Thursday, September 27, 2012

Losing Tate

I have plenty of bad mothering moments: yelling at my kids in frustration, not watching them, not feeling sorry when they get hurt because they were most likely being dumb or reckless or just plain not paying attention. So I am happy to own up to it. On Tuesday, I was NOT having one of those moments. And I managed to lose an entire child for an entire hour. I went to answer the door while Tate was playing in the family room with my back door open to our fenced in yard. It was the UPS guy mistakenly delivering a case of wine which was actually, ironically enough, intended to go to Eli's kindergarten teacher. We joked heartily about making sure the stuff was consumed after school hours...ha ha ha, goodbye, maybe a two minute conversation. I came back into the kitchen and started doing the dishes before I realized I did not see or hear Tate--silence is NEVER a good sign in my house. I knew the back door and the garage were open because Eli was outside with friends, which were both plausible escape routes. I checked all the window wells outside, tore through my house screaming his name so all my neighbors could hear and asked the kids outside if they had seen him. I went up and down from the basement to my bedroom 3 or 4 times, panicking and crying before I jumped in my car and started canvassing the neighborhood. Eli, bless his heart, helped me check the parks and yell out the window before reassuring me that Max (our next door neighbor) must have found him by now so we should go back so he could play. I called Adam 57 times, and headed to my community center to see if anyone had turned him into the lost and found. In the back of my head, I knew Adam was working, in the middle of stitching up someone's mouth actually, and that there was not much good that could be done by him--other than what I was already doing. I knew that, logically. But there was just something about hearing him calmly say, "ok, I will come home." He didn't even offer any particularly helpful suggestions but just knowing that someone else shares the burden of your missing child (even for a moment)felt better for some reason. I was ready to call the police and had nightmarish visions of endless days of never knowing what happened to my child. Dramatic, I know but I was positive that the UPS guy was an intended diversion and that someone had come and taken him out of my backyard and I would never see him again. So as I was driving, my backdoor neighbor calls; I answer and say "Do you have Tate????" She chuckled and said "Well, Aaron is not here..." which I was so irritated by because it was a completely irrelevant point since my CHILD WAS MISSING!!! "...I just got home from work and I heard something out on the back porch. I opened the door and Tate walked in and proceeded to go find the toys." So my two year old can climb the fence. Didn't know that! I went to pick him up and he started hitting me and telling me to go away and he was playing at Aaron's house; it was a lovely reunion. When I got home, I realized he had dragged a step ladder out of the laundry room and placed it up against the fence and climbed over. He was such a little brat before and after I lost him, screaming at me and hitting me all day. So it was probably a good day to lose him because then I really really liked him for at least that one hour of the day when I thought I would never see him again. Both kids went to bed at 7 o clock that fact, it may have been 6:57 when I closed\locked (don't judge) the door.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thoughts on begetting a daughter

