Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lest I Forget

To my children. I'm not writing or remembering much these days. Life is too immediate and all consuming. But tonight I will try to pause. Even if just for a second and in a very haphazard and chunky way; to jot down the happenings of our now, and my feelings about each of you on this very ordinary night in the middle of March.  

My sweet daughter. You are eight and in second grade. Actually you're in Ms Hallam's 2nd/3rd grade split class which makes you feel just a tad bit bigger than 'just' being in second grade. You are smart. So so smart. You are reading at a fifth grade level, blazing through books like crazy. You read to Carter all the time and I love watching you guys in those moments. It's touch and go, but you two have something pretty cool between you. You asked for gymnastics lessons for your birthday and then completed a 'diligence chart' of sit ups, push ups, back bends and jumping jacks every night for 4 weeks to earn a second 'session'. You are a hard worker, and you LOVE you some reward charts, yes you do. Nothing motivates you more! Except maybe earning money :) You are currently scheming like crazy to create a 'business' of things to make and sell, the latest being little mini pouches you've sewn for kids to keep mini treasures in at school. Ah school. You are a little leader, daughter of mine. You come home every day with a new 'badge' or position, or paw print recognition for helping someone, cleaning up trash, organizing the lost and found, you name it. You make up clubs and talk to me about all the girl drama that goes on at recess and ask for advice on how to help your friends get along! Sometimes you display this kind of leadership and patience with your brothers. You are super helpful with the twins and Jack, playing with and doing things for them. Other times you are fed up and well.. not so patient, but I think you are learning alot of that from me and it breaks my heart. The other day you came out and announced that Cooper and Jude had 'prayed with you to ask Jesus into their hearts!' you were pretty serious and excited about it, the twins had the goofiest 'we don't know what just happened but we made our sister happy' faces on. It was adorable! Oh you have a soft heart little girl. I can see you longing to be close to your dad and I, the other night you genuinely started crying when you realized that there were only 10 years left before you'd go to college and you told me you never ever wanted to go, or get married or anything because you didnt want to leave us! But for all that love, you are also pushing up against us pretty hard at times lately. Testing out your attitude, expressing your frustration over so many boys in the house, or the high expectations we have for you (like keeping your room clean and staying focused when you're told to do something right away - gasp! the nerve!). Yep, there's been a whole lot of stomping and eye rolling coming from your little 8 yr old body lately, but you're staying teachable and when I take the time to meet your eyes and draw out your heart, you always meet me there in humility. I'm sorry I don't take that time with you ALL the time, it makes me sad how many missed opportunities I have with you because of the craziness all around us, but I hope you know somewhere deep down how much I adore you. Because I do. I desperately do!

Mr. Bot. YOU are six. And in Mrs Lemos' Kindergarten class. We are thankful for her because she's firm and tough with you but she clearly likes and enjoys you and I think you respond well to her because of that. Kindergarten has been good for you which is SUCH a relief for your dad and I. You struggle to not talk and keep your hands to yourself so you go down to 'yellow' a ton and we are working on that one like crazy, but for the most part I think it has pushed you in so many areas to work through things that used to be harder for you. Oh how I pray you keep moving in this direction! Clothes and shoes and stickers and showers etc etc etc are all still a struggle for you, but there is progress and understanding occurring. You glue things in class and you wear underwear now..(MOST of the time atleast) and those are no small victories! You are getting older. In that strange middle place between the innocence of still calling a cut an 'owie' and wanting me to sing to you and scratch your back at night to the obnoxious grade school boy-ness of cracking up at farts, smelly feet and wanting to go to the park by yourself. (with your sister of course) :) Child, you have the strongest, most stubborn will I've ever known. You would demolish your 3 yr old brothers in a fit throwing contest. You just seem to see red and flip and for the most part theres just no 'pulling you out til you pass out' for lack of a better way to say it. At the same time, you are growing so much! You now do karate all by yourself since Macy is filled up with gymnastics and softball. You are doing so great! You focus, you practice, you try. It's awesome to watch, I am SO proud of you. You just did your schools 'Starstruck Dance performance' tonight and you totally did it! You were so cute up there, nervous and trying hard to remember the moves etc. Watching you succeed is a bigger thrill for me than I could ever hope to explain to you, I really don't know how else to say it. 
You know how to read now, even though its still a battle every time you are doing incredibly well in school and nothing seems to be hard for you once you decide to do it. You still love animals intensely and pick a new book about them every week from the library. You are also reeeally into Bey Blades right now. Speaking of being really into things, theres nothing you are more into than your baby brother Jackson. My goodness I've never seen you so soft and lovey and helpful. I can ask you to do ANYTHING with or for him and you will, in an instant. And he loves you too. It's been a miracle to witness. You still dont really want us to talk to you about God but you'll have your moments when you bring it up and then I can see you are processing and letting things sink in. I pray that over time you will want Him in your life like He is in ours, but that's His deal with you, I'll let Him seek you out in His timing. It is my hearts prayer that you continue to see how much your dad and I are FOR you, how much we love and like you and want to help you go wherever you want to in this life. I am your biggest cheerleader and your biggest fan. Dear Lord I hope you know that.

