Mama's Dramas

Friday, July 11, 2014

summer days

This was our first real week of summer.  After two weeks of camps and one week of vacation we woke up Monday morning to our home and a sense of expansive time with few plans.  Lukas was at first totally disturbed.  He was in a panic to know what we were going to do.  This caused us to pull out paper and pencil and a ruler and make a calendar of the next two months.  Somehow knowing that there were many weeks full of plans ahead helped him to relax into a week without many plans. We called this week our down time.   Somehow, also, plans emerged again and again magically from the moment.  Here is our week.....
Monday....friends came over to play and we made muffins and then loaded back packs up with books and pillows and blankets and went up into the tree house to read.  It was raining and our plan to bike had been we sought out a cozy moment instead....cozy it was.  On Tuesday we went to Oma and Opa's and swam in their pool and ate lunch.  Then we headed to the river to meet friends and play.  It was a long, hot day full of cool water and play.  It ended in a wild and looming Thunderstorm.  On Wednesday we drove to Middlebury to see a puppet show.  The show was cancelled but we picnicked and played at the playground and then head back to their house we stayed for dinner.  Drove home and everyone fell asleep....not me though...thankfully.  On Thursday we rode our bikes to the library in Burlington and watched a magic show.  We then read books.  One book had a recipe for a cake in the back so we decided to bike home and bake the cake.  The bike broke on the way home and so we walked.  We still made the cake though.  We ate it in the tree house after decorating for our party.  Papa came home and joined us up there for some yummy warm cake!  On Friday we went to a beautiful public garden space for stories....bubbles....painting and some garden work!  We even got to go inside the libraries book mobile.  Lukas was wide eyed upon entering and immediately wanted to read inside it.  Julien wanted to drive it.  Julien also couldn't stop eating Gooseberries and despite my many warnings did not get a tummy ache.  We came home and had lunch.  The boys were a bit moody and tired all afternoon.  I think they needed some space and quiet after our busy week of having down time.  I think that I needed a little space too.  Summer is so full.  Even when you don't have plans.

Friday, May 16, 2014

potty talk

Julien yells from the bathroom "Mama, come here."  I open the door.  "Mama, would you still love me if I was a frog?"  He looks so earnest and concerned as he sits on the potty and waits for my answer.  "Yes Julien.  I would love you more than all the other frogs and I would take care of you and find you a really special lily pad."  He pauses and responds.  "And if I was a bumble bee, I wouldn't sting you.  O.k. Mama, you can close the door now."  And I leave.  I love him so much.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

memories to remember

I feel like I have not been recording the moments fast enough or with enough clarity.  I feel how quickly they are changing and have this false hope that I will somehow remember all their unique nuances and quirks.  Last night Julien could not sleep.  He kept creeping down.  It happens when he has a nap, which seems to always happen when he is at preschool.  Despite my begging them to keep him awake they have informed me that it is not allowed to shake kids awake or give them chocolate so that they don't nap....go figure.  So, he sleeps for 45 minutes and then is awake at night until past 10:00.  Last night he wanted to go to bed with me....and so I let him.  This is dangerous as I know that he will ask for it every night...."just a special treat mama, just tonight."   I can already hear him saying it.  He got all his animals and brought them into bed.  I told him that I was going to read and he could stay but he couldn't talk with me because I was reading.  He agreed.  I got him a book.  It was so sweet.  He lay next to me looking up at his book as I lay beside him looking up at old couple.  Then he started reading out loud.  All written text for him says one thing.  It says "I love you Mama."  So he lay next to me in bed reading "I love you mama.  I love you mama.  I love you mama." but he struggled and paused the way Lukas does when reading in order to sound as if he was actually reading the text.  Of course I could not concentrate on my book....The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, when next to me is my beautiful 4 year old son who is attempting to "read" and is pronouncing his love for me again and again....such sweetness.
I also want to capture the love these boys have for each other.  Every day the goodbye to Lukas grows more dramatic as he leaves for school.  They yell down the street "Bye, Have a nice day!  Have fun!  Bye!  See you!"  or Julien's favorite..."Bye bye forever."  That one sort of creeps me out.
Or how Julien hides when we pick Lukas up at school and then pounces on him with a hug.  How they spend most Saturday mornings making restaurants or forts or play spies or my favorite was last week on Wed. when we made an amazing puppet show.  It evolved out of boredom and a box.  The box made a perfect puppet theatre.  Then they got paper bags and made bugs and a boy.  The show was called "The boy who got lost".  They made tickets and a program and poster.  They designed lights and a set and created sound effects.  There was, of course, a thunderstorm in our show. 
When I have moments like these.....making a puppet show or last Sunday when we took our first family bike ride to the bakery...all four of us each on our own bikes!  During these moments I find myself grasping them....wanting things never to change....wanting to hold on to this precious, simple, sweet and tender time.  Or last night when we all went out after dinner and played a huge game of hide and seek until 7:30.  We were running around the house and hiding and giggling and screaming and having so much fun together.  I can't hold on to these times.  They just keep changing.  But I appreciate them.  I am so very, very grateful for this time and these boys.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

