Sunday, September 11, 2011

For Silas after 10 years

My Sweet Boy,

You are way too young to know what any of this means but someday we will talk about it and I want to remember everything I can so that I can help you to understand.  10 years ago something terrible happened, something that both daddy and I both watched happen on TV and were affected in a way we will never be able to explain.  We were in high school, marching band first hour together then we split ways.  I walked into Algebra II class, full of dread because we had a quiz and I don't think I passed a single quiz or test in math through my entire high school career, but it was weird because the TV was on in the classroom.  I looked at the screen and they were showing footage in New York.  A plane had hit  one of those tall buildings that break up the skyline, I have still never seen such a tall building in person.  It was crazy and of course everyone was speculating about whether the pilot had fallen asleep or if there was some miscommunication, it was such a strange thing to happen.  We didn't have much time to wonder before things became clear.  As we watched a second plane crashed in to the other tower.  The realization of what this meant came crashing down on all of us.  I am not ashamed to say that I was scared, very scared.

 My mind was racing and I just wanted to find daddy and be with him but we had an entire day of classes left.  The school was so eerie that day.  There was no goofing off in the hallway, no laughter, just quiet, everyone walking with their head hanging.  We watched the footage in most classes and we saw the implosion of the crashing towers.  We saw the dust clouds, you can't imagine what it looked like, all of these people frantically running around covered in a thick layer of gray.  They were like shadows separated from their source...I can only imagine that they felt a little like that as well.  I never knew I would witness such horror in my life but it also lead to some of the greatest bravery, the kind of bravery that will probably never be matched.  While I have a clear memory of this day, I also remember it through a veil of adolescent naivete.  It's hard to navigate through the feelings I had then compared the ones I have now.  The whole world looks so different when you are looking at things as a mommy or a daddy.  I hope that you never have to witness something so awful in your life but I also want you to know that, while you had not been born yet, this is still your tragedy too. 

The entire world was changed that day and came to shape the way of life that you were meant to have.  It has been so long since this happened that I have a hard time imagining an existence that is not so deeply affected by the events of that day but I know that so many good things have happened that have had an equally profound affect on my life, like marrying your daddy and then having you.  Everyday in the world terrible things happen that we will never understand but I believe an equal number of beautiful and amazing things happen that are just as hard to explain.

 On this 10 year anniversary, I thought a lot about that day but I also got to watch you play and sing and dance.  I watched you pout and whine when you didn't get your way and I was equally grateful for all of it because in spite of all of the bad in the world, we are still family and are brimming with so much love that the bad can't get in.  I just ask that you think of those who have lost so much and and pray for them.  Always try to put yourself in the position of others and ask yourself what you can do to help them.  My sweet lovey boy, on this anniversary, I just want you to know that I Love You and nothing will every change that.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Because it's 2 o'clock

It's 2 AM and I am up for the third night in a row because I am achy and my head hurts and I am coughing.  Also, because I am hungry and the me that is responsible and good didn't buy any sweets for the me that is awake in the middle of the night and crazing the best of the bad food.  I have been up to a lot but I don't feel like talking about any of it because I'm still not sure how I feel about it.  I will say that I have been living up to the promise that I make every year about having summertime adventures.  We have had multiple all day trips to the park.  We have hit Bollinger Mill, Jones Heritage Farm, the STL Zoo and the Science Center.  We turned our Carport in to a pretty decent patio and we have spent many evenings out there until we had to squint to see one another in the darkening space.  While I have loved our summertime adventures, I am ready for fall and its bonfires, Halloween candy, and warm apple cider and then winter with its frustrating bundling, possibility for snow and of course Christmas.  I am without a doubt one of those people that is never happy with the current season but I consider that a good thing because there is always something to look forward to.  There will always be another season on its way and an excuse to find new ways to celebrate everyday.  I thank God that I have my little boy to push me to strive to find an adventure at least most days.  I say it's for him that I do it but it's for me too.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Peak Hours

I peak at 4 AM.  I have snuck in enough sleep between the tossing and turning to lighten the heaviness in my eyelids to warrant calling a truce on the battle.  I climb quietly out of bed, trying to tiptoe around the creakiest spots on the floor so as not to wake the baby during my holiest of hours, and make my nest.  I sit in the middle of the couch, because there is no one I must share it with, and grab our softest throw and I do what I want for an hour in complete silence. 

 I can sit in a dark room, I can surf online without little baby hands tugging on the laptop screen, I can enjoy bad sci-fi movies without any comments about how stupid they are (I know they're stupid, that's why I like them).  The point is, I can sit in the quiet and sip my flat, room temperature nightstand soda and not have to take care of the needs of anyone else.  I don't feel pressured to be washing that bit of dishes or tossing in a load of laundry.  I don't have to stave off the guilt of being sedentary because this is my stolen hour.

  I grasp it is my palm, fingers clasped tightly around it, not letting it escape.  I need this one for my collection.  I toss it in the mason jar with the half-hour of bedtime stories, the 20 minute sprinting cleaning sessions, and the 20 hours spent worrying.  This one shines brighter than the rest and gives off enough glow to make the rest seem brighter as well.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Time keeps on slippin

I have struggled to write anything lately.  I have struggled to photograph my boy.  I am sad a lot of the time for ridiculous things.  All I can think is that someday he will be 5 years old, then 15, then he will have children of his own and then he will be an old man. 

