Fairy Tales

Dear Caroline,

Last week Daddy and Thomas went off on an adventure (road trip to Legoland and San Diego!!) leaving us girls behind. We had five days of uninterrupted one-on-one time and aside from the 10 hours when I was violently ill with a stomach bug, it was PERFECT. We slept in and lounged around. We went out and spent time with relatives. We snuggled and made each other laugh. We went to the mall and painted pottery. We had sleepovers in the big bed every night. We went for bike rides and colored a giant cardboard rocket ship. We just flat out had fun. You told me multiple times each day, “Mommy, I’m having SUCH a beautiful day today.”

I just want you to know how much I loved it…. How sweet you were…. How it never even crossed your mind that you might have gotten the bum end of the deal being left behind. We made our own fun and certainly made the most of the time. And I have to say, I think it was a most delicious way to bring the year to a close. 2011 was a good year. You grew up so very much Bug. Your opinions and ideas and imagination have become captivating and it was a lovely gift to spend the final days of 2011 completely focused on you.

I am forever grateful that I get to be your momma. And ever so in love with you.


Dear Thomas and Caroline,

I’ve been thinking about this space lately, and my (lack of) use of it. And considering… Why I (should) write. What I (want to) say. Here’s what I think. I have HORRIBLE memory. Really, really bad. I’m the first to admit this. And I think at the end of the day, my desire is to capture moments with the two of you that will no doubt slip into the swiss cheese holes of my brain over time. This is not my space–it belongs to you. I will no doubt, from time to time take it over with thoughts that have little to do with you directly. But, at the end of the day, I am your mother so I guess that’s my prerogative. Right? (No need to answer.)

I want to remember how you are at 4 and nearly 7. I want to remember the things you say, your favorite activities, your oddities, frustrations, and triumphs. I want to relish the joy of parenting you. I want a record of these days that flash by in the blink of an eye. I want you to know how proud I am of you both. And most of all, I want you know just how much you fill my heart with love.

6 going on 85

My dear sweet boy, today you are six. Today you are giant. And confident. And filled with jokes and goofy faces. This morning I told you that being your mommy makes me the happiest in the world. And it’s true. Cheesy perhaps, but also completely true. I asked you how it felt to be six and you laughed at me and said, “Well, it feels fine so far I think.” You are a joy to parent 98 % of the time. The other two percent of the time? Let’s just say that Daddy and I don’t call you our ‘high maintenance’ child for nothing. You like things the way you like them. And you set precise expectations in your head, sometimes without letting the rest of us in on the secret.

You are a six year old unlike any other that I have met. Old for your age in many ways. You are VERY perceptive and intuitive. You also worry like an old lady. Really. Last Friday I took you to a birthday party for one of your friends. (One of your ‘best’ friends as you like to identify him.) The party was at farm about 45 minutes away from our house, and you were uniquely you on the WHOLE drive there.

“Do you know where we are going?”
“Do you know how to get there?”
“Are you sure?”
“Is this the right way?”
“Are we still going the right way?”
“Why did the car ding?”
“How much gas do we have?”
“Are we running out of gas?”
“Do we have enough?”
“Do we need gas?”
“Why are we stopping?”
“Is that the gas station?”
“Are we going the right way?”
“Why are you turning around?”
“Nooo!! That’s the way home, isn’t it?”
“Are we there?”
“Are you SURE you know how to get there?”
“Is this the place?”
“Is this right?”
“Are you sure?”
“Hey!! There are my friends!”

Doubting Thomas. My birthday wish for you is confidence. You have an amazing brain and a generous heart. And I would hate to see you hold those back from the world because you are unsure. We have been talking a lot lately about the fact that it is way more important to try something than it is to get it right on the first attempt. This is true for sounding out a word, climbing a play structure, or solving a puzzle. You want to be right. And you are on the first try nearly 99% of the time. But I notice that you decline to try when you aren’t sure you’ll nail it. You are afraid to fail. Don’t be bound by fear of failure. I want you to know that as long as you try? I will NEVER EVER be disappointed in you. EVER. Also? You don’t have to be the best, my sweet boy. You just have to be YOU. You are plenty. And amazing. (And most of the time the best anyway.) But I don’t love you because you are the best. I love you because you are YOU. And you are my son.

Happy Birthday Monkey Boy.

Three-two-one… Jump

Last night at bath time, Thomas demanded a tub to himself. He opted for the ‘Extra Room Bath’, leaving Caroline alone to blissfully soak and splash and play by herself in the large tub in the master bath. I find humor in the fact that this arrangement meant that there was NOBODY in the kid’s bathroom. It’s an appropriate illustration of how the kiddos run the show, right? They have taken over our lives!! And Ben’s large tub…

Anyway, Caroline decided to go all out with the toys last night. Perhaps it was because she had extra room without Thomas demanding space? Bath time is one of my favorite times of the day. Caroline is as happy as a clam in the tub, and I can take advantage of the ‘free’ time a bit by folding laundry on our bed while I listen to her chatter away at the toys. Last night she was exceptionally adorable, and completely surrounded with rubber duckies and an assortment of other water toys. She kept repeating, “Three-two-one… Jump!” and I discovered that she had lined up all the ducks along the edge of the tub and was having them jump into the water one by one. Ok, maybe it was cuter than it sounds. What pushed me over the edge was her sweet words of encouragement and congratulations to the ducks…

“You can do it! I know you can!”
“Ooooh! Good jump!”
“Come on little guy, jump!”
“Biiiiiig jumps!”
“Wow! What a good big jumper!”
“Great job guys!”
“You did good big jumps like Mommy!”
“What good jumpers you are!”

She makes me ridiculously happy. Like heart swelling, tears welling up, want to squeeze her sooooooo tight, happy.


This morning I crept into Thomas’ room at about 8:15. I knew he was tired, but time was ticking and preschool waits for no one. He was still sound asleep which is unusual. Typically, he is the one creeping into my room, carrying a blankie (or two) and a dinosaur (or twelve) and shyly asking, “Can I snuggle?” (By the way, the answer is always yes, unless it is before 7:30 in the morning…)

Anyway, today he was the sleepy head and I was wide awake from my race with garbage truck. (I won! Yay me!!)

I perched on the edge of his bed and gently rubbed his back. “Sweetie, it’s time to wake up now… How are you feeling?” He instinctively screwed up his face and shoved one arm into the air over his head while arching his back and stretching his legs, and took my breath away. For that split second, he was my newborn son. When I was pregnant with him, we joked that I was his personal bo-flex machine. He would lodge his feet against my lower ribs and stretch. It was painful and funny at the same time, distorting my belly from round to angular and lopsided…

One of the first days home with him, I remember standing over him watching him go from sleeping to awake. He stretched. And I gasped. That pushing that I had felt from within so many times was perfectly recognizable. He was waking up… It is one of those little snapshot memories that I will carry with me always. Watching him do what I had felt him do so many times before… And now today, I was once again transported back in time. He was for an instant my tiny little 5 pound baby. Stretching against my ribs and stirring to face the day.

Sleeping Thomas -- 6 weeks old