Sweet Brightness, Aliveness, Take-Me-Now-Ness

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about my daughters these days. Not in these large sweeping grandiose ways about the depth of our relationship or how I came to be their mama, or how incredibly quickly the time has passed. I try not to get hung up on what they are learning from me and what they will carry with them that they learned under my roof and the cosmos that orchestrated it all to come to pass.
2016-05-08 01.28.40No. Lately I’ve been investing more mind and heart space to more bite-sized tidbits… things I can manage and process and appreciate in the immediate.  The things that spark my senses and make me stop and pay attention. I marvel at the way the sun makes Cate’s hair look like it’s a golden crown, literally golden threads streaming down her back in this wild and reckless nest of soft hair. Or how Taylor’s deepening voice sounds more like a song when she talks about the things that she loves – Harry Potter books, science, and soccer. I pay attention to how it feels when Caitlyn takes my hand when we’re watching a movie. Her soft, no longer tiny hands that seek out mine automatically and the small smile that curls on the edges of her mouth when she feels me gently squeeze. Three times for “I love you,” Two times for “I need you” and one time for “I’m here.”

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Little Bargains

Two nights ago, I heard my daughter Cate whispering to our dog, Chase Muttley. She was kneeling down, very close to his face her little hands scratching him behind his tall ears. I couldn’t begin to guess what she was saying but I assumed her murmurs to be sweet nothings or puppy/baby talk. She finished speaking to him, sat up far enough to kiss him on the head, and skipped back over to the couch where I was sitting. She jumped and spun to land with a plop next to me, smiling like a fool and buried herself under the blanket to finish watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas on television with me.

catechase
Her cheeky return to the couch had me curious as to what they’d been “discussing.” She gave no indication of sharing with me. Minutes passed and I finally had to ask her, “What were you and Chase talking about?”

“I was telling him to sleep well tonight.” She said matter-of-factly.

“Oh did you?” I said back. “How sweet of you.”

Her little mouth quivered at the edges, as if there were more to the story…

“I told him to sleep well, cuz, I was probably going to be sneaking into your room after you went to bed and I didn’t want him to scratch around his kennel so you could hear me coming!” Her eyes were bright and shiny by the time she finished speaking. She then erupted into giggles. Her little cackle filling the room.

“And how do you know he will listen to you?” I asked.

“Because mom, I asked him very, very nicely, gave him lots of kisses and promised I’d give him treats. Chase LOOOOOOOVES treats!”

I’m not sure if she followed through on her end of the bargain, but Chase didn’t make a peep all night and I woke up with that little blondie sleeping soundly next to me in the morning.

 

Life Lesson #25 Take it All IN

by Carrie Adams

I suppose around one’s birthday we become a bit more reflective, a touch more nostalgic, and perhaps even a bit more fearfully aware of the passage of time that seems to be speeding up over the years. There was a day I couldn’t imagine being in my mid-thirties and now here I am firmly there. I’ll admit, it sometimes takes my breath away when I catch a glimpse of my 13-year-old who stands nearly as tall as me, who without any effort I can still hear her toddler giggles bubbling up under the covers with her stuffed animals and Cheerios, brown curls flowing around her ears and her toothless smile greeting me with joy when I “discover” her hiding there. Without any trouble, I can still feel the warmth of her little body tucked into my arms, pacing the floors at 2AM singing her back to sleep. She can’t remember those moments herself, I’ll have to settle for telling her about those days when she’s willing to sit and talk for more than a moment. Today, I am lucky if I get a good night hug every evening… though I’ll never stop asking for them.

I sometimes feel tightness in my chest, when I see my blonde little Cate, her now long legs sticking out from underneath her cutoff jean shorts and scabbed knees from sliding in the dirt, reading aloud from chapter books instead of lounging patiently in my lap laying against my chest; her listening to me read her favorite board books as she points to the pictures and squealing with delight. I can still picture her round belly sticking out above her diaper as she ran through the halls of the house on much shorter legs begging me to chase her, blue eyes twinkling. She still lingers in my lap and lets me hold her close – though I imagine those days are numbered too as she will continue to grow and will slip ever so slightly from my motherly grasp more and more each day.

They overwhelm me with their spirit and energy, with their very existence. I cherish them. I cherish the mere fact that we are walking this Earth together – I couldn’t be more grateful. I live in earnest pursuit of being present in the moments I share with them, even as they pass too quickly. Sometimes I have to hold back from begging… begging them, begging this life to just slow down, just a bit… Just long enough for me to gather it all in and let their days (and mine) last a bit longer.

In the event I cannot slow time and I cannot stop their growing up before my very eyes so quickly, I will remind myself daily to take in the moments – especially the little ones – because that is where the love resides.