Friday, May 15, 2015

DAY 18: The 3s Are Coming!!

He's cute when he's cute
Connor will be turning three this summer and over the last two weeks he has transformed from the terrible twos into the atrocious threes! I don’t know about you moms out there, but I found 3 to far worse than 2 with my older son.

I distinctly remember standing in the kitchen of our NYC apartment, I was 9 months pregnant, due in just a week with Connor and sobbing. I said to my husband, “it’s not fair to bring this baby into this house with that monster.” Jesse responded with a quip about how there is no turning back now, ha ha. Then I said, then we should find someone to adopt this new baby. I didn’t mean it obviously and only a couple of days later we welcomed Connor into our crazy family.

Like childbirth, I have blocked out most of the threes. It’s like I placed it in a neat package in my brain and burned it. I have no idea what happened at that time, nothing at all, nada. Well that’s not totally true, I have vague memories of fits in the street and him finally using the potty but it’s really blurry, almost like it happened to someone else….

So here we are again, only my little guy is an over achiever—he is starting early. Every day this week (every. single. day.) he has thrown a fit at drop off at school. Screaming—high-pitch, ears-bleeding, screeching—in my face, telling me to get away, then begging me to stay.

Today he laid down in the middle of the hallway so everyone had to walk over him. And you know, you start talking in that crazy Stepford Mommy voice, the calm sing songy one—come on sweetheart, let’s get up, listen to Mommy, I am going to count to 3, now, 1-2…. When really inside you are secretly screaming and dying of mommy-shame because you cannot control this little mad mad as you watch all of the other parents bring in their beautiful, well-behaved kids—none of whom have yogurt dripped down their shirt by the way.

I finally wrestled him into the outdoor play area, where he wails for me through the fence. I walked quickly away without turning back. Pulling on my sunglasses and keeping my head down so no one could see the tears. Not sure where the tears came from, was I frustrated, humiliated? I don’t know, but seeing him reach for me and call my name can be physically painful—my heart aches and my stomach flips. He makes me so crazy and yet, I love him like crazy.

As we enter the threes, I am going to approach it like a sergeant preparing for battle, because that’s exactly what it is. I will fight the good fight, through the potty training, the meltdowns and eternal stickiness until we reach that golden age of four when the clouds part and we see the sun once more.

And maybe, just maybe I will have Jesse pick him up from school today….

Thursday, May 14, 2015

DAY 15: A Letter

Connor as a newborn

Welcome to the world little one! It’s a bright sparkly place, huh? It can get messy at times, but you are going to love every, single second of it.

And now I have a few words of advice for you.

Be kind to your parents, especially your mama, she is probably a little tired right now. I know you don’t want to miss a moment and sometimes sleeping doesn’t sound so fun, but close those eyes and know you are never alone. I bet your mom wishes you would rest so she can too, but here is a little secret, the truth is she doesn’t—she stays awake staring at your beautiful face because even though she wants to sleep, she can’t. And you know why? She’s just like you, she doesn’t want to miss a moment.

Trust that if your parents leave, they will return. Even when Mommy and Daddy go out, they will come back. So no, little one, you don’t need to spit up on you your mama’s beautiful hair right before she heads out, she’ll be thinking of you constantly without such a smelly reminder. Sure there will be days when she’ll shut the door and feel a wave a relief, but never fear because within two steps from the front door, her heart will begin to ache. And just try to stop her from showing off pictures of your handsome-ness to every passerby!

And lastly, and take note little one, this is a biggie. To the world, your parents are simply people spinning round and round each day, but I know they already mean the world to you. So always remember to give them that extra hug and kiss, even when you think you’re too old for such things—you are never to old to love, be loved and show love.

I think that’s it little one. Be kind, trust yourself and your family and keep your heart open—oh and call your Auntie Noël once in a while OK?
You are in my thoughts and my heart,

DAY 17: Mom

Mom & Liam
This was due to post yesterday, but due to screaming children, I forgot to hit POST, please enjoy.

