Friday, December 11, 2015

She's Here!

Grace Eliza Kate came! She really really did!

Tuesday night we took the boys over to my mom's for a sleepover so we could go in to the hospital at 6:30 am for induction. It feels weird to have the hospital on the schedule and not be going because I can't survive a second more if we don't.

Packing their bags to last a few days while they shuffle from Grandma to Kate and Sarah before we are ready to come home is a lot of working around and shuffling. But we got it all worked out.

After dropping off the kids, we came home and packed and tried to sleep the best we could knowing it would be our last chance for a while.

Wednesday morning we got ready and headed to the hospital with all our stuff (SO much stuff!)

We got checked in and met Jen the world's nicest nurse who would be with us during labor and delivery. She was so so nice. We sat around and talked and watched tv. I wasn't dilated very far when we first got there and I told her that the Dr. had rounded up to 3 last week, but he noted that he was being generous. I told her so she wouldn't say I was only 2 or 2.5. She laughed and told me that she was willing to be as generous as the Dr. because we don't go backward in L&D but that it was generous. Then we sat and waited and waited and waited. And took a bunch of drugs.

I was planning for an epidural, so when the anesthesiologist arrived for the morning he came straight for me. I really love having babies in quiet hospitals. Mountain Point is still new enough that there isn't a ton of traffic so we had all the attention we needed. I was more aware during the epidural than I was with either of the boys. I could feel everything he was doing, and he kept asking me which side I could feel it on. I leaned on Josh while Anesthesiologist was doing his thing and started to slump a couple of times, but he was able to get it in and I gladly stopped feeling the contractions that matched what had been happening for me for months.

They checked me regularly, upped my pitocin and did all the normal stuff and I got to know Jen. She and her family moved here from Tennesse (or somewhere like that) for a business opportunity for her husband, and it all fell apart as they were driving here. The landlord of the home they were planning to rent called to tell them he had rented it to someone else, the business deal dissolved and there they were in a moving truck with the life and kids. Remarkably they continued on knowing that they felt it was right and figuring that they'd work it out when they got here. They arranged a place to stay for the first few days while they looked for a place to live. An incredible story. Everybody has one.

I made almost no progress all morning in spite of the drugs and broken water, and when Jen checked me (still stuck at like a 4 or 5) she said "Oh she has a lot of hair!" and Josh and I looked at each other and laughed, because we have bald babies, not hairy ones. We just don't. So we laughed about how we knew better than Jen and surely Grace would be bald like her brothers, but it was cute that Jen thought she felt hair. She set up all the stuff, the sterile table and everything just because she had the time not because it was anywhere near time.

Then when she checked me again, there was another big gush of water, and we realized that the first time they broke my water, it didn't really go all the way and when she checked me she accidentally broke it the rest of the way. So yay for that. Jen guessed that thing would go quickly now that baby wasn't resting on a water pillow. So she left and said to call her if anything changed.

Serious contractions started almost as soon as she left. I couldn't breath and within 15 minutes I felt like I wanted to push. But when Jen left I was only at a 6, and it had only been 15 minutes so it seemed stupid to ask her to come right back. But between contractions I gasped at Josh to 'call the nurse' which he gladly did, though he had no idea what to say. So he just said "she's not doing very well...." and they came in to check everything. Done. It was time, I was ready. They got Dr. Ollerton (who I'd never met before) and by the time he was in the room I was already laid back and ready to go. I couldn't hear very well, my ears were ringing and I thought I was going to pass out, but I could tell Jen and Dr. were talking, I just didn't know it was to me. Josh was standing by my side and when I told him I couldn't hear anything he told me to push. One push and Grace was here! It was all so fast, I could hardly believe it and I was still thinking maybe it wasn't really time and I was just exaggerating the pain and making stuff up. But whattya know! There she was. In all her slimy squirmy glory.

They immediately put her on my check wrapped in a towel and my arms were far too weak to hold her up. I was laying flat on my back and when they laid her on me I knew for sure she was going to fall off me. But I couldn't imagine them taking her away. Josh held up my arms while I held her and shook and cried. When Tom was born he wasn't well and they had to take him away immediately to get him unpurple and full of oxygen. When John was born I wasn't well and had just passed out and they took him to get him cleaned up before I held him.

