I can never tell if I like baking or not. So much mess, such exact measuring for such a small output. I would so much rather chop vegetables on the wooden cutting board, adding spices and flavorings at random. Making meals I think are more my thing. You?
When I am on my deathbed, I will have one regret. That I didn’t capture Elijah on camera the first time he said, ‘Actually.’
“Oh yeah, I like to play dis “ack-choo-ally,” with his little baby whisper voice.
He, on the other hand, prefers baking. This is the birthday cake he made me, even sang a song. And just at the last minute before he handed it to me, he realized what he was doing and informed me it was ‘act-choo-ally’ his birthday, and kept it. And asked me to sing for him.
Finley asked me to buy him this cereal, because….
“Because it looks like bunny poop.”
I was so delighted and shocked, and he saw it in my face, so his excitement was matching mine, cause in his heart, he knew, we were makin’ it HAPPEN! Chocolate bunny poop cereal it was.
Is it weird that I will cherish this memory forever? I mean, it really does…
There’s just something about the beach, isn’t there? My two Russians must have always been meant to be Californians. These two little best friend brothers like nothing more than to run, side by side, literally in and out of the water, dig and laugh for hours. Really–just looking at each other and laughing.
The beach had brought this one so much confidence. The first time Andrew went in with her, she clawed him like a drowning cat, scared and crying, filled with fear. Now she sails the waves with ease. We spend pool time working on treading water for 5 minutes to qualify for junior life guards next summer, “So I can help save lives, that would be cool.”
I taught Maria and Finley to do still life painting. When I was in the credential program, an art teacher told us the best thing to do with kids is to ask them, “What do you see, what do you notice, what else, what else,” and even if it’s random and off the wall, honor it. Have them look and observe and notice more, that is the start to being able to see deeply and create art.
Sunday late morning outside, Daddy hands deep in dirt, mommy laying chicken poop in the garden, sensory play a laughing raucous, Maria and Finley working on a high fives 10 or 11 times–so close. Elijah, loving, then hating each second in rotation. Food and love at our fingertips, streaming through veins.
My shoeless wonder. My kids are more content playing in shaded wooden areas than with sunny plastic slides and scary (for me!) metal rounded death ladders (why is that a thing!?)
Here, they can stretch out, finding small novelties on branches and in the dirt, cozy places to crouch and explore.
Reading together. Elijah will listen for a bit, but Finley and Maria will sit long, reading even non-fiction and schooling me on them later.
“Oh, are you guys reading about the sun?” -me, casually over their shoulder as they read the Magic School Bus.
Shocked: “Mom! It’s a baby star!!”
We took Maria with us to a wedding this summer, it was pretty magical. Her first wedding, and it couldn’t have been a more special one. A lovely wedding, the sweet wedding of dear friends who we love! Such an incredible couple who we believe will change the world. During the ceremony, we felt and saw the holy spirit move. Maria felt so special and so grown up that whole night. No brothers, just mom and dad and fancy dresses and beautiful lights.
Then, something amazing happened. Maria doesn’t like to dance, she feels way too self conscious and would rather sit, glued. Sometimes it’s hard for her to respond confidently to an introduction, let alone dance in front of people.
But then AJ happened. Aj sat with her, taught her some moves she could do with just her hands while sitting, “Here, watch me! Let’s do it together, you are AMAZING!!! This is our special move, when I get back, we can do it again, ok?”
And then…before we knew it, Maria was….
On the dance floor.
Andrew and I were shocked.
Aj did all the work, dancing around while Maria grinned, and moved her arms, that special dance move. As time went on, she came alive, in front of everyone. She danced and danced, she smiled and let her spirit free as she sailed her hands up into the sky, threw her head back. Fear and worry were abandoned on the folding chair at the table, while a little girl, alive in herself, freedom pouring through the music. His spirit, so present, always brings growth and healing.
I say, don’t be in love with the idea of changing the world, but actually do it. You can, even for just one.