Sunday, June 24, 2012

Flaws and Forever

There are times when I hear other mothers tell stories of their children. How they love each other. How well they play together. How cherished family time is. And it's at these moments when I assume these mothers must be lying. There is no other explanation. How could there possibly be a home where siblings liked each other? It's such a foreign concept, it makes my head spin.

But then, there are days, where they fight and whine and rebel at the cruelty of having to breathe the same air as their sister. And when those days come, in the dark corners of my mind I wonder what I've done wrong. Against my better judgement, I think about those mothers whose children get along and never scream, "You're such an idiot!".

Sibling craziness is such a constant, its become the norm. Sad but true. So imagine my surprise when I picked up a pile of discarded papers, ready to put them in the trash.

I don't know which child wrote it or why. It was simply jumbled in a pile that no longer held the interest of the writer. But for me, the deepest kind of resonance came with just 4 simple words.

We tend to save our worst behavior for those we love the most. It's the strangest of ironies. Maybe unconditional love comes attached with exposing our whole selves. Not just the good parts, but the ugly ones too. Forever is a long time, so we settle in, flaws and all. Along the way, I think we forget that those we love are our reason to live.

So, with that knowledge, my mother eyes have started to soften. I'm not as quick to recall stories of perfect children behaving in perfect families. Instead, I'm starting to see that love is learned. It makes mistakes and whispers harsh words, but it never, ever wavers in its strength. It's real, flaws and all. And whether it's written on notebook paper or said loud enough to hear, Sister's Are Forever.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cool Moms Make Rainbows

For 45 minutes, my kids thought I was cool. That's the longest amount of time they have liked me in years. All it took was a white cake mix and food coloring. If I had known that this would make them so happy, I would have done it ages ago.

We baked our rainbow cake in jars. Somehow that made me even cooler. Once cooled and topped with frosting, rainbows are all sorts of delicious. And boring moms transform into all sorts of awesome.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Flying Time and a 13

It feels like summer started months ago. In reality, it's only been a few weeks. Time has flown away from me.

We had a dance recital:

Being the baby of the family has it's pro's and con's. Most of the time, being Child #3 simply means I've run out of energy and money by the time I reach her. A dance recital finally gave her time and space to call her own. We cheered like wild monkeys. It was awesome.

The most noteworthy event of late, I went to Girl's Camp with Girls #1 and #2. Again.:

After last year, I swore, swore, I would NEVER go again. That promise worked out real well. Why does camping always coexist with sweating and singing? Why? I have decided that I am now allergic to camp songs. I'm serious.

I now have a 2nd teenager. Kellie turned 13 today:

When this girl arrived on the scene, she broke the mold I had created as a mother. She shattered it to bits. Everything I thought I knew, every motherhood habit I had formed, no longer worked. This special girl forced me to become a new kind of mother. One that thinks and looks differently at the world. She built me from scratch and stretched me beyond what I thought I could handle. I owe so much of who I am to this daughter of mine. She truly is One Of A Kind. Happy Birthday.

I need some rest. Maybe a bit of silence as well. Do you know where I can find some?

Monday, June 4, 2012

The After Shocks

They follow me. Everywhere. Now that school is out, they somehow have the desire to be wherever I am. It's crazy. Why are they following me?

Often they ask me questions like, "Hey, did you shave your arm pits today?" (true story). They have the incessant need to inform me when they're bored. They deliver their statement as an accusation, as if I'm at fault for their boredom. That one has gone beyond irritating.

Grocery shopping has become the Best. Experience. Ever. They are thorough in their quest to point out every single item that all the other mothers in the world buy, except for theirs. The injustice of not having Pop Tarts in our pantry leads them to madness. It's fun to watch. Even better to live through.

My house is trashed and every drinking cup we own has been used within the first 5 hours of the day. Apparently I'm a mean mom because I won't buy them snow cones every day, and when I forced them to go to the library with me they asked, "What would we even do there?" (another true story).

I used to be good at this. At least I think I did. I can't really remember a time when I had it all together, but I'm sure there was a moment or two, or four. I wish I could recollect what I did then. Maybe I used to regularly buy Pop Tarts and snow cones. And I'm really hoping there was a time that my kids actually knew that books could be found in a library. I'm crossing my fingers on that one.

Just so you know, it's Day 4 of Summer. Seriously. Day! 4!