Tag Archives: memories

Remembering

I was reading an article this evening entitled, “10 Ways to Love a New Mom”.  It jogged my memory back to the days when my babies were just days and weeks old.  And I remembered how my Dad would just hold my babies.  He would hold them and walk with them.  With an infinite amount of patience and calmness… he would just walk with them.  Anytime I would stop in to see my mom and dad, he’d greet me at the door, give me a kiss on the cheek and say, “Here babe, let me take her.” and off they would go.  He would walk through the house, and with the tenderest voice you can imagine a grown man using… he would talk to them. 

“Do you see this?” he would tell my 3 week-old son, “This is a light switch.  Look I can turn it on and I can turn it off!”

“And this is a picture of you mama when she was just a little girl.  Yes!  That’s right!  Your mama used to be little girl too, ” he would say as he lifted them closer to see the frame on the wall. 

Of course the babies were always such intent little listeners, taking in every word that Grandpa said.  Fussy babies were no match for Grandpa’s slow steady walking and quiet voice.  It was such a relief to know that they were safe and happy, and I could just unwind and have an adult conversation with my mom.  I know he loved being with them but I also know he was doing it for me too.

Thanks Dad!  I can’t wait to see you walking through the house, quietly talking to this next little one.

Good times

As an adult, I think it’s easy for me to forget how exciting and impacting simple childhood traditions can be.  But when I stop and reach way back to my own childhood memories I remember.  I remember watching my mom carefully cut the top off of a bright orange pumpkin.  I remember reaching in feeling the cool slim squish through my fingers.  It was all so new and amazing!  Watching my mom rinse and roast those pumpkin seeds in the oven.  Being delighted at the sight of my jack-o-lantern siting on the porch with a cheery candle glowing inside.

We are right there with our own children.  In that perfect stage of memory making.  So at the beginning of the week the old newspapers got spread over the kitchen table, sharpies, big spoons and carving knives were rounded up and we got to pumpkin carving.


Her pumpkin carving hat.


They all drew their own faces and I helped cut them out.  I love the way they turned out!  Pumpkins with lopsided grins and mismatched eyes are the best.

Our kiddos go to AWANAS every Wednesday night.  Because Halloween landed on Wednesday this year the AWANA leaders got together and made a special night for the kids.  Fun games and face painting and the kids were asked to dress up like their favorite animal.  My boys do not dress up.  Ever.  Not super heroes or cowboys… nothing.  It’s just too embarrassing to dress up.  People might look at you and even worse they might comment on what you’re wearing.  Oh the horror!

But now… I have one that will :)   She loves dressing up.  She decided to be a butterfly.

I can’t even tell you how much she loved her fuzzy antenna.  She bounced, and fluttered around the house.  What she lacks in gracefulness she makes up for in enthusiasm.
 

Yeah.  She was pretty darn cute if I do say so myself.

Somehow it’s already November.  The leaves are finally changing color.  Rain has washed away the harvest dust, there’s even some snow up in the mountains, or so I’m told.

I hope you are enjoying all the little traditions of the season!    ~April

First day of school.  I love it.  Everything about it.  From the pencil boxes and neatly packed lunches, to the beautifully decorated, perfectly organized classroom.  The first day of school is always a happy one.  No tears, just eager anticipation.

First-day-of-school-pictures, starting with J’s kindergarten year.


This year it was G’s turn, his moment, his time to proudly walk into school with a fresh scrubbed face, shiny new shoes, and a dinosaur backpack.


Mrs. Boone was there the moment G walked into the classroom.  She gave him a warm squeeze, told him how happy she was to see him and showed him were to put his things.


Mr. G’s desk, font and center :)

J was an old pro at the whole “back to school thing”.  He ran ahead of us and by the time we arrived at his classroom he had already put away his things and found his desk.


This is J’s classroom this year.  Isn’t it the sweetest?!  The 2nd grade class is going to be so cozy in this little one-room cabin.


These two are still as close as ever :)


My best friend’s youngest daughter also started kindergarten this year with G.  I’m so glad they will be together!


The second grade class with Mrs. Braley.  We are already loving J’s new teacher!


Mrs. Boone and the kindergarten class.


I was the school volunteer for the day so I was able to stay and peek in on G’s class. 

We finished the day in grand style with a trip the the frozen yogurt store with a bunch of the families from school.

Things I want to remember about G’s first day of school:

~ On our way out the door G jumped off the porch step and said, “First day of school… here I come!”.
~ The way J gently explained to G everything that would happen in Mrs. Boone’s class that day, and then said, “You’re going to do great!”.
~ And when it was time for G to leave my side and go with his class; I will always remember how suddenly nervous he looked, but he kept his chin up and did what he needed to do.  That’s my boy!

