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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The Imaginary Treehouse

Children have a remarkable way of finding beauty in nearly everything they see.  In corners of the earth that are often overlooked.  In sound and simplicity.

My Lucia delights in an elevated root system sustaining a neighbor’s tree – playing in her treehouse nearly every single day.  We’ve been sneaking out before bathtime for sidewalk chalk and evening performances on her treehouse stage.  I look forward to this time of the day and the part of her that she still invites me to witness.

When I fail to see beauty, she finds it for me. 

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While They Are Sleeping

We tiptoe into their rooms in the middle of the night, to watch their chests rise and fall, to study their juicy lips, to see what toy or doll they are clutching, to inhale their scent and listen to each breath.  We imagine their dreams and sneak in one last goodnight kiss.

We stand over their beds to glimpse at our most beautiful illustrations of peace and grace.

When they sleep, we can still see the baby in them.

I wonder if the peaking will ever end?

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Inspiration

It is found in the simple pleasures that fill our days and the little things that bring such joy, like trips to “the machine” to collect a trinket.

I feel it deeply as I watch her by the ocean; where she is so free and full of four-year-old wonder.  I see her chase seagulls, dance and squeal, and remind myself to accept her fiery spirit and growing independence.

It is abundant in the strength within family, as my brother has moved close and my children have another present positive role model.

It exists within the noise and the chaos – when I am willing to step back and identify the moments among the scattered trains and princesses – that always make this journey so incredibly worth it all.

Inspiration even seeps through the mundane and ordinary, and grabs my attention during moments like these:

It drives me to be better – as moments of clarity and gratitude make time stand still.  It is what urges me to hold tight to all of it. 

It is what compels me to place it here.

 

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My Boy In The City

My mama attention is frequently divided.  Conversations are often dominated by the plethora of questions from my very inquisitive four-year-old girl.  On Thursday, I had ears only for my littlest, and he is quite the budding conversationalist.  “Look mama – a big TV – isn’t that silly”?!  I most certainly agree that a humongous flat-screen mounted on a building is indeed silly.

Through my little boy’s eyes my perspective is broadened.  Making me aware of things that I would never have noticed – shapes in buildings, a stranger’s laugh, a soccer ball suspended in mid-air.  In the middle of massive sensory overload – he brings my attention to a pattern of clouds in the sky.  Little adventures through various neighborhoods are so exciting for him- as they are for me, still. 
 

So many of the steps we took on our little trek called upon memories built in this incredible city.   We walked past our first Manhattan apartment, the hospital where I birthed Lucia, and the office of the most gratifying job that I ever had.  Our plans took us past the institution where I earned my masters degree at night, while working full-time by day.  As I walked, my mind reeled back to Bob, and thoughts of the family we formed together – well before reciting vows and having babies.

On our day together, I soaked up my tiny narrator’s joy.  A joy that shone so brightly while riding the subway, watching street performers, collecting sticks in Central Park and riding the carousel with his uncle.

I feel asleep that night with my ears echoing that sweet little voice repeating “look mama!”, and a full heart reflecting two-year old excitement over simple pleasures.

What a lovely day it was.

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