Monday, August 27, 2012

A letter to my (almost) 2 year old

My dearest not so little owlet:

Its been a while since I've written you a letter, but as we inch fly ever closer to your 2nd birthday, I felt it was time to write to you again.

I cannot believe how much you have grown and changed in the past year. Heck, I can't believe how much you've changed in the past 2 months! You are currently obsessed with cars, trucks and things that go. Your favorite sentence is "fire truck ladder help people buildings." You say it about a million times a day, even when there are no fire trucks to be seen. My favorite sentence that you say is "mama sing twinkle star song?" It was your first 5 word sentence and I couldn't believe that those words came out of your mouth so easily.

We read books everyday, you and I. You and Daddy read them daily too. Its lucky that your Mommy works at the library, because I bring so many different truck books home for you to read. Its because of these that you know that fire trucks have ladders to help people in buildings. It's also nice that Mommy brings home so many books, because some days we read through at least 20, other days we read the same 5 over and over again. Mommy has learned more about trucks than she ever thought possible.

You like to point out little things to me on our walks that you know I'll enjoy. We found moss growing in the crack in the sidewalk in front of our house, and now when we walk you tell me "mama sit down" and we examine the moss. We talk about how it's soft and the rocks are rough, and when you're done your examining, you tell us when it's time to move on. You are so inquisitive and observant!

I still check on you every night before I go to bed, I place my hand on your back to feel you breathing. The amount of love I have for you in that moment is exponential. Every single night I can't get over how lucky I am to have you in my life. The other night while I did that I remembered your very first night in the hospital. I woke up so. many. times to check on you. You were double swaddled because you wouldn't sleep otherwise and when I went to check to see if you were breathing, I couldn't feel your chest move because you took such little breaths and you were swaddled so tight! I was so sleep deprived I called out to your Daddy who reassured me that you were just fine. And you were. Of course.

My little chatterbox, my little truck lover, my little observer, I am so deeply thankful that you came into my life almost 2 years ago. You make my days brighter, my smiles bigger, my sense of joy and wonder deeper.

I love you so very, very much.


Friday, May 11, 2012

This is the owlet's newest obsession. We even rented a video from the library all about Trucks. He says "ooOOOoo" in the most excited way, I can't even stand it. In the car, while we're walking, cars, trucks, motorcycles go by and he's all "oooOOOOOooo."

How did I get so lucky?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Saying Goodbye

My Grandfather passed away about a week ago. It was a long time coming, he had been ill for quite some time. But whether it was expected or not, death and loss still hurts. I don't think I've given myself the time or the space to grieve, really.

The Owlet and I flew out to Florida for the funeral this past week. It was an incredibly difficult trip, partly because I was without the hubs, partly because of what we were flying out for. I was able to attend the wake, which was hard, but the Owlet's Grampa kept him entertained while I said my good-byes. It was good he did, because we were not able to go to the funeral. Someone decided to become fidgety and screamy just as it started. I don't blame him. I think he picked up on my sadness and stress and decided that mommy didn't really want to be there anyway. But I'm sad that I didn't get to go.

My Grandfather was a pretty great man. He served in the military, during WWII and Korea. He worked for the railroad for 30+ years, and he always made me laugh. In no particular order, here are things that I will always remember and love about my Grampa.

-He used to tell us this story, "It was a daaaark and stormy night. And Romeo sat by the firelight." (that was all I ever remember him telling us of it)
-He used to sing "OOoooh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day!" at the top of his lungs when my cousin and I would spend summers there. Every morning, but especially when he wanted to get us up too early for church.
-He always used to ask me how the Indians were up in New Hampshire.
-He'd tell me that my Gramma would say "James P" when she was mad at him, and he'd say "but I don't have to!"
-My cousin and I put on roller skating shows in their basement when we were younger to Fresh Prince's "Parents Just Don't Understand." He put up with it. :D

He was a wonderful man, and he will so be missed. The Owlet will carry him in his memory, even if he only ever met him on Skype.

I love you Grampa. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Beginnings of change

I have been doing a lot of reading lately. That's not a surprise, seeing as how I work in a library, but I've been reading a lot of a very specific type of book: parenting. Is that a surprise? Probably not. But part of the reason I've been reading so many parenting books is because I've decided to start my own private practice. I'm going to work with mothers, on enjoying being moms again.

There's a lot of blogs, websites, and books out there that poke fun at us. As we poke fun at ourselves. There's even more blogs, books and websites devoted to telling us what we're doing wrong, what we should be doing with our kids, how we should be raising them. But what every single book/website/well meaning stranger often fails to take into account is where WE are in OUR lives, what works for our children, what works for US does not necessarily work for everyone else.  And that's what I want to help moms with. I want to help sort out all the things that are getting bunched up, tied up in knots inside them. I want to help moms understand their own triggers, their own pasts, how they were raised, and how that all is affecting them now. I want to help moms enjoy being moms, enjoy their kids, enjoy this amazing journey that is motherhood.

