Saturday, March 28, 2009

I know I’m a mom when…

I find stones (and feathers and seed puffs) in my pockets

I stop in the middle of the sidewalk to watch a construction site

I find toys hidden in my shoes

I take super-quick showers

I put all scissors and permanent markers up as high as I can reach

I have “Wheels on the Bus” running through my head

I have a picture book (currently Hairy Maclary) memorized

I’m nonplussed by wiping snotty noses

I notice various animals and vehicles even when not with my children and feel like shouting out, “Hey, there’s a …..!”

I can serve myself and three kids at a potluck, carrying 3 plates on one arm

I don’t go anywhere without a spare diaper and wipes

I wake up at a moment’s notice, any time of the night

I can tell something’s up just by the silence

I’ve breast-fed and changed nappies for what seems like 6 ½ years straight!!

I'm drawn as a stick figure with curly hair and labeled "MOMO" (based on the rule that "o" says "ah" in beginning phonetics)

I somehow explain intercourse, racism, mastectomies, and countless other topics on a regular basis in language that my kids mostly understand!

I comfort my sobbing daughter who’s traumatized by seeing a whale calf separated from its mother, attacked and killed by orcas in a nature video

My kids cuddle against me as I read book after book to them

My art ideas are copied by the cutest little amateur artists

I’m forgiven and loved even after messing up so much

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Invitation from Naomi

My kids absolutely love having people over to our home. I guess we've had a lack lately because Naomi and Josiah began planning their own social get-together this morning. They decided to invite their Sunday school class over next week (which is only 3 other kids besides themselves), and wrote out invitations while I was still getting up and showering! Most of them were sealed in envelopes before I got a peek, but here is one I found still open, addressed to a classmate named Imogen.

Imogen, luv Naomi

Pleez com to or hows on next sadr da. 39 Faree rowd.

Love Naomi

She drew a picture of the front of our house next to the words, and the details she included were her bedroom windows, our dining room windows, the handle of her scooter which just barely shows above our short wall, the number on our door, and the big bush we have out front (which had spherical, dried-up flowers all over it until I pruned it just a few weeks ago).

I love seeing my kids use their writing and reading in everyday life. That's what it's for, after all! (In fact, I'm beginning to think I might try "un-schooling" for a while, but more on that later....)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Caught in Bad Weather

When we left for church this morning, it was sunny and slightly warmer than frigid. Boy were we in for a surprise when we returned home a few hours later!

I needed to be at church early so I rode my bike, leaving Steve to walk with the kids (2 on scooters, 1 in the stroller). I figured I would get hot and sweaty by cycling so I left the house wearing a short-sleeved shirt. Steve usually wears a coat everywhere, but today decided to only wear a sweater. Ethan wore a coat, Josiah had on a long-sleeved shirt, and Naomi wore short-sleeves and a light shawl.

On the way to church, I was cold. I’d forgotten how much the wind chills my hands and arms when I’m cycling fast. I wished I’d worn a sweatshirt and gloves. It wasn’t too bad, though, and I did work up a sweat that kept me a bit warmer.

When my family arrived at church later, they seemed in good spirits. I think they’d all been comfortable on the 35 minute walk.

Two hours later, I headed home in a rush to finish cooking for friends coming over for a late lunch. It was sprinkling as I set out, and I almost turned around to warn Steve. I didn’t, though, and just hoped that maybe he’d ask some people for rides so that he and the kids could avoid the rain.

I was already cold from being in a short-sleeved shirt, and then the sprinkles turned to rain. A storm had come just during the window of time in which we were trying to rush home. It was frigid, windy and wet. I’ve rarely been so uncomfortable outside. My hands became numb, my arms were dripping and I could hardly see out of my glasses (in the end I took them off). I knew I’d be home within 15 minutes, though, and kept thinking, “I can handle anything for just 15 minutes.” But I also was dreading what my kids might be facing if they were walking home in the same conditions.

Sure enough, Steve walked home with the kids, choosing not to wait for a car ride because he felt pressure to get home quickly to help me prepare and because I’d asked him to pick up ice-cream at the store on the way home. Naomi came in the house, just beside herself, sobbing. She was freezing cold and soaking wet. (The boys were soaked, too, but are less fazed by things like cold.) I just held her and sympathized with her, feeling terrible that she’d walked for 30 minutes in a storm with no jacket or umbrella!!

Steve was at the end of his rope, having listened to Naomi cry the whole way home, and of course being cold and wet himself. He swore he’d never walk out of the house again without a raincoat or umbrella.

We got everyone out of wet clothes, put Ethan in a warm bath, made hot water bottles and hot chocolate for Naomi and Josiah, and pretty soon everyone was fine again. Our friends arrived for lunch an hour later, and we had a good time playing Settlers of Catan with them after eating.

Oh yeah, and by the time our friends arrived, it was sunny again.