This is the natural progression of life and it should be a thing of beauty but I can barely breathe at the thought that this time with my boy will one day be memory.  I am missing out on enjoying my time because all I can do is count the seconds pass and recognize that they are gone and that each time he crinkles his nose or splashes water and kisses his kitty cats they are moments that I may someday forget.  That thought haunts me every waking moment.  I don't want to to live like this, I want to look forward to his growing up and older and feel pride and joy but all that I feel is a step closer to loss.

 I have this dream in my head that I will have a big family and all of my children will someday bring all of their children to my house for Thanksgiving and there are so many of us that we have to pull chairs to the table from all of the nooks and crannies throughout the house- we would be mashed together with fold-out chairs and rolling office chairs and be this big mash up of different types of chairs and different types of people bound together by the love of family.  I think of this and this makes me less sad.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hereditary Grace

So, today Silas and I came in the house after taking a walk and there were stinking annoying ants crawling all over the floor by the door, ugh.  Well, I grabbed the ant spray and doused the little jerks with the plan in mind that I would go back and wipe up the spray and carcasses up.  As always, I got caught up in other nonsense and forgot. 

We went to the living room to cool off but of course Silas can't sit still for a millisecond and took off toward the kitchen, then toward the stairs so I took off after him.  He panicked and ran towards the door and as soon as his feet hit the chemical-soaked flooring he flew backwards on his head.  I then panicked when he started screaming and ran toward him and hit the wet patch and landed hard with my leg bent behind me.  The earthquake caused by my hitting the floor threw the baby deeper into his fit.  I then did what any good mother does at this point, I started crying right along with him.

 I, after a few seconds, stood up and carried the baby to the bathroom and ran a bath.  We both climbed in to scrub off the ant-killing toxins, we were both still crying.  I stopped by the time we were clean and he pulled himself together after a bottle and a nap.  I'm still unsure of when it's okay and when it's not okay to let a baby nap after a blow to the head but he always nap better after a head injury and I hate to ruin that.

 I am still sore, like really sore and the baby has taken multiple spills since then and seems unfazed.  I realize that  am old and also fat and both of these make taking a fall harder.  Next time, I am saying live and let live to the indoor anthills.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Double-edged Sword

Mother's Day is a little funny to explain to non-mothers.  If you saw last week's episode of The Middle, Frankie summed it up perfectly.  She is thrilled that for Mother's Day her family is going to leave her home alone to relax.  Well, she ends up doing all of the mundane daily things that moms do, like sorting the junk drawer, testing the batteries, and fixing the toilet.  Well, her family comes home regaling her with stories of their amazing day eating special treats, playing games, and riding a Ferris wheel.  She is of course disappointed and they unsuccessfully try to recreate the day.  By the end she tells them that she wants them to just sit there and get along and she relaxes.  I say all of that to say that, based on my surveys, most moms feel the same way.  You want this special day but you also have stuff to get done and you want to relax but the threat of your child experiencing some special moment and you miss out  so you can watch reruns on TV is always looming. 

It's very hard to choose what you really want.  A friend of mine told her husband that she wanted to only be in charge of playing on Mother's Day.  He could change diapers and take care of cutting up the hot dogs for lunch and she would just play with her son.  I had a good mixture going on my Mother's Day.  Silas and daddy made 18 slices of french toast for breakfast then while the binks napped, I cleaned up the kitchen a little and made laundry detergent.

  When he woke up I took him to wal-mart so he could buy me the planting materials for my own herb garden as part of my gift.  We went to my moms and played and ate and then we went to eat with his other grandma.  The best part of my day (as it is most days) was right before bedtime when all of the work is caught up and we just play and goof off.  My boys also gifted me with an adorable little step-stone that had my babies footprints imprinted in it.  It was a good and balanced day for this mommy.

My brudders

Cousins close in age

Happy family

The Cousins


Sleeping Sweetie

Spider-baby

We had a lot of fun playing spider-man...thanks $1 yard sale jammies


Oh, and I was obsessed with recreating a picture from Mother's Day last year and without the cooperation of the baby, this was the closest that I could get.  I kinda love it.



Revo-Shoe-Tion

My kid is walking, running even, starting to say words, eating big boy food, so I know it's time.  He should be wearing shoes.  I am so sick of being told by strangers to "Buy that baby some shoes" and "Oh, his feet must be cold!"  Thanks a lot person I don't know, I have bought him 6 pairs and he won't wear any of him.  I realize that he "just has to get used to them" but I refuse to endure screaming that has an obvious source.  Not just because he is my sweet boy and I don't want him to cry, but because my nerves simply can't tolerate another meltdown mixed in my day, unless that meltdown happens to be made of chocolate, cheese, or butter.






