Good Day

In the words of Ice Cube, today was a good day. Yes I know….each day the Lord wakes me up is a good day, but today was an exceptional mommy day. I always get a kick out of the little things, like making my babies breakfast and taxiing them to and from school and extracurricular activities, but the milestones are really special. My daughter makes it hard because she seems to do everything ahead of schedule.

Last weekend my husband and I had a weekend getaway and left our precious little one’s with his parents in the country. With seven grandbabies, five under the age of six their house is well equipped. We don’t lug toys, books or toddler vehicles because they have plenty on their end. Well apparently granddaddy made the announcement “no new bikes, until you master riding without training wheels.” I’m not quite sure who his statement was directed towards, but I do know one little 4-year-old was determined to spend the week learning to ride without training wheels.

“Daddy, when we get home can you take off my training wheels,” Morgan asked. “Sure will,” he replied. But it was late and the sun had set long before we reached our driveway. “Daddy can you please take off my training wheels today so I can practice when I come home from school?” she asked the next morning. And sure enough he did. “Just promise me you will always wear your helmet because it can be very dangerous to ride without training wheels,” he adds. “ I promise,” she replied.

When I picked her up from school, my intent was to grab lunch and take her back to my office to get some work done. Upon my arrival, she comes out of the building with a wet paper towel to her mouth and a blood stained shirt. I am sure my face said it all as the teacher assistant quickly began to explain “Morgan lost a tooth,” she said. And then I saw it, her new smile, which now resembled that of the cutest jack-o-lantern on earth.

“Mommy, it came out and I didn’t even cry,” she said. She was so happy and I was happy for her. We decided a slice of cheese pizza would be soft enough to try and the tooth fairy was not prepared so a quick trip to the bank for gold plated silver dollars was definitely in order. When we got to my office she reminds me that she needs to practice and that I have to hurry and I do.

We make it home 60 minutes before dance class and she is determined that 30 minutes on her revised training wheel free bike will do. I remind her of her promise to wear a helmet and add knee pads and gloves for good measure. I hold on the back a few times while she mounts and I remind her that she will fall, but she will be okay and she will get up and try again. She looks at me and shakes her head in agreement.

And that my friends was the last time I had to help her mount her bike. Within minutes she is pushing herself off and riding up and down the driveway like she’s been doing it for years. I ask for permission to videotape her and she agrees. “How many more minutes before dance class,” she asks. I tell her she has 20 minutes to spare;  she laughs, dismounts and takes off her helmet and parks her bike. “Great she says, I guess that means I have time for some apple juice.”

Yes my dear she had time for apple juice, and I had just enough time to sit back and realize all the wonderful milestones she accomplished in just one day before I was dropping her off at her new season of ballet. Something tells me, she won’t slow down much and if I want to catch these moments I better grab some apple juice and go along for the ride.





My Life Preserver

BaBa swim

I have two babies with very different feelings about swimming. My son, the youngest of the bunch scares the living beeejesus out of me, because at 2 years old, he has absolutely no fear of water. He refuses floation devices and is convinced he can swim. My daughter on the other hand, diva that she is doesn’t mind getting her hair wet, but her face is a no no. She requires an adult with a dry towel to be within arm’s distance at all times just to wipe her face.

But there was one thing they both agreed on; water is cool and fun. So we decided to enroll both of them in swimming lessons this past summer. Their age difference put them in different leagues. Little G’s swim class requires parents in the water with the child and Morgan’s class requires parents to stay away. Neither child wanted to sit by while the other was enjoying the water so that meant two parents at all times; split duty.

My husband lost the coin toss so he got our son who is inclined to jump feet first without notice. My nerves will not allow me to coach his swim lessons. My son will look you in the face tell you to watch and then float face down in the water for what feels like an eternity. His eyes stay open under water, he smiles the whole time and my heart simply can’t take it.

With just two lessons left and a overlap in scheduling when school starts, my wonderful husband finds himself managing them both until I arrive to help ease the burden. Morgan’s class had just started and my husband and Little Garrett were drying off. Little Garrett is so excited when I enter the pool all decked out in my business suit that he feels the need to show me what he has just learned. He yells to me “watch mommy, watch” and he runs and jumps in 4 feet of water without supervision.

The entire pool gasps in unison and my husband drops his smartphone on the floor, takes off his sneakers and jumps in right behind him. The lifeguard in Morgan’s class is en route to my baby when she notices his daddy is much closer than she is and she stops to observe the situation. Little G is physically fine, but shaken by all the adult hoopla and runs right to me when his daddy carries him out of the pool. In that moment I could care less that my designer dress is soaking wet. He was frightened and wanted his momma. I’m glad I was there to lower his heart rate, but I was wondering who was going to lower mine. Not to mention my poor husband’s.

Days like this remind me of just how many times my children have already knocked me to my knees; literally and I’ve been at this parenting thing for less than five years. One thing I know for sure is this parenting game requires a life preserver and I’m grateful I know exactly who to call, Thank You Jesus.

ME swim

Picking Pears

Raising babies in the age of instant ain’t always what it’s cracked up to be. We make instant oatmeal, popcorn and meals in a matter of seconds. We use our microwave daily and the result is a generation of impatient little people that haven’t a clue how to live without the radiation machine that I have a love hate relationship with. Having said that, we put forth an effort in our home to make sure we also explain that eggs don’t come from Eggland and cantaloupes don’t magically appear in Food Lion.

So it’s always a pleasure to hang out with their paternal grandparents for a strong dose of good old fashion country living. My husband grew up in Windsor, NC, a small town not far from the coast. His family still lives there and his daddy, now retired takes pride in planting acres full of fruit trees, corn, grapes and a host of good eating…way too much to name.

Like most Labor Days we spent the holiday soaking up the sun and a home cooked meal at their home. One of highlights aside from the food is letting all the children run amuck. Yup, it’s one of the few times I don’t restrict what they drink or eat. I don’t even require shoes for outdoor play. I know, I know, it’s contrary to my normal routine, but it breaks the monotony and creates memories for us all.

Now that the children are a little older (4 and 2) granddaddy’s fruit trees are on their radar and despite their height they were determined to find a way to taste what up until now he has restricted. “You can pick em’ now,” he said. “They’re good and ready.”

“Mommy, can you help me,” Morgan begged. “Granddaddy said we can pick pears, but I can’t reach them.” “I love pears,” she said. Little did she know I had already eaten my fair share the night before. But I show her a set of outside chairs right beside the tree and suggest that she figure out a way to work with her brother to get what they want.

She’s not quite tall enough even on her tiptoes in the chair to tug the pears off the tree without losing her balance. But she’s just the right height to knock them to the ground and ask her brother to pick them up and put them in a plastic grocery bag for their consumption as a nighttime snack for the coming week.

And so I back up and I watch them work hard for the next 15 minutes right before dark to pick their own fruit that their granddaddy planted in his yard. At this moment there is no instant, there is only the realization that moments like these are important to me and I pray they are important to our children. At this moment I am grateful for fruit bearing trees and smart loving grandparents that have the wisdom to plant them.

ME Pears Pears II Delicious pear