Friday, March 26, 2010

Rock On

I thought this series of photos looks like Elena (left), Manny and Glory (right) are filming a toddler music video. It's amazing to me how grown-up the girls look in a still photograph, not at all like they look to me when I am with them. Maybe it's because of the poop that squeezes out the sides of their diapers at the most inopportune times and how their hips still swivel wildly from side to side when they walk and the fact that every time they are reintroduced to their belly button, they have to spend some time with it and say "butt-on" a whole lot.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A few weeks later....

Boy, it's been a while since I wrote anything. It always feels a little silly to me coming back to this blog after a long absence, because I sort of assume that those of you who look at it will have given up reading and I should just write this more like Doogie Howser did every night, for my own record, but somehow that's not motivating. It's the sharing of the stories that brings me back.

The last few weeks have been marked by a "keep your head down and try to stay in the game" sort of mentality, which is why there has been no pause to ruminate on it all. We also have been sick for the last two weeks. After feeling like all I want to do is nap every day for 11 days while taking care of three sick kids, I have a heightened appreciation for my mom who always held every detail together for me, even when she didn't feel like she could put one foot in front of the other and for my dad who went to work every day even when he was sick and tired. And then, of course, there's the getting up every hour to soothe a coughing child back to sleep. It's hard to get well under these kinds of circumstances. And yet, we have everything that we need. These days have made me think about those people who don't have everything they need and are walking through the same kinds of sicknesses and worse. I find that when I am not feeling totally sorry for myself (which I have a propensity for) that there is a richness of another kind available to me. A thankfulness.

A few weeks ago, dear friends of ours experienced a terrible loss. We had the gift of being with them that night and I hope I never forget what they shared. A & J spoke about feeling like God was nudging them not to miss Him in their moment to moment journey through the days preceding and following their loss. That there was grace and growth being offered to them in the pain and the questioning and the anger and all the rest of the complexity they were (and are) steeped in. All things they were capable of missing if they instead found respite in easier escapes.

And though, having a virus is no comparison to their loss, what they are after is true all the time and heightened by having to work harder to stay afloat, regardless of what the present weight. They inspire me.

A couple weeks ago, Manny and I were having a snack. He looked up between bites and said, "You're a great mom, Angie." I said, "Thanks Manny!" A few minutes later, I said, "You're a great son, Manny." He said, "Thanks Mama."

At least once a day for weeks, sometimes more often, Manny will say out of nowhere, "Happy Valentines Day to you Mama. Happy Valentines Day to you Dad." And we always say, "Happy Valentines Day to you too Manny." And Manny always gives a heartfelt thanks. St. Patricks Day didn't change anything and I suspect Easter won't either. I find it so utterly charming that I would be happy if Manny wished me a Happy Valentines Day for the rest of my life. It makes up for the fact that he stills screams at me every time I turn off the television.

Monday, March 1, 2010

All at the same table

Goodbye high chairs!
Last week I decided high chairs were an eyesore and impossible to clean and I would take whatever the kids gave me at the table. What they have given me is a giant mess 5 times a day. But it was a giant mess in the high chairs too. I am hoping empowerment is the first step to growth. And better aim. All those whole grains really stick to a person.
I just thought of a Halloween costume for next year. Oh, good for me! I am not typically oriented that way. I will let one of them go as a dish of brown rice, another as a bowl of oatmeal and the third as a mashed up muffin. It will be so easy to dress up. Just have dinner and go.