So that moment was new and especially beautiful for me. I cried and cried as I held her filthy little self for what couldn't have been more than a minute while she cried. They took her off to warm her and clean her and gave her right back to me. (bless them)

She had so much hair! Lots of dark dark hair! I could hardly believe it.

We took turns holding her and marveling at all that hair!

She made the classic Egbert pouty face within that first hour and had all of the Dr.s and Nurses convinced that Dad didn't stand a chance against that lower lip. Which is, of course, absolute truth.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Chocolate Bars

Early in November my Sister in Law Wendy sent me (and  other people who they love the most) this email:

Taege says:

We're selling chocolate for the PTA so they can make it more fun for our school. How much it is is $1(per bar). There are five different kinds. They are: Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Caramel, Crisp, and also Almond. Two weeks is how long we are selling them. If you don't want to, you don't have to. My goal is to sell sixty and get an animal hat for a prize. Also my favorite kind is caramel, so you know.

from, Taege

Wendy says:

If you are interested in "The World's Finest Chocolate" bars let us know how many you want and we will set them aside for you. We can bring them down to Utah county around Thanksgiving. Love you all!

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Lessons learned from this message: 
a) I am a sucker for a cute kid
b) Wendy is a marketing genius
c) I have 2 of my own boys who make me biased and I still think that Taege about the cutest kid in the whole freakin' world. 
d) Taege will grow up to sell all the things to all the people and all the people will love anything they ever sold him, because DID YOU SEE THAT TOOTHLESS GRIN? 

So that's why I bought a bunch of chocolate bars. Besides he's the kind of kid who you hope will meet ALL of his goals and succeed in every way, so you do anything you want to support him. Plus chocolate! Win-win.  

Anyway, that month-old email is why I'm eating a subpar "world's finest chocolate" bar with my lunch today. And every bite is delicious, but really it's just chocolate. (Except the carmel ones, which really were the best. Why didn't I just buy a million of those? I knew I'd like them best...but felt obligated to try the others just in case.) Also it's broken into 4 sections and when I stuff a whole section in my mouth I think that about that missionary who told me once that a dove chocolate was 4 bites. (That lady is nuts. but also probably happy with her life choices and able to walk more than 10 steps at a's that. Anyway, these sections are definitely more than one bite big, but that won't stop me! I'm an overachiever when it comes to chocolate consumption.)

The boys and I are reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Sometimes it's lost on John who has the attention span of a gnat (but can run up and down ALL the stairs 9 times in a row without getting tired), and sometimes Tommy has too much energy for reading too. But mostly it's magic to watch Tommy get lost in the story and act out what's happening "Charlie held his nose high in the air and sniffed the magical smell of melting chocolate as he walked past the factory" and get totally wrapped up in the story asking for one more chapter as we snuggle in my bed at night. It's been more than a week since we started, and for the last few days in a row, it's been one disappointment after another. (Spoiler alert!) Charlie's birthday chocolate bar didn't have a golden ticket. And he was never ever ever going to get another one because all they could ever have around there was lousy cabbage soup. But then Grandpa Joe wasted his money on another bar, and they didn't get a golden ticket, and clearly that was the last shot. And then 2 more golden tickets were found and there was only one left in the whole wide world anyway. So Tom kinda lost interest. Because Charlie wasn't going in there anyway. So what was the point of reading the rest of the story about 4 old people in bed eating cabbage soup? 

Last night I convinced them to snuggle up and read another chapter with me. (but only after an Elephant and Piggie book and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and the singing Silent Night book) and when Charlie found the 50 pence buried in the snow and used it to buy chocolate and scarfed down a ticketless chocolate bar Tommy didn't even care that there was no golden ticket, in fact I don't think he noticed because he was busy imagining wolfing down a chocolate bar. (It's SO fun to watch him imagine things!) But then Charlie used one more of his leftover two-pence to buy another and saw the golden ticket and Tom gasped and jumped up and down on my bed and all the people in the chocolate shop freaked out and the store keeper was nice, and people offered Charlie money for his ticket, and Tommy's eyes were as big as dinner plates and HE COULD HARDLY BELIEVE IT!!!!!! Charlie got a golden ticket!!!!! (I think he'll ask for some "chapters of Chaw-lee" tonight with no encouragement from me at all.)

