Friday, November 8, 2013

Mama, I just can't handle it!

I am so proud when I think of how outgoing our little social butterfly is. This week we have been on vacation in south Florida, just the three of us, enjoying a few days of fun in the sun. On the third day of solitude with mommies, Senia Mae ran up to the edge of the pool, waving at a group of swimming girls (actually a mom and her two daughters, but you couldn't tell). "Hey Girls" she yells to them clearly out of the blue. They turn around expecting to see someone a little bit older and of course are taken with Senia Mae and her "no frills" approach to introductions, thinking she is cute as pie. We are invited to join them in the pool and there you have it...instant friends! Meeting their family has been the best part of this trip, for we have spent the next several days together and are all getting along amazingly well, and it would not have happened without our bold little daughter just being who she naturally is.

Thursday night our families decided to have dinner at the marina. The table was fairly full with Chris, Beth, Keeley (12), Cienna (10), Senia Mae, me, and Kim. The kids sat on one side and the adults on the opposite, as the restaurant buzzed with live music, seagulls squawking, tides splashing, and the chatter of hungry folks. Because the girls are older than Senia Mae she just adores them, looking up to them as if they are older sisters and practically taking in every word they say. It had been a long day in the sun as we waited on our main course, staying in her seat was almost a little to much to ask of a three year old at that time.

Running around the table collecting napkins Senia Mae was buzzing with delight, trying to impress her new friends as she leaped into the aisle, causing a waiter to get off balance and drop an oyster on the floor. Mortified I quickly reprimanded Senia Mae, telling her in a very firm voice that she must remain in her chair and that her behavior was unacceptable. Instantaneously her eyes welled up with tears and that little lower lip stuck out (the way that little cartoon penguin used to when he cried out ice cubes) and I knew I had really embarrassed her in front her new friends. I knelt down by her chair and apologized, saying that I was sorry for embarrassing her, but how important it was to stay still in such a busy restaurant. We hugged and I could tell she felt better. Looking into her eyes I said, "Can you promise me you are going to be still and stay in your chair?"

She peered back at me with all of the honesty in the world and said "Mama, I just can't handle it!" I about lost it right there, trying hard not to bust out laughing as I was having a teaching moment. Sometimes kids are just so darned funny, coming out with things that we all feel but would never actually say and how could anyone stay mad at that face?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

That's my Mommy!

What happened today is the hook that at pulls your heartstrings, the exact sentiment that makes parents wish that their little ones would never grow up. Until I had my own child I never knew what they were talking about because you just can't fathom love on that level. That particular type of adoration did not exist before and now it suddenly does. Oh how you want to savor it for eternity, store it away in a bottle for when you need just a little reminder of its sweetness. Yes, today was that day.

The event was the annual Trunk or Treat in Senia Mae's preschool parking lot. I had dropped her off in her costume earlier that morning and the parents were to set up their trunks by ten thirty, so the students could trick or treat while school was is session. I had talked about decorating the trunk and handing out treats, assuming that Senia Mae understood the plan but left out that I was dressing as a witch, thinking nothing of it.

Ten thirty came, I decorated the back of the SUV with pumpkins and hanging ghosts,impressed by the amount of creativity and effort that all of the parents had put forth. Looking down the long row of cars I saw the three year old class come through the double glass doors. They stopped first at a car close to the entrance and began making their way to my end of the car line, on the farthest side of the parking lot.

Senia Mae, in her frilly Ariel mermaid/princess costume pivoted on her set of blue high heels and spotted me off in the distance. I saw her face light up as she ran towards me shouting "That's my mommy! That's my mommy!" "Ms. Wendy, that's my's her right there" as she waved her index finger frantically in my direction. My heart melted instantly. She squealed with delight repeating the line several more times after posing with me for a few quick photos. I felt like a celebrity. At that single moment I was what mattered most to that child, not candy, not television, but me, her mommy, the true apple of her eye, and all because I showed up and wore a costume. It was hard to believe that something so simple brought her so much joy and pleasure. I wanted to bask in the glory, allow myself to feel the pride of that moment because just then I was at the top, but like the wind rolling off the mountainside,those moments pass quickly.

