We were driving home a little over two hours in the dark that is now synonymous with “winter evening”. Adler had fallen asleep within a few minutes of take off, easily lulled by the car’s movement and the lullaby-like music we were playing. Cohen was a harder sell. First, he told us about escaping an alligator in the yard who had bitten his finger. And then he asked for me to please read Narnia or Samuel or something. I told him I didn’t have any books with us and that anyway, it was dark. He asked about playing go fish when we got home. I told him we’d see and then I turned up the music a bit louder to discourage anymore distractions from sleep and finally he had succumbed, snoring softly in his car seat that seems funny now that he seems so old.
It was the night before Christmas.
David and I talked most of the way home from his maternal grandmother’s. We analyzed family, the way I suppose all couples do when they leave a whole day of being together en mass. We talked about some things between the two of us, the way, again, I suppose most couples do when they get alone. And we talked about the two sleeping boys in the back. Mostly the bigger one.
Some parents worry and panic about taking home their newborn from the hospital. I’ve heard it said more than once that a new parent was suddenly stricken with fear at the thought of being solely responsible for their tiny progeny away from the help of the hospital nursing staff. I didn’t feel that way leaving the Swedish Hospital in Seattle with my 4 pounder. I was ready to go. I had experience with babies and I felt prepared.
“I always thought parenting would be so… obvious!” Pushing the oversized cart through the extra wide aisles in Home Depot, I could hear my nervous laughter bouncing off the cement floors and blocked walls and echoing into the emptiness of the weekday afternoon. My Aunt Deb was on the other end of the line, encouraging me and offering advice, the kind only a mother of three grown men could possibly have access to. I had been pushing my cart around the store for at least an hour. Adler was riding along in his car seat, happy as long as we were moving. I had long since forgotten my reason for driving to Marysville to the big box hardware store.
It is Christmas, though it doesn’t look a thing like Christmas outside. Its sunny and warm enough to get away with a jacket. If I didn’t know better, I might peer out my window and think it was early April. I got the “special breakfast” ready before going to bed, but still I was up at 5 to put on the coffee and bake what I had prepared. I had just finished moving the stockings down (hmmm….or was it Santa?) when I heard my sweet husband talking to a hungry Adler. I wasn’t nursing him for a few minutes before Cohen appeared at our bedroom door, still in his clothes from last night, looking tired and disheveled and trying to get his bearings. He crawled into David’s lap and we started talking about what today is… a school day? Valentines’s Day? David’s birthday? He knew we were messing with him, but even so it took a few minute for the smile to widen on his face. “It’s Christmas!”
We hurried on downstairs, wondered about who really had moved the stockings, and opened presents. Cohen was excited about everything, which is an improvement from last year when we finished and he said “what about the remote controlled truck I asked Santa for?” Apparently on Christmas Eve, at my grandpa’s, Cohen had asked Santa for one. Of course, he never mentioned it to us. That’s sort of when the whole Santa gig was for sure up. Smart little Co.
Adler was up hours earlier than usual so he tried to make the best of the paper and all the new sounds of his baby toys. We ate breakfast and went to church and came home. We took a first ANNUAL (I am insisting on it!) family nap in the living room, with Co’s choice of Disney movie on. David and Adler easily drifted off, Co and I struggled. Eventually I took him up to his bedroom to sleep and I treated myself to a warm bath.
The sounds of soft snoring now fill my small home. I, alone, am awake in the family room with my feet propped up on the coffee table with my cup of joe, as the oddly warm light filters in through the curtains.
I haven’t been writing much these days. Not that things don’t happen I could write about. Not that I don’t have some extraneous time to write. I just haven’t. I want to and should and in some inexplicable way, I need to. If you’ve read this blog long at all, you know I have my seasons of writing and my seasons of silence. I sometimes aspire to only have one long season of writing writing writing, but I never wanted to force myself to try to have something to say or even if I have something to say, feel forced to say it.
