Sunday, September 7, 2014


I believe that a few quiet moments, lying in the grass, watching the clouds is one of the best things a person can do for herself.

The trick is to forget all of the other things that one could or should be doing and to tune out any little people who may or may not be rough-housing in the close proximity. Just lie still, ants and bugs and creepy-crawlers be damned. Don't let those bugs convince you to opt for a chair... it's not the same. There is so much more perspective to be gained from a low, out-stretched posture.

Amongst other things, in my mini therapy session today, I learned that Hank is quite the little grasshopper wrangler. His stalking technique is second only to that of the gals.

Unlike the gals, Hank has no interest in eating these jumbo bugs, he'd much rather toss them around until they're sufficiently docile... at which time it's acceptable to roll on them.

I'm not sure why he rolls on them. They don't smell all that gross. They're hard exoskeleton is pretty rough. And they blend into the surroundings, making it tough to continue the process of rolling, without some intense post-roll searching.

After watching him for a while, I came to the conclusion, that for small dogs, rolling in a small catch... no matter what it is, is just instinct. Instinct is pretty powerful, for all of us.

As a mamma, instinct tells me which cries are induced by pain and which are simply a ruse. Instinct tells me that when three little people are playing quietly together in the next room, I need to investigate - post-haste. Instinct helps me decipher the different meaning of tears.

Instinct, combined with common sense and a heart filled with love, makes the days of being mamma a little easier... especially when one of those days has involved a lengthy lounging in the shade of a tree, under a big blue sky... with or without a grasshopper chasing dog close at hand.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


For the first time ever, Ellie left the house this morning, alone with her Daddy. She wasn't a part of a pair, she was just Ellie Bug, all by herself. She was excited to be the only one going to daycare. She was excited for a measure of autonomy.

She got herself dressed. She made sure to put her shoes on the correct feet. She selected her favorite baby to bring along. She smiled her biggest Ellie smile. She told me a silly story and gave me a hug and a kiss. She was happy for her new little solo adventure.

I wonder if she realized how much her relationship with Benett would change today...

Today was Benett's first day of Kindergarten. It's something he's been looking forward to for a very long time... he has been giving it a lot of thought... it's been worrying him a bit too.

Actually, growing up has been something that Benett worries about from time to time. I get that; I can relate. Those unknowns are scary.

One thing Benett has always known is that he has a huge fan in his sister. He's pretty fond of her too...

Up until today, Benett always had more in common with Ellie. They have this funny and special and electric connection... almost needing to be in proximity with one another.

To some degree that changed a little today. I knew it was coming... but for some reason, it still caught me off guard. I readied myself to see that little boy wearing a big backpack, walking down the long driveway, stepping on that big bus. Happy through it all... giddy with excitement.

What I wasn't prepared for was how that would change his relationship with is brother and his sister.

Being in the middle isn't easy. I am not a middle child; Monte isn't either. But I can see how it could be tough being in between the trailblazer and the baby. Not old enough to do the same things as his big brother does, and not as needy as the littlest.

Today, a bit of the 5 year age difference between Benett and Gavin was bridged. They seem to have this new secret, between just the two of them... an unspoken trust. A language that only school-age boys know how to speak.

A language that is foreign to a little sister.

She missed him today. Her friend at daycare told me as much when I came to pick Ellie up tonight. She was happy to be doing her thing, but she missed him all the same. I'm not sure it was that she didn't have her built-in playmate, that automatic, sure thing... It's that she was missing the person who got her. That person who knew what she was talking about, when nobody else seemed to understand. That person who spoke her language.

When she got in the car and Benett was there, sitting next to her, she seemed to feel relieved. Or so it seemed in my mind.

Tomorrow will be a new day. Ellie and Benett will go off, yet again, on their separate adventures, finding their own way, and with any luck they'll come back together to pick up right where they left off today.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


At some point it became difficult to write about the little people and what's been going on in our lives. Not because there was anything wrong... but because it seemed as though there was nothing new.

At some point, things just seemed to be so much the same. There were none of the major milestones that happen in such rapid succession, with infants. Instead, we were just busy. Busy caring for the little people... keeping all of the plates spinning.

But all that time, there were changes. Subtle changes. Not measurable on a daily basis, but changes nonetheless. They're all bigger, that's inevitable. But there are other changes too. Things that didn't happen all at once, but were so much more gradual. The way Ellie has become so drawn to music. Her taste trends to pop, but anything will do as long as she can understand the words and dance to it.

This summer Gavin worked hard and dedicated a great deal of effort to baseball. It was fun to see him get emotionally attached to his team and the activity. He grew so much and that was as much fun to watch as his games. He's such a wonderful boy. I love him so very much. And for every bit that I love him, he frustrates me. He's just at that age... he's trying to understand the world around him and trying to come to his own conclusions. Defaulting to Mom and Dad's "way" isn't really top of mind with him right now.

That too was bound to happen and like Ellie's dancing, it didn't happen all at once, even though it feels like it sometimes. I try not to get frustrated or upset, but that's not always easy.

And Benett. My little mirror. He will be a kindergartener tomorrow. He's so ready for school. When I look into his eyes I can see that he wants to learn. His curiosity and wonder will take him to some wonderful places. I can only imagine how he will feel.

He doesn't seem frightened about this new adventure and I wasn't either. Until after his orientation, when I rushed him back to daycare and rushed myself back to work. When I finally sat at my desk it hit me.

All at once.

It wasn't incremental, it was like a ton of bricks. This boy who has always been at my knees will not always be hugging my leg. He's going to grow, little by little, no matter whether the plates are spinning or not. My job is to document as much of that as I can... even if it seems like there is nothing new.