Be still my heart

While I was hunting for that video of Thumper reading Little Blue Truck, I found another gem. It’s from the same summer, but before his birthday, and oh, my stars, is it adorable:

I miss those chubby baby cheeks and the innocence in his voice. It’s crazy how much things change, but you don’t really  notice till you see something old like this.

Also, it can’t be possible that he’ll be six in a couple of months. This was just yesterday, I swear.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

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Little Smiles

Smile, little one, the
Way you used to do, and warm
My heart again. Smile,

Little one; let me
See in the man you are the
Boy you used to be.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Sweet Sunshine

For my children.

There’s sunshine in your eyes
That lights up my whole world,
Without you I’d be in the dark –
Without you I would come apart.

The sunshine in your smiles
Lifts my heart when I am down.
Though I may groan about the noise,
I can’t imagine another life choice.

You’ve given me a glimpse of what awaits
When I get to Heaven’s gates;
And I know that when I die,
I’ll still see your sweet, sweet smiles.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Kids say the darndest things

IMG_20160615_195025Seymour: “Okay, Cricket, time to get ready for bed.”

Cricket: *instant tears*

Seymour: “What’s the matter, buddy?”

Cricket: “Now I don’t get to do chores!”

My sweet little Cricket came home from CCD the other night with a collection box. Apparently they’re collecting money to buy rice for those less fortunate, and he is so excited to help. He told Seymour on the way home from church that he needed fifteen dollars, expecting Seymour to just hand it over, from the sounds of it. Seymour told him he could earn some money by doing chores, so he came home all excited to help Bubbles do the dishes.

And then the world ended when he didn’t get to stay up past bedtime to help.

This isn’t the first time Cricket’s been so gung-ho about helping others in need. When a local family lost literally everything but the clothes on their backs the day after Christmas, he was all set to donate half the things in his room (whether they were his to donate or not). And when I told him that they probably didn’t need his old copies of Ranger Rick as much as they needed clothes to wear and that his were either too small or too big to give them, he decided that his classroom  at school might want them.

The older I get, the less sure I am that I have this whole parenting thing down. But for my six-year-old to have a heart this big, I must be doing something right.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

A letter to my son

Today, I send my darling baby boy out into the big, wide world. Next year his little brother, Thumper, will follow him, but I don’t want to think about that just yet. For now, I’m just trying to get through today…

Dearest Cricket,

I cannot believe you’re starting kindergarten today. It seems like only yesterday that we brought you home from the hospital, home to the proudest big brother and sister this family has ever seen. It seems like only yesterday that you started walking, started talking, started sleeping through the night.

It seems like only yesterday, but of course, it wasn’t.

IMG_20160823_101931

It was six years, one month, and twenty-six days ago. Hardly yesterday, and yet it doesn’t seem like it was so very long ago. How the time flies!

You looked so grown up this morning as you headed out the door in your new school clothes. Your rockin’ Ninja Turtle backpack looked almost as big as you as we walked down the driveway to meet the bus, and your hand in mine felt so very small.

But I know you’ll be fine. You’re in good hands. You have a fantastic teacher and a wonderful school, and I know you’ll have fun. I know you’ll talk my ear off when I pick you up tonight. I hope you’ll stay excited about school, because today is the first of many first days for you, my boy, and I hope they’ll all be as much fun as this day. I hope you’ll make lots of new friends, the kind that will stay with you for thick and thin through the rest of your life.

Most of all, I hope you’ll never forget that no matter how old you are, you will always be my little Cricket. I love you, buddy.

Love,

Mommy

How did you handle your kids leaving for school?

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

A letter to my son

Today’s Writing 101 challenge was to reinvent the letter.  The last letter I wrote was to my husband when he was away for work, so today I decided to write a letter to my son in the future.  He may not be a man yet, but he will be one day, and I hope that, on that day, he’ll read this and smile.

leiabowsDearest Bubbles,

My goodness, how quickly you’ve grown!  It can’t be possible that you’re a man now, instead of the tiny little baby I brought home from the hospital.  Surely that was only yesterday?

Oh, who am I kidding?  It was last month.  I knew I should have tied that brick to your head sooner. 🙂

When I look at you, I still see the happy little boy you used to be.  I suppose I probably always will, no matter how much taller than me you are.  I hope that someday, you’ll have a house full of happy little boys (and girls?) of your own, but first, some advice:

I feel lucky

dandyAll kids drive their parents crazy, some more than others. Take Thumper, for instance. He’s my baby, the youngest of my four children, and the reason I can’t have nice things. He’s the reason I started sprouting gray hair before I hit thirty, the reason I’m sick of my own name, and the probable cause for any alcoholism his daycare teachers may suffer from.

But you know what? He’s perfect. He may be stubborn to a fault and have more energy than any one person should ever have, but he’s also the happiest four-year-old I’ve ever met. He has such a good heart, even when he’s feeling ornery, and he’s so stinkin’ adorable that I can never stay mad at him for long. I am lucky to be his mother.

For the record, I am lucky to be mother (and stepmother) to three other pretty fantastic kids, too. But I feel especially lucky to be Thumper’s mother, because I almost wasn’t, a fact I was reminded of last night.

We’ve been having…

Photo 365 #294: Five things every parent of boys should know

wpid-20150528_093835.jpgIf you’ve followed this blog for any length of time (or even if you’ve just checked out my About page), you’ll know I have four kids. Three of them are boys; two of my children are rapidly approaching their crazy, mixed-up teenage years; and two of them are toddlers. Getting a toddler to do what you want them to when you want them to do it is like trying to squeeze blood from a stone; it ain’t gonna happen, and my morning spent trying to do just that (wrangle toddlers, that is) largely inspired this post.

Do these apply to all boys? Of course not. Do they apply to girls, too? You betcha. But I’m dealing with boys at the moment, so here’s what I know:

Photo 365 #15

Cricket likes to take toys to daycare.  “I have to share my toys at daycare, Mommy,” he tells me when I ask why he’s leaving the house with his pockets packed with toy cars.

I like him (and Thumper, and Bubbles in his younger days) to leave his toys at home, where they won’t get lost.  At least if they get lost at home, we stand a chance of seeing them again – not usually the case at daycare, and he’s lost several of his cars this way.

thumperbunny.jpg

So we’ve reached a compromise: He can bring his toys with him, but they have to stay in the car, where they won’t get lost (permanently).  As a result, Thumper has become not only become Cricket’s bedtime defender, but also his carseat warmer.  He took his time this morning making sure that Thumper was in just the right position to keep his spot warm all day long.

And it worked, too – it was so hot in the car when I got off work tonight that my seat was warm! 😀

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

I am enough

MNO_OfficialPoster_HighRemember a while back when I reviewed Moms’ Night Out?  I went to see it again, this time with my mother-in-law, who’d had a very stressful day and needed a good laugh.  I’m so glad she went with me, because we don’t see each other as often as I’d like and we had a ton of fun.  We definitely need to do things like this more often.

Anyway, as we watched the movie, I got to thinking (a dangerous pastime, I know) about why I related so much to Allyson.  I mean, I’ve been there – I stayed home with Bubbles till he was two and now that I only work part-time, I’m home alone with Cricket and Thumper two or three days a week.

It’s hard!  It’s so hard.  Like Allyson, I wanted to be a mom.  Of course, I also wanted to be a world-famous author, but let’s just take this one dream at a time.  Her reasons for wanting to be a mom are never mentioned – it’s simply her dream, and she’s lucky enough to be living it.

As for me…