Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Our 2016 Summer "To Do List":

Life is all about slowing and seeing.  For me slowing requires effort.  The best way for me to see is through the lens of a camera  This weekend we sat down and made a list of things we want to do over summer.  In the corner of my living room I sat up a small desk with some colored pencils, pens, glue, and paper for us to create a scrapbook of adventures as we try to complete our list in the next 11 weeks.

1. Hike 11 miles
2. Have a water balloon fight with all of our friends
3. Go to Peaks Kenny
4. Find a new swimming hole
5. Go to Wild River
6. Go fishing
7. Go to Uncle Cousins at least once
8. Catch fireflies
9. Star gaze
10. Go strawberry picking
11. Go see the fireworks
12. Go on a tree identification walk
13. Go on a flower identification walk
14. Make our own Popsicles
15. Go for a walk in the rain
16. Catch as many different critters as we can
17. Camp out in the back yard
18. Make a homemade slip-n-slide
19. Go on a boat ride
20. Go to the Celtic celebration in Belfast
21. Go to a farmers market
22. Find a four leaf clover
23. Make s'mores in a solar oven
24. Go mini golfing
25. Go on a surprise adventure
26. See a lighthouse
27. Go on a scavenger hunt
28. Make water balloon launchers
29. “Grow” a butterfly
30. Make waffle cone s’mores
31. Do some epic science experiments
32. Make a summer scrapbook
33. Have a bonfire with anybody that wants to join in the fun.
34. Find a random town to watch the 4th of July fireworks.

Monday, June 13, 2016

One family different people

Each of us has our own story.  No matter how alike our stories may be they will never be the same.  Our boys only 18 months apart who are best friends and just a few years into life have very different stories.

One boy took 29 hours to come into this world and then lived 8 months in pain because of an unknown allergy, he was tongue tied so spoke with his own personal pronunciation of any words that included the "Th" and "Sh" combinations well into late kindergarten.  He was able to ride a bike without training wheels when he was five and began rollerblading a month or two later.  He sees patterns in everything.  He remembers things in exacting detail.  He hates reading.  He is very literal.  He has a very black and white view of life.  He loves the outdoors and anything that goes along with it, and is very much looking forward to giving Boy Scouts a try this coming fall.

Boy number two took 8 hours total, but only 30 minutes at the hospital with only four pushes, and his milk allergy was expected so he never knew that same pain as his brother.  He is six in a half and still can't ride a bike without training wheels.  He just learned to roller blade.  Reading is easy for him.  He remembers the big idea, but doesn't seem to care about the details.  He is full of endless hugs and loves to hold my hand.  He is not even remotely interested in being a Boy Scout but really wants to learn to play the ukulele.

Brothers who share DNA, up until last night the same room and almost all of the same events each day throws at them.  Yet they walk through life with very different eyes.  Eyes that filter the experiences differently.  Sometimes it can make situations a bit uncomfortable and sometimes it can even cause conflict.

As there Mom it's fun to watch them experience life.  Not only am I able to experience our life from my perspective I get to watch it through eyes as well.  From the outside I'm able to see that often they both are correct in there interpretation of life.  The conflict comes from being unwilling to allow the other brother the freedom of being different.

This conflict of there's is what has been changing my perspective of relationships and what makes each of us who we are.  I've been learning not only to value of the perspective of somebody else, but to know that we both might be right.  In turn I'm okay with uncomfortable conversations and even a little bit of conflict.  Life experience and conflict form our convictions.  Conviction is what makes us tick.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Those small hands

Every year around this time I'm faced with the hard truth that time stops for no one.  This is my 9th year of motherhood.  No matter how deep my desire is for my two kidlets to stay young I am forced to watch them grow into men.  In fact I rarely ever call them kidlets, boysies, hoolies, or any pet name because they are now true boys, my sons, and almost men.  This week one more chapter in life came to a close while another one opened.

Here in our house summer vacation has officially started which means I will never be teaching a first grader again.  As the year closes my baby can read most anything he wants to even if he doesn't have a clue as to the word's meaning, he's pretty good at the whole school thing.  As for sweet Man of the woods, he is closer to his teenage years then he is his toddler years.

This year we have:
~ Explained words that I hoped they would never learn simply because they can read.
~ They also now know where babies come from.
~ I no longer require them to hold my hand in parking lots, but secretly hope they will every time we get out of the car.  When they do take my hand in theirs I savor the feel of that small hand in mine, because If I am completely truthful Man of the wood's hands and feet are almost as big as mine.
~ We watched Man of the woods beam as he was given his very own pocket knife for his birthday and has attentively paid attention as he learns to use it on fishing trips where he is now required to always have it with him.
~ We have begun to wonder how old is old enough to leave them at home while we run to the corner store.

Since I can't stop the future from coming I breathe deep all the firsts they experience and dream with them about what lays ahead.  After all while I want that small hand to always fit perfectly in mine, another girl will soon be dreaming of that manly hand fitting perfectly into hers.  It's my job to prepare them for her and all the future offers them.

Strong man and I, we need to teach them:
~ To slow and see.
~ To dream big.
~ When faced with good and better, to always choose better.
~ To love without conditions.

Summer is all about new beginnings, dreaming big, and slowing.  That's exactly what I plan to do with these small men.  Already we're dreaming about rivers to swim in, critters to catch, woods to be explored, and adventures not yet thought of.  These dreams seems small, but to them are big and grand.  So then for me too they are big and grand, requiring me to slow and see, to always choose better, and to dream wildly.  If I do this well then I can prepare them for all the future holds and those sweet girls that one day will dream of those manly hands.