I remember reading a quote somewhere that said something about how a mother is this new person who only arrives after her child is born. We have no idea how we're going to be as mothers until we are thrust into this role. I had a very different idea of mothering when I first learned I was pregnant with the owlet. I like to think I've come back to a lot of how I wanted to be, now that I've done some soul searching, read some books that I feel like actually spoke to me, stopped listening to stupid advice that didn't feel right.

Anyway. What was I talking about? I don't remember. (mom brain doesn't go away, does it?)

In the coming months you might find more posts about things I'm reading, about things I'm discovering in my own life that works really well with the Owlet. I hope it will inspire you to take a second look at what you're doing with your own families, to see what works and what doesn't.

For now I'm going to leave you with this little thought-provoker. In 5, 10 or 15 years, what do you envision for your child? What kind of life do you want them to have? What kinds of attributes do you want your teenager to possess? And are you working towards those now?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Accident Proof

Choking Hazards. Keeping shoes on outside. Making sure the metal slides (do they even make metal slides anymore?) aren't too hot. Don't let kids do X, don't let them do Y.

I saw this picture on pinterest today, and someone commented that whatever came out of it would be put in a child's mouth regardless of whether it was a toy or candy. Yeah, it probably would be, because that's part of how kids learn about their world. Could it be a choking hazard? Probably. So is it meant for a 6 month old to play with? No. Should it be used with adult supervision? Yes.

What happened to us? What happened to letting kids be kids? To trusting our intuition about what our kids can do/ can't do/ handle/can't handle?

(and who the heck am I, Mrs. Mama Owl, always the fearful, to be writing something like this?)

I have come to the realization that we are living in a culture of fear. We are so afraid of letting kids be kids, that we are holding them back. We are not letting them experience things because we are afraid of what might happen.

I am afraid too. I don't want the owlet to hurt. Ever. But he is going to hurt. He is going to trip, and he's going to fall. He's going to try to climb too high on a tree and he's going to get scrapes and cuts and bruises. And I know this. And I hope that he is going to be ok.

I am trying to love him deeply, to allow him to enjoy every single moment. While still keeping him safe. I'm standing back a little farther on the playground now. Letting him run a little freer. While still making sure he stays safe, of course. We still tell him, "that doesn't go in our mouths," but we don't yell and scream if a little bit of dirt, or a stick, or a crayon goes in his mouth.

I'm slowly learning to trust my intuition. To give the Owlet a little more space, to grow into the amazing boy I know he's going to be. To watch him make good choices, to learn what the rules are, to do things by himself.

And he's really such an amazing little guy, just as I knew in my heart he would be.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A conversation with a Toddler

Me: Do you want snack?
Owlet: Nyo.

Me: Do you want to play?
Owlet: Nyo

Me: Do you want mommy help?
Owlet: Nyo

Me: Are you ready for a nap ?
Owlet: Nyo.

Me: Can you bring me the ball?
Owlet: Nyo.

*opening a container*
Owlet: Nyo.

*talking to himself*
Owlet: Nah. No. Nyo. Nyo nyo nyo.

The next several months are going to be sooo fun!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mulling it over

Ahhh mulling. If only those things we mulled in our minds came out tasting like cider. Or mulled wine.

I have been rolling quite the boulder around in my head for the past several days. Weeks? An extended amount of time, at least. I can't even roll it quickly, let it toss around up there, because it is just so big. So monumental. So....potentially, life changing.

Well, that's a little dramatic, isn't it?

You might have noticed that my posts recently have been a little bit...depressing. Because, well, I have been a little bit upset.

For some reason it has become harder and harder to leave the owlet everyday. And not just the days that I leave him with someone other than the hubs. Its hard on those days too. Maybe its because he's so fun right now. Maybe its because I don't like giving up control to other people. Maybe its that I see all these mommies at the library with their playgroups and their music classes and story times and I just feel jealous. Whatever it is, it's been eating away at me.

I finally sat down and talked with the hubs the other day as we took a nice long walk around the lake with the owlet, toddling along ahead of us, picking up every single stick he saw.

We talked about the possibility of me being a SAHM. How it would be hard at first, financially, but how we could make it work. (It's not like I'm really bringing in all that much right now, but is it enough that we can't get by without it?) We talked about what it would be like for me, home alone with the owlet, all day, everyday. But we also talked about how it wouldn't be forever. How this would give me the opportunity to do the groups for new mommies to process their birth stories. How this might even give the hubs time to work on what he wants to do with comics.

So many possibilities, with so many questions. So many unknowns. So much...scariness.

And so, the boulder still rolls about up there, in the old noggin. Giving me quite the headache, and not giving me any answers.