Today while I'm opening my subpar "world's finest chocolate bar" I half expect to find a golden ticket. And I'm thinking about what a shame it is that Tom has probably never ever opened a full sized chocolate bar in his whole life. And that's why even though he has a cold and shouldn't be eating sugar, I think today I'll find him a chocolate bar, and let him open it carefully from the top corner and wolf it down Charlie-style just so he knows what it's like to peel back the wrapper from a chocolate bar for real and see the glorious deliciousness inside and maybe care or maybe not care about the golden ticket that isn't inside.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Holiday Preparation

Spence and Em came to visit from Reno - which is always fun, and totally exhausting because it means we party ALL the time.Josh worked Thursday and Friday, which I spent with my family. Thursday I was barfy-sick. Friday I was tired-sick. Saturday morning when Josh was with me at my mom's I passed out, then had a breathing/heart episode that lasted just shy of an hour while the adults in the family watched/listened to me gasp for breath for 45 minutes on the couch and Josh held my hand and told me to stop it. Which is all they would have done in the ER, but I think everybody wondered at what point you take a person to the hospital when everything seems to be going wrong. I'm glad I didn't go, because the breathing thing passed, and really they couldn't drug me in the ER anyway. So. There's that. My mom is now finally on the "get out Grace!" bandwagon, which she hasn't been on until now. 

Sunday I was determined to go to church. I've been wondering if this would be my last week at church for a while. Will Grace really come this week? We sat in the short bench where we always sit and I thought about how huge her carseat is and how much space we'll take up at church. The morning getting ready for church was remarkably peaceful, but Tommy kept telling us he was too sick for church - I told him to come to sacrament meeting with me and we'd see how we felt at primary time. For both of us. Because the truth is that sitting up for that long is hard for me too. Only all through sacrament meeting he kept coughing this awful cough and he sounded miserable and everybody around us must have been convinced that we were spreading the plague. So I took him home just after the sacrament in the middle of a sick-nasty coughing fit. And when we stood up to leave, John just followed us. So I took both boys home and Josh stayed at church. At home we finished putting up Christmas (Fontanini!!!) and balls on the tree and snuggled and snuggled. It was lovely. But I tried hard to make sure we weren't skipping church so we could watch a show or play video games. We need to fix that being home is so much more fun than being at church. So there was no screen time until after church. When we had family movie day. Also lovely. It was the right amount of productive, and helpful and relaxing and fun. And it only took 4 days of holiday to do it! Miraculous.

Letting Tom decorate the tree is my favorite thing ever.

"I know it looks dangerous - because it is, but Santa's really gonna love this surprise."

In between the passing out and the not breathing on Saturday, Josh and I were trying to motivate ourselves to go home from the party at my mom's and I kept saying "we just really need to run the errands before we can't..." and it was starting to look like people were starting to talk about what fun thing to do, so Josh stood up and said "I bet I can run to the store and back before we figure out what we're doing" so I started to hand him my list. But in those 2 minutes, the guys got out a fun new game (which was a dude game, Josh would love and I would not) and the afternoon was decided. I whined about not being able to do the shopping, because I have seriously missed being able to do it by myself. Really. Truly. But I really really don't trust myself to stay vertical that long, or to be able to take that many steps in a row, or to reach the things on the bottom or top shelves. But honestly, I miss it. I was mourning the loss and appreciating the free time I now have and Wendy suggested she take me and we go to Walmart and ride in a riding cart and she'd take care of me if I passed out and we'd just be able to drive around shopping. The idea was thrilling! So we went. I've never even driven one of those cart things (holy slow.) and we shopped and shopped and shopped. I got some Christmas items taken care of (something to wear, a few stocking stuffers) and we went through the fun Chrsitmassy things, and shopped the regular old boring things, and it. was. lovely. And totally exhausting. 