I now know why people never want their kids to grow up. You can not get that feeling anywhere else and I know I will crave it for the rest of my life. The sweet, purity of unfiltered is as good as it gets.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

She's a good know she wants it..attention, that is!

Picture it...we are having lunch at an upscale, organic, farm harvest restaurant in Downtown Chattanooga, TN. The tables are adorned with cloth napkins and fresh floral arrangements decorated with sprigs of fresh dill. The servers are dressed in all cotton, probably organically grown and fair traded, loose fitting blouses and skirts. Surrounding us are tables of socialite ladies, meeting for luncheons, talking about committees and chairs, as they nibble on field greens and a half sandwich while sipping a glass of chardonnay.

For a moment it felt so good to do something adult-like, in the sense that macaroni and cheese wasn't offered on their menu. We dined on fresh hummus, artichoke hearts, and an organic mixed green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette reduction. The taste was divine as we washed it down with a pomegranate infused citron martini (to take the edge of the sweltering hot mugginess of the outside weather). Senia Mae sat happily across the table coloring as the seafood bisque was delivered with a plate of local farmed grilled root vegetables. She took several bites of her french fries and left her grilled cheese on multi-grain untouched as Mommy and I divulged our senses, enjoying every morsel of what was being placed in front of us. The flavors were heavenly and my mouth was happy, happy, very happy.

About this time our little three year old decides that she no longer wants to sit at the table. She proceeds to get out of her chair and walk around the side of the table standing in the aisle in between Kim and I. Our taste buds were still reveling in the glory of the delightful dinner we were having and apparently we were not offering her enough attention so she started singing. At first I was singing with her "I love you, a bushel and a peck, bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck", but that was not what Senia Mae wanted to sing.

"How does that song go?" she whispers quietly. Scratching her head thinking, she started swaying her bottom sideways in the aisle, her form of rhythmic dancing, as she starts sputtering "shorty had the apple bottom jeans, the boots with the fur...and the whole club was looking at her..." I laughed so hard I almost spit out my bread as Kim was trying to stifle her own laughter. Of all the places to sing that song!

Anyone knows that once the child realizes that the behavior is funny, even though it may be severely inappropriate, there is absolutely no turning back. She started in on Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines muttering "Your a good girl...I know you want it" as I led her quickly by the socialite women to finish her song in the parking lot. It was hard to contain my laughter, so of course she kept on, going into the full blown version on the sidewalk. At this point I knew our fancy lunch was over.

Kim paid the bill while I tried unsuccessfully to stifle the sounds coming out of our young little performer. The waitress smiled apologetically as we got the heck out of there, dodging the disapproving looks from the other diners who apparently thought toddlers should be singing nursery rhymes. I wanted to stop and mention that we do teach her good things but figured the damage was already done and we should just exit as gracefully as we could, before we started to look like worse parents to the whole restaurant.

The good news is that when you are dining out of town you will never see those people again, and that folks is why at home we only visit family friendly restaurants!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The story of Jes-was

Several weeks ago , on a beautiful Tuesday morning, Senia Mae and I decided to have our coffees in the hot tub, enjoying the misty sun touched trees as the birds chirped happily together. At that moment, all was right with the world. As I lifted off the cover to the tub, out of the blue Senia Mae blurts out..."Oh, Jesus".

The timing and delivery of her statement was completely off, like many comments she repeats without knowing exactly where and when they should be used, and I quickly tried to offer a proper reply to hide my amused astonishment.

"I know you have heard me say the words Oh Jesus," I said, "and I want you to know that Mommy is wrong when she talks like that. When we talk to Jesus we should thank him for all of our blessings and speak to him like a friend."

"Like Mr. Orin does at church?" she asked innocently.

"Yes. That is the proper way to talk to Jesus. Mommy is going to try harder not to say his name that way anymore. O.k?" She nodded in agreement. I thought the topic was dropped.

Multiple times since then she has caught either one of us mistakenly taking the lord's name in vain, quickly letting us know that we are not supposed to talk to Jesus that way. We agree and thank her for the correction.

