Saturday, January 10, 2015

2014 Wrap-Up (part 3)

Mother's Day has been, for quite some time, a really irritating day. I think I was expecting too much - peaceful, loving, quiet children, a restful day, languishing on the couch, relaxing to the extreme. It just isn't realistic. So, instead, I began to just really want a day to myself. How lame is that - the holiday to celebrate being a mother, I wanted to NOT be a mother for just a few hours. And, actually, the more I talked to other moms, the more I found we shared this desire.

Out of the blue this past year, my wonderful cousin Angela called me. She acted a little sheepish but said she had been thinking a lot about what I had previously said and wanted to share with me her recipe for a winning Mother's Day. I was eager to hear her grand plan. Step one: lower expectations. Step two: have one-on-one time with each child. Step three: realize that mother's day is more about children celebrating the mom than it is the mom celebrating children.

It's not a terribly grand plan, but it works. I told the kids they'd each have 45 minutes of my uninterrupted attention. We could go for a walk, read a story, cuddle, play a game, or whatever they wanted. But it would just be the two of us and nobody could interrupt us. They were ECSTATIC. I think with each one we read a little and played a little game. Mostly, they wanted to just lie next to me and talk. Imagine that - they wanted time with me? And you know what? By the time we finished what was about 2.5 hours of non-stop kid time, I felt much more relaxed and loving than I have in about 10 years on Mother's Day. So we took some group selfies (groupies?):

Then, about a week later, it was Gemma's birthday. So we decorated her room with giant tissue-paper snowballs. This was, yet again, a decoration choice that proves to be much noisier in the dead of night than in my initial imaginings. Oh well, she loved it. Later that day we celebrated by getting her hair cut. 6 inches!

A couple weeks later was kindergarten graduation. I cannot even believe my babiest baby is finished with kindergarten. So I had her wear the same dress on the last day of school that she did on the first. It was a little shorter, but she still looked way cool.

As I was going through some end-of-the-year papers for Donovan, I came across this gem:

There are many things I love about this. First, in 50 years he's going to have a killer mustache. Second, he wants to be a lawyer when he grows up. This idea came up when we were at Costco and some person overheard him making a strong case to buy veggie straws and said, "You should be a lawyer when you grow up." Donovan asked me what they meant and I said it was someone who knew the rules and how to argue really well and they had to care about things being fair and be really smart. And also that my dad was a lawyer. I could see the wheels turning in his head as he process all of this, but at that last remark he slowly nodded, lips pursed together, and said, "Yep. That sounds good." Third, I love that he wants to be the type of person who is nice and respect (sic) girls. I'm not entirely sure how he came up with this one, but this is exactly the kind of sweet boy he is, all while still eagerly anticipating the appearance of facial hair. I also love that he wants to go to Japan - how many 8-9 year olds do you know who check out books from the library on learning Japanese?

This summer we decided Donovan was old enough to start mowing the lawn. I love seeing him out there doing it. I call him my manchild and take him out ice water or a soda on hot days. He loves this. I also think it's funny that about a week later, our neighbor up the street had his son out learning how to do it. And that kid is three years older than Dono!
I can't remember why, but Donovan made his own currency this summer. Oh wait - yes I do - he made a museum in his room and you could only come in with Dono dollars. It was quite the exhibit with dinosaurs, rocks/minerals, lego creations and I can't remember what else.

Never a dull moment with these two.

This summer Donovan asked if he could start riding his bike places. We decided that if he was with someone when he crossed busy streets (at crosswalks! with the light!) then he'd be fine. His favorite thing to do this summer was to ride to Walgreens with his friends or Ainsleigh and spend time deciding which candy or soda to buy. Sometimes he'd come home with little toys or something. One day Gemma wasn't feeling well. I took her to the doctor who confirmed she had strep throat. I brought Gemma home and went to get her prescription filled at the pharmacy. When I returned, Donovan motioned me out of the room Gemma was in, intent on something in his hand. "Mom, Ainsleigh and I went to Walgreens and we got ourselves some candy and then we got Gemma a soda and this card so we're having everyone sign it so she knows we hope she feels better. Dad already signed it, so we just need you now."

I could hardly stand how freakishly adorable this was that they thought it up all on their own. She kept this card within arm's reach for the next three days. After that, she kept it under her pillow for about a month. A couple months later, Donovan was sick so she brought it to him to borrow. I asked if I could take it because I wanted to put it in her box of treasures but she wasn't sure she was willing to part with it. "It makes me remember how much my family loves me," she said. It made me realize how small things like cards can really be something huge.


laura said...

The card thing KILLS me. So cute.