You know that strange feeling that settles over you if you’ve ever been away from you kids for more than a day or two? That somehow in the hours you weren’t with them they grew in ways imperceptible to world at large yet glaringly obvious to you. I haven’t technically been away but I am very much out of the boys’ loop as I continue my lengthy wisdom teeth recovery.
They seem older somehow. Even in the picture above they seem to resemble young men more than little boys.
It’s amazing how quickly we adapt to what life throws at us. Mad Dog is in full swing as ‘Mr. Mom’ and has perfected a seamless morning routine with the boys. Apparently, Full Speed is in charge of helping T.Puzzle put on the clothes that Mad Dog has laid out from the night before. Full Speed does well with this until it’s time for the pants. He has to count to three and as T.Puzzle jumps, Full Speed attempts to pull T.Puzzle’s pants the rest of the way up. The key is timing and yanking the pants precisely when T.Puzzle has reached mid-flight. I have yet to see this in person, but I can hear an awful lot of commotion coming from the boys’ room as this new ritual takes place. It sounds highly entertaining.
When Mad Dog travels, like he did over this past week, my life with the boys becomes slightly more adventurous. Thankfully, lately, I have been appreciating these adventures more. I also managed to miraculously schedule two dinners with friends (one I invited to the house after the boys were asleep) and a lunch with my mother-in-law.
I haven’t had that much social activity since the early nineties when children were a twinkle in my eye and my hair was taller than a full-grown palm tree.
It was rather strange. While I was physically stretched to the max maintaining the family routine and meeting my social obligations this week, my spirit felt completely full.
I’m learning that as my children grow and need me less, I need to embrace this (as much as I can because it hurts ever so) and find myself a little more each day.
That’s what friends and a fabulous mother-in-law are for.
Full Speed: I promise to be the bestest boy in all the land.
Considering his initial behavior at our New Year’s lunch out by the ocean, this goal may be slightly on the lofty side.
Mad Dog: To get fit and have more patience with my boys.
First of all, I think he looks fantastic as is and secondly, I’m thinking he wanted to add ‘and more patience with my wife’. Since he was speaking this goal directly to me, he was wise to leave that part out.
Me: To have more gratitude for what I already have.
That’s the great thing about motherhood, it gives you many reasons to be grateful. I’m serious, mostly…, and no, I haven’t fallen and hit my head (at least not badly).
These are some of the lessons I learned throughout 2010.
1. No matter how much you dream it or wish it, you are not in control of your life or your children. It seems the more I try to micromanage Full Speed’s and T.Puzzle’s behavior, the more likely I am to fail and be miserable in the process. Sometimes you have to let go and let them be who they are, even if that means they act wild sometimes, forget their manners and generally drive you and your spouse nuts.
2. On good days, motherhood is about the balance between caring for the needs of your kids and caring for your own needs. On bad days, motherhood is about survival. All you can do is survive until your children’s bedtime, chalk it up to a bad day and start the adventure anew the next day.
3. When the bad stuff happens, it’s your best opportunity to learn.
4. I am extremely lucky to have someone like Mad Dog as my children’s father. Kids love to emulate what they see, and fortunately for me, this means they see love, respect and generosity as a way of life.
5. Frustration doesn’t get you very far. Acceptance, an action plan and forgiveness go a whole lot further in this world.
6. Having kids allows you to remember your own sense of fun. It’s also a great excuse to wear silly hats when you ring in the new year.