Life is good…

What I know, What I remember

What I know about this picture:

She screamed the entire time it took to fill up the tub *  I came in no less the four times to tell to her to stop making tidal waves in the bath *  In typical 3-year-old fashion she insisted on doing everything herself *  She was furious with me when she got soap in her eyes *  I got almost as wet as she did during the whole process *  She spilled the basket of wet toys which scattered across the bathroom floor *  By the end of the day she looked like she had never even taken a bath *

What I will remember about this picture:

The way we both burst into laughter when I came around the corner and saw her wearing those lopsided goggles*  The little song she made up about the turtle and the fireman *  How she kissed the palm of my hand when I was drying her off *  How perfect her head smells after a bath*  The way I chased her around the house yelling, “Ahh!  Naked baby!  Pinch the buns!”, and the way she squealed and laughed until she gave herself the hiccups.

 

I realize that there is a disconnect between what I know and what I remember.  I am not a historian dictating facts for future generations.  I’m a mother.  Everyday I try to leave behind yesterday’s frustrations, mistakes, regrets, and tiredness, while at the same time holding onto the things that give me hope; that make me smile.

So here’s to fact and fond memories, and this beautiful life that is held perfectly in tension between the two.

~April

Home away from home

I sometimes wonder what the children will remember from their childhood.  Which events will connect and anchor the timeline of their lives.

Some how I think sand, sunsets, pajama lounging with cousins, and wave hopping, will figure heavily in those childhood memories.

Every year we (my husband’s family) make the same journey.  The one that is proceeded by weeks of exited anticipation, that begins with loading the minivan to the brim and turning the car west.  The excitement builds as we turn onto the long road the cuts through miles of strawberry fields and ends at the beach house.

Then it is 4 days and 3 nights of fun, play, and food.

The children never sleep in as long as we hope, but who wants to sleep when there things to do, and cousins to hang out with?

We start everyday off with a big breakfast, and a little relaxing.

After clean up it’s children running through the house shedding p.j.s, wrestling on bathing suits, having to be wrangled for sunscreen applications… it’s a little chaotic but in a good way.  We load our arms with cumbersome beach chairs, blankets, snack bags, and sand toys, and finally make it down to the sand.

(the beach house we rent)

The kids are at that great stage, where the beach provides endless hours of entertainment and they are old enough that we don’t have to constantly supervise them.

The weather could not have been nicer.  Upper 60′s, low 70′s, all sunshine and only a slight breeze.  The weather is always the big unknown factor in our trips to the beach.  We anxiously check the 10-day forecast in the days proceeding the trip, wondering if we are going to be stuck inside with 8 wild children :)

Fortunately, we had lots of room to roam.

I love sandcastles.  Every year we make one.  I don’t even try to pretend that it’s for the children.  It’s all about me ;)

G spent hours roaming the beach collecting all kinds of treasures.


The little girls chatted happily and filled pail after pail full of sand.


E picked up any and everything she found.  Decaying sand crabs?  You betcha!  Slimy, stinky seaweed? Oh yeah!


They never got tired of running through the water and jumping the waves.


Uncle E. doing what uncles do best… horsing around with the kiddos.

When we weren’t on the beach Grandma W. made sure there were lots of fun inside activities.

Cardboard houses for coloring and playing in.  Movies for the afternoon, and play dough on the patio.

The very last day J worked up the courage to try the boogie board.  He was nervous and jumpy at first but once he got on and rode a little wave, he was totally hooked!  I wish he hadn’t waited until the last day to try it,  but there’s always next year.


The whole boogie boarding crew (minus Aunt Andrea who was riding a wave while this picture was being taken).

As we packed up and headed back down the long road that leads away from the beach house, I hear J say quietly from the back seat, “I wish we could live here forever”.  We smile and remind him that if we lived here it wouldn’t really be special, and he would get bored.  But in our hearts we wish we could too.

Brothers

Without a doubt, I count being the mother of two boys, as one of the greatest privileges of my life.  Brothers, just twenty months apart, and from the very first day they could not have been more different.  This road I am walking with them has been quite the adventure.

No, it has not been all smiles and ease with these two.  But all the squabbling, fussing, and rough-housing, pales when I hold it up to the beautiful friendship these boys have with each other.

