September promises the beginning of change. With the first tinted leaf down to the 3 in the tens ticker for the two grown folks amongst us. I feel ready to embrace everything this season dictates, but a big part of me feels anxious and a tad bit uncomfortable with the unknowns…. But what would a new season be without some grateful anticipation built up behind it?
The first big day on the calendar is my sweet Miles birthday…. Oh this boy… Though it tends to be a common lesson in parenthood, I have to say this rambunctious unpredictable big hearted fellow has given me my greatest lesson life’s lessons. Yesterday, for the much anticipated day of birth, we had a relatively small amount of people over for a day in the forest. We made terrariums, ate snacks and cake, and ran wild. I kept it short and sweet: two hours. But, with the days leading up to the big event, my boy got more and more riled up and slept less and less and less… until whammo! Mad man on the loose. I get it. I really do. I am not myself in crowds. I feel awkward and frazzled and sometimes overwhelmed. But, since most kids love being the center of attention, I just plumb forgot, mine really doesnt.
So we halted the traditional birthday serenade mid song because he really just couldn’t take any more. His brother blew out the candles for him, and we did our best to mitigate the madness. He did well considoring our inconsideration, he really did. But oh in the future, I will plan something low key. Something for Miles. Camping. Or a picnic. Or something of that sort. Next year, I will remember.
There were some rocky moments ,yes, but I must say, the rain held up, the cake was moist, the company was stellar, and all in all we had a very good day. We feel right in this neck of the woods. We truly do.
I suppose expectations on our children can be our biggest hurdles to jump as parents. When we think they should be potty trained, or ready for reading, or behaving a certain way, or eating a certain way, or ready at a certain time, or understanding a certain concept, when really these markers do nothing for us except let us down or build us up (only to be let down at a later date with a different expecation).
Let them go.
I tell myself this often. Let them decide what to expect. They want to be good. They know what they need. Let them guide you.
Though this boy may not like the limelight… if I let him he shows me so much more from the shadows. In his four years, he has shown me every breaking point I never knew I had. And then he has taught me to forgive (both him and myself, which is quite a feat). He has shown me my way is not in fact the only way; That there are so very many ways to look at this wide world. He has decidedly placed himself next to me on his step stool for meal after meal to chop and slice and be intersted in every. single. thing. I am doing. And he has given me the strength to learn (and learn I did) to be patient and kind and helpful instead of rushed and frazzled and cranky. He has tucked himself into the crook of my arm deep in the dark of night more nights than not. He has taught me my space is not all that important. He has taught me warm soggy pink cheeks wet with frustration at a brother, a shoe, a missed opportunity, are the softest place in my heart. He is so different from anything I ever thought my son would be. And I can promise you, I am so glad for it. This ball of energy, best dealt with in wide open fields, has taught me to take on the world in big gulps, gobbled up at every chance, in staggering amounts.
This boy loves. He loves so much. But you know hwat he loves most of all? His Sarah. My sweet little sister-girl (or neighbor from another life whichever way you want to look at it) is onto big things. An impending move, and a little man turning four promted her visit and I can say only with my eyes brimming with tears that I am so honored to know her. Her grace and kindness and determination and thoughtfulness goes unprecendented. It is hard to beleive my little neighbor is so grown and so beautiful both inside and out.
But it’s true. She is. And she is a part of my family. And for that I am so glad.
And true to her giving spirit, the lady came baring a gift. And not just any gift. A family portrait, by the amazing Phoebe Wahl. She just so happened to go to school with this creative young woman. And oh I am so lucky!
She even included Lee’s Chaco’s. So cute.
We will miss you little girl. Miles especially. Every blonde hair beauty we see prompts tales of the famous neighbor headed west.