getting it together

Sir William James and Sir Henry Vaughn. Their personalities shine through in these pictures.

Life is truly an ebb and flow. During my last posting I certainly was feeling defeated. Usually my boys go through their 'phases' separately, so I can manage it better. Unfortunately, they are BOTH in horrible places right now and we will leave it at that! Because today I more hopeful. Even though the rain comes down in steady streams, I am smiling and feeling a bit relieved. Relieved that we seem to be getting it together....a bit. I look forward to spending time as a family this weekend and hope that the moments of joy and laughter outnumber the meltdowns and timeouts. A mother can hope!


purpose driven mothering

I began reading the book...but didn't finish....A Purpose Driven Life. I love the title. Should there be a book titled Purpose Driven Mothering? I haven't had many lows in a long while. I am blessed with healthy children, a kind and loving husband, and a fairly easy life. I say easy because I don't work outside my home, we live comfortably (more than comfortably), and we don't struggle to meet the basic needs of our family. Nonetheless, I am struggling. I struggle everyday to mother with purpose. I have written about this before and find myself writing about it again.

These little men of mine are true gifts. I cannot put into words my understanding of the task at hand. The task of raising them and loving them. I sometimes miss the days right after they were born. When I could hold them, if I wanted, for hours and hours. I remember just staring at them in amazement and awe. How could this little guy really be...here? These days those moments feel like they were in a different lifetime. (This may also be why some women have more babies. But I digress!) These days I feel like I don't have any answers. My brain knows that you can't be a perfect mother, that kids are not perfect, and NO ONE has ALL the answers. I know that intellectually, but my heart does not feel that. I am desperate to do right by them. Although not logical, I take most of their shortcomings as personal failures. Again I know this in my head as crazy; it is my heart that has a hard time believing.

As the season changes here in Seattle, it has turned damp, gray, and bleak. At the moment, that is how I feel. The joyous, boisterous holidays are right around the corner. I know my spirits will lift. I know that in the weeks to come my boys will enter new phases, maybe ones I am better equipped to manage. I know that my life is good and that these boys are true treasures. I know that one day I will look back at THIS time and think about how simple and lovely my troubles were. I know these things in my head....I just need my heart to believe them as well.


is it the swine?

**I sent this as an email to friends almost 2 years ago, but seems appropriate in light of the H1N1 mania! I laugh reading it. I was obviously still struggling with my place in life and staying home with young crazy boys!**

Will, Henry and I were eating lunch in a small (and I mean small) diner yesterday. I love going to this place because it is family owned and they are always so good to me when I am there. The boys love it because they can get breakfast for lunch and they bring toys to the table. Like any mother of small children, eating out is always an adventure and the timing of everything is crucial. All in all the meal was going well (or at least as well as can be expected!) Toward the end of our lunch a party of five sat down right next to us. Remember I stated that is place is small, so their table was literally 1 foot away. There was a woman (probably in her 40's) with who I assumed was her husband and son (10 or 11 years old). An older couple joined them-which I am guessing were his or her parents. The following interchange occurred soon after they sat down...

(I must preface this by saying that we have been battling a cold in cough for weeks. Will has been coughing all of the time and I tell him maybe 100 times a day to cover his mouth when he coughs.)

Will, sitting across from me, was coughing . He did not cover his mouth or cough into his arm. The woman in her 40's looked across the table at the older woman and states, " I know...it is disgusting". She said loud enough for me to hear and I knew she was speaking of Will. Something in me snapped.

I said to her, "He is three years old."

She responded, "Well he is going to get us all sick!"

The older gentleman says, "Come on he is just a baby." She says, "I am not talking about the baby."

Again I state, "He is three years old and I have told him probably 100 times today he needs to cover his mouth." Then I was on a roll!

I continued, "I am doing the best I can. Obviously you raised perfect children and you are perfect mother. Please give me some advice on how I can do a better job."

At this she crossed her arms, looked away, and said nothing more. Who knows what she was thinking!!

Please know that I do not excuse the fact that my son was spreading germs by not covering his mouth! It was part Momma Bear protecting her cub, but mostly it was my sheer astonishment that this woman could so quickly forget what it was like to have a small child! I was shocked by the total absence of empathy.

I send this embarrassing story to you in hopes that you will know that we are all in this together. We are not perfect people, so naturally we cannot be perfect mothers. I know your hopes and dreams for your children can keep you up at night and you worry endlessly if you are doing a good enough job! Let me be the one to tell you that, "Yes, you are doing a good job". Today I will be the one to thank you for the meals you prepare, the dishes and clothes you wash, the noses and bums you wipe, the tears you dry, the baths you give at the end of a long day. (For those of you who have older children I won't even pretend to know the challenges you face!) You do hundreds of little things each day that go mostly unnoticed by those who live with you. I know what you do each and every day and I say....you are amazing.

**A few days later Will was diagnosed with walking pneumonia. Mother-of-the-year!**

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