Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Reveling and Reckoning

I spend my days alternately reveling in the life as it must appear through a child's eyes, and reckoning with the struggles in how to guide them through it.  I revel in their independence; I reckon with the battle of wills to gain it.  I revel in their use of language: Aidan's imaginative stories and poetry; Leo's literary discussions about books he's read and loved; Pax's ever-expanding vocabulary and understandability.  Recently, he turned on the ipad and somehow queued up Siri.  She said, "Hello." He responded, slowly and clearly, "My name is Pax."  I reckon with how to shape their expression as their words turn nasty and ugly as they speak unkindly to each other and to me.  I revel in how much they need me, depend on me, how I am very much their compass rose - ever pointing them to their true north.  I reckon with the knowledge that these days are ever-fleeting.

Revel.  Reckon.

I don't pick up the camera nearly as much as I used to, in part because I am too impatient to remember important things like lighting and F-stop and aperature, and yet too frustrated with the mediocre results I often get.  Looking back on a month's worth of photos, however, I'm grateful, so grateful, for these moments of reveling I managed to capture.  I reckon I'll try harder to remember ISO settings in the future.

Some highlights and some revelings:

Oh, the simple pleasures!

Leaping Across a Blanket:  tongue out; pajamas on; shoes on the wrong feet.

He leaps....
...and clears it!!  Success!  Pride and joy clearly evident on his face.

 Aidan participated in his first karate tournament this month.  I was nervous for him, but wanted him to have a good experience and above all else, to have fun.  Despite doing well in the kata portion of the event, Aidan didn't earn a metal because there were so many good competitors.  I was worried how he would handle not earning a metal (I was secretly thrilled at the learning experience of it), but then he turned to me just after the awards were presented and he said to me, "This is even more fun than I thought it would be!"
 Later, he participated in the kumite (sparring) portion of the tourney.  This is the (only) part of karate that I really really dislike - the actual fighting part.  I usually avoid watching the sparring at home, but this time, I was glued to the match because that was my boy out there and I didn't know any of the kids he was fighting -- I was about to get all Mama Bear on the boy he was sparring with, but luckily remembered that they were supposed to be hitting each other.  He fought well and earned bronze place; meanwhile, I started breathing again.

Aidan, landing a solid punch

Bronze metal in kumite

Most awesome moment for me:  my tough little fighter coming straight to me for a huge hug.

Pax can be so naughty.  Have you heard that about three year olds?  He was supposed to be having a rest one afternoon, but refused to go to sleep.  He crept downstairs while I was working in the kitchen, my back to him.  He laid out this entire spread:  blanket; play food; cooking tools - and surreptitiously played and chatted with himself until I finally turned around.  With big, hopeful eyes, he looked at me and asked, "Mom, you want to have a picnic with me?"
 We noshed on artichokes and lemonade sprinkled with paprika for the rest of the afternoon.

Another day, I was trying to coax Pax into getting ready to run some errands.  He was resistant.  I left him in his room, only half dressed, but I was so frustrated I needed to go cool off downstairs. About 10 minutes later, he walked into the kitchen and said quietly, "I am ready to go now.  I put on my fire pants and my running shoes and I am ready to go."
The "fire pants" - given to us by Adam and Linsey when Leo was born - they are basically legwarmers that I used to style with rolled up jeans and a funky shirt, back in the days when I had more say over their outfits.  Pax adores these socks.
This is his look of contrition.  It slays me every time. How can I stay mad at that face?

....a better look at that face, plus the fire pants

Later that night:  Showing off his NEW underpants.....
 (Don't let the underpants fool you.  There's no potty training happening in this house, only conversation and "think abouts" as it relates to potty training.)

Jeff's folks came to visit and we headed to Maymont for the day.  It was a gorgeous day, and a fun adventure for us all: 

My Billy Goats Gruff!

Feeding the Billy Goats Gruff

Feeding the OTHER Billy Goats Gruff

Pax calls this his "cocoon" and invites Leo to join him - "Leo, you come get in my cocoon with me?"

 So much reveling.

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