Enjoy These Moments

It is 10pm on a school night and both of my kids are currently awake and crying because they’re “not tired” and “it’s still light outside” and I would like to bottle this feeling up so whenever someone tells me to “enjoy these moments, they go by so quickly” instead of awkwardly acquiescing, I can use it to instantly summon my rage and shut that shit down.

I love my kids with every fibre of my being but I need them to stop making noises at me and go to sleep. Hashtag: too blessed to be stressed *cry face emoji* (help)

 

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Three

Three is not my favourite kid age. When Grady was three, I’d lament that anyone who had complained about the “terrible twos” had obviously never met a three-year-old. Poppy is a week into three and she’s already outdoing her brother in the big emotions and loud opinions department. 

Three does have its perks, though. Poppy’s gone through a bit of a vocabulary boom, and the stories she tells are often hilarious. Today I picked her up from daycare and when she asked where Shawn was, I told him he got stuck in a meeting. Her eyes got wide and her voice got loud as she told me we better go save him. It took me a beat before I realized she thought he was physically stuck. 

Three is a test of my patience and my endurance, but it’s also the shortest season between toddler and big kid. I’m trying my best to savour it and focus on the funny bits so I don’t grind my teeth into dust. 

Surrounded

Grady graduated to his green belt in karate last week. His school does graduations once per month, and he still had his last stripe to earn, so I didn’t think he’d be graduating until February. But at the last minute, two days before graduation, he tested and passed. 

He has worked so hard and grown so much since starting karate. I know I’m biased but I promise, he’s actually really good. And he loves it. I don’t think I’ve had a cooler parenting moment than seeing my kid excel at something he enjoys.  

Graduation was a bit of a last minute scramble and I didn’t expect anyone to reschedule their lives around Grady’s karate event, but I put the invitation out to all the grandparents. And they all showed up. They watched him move up to the next belt level, they cheered and clapped and took pictures. Afterwards we all went out for dinner and I can’t articulate how much it meant to me to see how my kids are surrounded by love and support. Intellectually I know my kids are loved but to witness the sacrifice (traffic! Other plans! Work stuff!) people made to come stand in a sweaty gym for an hour when Grady’s portion of the ceremony was approximately three minutes, was humbling. My kids, my family, I am so lucky. 

I got you

When Poppy is upset or sad or hurt or tired, she clings to me and mutters "I got you, I got you, I got you" in my ear. It's one of those things that makes me feel like I'm doing some of this parenting stuff sort of okay. I've done my best to not shush my babies when they're upset. I don't say "you're okay" or "you're fine," I say "I'm here" and "I've got you." And now Poppy knows when she needs someone or something, she's got me. She's got all of us. It's so good for my mama heart to hear Grady comfort her in the same way. "I've got you, Poppy Doodle," he says as he pats her back. "I got you, Grady Bug," she replies.

If you asked me to, I could list a hundred things I do wrong off the top of my head. Like, without taking a breath. I can describe Mount Laundry in great detail. I can list the number of times I've lost my cool and used my snippy snappy voice when my kids / husband / dog / life didn't do what I wanted exactly how I wanted. I can tell you about the pink slime growing in my bathroom sink, the processed crap I ate for lunch instead of green vegetables, the shameful state of my inbox, the weird buzzing noise my fridge is making that I'm choosing to ignore rather than investigate / fix, and on and on and on. 

But what will that accomplish? Will telling you how terrible I am make you feel better? Probably not. Will telling you how terrible I am make me feel better? Definitely not. I'm not saying we have to be all positive all the time. I'm not saying we should tamp down our struggles and grit our teeth and smile. I'm saying instead of choosing to be self-deprecating, instead of highlighting the many ways I get it wrong on a daily basis, I want to tell you what I'm doing right. Not because I think it makes me better than anybody else. Not because I think this one win means I'm doing it all right all the time. I want to tell you what I'm doing right -- right now -- because it makes me feel good, and because I hope it encourages you to tell me what you're doing right. I got you.