I am at Caffe Fiore alone! It's Saturday and I have a few minutes before Sam goes to his first eye exam in years. His glasses finally broke yesterday and he is going to buy two pairs today. I think this is smart for a man with three young children. He said he is going to get a "Fashion Sam" pair and an "Appraiser Sam" pair. I said, what do we need with appraiser Sam? I am voting for Fashion Sam to take Seattle by storm.
There is funky music playing in here and the barista is wearing a backless shirt that highlights her elaborate tattoos. And then there's me. I am wearing tennis shoes, hardly any make-up (time constraint) and pearl earrings (the only thing the kids can't pull out), but I feel a little more funky by association. And the bit of my reflection I can see in my computer screen makes my age look intriguing, rather than just tired. Soak it up.
I left Manny watching Mamma Mia. He is so engrossed that he cannot make the spoon reach his mouth. Sam is literally spoon feeding him and encouraging chewing while Manny stares at the screen, entranced by Meryl Streep. But who isn't? I asked him if he wanted to watch all the Pixar favorites and nothing interested him. But singing and dancing. Bring it on. I secretly want him to go to preschool and break out into Abba. The other kids would be clueless, but Miss Eve and Miss Kristen would be enchanted.
The kids are doing such amazing things. I put the girls down for their one nap of the day and before I changed their diapers, I told them, "I'm going to change you. If you need to go poo-poo, now's the time." Their facial expressions immediately changed and I can confirm that they indeed were listening. I don't remember Manny doing things like that. But maybe I wasn't communicating with him like I do with Glory and Elena. Also, this morning, Glory brought me a book and said, "Read book." And Elena said, "thank you." Thank you! Imagine that!
When I came down from my morning nap (yay!), Manny was sitting on the little chairs in the family room. I sat down next to him and without looking at me, he said, "Hi Honey." "Hi," I said. I don't want to give him a weird reaction like laughing or smirking or anything, because I love that he says that and I am hoping he will do it again. My favorite thing he said this week was when we were reading a toddler bible that was given to us as a gift. It is hard for me to read those toddler bibles, honestly. They are a total of about twenty sentences and all the stories are pulled totally out of context. How am I supposed to explain why David is standing in front of a dead giant? How can I explain a flood or why Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden forever? My favorite page is Jesus and John in the Sea of Galilee when the dove descends and God speaks. That one I can explain. Sam just smiles at me, because the way he deals with it is to say, "Look! There's a giraffe!" But I have trouble. Anyway, on the page where Noah and his clan are all getting out of the boat, the text mentions God. And Manny says, "Where'd God go?" The question of the ages. Where'd God go? It was completely in line with everything he talks about these days, but it made me laugh. And I don't remember how I responded. Maybe I said, "Look! There's a rainbow!"
I am reading John Gottman's book about coaching your child (and yourself) to build emotional intelligence. Miss Becky at preschool lent it to me and I am gobbling it up. There have been a number of things that have happened this week that I just realized are an answer to prayer. I have been asking for wisdom and guidance to parent Manny, Glory and Elena well and I am receiving guidance. There is so much horror and disappointment in the world. That has always been true. My common error is allowing myself to be derailed by that instead of staying in the game and focusing on beauty and relationships, including the one with the Lord. And when I do that, it's really something. It's like manna from heaven. I don't get to decide what the manna is, but there it is, so I'm trying to pick it up and hold it for a while. Take a bite and see what happens.
A young bank teller processing my transaction this week tried to convince me that parenting is much harder than taking care of pets because pets, you can just leave for like a week and they don't really care that much, but leaving your kids for a week effects them a little bit more. He was so earnest and I laughed out loud at the first possible moment as I walked away. I laughed at the absurdity of the conversation I just had and how crazy old I am now.
They're playing Michael Jackson now. Remember The Time. I had that album in middle school. I am shaking my head and smiling. How did it all go so fast? And how did my alone time go so fast? Time to go home so Sam can go funkify himself. I can't wait to see the results.