About a year ago I started writing emails to my kiddos. Not sure if I've mentioned that before - apologies if I have. Mom brain and all. I have not been consistent by any stretch - but here and there I remember to time capsule the memories in letter form. Last night the inspiration hit me ... and when I read it again this morning, it made me happy. We aren't a perfect family, but we are one filled with love. So - here we are. Frozen in time ...
Don't know why, at 12:48am I am so badly wanting to write. But. I do. So I am.
I've been thinking about writing you guys for months - better late than never!
So much is changing - always. Life happens so fast, ya know?!
Let's start with you Jack.
We have decided next year that you will go to public school. You're excited - mostly about the school bus! I'm excited for you to make friends - the best part of childhood will come from those memories! I'm going to miss having you at home, but I know this will be a positive change for you. I've struggled with school this last year. It's hard - balancing our time with two little noisemakers in the house. We manage, but sometimes (regularly) it's just - barely.
You're really adorable these days. Also a little annoying. I think it's your age. Obsessed with Minecraft. So obsessed that we are regulating your time on your iPad. Not to be mean. Just trying desperately to keep you from turning into a gaming zombie. It's gotten warmer, and people are finally spending time outside. You are happiest outside, playing with kids. I think it will be a fun summer for you!
You're taking a "ninja" class - it's really more parkour. You are a natural ... I love it. You just so desperately want to learn how to do a backflip. On ground. I know you'll get there! You get a little cocky (the age, again) - sometimes you tell me you're the best in class. I usually get on to you for this, attempting lessons in humility and arrogance.
I worry that you'll remember our worst days. You fixate on negatives, and I feel this year has provided too many "negative" Mommy moods.
Not to justify - because I can't and never will - but I imagine you reading this as an adult. Maybe adult Jackson will understand a little more ... those crazy moments aren't about you. They're not about your sisters. They're not about me. They're just - an outlet for the stress to come out of me. Our life is so good, and I'm never anything but grateful. But I also juggle you all, all day long. And it's hard. Wright stops nursing in time for Navy to start screaming in time for you to start asking me questions in time for Deco to start barking in time for it to be dinner time - and I'm the one who cooks and cleans. I'm stretched pretty thin, and while most days I manage ... some days - I don't. Sometimes sleep deprivation or toddler tantrums or the never ending workload just get the best of me. I'm sorry. I'm always ashamed in these moments. And afterward. And likely I will always look back at them with regret. I also am trying - failing - but tying. To yodel, as you suggested - instead of screaming. Please, know that I'm sorry. For the screams.
You're a great big brother. You won't kiss Whippy on the lips, because you "know where those lips have been" - and spitup to you is as gross as vomit, thought I've tried to explain they really aren't the same. You pester Navy and get in trouble for it a lot - but I suppose that's just what brothers do.
You are really into your style and fashion for the first time. You call your look "Swagga" ... music is important to you as well. You are a major fan of Imagine Dragons right now. And also dubstep.
Girlfriend. You are cray cray.
And stunning. You take my breath away with your beauty. And charm. And right after you've turned the world on its axis, you soften the blow with a delicate kiss. I've never met anybody like you - but I'm most certainly intoxicated with every single bit of you.
You are moody. In all the ways. It's anyone's guess how you will wake up. Either hugging or screaming, and that isn't exaggerated. You destroy. You caress. There really isn't an in between with you ... you live in those extremes and man, it keeps things exciting! (And scary!)
We lost the remote yesterday and blamed you. Mimi and Gigi are in town. We all three stripped the house - looking under air vents, in drawers, under doors, in the trash - any place you could imagine. We struck out. This morning I found it in Whippy's blankets (My fault. Not hers.) - we all apologized to you for the blame, but also recognized that it was only natural to blame you. You have hidden a zillion things before.
You love to sing. Lovvvvve to sing. It's where you take the most strides in your language development. I've worried some (okay. LOTS.) about your speech. I often think it's what frustrates you. I can't always cross the bridge between what you want and what I think you want. A speech therapist will be here in the next month to either put my concerns to bed, or help get you on the right track. But singing. You make leaps and bounds when song is involved. You love "You're Welcome" from Moana. And also "Shiny". You lovvvvve "Let It Go" from Frozen. You stomp your foot on the ground like Elsa, and swirl your arms in the air. It is precious beyond belief.
