Friday, April 27, 2012

This Moment

Do you see the butterfly?

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by SouleMama.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Afraid of the Dark

Z is afraid of the dark. 

It's a horrible feeling, one I know all too well.

Sometimes he wakes in the middle of the night shrieking for someone to come save him.  We always do.  Sometimes Daddy will lay with him until he falls back asleep, sometimes I scoop him up and hold him close to me in our bed with Bodhi on the other side.

As a child, I remember many a night waking up, afraid to go to the bathroom alone or afraid to even reach for water.  Not knowing what lurked in the darkness, I would call for my mommy.  

I would hide under a sheet, hating the suffocating feeling of a blanket.  The sheet felt so flimsy.  I recall breathing quietly so that nothing could sense me, even holding my breath at times.  Heaven forbid a sound burst through the darkness.  

I don't know what I thought was there.  Someone.  Something.  Anything unknown that would suck me into the darkness forever.

Nothing helped.  The only thing that mattered was someone to care, save me, listen and understand.  

I wish that I could explain to him that I will always be close.  I will always come when he calls.

I wish that I could help him understand that fears are meant to show us what we can go beyond.

But he's three.  So I comfort him and show him what going beyond your fear looks like.    

I wish that he could comprehend that he is the one that taught me not to be so afraid of the dark.

It sounds silly to me now, but even until I was pregnant, I would not step out of bed without reaching for a light.  I still don't like going up the stairs alone to a dark hallway, but I can.

I remember being pregnant and thinking, how can you teach a child not to be afraid of the dark if you are afraid of the dark?  That's nuts.

I remember making myself do things in the dark.  

My heart would race.  My senses would sharpen.  I felt so uneasy.

I began by going upstairs without the light on.  I would walk into our room without the light on then reach for the dimmer switch so that I could get ready for bed.  I would turn the light off and walk across the room, feeling like I had to hop into bed immediately, I did it slowly regardless.  

It got easier and easier.  I am smiling right now, thinking of a nearly thirty year old woman afraid of walking into a dark room alone.  

Now, the feeling isn't completely gone, I just do it.  Like so many things as a mother.

Sometimes, I hold Z's hand or carry him upstairs without the light on.  He's fine if I'm with him.  If he mentions it, I tell him, "It's ok.  I'm right here.  Did you know that Mama was afraid of the dark?  It is scary isn't it?  Look, we're doing it together."  By the time I'm done we're in bed with his nightlight on.

I hope that it helps him.  I hope that one day he will go beyond it.  Hopefully, way before he's thirty.  

But for now, all we can do is bear with fear together and know that we don't have to conquer them.  We can sit side by side with them and say hello, hands quivering and hearts racing.  It's the only way.

Now, if I could only enjoy swimming in a lake...

Friday, April 20, 2012

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by SouleMama.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I feel lost if I think about where I've been.

I feel lost when I think about where I'm supposed to be going.

But, I am never lost when I look at what's in front of me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Not a day passes that sorrow doesn't seep deep into my bones.

Stories from those that I love, near and far, known and unknown, or the news can break a heart and tenderize it at the same time.  It's those cracks that allow the love to flow.

It broke my heart when Z got hurt, my mind is still unsettled from that.

My dog-niece was buried next to Paco this weekend.  The mother of his children.

A close friend's father passed away from a freak accident.

The news in Austin alone continues to astound me with it's growing violence and sadness.

That's just the tip of the iceberg.

It makes me wonder what kind of world I brought children into.  It makes me cry when I think of the pain that they will endure in their lifetime.  I imagine that parents have pondered this for millennia.

Above all, it makes me realize the magnitude of the job of a parent and what examples I set.

Truth be told, they let me know every day what I should and shouldn't be doing.

It's up to me to show my children love, compassion and respect, so that they may give the same to others.

It's up to me to be kind and gentle, so that everyone receives the same touch from them.

It's up to me to forgive, so that the trespasses and pains others bring may be forgiven.  And so that they can forgive themselves.  We all make mistakes and do things we regret.

It's up to me to be patient, so that they can tolerate everyone and not get so frustrated.

It's up to me to be fearless, so that they may go beyond their fears and learn what they are capable of.

It's up to me to be generous, so that they learn to give and never expect in return.

It's up to me to give them all that I have, love, time and resources, so that they may experience the world in ways that Daddy and I did or didn't.

It's up to me to listen to them, so that they listen to others.

But when it comes down to it, children already encompass all these traits from birth.  Sometimes they forget them, begin to test them, or see alternate examples, but they lie in the heart of each and everyone of us.

It's up to me to remind them that they can remain well into adulthood.

