If anyone has seen my sweet little bunny-loving three year old, would ya let me know?
I mean, yes, I know she's quietly tucked into that cute little white toddler bed in the room next door. But sometimes, I swear an evil twin has replaced this girl, and her sole mission is to see how far she can push me before I give in to her demands, and sit in the bathroom for ten minutes with an Us Weekly because seeing pictures of celebrities pumping their own gas kinda makes everything okay again. (Joking. I've mostly broken myself from that celebrity gossip habit. You're more likely find me eating chocolate chips in the bathroom. Ones that I've dug up from the pantry because ughhhh we gave up candy.)
I'm calling this list: Why I'm Already Afraid of the Middle School Years (Volume l)
1. Her hair is a daily battle. "Are you putting it up or down?!" Oh, and there's also the "updown." Then there's braids. "I don't want two braids. I want THREE braids because I'm THREE years old." Guys...I don't even know how to make that look good.
2. Shoes. That's all I'm going to say (or not say) about that.
3. Oh, this a big one. Imagine asking a tween to come down and do the dishes before calling their friends. (Wait.....is that still a thing? Tweens: ARE YOU CALLING YOUR FRIENDS? On the phone?! Do you just text? Do you even HAVE a phone...I sure didn't at that age. Also: Why are you reading this blog?? Don't you have your mother's Us Weekly to steal and read behind her back?) Okay, back to the dishes. Now imagine them saying, "Ugh...Mmmmmmommmm!" She does that!! Already! "S...it's time to do your hair!" "Ugh...Mmmmmmommmm!"
Now, let me also include another list.
I'm calling it: Why I Know We're Gonna Make it Through Middle School (Volume l)
1. Every night, she makes us tell her that we're best friends. I consider this a verbal agreement and legally binding.
2. She's also told us she doesn't want to go college (sorry...not an option) because she doesn't want to live away from us. This makes me think that maybe she does really like us.
3. And the main reason...she's assured us that she's not going to grow big. Older, yes. But not bigger. I figure if I have a height advantage, she'll respect me more when she's 12.
Well. The holiday season is creeping up on us, which of course means things are getting busier and busier. My wonderful in-laws visited us this week, and I tell ya...they couldn't have come at a better time. The leaves were just peaking here (yay!) the temperatures are finally deciding to stay cold (not just tease us) and truth be told....mama really needed to sleep in.
I mean. Daylight Savings....did you realllllly have to show up again? I mean, really. Spring forward, fall back, yada yada yada. My kids couldn't care less. This is the first round of 'savings that I wasn't sure we were going to make it. My kids already have a history of waking up early....especially the cute guy on the right. I swear, I've said it a thousand times...he's lucky he's has those adorable brown eyes. No one else could get me up as early and still make me love him. He likes to crawl into our bed and leave me with about an inch of space to stretch out. Always generous, that one.
But...I'm almost afraid to say it...(knock on wood, knock on alllllll the wood) I think we may be finally coming into the clear. They've slept in (and by in, I mean 7) for two days in a row, and it's amazing how much better we all feel.
In other news...things are getting busier at Casa Jones, and not just because of the holidays. Busy is good, but busy is still something I'm still trying to get used to. Well...the "being-accountable-to-someone-else" kind of busy, anyway. My goal is to learn how to juggle it all, and still be able to step back and enjoy the little moments with my family. Lofty goal, right?! Anyone else have it all figured out? I'm all ears. I'm already terrified of missing anything in my kids lives as it is.
I'd also like to focus more on my writing. I've never fancied myself as a writer...but, who knows. Maybe someday down the road I may actually write something a little worthwhile. I've gotten to a fun little point where writing is less a chore, and more a thing I actually crave. It's nice.
A whole lot of nothing. A whole lot of far-away-from-something-worthwhile.
I mean, I don't really "plan" more than a few hours ahead most of the time on anything, and I certainly hardly ever "plan" on what I'll write on here. Has anyone noticed that I still have never posted about the kids' birthdays?? For shame!
But, as I sit here watching some Halloween version of Curious George with S cuddled next to me, I realized that I actually really enjoy this holiday. Like most big holidays, it's all about the anticipation, no?
I mean. For weeks now, every time we run into Target ("For just ONE thing,") S breaks into a very adorable but very loud rendition of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," every time she would spot one of those huge decorative spiders that hang from the ceiling. Pato is an expert spotter, so the two makea pretty great spider-spotting-singing team. I tell ya. I could never lose her in that place. I'd just have to listen for, ".....DOWN came the rain and WASHED the spider out!"
