Saturday, June 24, 2006

Beautiful Things

"It is amazing that such a beautiful thing starts with just a seed." ~anonymous

When did my daughter get so tall? We were looking in the full length mirror together and she said, "Uh, Mom... where do I come up to you?", indicating with her hand on her head. I looked, and almost didn't want to pull her over so our hips were side by side. OH MY GOSH. Both our eyes were as big as pies as we watched my level hand go from the top of her head to my BROWLINE. She grinned so wide and I felt like smashing her down a bit with my hand on top of her head. She giggled as I tried it. She had been gone for a few days at camp. Is that when it happened? From what I can gather, they fed her hotdogs, wrapped in pop-n-fresh dough, smoked over a tiny fire. If anything, she should have shrunk. Maybe it was fresh air and summer breezes, but whenever it happened, it did, and it isn't stopping yet, I am sure. I always knew there was a chance she would be taller than me when all was said and done. Her Dad is nearly 6'4", and her build carries that very motivated gene structure. Her nicknames have included 'Legs", 'Tall One', 'Colt'. As we looked at each other in the mirror, wondering, I sighed, "I am going to have a daughter taller than I am!" Her thoughtful reply was, "That's alright, Mom, I probably won't grow much more.", and we put our arms on one another's shoulders and smiled. The truth is, I don't mind at all that she will soon join my husband in calling me 'Shorty' (which I have always thought unfounded, being 5'7", and tall by my family's standards), but I do mind that the time is already upon us. I wish I had a dime for every time an older someone, watching me with my little babies and toddlers, said, "Cherish this goes by so fast." I would take all those dimes and buy some of that cherished time, more chubby arms around my legs, more hands reaching up to hold mine, more piggy-back rides, and snuggling into my lap, and bed time songs, and soft, warm cheeks to kiss just after a nap. Chelsea's arms and hands and snuggles and cheeks. It does go by in a blink, like a visit from a butterfly. I need to go find my chubby cheeked 4 year old, no mirrors allowed.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Just One Appreciated Freedom

We are taking a trip. As I check off the items on the packing lists I print out anytime we go anywhere, the butterflies in my stomach dance a little more. I have always loved traveling. I remember when I was just little, sitting up stretched towards the window, as far as my seatbelt would allow (my parents were a couple of those rare few in the 70's who insisted we wear seatbelts and used carseats) watching the scenery go by, searching for deer in the trees, bears lumbering, a glimpse of Bigfoot. I knew we would see rare snow on Snoqualmie Pass and we treated that section of the trip like a real treat, sometimes stopping to throw a snowball and take a picture. Seattle was wet and rainy, mossy, rarely snowy. Of course, it was beautiful. But rain, snow or shine, I did love to venture out on a road trip. I just always have. I sit and watch the world pass by, change from hill to plain, forest to desert, mountain to sea, sunrise to sunset, all while our own little bubble of life continues in much the same manner as it does at home, only on wheels. I like that we all have to get along in such a confined space. We have time to ourselves, reading, listening to headphones, looking out the window, and there are times of interaction, discussion, singing, laughter, arguing, games, and there are times to eat together, enjoy a treat, a simple meal on the move, or a picnic at a rest stop. Life goes on and hours go by and we find ourselves at the Oregon Coast! The Puget Sound! Crater Lake! San Francisco! The Grand Tetons! Colorado Springs! The Battle of Little Big Horn! Mt. Rushmore! Fredricksburg! The Smithsonian! Niagara Falls! "Hey, Kids! We're home!"

Sunday, June 11, 2006


School is officially out for the Summer and our house is now an almost constant stream of energy looking for an outlet. Once again, I allow myself to be amazed at the first, "I'm bored!". Um, hello, you have been out of school one day! But, I remember the anticipation that came with that final bell... that expectation that NOW something exciting should happen. So, I try to be sympathetic with my kids and ask them to have patience for a couple more days, to relax and enjoy "doing nothing" for a bit, while I have a chance to get my bearings and catch up with the pace they set for me. As individuals, my children have different speeds of operation. One sleeps until 10 a.m., while another is up for cartoons at 6. One gets up early, makes the bed and gets dressed, the other gets up and will stay in jammies all day if allowed. But, thrown all together in a tangled, gangly, summer break mass, they become symbiotic. One gets up, they all get up... and hit the ground running. One is hungry, they all are hungry. One gets an owie, they all want to see the owie. One is crying, they all know why. One needs Mom, they all need Mom. This is what I call the "Mom-Magnet". Imagine a large magnet (the Mom) and 4 little bb's rolling along behind. The kitchen is cleaned up after a meal, 2 bb's are watching a movie, one is outside riding their bike and one is playing dolls in the bedroom. The Mom-magnet quietly heads upstairs to lie down and read a book. In less than 5 minutes the bb's are drawn from their activities, rolling along helplessly in search of the Mom, until the door is flung open and 2 bb's are on the bed (one bb is on the Mom's mid-section), one is sitting in the chair relating a recent Spongebob episode, word-for-word, and one is repeatedly flinging himself from the cedar trunk to the floor. The Mom-Magnet. I have tested it. Its real. It does not apply to Dads. Dad goes up to take a nap and 2 1/2 hours later comes out dewy-eyed and refreshed. So, you see, I need a chance to adapt, switch gears, remember that I am in charge and that this can be fun. I love this time of year. Now, where did I put that duct tape...?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My Heart Beats to Bach

Braeden, my 10 year old, had his last piano recital of the season last Sunday. It was at the Christ Lutheran Church, which is a little more intimidating to perform in than his teacher's living room. But, she is in the middle of moving, so there we were. Braeden watched for his turn on the program, took a deep breath and walked the mile up to the piano with all eyes on him. He was playing "Bouree" by Johann Sebastian Bach and all of us sitting in our pew knew it by heart...had listened to it humming in our heads throughout the weeks, had dahdahdeedah-ed it as we washed dishes, mowed the lawn, brushed our teeth. Braeden loves this song, and loves his teacher. I saw his shoulders raise, lower, another breath. I took a breath, but didn't let it out. Wrists up, then he began. His fingers firmly, lightly bounced on the keys, hitting each note. His song danced through the church and my heart pounded with the rhythm. My smile got bigger with every beat and I knew he would be playing this song for weeks to come without a care, because he had nailed it when it was time to nail it. I glanced at my husband, Brandon, and I knew he was thinking the same thing, feeling it. Then, the song ended, and there was a pause. In that split second, Braeden turned to the congregation and flashed a big-eyed, coy grin, and applause and laughter broke. It was a quicker trip back to our pew, but all eyes smiled at him and I couldn't help but feel the few that met mine were saying, "That was something... that was potential being sought after."

Monday, June 05, 2006

Setting this blog up has taken forever and I am laughing at the title I have chosen, because I am pretty frustrated! But, being a "glass-half-full" person does not mean I am a "glass-completely-full-to-overflowing" person and I would suggest steering clear of those looneys. I admit, as a young person, I came closer to that scary description, sheltered and happy as my childhood was. But life has happened to me and I am very content to claim that I am a grounded, solidified "glass-half-full" Type B-perfectionist-personality. I am meant for my highly intelligent, witty "glass-half-empty" husband (he calls himself a "realist"). We balance each other out quite nicely. So, the blog is ready (I tell myself positively), and I invite you to read, comment, and, hopefully, my musings will add a couple of drops to your glass.
"Ahhh, now that is some quality H2O." ~Adam Sandler in "The Waterboy"