Thank you, women who are mothers! You have sheltered human beings within yourselves in a unique experience of joy and travail. This experience makes you become God's own smile upon the newborn child, the one who guides your child's first steps, who helps it to grow, and who is the anchor as the child makes its way along the journey of life.
-Pope John Paul II, Letter to Women
I read that quote from Blessed Pope John Paul every morning while saying my morning prayers. I think of those words as I look down at Pete while he is nursing. And I smile at him. He'll stop sucking, think for a moment, and then smile back. Joy. Pure joy. He has been smiling for the past few weeks now, and I can't think of anything more fulfilling than for a mother to see her child smile back at her for the first time.
I love that we named you Evelyn. To me, your name is the perfect mix of sweet, old grandmother, classy and fiery spunk. That is you. That is Evelyn to me.
You have grown up so much these past few months since Peter has been born. You are wearing big girl panties, your vocabulary has taken off, you can color in the lines and make people pictures, and your hair is finally long enough to do the little knots. My favorite. But the best is listening and watching you tell me something. When you really have something to say, your shoulders begin to go crazy as you bob them up and down. Your lisp starts flying everywhere. When this happens I sometimes ask you questions that I know you will answer with an "S" just to hear your lisp. You scrunch up your nose in the cutest way. I catch glimpses of Annie in you when you are telling me something. The way you tilt your head and talk with your eyes, maybe.
Thomas, for never having played basketball before, you did an awesome job. It was so fun to watch you. At your first game, you told pop you were nervous because you and him had never played basketball together before and you weren't quite sure what to do. It showed. Your first game was hilarious because I saw you in rare form. You were timid, reserved, and quite frankly looked a little lost out there on the court. But at each game we watched you get a little more aggressive and have a little more confidence. By the end of the season, you were an aggressive little boy out there dribbling and handling the ball with such confidence.
I pray that is they way your life will go. That you will gain confidence and courage with each new situation you experience in your life and use that to become a respectful, holy young man.
Peanut butter banana smoothie. My friend Kim made me one of these the other day when we were at their house. It was so good. It's better than good. It's one of those things that when I find it, I tell everyone I meet about it. And how they have to try it for themselves.
Please go make one right now for yourself. And god bless you Kim for introducing me to this heavenly snack.
I want to remember how you always keep your tiny hands closed up into fists. That you are my loudest eater yet, all the sounds you make while nursing are funny and sometimes even embarrassing. How you have your first cold and every time you cough it breaks my heart. I want to remember your little chin and how it quivers. It would appear that you are freezing by the looks of your little quiver, although I know you are nice and toasty.
I want to remember how you began smiling and how much it delights me to see you smile. Especially when you look up at me as you break from nursing just to smile. I want to remember George saying how cute you always are. How sometimes you cry so hard that you fall right back asleep before I can get to you. I want to remember how you always seem to have a bugger stuck in your nose. I've never had to use the nose sucker like I have with you! How you fall asleep on my chest and you sleep there so soundly when I bring you into bed with me to nurse in the middle of the night.
I want to remember how Evelyn bounces you so hard in the bouncy seat that I swear one of these days you are going to fly right out of there. How so many people look at you and say how much you look like your brother George. And my favorite of all is when I lift you up and you stretch and stick out your little bottom with your arms reaching up.
Our life is slowly going by, very fast. If that makes any sense at all.
Every day is the same thing over and over again. And then it all begins again the next day. I nurse a little boy, run or work out, shower and get dressed, eat, help children get off to school, eat, clean up after meals, check email, do laundry, read books like Green Eggs and Ham one hundred times (it appears to be the newest favorite), eat, change diapers, pray a rosary, vacuum the floor, unload the dishwasher, give newborn baths complete with lathering them up with lotion, eat, go over spelling words, go through backpacks, eat, clean the kitchen, fold laundry, and eat some more.
My days do not consist of doing much, yet I'm doing something ALL the time. 'Tis the season of my life right now, I guess. I'm never bored being at home though, there is always someone who needs my attention, or home caring tasks that need to be accomplished. My life is always a balance between just being, sitting back and watching and enjoying my children, and then doing the tasks that need to be done. And right now with having Pete here, a squishy almost two month old baby...is just so sweet. The comment that I hear the most is from people who say to me "it goes to fast doesn't it?" Meaning the littleness of babies. Yes, it does go by awfully fast. Yes my children are growing at rapid rates but I guess they are supposed to.
My sister and her two boys were here with us for two days this weekend. Her almost two year old is one who likes to go...and go..and go. He can also hold his own in the screaming department. If he happens to escape outside he will be running down the street in a matter of seconds. Needless to say, she is at the stage where taking an energetic almost two year old and a five month old baby out is nearly impossible. It's frustrating, yes I know. I can see it in her face when I am with her. But I tried to encourage her by letting her know that it is just a phase. Soon he will be listening and obeying and staying by her side. The kicker is that just as this is happening, the second child will be starting some phase of his own, probably a screaming one. Our life as parents is continually moving in and out of phases with our children. We struggle with one and resolve it just in time for another child to begin something irritating, frustrating, and annoying. The two of us tried to take all seven children out to lunch just for fun on Saturday at noon at the mall. WHAT WERE WE THINKING? Kids running everywhere, some screaming, some sleeping in their car seats thank goodness, and every restaurant was packed. We looked at each other as only a parent can do and surrendered our white flags. We opted for take out, a wonderful option. We just laughed with each other which changed our exhausted, frustrated faces. It is hard with small children. There is no way around it. I love my sister and think she is doing a fabulous job parenting her two boys. I'm now getting to that stage in parenting where I look at a mother who is struggling and just want to hug her and tell her that this phase too, shall pass. And it's okay if we aren't enjoying them all the time. That doesn't make you a bad mother. It makes you a REAL mother. Sometimes days are just plain hard and the only thing I can look forward to is bedtime. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy and love my children. I love them dearly. My challenge is to get up the next day and make it better than the one before. Some days I can, other days I simply can't. It's a battle we mothers fight every day.