 A fellow mommy and I have started spouting a phrase that has proven to be helpful in easing my mind on such subjects, he won't be 15 and...fill in the blank.  I know that Silas won't be 15 and walking around with bare feet so all is good.  So, leave me alone random stranger and if the occasion ever arises that he does in fact "step on a piece of glass" (because we like to play in skeezy allies and unswept factories) then I may reconsider my stance on this issue.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Emerging

These pictures were taken on the first walk Silas and I took after the storms finally ended:

This first set is some mud that streaked across the asphalt trail.  I was obsessed with the way the patterns formed.  I never thought that I would find mud to be so beautiful.







This next set were just shots to demonstrate the sheer amount of water that was left standing after all 15 inches of rain that we got.






These three just show some fallen branches and leaves that were strewn everywhere.







These last three are just things that I found to be pretty!



Hail!

This was from one of our awful storms we have had in the past week and a half.


The street was white with hail and it was so loud inside our house, it felt like we were under attack.  We have spent so much time in our basement listening to tornado sirens and praying but we have been blessed to stay safe.  Our basement flooded and our stuff down there to a big hit, as has our weekend since we have to spend it cleaning up the mess, but I know that there are so many other people whose houses and lives were destroyed so I will turn up the music while we clean and be happy that we have some thing to clean.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Numero Uno- Dos

The actual day of Silas's birthday was monumentally more enjoyable than the day before, which was party day.  Of course, the weather was perfect, since the weather had no bearing on our plans- that's how it always goes.  We took him out to breakfast at Denny's.  This may seem lame and a little cheap for such a big occasion but Wade, Silas and I all love eating out for breakfast.  It feels like a treat more than eating dinner or lunch at a restaurant.  We had so much fun and ate a lot of low-quality, kinda dirty-seeming, greasy amazing food. 




If you knew how many times a day we said "Silas, you have to sit... (eat, take a bath, ride in the cart, whatever)" you would know why this is so funny.

We then took him shopping to spend his birthday money and gift cards.  We bought a high chair (that he loves to stand in) and one outfit and the rest went to toys!  We would choose the type of toy and would let him choose the specific one that he wanted and every single time he chose the green one.  He got a green truck, green bubble bottle, green ball, and a stuffed Yoda doll.  He is a green loving boy.  We ended the day with dinner at his grandma and grandpa's house and then home to crash for all of us. 

Ohhh...he's my size!

Can I keep this weird looking baby, Momma?!

Love him I do!!!












Numero Uno

I have been putting off writing the first birthday post like I put off all posts that are the most important to me.  Once again, I am guilty of building something up in my head so much that I left only room for disappointment.  On the positive side, almost everything in my control came together.  I potted these flowers as favors: 

The insert said "Silas is growing and so are you.  Take care of your flower and it will grow too."
The poem taped to the outside is called "The Soul of a Child" and reads:

The soul of a child is the loveliest flower That grows in the garden of God. It climbs from weakness to knowledge and power, To the sky from the clay and the clod.
To beauty and sweetness it grows under care; Neglected ’tis ragged and wild, ‘Tis a plant that is tender and wondrously rare, The sweet wistful soul of a child.
Be tender, O gardener, and give it its share Of moisture, of warmth and of light; And let it not lack for painstaking care To protect it from frost and the blight.
A glad day shall come when its bloom shall unfold It will seem that an angel has smiled. Reflecting a beauty and sweetness untold In the sensitive soul of a child.

I am not sure of the author but it was special to me because Wade's grandma sent it to us in a card when Silas was a couple of month's old and it resonated with me and it was also fitting for our spring-like theme.  We also had a collection of delicious cakes.  I made a chocolate cake, my mom made mini-cupcakes, my mother-in-law made amazing momma and baby bunnies sculpted out of cake and candy, and Silas had a great cake from My Daddy's Cheesecake that his Aunt Randa and Uncle Drew got for him.  Randa's mom and dad were amazing enough to bring their ice cream makers and brew up some vanilla and strawberry frozen bites of heaven that we are still chowing on.


Silas got an insane amount of awesome gifts and he was so well-behaved the whole time.  He was laughing and running around hunting Easter eggs and just having fun.  I kept telling myself that was what mattered and I know that it's true.  But.

But.  It was cold and cloudy and I was so unbelievably stressed that it was ridiculous.  A lot of people couldn't make it to the party because it was so cool and yucky.  I was so caught up in the details that the night before I was spazzing out and we actually had to send Silas to stay with my in-laws because I was stressing him out (Wade probably wished he could leave too) and the day of the party I felt like I barely saw Silas because I was attending to every little detail.  I loved making a great day for my boy and would do anything to give that to him but I think he would have been just as happy with all of his friends and family there even if there weren't coordinating napkins and table covers.  Next year, I will remember this.  I hope. 

One of my biggest regrets is the decision that I made to not take pictures myself.  I was lucky to have others there to take pictures but when I do my photography, I use it as a way to capture moments that are important for me to remember and they take the sting out of everything that may have gone wrong because I can paint the picture of that day in the way that I want.  I chose to step from behind the camera so that I could be in the moment and that was important but I will also remember next year that I want to get a few shots in.  Here are some pics that my family and friends took.