Yesterday Senia Mae came up to me and said "I am just going to say Jes-was." I looked at her with a questioned expression, completely unaware of what exactly she was talking about.

"What do you mean, Jes-was?"

"Well if we can't say Jes-is than we can just say Jes-was, right?" It was all I could do to keep it together! What was I supposed to say to that? :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013 little one kills me...not literally!!

We climbed a parental mountaintop the other day...having a successful overnight stay at Aunt Miss's house. There had been one previous attempt that ended up unsuccessful with a panic filled call at ten forty-five p.m. It started with whimpering, then "Where's Mommy?", then a couple of soothing attempts, and then finally the call. But this time...right through the night..what a big girl she is. So much so that she totally blew me off when I went to pick her up the next day at lunch; sunglasses on, rolling luggage packed, she looked as if she were headed to LAX for her first shopping spree on Melrose. I left there depressed, thinking how quickly my little girl was growing up and how she didn't need me anymore.

Fortunately the next night all became well again. Senia Mae and I were tossing the ball around together after I got home from work, chumming up before she goes to bed and I felt that warmness that fills my heart when we have those special moments. A few minutes later she comes into our bedroom with an armful of stuffed animals (the whole slew of bedtime buddies required for a full night's sleep) and her nighttime sip-pie cup. I knew what this routine was but wanted to ask anyway.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Bringing my animals in so we can all go to bed.", she said matter of factly, as if I should already know.

"Well there's not enough room in here for me, you, all of your animals, and mommy Kim. The bed is just not big enough for all of us." I said my words thinking that my rationale would coerce her back into her own room for the night. No.

"That's o.k, Mama. Mommy Kim can just sleep on the couch!"

I nearly died with laughter and suddenly all was right with the world again.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A speech therapist...I don't think so!

The Paceleys have a unique glitch in their recessive gene pool: many of them are blessed with extend-a-tongues. Most often this gene is limited to frogs and cows, somehow it has cross pollenated into the Paceley DNA. This allows them to be able to touch their noses with their tongues, entertaining the young and old with their uncanny capabilities. One of the drawbacks, though, is that the long tongue has little place to go when making the “s” sound and often the toddlers are a little lispy in their beginning trials of communication. One of the aunts even had to have her tongue trimmed because it didn’t fit all the way into her mouth.

Senia Mae has the Paceley extend-a-tongue and proudly touches her nose as she burrows her brows making sure the whole moment is being properly captured by her audience. She must have recently overheard us talking about lispy vocabulary, because as of late she has turned her “s” sounds into more of a “sch” sound in front of words like “schwing” or “schwim” or “schweet”. We don’t correct her because it is just so darn cute.

Yesterday at lunch we got back to the house and Senia Mae says, “Mommy my belly hurts”. She is at the phase right now where she says things she hears on television even though she does not necessarily understand exactly what they mean. The previous statement is a perfect example of this.

I replied, “Why does your belly hurt?”

“It just does” she said.

“What do you think would make it feel better?”

“Schwimming in the lake, right now!”

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Night Swimming

Tonight is the type of night that reminds me why I fell in love with this place. The summer air is sticky and sweet, the moon is almost full, and the sounds of frogs and crickets singing their early evening anthem fills my ears with sweet solitude. Yes, indeed it is hard to beat.

Night swimming in the lake, we step in carefully, worried that the water will be too cold, but of course it is perfect after collecting the heat of the day. The critters peer from the thickets, watching in wonder as we splash delightfully, our eyes to the sky as we follow the clouds rolling delicately over the moon. My inner person is reminded of late nights at Girl Scout camp, as we take a night hike down the country dirt road, kicking stones and watching shadows as the moon lights our way.

