There are some days I really love being a super mom. We live in an age where it is with in the realm of possibility for a stay at home mom to do everything needed for her family all by herself. I don't have to take our food all the way from a seed to the table, I can add groceries to a cart from my bed on my phone and then pick them up the next day without getting anyone unbuckled. I don't have to cloth my children with fabric I made myself into clothes sewn just for them. Heck, Josette has so many hand-me-downs I could toss each item after she gets it messy and she would never go naked. (okay not quite, but still.)
That being said, every so often I wish that all the moms gathered at some stream near our homes to wash clothes together, or I wonder what it would be like to live with extended family all in the same house so there was always someone to hold the baby while I showered or engage my little boy in project after project after project when I'm just too tired. Sometimes I take our food from seed to table just of the experience of it.
I'm finding ways to build my new village at our new house, but sometimes I feel like a mom-in-a-box. Just me inside the walls of my home running the show. I'm on a quest to surround myself and my children with authenticity, support, and connection. It's a challenge because I can "connect" with people over my phone without actually building my village. Others are also stuck in a place where it's often easier to present the parts of our life that are most photogenic and receive feedback and interaction without actual authentic connection.
Don't despair, we will find our people. Our ward at church is fantastic, the Seedlings Co-op we joined for preschool is a heaven-sent, not to mention all the glorious time we have spent with extended family. I'm so grateful for family. We have been in an almost constant state of hosting since moving to our new place and it feels so good. It's been a dream of ours to have a home where anyone can come and stay at a moments notice. With a guest bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor we now have a space that stays relatively clean and ready. Don't mind the pile of clean laundry on the guest bed currently, ;) but it's much better than the days when the "guest bedroom" quadrupled as the craft room, sewing room, and nursery.
It's time to start talking about my kids, the things they like, their talents and the way I'm growing because of them, but I keep stopping and hesitating as waves of feelings wash over me. My kids are incredible.
We are entering a stage where the boys are starting to choose to be vulnerable with me because they trust me, instead of vulnerable because they are babies and can't help it. It makes blogging about them a little bit tricky. Sending their struggles and triumphs out into the internet seems like a betrayal of that trust. It might be time to take the blog private or keep a picture journal somewhere.
But how's this for a tip of the ice burg view of my children.
Starting middle out this time. Isaac.
The best way to get through to this strong minded boy is by speaking in a slow British accent. I blame "Sarah and Duck." He will use phrases from the show, like, "go on give it a try." "cum on mama, have a sit." "nothing really" and "I don't much like the rain" It cracks me up every time.
He is fiercely independent and values his alone time. We will often come over to join him only to discover he has scampered off somewhere else because he wasn't finished being by himself. When Josette is drawn to him (as she often is) he will slowly and silently push her over and away, until I intervene.
That being said, he is quick to engage in a wrestle with James or daddy and gets pretty uneasy and upset when someone is sad. He has a heart of gold. When he is craving closeness he will snuggle his face up to mine, find his way into my lap, or if I'm not readily available, latch on to my ankles.
I wish there was a way to describe his adorable little voice. He is so precise in his word choice or song singing. Each sound is perfectly enunciated. If he makes a mistake he will start the entire sentence over again to get it right.
You might not guess it, but he is also our little performer. He loves a good applause and is pretty quick to respond with a song or dance when asked. Hats, masks, glasses, and other dress up style things are right up his alley.
So sorry neighbors for the unsanctioned flower picking. Though I'm guessing you didn't mind the dandelion losses.
He is still a tad accident prone, but becoming less so every day.
Nothing fixes an owie like a bandaid, "I need a bandaid mommy. Let's get one" They stay on less than 20 minutes and then he is begging for "another bandaid"
He and James carry on legitimate conversations these days and it is so rewarding watching them become best of friends.
Speaking of James. We have entered a phase where we are seeing the fruits of setting boundaries, teaching him to "be soft," while still giving him freedom to be his gloriously intense, energetic, action oriented self. It is so fun to listen to his deep questions, watch him take charge and move us into action, and use his "good energy" to be helpful. All I have to say to get him excited is, "James we have a problem." or "I bet you can't..." or "let me set a timer." He love a good challenge and fixes everything.
He is a insatiable learner. We have decided to homeschool for the time being (more on that in another post) and I couldn't be more optimistic about keeping him engaged with meaningful learning. He already schools himself!
He is quick to the rescue, always excited to have friends to play with, and easy to motivate.
James has a giant heart. He doesn't like crying, but sometimes his feelings are really big and he can't keep them in. His expressions of love are overwhelmingly tender and a reminder that while most of the time he is big, loud, and physical, he has a gentle heart full of loyalty to his family.
Each night he begs me to "have a little counsel." or "talk about the plan for tomorrow." Sometimes I'll suggest something for the following day and he will respond with, "Oh, nope, sorry mom, I have a lot of work to do tomorrow." He is most happy when he is anxiously engaged in something meaningful.
We are so lucky to have him.
Josette is FEISTY! She is fearless, sturdy, and beautiful. She is always on the move stopping only occasionally for short, loving, snuggles. She is happy. It doesn't take much to get a smile on her face and it sticks around as long as it's still getting a reaction. She loves mommy, but greets daddy every day after work with a happy dance and a big hug.
She is using her 6 teeth to make short work of solid foods these days (cheese and watermelon are the current favs.) She likes to be where the action is. Even if that means playing in the freezing pool water or sitting on a brother's face. She is independent, persistent, adorable. The world is a better place because she is in it. I'm so grateful to have a daughter.