This morning I unpacked the remaining totes in Grace's room, and now it's ready for Josh to haul bins up and down the stairs again. And then we're there! There's a space for The Chair and her clothes are hung in the closet, and Em gave me a bow board which Josh hung on the wall and the crib has bedding and the package of newborn diapers is opened and in the diaper changing station and aside from relabeling some bins, we have all the things taken care of! I need to pack my hospital bag, pick a "come home from the hospital" outfit from her closet and the snuggliest blanket in the whole world to take to the hospital. Dare I say we'll be ready before Josh goes back to work on Wednesday? Because then he'll work Wed-Tuesday and on Tuesday the hospital will call to schedule a time to go in and be induced. How's THAT for insane? Unless of course these contractions are doing things, and the swelling in my hands and feet and size of my nose are accurate in which case I'll burst at any second and it won't matter when they want to schedule my induction

Friday, November 20, 2015

Induction Day

When I saw the Dr. for my regular check, they (again) said that everything looks and sounds great and "anytime she wants to come she's welcome" we've been in the "we wouldn't stop labor" safety zone for so many weeks and I've been so miserable, that I feel like she could come any second. But today when Dr. told me I could pick an induction date I realized that she might not do exactly what her brothers did and break the water 2-3 weeks early. She might wait! 

So we picked a day a week before her due date when Josh is heading into a week off work a that is now the day. If she doesn't come on her own before then, she'll be here on the 9th. I can't imagine waiting clear until the 9th, but at least I know it won't be longer. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Baby Guh-luh gets a name

First a story about names from months ago:

This evening as I scrolled through facebook I came across a friend's photo of their (adorable!) baby snoozing in a crib.

Little John was watching over my shoulder and asked "who's dat baby? Is Baby Me?"

I told him no. This baby was my friend's baby.

John : "His name is called Baby?"
Me: "No. His name is Cooper."
Tommy: "Ooops? They accidentally named him Cooper? Did they know he's a bad guy?"
M: "Cooper is a bad guy's name?"
T: "Like King Cooper from Mario. He has spikes."
J: "Him only got one name?"
T: "Yeah, how come I got 3?"
M: "His first name is Cooper. (Which is different from King Koopa, but don't tell Tommy that) and his last name is Berry"
J: "Because him loves to eat all the berries? Like blackberries, and raspberries, and BLUEberries! My name Berries too!"
T: "No. You're John."
M: "So what should we call this baby?"
T: "Baby. Cuz it's just a baby."


So you see, naming the baby with The Naming Committee (including Tommy and John and Josh and the ever opinionated Mother-who-has-known-Baby-Girl's-name-since-well-before-we-were-even-pregnant) has proven to be a challenge. At first the boys wanted to name her Koo Koo Head and Poopy Face and Tommy really was sold on the idea of High Note (like the high notes on the piano, because she's a girl and a baby and that's what she'll sound like). But eventually they started getting serious with names like Pink Heart Sweetheart and Darling Baby because they figured out how sweet babies are.

As for me, I knew her name was Elizabeth Katherine (or Catherine? Or Kathryn?) Egbert. Elizabeth is my sister Sarah's middle name and Katherine is my sister Katy's name. And Elizabeth Katherine is beautiful and traditional and royal and perfect. She could have any nickname in the whole wide world (Ellie! Elle! Liza! Lizzie even Beth if she must or Kate Katy Kat!) She could be anyone she wanted. It was perfect in addition to making me tear up at the idea of one sweet little girl holding SO much goodness in her name. She'll grow up knowing her aunts well, and to carry even a tiny piece of them with her through life would be a dream.

So I told it to Josh who crinkled his nose and mumbled something about how he does not love the name Elizabeth and immediately vetoed the perfect name.

A few weeks later he told me it didn't matter if he vetoed my idea because he already had the perfect name for her. And it is Grace. Which is actually a name I truly love. But how on earth do you combine any pieces of my sisters' names to create one perfect middle name out of theirs? (spoiler alert: you don't.) Grace is a lovely name and a beautiful life-changing concept. Grace comes in your life and helps you gather your courage to keep going. Grace is a gift from God whether we deserve it or not. Grace is THE game-changer. Grace gives you what you lack. Grace is unearned and undeserved and Grace is...well....she's just everything.

For a few weeks I thought if I just started calling her Elizabeth he'd catch on and it would grow on him. It did not.

For a few more weeks we talked about Elle or Eliza. Which also didn't catch on.

For all the weeks he just kept telling me how perfect the name Grace is for this sweet one and kept calling her that.

About a month ago, I said "What about Grace Eliza Kate Egbert - she'll just have a little too many names, but they'll all be perfect." We tried it on for a while and the more I say it the more I love it. I don't even mind that her initials are GEKE. And having 4 names seems just fine to me because they are all the perfect name.

