be the lovely person that you already are.

My deepest love,
Mama

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Giving Thanks

We are reflecting on life’s blessings over here and continuing to count them grace by grace.

Wishing you and yours a beautiful Thanksgiving.

Love, us.

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