It's late now...after eleven...and everyone else has retired for the evening. I am still savoring the loveliness of my surroundings, trying to breathe in all I can possibly ingest. Swinging on the back porch, I savor the stillness, for this feels like heaven to me.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The doctor is IN

I am not sure if it is because I am a doctor or because of watching her favorite show, Doc McStuffins, but suddenly all Senia Mae wants to talk about are people who need go in for a check up due to serious injuries. What makes it more humorous is that we don't really discuss going to the doctor or the need to see a physician, but suddenly it has become her obsession. At the dinner table today she repeatedly asked Kim to tell her about a time that she got stitches after cutting her hand on a broken door panel. You could watch the amazement in Senia Mae's eyes the third time she heard Mommy Kim tell the story of flying down the hill on the bike that was so big her feet didn't even touch the ground. Her blinkless stare gazed at Kim in awe, mesmerized by the thought, her mouth dropped open as if it was the most remarkable story she had ever heard.

She then wanted to hear one of my childhood injury stories. My injuries, of course, were not as serious as Kim's so to add some zest to the punchline I emphasized the heroes that saved the day, rescuing the damsel in distress (me). I looked into her eyes as I told of myself running down the grassy hill to be with Gram, because I always wanted to be where she was. She was at the bottom of the hill pulling weeds and I ran as fast as I could through the high grass stepping on a rusted out pipe that was hidden in the thatches. Gram came to my rescue as I lay bleeding and crying in the grass, sweeping me up in her arms and delivering me to the safety of the kitchen, where she soaked my foot in warm soap and water, then dressed it with what she considered the cure all, Campho-Phenique. I was bandaged up with some gauze and an ace wrap, limping around for the next whole week.

Mae Mae could not believe that there was a hidden pipe waiting to be stepped on by bare feet running through the grass! What a catastrophe...and it happened to her Mommy! Watching her intrigue and fascination was quite amusing. I had to subdue several fits of laughter as she asked again about the cut on my foot that was a complete circle. She looked at her own hand and drew an imaginary circle with her finger, lost in deep thought.

A few moments later she spouted off that one time she had a bruise on her hand and it needed five, two, three, four, five...right here in a circle (she traced the circle on her hand). And Grammy came over...I had one dirty toe and one clean toe...she washed my toes in warm soap and water and they got better! She looked up in delight, turning the palms of her hands to the sky as she grinned, completely satisfied with herself. Even though the story was obviously a fabrication of our stories, her rendition was absolutely adorable and heartwarming. All she wanted was to be part of our storytelling, to be included in the conversation. Suddenly I was glad we took the time to sit at the dinner table, turning off the t.v so we can actually have conversations because this is the stuff you want to remember.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In memory of Senia I. Doldt, my Gram

Five years ago today marks the worst day of my life, the day my grandmother tragically died after a fall down the stairs. Even though that day pinnacled my life's biggest fear, how to live the rest of mine without her, I am proud to say that in the time between then and now there have been hundreds of the best days of my life. That fateful day changed my life and my attitude forever. Our beautiful daughter, Senia Mae, rightfully named in honor of her great grandmother, Senia I. Doldt, was born in 2010 and has brought so much joy and happiness into our lives. Every day I feel as if a piece of Gram is within her and thus with me, from her love of apple pie, raisin toast, and the color purple, to her insistence to stay outside just a little bit longer to smell the flowers. I can't imagine receiving a more precious gift than the one that came in the form of that little girl.

Early this morning Senia Mae and I were out walking around the yard in our pajamas. I thought about this day and how it has affected my life and felt as if I should do something that would make Gram feel present. Of course the first thing that came to mind was filling the trench in the driveway with large stones. The Savonens (Gram, as well as her father, David) were all about redirecting water flow with trenching, boulders, and ditching, why it was what he did for a living as well as build bridges. I remember countless conversations between Gram and I about how to get a gully working just right or how to address water issues. It was what she loved. The least I could do was work on the unsightly cavernous rivets forming in our gravel driveway.

We walked up and down the driveway together, Senia Mae and I, toting stones from here to there, digging a little and basically just keeping whats ours in the family. I don't think I could have honored her in a more appropriate way. I smiled looking over our accomplishment wondering if Senia Mae could feel it too. It was happiness radiating from my heart, she was with us.

I think of you and miss you every day, Gram, but I always feel that you are with me in everything I do. Love, Kara

Friday, April 5, 2013

Momma don't have a meltdown, someone's watching!