Today is my mom’s birthday—she probably doesn’t want anyone to know that, so let’s just keep it between us, OK?

Fast talking, feisty and fabulous, she is such a giving, beautiful woman—but get out of her way if there is a sale going on! Gracious and kind, she didn’t think twice about asking us to live with her (a decision she may have made too hastily.) She is also gentle and loving, persistent and patient. And so funny. All in all, the kind of lady you want to have a drink or two with.

And she is the best grandmother ever. When she was trying to decide what Liam would call her, she went back and forth. Something fun like GiGi, not Nana—my mom's mother was Nana and she was one of a kind—or maybe Grandma, but that didn’t seem quite right either. Then she announced one day that she would be GRAMMY! And it was perfect, just the right about of warmth and love. And now to hear my kids call her that, it’s just magical.

But the greatest thing she has taught me is to never stop fighting. She was the ultimate advocate for us when we were growing up and I have seen her stand up for her family time and time again. She never takes no for an answer, there is no “no,” there is only “what else can be done.” That goes for everyone from car salesmen to her own kids. There is no better lesson for me, it got me through school, through working, through mommy-hood and through life.

She is my confidant, my advisor, my best friend… she is my mom.
I love you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

DAY 16: Stop the World!

Or at least slow it down a little, it’s all going way too fast!

I looked at my boys today and saw how big they are. Like really big.

Liam is tall, lanky even—yes he just turned 6 which I don’t think is old either, but I didn’t know 6 meant a child who is over 4 FT tall! And since his birthday, I have noticed a subtle shift in him where a quiet maturity is fighting it’s way out. Now you are probably thinking that I am getting carried away, and yes I will admit there was a holy meltdown over an orange marker this weekend, BUT his focus is different, so different in fact I would say he actually has some focus! Oh, and he has started calling us Mom and Dad. He never said Mama, it was straight from staring at and me and screaming to Mommy. And now it’s Mom, just Mom.

As for Connor, he is reaching that point where he is starting to say words correctly and it is utterly heart breaking. He recently stopped calling his old brother Iam (pronounced like EE-um) and started saying Liam. And while Liam was over-the-moon excited, I was holding back tears. It’s bad enough he stopped watching Sesame Street and will only play with “big boy” toys. I mean what’s next? Is he going to start saying his name correctly too? Will he call himself “Connor” instead of “Connors” with an “s,” it’s more than I can bear!

So hey world, slow down and let me catch my breath, let me keep my boys as babies just a little while longer because pretty soon they will be too big for me to hold on to.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

DAY 14: Happy Mother's Day

Wishing all of the moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day!

We are so fortunate to live in a world where the role of mother has infinite definitions, they are all different but all positively beautiful.

I will never forgot the first night after Liam was born. Everyone had left, visiting hours over—I laid him next to me, he just stared at me and I had no idea what to do with him. It hit me that I was responsible for him and I was instantly afraid. How was I going to keep this fragile baby alive, let alone raise him? I remember feeling very alone in that moment, and yet looking into those eyes I also knew there was nothing I wouldn’t do for him.

And so began the journey into motherhood. There have been a lot more bumps than I had imagined, but so far I am loving this ride, as wild as it is! And I have learned so much, through their eyes there are limitless possibilities—that’s something I had lost along the way, but so happy to find it once again alongside them.

And watching them become who they are is simply magical. Liam who a little over a year ago couldn’t decide if he was a righty or a lefty, now makes the best art ever (with his left hand!) and Connor’s calm determination is, at times, truly inspiring. We are not perfect, we have some not-the-best moments, but it’s a package deal, right? You have to endure the rain for the flowers to bloom.

As I write this there is a calm here, Connor playing with toys on the floor and Liam drawing next to me and I realize, this is it. This is one of those beautiful moments I didn’t think possible and yet here we are—and it’s just as good as I had hoped it would be that first night in the hospital.

Annnd now Connor is yelling and I have to run!