So here is the very first picture of our very first daughter. To be honest, beyond being excited for something, shall we say...a little different around here and being thrilled that both my sister and I are having girls at the same time, I haven't thought that deeply about what it will mean to add a little girl to our family. So I thought I should think about it more which is the reason for this post. I have had two miscarriages this past year. One was a twin pregnancy. I really intended to have our third child closer to Tate than the space between my first two. And I just assumed it would be a boy--mostly because I always thought it would be fun to have all boys... and that because of that, Heavenly Father would just figure that it would be a funny joke to give me EXACTLY what I wanted and sit back and laugh at the outcome. But alas, this baby girl will be 3 years younger than Tate, just as he is 3 years younger than Eli. And she is, in fact, not a boy. I realized, ultimately, as I began to consider the possibility that I might NOT be able to have any more children that things like spacing, gender and whatever else I stress and moan about during the pregnancy don't really matter. Furthermore, I don't have any control over them anyway! I know these things are fairly self evident but they were good things for me to learn. Heaven knows I have learned much from parenting my two sons thus far--more than I thought I would and definitely more than I wanted to! So as I think about what having a daughter will mean to our family and to me personally, I realize I am less scared than I thought I would be, more excited for her brothers to have a sister and VERY concerned about doing her hair. Other stuff: 1-I really hope she has her grandma Natalie's thick, lustrous hair. In the color of my mother's shiny, dark brown. If she gets my dumb, fine, thin hair then we are both in trouble because it will look awful all the time. I can't even get my own hair done on a daily basis. This is seriously the most troubling thing to me about being a mom to a girl. 2-I don't worry about her being a princess. I am not a princess. I do not care for princess stuff. And if she is born with innate princess tendencies, her brothers will certainly beat them out of her. She is just going to have to like running and motorcycling and hiking and camping. 3-I hope she is sweet. I hope she is a peacemaker, a calming influence on our family which can sometimes spiral into utter chaos. I hope she is a version of my sister Chelsea because we got along so well growing up! I want someone in our family who has the same effect that Chelsea did/does on me and our family. And if she is like me...well, that is cool too I guess. I am not so bad. But Chelsea is awesome and I would think that was such a gift, which if I may be so bold, I sort of think I deserve. 4-In the same way I think someday about sending my boys on missions and relishing/despairing in the wonderfulness/awfulnees that accomplishment will bring, I envision the day my daughter gets married and the same bittersweetness that will bring...already. I am impressed by how important it is to teach her to find the right person and how grateful I am that I can unequivocally point to her own father as the type of person for whom she ought to be looking. What if I could not recommend him? What if I had to tiptoe around the issue of insisting that she respect her father while also ignoring what he really stands for? I am truly thankful as I raise sons that I can point my finger at their dad and say "Aim to be like him," and that I can also say to my daughter "Find someone like him and you will be happy." Makes things a whole lot less complicated. 5-I am excited to have a running buddy. An errand buddy who *hopefully* won't constantly dart away from me. A reader to discuss books the way boys are not necessarily prone to do. A talker. A girl I can teach to like football AND cute clothes. A critic for my attire as I get older. What else am I missing? What is awesome about having a daughter? Or not so awesome?

Friday, September 21, 2012

I am back. For real.

This post is proof. Because I just wrote it down. So I am committed. Why? Well, mostly because I need more things to "do" whilst sitting on my butt listening to the news whilst also getting very large. I have reached that turning point in the pregnancy when my whole life attitude switches from "what can I do all day to maximize calorie burn?" to "how can I get done what I absolutely need to without exerting even a fractional extra amount of energy than I have to because it is uncomfortable?" That, and I have finally come to terms with what this blog is: it is not a political blog. Yes, I care deeply about politics and spend a decent portion of my day listening to political analysis and sometimes fantasize about being the analyst to whom people like me listen. But that is not this blog. This blog is going to be a catalog of the (sometimes boring) things I do with my kids and family and the things I learn while doing it. For a long time, I tried to make it a hodge podge of every thought that crossed my mind. But I am comfortable with this blog being mostly about my kids now...that is what I am doing at this point in my life. Also, I just miss writing. I miss the cathartic release I get when I make my thoughts legible. And I miss recording the wildly maddening, funny, sometimes even cute, and (even more sometimes) sweet things my kids do--which I often try to forget but might someday wish to remember. So that being said, our summer was spent roasting in our house, where NOTHING else was ever roasting because I effectively quit cooking. Pity. Because I became a really good cook last summer when I was bored in New Hampshire. I am counting down the days until I can a) cook in a house that stays below 80 degrees b) wear sweatshirts every day. So we were either roasting outside, or exploring the beauty around us in Colorado and Utah. We did some fun camping trips, went to Zion and Lake Powell and realized how much more comfortable we are in a region where the great outdoors are the museums we opposed to actual museums. Nothing against museums, but you can imagine what a museum with my kids is like, can you not? Well, I have to gear up mentally do such a thing for months. Eli has started kindergarten and really loves it. So do I. Kindergarten aint no joke, my friends. Do you know how much homework I have every day? But there are few things better for our relationship than a regular break from one another. So for that reason alone, kindergarten is worth its weight in gold--DON'T JUDGE. Here are some summer snapshots, mostly excluding me because I don't really do pregnant pictures.