These are letters to Jack, my son, and my daughter, Audrey. You have given me the gift of motherhood. This is just a little gift back. I want to share my experiences with you of your childhood from my perspective of watching you grow - of being your Mom.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Don Juan


Last night was your daycare’s school picnic which basically consisted of you and your friends playing on a playground at the park with a snowcone truck at everyone’s disposal.

It was a wonderful evening! The temperature was wonderful and there was something magnificent to you about seeing all your classmates in the playground setting with parents present while you were topped off with sugar.

It’s actually the first time that I saw you actually approach a little girl.

There’s a little girl in your class who is kind of bigger and older than most of the girls in the class. You had picked a little clover out of the grass and you brought it over to her and held it out saying: “Here, Mathilda. Hi, I’m Jack Rose.”

It was so sweet, the tentative extending of the flower to this little girl and how you seemed shy and introduced yourself even though you’ve been going to class with her for the last year.

Mathilda looked at the little clover and walked over to another boy in your class right in front of you and handed the flower to Connor who just looked at it like Great. Now what am I supposed to do with this?

You watched this happen but weren’t put off by it. You picked another clover and brought it to Mathilda again and gave it to her. She gave this one to Connor, too.

At this point you stopped picking flowers for her, but you followed her and her friends around the playground trying to play with the group. They didn’t really seem to acknowledge you, but you didn’t mind. You just played the games they were playing next to them, working to be included into the group. They were building castles in the sand.

Eventually another group of three girls from your room would run over and stomp the castles and run off. These two groups quickly paired off against each other. The three girls that were destroying the castles were giggling and running about and the other group that Mathilda was a part of were just getting upset with them. You quickly realized that the other group seemed more fun and you changed allegiance and followed the other group of girls. They were more inclusive of you, but still seemed focused more on each other. Finally, one of the girls from that group broke away and the two of you headed over to the playground together.

You and Addy began climbing the equipment together to go down the slide. You were laughing and giggling with each other and it was absolutely adorable. After awhile, this game developed where Addy was climbing up the slide and you went to the top and reached down to try to help her. You were both laughing and giggling. At one point you were able to help pull her to the top and you said to me “Mommy! I helped save the Princess!” Addy was beaming at being referred to as the Princess and I felt my heart just fill with love at how sweet this moment was!

You both continued to play together way past bedtime – I just couldn’t be the one to put an end to such a sweet game. By now you had given up pulling her up the slide and would allow her to drag you down the slide and you would both go down together, holding hands and tumbling over each other to the bottom where you would both be giggling and laughing before doing it again. (At one time when you got to the top of the slide with Addy, there were two girls at the top and you pushed the one on your side down and then the one on Addy’s side down so that you guys could play. I was embarrassed, but found myself thinking that at least you were thoughtful enough to get the kid out of Addy’s way, too…..)

When we left, you were beyond exhausted and the bedtime routine was insane, but it was all so worth it to see that you had chosen a friend who chose you back.



Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Final Countdown


The days are numbered for the three of us. Before long it will be four.I feel like I want to say something to you about this.I never knew how much I would love being a mother and the challenges that I would face. How much I would worry over every decision because I saw them all as having such consequence to you. It didn’t matter if the consequence was perhaps a small one. Nothing is small if it affects you.Recently your class hatched some baby ducks and your immediate tenderness with them is really something to witness. You gently touch them and speak so sweetly to them – it makes tears come to my eyes. I’ve seen this gentleness between you and your two favorite pets at home: Darla and Hercules.

You are such a sweet little boy, Honey! How can I possibly show you how much I love you?As Audrey’s birth has been approaching, Clay’s travel has decreased and you are LOVING this. We have been having some separation issues in the morning but your Dad being present has helped make these issues less severe. He has a way that is so different from my own and you need that new approach. You warm to it.

The other day, you put your pants on backwards and Daddy told you that your “Butt Balloon” was in the front. You laughed so hard, I thought you would fall over. Now you demand that he say that to you over and over again. I tried to surprise you with that comment last night and called it your “Balloon Butt” and you kind of looked at me and I remembered my own poor Mom trying on the Daddy jokes sometimes and messing them up and I had a new-found sympathy for her position.You also love Daddy’s joke about “what does one chicken say to another chicken?” and then he gets up in your face and emits a loud “BAAAAAAAAAWK!” and you laugh and laugh!

The other night we were watching our goodnight story and you choose sometimes to play games with Daddy instead of watching the bedtime story – and you snuggled up next to him and it was so sweet, I thought I would burst into tears. I’m so lucky!

I can’t believe I – we ALL are – about to get even luckier!