Monday, September 19, 2011

The Moon

On Saturday night, it did appear that a near full Harvest moon was shining to light our path.  Anna Cate said on the way home from a party, "is the moon walking home to follow us?" That innocent assumption that the moon would follow us home is that piece of a child's understanding that is both endearing and challenging.  It is endearing that she thinks something as big as the moon would follow someone as small as she. It is challenging that as we prepared for our day Saturday, we left the house at 9 so that I could go to the gym, then take Anna Cate and schlepp Molly to a soccer game, then off for a 6 year old birthday party and Anna Cate said, "I'd like to skip the gym," to which I replied, "of course you would because it is the only thing we are doing for Mommy today!"  But back to the endearing.

Last week, we celebrated an engagement party for BJ's brother and his dear fiance, Sarah.

It was at the same home where BJ and mine was. Some things have changed and missing the presence of Greg and BJ's mother was as distinct as was the cheer of the children in this multi-generation friendship.

At the end of the evening, an angel was pointed out in the party to represent Susie's presence and when I asked Anna Cate for whom she thought the angel was, she said, "My Grammy."  She hears about angels, she knows the joys of friendships that are bigger than life so maybe that is why she thinks the moon would take a walk just for her. She has people in her life who make her feel significant.

I'm thankful for the light, the moon, the frienships and the perspective I get from her. Maybe the moon doesn't follow us, but it does seem like good times, dear friends and maybe even an angel may.

When I first got our minivan, my brother chided me about totally "throwing in the towel on the cool factor." I realized when your life revolved around your milk supply and a nap schedule, I'd already lost the cool factor.  Last week a student asked me what type of car I drove and I said, "a minivan" and he said "oh you are a soccer Mom" and on Saturdays, I am.

Anna Cate has started a developmental league and we've already had two "games."The first half of the experience is drills conducted by a high school soccer team.

It really is fun, and I realize that being cool is all about perspective because I used to sort of dread Saturday morning activity phase of life, but the crisp air and new friends and families just trying to create good times for their kids is a lot of fun. The first Saturday, BJ had the Saturday off to enjoy the morning together.

 But for the record, some moms are cool and soccer Moms, and that is not me and it was quite evident the second Saturday (sans BJ).  On the way to the field, Molly spilled a smoothie on herself, we lost a ball that I knew was in the van. After the game, only after I got back to the car with very active and tired one year old did I realize I left my keys on the field so Anna Cate had to run back to the field for me.  In the meantime I found the ball that had rolled out of the car, down the hill.

I think I was ok with the minivan because I never really was "cool." One day these two will realize how uncool their Mom is....Yet for now, a Friday afternoon jaunt to the park rates high.

I love this stage of humanity where posing for joy paramounts self-consciousness.
where knee socks are vogue.

Where taking the steps to go down a slide are self-confidence boosters.

When crossing the monkey bars is a sign of strength that we talk about for days.

Where moments at the end of the slide bring this Mama to my knees for the picture of the sunlight on their faces.

Figuratively, I should spend more time on my knees in gratitude. I'm finding this stage of life so busy and to be honest, sometimes I feel drained and like a hamster on that wheel of getting it all done to do the same thing the next day.  Yet like the farmer who has the harvest moon providing light, I have the joy of a dear family and good friends to provide all the light I need. Who needs free time when my days of full of so much light?

"Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields,
The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth
And you walk under the red light of fall
The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain
The sharp, gentle chill of fall.
Here as we move into the shadows of autumn
The night that brings the morning of spring
Come to us, Lord of Harvest
Teach us to be thankful for the gifts you bring us ..."
-  Autumn Equinox Ritual

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Miss Molly

I had to use it atleast once...Good Golly, Miss Molly!!!

Molly is now a year and a half. I celebrate half birthdays. Like a birthday, it is a time to stop and reflect, but it is heavy on the reflecting since it is light on the party planning.

On Friday afternoon, BJ picked up this cake all for her....but she shared with her sister and me.

She is losing her babyness more and more every day although I still refer to her often as 'the baby.'  She is becoming a little girl, a busy little girl at that. She is strong yet loving, coy yet boisterous, curious and independent.  I still tell her almost daily, "I'm so glad we had you, Molly." I watch her and am excitedly learning more and more about her personality as she develops.

One of the funniest things she does is say no to everything with meaning. If it is not no, it is uh-huh as she shakes her head. I guess she thinks the negative is the correct response to everything!  Often when I ask for a kiss, she says no, and I have to steal them.  When she is in the giving mood, she puckers up and it makes my day to hear her pmpmpp. Tonight, she leaned in to me and rested her forehead on mine and was quite generous with the kisses, and let me tell you, money can not buy that kind of bliss.

She is intently aware of how things work and can entertain herself for a long time (well relatively long for her age) with stacking blocks or containers, or pouring water.

A rite of passage at Miss Diana's home is when the children move from a high chair to the bar so I think she especially looks like a big girl in these pictures.

As I felt as Anna Cate went to kindergarten on losing my little girl, I think I'm losing my baby in Molly, but I'm doing all I can and that is enjoy the journey.  

After school on Friday, we had a quick play date to celebrate a full week of school.

On Saturday we were treated to fabulous brunch at a dear friend's home, Mum Mum to the girls. Marian taught first grade for several decades and is one of those women who is part teacher, part grandmother, part confidant, part friend, and part angel.

She wanted some time to connect with Anna Cate in the beginning of the school year with gifts of books and reading.
Molly made sure to get in on the fun.

She loves books and seems to enjoy them a little longer than Anna Cate did at this age.

Marian made us feel welcome with a picturesque Saturday morning porch setting.

And her home made bread and jam.

The high chair set for Molly was made in 1907 and Marian sat in it as a baby.

It was a grand brunch where we felt special and honored, and comfortable.

 The pages of life turn...

I find myself noticing less what I'm losing and more what I'm gaining as these girls grow. I'm losing my baby yet gaining another precious little girl, I'm losing a little girl yet gaining a little pal.

But enough about me, what I'm really noticing lately is this sisterly bond they are giving each other. And it is only fitting on the time that I celebrate Molly's half birthday that I rejoice in this bond, for September 2nd is the birthday of my brother.  It is our bond, his and mine, that makes me celebrate theirs, Anna Cate and Molly's.  As a parent, knowing your children will have each other makes the work worthwhile and eases a bit the inevitable failures my parenting will present.  Anna Cate and Molly will have each other and that is more valuable than anything I can teach or material securities BJ and I can provide.  I know this because I have this bond in my brother.  As I often say, he was the best gift my parents ever gave me.

I love you, Molly Mae and Douglas IV...the babies in my family.

Our brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories to the inevitable dusk.  ~Susan Scarf Merrell