Anyway there has been a lot going on. Like, for instance, parenting. And when I say parenting, I mean like PARENTING! My conversation with Aunt Deb the other day was clarifying and helpful and moving and boy, oh boy, did I need all of that (and a bag of chips). The funny thing about parenting is how not obvious it is. I mean, with other people’s children? Terribly glaringly discernible. But with my own? Covert. Concealed. Disguised. (thank you, online thesaurus).
I am sure to be biased, but Cohen is a very gifted child. He’s witty and smart and picks up on everything.little.thing. He’s creative and imaginative. He never misses a beat with people. And Lord knows that child is like dynamite from sun up to sun down. He has more energy than two preschoolers and focusing that energy can be a challenge… for adults. I can’t imagine how it must be for him. He’s well behaved and sweet 90% of the time, but even still, he’s challenging the way a very emotive, very gifted, very energetic child can be.
We spend a lot of time talking about all the goodness and favor of God that is on his life and all the good and mighty things he’s going to do. I know his life has a specific, Godly trajectory and that he is an arrow bound for the target of God’s great plan. I know it.
Sometimes I just have no idea how to nurture and discipline and mold and shape in line with all of that.
So, just like last night as we drove in that dark car and just like the other day while pushing that heavy cart through the store, I have been spending a lot of time reading and thinking and talking and listening and praying about how to parent that amazingly wild and beautiful gift that is my Coco Bean.
I have also been spending a lot of time watching Adler roll and try to crawl (he’s ridiculously strong and large for just having turned 5 months) and smile. Boy does that little mini smile a lot. He’ll smile just about any time he catches anyone’s eye. He belly laughs at big brother’s antics meant to elicit that response. Other than that he spends his days talking like he means it and projectile vomiting on my freshly clean hair and second or third outfit of the day. In short, he’s an infant. And a really sweet one to boot.
I got to spend two weeks doing a lot of hanging out with sister Beth and Lucy, who came to Ohio for a trip while Shane was touring. Lucy did a lot of singing and looking adorable. It was good to have morning coffee and few dinners with my sweet younger sister.
I have been doing a lot of baking. Mostly to avoid things like mopping. It has been fun. I won’t be able to keep it up long, but it has been fun while its lasted. I think I am going to make it a holiday tradition. I also finally looked at Pinterest after being invited some months back. Pinterest also aided in my avoidance of all things mopping by giving Co and I lots of creative projects to work on. We made special treats, ornaments, graham cracker “gingerbread” houses, Mason jar snow globes and a handful of scientific experiments for preschoolers (like glow in the dark glue and a mini volcano). To say I have enjoyed these oft glittery projects with him would be an understatement of embarrassing proportions. It has been a riot.
Our house, after many many months of remodeling is nearly finished. And with no small thanks to the nice weather that just keeps holding out. Our room addition is finished for all intents and purposes. We need to paint and lay the floor, but in no time we’ll be moving furniture in…. And naturally a week or so ago we realized a few other things we’d like to do, but alas that’s another story for another day. The porch that flanks three sides of our house is now completely finished and gorgeous! I cannot wait until it actually is April and I can take the boys out to enjoy some truck racing and lego building in the fresh air! In a couple more weeks the house will be completely sided and trimmed at which time you can be expecting before and after photos that will be DRASTIC. I promise its going to be dramatic. So, stay tuned.
I’ve also been spending time avoiding writing a couple of posts that will just not get out of my head. Like, The Body Heals Itself and Where Are All the Mommies? You know never know, if the sun keeps shining, I may just get them both of my system this week.
You know what else I have been doing? Reading. In the past 6 or so weeks I have read two book series. One that I can safely recommend (The Hunger Games triology, anyone?) and one that I got sucked into that, while riveting and well written, was pretty intense. Maybe I’ll talk more about it.
Mom just called and she’s on her way over to check out the kids’ Christmas loot. I am
still back in pajamas and the Christmas dinner I’ve planned is still very uncooked and David is now appeasing a hungry Adler in the next room, so I am going to have to sign off for now.
But before you go… how’s your Christmas? What have you been up to? or not?