When we took "Grace Eliza Kate" to the The Naming Committee, Tom said "why won't she be an Egbert like us? Cuz she's a girl? Only boys can be Egberts?" and John said "you mean Heart, not Gwace." It was a statement not a question. When we explained that she'd still be an Egbert, like us, she'd just have 4 names they scrunched their noses and wondered how that was even possible. Then we told them that she could have LOTS of nicknames and if they called her Heart her whole life that would be perfectly beautiful. (In fact, I'd love it.)

So even though it's a mouthful, there's not even one name we can leave out without crying. So, (we think) she'll be Grace Eliza Kate Egbert. And we might call her Heart or High Note or GEKE or Grace or Gracie or Elle or Eliza or Kate or Katy or any other thing we think of. But whatever we call her, we're whooped.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Snowball the First

In fall of 2005 Josh and I started dating. But more importantly we started the epic battle of "who threw it first: the first snowball of the year" he wins WAY more often than I do. Mostly because he has better aim and the ability to dodge when we're both playing and he makes me feel guilty when I sneak attack him in bed. But when I win? It is with grace and beauty and exceptional planning and sneakiness. 

And since I know you're Team Amy (or you're a traitor!) I know you'll be thrilled to know that even in my "too pregnant and sick to cook or clean or shop or stay our of the ER" I THREW IT FIRST THIS YEAR!!! In my bathrobe. While Josh sat on the sofa staring out the window at the beauty of freshly fallen snow - like a chump. I threw the most perfectly packed snowball across the house up the stairs and pegged him right in the chest.

Then I threw my hands up in the air and did a little victory dance (waddle) and whisper-shouted "2015 is MINE baby!" and Josh laughed the "I can't believe I'm married to the coolest person on the planet" laugh and we all lived happily ever after. (And the effort of it all didn't even send me into labor.) 

Last year I couldn't find the score and was too embarrassed to look hard for it. I'm pretty sure that this year, on the 10th anniversary of the Greatest Snowball Fight Ever, the score is 
Amy: 4 
Josh: 7. 
(Unless I get double points for the first ever EVER from 2005. Or triple points for "pregnant while balling". Both of which I think are totally legit bonus points. And would make it a tie this year.) 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When Brene Made a Fool of Me (again)

I haven't purchased yet (but plan to) Rising Strong for a Brene Brown class I'm starting in January. So I started just listening on audible while I was at work this morning. Not listening closely, just kindof taking comfort in Brene's friendly and familiar voice and knowing that I'm soaking up goodness even if I'm not really listening. 

But then she starts telling this story (not a spoiler) about going to the lake of her childhood and Steve blowing her off when she was sharing a beautiful moment with him and the fight they could've had in their sleep because they've had it so many times ("I dunno what's for breakfast, let me ask the breakfast fairy, oh wait! there IS no breakfast fairy, because on vacation just like every other part of life *I* have to make the breakfast and do the shopping and make the plans and watch the kids and and and and.....") and that's when Troy (a guy in my office) said "are you OK to meet right now?" and I realized that I have totally stopped working and started crying at my desk and the guys have gathered at the conference table 3 feet from my desk and are waiting for me to join our weekly coordination meeting. 

I grabbed a tissue and a notebook and spun around trying to look like a professional while some other thing she said earlier (when I wasn't really listening) was running through my mind. Something about how there's not a neat and tidy and business professional version of vulnerability you can use to get through the middles at work. That you still just have to dig deep and be authentic and look stupid. 

And that's how passing out in the middle of a business strategy meeting with a guest professor a few months ago became my 2nd most embarrassing moment in this office.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Grace Eliza Kate Egbert

We talked and talked and talked about what to name Grace and couldn't quite figure out how to incorporate all of the things that were important to us. I knew that she would be named for my sisters, and really really wanted her to be Elizabeth Catherine, but Josh didn't love the name Elizabeth and really did love the name Grace. It's a beautiful name, and an even more beautiful concept.