Most people are pretty nice about it. We've gotten more than a few people looking around to see where the noise....I mean...gorgeous singing....came from. Hey, at least they weren't screaming, right?
I should mention....they DO do their fair share of screaming-in-Targets like most other children. We are not immune.
But, like I said, this post is about Halloween, not spiders.
October always feels like "Halloween month," and I love that. I used to love dressing up as Mickey Mouse (NOT Minnie) because I had a huge crush on him. I said crush. Yes. Don't ask.
One year, when I wasn't dressed up as Mickey, I was dressed up as some princess/fairy/angel...thing. Something thrown together and a hand-me-down. I remember being sad because even though I didn't really know WHAT exactly I was dressed up as, I knew I was lacking a crown. I probably pouted a bit, but nothing a bowl of Doritos Nacho Cheese chips couldn't fix. (I used to put. that. stuff. DOWN!) I remember seeing my mom doing something at the kitchen table, but I wasn't too interested to look.
Well, some time later, she said she had a surprise for me.
And I'll tell you what. There are few presents that stick out in my mind from my childhood, and this is one of them. Because even at that young age, I knew it came from her heart.
Cardboard, tin foil, some tape, and a white shoelace from one of my sneakers. She had made the perfect crown.
I was over the moon. It was PERFECT.
I was happy, and I could tell my mom was happy.
What I didn't know then, but I do know now, is that her heart was positively bursting.
I remembered this story as I was working on my own daughter's little crown yesterday.
S has been really adamant about dressing up as herself this year, and nothing could change her mind. So, we decided to try and dress her up without her knowing. Genius right?
As I sat and worked on making this flower crown, (my first time ever, by the way...so don't look too closely!) I kinda-sorta started pouring my heart into it (and blood....darn wire) and I hoped she would just not hate it.
She loved it! She really loved it! This little crown that make-a-whole-costume-out-of-toilet-paper-and-a -toothpick moms would surely laugh at.
It didn't matter that it wasn't perfect. But it was good enough that she couldn't wait to show daddy. And when it hits "show daddy" status, you KNOW it's good.
So, I guess this Halloween, I had my own full-circle-moment. And it was something I'll always remember. Because that's what being a parent is all about. Doing everything you can to make your baby happy...even for second. Wanting to make their dreams come true. Even if it means it's going to hurt a little.
That crown from all those years ago....is still the most perfect crown. I know there was more to that crown than I could write on here. Thank you for making my childhood a happy place.
We just got back from a quick trip up to my old hometown in New Jersey. Living in Virginia, I've been really lucky over the years to have had the chance to visit quite often. Also, lucky that my husband has been so willing to drive us up all those times and lucky that my parents were always begging us to come.
Long story short, we drove up because we were scheduled to have family pictures taken in the city. The timing was perfect, and we had friends who were so generous in letting us stay with them. It was our first time back since my parents moved to Hong Kong, and I'd be lying if I didn't say it was terribly sad. Not all of it, of course. But, driving down all those familiar roads, seeing so many familiar faces and eating all those familiar foods that just make me feel like home, was, truth be told, hard. Hard because I don't know if my parents will ever end up back there. What if my little family moves across the country? What will bring me back?
It's funny. When we went to church on Sunday, none of the nursery leaders at church recognized us. We were asked several times if we were just visiting, and I almost wanted to respond, "No! You're the new one here! Are YOU visiting?"
Okay, so I know home is where the heart is. Yes, yes, I agree completely. But, after this trip, I realized that a tiny part of my heart is IN the town I grew up in. I don't know if that tiny little part will ever reunite with the rest of my heart, but for now, when I think of Summit, I have a small feeling of longing.
In my mind, Summit exists in a never-ending autumn. The REAL autumn. Not the kind that turns brown before it has the chance to turn red, and teases you with t-shirt temperatures. The sky is the perfect shade of grayish- blue and the leaves fall from the trees as you drive past them. The chilly air turns my cheeks just cold enough and I actually feel like my lungs are happy. Every inch of me feels happy.
I'm glad my kids have gotten to experience this. J is too young to remember much, but S already remembers. She remembers that real bagels are doughy and I hope she'll remember what a real fall feels like.
I hope they will have the chance to create more memories there, and when the time comes, have wonderful memories of wherever they will call home.