Even though this picture is over a year old it is still one of my favorites and I have it proudly displayed in my chiropractic office. I love the way Senia Mae is looking at me and it reminds me that even when I am not paying attention...she is.

The other day a fairly new patient came in for an adjustment and saw this photo on the counter. She asked if that was my daughter. I concurred as she picked up the photo, staring at it for an uncomfortably long time. She analyzed the contents, the colors, the expressions on both of our faces, how we were holding each other, paying attention to the minute details of the photograph. I remembered how Gram used to do the exact same thing, sitting at the kitchen table with her magnifying glass, taking in the aspects of a photo that could be easily missed if you gave it only a quick glance.

"See this here?" she said pointing to Senia Mae's smirked expression, her eyes captivated by what I was doing, "She might not be listening to everything you are saying, but she's watching you. Kid's learn by example, she's going to mimic everything you do, and this here is direct proof she's watching!" I gasped at the thought. It is easy to get distracted in life and forget that my thoughts, my actions, my responses, my persona basically is being copied and formatted by my daughter. Yikes! Well, that's my first response, but it is a helpful reminder that I must be a positive influence in her life because she is indeed following my example. Next time I almost lose my temper or don't think what she is saying has much value I am going to reconsider my actions because how I act is equally as important as what I say.

It is amazing how little kids see their parents as larger than life sometimes. I have a memory of being in the first grade when I used to ride the bus to school. My mom didn't happen to view me catching the bus that particular morning and worried about my safety. My dad was working and we only owned one car at the time, so my mother decided to jog two miles to the elementary school to check on me. When I gazed out the window that overlooked the playground there she was peeking in! I remember my body instantly beaming with pride! That was my mom...and she ran here! I instantly stood up in front of the class and announced that my mom could run faster than the school bus! I wasn't exactly lying, in my mind she really could do anything. I was so proud and excited I just wanted to shout from the rooftops "That's my mom!"

When we become parents rarely do we realize the enormous responsibility we are taking on, not just caring for someone else, but being the role model they need to become good functioning members of society one day. I get nervous just thinking about the fact that I could be screwing up right now and not even be aware of the microscopic damage happening in my poor child's psyche! Fortunately a therapist friend of mine calmed me down one day by stating "if you are already worried about your child's mental health and well being you are far above average and probably on the right path!" That was somewhat settling. I know I am going to and already have made mistakes. I just hope that she absorbs more of the good stuff and has the ability to forgive all of the bad stuff! I love you, kiddo!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Taking time to smell the....hollyhocks

Even though at this particular moment snow flakes are drifting delicately through the brisk, March air, spring has fully bloomed in Georgia. Blossoming buds on the Bradford pear trees line the roads and most daffodils have already come and gone several weeks ago. Since we had a very mild winter, the forecast is calling for a severe allergy season, one of which Senia Mae and I are currently victims!! All weekend she has been broadcasting the news, "Mommy and I don't feel good" absolutely proud as a peacock that we are lucky enough to share the same miserable symptoms of swollen sinuses and itchy eyes! Then she'll continue on..."I just had to smell the flowers...I love them",as she walks off bantering to herself in a continuous ramble. I must admit, she is absolutely adorable as she looks to the bright side of suffering with allergies! The season sent me to Walmart for several boxes of tissues, causing me to pass the aisle of springtime flowering bulbs. I suddenly reverted to a child Senia Mae's age following my grandmother down the grassy hill to a row a beautiful, tall flowers that lined several neighboring Evergreen trees. It was my lesson of the day.

The warm hand led me down the hill to see the most magnificent and bountiful blooms I had ever seen. They were purple mostly, mixed in with some white, pink, and yellow blossoms that grew tall on these long, thick stems, higher than my own head! "You can touch them, see?" she said, "But very gently or they will fall off their stems. These are called of my favorites. And over here we have hollyhocks." She pulled me to the side where more flowers blossomed. I had to listen carefully because she spoke very fast, as if she were in such a hurry to get all of the words out. With her thick Boston accent it almost sounded as if she were saying Hollyhucks, as she showed me the delightful bell shaped flowers that donned its bountiful stems. I thought that I had never seen anything quite so pretty and exhilarating, as I deeply inhaled next to the purple and gold bells. She could make anything grow anywhere. We always had cut up milk cartons and glass jars hall full of water rooting sprouts of this or buds of that. I try to have similar talents, but they don't come as natural to me as they did to her. I still try anyway.

