I’ve sat down too many times to write and the words just haven’t felt easy or authentic. The flow was forced and I was trying too hard…maybe because writing in the midst of trials is easier than writing when things are going well. Because they are going well. But more than anything, I want to remember so I figured I’ll just write. This has been a good place for me, this place where I make at least a small attempt at documenting the complexities and sweetnesses of the everyday…
I’m not saying anything new when I acknowledge that a Mama’s day to day is a grind. I turn the wheel and make this train move and most of the hours are filled with the same repeated words to small ears, teaching and reteaching, cleaning the mess, recleaning the mess, and wondering if I ever imagined I would be this tired. But then. Then there are these few small moments that are really actually kind of big. For me anyway. For the last year I have given up my iPhone. I traded it in for a phone that does nothing. As in, for the first few weeks I had it, I would reach for it like a recovering addict every time I was bored or lonely or even happy or sad. I reached for it to make it through the grind. But it didn’t do anything. I even needed two hands to text and I usually don’t have two hands available. So that was that…and slowly my first thought wasn’t “I need to take a picture of my littles doing this or that beautiful thing…and also see what other people have to say about the this and that beautiful thing.” My first thought became, “Let me just look. Look the way I used to when Ava was a baby…before my virtual audience gave me company. When it was just me and her. Her and me.” Anyway, ironically it’s hard to not want to post a picture here, but one of those beautiful moments happened just the other night and I just wanted to grab it in my mind and tuck it away forever. Ava was sitting on a tree swing. The ropes long and swaying slow as she pushed the ground with the toe of her flip flops. She held her sketch book open on her lap and she thoughtfully drew the wildflowers around her. The summer evening breeze blew her hair over her cheek. I didn’t take her picture. I just snapped it in my mind and it’s there now to treasure. No lens in the way. Just the sweet memory of her doing her thing.
And then there’s Piper who, as I described to someone meeting her for the first time the other day, will say something inappropriate and something hilarious all in the first 30 seconds after hello. And she did! She is full of might and perfect comedic timing that is beyond her 3 years. Most of the time I wish she needed me more, but she is the independent one, making her own path. And I catch myself staring at the way her baby cheeks still round out her face and the way her hair shines in the sun when she’s running outside. Sometimes she lets me hold her hand and I love how it feels in mine, small and soft and sometimes sticky, but still…3. Not a baby anymore, but not quite big. I capture her often because I know in a blink, she’ll be all grown up. My Pip.
My boy is still loving on his Emmy, making it his mission to help her along. He’s also testing the waters of “boyhood” with his friends as he is surrounded by sisters when he’s home. I wish I could say it more creatively, but watching him ride his bike, swing his baseball bat, play a make-shift soccer game with the other boys, build his legos…it all just makes me so happy. He’s getting bigger, but I think one of my greatest joys is when he sits on my lap and relaxes into me. It won’t happen much longer so I’m breathing it in now…capturing it, holding it in my mind and memory…not regretting that he’s growing but appreciating what is the “now” of Jude…so I don’t miss it and forget how he became what he is and how he is becoming what he will be.
Emmy girl is doing well. The year anniversary of her diagnoses came and went without even really noticing it. I didn’t know if there would be tears or not. There weren’t. I don’t feel like I have anything to be sad about anymore. What I once feared has become a reality I rather enjoy. Love actually. She’s pulling to a stand now, cruising, yelling at her siblings when she’s mad, scrunchy face giggling when she’s happy. She has the cutest scratchy voice (part of Williams Syndrome) and my favorite thing is to hear her saying new words…one at a time, always with passionate inflection, even saying “Ewwww” when she burps. She’s doing the typical toddler things just a little later than is typical. Almost every time I pick her up, she turns her head, rests it on my shoulder and keeps it there for one incredibly sweet moment. She loves well, my Emmy.