Familiar Songs

Posted By on November 21, 2015

The sound of reintegration is jarring. It’s a song that is familiar but too loud, too fast, and you can’t remember the words. Crescendos at all the wrong places. Radio stations being turned on, overlapping each other and at full volume, crackling with static. Footsteps tap dancing across the floors – wooden, and stone, and brick – all echoing in competition.

It’s our living room on a chilly Saturday afternoon.

Four small voices, each trying to be bigger than the next. They cry out, yell out, shriek, laugh, shout, and bounce within these walls. We start and we stop, leaving fourteen thoughts half finished with sixteen interruptions per sentence. Christmas lists and travel plans and house repairs and family affairs, all left hanging open as we skip from one to the next with each distraction.

Weeks apart and now this one day together . . .

We dance, feet in rhythm until one stumbles on the dirty laundry. Spins take us one way, and then the next, stretched out to just barely touching fingertips. A kiss for a bumped head and a swipe of the brush for a tangle of hair. A toy set right and three words spelled out letter by letter. Crumbs swept off the counter and hangers for stray coats. Back again, spin together, and feet in rhythm. Forty nine thoughts started and stopped in between the beats.

It’s loud and chaotic and messy, but oh, is it wonderful to have a partner in this dance again. Even if the music is so terribly hard to keep up with.

One Year {for baby zz}

Posted By on November 12, 2015

Blue-eyed and redheaded, you are my unique little buddy sent to fit perfectly in this family. The bookend baby, loved by all and filling up everyone’s hearts in the best ways. Miss E delights in caring for you, knowing that you reach for her and find comfort in her arms. MJ loves having a mini-me, a partner in the world of orange. And Tatey, well, he loves everything about having a brother, every toy he has to share is made up for in (tame and well moderated) wrestling matches and mutual interest in loud motorcycles, fast airplanes and big trucks.

You run like a maniac, have little regard for your safety, and are convinced all playground structures are meant for you. We’ve all heard you say “kitty” and “mama” and “dad” and thought that was it until one day you started busting out “all done” and “thank you” and “good night.” One word phrases were apparently too boring, so you decided to skip to the longer stuff. You clap and wave and play peekaboo. Just the other day you started giving real (slobbery, wet, open mouth) kisses to go along with the near tackle, full body hugs that you love. Everybody’s best friend, you circle through the house to check out what all your siblings are doing, and then often just go your own way, totally happy in your own world of play. You nap like a champ, content in your crib but, true to your siblings’ precedent set before you, sideways across our bed is the preferred place to spend the night. Every evening, I rock you to sleep and cross my fingers you’ll slow down with the growing up, staying my sweet baby boy for just a while longer.

ZZ, now that you’re one year old you . . .

Still love kitties.

And every other four legged creature.

Find brother’s toys the best, especially space helmets and light sabers.

Can’t wait for bath time, shower time, and especially pool time.

Still love being swaddled like a newborn to go to sleep. 

But hate any other blanket touching you at night that isn’t an approved swaddle blanket.

Get very indignant over not being allowed to climb into the dishwasher.

Hate socks. Down with socks.

And absolutely will never be found sitting still. 

(Seriously. Almost everyone that’s ever met this child has noticed the constant motion. He even moves in his sleep.) (This may be why it took a million tries to capture a handful of good pictures of him. Sit down, son!)

Another Year of the Pumpkins {five years of tolerating it!}

Posted By on October 22, 2015






Four, Four, Somebody is Four!

Posted By on October 21, 2015

Oh, Tater Tot. Four. You’re four. I’m still wrapping my mind around that one. My sweet, little buddy that teaches me every day that I have no idea what I’m doing.

Three was a big year for you. Becoming a big brother was possibly the biggest thing, which you seamlessly fell into. There’s a love and gentleness reserved just for ZZ and I really hope you always find it easy to do that. For the first time, you had to wake up and find your Daddy gone for weeks at a time. I’d go so far as to say he’s a tiny bit more your favorite, so I was so worried that each day would just drag forever in your mind. But, so far, you’ve handled it like a champ, allowing me to be the stand-in for stories that stretch on for hours and lego creations that grow and grow. This summer, you learned to swim for real, fearlessly jumping off the high diving board and holding your breath longer than I ever could. You’ve ridden more miles on your balance bike than we thought it could handle and will probably continue on until the day it breaks apart underneath you. Pedal bikes are not as freeing. You camped more than your sisters ever did at this age, and you’ve climbed almost as many mountains as they have. Every day is an adventure and every trail needs to be explored . . . unless there happens to be a bear (then you’re probably going to stop that exploring and become a bit of velcro to your mother).

Four. That’s such a big birthday in my mind. It’s like three is the last hold-out of toddler-isms and silly word pronunciations. Four brings new thoughts and ideas and school backpacks and climbing the social ranks with all the other four year olds. One day, we’re just beginning to sing the ABCs and the next, a tiny voice is in the back seat of the car calling out whenever they see and octagon or pentagon. The baby chub has melted away and each haircut adds years.

Deep in my heart I can hold on to the hope that you’ll still always say “wiper towels” and I can say with certainty that it will be a long time before you stop stealing my covers in the mornings.

Happy four, sweet buddy.

Eleven Months {for baby z}

Posted By on October 12, 2015

Now that I’m eleven months old, I . . .

run with glee

screech like an eagle (also with glee)

say “hi dad” to face time on the phone

discovered the play set slide

love the falling leaves (chasing them, crushing them, tasting them)

and love charming strangers everywhere we go.