Tuesday, February 11, 2014

As Long As I'm Living, My Babies They'll Be

They each held up an Iron Man book for our bed time reading.

"Oh come on guys.  You have hundreds of books to choose from.  Can you pleeeease choose a good bed time story kind of book?  Mummy doesn't enjoy reading about Iron Man."

Look.  I know it's not all about me.  But it kind of is since I'm the one reading the books.

Adrian went off to the Robert Munsch section of the book shelf in their room while I chose a couple of Sandra Boynton books for Finley.

Robert Munsch.  Sandra Boynton.  I was winning the book battle tonight.

My eldest flipped through all 30 plus Munsch books and then stopped and held one up for me to see.

"Mommy?  This is the one that always makes you cry."

"Yes, I Love You Forever does make me cry."

I couldn't recall the last time we read that one but I do remember attempting to read through a giant lump in my throat, furiously blinking back the tears as my husband watched from the doorway completely bemused.

"Ok.  Let's read it then."  Nice kid.  He actually wants to see his Mother become a snotty, blubbering mess?

 I was trying to convince myself that this would be the time I could get through it without tears pouring down my face.

I was wrong.

I've always understood, even as a little girl reading I Love you Forever, the deep sentiment behind this book while others may have scoffed at the Mother creepily stalking her grown son.  I never found it weird.  Of-course it would be totally whacked if that were to happen in real life but that is not what this story is about beneath the pictures, beneath the words written in the book.  When I found out last year that he wrote the song that is woven through the book after his wife gave birth to two still borns, the emotions I attached to it became deeper still.  Especially when reading it to my two very much alive, wonderfully healthy beautiful boys.

And so.

I turned page after page, singing the song and reading the words as tears ran down my cheeks.  My sons' leaned into me when they saw me crying.

As I closed the book up Adrian gently wiped a tear from my cheek with his thumb (a very grown up gesture, one that I've done to him many times) and asked, "Why are you crying?  It's just a book."

"Yes but a book can touch your heart deeply.  So deeply that you have to cry sometimes.  Do you think it's silly or okay to cry?"

Finley, my four year old sitting on the other side of me said, "It'th okay.  I wath crying but I wipe my tearth away."

I was pretty sure he didn't cry.  But still, he knew it would've been okay to cry and that made me feel good.  I also knew he was saying those words, my delightfully sensitive child, to make his Mommy feel better.

And that made me feel quite wonderful.

As I kissed their lips and hugged them about half a dozen times as is our usual nightly ritual I then laid down beside my 6 year old for a moment.  He threw his arm over my neck and kissed me ever so sweetly on the tip of my nose.

The little voice of my small one drifted down from the top bunk, "Mommy?  I love you to de moon and back forever and ever and beyond."

"Me too baby.  I love you to infinity and beyond."

I'll Love them Forever
I'll Like them For Always
As long as I'm living
My babies they'll be.
Oh yeah and that guy in the middle.  He's my big baby.  :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Made with Love

"Mmmmm.  Honey this is a-MAY-zing.  Boys you have no idea now but when you get older you will really appreciate how awesome of a cook your Mumma is."

When my husband is home and we eat dinner together, this is generally what he says every night as we dig in.
It never, ever gets old.

I usually bore my family then with how I made it, the ingredients I used and blah, blah, blah.  One of us usually ends up cheesily finishing the conversation off with the most important ingredient of all.  The intangible one that's four letters long and starts with the letter 'L'.

You are all excused to go gag for a moment.  Then come on back when your finished if you dare.


The boys sat in front of their plates of homemade creamy, cheesy penne with roasted chicken and roasted brocolli on the side.  Their father was not there to declare his utmost devotion to my food creations and so I just hoped to God that they would actually eat instead of driving me nuts.

"Fin, what does it taste like?"  Adrian asked his brother, who was shockingly focused on gobbling up the roasted broccolli but had yet to taste the pasta.

"Adrian have I ever made a dinner that's tasted bad?"  I was treading on dangerous territory with that question but the truth is that other than Eggplant Parmigan and bacon that's too crispy my eldest is far from a picky eater.

"Mommy, I think that if you were in a food show that you would win."  He says.

Uh huh.  Nice try.

"You do?  Well thanks. So how about eating your dinner then if I'm such a great chef."

"No. I mean maybe you would win with your desserts."  Back pedal, back pedal.  Sometimes I am smarter than my 6 year old.  Sometimes.  "Your desserts are really good."

I would not be buttered up, flattered or cajoled...oh no I would not.

"Buddy.  Eat your dinner please."

He stabbed a penne noodle with his fork and into his mouth it went.  "It's gooood!"

"Of-course it's good.  It's pasta with cheese and cream.  How could it be bad?"

"Mmm. Goat cheese?  No.  No...I taste...love."

He looked at me through squinty, smiley blue eyes, his right cheek imparting that adorable dimple.

Oh my but he knows how to get to his Mother's heart.

So of-course I squeaked out a thank you through laughter as I scurried over to his side of the table and smooched the heck out of his face.

Of-course I did.

And he ate up that pasta.