You love getting dressed up. Like the gals from Frozen, or your ballet outfits, or just shoes and clothes in general. After I fix your hair you twirl around for me until I tell you how pretty you look. I sure don't want to raise you depending exclusively on your looks. You are so much more than a pretty face. (Fierce! Strong! Smart! Kind! Silly! Fun! Charming! Affectionate! Exciting! Colorful! Playful!) ... I also would do you an injustice to skim over your beauty. My gosh child, you are something. A porcelain doll come to life. You love the attention. It cracks me up.
You lick mirrors in ballet class. Every week, just about. You won't do much that the teacher says, and sometimes I get frazzled because I am SUCH a rule follower. But I also sort of fall more and more in love with you and your style of life. You don't stay inside the lines, and that is exhilarating to me. You genuinely push all my boundaries. It's hard on us both. But dang girl. I love you for doing it!
You are obsessed with me. I am your best friend. But guess what? You are mine, too. It's pretty awesome. You are happiest when you are snuggled up to me. I'm also happiest in those moments.
You are a fun big sister - very affectionate to Whippy. You love her fiercely ... offering up so many kisses and "Hi Bebe"s her way. You also pat her on the head and say "Awww. Bebe cry." - with concern on your face. You love and adore Jackson, and he is smitten with you. Sometimes you spontaneously tell him you love him, and it truly moves him. Sometimes you scream at him for no reason and then I get mad at him for pestering you. You offer balance. You guys are funny - lots of laughs. I love that bond.
Darling. You are - completion. Zen. Happy.
I would be lying if I said you didn't cry. You're a baby. You cry. But you cry the least of any baby I've ever seen. You wear a smile, and a happy go lucky attitude, most always. You are content - and it warms my soul.
A couple months ago I started transitioning you to our bed for sleep. Accidental/lazy ... I used to nurse you and then lay you back down. But you get hearty enough that I started picking you up and nursing you while we both slept. Now I'm addicted to the snuggles.
You are the first face I see when I wake up. Usually your eyes are bright and awake. You look so much like I did as a baby, and I feel especially connected to you for that. (Not that I don't feel connected to the others. I do. In other ways though.) Mimi always comments how much you look like I did - and it's fun to see and imagine myself as a baby. You're about as Gerber as they come ... round and darling.
You are sitting up. And starting to wave. Mimi taught you that this weekend. You like to eat - way more than the others did at this age. It makes me happy, your appetite! You don't like avocado though ... we'll try again one day! You don't like spinach either. You should have seen the face you gave me when I spooned that into your mouth!
I had you in a fit of laughter last night - lotioning you up before bed. Something about my fingers on your chin - you thought it was hilarious. And so did I. And so did Daddy. And Mimi. And Gigi. Baby giggles warm everybody's souls.
I wonder what you'll be like as you get older. Will you stay chill and agreeable? A lady at a restaurant said wild children calm, and calm children go nuts. Well. Maybe let's not go nuts, okay? That's goes for all of you!
Today is Mother's Day. And. Nothing in the world - no hat I've ever worn - has made me happier than being a mother. I'm tired. Irritable. Moody. Sleep deprived - (why am I up at 1:25am still?!) ... because I'm happy. And fulfilled. And thankful. I am so madly in love with you three. I didn't imagine my life this way ... as a suburban mom, with three kids and a minivan. But my gosh, it's better than I could have dreamt. You guys give me purpose. And joy. And memories that fill me up to the limits. I've lost some of my identity in motherhood - but - I've gained bits of yours. And that is great news - because y'all are pretty cool, and I've never really been too cool.
We like it here in our new home. We miss Tennessee. We miss the people. But we feel comfortable here. Finally starting to settle. Meeting really nice new people to build friendships on. Finding our new normal. I love us. I love this life.
So thanks, kiddos. Thanks for giving my life such meaning. I'm excited to see how things continue to unfold. I count my blessings everyday for you all ... I pray for continued good health and happiness. I love you all to the moon.
Talk again soon,
A real moment in a tulip field - I lost my cool and needed a timeout in the car. Sometimes, even Moms misbehave.