You're eight years old today, and I have to say, being your mom over the last year has been one of the most delightful and hilarious experiences of my life. You discovered your sense of humor in a whole new way this year and entertained me for hours with some of the worst jokes I have ever, ever heard.
You faced some of your really big fears (riding a bike, learning how to swim, having a mom who travels) and you came out on the other side more sure of yourself, more confident and capable than I first imagined could be possible.
You also made big strides in sharing your emotions, solving problems, becoming more social and engaged with the people around you. There are at least ten people in your life who waited five years for you to talk to them, and still can't get over how happy they feel when you call them by name! You're a regular chatterbox.
Your sense of yourself and the world is truly remarkable to me. I love your openness, your honesty, your love of potty talk and inappropriate "boy" humor. You know how to be fair and how to be a friend, and you don't hide your feelings. For all these things and more, I am so delighted to have the privilege of watching you develop and grow.
Here's to more mother/son dates, bike rides, silly late night conversation and our shared love of cereal! I love you, buddy!
We've been soaking up lots of nature goodness lately. We found this little guy on a trip to the beach. Josiah quickly sketched a picture in the sand.
Yesterday we spent a good part of the day at the river, hopping rocks and swimming. The end of the week calls for picking blueberries, raspberries if we are lucky. Some of our best memories are filled with nature.
What nature are you lovin' this summer?
Nothing says the 4th of July like fire. Since becoming a father, my husband's array of fireworks suddenly seem like they fit squarely within the confines of the law. It's not to say that he used to set off illegal fireworks. It's just that I remember years when I thought, "my, that display seems to go awfully high." I also remember going to other people's houses where everyone dove under the Adirondack chairs at the sound of a siren.
My memories of the 4th of July are of cousins who were allowed to light fireworks off of the cap to our well. We weren't allowed to play on that cap but for some reason, the big boys were allowed to play with fire there. It's a fond memory, peppered with slight feelings of gender inequity.
Now that we have kids, I am a mom. People start lighting things and I'm yelling, "YOU ARE GOING TO BLOW YOUR ARM OFF." I never thought I would be that person but here I am. Frankly, I don't care that I am that person. Do you have any idea how many people were in the emergency room today for injuries that could have been avoided? I'm just saying.
So I may have prepped my kids for the 4th of July with stories of getting burned by sparklers. I know, scandalous. The funny thing is, my husband apparently had already scared them with stories about getting burned by sparklers. Who knew that so many people had stories about getting burned by sparklers? I got a hole in my favorite skirt and a burn on my leg from a sparkler. Those things are dangerous. When we finally rolled out our little fireworks display, it was only when the sparklers came out that a hush fell over the crowd.
Nate went running into the house. Ethan held his sparkler until nearly the end, when he dropped it and ran. Me?
Held mine over my head, twirling it as fast as I could. I figure they have all the time in the world to learn to not be afraid of sparklers. It works to my advantage that they are now.
Happy Independence Day! Are you decorating your bikes and wagons for a neighborhood parade? Are you in the kitchen whipping up some yummy potatoe salad for a get together? Will it be a private firework show with sparklers in the backyard or are you heading out to join the masses for the big light show in your city or town?
We are headed back from a lovely beach vacation with tanned faces and rested hearts. While we endure the holiday traffic home, check out these 4th of July fun links:
Take the Knowledge of the Fourth quiz here.
How about all these amazing firework photos?
Don't miss the best place to celebrate on the fourth, you can catch A Capitol Fourth at 8pm on your local PBS station. It will be live! Did I mention the muppets from Sesame Street will be there?
Have a safe and happy day from all the Supersisters!
Right about now I'm way, way out in the bush of Rwanda, riding on the back of a motorcycle, wishing I had a little something for every little child I'm meeting along the way. I could be distracted from all the beauty around me by focusing on what I lack or what I failed to bring, but I know now that that would be a mistake. What these kids--and every kid, really--needs is our presence, our willingness to get down low and tend to the simple things at hand. A game, a joke, a smile, another drink please. This is incredibly hard to do, but it's not without its rewards. Kids catch our calm. They learn from us how to be still. How to just be.
I can't wait to be home with my kids in a few days after this Africa adventure. Here's my to-do "Be HERE" list. Feel free to share yours in the comments below.
1. Go bike riding.
2. Flop on the couch and read each other jokes out of Carter's joke book.
3. Let Madeleine sit real close to me (the way that sometimes makes me crazy when I'm working) and chit chat about nothing at all.
4. Make homemade popsicles or some other such project that I always say no to because it's too messy.
5. Sleep together in one of our big old beds.
6. Watch their shows with them, even if I think the plots are ridiculous.
7. Follow them around the house and kiss them all over.
How about you?
Ethan: Simon says 'stand up.'
Ethan: I said 'Simon SAYS!'
K: Yes, Ethan.
Ethan: Mom, he is NOT doing what I say!
K: I'm sorry, Ethan. But if we are going to get technical, he can't do what you say.
Ethan: MOM!! I am playing 'Simon Says' so Mason is supposed to do what I say.
K: In theory you are exactly right.
Ethan: Not in theory, Mom. For real he is supposed to do what I say. I told him to stand up.
K: Ethan, why do you think he isn't doing what you say?
Ethan: Because he can't really stand yet?
Ethan: Because he doesn't understand what I am saying?
K: I imagine that would make playing 'Simon Says' a little complicated.
Ethan: But he is really supposed to do what I say.
K: Where's Nathan?
Ethan: He doesn't do what I say either.
I know exactly how he feels.
I'm lucky to have a parenting partner who knows how to hold down the fort when I'm gone. While there might be a box of Lucky Charms on top of the refrigerator when I return (it happened once before) there will also be reports of actual baths taken, teeth brushing, kindness, comfort and getting to sleep all together in one big bed.
The rest of you might not be so lucky. Care to share what happens at your house when you're away? Can you rest easy when you leave or is it a veritable free for all? Go ahead, ask the kids. We'll wait.