We talked and talked and talked, and eventually (I) decided that she'd just have to have 4 names. Because Grace is perfect for her, and being named for both of my sisters (Sarah Elizabeth and Katherine Mae) was something so perfect and beautiful I couldn't let it go. We played with Sara Katherine and Mae Beth and finally finally landed on Eliza Kate. I know it's weird, but I love it so much that I don't care.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Night Sky

Bedtime didn’t happen until nearly 10 because of all the summer fun going on after the baseball game. After the kids had been “in bed” for about 20 minutes they both came running into my room to tell me something amazing. They’d been told to go back to bed at least 5 times, but this was something they couldn’t not tell me - so the risked the wrath of the post-bedtime parents and marched boldly to our room. Tommy was the brave spokesman. He took a deep breath – the only way you can tell that the words coming next are coming out fast. “Mom. We found the moon! It’s out there in the sky! And there’s also STARS!!! We can see it! Right out our window! You gotta come see this.”

Apparently they know I’m a sucker for a good sky. I followed them to their room, they ran to the window. I hope that the picture in my head of their mismatched pajamaed bums sticking out just this side of the window while they knelt on the window seat never ever fades. They’re still small enough to fit 2 boys in one open window. They showed me where the crescent moon hung just above the mountains. The showed me the stars and they told me that there were even “moving stars” out there. (satellites? Or perhaps the magic of a real live shooting star….) And when the stars stopped moving you could just keep your eyes open and shake your head back and forth and ALL the stars move. Little John shakes his head like a maniac and Tommy shakes his like a very slow metronome. And lookit! Some of the sky is blue and some of it is green! Plus the moon! Mom! Did you see the moon?! We found it! I knelt over them and stuck my head out the window to join them in the magic of it all. We pointed to all the things we saw and we looked and looked at looked. We soaked in the beauty together.

We talked about other times we might see the night sky. Camping. 4th of July! Tomorrow!!! It was kind of a perfect moment watching them discover something as magical and beautiful as the night sky. And I loved them for sharing their moment with me.

Then I told them that it was so dangerous to stick their bodies out the window because they could fall and it’s a LOOOONG way down to the driveway from way up here, and it was not ok to bump the screen out of the window and they should never ever ever ever ever open the window without mom there and if they kept playing with the blinds they would break and the sun would come in too early in the morning and they absolutely should not under any circumstance climb out of this or any other up high window ever. EVER. And to get their sweet little bums back in bed because it’s way too late to be up. And seriously. DO NOT GO OUT THAT WINDOW.

Miraculously the lecture about window safety didn’t ruin the moment. They gave me hugs and kisses and got their butts back in bed. And I can only assume they dreamed of the moon and the stars and the magic of the night sky.

Tom Hanks doesn’t know anything….

In general I think I’m a pretty good mom. I have consciously chosen some of the most important things I want my kids to know and I focus clearly on doing all I can to make sure that those are things they come away with. Primarily I want my kids to know that I love them. All the time. No matter what. More than anything. Because I firmly believe that a child filled with love can do anything else they want. So I tell them about a million times a day. And sometimes when I say it to Tommy he rolls his eyes and says “I KNOOOOOW mom.” And I say “oh good! I want you to KNOOOOOW.” And I ask him how come he knows. And he uses his most exasperated voice to say “You tell me EverySingleDay. Mom.”  And I sit back satisfied that I’m teaching him The Most Important Thing everysingleday.

But there are other things I want him to learn too. We value lots of other things in our home. Truth telling, teamwork, service, cleaning up after yourself, kindness, hard work, trying again, forgiveness, but most importantly love.

So when we signed Tommy up for baseball I had big dreams of him learning about doing hard things, stick-to-it-iveness, teamwork, winning and losing, practice, and maybe even how to hit a baseball – though that never climbed higher than 29th on the list. He didn’t really like it, but he got a cool hat and a “just for baseball” shirt. So he’d go out and play anyway. Then he’d come back exhausted and overheated swearing that his legs would fall off from “toooooo much running!”

During last week’s game he got out after hitting the ball and his little soul was positively crushed. We talked a lot about how even the really good players sometimes get out, it’s just part of the game, not giving up, practicing makes us better, and The Most Important Thing. After sitting out the rest of the game, Tommy was glad to play with dad in our own front yard when we got home, and I thought we were going to have a great baseball experience. Because Josh and I taught him ALL the things! Boom! Character traits acquired! Next?

