I may not always make it clear to you, but the reason I wanted to write this blog was to have snapshots of life that my kids could go back and read, later down the road, when they are curious about our earlier life. Perhaps their ability to remember will be as bad as mine so they'll be glad to have things recorded. Perhaps they'll want to see "Mom's perspective."
I want many snapshots of life that they can enjoy.
Yesterday, in the middle of a very busy morning, my youngest said, "Mom, will you play Risk with me?"
He had already asked me a few times and each time I said, "Not today, Buddy. I've got a lot of stuff to get done before Grandma and Grandpa get here."
But this time my answer was different. In my impatience at his persistence, I said, "No! I have a lot of Mom-Stuff that needs to get done."
Already expecting the "No," he started walking away. It took me about 10 seconds to call him back. "Buddy, I want to re-phrase that. Part of being a Mom is playing games. And another part of being a Mom is making sure things get done around the house. I need to be the 'get stuff done around the house' Mom before I can be the 'playing games' Mom."
"That's not any different from what you already said," he answered sullenly.
"Well, the ultimate result is the same, but I don't want you to think that I can't play because I'm a Mom. I'll do the cleaning and the fun stuff because I'm a Mom. But today, the cleaning has to happen first."
It didn't make much difference in his mind at the moment, but at least he still knows that Mom plays games with him.
We have a mourning dove that lives in the trellis right outside our door. There are actually two babies and a mom who live there. If you do not know the coo of a mourning dove, listen to it before I go on:
Mourning Dove Coo (click on the play button if it doesn't start automatically.)
The seven year old in my house has been getting into a lot of trouble lately. He is having a hard time learning to come talk to a grown-up when his words aren't effective at swaying the opinions of his siblings. His current course of action is hitting, which isn't proving to be especially effective.
Anyway, after one such event he had been disciplined appropriately and told to spend some time in his room until he was able to behave properly around the rest of us. As I peeled carrots at the kitchen sink I could hear him wailing down the hall, behind his closed bedroom door. With his window wide open our neighbours were all able to hear him too, including the mourning dove. It didn't take long for the mourning dove to answer back to this mournful coo that it heard. I couldn't help but laugh at the mourning dove who was certain she was having a meaningful conversation with my child, the one loudly protesting the grave injustice of discipline to which he had been submitted.
I took the van in for an oil change today. For the half hour that it takes, I usually walk 500 metres down the road to the grocery store. Today, I had the boy of these two stories with me. I told him I'd buy him something special for lunch while we were waiting for the oil change. As we walked, hand in hand to the store, we chatted about the rest of the day and what we needed to do. He skipped and I watched for cars. We settled on getting a peach for him from the store, as long as there was a ripe one, of course.
I smiled at his happy little face, bobbing along beside me. "I'm glad you came with me today," I said. "I really like having just you around!" He smiled up at me and said a hearty "Me too!"
On our way back to get the van, he asked if he could run part of the way. He just couldn't contain it any longer.
So many different experiences with the same boy. His energy, his impatience, his joy, his emotions - on display for all to see... It's just a snapshot of one day.
He's so different from the boy of two years ago. And in another two years, he'll have changed so much again.