I am so grateful that they have taught and reminded me of so many things, which in turn reminds me that I too teach them.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Walk With Z

Today, we took the boys out for a drive to see the lake and some boats.

Z enjoyed the drive through the hill country while Bodhi slept next to him.

We listened to music, chatted and decided to stop for some lunch. Then Daddy had a cool idea. We decided to grab some Schlotzsky's and some Gourmet S'Mac and Cheese and head to the dam for a picnic. 

We backed up to the lake and peered at the huge concrete wall spilling water into Lake Austin. Some people were fishing on the bridge and the woods were right next to us.

We pulled down the tailgate and snacked until we were content.  The promise of cinnamon roll kept Z close by for a little while.

Of course, Z was now very eager to explore the bridge. He and Daddy rushed off and immediately Z was drawn to the fishing poles. The guy knew Z would love to see the fish he had, so he pulled a fish up to Z's amazement. He ran and ran until they headed back towards Bodhi and me, who were slowly meandering along the edge near a lizard and peeking into the water.

Next, he and Daddy rushed off to the woods along the water's edge and Z came running back full force just as excited as could be. It was all new to him.

Daddy pointed out some honeysuckle, which we hadn't seen bloom since last year.  A year is a long time to a three and a half year old.  I picked a few stems and hurried back, eager to share the bounty. We showed Z how to gently pull flower off then stem out to get to the sweet liquid. Pretty exciting to a little dude that is curious about everything.

Then he took my hand to go for a walk. I handed over Bodhi to Dad and we took off to explore.

I love exploring with Z. I love how he notices every little detail surrounding us, taking in things he's never seen before and touching everything, absorbing every new sensation.

He told me about all the rocks, and plants, and water.  "What's that?"  He was fascinated by the water shooting out the dam. "Why aren't they all open?"

He led me on an "adventure" until we made our way back towards the parking lot, where he pulled me back. He wasn't ready yet. He wanted to be with just Mama a little more, no brother, just us. We aren't alone all that often anymore, so the time that we are is precious.

As we headed back the opposite direction, something rushed out of some high grass. A little rabbit!  What a treat.  "Shhh, come here." I picked him up quickly so that he had a good view.  The little rabbit paused.  It took a few hops and Z was delighted with it's little white cottontail.  Just like Peter Cottontail.  He squealed and wiggled.  The little creature remained.  Then Z wanted to get a little closer, so a few steps later he hopped back into some thick brush.  We just smiled and smiled at each other.  "That was cool."

We held hands the whole time and saw tons of butterflies and lizards on the way back, noticing each and every one.  He just talked and talked and I listened and answered questions.

We saw Daddy and Bodhi and were excited to tell them about the rabbit and adventure, so Z decided it was time to head back.  Our short little journey was complete, but as special as anything I could ever imagine.

I love seeing the wonders of the world anew through his eyes.  He really makes me stop and enjoy everything in a whole new light.  When I am with the boys, it is as though I am seeing everything for the first time along with them.  Nothing is ever the same.

I adore these boys!

Saturday, April 14, 2012


After an awesome park visit yesterday with some lovely friends we stopped for some fuel on the way home.

I noticed a hot and tired family sitting on the side of the store. A mother, a father, a baby sitting in a stroller with a few bags on the ground.

The mother walked up to me as I was talking to the boys in the truck.

She asked me if I knew Spanish. I replied, "Un poquito. Not really."

I listened to her tell me something about her family and that she needed a little money for food and a ticket. She was just weary and exhausted. They looked a little lost.

At first I didn't think I had any money.

I don't know their story.

I don't need to.

I opened up a compartment in my truck and found some dollar coins and handed them to her.

She was grateful and smiled, "Thank you."

I smiled, "You're welcome. Take care."

A man in front of the store cautiously watched as though he didn't want us to notice him. He wanted to be left alone.

As she walked back to her family he looked at me, then quickly said something to her and pulled some money out of his pocket. She was clearly grateful.

Z asked me, "Why did you give her money?"

I replied, "Because she asked for help. She didn't have any money and I had some so we shared."

I saw the wheels turning in his head...

Friday, April 13, 2012

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by SouleMama.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep...

Bedtime is my new spiritual practice.

It is for every parent.

Sleep is important.

It's important for good health and good moods.  Theirs and mine.

It's important as a break.  For them and me.

It's important for growing.

We all know that sleep changes as children grow.

Bedtimes get extended.

Naptimes change and wane.

The time it takes to go to sleep differs.

Rituals evolve.

I wasn't as good at bedtime when Z was a babe.  I'd nurse him to sleep and cuddle him until I went to bed.  He never awoke.  It worked just fine.