The differences in their personalities is a constant source of amusement and amazement to me. At the same time I love seeing how well they fit together and balancing each other out.  Knocking the edges off each other (which is sometimes a source of real friction )

If you were to watch my boys eat Junior Mints, you would know almost everything there is to know about their personalities.  Hand J 10 Junior Mints and he will eat one… maybe two, and save the rest.  They will be tucked away in some secure little place and savored throughout the following days.  Give G the same 10 Junior mints, and he will pop them all in his mouth at once and grin at you with a big chocolately grin.  Then he will spend the next several days quietly sneaking mints from J‘s stash.


J takes life kind of seriously.  He is a rule follower.  He has a lot of nervous energy.  Even when he is sitting down some part of his body is still moving.  He loves being on the go, and in the thick of things.  He doesn’t know how to take teasing, it stresses him out a little when someone teases him.  He very responsible, and notices everything.  J‘s primary form of communication comes in the form of questions. So having a conversation with him feels a bit like being interrogated. He wears his heart on his sleeve.  He would make a terrible poker player because every thought he thinks is written all over his face. He has the biggest most tender heart.

J is also a saver.  Actually hoarder would be closer to the mark.

He has a corner in his room were he stashes all his valuable and much needed trinkets and items.  The following list is just a small sampling of the things I found while cleaning their room: a sugar cookie from Christmas, the children’s menu from when we went to Chili’s 2 months ago, and unused package of crayons (he doesn’t want to use them because the wouldn’t be new anymore), shoe boxes in a variety of sizes, random clips and ropes… and so on and so forth…


He gets a little nervous when I clean the room.  He knows me well.  I am not a saver.  I am a “what it the world is this, let’s throw it out” kinda girl.


G is a charmer.  He has big dreamy eyes and a slow smile.  He’s not shy but he’s quieter than J.  He moves slower, takes his time, enjoys all of life’s little charms.  He is infatuated with little things.  G tends to fly under the radar most of the time, which is exactly how he likes it.  That way no ones notices that he has helped himself to 10 Oreos, until it has already happened and he is long gone.  G is the most generous soul I know.  He will forfeit any toy, or position of favor he might have, in order to bring peace to an argument.  He has an amazing imagination!  J didn’t know how to play in an imaginative way until G taught him.  He tells me the most interesting stories and uses the most descriptive words.  The other night we were getting in the car to go to Awanas.  G is 10 steps behind (as usual) looking up at the sky.  He then says to me, “Mom, those stars are all really close together.  They are touching each other.  They must be kissing stars. They must be having a star party.”  Kissing stars… how delightful.

Most of all I am so proud of how they treat each other.  They are the first to cheer the other on.  They get heated with each other now and again, but they are so quick to forgive.  They are protective of one another.  Since they were little I have told them, “You two look after each other. Don’t let anyone mess with your brother.  You treat your brother better than you would a friend.”  And for the most part they hold true to that.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds for these boys.  I gives me great comfort to know that whatever is in store for them, they will face it together.

A Boy and his Boots


Their happy yellow faces caught my eye that day in Target.  The rainy season was about to start and J needed some good boots.  Why not yellow giraffe boots?  He would have put them on right there in the middle of the store if I had let him, but I held him off until we got home.

We laughed at him as he gave those boots a spin around the kitchen the very first time.  He looked like the Tin Man in need of some oil.  By the end of the day though, he was speeding around the house in them, with a wild grin on his little face.


For an entire year, they were the only thing he wanted to wear.


Walks in the orchard, trips to the grocery store…


Playing the mud


They weren’t just rain boots they were snow boots, work boots, baseball boots…


Washing your little car boots.

He even wore them to church a time or two.  I can still see him in my mind’s eye.  Trailing 3 steps behind me as we walk down the center aisle at church.  He’s all spiffed up in his Sunday best, save for the tattered giraffe boots peeking out from under his khaki slacks.  People smiled and pointed as we found our seat in the second row, he was pleased as punch.


Fall and winter passed but the boots stayed.
{note the sign~ it had been a hard day}


The temperatures soared into the 100′s but the sandals and flip-flops were always passed over for the boots.  He wore them with shorts, he wore them with nothing but his undies on running through the house like a wild banshee.

And then the sad day finally came.  When try as he might, his feet just wouldn’t squeeze into them anymore.

The bright colors had faded, the ears and tails had long fallen off.  A rip in the side let the water come in when he splashed in puddles.  There was only one thing left to do.  They had been too loved to pass on, so they took their rightful place of honor, in the small tub marked “J’s Baby Clothes”.  They rest there with all the other precious items that mark J’s earliest days.

Someday when I am old I will pull them out and marvel that his feet were ever that small.  And I will remember the days when life was all about, toy cars, red wagons, picture books, bath times,…

… and yellow giraffe boots.