Last fall I decided to transplant some irises that had been given to me as a gift from a patients established garden. I thought I would wait until Senia Mae went down for her nap, giving me at least an hour to clear the hill, prepare the soil, and cover the roots so they would be ready for the upcoming spring. After about twenty minutes I was knee deep in a fresh mix of bark mulch, rotting leaves, and potting soil as I glanced down the hill at the glass door in front of Senia Mae's bedroom. I instantly became aware that she was not sleeping, but rather sitting contently by the threshold, gazing up at me while I worked with the irises. Chuckling to myself, I leaped off the hill to see why she was so awake and interested in what was going on outside. Her reply, "Mommy I love helping you dig holes, can't I just help?" I supposed there would be time for napping later, this event was obviously one that was being guided by a higher spirit, with intentions of being completed together at that particular moment. Who could deny the divine? And so it was. We dug our holes for the next forty five minutes, laughing, playing, and enjoying each others company as we became one with mother earth. It felt good to feel so connected; to my daughter, to my grandmother, to myself, and to God.

Senia Mae doesn't exactly understand how connected she is to this whole story, but slowly I see the map unfolding in her mind as her own little wheels formulate their own ideas. She picked up a photo of Gram the other day and asked "Where is she?". I let my daughter know that she was named Senia after my grandmother and that Gram was in heaven right now watching over us all of the time. "Oh, my little angel?", she smiled as she looked up at me with this knowing look of pure understanding. "Yes!" I said, "How did you know that?" She then stated, "Mommy, I just know" reassuring me as she lay on my lap, patting my hand and looking up to the sky. I sat there dumbfounded, realizing that my daughter is already very closely connected, without any outside efforts from me, without force, and possibly without recognition. I begin to feel myself smile on the inside as I slowly come to terms with the order of the universe, one that my three year old is completely and absolutely in touch with!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Who could be mad at that face?

Many times I am questioned by folks who ponder "How do you know what to blog about?" My answer is always "I just know what will translate well, certain aspects make it a good story". Sometimes it is suggested that I blog about a specific event and I choose not example being the time we were sitting down to dinner with friends (the first time we have left Senia Mae overnight with Grammy babysitting at our house) and the phone rings just as our friends are asking why we don't do this more often. I pick up my cell to hear a frantic, panic stricken Grammy shouting "Senia Mae is locked in the car....." Reason number one why we don't do this more often. I don't want to blog about it because I am still traumatized over it as a mother, even though I do now admit that the story is funny. But this next one is funnier.

It's a Thursday night, we are all exhausted from a busy day and eventful potluck dinner, returning home and trying to quickly get the toddler to bed. Many people have children who will fall asleep in the car and can be easily and effortlessly transported right into bed. Not us. Our kid seems to have her batteries recharged as soon as she crosses the threshold into the kitchen! We normally give her a minute or two to wind down and do her "stuff". Lately this has been sitting on her potty while trying to do poopie as she sings loudly and bosses around some imaginary friends lurking around in the bathroom. Today was no different, she was doing her "stuff" and Kim and I thought we could take a quick moment to move the stacked washer and dryer out of the way for the contractor who was arriving in the morning to work in the utility closet.

Picture this: Kim behind the 6 foot high unit with a dolly tugging to get the heavy set balanced and positioned correctly on the wheels. I am on the other side pushing the uneven washer with one hand while holding the drain hose the other hand, trying in vain to keep it in a yellow pail catching the leaking drips so they do not get on the floor. Kim is getting frustrated with me because I am not carrying out the task that is expected of me even though I think that I am...there is grunting and groaning and agitation, you get the picture. Just as we get the unit properly balanced on the dolly and actually have it rolling a couple of inches Senia Mae walks out of the bathroom half naked holding up her hand. "What's this?" she asks innocently as she holds up the plastic inserter of a tampon that had already been used and placed in the trash. Kim's eyes flash open in horror as her germ-o-phobe brain kicks into its fight or flight defense mode, dropping the washer mid stroke and chasing Senia Mae into the bathroom screeching "That's trash, it's dirty, we don't touch it, trash stays in the trash can, We don't take it out!!!!", dragging our child to the sink scrubbing her hands as if she had touched some type of skin burning acid.

