Monday, July 22, 2013

The Words of Sena R. W./ 02

Sena's long awaited second column. Here are her thoughts on moving.

To me moving has a positive and a negative. The positive is new friends, and bigger bedroom since most of the time my bedroom is as little as a walk-in closet. The negative is not being so close to my Oma and not being allowed to play in the old house yard once we move. I guess it's just superbittersweet, if that was a word. 

Memories from our house:
  • me being raised there from 0-8
  • my brother Gus being raised there from 0-6
  • my brother Arlo being raised there from 0- 7 months
  • mom and daddy's first house
  • so many parties
  • my first steps
  • my first sleepover
  • Gus's first sleepover
  • all my birthdays
  • all Gus's birthdays 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Path

This is the path that connects my parents' house to my house: that connects the house I grew up in to the house my kids have been growing up in.
This path leads to our house of nine years, the only place I have ever moved into, the only place I have ever been married in. It's the only place I have ever been a mother in. And soon, we are leaving.
We aren't going far, just a mile down the road.
But my kids won't be able to run to their grandparents house to grab a banana. They won't be able to look out their windows and see their Oma putting clothes on the line.
That path will need to be torn out. The grass will grow back in it's spot, and I'll make a new home at the other end of town.
At the other end of town there is an old cottage that I love, a cottage that Tom and I will buy together, an old cottage that we will turn into our home.
And one day we will probably bring home a fourth baby to that old cottage. And we'll host parties and we'll hang pictures and we'll plant a garden.
And I am so excited for the life that we will live just one mile away, but first we have to leave, and boy is leaving hard.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Arlo Updated

Our boy loves to smile, and he loves to laugh and be laughed at. He is trying so very hard to say words, and I sometimes like to imagine that he is saying hi.

He has patented his own high five with an impressive hand wind up, but he frequently gets distracted by said hand and decides to stare at his wrist and fingers instead of performing his one and only trick.

In the 150th percentile, he is twenty-four pounds and wearing 18-24 month clothing at 7 months, but I think he will be the gentle sort of giant.

He tolerates so much: sand, heat, grass, loud noises, an older sister who tries to carry him around, but he judges. His eyes quietly judge.

And despite all of his perfectly adorable two-toothed smiles, his face is serious, though it is also smart and so very soft.

He is a joy-giver and a peace-bringer, and he is his mama's baby boy.

I can't possibly imagine loving this little man any more.

Monday, July 15, 2013

This Weekend We- Folks Got Hitched

Celebrating love is pretty much the best thing. Celebrating love with pool parties, kebabs, sparklers, dark 'n' stormies, excessive cowboy paraphernalia, guns (?), canoes, pontoons, frisbee games, dancing, and loads of friends while at a beautiful creek side estate is almost more than the heart can handle.

Sena and Gus only left the pool to grab from the "free table" goodies: sheriff badges, sunglasses, flip flops, bandannas. Tom Russian danced with Arlo. Friends ran around helping to grill and serve, mix drinks and clear bottles. It was the kind of wedding where everyone pitched in and some people downright worked their butts off. I stared at the stars and felt good about marriage. 

The next morning we devoured donuts with abandon, and the kid, including the oh so buoyant Arlo,swam and swam until the real world beckoned.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

The Importance of Losing

This spring Sena wrote a play for a local children's play-writing competition. I was so proud of her for working hard  and trying something new. And I am certain that if she had won that competition, I would have been very proud of her. But she didn't win, and as it turns out, I think I'm even more proud of her.
That kid asked me everyday for weeks how many more days until May 30th, the day they would announce the winner. She was so excited and nervous and anxious.
And on the afternoon of May 30th, when I told her that she didn't win, she took the loss like a true champion. Disappointment was written all over her sweet, little face. Tears gathered behind her big, brown eyes, but she smiled and said, "That's fine, but I still want to do my play."
She decided to cast my cousins and two of the neighbors and to perform the play in front of friends and family in the yard.
It was absolutely adorable, and it made my mama's heart proud.

But what I'm most proud of is that my girl was so willing to try, to put herself out there, to risk failure. And she did not let that failure let her down, or dampen her spirit. In the end, I think not winning was more beneficial than winning ever could have been. It's important to learn how to lose, and to learn how to get up from that lose and keep going.

