childhood

One Step: A Photo That Says It All

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Parenting is quite the ride. There are up’s, down’s, pukes, poops, sobs, and I will be the honest parent here: moments of pure misery.

(Really? 6 AM? I’m not interested in Legos. I’m interested in sleep – I just have to be honest, kids).

Yesterday we celebrated the first birthday of my youngest, and last, son – Jonah. His story of how we almost lost him at birth was posted last week. I have a hysterectomy scheduled on April 3, 2014: he’s it. My last and final. I remember when my first son was born – I photographed, videoed every single moment. It was like – OH MY GOSH A POOP IN THE POTTY GRAB THE SONY!

But when you really come to the final realization – this is it – there are little moments we cherish, there are big ones, there are the ones in between where one of them decided to puke on my new pair of pants.

(My fault, I gave you 6 Oreos)

We decided on a whale theme – nautical. You know, the fun favors – sunglasses, curvy straws, kazoos, stickers – fun stuff any kid (and adult, I admit I was digging in) – we had it all going. We catered it from a special restaurant. We set it up to be all “yay he’s 1” (Okay really, the store didn’t have the whale theme I wanted in birthday – they only had it in baby shower but I was Hell bent on it, so … I bought baby shower decorations. Everything said “baby boy” … still technically true, right?)

Maybe not. It’s been through this past year, and juggling three kids, watch them each hit their milestones, that I’ve wondered why am I trying to rush them to grow up? Because I want to sleep, or a stiff drink while they’re awake, or to watch what I want, and not cartoons?

Yesterday I decorated as normal – a normal party. Cake. Food. Fun.

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I wanted to enjoy this – these moments. Despite the cake going everywhere, a few signs of a slight belly ache, and a hell of a mess afterwards, there were smiles, laughs, and love.

But the biggest moment of all – hit me out of the blue. We were opening gifts. One from my Aunt, a framed poem she wrote for him. I could not read it out loud, I began to cry. Someone else took over.

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Yet through the tissue paper, new toys, new batteries – something else occurred when we least expected it. Jonah, with no even hint of having the ability, took a look at me with curious eyes, smiled, pulled himself up, and stood unassisted for the first time.

My last baby – my special miracle – he was looking at me. My hands on my mouth – my husband’s hands over his. The crowd in the background like the last shot of a basketball game “GO JONAH GO! GO JONAH GO!” (I wish we had pom poms and a tuba)…

For the record, he stood for 15 seconds and stared. He smiled at the waves of encouragement, he giggled. And in his very predictable, yet cute fashion, fell right onto his behind. In mommy language “Go boom!”

Despite that the first step was not taken – that milestone meant the world to me. I don’t want to rush it, but the beauty in it was so compelling. And the best part – my uncle was taking pictures. He caught the exact moment my son stood for the first time – and my husband and I watching in awe as our once, fighting for his life little baby boy, stared for those 15 seconds like a drunk little man.

A picture is worth a thousand words they say. I cannot describe what it means to look at this picture – there’s memories, there’s that feeling in my heart that my little boy really is growing, my real last baby – is soon to be taking on the world.

Here we have a cherished memory. One I will never forget – and am so thankful – someone had their hands on the “push to take” button – while my husband and I covered our mouths and held back tears. We will never forget this – and I’m sure we will use it at a slideshow for Jonah’s graduation someday, or his wedding. But let’s not think about that. I will start to cry again.

He’s still my baby boy to me – who am I kidding? He always will be.

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The Significance of the Sock Monkey Cap

Here at The Overcoming we not only serve pie – but I often come up with the wildest ideas for musings, or rantings, that may not make sense by the title. I hope you giggle snorted a bit. This is not really about a sock monkey cap.

No I’m kidding – it actually is.

What is thee speaking of in such a weird title? Is this a metaphor? Am I perhaps describing one of my children’s toys that scares the bejesus out of me and I’m wondering why we ever bought it?

I mean, have you seen a sock monkey (AHHHH)!!

Alas, I am truly speaking of my own sock monkey cap.