But this week Tommy didn’t want to play when we got to the game. He hates baseball and he hates me and he's scared of getting hurt or getting out or or or or... and he was too shy to tell any of the million grownups who asked him if he was going to play that he didn’t want to. I reminded him of all the things we knew. He reminded me that he already knew that. He had given me the "right" answers on the way there, “If I get out, I’ll just keep thinkin’ about the next time. And the more I play the more I get way better.” Then he reminded me that he hates baseball. I told him that the people who play baseball games get treats at the end. Every time the team moved from outfield to get ready to bat I asked if he felt ready to play yet. He never ever did. 8 chances he had to join his team and he firmly said no 8 times. Sometimes with tears in his eyes snuggling into my lap looking for love. Sometimes while throwing his shoes. Sometimes while running away. With every inning the warm wash of shame closed in a little tighter on me and I was a total wreck.

It took 2 or 3 innings for me to remember The Most Important Thing. I told Tommy I was afraid that he might have forgotten The Most Important Thing too so I whispered it in his ear I love you more than anything in the whole wide world. And way WAY more than baseball. He looked up at me from my lap and told me that he hated me. I reminded him about treats. He didn’t care. He hated baseball. When we left – defeated – not even one second of participation, I cried. Because there’s totally crying in baseball, and Tom Hanks doesn’t know anything about 5 year olds or coach pitch or rec ball. Nothing at all. Lousy good-for-nothing celebrity spreading lies. Tom Hanks is now a cuss word at my house. There is crying in baseball. And definitely crying on the sidelines of baseball.

When we came home Tommy finished his school work, then went out to play with his friends. Because Hunter Blesshisheart came and knocked on the door to see if Tommy wanted to play. Hunter and his brother are on Tommy’s team. And in all of their childlike goodness they didn’t care at all if Tommy played or sat on the side lines. They just wanted their friend to come and play when we got home. So they invited him. And yes he did want to play. So he went outside and played with his friends on a lovely summer night. They drew with sidewalk chalk and rode bikes and played with squirt guns and ran around and played on the playground and acted like kids. They were kind and loving and welcoming and fun.  And nobody cared one bit about baseball. Thank goodness for good friends. Because I swear it healed my heart a little to see him outside playing with his friends.

I wish I was more like Hunter Blesshisheart. I wish I could go to someone who bailed on my team with my eyes wide open, full of love and hopeful that they’ll join me now. Or anytime really. 
I wish I was more like Tommy, leaving the hour of shame on the field and ready to pick up and face the shame people 10 minutes later. 
But at least I remembered The Most Important Thing. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pseudo Weekend

Josh's work schedule means we don't have a lot of weekends together, but it also means we pretend it's the weekend when really it's Tuesday.

Yesterday I came home from work and managed not to fall asleep on the sofa before the kids got to me. Little Big John ran up to me already in his swimsuit and told me "I really really REALLY wanna go swimmin today? kay mom? Now you home, we can go swimmin!"

Josh was standing right behind him nodding and smiling and hoping I'd agree.

So we all got dressed and headed to the pool.

Here's the thing about the pool. I love it. I really really love it. I love swimming, I love the smell of chlorine (gross! I know!) I love the cold of the water, I love floating, I love lazy rivers, and I love watching my babies defy gravity in a safe place. I love the quiet when you stick your head under and hear nothing but splashing. I love it all.

So I batted my eyes and looked at Josh with my very best bribe-face and asked if I could swim some laps while he played with the boys in the kid place and then I'd come and join them. He lovingly agreed and I had the most peaceful 30 minutes of my day.

I love yoga because you focus on your breath.
I love swimming because there's nothing to do but breath. The slow steady strokes when you aren't racing are comfortable and soothing.

After getting my fill of laps, I joined the boys for sliding and lazy rivering and jumping and splashing and kid swimming. Which by the way is significantly less soothing than adult swimming.

As we left the pool and headed for home I realized that making dinner sounded hard, and we stopped to grab Cafe Rio on our way home. We rarely eat there (because holy $ for a salad!) but when we do it creates a special occasion. The boys were sufficiently exhausted from all the swimming and partying and happiness and joy, so after their bedtime, Josh and I played a rousing round of Phase 10. I lost pitifully.

And we were all in bed at a reasonable hour.

So, sometimes, Tuesday is the winning day of the week. Watch out Saturday, there's a new kid in town.
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