The longer I am away from this space... or from writing in general... the harder it is to just jump back in. By this point, it has been so long it just feels silly. But, like most things that are stuck, a deep breath & just jumping right back in is probably the best thing to do.
There were many drafts & bits of thought these past nine months that started out, but never made it to an actual post... a few random bits:
An unexpected treat of breakfast in bed started my morning off right.
Cozy under covers that are still warm from sleep heat,
eating a breakfast burrito and sweet oranges, reading posts by a new
favorite blogger... the most delicious start to an ordinary Tuesday.
Marking these little happy bits with a notice and a burst of gratitude
is my non-resolution resolution this year. It is so easy to get mired
in all of the have-tos & shoulds
that anchor my day. Homework projects loom, laundry mountain grows
higher, floors are heavy with dust & the crumbs of our busy
It can feel like too much if that is where I put my focus. It is
still too much to all get done in one day, but shifting attention to
the many rays of pure beauty that also run through my days, helps keep things in perspective. Little boys won't always be little... their bodies
growing longer, lankier and more their own with each sunrise. The
realization that what I am doing here is not just the seemingly endless
service to these little people, but a much larger task, teaching them
how to be humans in the world. How to navigate the big stuff like anger
and sharing and dealing with defeated expectations. How to start from a
place of gratitude, full-glass, full heart with every situation. (Is that even possible?)
As the "baby", who is so not a baby in any way any more, learns to
exert his will in more of the boys play, I find myself as referee more
often than I like. But these are the places they learn how to be kind,
how to stand up for themselves, how to negotiate a way to get what they
want and need. No wonder I am so tired.
Imagine you are just two years old.
Your entire life
experience to date has passed within the dingy walls of an orphanage
located in a neighborhood of extreme poverty, desperation and decay.
You have kind caretakers that have gotten you this far. They are all
you know. It is beyond your scope of understanding that there is so
much more that awaits you. The couple that is now smiling and crying at
you, the ones that are taking you from the only reality you have ever
known, they already love you. They share your genetic condition and
understand first hand the challenges that await. They will become your
foundation, your family, your best chance at a long, healthy, happy
But all you know in this moment, is that something scary & beyond your control is happening.
I was not raised with organized religion in my life, I have always been
a person of faith. Purposeful in choosing the half-full glass, finding
silver-linings in a sea of clouds, at my core has always been the
steady knowledge that all is as it should be. Each experience fitting
into a bigger picture, one that exists just outside of my current view.
Recently I had a moment of clarity about this in the
most unlikely of places. Watching a tv show about a couple adopting a 2
year old little girl from India, I realized that sometimes what seems
most frightening, the end of life as we know it, is also the moment we
are most alive. How often does this happen to us as adults? Things
occur that we have no control over, that we struggle against with all
our might, but what if these disturbances really are the exact right
thing that leads us to what we need?
Often, the things that we struggle against the most, become the most important markers when looking backwards.
This summer I attended a five day writing retreat in one of the most beautiful places on the planet... Big Sur. For hours, precious uninterrupted hours, I listened to writers talk about the craft and wrote my heart out onto the page. It was amazing. And humbling. And somehow left me without any words for the months that followed. Life with three boys and two businesses moves along at an insane pace. I keep thinking if I could just "figure things out" I might be able to find more time for myself... but the reality is that there just isn't enough time in a day to get "everything" done. All I can do is hang on tight & surf the wave of busy.
And here we are again... nearing the close of another year. To say that time flies is such a cliche... but oh-so-very true. So many different things to juggle each day, but when I remember to step back & get a glimpse of the big picture, life is so good. Our three boys continue to grow & change & challenge us on every level. They are strong in body & opinions. A few days ago I experienced one of those parenting milestones they don't really tell you about in any baby book... I actually got to take a shower, a whole shower, while all three boys were awake & in the house. Probably sounds silly if you haven't been around little kids for awhile, but oh man, it feels like a little glimpse of light at the end of this raising little creatures tunnel. We have miles to go, but I can start to kind-of-sort-of see how I might get some of my own time back.
Raising kids, the days can run into each other with such sameness... feed everyone, get places on time (ish), pick everyone up, feed them, bathe them, to bed and repeat. But, when I can get myself to pay attention, to really see what is happening before my eyes, there are always those little moments that shine through. The way the light hits the hills in the distance, that perfect drop of rain splatting in slow motion, hearing little brother say "I love you" to his biggest brother (who is not always the nicest), watching the two biggest boys hug each other after they have been apart... those little golden bits keep the sameness from feeling like too much the same.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Sometimes it feels like Death circles closer than other times. The end of life sweeps near in a very real way instead of the theoretical seed that lies quiet within each of us. I used to be okay with the thought of leaving. I had a full life and adventures and lots of love around me. But this was long before I had small people who depend on me with every cell and breath.
Now when I feel the wave of inevitability wash past, I have that burning hard-pit feeling in the base of my stomach. Oh how I would miss all of the things that drive me crazy on a daily basis! Sticky hands and endless questions and the soft sweet puppy breath that wakes me in the (very) early mornings. I hope that I can see my boys through their years. That I can be greedy and have an end of life that is after a long road of raising them, seeing them thrive and standing on solid ground. But it isn’t up to us, is it? We make choices that may or may not steer us in a certain direction, but mostly we just bump around and hope for the best.
These are the thoughts that wake me this morning. Feeling fragile and human and finite.
And then the morning routine kicks in… and the boys want green eggs and ham, the lunches must be made, green clothing procured and it all starts moving so quickly. Maybe that’s the point? That if you spend too much time sitting still and worrying about the end you miss the middle, where it is meaty and messy and full of delicious chaos.
Sending love & light to the Vargas family. You are in our thoughts. xoxo
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Today you are six.
I remember six. It felt so grown up and important.
You, my dear, are an amazing, caring, stubborn, smart, all-around incredible person.
Watching you grow & stretch & change is one of my most favorite adventures. I feel so lucky to be here to guide you along your path. To push you to try new things & to have hugs ready when you need to retreat.
You know your own mind... a mind that is filled with such amazing questions and dreams. I love the questions you ask. "If grown-ups start as babies, and babies come from gown-ups, when was it all just babies?" Or, one of my favorites, "Is love stronger than death?" Your brain rocks.
I love seeing you & your brothers develop your own relationships. You are an awesome brother. I know it isn't always easy being in the middle... I hope you know how important the middle really is.
I love being able to help you try new things. And to cheer you on to meet the goals you set. You were so determined to ride on that chair lift this year... and felt so very proud when you got to do just that. Your greatest wish with skiing is to be old enough to use poles.
I love our movie-dates and garage sale time together. You are good company.
I love your silly side and the sound of your laugh when it is deep down & in your belly. I know sometimes I forget & get too serious with all that goes on in our house, but I promise to make sure we have as much silly times as possible.
I love seeing how your relationship with Quinn has evolved. And that even though I try to talk with you about Down syndrome, all you see is your brother. You two fight like puppies, but there is such fierce love there too. Knowing you will be with him after I am gone eases my worry a little bit.
I love that you share a birth-date with my Grandpa. He sure would have loved knowing you. When you asked for carrot cake this year, I pulled out the card with his recipe, written in his handwriting. Making it for you feels like passing along love from him.
I love that you are still little enough to want snuggles at bedtime. And write notes to fairies. And believe in magic and the possibility of it happening every day. You fill my heart.
Happy 6th birthday my big grown-up boy!
I am so lucky to be your Mama.