Jude. Jude-Dude or JoodleBug. You are 3 and you are one of a kind. Hilarious and super smart. You're independent, dad and I call you the wanderer because you just kinda do your own thing and you're good with it. You are so funny, always seeming to hit the right timing for a funny joke or look. You use SO many words to describe whatever you are saying or explaining and you just connect so many more dots than you would expect a three year old to. You are compliant, even in your disobedience; meaning you seem to logically understand when you've chosen to disobey that you'll get a consequence, and then you'll take it, without a fight or too many tears, just kinda matter of fact. It's pretty funny. You also have a sweet sensitive heart that I can tell understands and feels badly when you've chosen wrong or made someone sad. You don't like when I get frustrated and I can picture you scrunching up your nose to shield the blast when I've lost my patience with you. It makes me want to weep. Im so sorry sweet boy. Like your sister, I think you are softer than being with your other two brothers, and a part of this crazy household allows you to be at times and there are no words for how much this breaks my heart. I really don't know what else to say about it but I had to atleast acknowledge it.  You are a happy kid, though you do have a major pouting lip and you like to explain your 'fits'. Like "Mom! I'm kicking this wall because I'm mad that you said that I couldn't play the 'bideo' game on your phone anymore and I wanted to weally weally badly and since you said I couldn't that made me mad and so THAT's why I'm  throwing a fit!"  Seriously, you have said this exact sentence to me. It is very hard not to laugh. :) You have also been preoccupied with death and heaven the past few days. Asking me constantly when you are going to get to go to 'God's home' and telling me how badly you want to go 'while you are still three'! It's actually begun to make me cry at times as I get this irrational panic that maybe somethings going to happen to you or something crazy like that... So I kind of hope you stop this train of thought soon...okay?! :) Oh Jude. You bring me such joy, your sweetness, your humor, your smile. I love you bud.

Cooper. Mr. Man. You are also a major crack up at 3. So fun and SO much energy, You are a buzzing little bullet, speeding and zipping and dashing every which way. You have that side of Carter in you. You are a very happy and helpful boy. Dad and I call you our 'little buddy' because you want to be with someone at all times. You dont really seem to care what they are doing, if someone is including you, you are all in. You help me with dishes, dad with building or cooking, Carter with his toys and games, Macy with her elaborate plans. You beg to do 'schoolwork' with me and Jude or have playdates with Blake and Jordan. You just love being with people! You are also super athletic and ask to play baseball, soccer, scooters you name it, ALL the time, and you are such a natural! You too have a string little will my boy. You're a fighter and have quite the feisty side, your fits aren't anything to laugh about that's for sure. I see you learning and grasping and figuring things out. I am needing to be more consistent with you because you are starting to push limits and test boundaries. You and Jude can make me lose my mind sometimes with your 'silly' disobedience, particularly in stores and man can you whine with the best of them. But you can also switch it off and snap out of it pretty quick if I take the time to get your attention. Thats encouraging. Because I can see in you that you are infact eager to please and obey. Both you and Jude are, I see it, its just that youre we're still working on it! :) Oh yeah, and you and Jude loooooove love love to wrestle. Constantly, all the time, without ceasing. Your bodies literally seem like one body at times you just do not stop touching, pushing, pulling, falling on eachother. It. is. exhausting. *Sigh* My absolute very favorite time with you Cooper, is when you wake up. You walk in, usually bare chested since you don't like to sleep in shirts, with your blonde hair all tousled and messy, a sleepy daze in your eyes, and a slight curled up grin on one side of your lips. You come really close and with your suuper raspy voice you yawn out, 'Mom, can i peaz 'nuggle you?' Oh Lord, I hope I can always picture you doing that. You just melt my heart to pieces every time.

And finally. Jackson Wayne. Jack. Jackie, Cracko-Jacko. Oh my precious little baby boy. I am in love with you. You are so incredible sweet and cuddly and squishy. I could stare at your pudgy little face for hours. I could just sit and watch your eyes light up when you smile at me and never want to go anywhere else or get anything done ever again. You have melted every last ounce of me into a puddle of mush. You are almost 5 months as I write this and I desperately want time to stop. I dont want you to talk, I dont want you to walk, I want you to stay my easy, simple, little one for as long as you live! Dad and i joke that you'll never do anything wrong. Ah if only one could dream! Its just so wonderful and therapeutic to have a baby that you dont need to correct or teach or encourage, it has suddenly become so obvious why there is the classic youngest child syndrome! I will try my best not to spoil you but I can already tell it's gonna be hard! You are so easy going, the best sleeper in the whole wide world, I didnt even have to teach you how to get yourself to sleep, take naps, sleep through the night etc etc, you just did it. Crazy baby :) You love to just watch all the commotion around you and you barely make a peep about it. You let anyone hold you (and shake, poke, lay on, kiss and squeeze you) all day long and you reward them with smiles and happy noises. You sleep about 12 hours at night. I haven't started solids with you yet but soon, you're getting close to rolling over but haven't yet and you loove to chew on your toys and fingers. You suck your thumb but still take a paci too and you *might* be a lefty... we shall see! Dad and I call you our 'Cheater Baby' because it's almost not even fair to call you a real baby you are just so sweet and mellow and easy... so far.. so keep that up will you?! We'd really appreciate it. Oh Mr Jack. Thank you for forcing your way into our lives. I can not imagine not having you here!

So my FIVE children. That's who you are. On March 20, 2013. Our life and house and days are crazy. There is alot of loud, alot of rush and ALOT of tears. But there are also alot of smiles, ALOT of laughing and a ton of memories being made. And because there ISN'T alot of stopping to write things down going on. I thought I should take a second tonight, while you're all sleeping soundly in your little beds, to stay up way too late, and get some things down on paper. Lest I wake up one day and realize that all five of my babies are already grown ups.

Goodnight little ones. Your mom loves you with a desperate kind of love.

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