Posted in Son

One-on-One Joy

Though I’m still not thrilled with Katie going off to preschool for two LONG mornings each week, I have found a beautiful silver lining.

Matthew and I are soaking up all of this new one-on-one time that we’ve never had until now.

Katie and I had two and a half years together before Matthew’s arrival, but as is often the case with second children, Matthew hasn’t had the luxury of much alone time.

So, we’re finding our groove. We’re playing cars and blocks, reading books, and taking trips to the park.

I still miss Katie, but this time with Matthew is joyous.

Now it’s your turn…

What brought you joy this week?

Don’t be shy! Share it with me. :)

Always Her Baby

While we were camping, Craig and I spent much of our evenings talking of his mom.

A year ago today he sat by her side.

He smoothed her hair from her face and reassured her.

He told her that he would be okay.

That she could let go.

He promised her that he would never forget.

As his tears slid over his cheeks, he thanked her for all that she had done for him.

He assured her that he would keep her memory alive in his children…that they would know her.

He rested his head on her arm and cried.

In those moments he was just a boy…her baby boy.

Watching his mother die.

A year ago now, but his face, lit by the warm glow of the campfire, still hinted of that little boy who misses his mother.

And my heart breaks for him…an amazing man, but always her baby boy.

You can read of our tremendous loss in So Much to Say and So That You May Know Her.

Said with Such Love

This week, on Small Moments Mondays, my lovely friend, Angela, from Tiaras and Trucks is sharing a small moment that so many of us will be able to relate to.

One of the things that I love most about Angela is that while what you see on the surface is so lovely, what lies beneath is beyond amazing. She is soft and kind, but also has an unwavering strength that I truly admire.

She is funny and sweet, but she is such a powerful writer that she can move me to tears in a heartbeat. She just makes me feel what she feels.

Thank you, Angela, for sharing your words here. Thank you for inspiring me with your writing and for being my friend. I am so lucky to know you.

Said with Such Love — by Angela

Her golden head falling on my shoulder while reading a story stops my breath, leaving me wondering how I can possibly change her life like this, how I could bring a baby into her world, how I can take her mommy away.

Nursing him in the dark, a few tears fall onto his wispy hair. Loving and affectionate, he easily slides into his place in our family, but I desperately worry he will never know the undivided adoration of first-time parents.

More than a year later, Abbey and Dylan’s first egg hunt has her giddy with anticipation, carefully clutching both of their baskets to her chest as we walk to the park. Her nod is serious as she listens to how she’ll have to wait for the “babies” to find their eggs first, while she plays with her friends on the slides and monkey bars and waits her turn.

He is simply happy to be riding in the stroller, feeling the wind in his hair, giggling and tossing his snack cup to the ground, knowing I will pick it up and return it with a tickle or a kiss.

Clouds hang over the park, but colored eggs evoke a festive feeling, kids jumping and running over plastic bridges, their eyes hunting eggs they know they mustn’t yet touch. Parents of older children chat while those of us with wobbly toddlers follow closely, steadying them on small steps and inclines and stumpy slides.

Abbey rushes away immediately, daringly stepping from one moving disk to another.

“Mommy! Look at me!” she calls, proudly announcing the feat that was beyond her grasp only months before.

I clap and smile, my heart a little hurt that I can’t reach out to give her a hug or high five while chasing Dylan from the fireman’s pole.

Ushering Dylan over to where countless eggs carpet the grass for the youngest participants, I hand him his basket, pointing at the bright orbs. This is rare, my undivided attention, and his smile shines brightly towards me. Unsteadily, but purposefully, he walks to an egg and stops. Now he is uncertain, and his smile falters. I crouch near him, pointing to the egg.

“For Dylan!”

His brow furrows. His bright, blue eyes scan the playground.

“Addie? Addie?!”

With slight apprehension, I call her over, knowing she is anticipating her turn, worrying she’ll be disappointed at my request.

“Dylan needs your help,” I say simply, bracing myself for her response.

Immediately, she crouches much as I had, pointing at the same egg.

“Look Dylan! An egg!”

Patiently, slowly, she wanders with him amidst the eggs, telling him their colors, getting excited with him about one red egg so big he needs both hands to hold it.

“Addie,” he sighs happily, handing her the egg and watching her place it in his basket.

