Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Epiphany

We are thick in the throws of summer around here (though you'd hardly recognize it with all the thunderstorms plaguing the land) and I have had a few epiphanies.

The most important being: I really like my kids.

I know that should not come as a new realization, but should be a natural, ever-present thought in a mother's mind.

And it is.

But sometimes it's hard to remember when you're constantly surrounded by the noise, nagging, and needs of three little ones.

This morning (and on several of the mornings lately) I have had the company of my oldest son on my runs. He's eagerly laced up his shoes and we've hit the streets together in the early hours. I was selfishly worried that the quality of my workout would suffer as a result of my young companion (I do eat all that cookie dough, you know), but that has not been the case at all.

This kid can really hold his own.

No one ever told me the elated sense of pleasure I would feel, having this little person suddenly big enough to physically keep up with me. Easy conversation, the back and forth between us is as natural as can be. He talks to me. Tells me things he's feeling and working on in his little 11-year-old world.

As the miles between us and home build up, I realize the distance between he and I shrinks drastically.

Back at home, the others have made strides of their own, as well.

Last night, the light beneath a door led to me discover Chase, still awake and reading. So wrapped up in his book, that all sense of time was lost. The urgent desire to see how it all ends was keeping him from sleep. His tired eyes sparkled as he told me of the book he just could not put down. I smiled as I shut the door, and left him to his happy ending.

This boy, the one who struggled and cried when he was learning to read. His letters constantly transposed and his eyes tired from the strain - often he was left in a puddle of anguish. And often I was left in a sea of worry.

I'll tell you what - I'll let him have that late night of reading any day.

And let us not forget the princess. She, who is sometimes the neediest and most loud voice of all. The girl who has been self-appointed as a one-woman tattling machine has lately been less consumed with what others are or are not doing, and more interested in her own pursuits.

I cherish the sleepy, rock star hair that strolls into my bedroom for an early morning cuddle under the covers. I love the sound of her voice, soft and scratchy, as she tells me of her hopes and dreams for the day.

She plans big, this one.

Always wanting to grab life by the horns, and so impatient when there are trifles like breakfast and showers standing in her way.

But I have also caught her watching me lately. Observing the way I perform this little job called Mom, and forming her own ideas of the way she'll do it herself one day. Makes me stand a little taller and strive to be that much better. To be more patient. To love more, and be cross less. To cherish, instead of just tolerate. To teach, and not just discipline.

Life is a series of peaks and valleys. And right now, I feel sheer gratitude for the mountain top I've been standing on. Here's hoping I get to stay here for a while.

Because I really like the view.

34 comments:

diane said...

I remember when my oldest turned 12 and I realized he could take me down in most physical activities. I love the stage you are in and I miss it. I love my adult kids and teen princess but I really miss those little boys and the baby girl.

I'm glad you are stopping to enjoy this phase with your kids.

Travelin'Oma said...

Your kids are so lucky to have a mom at home, who sees their potential and is there to encourage their efforts. It's great to have a day now and then when the light shines on your own achievements, too, and reminds you what it's all about.

Lee Anne said...

What a wonderful post to your kids! Stated beautifully and with such love. Enjoy the summer~

Jen said...

Thanks for this post today. I'm going to need this reminder of how great my kids are especially since we'll all be home together when school lets out on Friday. I hope I can stand on the mountain top with you too.

Rochelleht said...

Great post! I LOVE summer. My kids have been living in kiddo fantasy land and I have been right there with them. It is the best bonding time I know.

♥Shally said...

Yesterday was a valley for us! Screaming kids all day... :(

I am hoping to start climbing the mountain so I can enjoy the view too!!

Zana said...

My favorite post...I smiled all the way to the end.

Amanda D said...

Wow, Christie. What a beautifully written post. I'm in awe. What a great reminder for me this is. Thanks.

mae said...

Beautiful.

Annemarie said...

I'm so feeling this way, too...and it feels good.
You have great kids and you are a fabulous mom. Enjoy your summer with together!

the wrath of khandrea said...

holy smokes, CH. you made me teary here.

great, great stuff. i'm glad you wrote it.

Meg said...

