This has been a busy summer so far, and things don't look like they will be slowing down for the month of August. On Tuesday the kids and I hit Nonnis' pool. It was tough keeping an eye on all 5, though they did cooperate and put on their life vests. After a few hours I dried them off and brought them to McDonald's for dinner. My nerves were frayed from the swimming and I felt too tired to face cooking, let alone that, I had it in my mind that we needed to go to the grocery store to buy cake mix to make a cake for gram and grandpa.
How I thought that would go well is beyond me. It may have been because the previous day Steve and I brought them all to Costco, where we piled them all on flatbed cart and managed to buy what we needed and get all of them home alive so I got to feeling emboldened.
We were a sight at the grocery store(did I mention I had Leo with me?) So the 7 of us somehow make it through the overcrowded aisles with the babies throwing random things in the cart. Some items I couldn't even identify. The kids won't go in the cart, they prefer to hang onto the sides with their feet on the under basket, facilitating easy on off as needed in their 2 year old minds. There were some minor injuries, but these were no deterrent to the daredevil travel mode with easy access to all things shiny. Oh they were happy.
All of this swimming, Mcd's and grocery shopping leads up to the arrival home and the spotting of fireflies. This was an awe inspiring moment for the 5. Matthew was thrilled to catch them and put them in their brand new "habitat". Seeing those fire flies brought me back 30 years . When we would spot fireflies, my dad would say,"well that's the end of summer!" All the feelings that would bring to my 10 year old mind. Profound sadness that the long, shiftless days of summer were coming to an end, and the anxiety and hope that a new school year brings. And now all these years later feeling the same exact emotions as I watch my 5 year olds, who are oblivious to the change their lives will be taking in 3 short weeks, run around chasing fire flies.
Matthew said that night that he now has to take care of his fish, his firefly and a bug that is also in his habitat so he would be very busy tomorrow. I loved that.
The inconsequential moments seem to strike me as magnified and more important then the big events I plan. There is something in these moments that feel more revealing
even like a thread being weaved through our lives that holds the family together stronger then the big splashy trips and I constantly plan for us.
It is like rising above the din to see the whole picture caught in one single moment. We are healthy, we are safe, we have all of our needs met and more. When you think of all of the suffering in this world, the children who get cancer the families living in the chaos of war and poverty. We are so lucky, so incredibly blessed. That I send out a little prayer of thanks and a simultaneous plea for help for those who can't have what I have so easily.
I find inspiration in the simple gestures the kids share so readily. When Mark decides to haul a huge, filled watering can to accomplish some task only known to his 2 year old mind. Matthew casually walks up and says "let me help you with that." and easily takes the can from Mark's hands and brings it across the yard for him.
Or when Christopher's patiently sits on the couch reading a book to Mikey or explaining how a game is played on the computer. Chris's voice soft and sweet saying "good job Mikey, you did it."
Or when Cara is swimming with me and opens her hand to show me she has caught a frog! When I scream she calmly looks at me and says "mommy frog yucky?" Her head tilted in interest, while her eyes intensely monitor my response to her find. You can almost see her thinking.
Or after Mikey falls in the pool, head first no less, I grab him and he looks at me and says " momma, I fall in agua."
"yes, sweetie." I calmly say, "you fell in the agua." While in my head I am screaming "oh my God, I can't believe you fell in the water, what if I wasn't watching, this could have ended so differently!"
After a beat he says again "momma I fall in the agua with my head"
"yes, you did, you fell in the agua with your head" I respond.
"momma I fell in the agua, my head!"
"you did Mikey, you fell in the agua with your head first, you poor thing." I respond again.
Then he gets up and goes back to filling his bucket out of the pool, which is exactly what he was doing before he fell in the pool.
Conversations exactly like this happen all day for every scrape bump and hurt feelings that my 5 experience. They tell me what happened and what the offending person or thing was that caused their injury. I love listening to them giver thier account of the events. My listening sets things straight for them. They can carry on, once they are sure I understood exactly what happened and sympathize with their plight. Being understood deeply is important every age or our lives it seems. I am glad I know how to do this and that they actually seek me out exactly for this purpose. I feel happy even honored to be a part of these conversations.
So when you see me stressed out and disheveled, feel free to lend a hand but never feel bad for me, because cranky kids and frazzled mom moments are a small price to pay for all of the beautiful moments that make up my days.