My favorite birthday parties to plan are based on books. Our third son turned eight this weekend and celebrated with a Percy Jackson themed party. Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan is a family favorite. Our son is well-versed in mythology and has a passion for weapons. We knew there would need to be training worthy of demigods. Characters in Riordan’s books train at Camp Half-Blood, so our basement was transformed into camp for the day. At... [Read More]Read more
I believe Father Time is mocking me. I can hear a voice taunting me to keep up to the pace that’s been set. My breath hitches quite often theses days when these children of mine hit a milestone or some new physical change becomes abundantly obvious, even if I live in denial of anything changing.
I mistakenly believed I was sad about the quick passing of time. While I do think sadness lurks in there somewhere, I’m more in awe of having a bird’s-eye-view of growth and change. I’m honored to have the experience of watching four people grow and learn. There are many who aren’t given the same opportunity.
I’m humbled by this parenting journey. There’s so much of parenting that is out of my control. There are more and more moments where I play the role of bystander hoping the work that’s been done on a daily basis with my children shows in the people they’re becoming. I feel a wave of relief each time someone mentions that we have good little people. If Father Time is going to set time on hyperspeed, I hope we’re making the best of the moments at hand. The clock ticks. The calendar changes. I know I’m changing as well. I’m growing older just as the kids do, but I seem to be standing still among this hurricane of change.
None of this is helped by my “baby” graduating from preschool, or being months away from having a teenager living in my home, or this month marking 20 years since I graduated from high school. I can’t do justice with words to what is happening inside of me. If you see me weepy, don’t make eye contact and for heaven’s sake, don’t touch me. Eye contact and hugs will tear down my feeble walls attempting to keep me slightly together.
We’ve had one or more children in some form of preschool for a decade. It seems impossible that place will no longer be relevant for my family. There have been so many of my days broken up with drop-offs and pickups to preschool. Yesterday was the last time I’ll do either of those things, and tonight we walked out after the graduation ceremony no longer the parents of a preschooler. It’s strange to close that chapter.
If I thought milestones were difficult to accept with our three boys, the baby is a new deal altogether. She grows and moves on closing doors on pieces of life that will not happen again for our family as it currently stands. One of the boys informed me we now have only big kids, so here’s to this new chapter with a home full of big kids.
The school year is winding down and papers are arriving home with ways to keep children reading over the summer months to avoid the summer slide. Public libraries run reading programs along with publishing companies and book stores. There are quite a few options, more than I remember as a child. Reading is part of our family lifestyle. We have bookshelves, book baskets, book bins and use books for decorating. We’re known to ask our children to put the book... [Read More]Read more
I knew I was potentially in over my head almost 13 years ago when I was preparing to bring my first baby home and the hospital staff only cared if I had a car seat. I remember sitting in the backseat staring at this little boy and thinking I had no idea what I was supposed to do when we arrived home. We spent a great deal of the coming weeks just holding and staring at that little guy. I... [Read More]Read more
Sometimes my feelings seem too much to handle. Life hits me hard, the good along with the bad. Yesterday was intense, in a fantastic way. I was weepy on-and-off and spent parts of the day with a big grin on my face. I watched our middle son stand in front of several groups and play a solo on his flute. His band, from a local performing arts center, was touring schools talking about instruments and music opportunities for the summer... [Read More]Read more
I know better than to be cocky about this parenting thing. Yesterday I rocked motherhood. Today I managed to avoid a motherhood disaster. Our oldest had a track meet 90 minutes from home yesterday. Friday night he and I engaged in a passive/aggressive argument about whether or not the family should make the trek to the meet for the morning and come back to town for other obligations that afternoon. I knew he wanted us to come. I also knew... [Read More]Read more
I take for granted the posh lifestyle I lead compared to most of the world’s people. I have more than most, no matter what my list of wants may look like. I’ve been whiny this last week about the inconveniences thrown in my path. The only way I can tolerate our crazy family schedule is because we have two vehicles and two licensed drivers. I’ve learned that if one vehicle is taken out of the equation, my anxiety level increases... [Read More]Read more
In honor of National Parks week and because I have a crazy passion for the National Park Service, here’s another flashback vacation memory. Most vacation destination lists don’t have North Dakota on them. I’m a collector of states. I want to visit as many as possible. We hadn’t visited North Dakota and were looking for a vacation destination there. The answer was Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We could add another state and a national park. Honestly, I didn’t have high... [Read More]Read more
A date night for my husband and I consists of eating takeout in the living room while we watch a movie after putting kids to bed. We rarely spend time together without one or more of our children. I enjoy the kids, most of the time. We do have a tween who tests my annoyance levels (on purpose). Still, they’re good people. The kids are at ages where we can all go do just about everything I want to do... [Read More]Read more
I’ve been sorting through the thousands of photos I’ve taken over the past few years for a photo project and have become nostalgic for past road trips. I’m asked quite often for travel ideas by people who want to add to their adventure list or start down the road of family road trips. We’re heavy users of National Park Service entities and most travel inquiries I receive have to do with whether or not we’ve been to a certain national... [Read More]Read more