pesty sickness

Today, Lukas, 7 years old actually said to me...."Mama, I want my mittens in 5,4,3 2,1."  When my jaw dropped and I said "What?" he replied with "Well, you are my personal Mamabot."
Man, did I feel like that today.  I felt sick and Lukas said he was sick so I was duped into letting him stay home....despite the fact that it turned out he was much healthier than I.  It was a bad move.  He and Julien pestered each other all day long.  I separated them three times.  Julien sat on Lukas' head.  Lukas ran up stairs crying and banged doors.  They hid each others toys and cookies.  They fought over the same three blocks, twice.  Normally they are amazing.  Honestly, it is usually easier when they are both home because they have such a great time together.... They make forts and build shops or restaurants with real food.  They build villages with blocks and make art galleries in our kitchen and use the old camera to make movies.  They create a band or put on a magic show.  They play outside in puddles or ice or water.  Their stars were not aligned today.  I think there is some sort of alpha male thing going on or something.  I have no idea. 

I do love them so much lately though.  They help each other and play well and are so quirky and bright and interesting.  Lukas tells me his wild and twisting dreams when he wakes up and Julien is so full of particulars....wants to choose his clothes, always wear pajamas, costumes, shoes, black clothes.  Wants to pick out everything he comes in contact with....special spoon and bowl and cup and hat and mittens.  He has a preference for everything.  He is so into imagined stories as totally convinced of the water man in the basement or the magic fairies in the corner of our yard.  He will enter into a make believe world with such conviction....and I love to go down that rabbit hole with ask questions...what does the water man look like?  How does he talk?  Do boats sail on his body?  Does he have water children?  I get lost in those worlds and sincerely intrigued with his answers.  His creativity is so fresh as a four year old.  I am drawn to it.  Today he painted this amazing picture on the chalk board at Lukas' piano lessons.  It was so abstract and non symmetrical and unique.  I could have never painted it.  It was pure expression with not obvious intention.  He was so intent on every detail, erasing little parts and filling in with different colors and stepping back and looking at it.  Meanwhile, Lukas was pushing on with his piano, learning about Treble Clefs or Trouble Clefs as he called them.  I try not to get attached to a vision of them as artists....I can't honestly envision them as anything other than what they are.  I can't see them as the babies that they once were no more than I can imagine them as big lanky teenagers full of awkward and sturdy expressions.  The other day as Lukas planned Julien's birthday party....the games we would play and the scavenger hunt clues and how he would present his gift he smiled at me and said :Mama, I love making people happy.  That is why I love Christmas and birthdays.  I just love giving people things and seeing them be happy.  I can't wait!"  I love them.....but man, when I am sick....just give me some space.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lukas' afternoon rant with Micah

Micah, Micah, no, when I grow up, I want to be an inventor.  I want to invent something that cleans your walls and paints your walls and you don't even know it is doing it.  But what I really want to invent is something so that you don't use too much electricity, cause that is what everyone wants, because like, we can get energy from the sun and other things and we are running out of energy from other places.  So, I want to invent that....and Micah, if we invent that then we would become famous, like, everyone would know about the four corners of the world...not that there are really corners or anything but you know, we would be in papers and books and magazines and things.  I don't really want to get a lot of money for it....I mean, I want to get some money but I would really like it to be in a magazine or the newspaper.  i bet that right now even the president is trying to figure out what to do about this and we could help.  I'm going to take a lot of math and science when I go to high school because that is what you need if you want to be an inventor.  I like math but I like science more.  I don't really love math.  I'm choosing something that I like to do when I grow up because it would be more fun that way and you have to do what you do all the time. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

This is it. (a post that I never posted in September)

My boys were driving me crazy this afternoon.  It was a rainy Sunday and they were tired and off the wall all at the same time.  They were loud and goofy and pesty.  I so wanted a quiet and cozy house on this rainy day and it was not happening.  Julien finally passed out.  He had tried to nap at 4:30 and we pushed him through it...which was painful for all.  After he fell asleep I made a cup of tea and Lukas and I went out on the back porch to sit on the swing in the cool fresh air.  Somehow we both needed a little air.  He brought his books from school and read to me.  As we sat on the swing I thought "This is it.  This is my life.  Here I am in my house with my almost 7 year old son listening to the sound of his voice mingled with the creaking of the swing that I used to ride as a child.  This is it.  So be here." 
He cuddled in and I told him a Paco story.  He was worried that it might be scary and he didn't want to hear anything scary in the dark.  I told him about when I was little and would walk home in the dark.  I told him how I would look up at the stars and the moon and talk to them.  Up there it was not dark.  It was beautiful.  It is never dark if you look up.  The moon and the stars will always be there.  I told him a story of how Paco was afraid one night while out in his yard and he looked up and realized that there was so much beauty and brightness up there in the sky. 

