Sometimes You Just Need To See The Bread-Eye

Sometimes nights involve tending to sick littles, ejecting gross pillows out of the humble abode and co-sleeping with the non-sick two year old who’s preferred sleep position feels like a human neck brace.  Sometimes days feel long when you’re cooped up inside, disinfecting, tending to hurt tummies, dodging miniature cars filled with glittery ponies and scraping hardened play-doh off the floor.   Yet wee-ones seem to have a way of drawing us in amidst the chaos and subtly reminding us that their little-hood won’t last forever.  They also project so much hope and resilience in hardship.  Today Lucia delivered that powerful message through her effortless smiles and a newfound super-power while deep in the trenches of a  nasty stomach bug.

Thanks so much for showing me your “bread-eye” kiddo.  

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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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The Migraine

I write from my heart.  I share glimpses of our lives that I want to encapsulate.  Memories that I hope to recall through photos and words when my mind fails in the accuracy of precious details.  I imagine that some may perceive my perspective as comparable to my heart birthing a procession of baby unicorns, releasing magical balloons, rainbows and buckets of glitter onto the earth – as baby cherubs join in song.

The thing is, in every single day, there are moments of  stark beauty and  joy.  Those visions are what I am compelled to write about. Each blessing worthy of documenting moment by moment.  I attend my daily mistakes, olympic level bambino meltdowns and struggles of motherhood in other ways.  I consult a steadfast friend and move on.  I don’t usually care to spend my time penning them here. The joys I see are what get me through the days, and are just as much a component of my journey as are the heaver aspects of life and mothering.  But those blissful, star-filled, simple moments- well those are what I choose to hang on to. I am finally comfortable enough to say, that is just who I am.

Recently, something has been stopping me in my tracks. 

I am a migraine sufferer.  In between the stories I share I am frequently bedridden for two days, violently vomiting and struggling to put myself back together piece by piece.  My migraines (first triggered in pregnancy) are not something that I can just plow through as they leave me completely incapacitated, and lately I have been struggling with managing them more than ever.  Every month I look at the calendar afraid of what I am going to miss; fearful of the business that I will mess up for my husband and the burden of him having to do it all; terrified of not being there for my children.  The avenues that used to help wax and wane now.  The drugs aren’t always effective, and my monthly IV magnesium infusions don’t seem to offer what they once did.

Thankfully, I was present for Lucia’s first day of Kindergarten. I did miss her second, her first full day of school.  Her first day of lining up in the school yard with all the other grades in the morning.  Her visible disappointment masked in bravery for her mama was heartbreaking to witness as a mother. It was hard not to succumb to feeling of ” I let her down”, when I was still ill the following day and couldn’t attend her friends rainbow birthday party as promised. 

I am not sharing this struggle to cue the violins or inspire a collective pity party.  I am fortunate and lessons gleaned from my struggles are worthy of documenting and remembering.

Upon recovering from a migraine and its hangover,  I always experience a profound level of gratitude- rooted in the very core of my being, vibrating through ever inch of my soul.  A depth of gratitude that moves me to tears as I walk down the street, push a stroller, or simply am present with my family because I am well enough to do so.  I always tell my daughter, “mama will get better” and the thing is, I do.   I am cognizant of the fact that for some, however, that is not the case.  I always have the opportunity to get better, and I have learned to be so thankful for that.  The heavy roads that many families must endure, continually make me think: it was just a migraine.  

I am digging deep to experience that true sense of gratitude without being first knocked down.  I want to live each day in absolute appreciation for all that I have.  I don’t want these moments of extreme clarity to appear only after being debilitated.

My four year old daughter helped me to realize recently that our lives are an aggregate of trillions of moments.  I am not defined by worst days, my less than stellar parenting moments, nor my migraines.  My family is not only hanging onto my days missed and I choose to believe in the opportunity that each new day brings.  I am thankful for the total summation of the many moments that comprise our lives. The hardships that are counteracted by glimmering moments of living room dance performances, blanket forts, braiding hair, tucking love notes into lunch boxes, sewing projects, wild imaginations, baking cookies, family dance time, saying yes, messy art, singing in the car, fierce creativity, partnership in marriage, giggles, early morning family snuggles, wallowing in silly, taking chances, the I love you’s, and I’m sorry’s.   Ferocious love.

The whole enchilada. 

My daughter asked me questions about my sickness last week, but she spoke more of the magnificent rainbow party that she attended.

I am determined to fight as hard as I can to manage my migraines and live in the level of gratitude that they have given me.  I am also going to follow my babies perspective because they speak of the rainbows. 

They remember the rainbows- and I try my damnedest to capture them here. 

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Sometimes You Just Need To Let Your Baby Birds Fly

Today felt colossal.  Super duper colossal.

I sent my little dove off to her first day of Kindergarten.

Although she woke up with palpable excitement, I sensed the slightest bit of baby bird fear.  I french-braided her soft strands, and she agreed with my first clothing choice – a peter pan collared blouse.  I tucked a love note into her lunch and off we went – humongous backpack and all.

I watched her find her place at her name-tag-assigned desk, filled with supplies, and then kissed her goodbye.  I then listened to her little brother repeatedly ask about his missing side-kick.

My Lucia is an intensely creative, curious and open one. She is also the youngest in her grade.  I hope that these lights within her continue to shine as she navigates this world of “Kindergarten is the new first grade”.

When I picked her up she looked at me and said “mama, I’m going to learn sooo much in Kindergarten”.    She also asked for a pet eel.

Once again I am the student, learning that mothering is a continuous cycle of spreading my mama wings, so my little ones can soar.

Mothering is unquestionably a perpetual process of letting go.  

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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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I Blinked and a Kindergarten Admission Letter Arrived.

It feels like I was just agonizing about her biting another baby during class at the 92nd Street YMCA.  And then we celebrated her first birthday – with three parties.  Somewhere during toddlerhood, I blinked and we were off to mommy-and-me preschool co-op.  And then I blinked again and she went off to Nursery school and then Pre-K.

After hours of digging in the dirt at the park, we arrived home to a Kindergarten admission letter. She studied it like it was one of Willy Wonka’s golden tickets.  I suppose I have six months more to be in denial, to try and prepare myself.  In the meantime, I’m going to cherish picking my baby girl up from school at 11:30 am, and many more afternoons playing in dirt piles.

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