Her play was wonderfully received, although she did inform me that my difficulty memorizing lines means I will not be cast in future performances. They closed the play with a song the three girls wrote entitled "Love is Amazing." My eight year-old is writing love songs; how did this happen?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

This Weekend We- Brooklyn Style

Last weekend Arlo and I drove my best friend in this world back to Brooklyn and spent a couple of days exploring. We saw this play, a walking mystery, history tour of Brooklyn Heights, and we chatted with the director afterwards over a beer at the Indian restaurant. We ate the most delicious brunch at Applewood in Park Slope and the whole staff took turns holding my perfect lump of a baby. We shopped around Williamsburg, buying jangle and trinkets. We did a whole lot of walking and even more sweating.
What I didn't do was take pictures; all I have is this one picture encapsulating so much that I love: my dear friend, my sweet boy, and cheese-- stinky, spectacular cheese that we ate in her apartment while the boy slept, punctuating our conversation with TED talks and memories.

And then Arlo and I drove back home alone, and I got mad at her all over again for moving to Brooklyn.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Best Part

My favorite part of the party is usually the day after the party, waking up with a house full of friends, walking down the boardwalk to the bakery for bagel sandwiches,  spending the day swimming, jet skiing,  eating leftovers, picking crabs. You reminisce about twelve hours ago and twelve years ago, and you take a deep breath a you enjoy this sweet gift.

I am grateful for many things in this life, not the least of which is my family. My parents have always welcomed my friends, and they let us invade the shade of their deck, and use up all the propane grilling up burgers and hot dogs. They hold my babies, make cheese sandwiches for my kids, and laugh with my friends.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Thoughts on Being American

We celebrate America's independence early round here. Our town does it's fireworks on the third, and we always have a party. It is my favorite holiday. Cook-outs, summertime, swimming, and fireworks-- so many of my favorite things.You get to wear red, white, and blue, and play with sparklers, and drink beer into the wee hours of morning.  The holiday has no real "commercial" value. The expectations aren't too high, and there's no post-holiday letdown. It's the best.

But it feels a little weird that it's my favorite holiday because I've never thought of myself as especially patriotic. Patriotism can sometimes seem a little blind and thoughtless to me; there are so many people so proud to be this thing that they had nothing to do with. They were simply born in a place. And it seems exclusive--  the implication that you are somehow better than some other person who was simply born somewhere else. I guess I'm afraid that being patriotic can lead to not loving "others" enough.

Now, I happen to think the place I was born is wonderful, and I am an American in more ways than I probably will ever fully realize. I feel like there are parts of me gathered from all across this country; in my heart I feel like a New Englander  a Southern, and a Western Pioneer all wrapped up in one. Why I feel this way, I really can't explain, but I am who I am, and I am an American. And one of the best things about being an American is that we are allowed to be a bit rebellious, and we are allowed to question things, and we are allowed to disagree, and those things are a HUGE part of who I am. There have been times I've been so busy rebelling, questioning, and disagreeing people might not have realized how grateful I am to be an American. But I am grateful; grateful to be from the land of Lincoln and the Roosevelts, the land of Mark Twain and Woody Guthrie and Walt Whitman. The land of the free. The home of the brave.

Last week we celebrated being an American among my friends and my family. We ate fried chicken and barbecue, drank Coca-Cola and Budweiser, wore cut-off shorts and flip flops with old fashion rock-n-roll on the radio.And the whole thing was just as wonderful as this country.

Monday, July 1, 2013

This Weekend We- Buzzards on a Boat

Tom has become a fisherman, and Gus couldn't be happier. On Saturday our friends took Tom and my big guys out on their sailboat, and they spent the morning trying desperately to catch us some dinner.
The rest of the weekend was spent running around with neighbors and visting cousins. Burgers and rootbeer floats, attempts at catching fireflies. It was full of everything summer is made of.
Embarrassingly I spent too many of those hours feeling sad, sad because I wasn't directing Sena and Gus from beach to waterpark to pool. They were so happy and content to play, and I couldn't help but feel a little extraneous. 
Motherhood can be weird sometimes; I want my kids to be independent, fun-loving, free-spirited. I love unstructured play; I try to stay at the sidelines, but darn, if it isn't hard watching them grown up.
I could so easily become one of those moms who keeps having babies just so there is always some helpless little cooing monster who needs me. I'm going to have to learn how to entertain myself one of these days.