Her name, mispronounced, has never been said with such love.

With their few, simple words, I become an observer, a mommy not to Abbey or Dylan but to Abbey and Dylan. Siblings.

See what I mean? Isn’t she amazing?

I’d love it if you went over to Tiaras and Trucks to say hello to Angela. Don’t miss Through Their Eyes, The Best Laid Hands, Runner. I’m a Runner, and Why I Get Laughed at on Walks.

Angela is also one of my favorite tweeps. Go find her on Twitter! You’ll be so glad you did.

But You Are

My sweet baby boy,

We walk to your room…to bedtime.

And I hold my breath.

I place you on your changing table, stripping you of your dinner-stained clothes. I change your diaper and softly sing “You Are My Sunshine.”

And I hold my breath.

I pull clean jammies from your drawer and pull the top over your head, thread your legs through the pants.

And I hold my breath.

We collect your pacifier and settle into your rocking chair.

I feel the weight of your 18-month old body as you rest against me.

I sing you the ABC song.

And I hold my breath.

I ask you, “Matthew, would you like some milk?”

And you shake your head no.

You touch my cheeks with your chubby hands and rest your smooth forehead on mine and melt into me.

You sit up, look me in the eye and then press your face against mine and sigh.

You’re done.

And I don’t feel ready.

But you do.

You do.

So, I hold you.

And I whisper I love yous.

Together, we redefine this bedtime dance.

You need me still. I know that.

I’m not ready, but you are.

So we are done.

I will follow your lead, my darling boy.

I will trust that you know what is right.

But I will count on those moments with you where you touch my cheek and offer me your full weight.

And I hold my breath.

Always yours,

Mommy

Big Enough Days

This week, I have a new friend here on Small Moments Monday.

I must have been under a rock, because when I mentioned to several people that JoAnn, from Ostriches Look Funny, was stopping by to share a small moment, I was met with so much enthusiasm. It appears that JoAnn is known and loved far and wide. And the more I read from her, the more I love her too.

In an email exchange that we had last week, JoAnn wrote, “Fun fact: I wrote this while eating a lemon popsicle” to which I replied, “Fun fact: I have an irrational fear of popsicles. I cannot eat them or touch them. They completely freak me out.” I think our friendship was truly meant to be.

JoAnn is due to have her baby next week (!). Please stop by and say hello to her over on her blog. Don’t miss This Far I Have Been: Almost Bananas With a Side of Real Estate, A Declaration from the Ice Queen, and The Whispery Things.

Thank you, JoAnn, for coming sharing this lovely post with us. I am so incredibly grateful.

Big Enough Days — by JoAnn

Yesterday was rainclouds and fireplaces, but in the afternoon, afternap time, the sun came out and the grass sparkled diamonds. It was time for cherry picking in the front yard, with bright blue baskets, two little boys, and a goose.

The goose was picking cherries straight off the tree, honking happily and staining his beak pink with cherry juice. My two year old son was grabbing fistfuls of cherries, holding them in his chubby fists and yelling at the goose, “TOO YOUD!” which means “TOO LOUD!” if you speak two year old, which I doubt the goose does.

My three year old split his time between eating cherries and throwing them at the farm dogs. The farm dogs split their time between running away and eating the former ammo off of the grass.

I stood under the tree with basket slung over my forearm, sipping Chai.
The boys played happily by my legs, and my oldest asked if he could climb the ladder when he gets big enough. I said “Yes, when you get big enough,” because I’m not one to squash ladder-climbing dreams.

The “big enough days” seem far enough away, and as I sipped my tea and filled my basket with violently purple cherries, I decided that three and two are wonderful ages, and May is a beautiful month, and everyone should drink Chai Tea under a cherry tree.

In a day or so, the cherries will split and spoil because of the early morning rain, but for today it’s all things ripe and sweet. I used to worry so much about the splitting, the spoiling of life. I am learning, slowly, that the same moments of opportunity to enjoy ripe fruit on a farm have the potential to bring creepy fruit eating bugs, biting geese, bees, little boy poop, and all sorts of minor disasters.

I look at my two boys, grabbing leaves and staining their faces with fresh cherry juice, and decide that I’ll be brave and embrace my life, all of it, creepy bugs and all.

Small moments like this are what life is all about.

Please go follow JoAnn on Twitter and like her on Facebook!

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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