Picture this: on Sunday, while gripping my iPad in my lap with two screaming children in the back, watching the Patriots lose the playoffs, we began a road trip to take my two oldest children home to their father up north after their visit. The weather people kept talking about a possible snow storm for Tuesday (yes, that’s today, yay, I got my days straight). Upon dropping them off and a trip to a local Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the final moments wither away from my beloved Patriots – we went to the gas station.

All of the cool kids were there wearing these cute caps. They were laid over their apparently hyperactive from ice cream heads – these cute knitted caps. Some of them were just in American colors. I noticed one that I think may have been the Grinch. I found my husband at the cash register – and in his hand, a sock monkey cap. He handed it to me – he actually bought it for me – “because you like sock monkeys” he said “and it’s cute.”

I held on to the precious cap until today – awaiting this supposed snow storm.

I am a SNOW LOVER – I absolutely adore it. It reminds me of peace. Have you ever walked outside mid storm? The flakes are falling – and it’s eerily dead silent. The sounds of the outside are filtered through the snowflakes, embedding them in their icy flesh – it takes that sound and makes it just that – nothing. When I was younger I would get on my boots and my cap – go outside, run, play, throw my hands in the air, make snow angels. Whenever it snows now – it takes my breath away. Time seems to stop for me. With each flake far and wide, or a blizzard, or even a simple flurry, my mind returns to those days of youth when I would hold my daddy’s hand while sledding down the hill.

I forgive you daddy for the time you dropped me on the concrete in the ski resort parking lot after I slipped off your shoulders.

Today I sat by the window like a little child. The word “bust” came up. If you have ever lived in or know the Central Virginia area – we often bust. Being so far from the mountains and so close to the water, we usually get the dry air sockets in which we get into a bubble of flake deficiency.

I knew it – it wasn’t coming, I thought. I ran for the sock monkey cap. I had a sock monkey as a child – maybe, if I took myself back – MAYBE I could behold my inner abilities to channel mother nature – and get it to actually close in on us – BRING THE MOISTURE!

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Behold – the power of the sock monkey cap.

Complaints flew in to the weathermen all day. Poor dudes. I understand their job isn’t easy. We wanted the snow. My heart wanted the snow. My childhood still locked inside of my often sad soul (missing those days) – really wanted that snow. My Facebook feed blew up with parents wondering why school was closed for NO SNOW.

I watched the radar. I kept touching my cap. I closed my eyes – and I said “Mother Nature, believe me, I understand it’s hard to answer everyone’s prayers – but for pete’s sake, you always give it to New York – please, for me, just let me see the flakes…”

I noticed the gaps closing in on the radar and I felt that sock monkey cap’s ego growing. It was coming. The low pressure was late in forming off the coast. So close …. so close….

1535407_10153752153910531_1609216405_nI could feel my inner baby girl with her eyes wide open and hands on the windows – breath showing (and I used to blow on it on purpose so I could mark my words like “yay” or “snow” or “mama” on the windows and doors… I could see that tiny lady with her sled grasped in her hands just waiting.

The snow began to fall at 3:45 PM. Right on time – I had said earlier based on the radar I felt it would close in about that time, and it did.

I’m no weather woman. I just watch – but I grasped onto that power of the child in me that just simply wanted to run out in a few flakes and touch them – let them fall on my nose – write on the windows – and I kept on believing.

As I watch the snow fall now and I point it out to my little 10 month old boy – I imagine the times I’ll have with him. It’s just the simple things. It’s the little things on days like this where I just smile, my heart opens, and I beam.

Even if the weather people were off by oh say 4 inches – my little tiny prayer for that moment of childhood bliss still was answered. Whether it was the power of the sock monkey cap (which by the way, I love, because it also reminds me of childhood) – or the inner belief that I could just for once run again like a kid on Christmas in those white fluffy pieces that fall from Heaven … or if it was simply that Mother Nature already had this set up – because we all know that I truly have no power to control the weather.

My heart is happy. Snow is good for my soul.

I am off to fetch a beer and sit by the fire and watch TV with my husband and baby – a cozy night.

But before I go … one last thought….

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