Saturday, August 21, 2010

Love is in the air



I love weddings. Well, there is the cake, obviously. And a good excuse to get dressed up and indulge in an excess of family photographs.

But a good thing gets a bazillion times better when my very own kids get to participate in the wedding party. There just isn't any greater parenting reward then to see them walking down the aisle, all spit-shined, tuckedin, fluffed up, triple combed and acting their Sunday best. I puff up with each overheard whisper of "aren't they adorable" and "they are just precious" and frankly, I couldn't agree more. Strangers ask to photograph them or be photographed with them, and I begin to think about renting them out professionally. Further, the enormity of the occasion forces them to become still and quiet. Still AND quiet, I said! (Well, technically, Lucie wasn't completely silent. She did walk down the bridesmaid line-up asking each one the name of their favorite princess.) I am so so proud.

Don't forget the dancing! The Wagner dance team can clear a dance floor! We bring the sprinkler, the lawn mower, the worm, a booty shake, and even raise the roof on occasion. Lucie attached herself to a 5-year-old and wouldn't let him go, until she discovered that he couldn't swim. "Oh well," she said. "I still love him." (Only group dating for that one.)

The longer I am married, the more meaningful the ceremony becomes. I listen to the promises that are being made, and think to myself, "they have no idea." And neither did I. But what luck that I made those promises, and that Rob was willing to make them to me. Two of us walked down that aisle 18 years ago, and now there are five. God is good.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Times, they are a changin'

Our baby is a baby no more. At 21 months, Violet grows longer by the hour, stretching out that precious baby chub. We are down to one last luscious thigh roll. Her hair retains a natural baby mullet, but when I twist it into two piggy tails at the back of her head, that dimpled smile and those sweet round cheeks melt all resolve. Although she still isn't talking, a few words have started to emerge. "Toodles" and "hot dog," both learned from her favorite Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show, aren't terribly helpful in deciphering her foot-stomping finger-pointing grunts. She'd follow Lucie to the moon, but won't hesitate to defend herself with a nasty bite. I'm not sure we'll ever convince her to give up milk bottles. In the meantime, I'm enjoying all of the nigh-night cuddles that I can.

Even petite little Lucie is growing. She's thrown nearly all of her beloved uh-ohs away, hanging on to a last lone pink one with typical ferocity. She wiggles her teeth daily, hoping for movement and the promise of a fairy visit. Letters and numbers are starting to click: she can nearly write her name and won't pass up an opportunity to find things that are four, just like her. She loves to role play, and her active imagination seldom disappoints. "Mommy" is a favorite game, and I've been chastened recently to hear her mimic what must be my unintentional mantra, "I don't have time for this!" A conversation with Lucie is always worth documenting, guaranteeing me lots of good antidotes for the lean teenage years. It is rare that we make it out the door without a fashion meltdown, and woo to the person who proposes a change in plans. Lucie has forced me to find energy reserves long hidden. Her face appears at my bedside each morning a tiny bit thinner than the day before, with crazy-haired beauty more beautiful than sunshine.

Grayson, my boy, is slowly becoming a man. His shoulders have a subtle buldge, his feet have nearly outgrown mine, and the fourth grade back-to-school supplies included deodorant. His chunky monkey toddler physique has stretched into taffy pulled long and lean. Emotions are intense, full of drama, and constantly simmering just below the surface. Nothing says love to him more than a present, preferably one purchased at GameStop. Time spent at home is "boring," only a way to pass the time in between play dates with friends. Still, he is tender hearted and affectionate, not afraid to scream, "I love you Mom!" across the summer camp courtyard. When I've had a bad day, he is the first to pick up on it, and take charge of dinner or a back rub. Watching him interact with his sisters fills me deeply. I worry about his lack of drive towards anything but the possibility of owning a puppy. This summer he learned to surf, and the freckles across his nose quadrupled in the process. I go to kiss them, and discover it is just beach tar.

The days are passing by so quickly. I can't hold on to them tightly enough.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Punishment

"Mommy, I'm trying hard to only think about punishing thoughts, but it is so boring and happy things keep getting in!"