Sometimes I think you are living a parallel life to me. My oldest is 11 too. (Boy). I haven't tried running with him but maybe I will...

Then I have a 10 year old boy and a 8 year old girl....only one difference and that's my 5 year old boy.

Beautifully written post. I can totally relate! :)

momy4him said...

thanks for the beautiful post! i wish i could write such eloquent posts about my kids. i feel the love but i cannot put it into words like you can.

Emily said...

I always love your posts about your kiddies. Makes me think I should get off this computer and go snuggle with them---see ya!

Dalene said...

I was just telling Maren how, even though I love all your posts, I especially love the ones like these: they make me pause, reflect, and cry. You seem to say how I feel, but much, much more eloquently. I heart you.

Bridget said...

Great post, Stie. I am loving my life right now too. So far we are on day 3 of summer vacation and I DO like to be with my kids too. Amazing. And how fun you get to go running with McKay!

brooke said...

Wow. This was pure poetry. I wish I could write like this and I'm very envious of where you are in life with your kids. They sound wonderful and I relate to so much of this. I know I will get there too and I love reading your blog to see what the future will hold for little bit bigger kids. So glad life is good for you right now!

Christy said...

What an absolutely beautiful post. I love when you get reflective like this, it is inspiring. It makes me anxious to begin the time I will have with my kids home, even with a teenager that must be with his friends, always. At least I like his friends!

Lara said...

Thanks! It's always good to stop and remember the great things about doing the toughest job you'll ever love.

Woman Interrupted said...

A very sweet tribute (that I read as I hear my 3 year old stomping around his room when he's suppose to be napping.)

What was that thing you said? "Don't tolerate, Cherish..."

I'm coming out of a mothering valley created by my own perspective. I like your perspective better!

Christie in Dallas, TX said...

Our pastor always says, "God gave us kids to make us Holy, not Happy", but when they bring us happiness, now that is a gift to treasure.

So glad your summer is off to a great start with your three little friends!

Nikki said...

inspiring! truly inspiring! thank you.

Lauren in GA said...

Stie, (do you notice how I always call you, "Stie" like we have known each other since birth, or something?)

Anyway...Stie...

That was utterly beautiful. I savored each and every word. I love how you described the tender experiences as you run with McKay. I love it when Evan (turns 12 next month) truly talks to me. There is nothing sweeter than having the kids open up to me. I hope I don't have to, perish the thought, go running with the child to keep having him open up to me, though ;)

Also, the way you described Chase devouring his book was so beautiful. I need to blog about Evan overcoming his reading problems. (If I can ever get my mind straight enough to compose another post, that is ☺). The words you used describing, "puddle of anguish" and "sea of worry" were so perfect.

I love that Hannah plans big. You are a great Mom. I plan to try to, "cherish instead of just tolerate and teach, and not just discipline", too. Thank you for this post.

Alissa said...

wonderful wonderful post stie... i've got quite a few more years till I'm where you are, but I ardently look forward to it.

Cindy said...

Beautifully said! There are so many things about this stage in life we enjoy so much. There is also much to look forward to.

Robyn said...

Every time you write a post like this, I cry. I think you're setting a pretty great example to your kids for how to be a good mom. I'm in a mommy-valley right now...I hope to make it to a peak soon!

queenieweenie said...

Someone told me once that we are in the "Disneyland" phase of life. So true.

gab said...

Beautiful! Enjoy the mountaintop...I hope it just gets better.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your good example!

(throes not throws)

Becky said...

Sometimes I like to hear about how much you like your kids. It helps me to try harder. :)

Ilene said...

Good to read this as my boys are still sneaking downstairs 90 minutes after I put them into bed...

Taunya said...

Loved reading this post today, because you have put into words exactly what I have been feeling the past couple of days. The view IS really nice isn't it?

Hollyween said...

You put into way better words exactly how I feel about my OWN kids. Maybe you should do a guest post on my blog describing how much you love them. It would sound so much better coming from YOU.

♥Maren said...

You are an INCREDIBLE writer!!! You really are one talented lady... thank you SO much for sharing your feelings - 'cause then I can say... 'yea, me too'!