After our story we were chilly and went back inside.  My head felt clearer and somehow I remembered that this is it....when the boys are wild and crazy, this is it.  This is the work.  This is where the learning happens.  This is the opportunity to meet my edge and be curious.  This is it.  It doesn't happen tomorrow or when I have a quiet second or when I take space.  This is what the training was for.  This is what all the space that I took in my twenties was for.  This is what the reflective moments in the woods were for.  This is it.  To stand in my house with kids fighting and exhausted and me trying to make dinner and to hold my seat.  Or maybe I don't hold my seat...but I go outside.  I get some air.  My boy comes with me and in the quiet and darkness I remember.  Sometimes when things feel dark and scary....we just have to remember to look up.

holding on

It is hard to fully comprehend the years that have passed since I became a mother.  I realize now how I fought so much of it.  I resented my belly growing bigger.  I was heavy and stretched and afraid.  It showed the world that I was changed.  It meant that I was no longer my twenty something self.  I was a mother.  One of my greatest fears when I was pregnant with Lukas was that my body would not go back to what it was.  Little did I know that nothing would go back to what it was.  I think that I fought the identity of mother right through my pregnancy with Julien.  The strange thing was that while I fought this new identity I completely adored being with my children.  I loved watching Lukas shift and grow.  I loved being the guardian to the world of firsts.  His first strawberry.  His first pony ride.  His first sugar on snow.  I loved the new speed that I was required to travel. (sometimes) 

Now Lukas is seven years old.  He is long and lanky and his feet are growing to be so big. I am finally at ease with this title of mother.  I am not only at ease with it I am deeply proud of what it means to be a mother.  Why does it take me so long to catch up with where I am at?

There are still so many firsts.  Tonight we had our first family movie night.  We watched The Black Stallion.  Lukas wanted to make it cozy.  He brought every pillow into the bed.  (I love that he cares about cozy and he loves having us all there)  Jorg got the heater.  Julien wanted to wear his footie pajamas.  Actually he wanted to wear 4 different pairs of footie pajamas all at once but settled for changing them throughout the movie.  (He has a pajama obsession at the moment.  It was footwear and then it was super hero costumes and now it is pajamas...or his overalls over pajamas.)  I really don't care what he wears as long as he is warm enough.  I get that it is all fleeting and changing. 

I find myself continually looking forward and looking back.  I look back longingly at the early days as they have truly passed and I look forward at the future with apprehension and uncertainty and I look at now with deep gratitude.  Walking Lukas to school.  Walking home slowly with Julien as he jumps in puddles.  Playing board games with them.  Making seasonal decorations.  Making muffins and crepes with Julien.  Reading endless books with them.  Somehow these children try to teach me that I cannot hold on to what is and that I do need to trust that what is to come offers equally beautiful gifts.  Just as I tried to hold onto my twenties in deep fear of motherhood and its strange landscape, so do I cling to their toddler years.  But there are movies to be watched and mountains to be climbed.  Just today Lukas and I were planning how we would be in a band together when he was 21.  He would play the guitar and Julien would play drums or keyboard and I would be the singer.  Who knows.  Really, who knows what it all will bring.  So, as the first snow falls and the boys snuggle in bed I just simply try to feel all this love and then let it all go and out....because I just cannot hold onto it all.

Friday, October 04, 2013

little boys thoughts

Julien has shared some interesting thoughts with me lately.  He has often come out with abstract or curious observations.   He announced the other day that he was allergic to himself.  He told several people.  Then he laughed with pride.  Tonight as we lay in his dark room and he shared his fear of waking up alone in the dark and needing Lukas there.  He also told me that a gravestone is something for when we die and that we write our names on it.  He then whispered "soon we are going to have a gravestone."  It is hard to feel slightly creeped out when your three year old whispers something like this to you in a dark room.  But I held my ground and responded "Hopefully not soon but someday we will."  "Will the house fall over on our gravestones?"  He asked.  "No."  I replied and stroked his white peach fuzz hair. 
He has been having a reoccurring dream where he finds a dead cat and then throws it in the trash.  When he throws it in a ghost appears and chases him.  The ghost has a bag on its face, so he cannot see who it is.
When I was a child I believed in ghosts and magic and all sorts of things.  The lines between what was real and what was imagined were very unclear.  At times I let myself wander into that world of child like mystery and wild possibility.  It is a beautiful and terrifying place.  It reminds me that while childhood is so very precious it is not all fairy princess' and plush bunnies.  It is a scary place where anything can happen and nothing is quite understood.  It is a place where we need a lot of faith and trust and a strong hand to hold.  Maybe when we grow up there can still be place for magic and long as we too have a lot of faith and trust and a strong hand to hold as well.