I follow the commotion, slowly entering the bathroom as Senia Mae bursts into tears, REAL tears..."Am I in trouble?" The tears pour down her reddening face as her lower lip sticks out in that way only toddlers can do. She is devastated at the fact that something that she did was unacceptable to us. I grab her into my arms caressing her head, soothing her with gentle words saying we were not mad at her and that Mommy just got overly excited about her rummaging through the trash...I am saying all this with her head resting in my bosom so that she cannot see that I am making every effort not to pee because I am laughing so hard and holding it in so she will not be aware of my mixed emotions. This is when you need hidden video cameras! The whole thing was absolutely moving the washer...enter kid holding tampon...exit fanatical germ focused mother...kid busts into tears...You just can't write this stuff, you have to live it.

Fortunately she did calm down after ten minutes of consoling and repeating that we were indeed not mad at her. We all agreed that it is a good idea to stay clear of any type of trash, even if it does look interesting. You never really know what you are going to find!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

keeping up with the tender moments

Someone recently said to me "Cherish these times with Senia Mae, they go away almost like a whirlwind." The thought saddened me, for I tend to be the type who wants to freeze each moment in time, keeping it it a constant still shot for the rest of forever. I know, however, that freezing time is not possible and I am actively trying to take these words of infinite wisdom and apply them to my crazy, hectic everyday life. Sometimes its hard to keep all of my jobs in balance..I want to make sure I remember the most important job of all.

The other morning Kim had to leave before five a.m to get down to the airport, meaning that I had to take Senia Mae into work with me at eight thirty. It has been said that I have two speeds in the morning....slow and stop. This particular morning I was doing better than average at my slow pace, peering away from the alarm clock and out the window, knowing that I had exactly one hour to rise, shower, get myself dressed and primped, as well as dressing and primping Senia Mae, getting her fed breakfast, and actually getting both of us out the door and into the car. One hour. Seemed plenty long enough as my slow blinks got a little slower, feeling the new velvety flannel sheet grazing my cheek. Something deep inside me said.."don't move, stay here" My responsible self began throwing one leg outside of the covers into the startling cold morning air as I heard the sound of light thudding footsteps entering the room. Before I saw anything I felt her stuffed bunny bounce off of my head, as she tossed several other stuffed animals(goat, baby seal, and a purple fish with big lips)as well as a naked baby into the empty side of the bed. Crawling into bed, her sleepy little puffed eyes looked at me as if she were surprised that I was actually getting up.

"Where are you going, Momma?" she questioned innocently. I gently brushed the hair out of her face and pulled her close to me. "We have to hurry up and get to work this morning." She looked at me with disappointment. "But I wanted to snuggle..." I exhaled deeply as I struggled with the dilemma. In my world very few things take precedence over snuggling in the morning. But this was already going to be a hectic morning, we'd never get there in time, patients would be waiting on me, we really don't have time for this today...she wants to spend more quality time with me, do you really want to blow off your child when she needs you, it would feel so good to just lay here a few more minutes, snug, warm, cozy...what difference would a few more minutes make? The struggle was over. She crawled into the crook of my arm and we snuggled loosely, gazing out the window at the winter morning, enjoying each others company on a morning that thankfully I was not too busy to pass up.

I realized then that those kind of moments are the ones to remember, so much more than the picture perfect posed moments that are expected and deliberate. You never know how many moments there will be and how many opportunities you may pass up because you are too busy to take that extra time. My hair and makeup may not have looked as good as it could have, but it was good enough, and the tender moment spent with my daughter made rushing to the office worth every frenzied second. That advice was well taken and I hope that I will continue to remember.