Of-course he did.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

That Time When Mommy Went Beserk

It was an end of my rope kind of morning.  It started off lovely enough watching cartoons in bed with my eldest while my little had a sleep in but as soon as the school clothes came out the defiance set in.  And my feelings of frustration brewed.

My husband is away on business.  Again.  In a string of never ending trips until the spring ends...it seems like the winter goes on and on forever.

I could feel the anxiety fill my chest. Even though I started the day with 5 Sun Salutations my Zen was already beginning to crack.

Until it broke.

People always tell parents with little ones that it gets easy, "Don't worry, it gets easier!"  I'm wondering when that's going to happen.  At ages 4 and 6 I have two independent little boys who very dependently rarely listen to me in the morning.  Gone are the days when I could simply pick them up and change them myself.  They are big boys now.  It will not do.

Maybe it's because their father is away.  Now that they're older they feel his absence more intensely.  I've never made his travelling an issue with the boys.  I like to think that I have a very positive attitude about life but that doesn't help when your 2 children are in cahoots to literally make you lose your sanity.

I'm not saying this jokingly you guys.  Today was BAD.  A very, very low point in my days of being a Mother.  It wasn't just exasperation and hollering.  But heaving, hysterical crying.  Words of, "I can't do this.  I cannot do this anymore."

In front of my children.

Friends always tell me they don't know how I do it with John travelling so much.  Frankly I don't know either.  Some weeks I feel ragged, emotionally spent, physically exhausted and resentful.  I'm not saying this to have anyone ever feel sorry for me.  That is the last thing that I would ever want.  I want Mothers that wonder about other Mothers that seem to have it all together to understand that they most certainly DO NOT.  Not always.  I've never pretended to have it all together.  I'm openly point blank blunt to my friends and even acquaintances about how very hard Motherhood is.  Regardless if you have a husband that travels a lot or not.  There will come a point several hundred times in your lifetime as a Mother that you will honest to God feel like you might lose your mind.  And then you just might. What makes it worse is if you call your husband who is 6000 miles away screaming and carrying on like a lunatic that you're going to run away from home because you.just.can't.take.it.anymore. Afterwards you will look back and think, "How the hell did I let 2 children get the best of me?"

You will then wonder if you've scarred them for life with your outburst of mental instability.

I'm pretty sure I did.  But my boys got dressed and out the door to school on time.

I just hope to God they don't tell their teachers that Mommy went crazy this morning.

Even though it's the truth.

Monday, February 3, 2014

He Turns Six

"Your son is the sweetest thing.  No really.  He is just the sweetest."  A Mother at your birthday party on Saturday had pulled me aside to tell me this.  I looked back questioningly, smiling.

"I know your invitations said just food bank donations but I told my daughter to ask him if there really was anything he wanted for his birthday...and do know what he said?  He told her, 'No I don't need anything.  I already have enough.'  I mean - what 5 year old kid says that?"

I laughed but my heart was beaming with Mother Pride.  What kid says that?  I guess you do.  Was I all that surprised by your response?  Yes I was, if I'm going to be completely honest.  Being that the no gifts idea was most definitely not yours.  You had your moments not entirely embracing it.  I'm not sure you ever fully  loved or even liked the idea. But you understood it because had I made sure to discuss it with you on several occasions.  A traumatic 6th birthday party was not something anyone wishes for.

The fact is that you really don't need anything. Your birthday wants would come from us because certainly no birthday of my boys would ever tick by without at least half a dozen gifts from the family.  The thought of 15 more gifts from your friends made my stomach queasy.  Material gluttony makes me squeamish, you'll come to know.

This Mother's story was not the first one I had heard regarding your response to your friends secretly asking if you really did want something for your birthday.  You sure do make your parents proud buddy.

Looking down at your bright red screaming face, holding your 9.6 lb squirming body to my chest 6 years ago after almost 40 hours of very, very tough labour did I envision who you would be 6 years later?  Of-course.  Of-course Mothers do this.  It's a nebulous outline always at the back of our minds whose form shifts and morphs with experiences and moments and gets more clarity as the years go by.

Every year leading up to your day of birth, the day you gave me the most epic role of a lifetime, I tend to reflect on the years gone passed.  Memories that seem like a million years ago and ones that seem like they were just last week.  I reflect on how our relationship as Mother and Son has changed and formed and how we've gotten to know each other.  How I know you as a son.  How I know you as a big brother.  How I know you as a friend, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin, a neighbour.  A person in his own right.  Every year I wonder and cannot fathom how it's possible to love you even more.  And every year my heart grows exponentially with a profound amount of love for you, my dear boy.

You've challenged me fiercely almost every day of your 6 years in existence.  Lord knows you've challenged me. But you've also loved me the same way every.single.day of your life. Ferociously, affectionately and without judgement.

You've made me a better person and as trite as that always sounds there really is no other way to say it. You make me think, you make me laugh daily, you make me happy and wildly crazy. Sometimes within minutes.  And you make me love harder than I've ever loved in my entire life.

Today on your day of officially becoming a 6 year old boy, I love you more than any day that's passed.  Not because your six but because it's another day in which the love that I hold for you in my heart grows deeper daily.  Simply because you are you.  Because you are my beautiful son.

Happy Birthday Adrian Thomas.  You really are one cool kid.  And I'm one lucky Mumma.