Bodhi loves routine, which has been awesome for us all.  Z has grown to love it because I started sticking to it.  Bodhi's been ready for bedtime at 7:00 - 7:30, almost since we brought him home.  He slept hours at a time from the get go.  He'd be asleep within about fifteen minutes.

I love it.  I never thought of myself as a schedule or routine person, but I am at heart.  It's taken me time to find our rhythm.

Enter daylight savings time.

Enter a whole new level of mobility.

Enter new teeth.

(Deep sigh)

Bodhi's cut down to two long naps, sometimes I can tease out number three if we're lucky.

Z rarely naps.  Thank goodness for "chill/rest time".

He has also pushed bedtime forward about an hour.

I've been fighting it.  I thought if I went upstairs and lay with him it would coax him to sleep.

Wrong!  I've been laying with him an hour or more most nights.  Even sometimes when we go up late.

I miss the hour or so we had with Z at night.  Daddy puts Z to sleep when I'm really late (other nights too, of course).  It's even really messed up dinnertime with our false starts, especially right after daylight savings time.  It puts cleaning way late.  I've had hardly any time to do anything I enjoy because I'm just tired and want to chill.

After fourteen hours on full time duty I. want. a. break.

The last few weeks it has really really got to me.  Even pissed me off.  And I feel guilty for my frustration.  He is an nine month old baby that's just changing right before me, as he should be.  

I guess after eight months of a schedule, I want it to remain the same.  Deep down, I know that's nuts of me.  I just wish it was more consistent.

I'm letting go.

Slowly surrendering.

The sweet babe is changing and I can't fight it.

Maybe it's a new way for me and Bodhi to have some time alone.

I've got to let him take the lead here and find what works for us all.

It's always best when I do.

Friday, April 6, 2012

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by SouleMama.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I Am a Mama

I am a mama.

When did it become not enough to be just a mama?

Why does any mama have to be ecological breastfeeding, crunchy, attachment parent mama like it's some contest?

I refuse to enter that contest.  Have at it.

I never even heard these terms until the last year or so but found that they are in line with how I am as a mother, for the most part.  I had to Google them when I first heard them.  These things come naturally, I figured.

Can you imagine what our Mamas, Grandmothers, Great-Grandmothers, Great-Great-Great-Grandmothers (and on and on) and Mama sisters around the world would think?

I kind of think it's funny.

I kind of think it's sad.

Is it not enough that I adore and love my children more than anything in the world and take care of them to the best of my ability with their mental, physical and emotional well-being and health in mind?

I adore being a mother and find that every mother can identify with one another at the deepest level, just like we all can if we try.

It's like every mother is a sister.

We all need to lighten our loads.

We are above all Mamas.

That is enough.

Deep breath and carry on...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

More Love

When I was pregnant with Bodhi I was worried.  

How could I love another child as much as I love Z?  He was my whole world pre-Bodhi.

Not that I wouldn't love and adore Bodhi, but the same, as much?  How would it work?

I felt embarrassed just thinking about it.  It sounds so silly now even saying it out loud.  

I remember talking with my beautiful ninety-year-old Great Aunt Inez about it.  She laughed and smiled.  I will never forget her reaction.  Her reply was, "Honey, it's just that much more love."  She looked at me like, "you'll see, honey, you'll see.".

You know what?  She was right.  Oh so very right.  

I adore each of my very different boys with all my heart.  There is no such thing as favorites.  As I tell them, I love you more than the universe times infinity.

Having one child taught me the true meaning of unconditional love.

Having two teaches me to share and spread that love further.  

It also taught me, more than anything ever before, that everyone deserves unconditional love.  

We are all someone's child.  

Sometimes when I get angry at someone, or think someone is being stupid or are just plain pissed off at them, I remind myself that they are so loved by someone, and why can't that someone also be me. 

That is the beauty of unconditional love.

We all deserve it.

We are all one.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Grandma and I took the boys to the Zilker Garden Festival this weekend.  We love roaming around the botanical gardens there.

On our way home there was a patch of bluebonnets so we stopped to take some pictures.

We always take the time to stop and smell the bluebonnets in Texas!

I'm glad we did.  It was a short, hot fun few minutes at the end of our adventure.

Sweet Bodhi soaking up some sun in the Texas bluebonnets.

He loves to touch everything.

Checking out what's going on.

Enter big brother!

Big brother hugs!!  Post tackle.
Bodhi loves any attention that Z gives him.

My silly silly boy.

Digging the flower he found.

"Hey, do you see this flower?  It's pretty cool."

Curious and full of love.