25 February 2011

A good day

Yesterday was a good day!

After I just wrote this in my journal, I paused to remember why my gut told me the day was good. I remembered events of the day, and saw myself in Amelie's room holding back tears while she refused a diaper change and Asher sulked in his room.

The more I remembered what happened throughout the morning, I realized, it wasn't really a good day at all. In fact, I disappeared from the sight of kids for more than a minute and overheard this conversation:

Asher: "I think Mommy left us by ourselves."
Amelie: "Daddy?"
Asher: "No, Daddy doesn't take care of us. I'm not sure, but I'd like to stay by myself without an adult taking care of us."

In reality, I sat at the computer just on the other side of the wall but realized I hadn't endeared myself to them all that much if Asher felt ready to take on the world by himself! (I will qualify that Daddy does in fact take very good care of the kids. This was more a statement that Mommy is the one usually at home with them.)

After the morning of cleaning the playroom and dragging them to the grocery store, we had an afternoon of more crying child with constipation and energetic boy looking for places to exert energy.

And yet my first thought of the day is that it was fun.

Maybe the crazy events of the day were replaced by a successful trip to the library. Or because I ended the day sipping coffee with a friend and then recapping life with my husband.

Whatever erased the bad parts, I'm thankful for it.
This must be the same drug that makes women want to have multiple pregnancies and labor/deliveries.
It must be the same substance that transforms even the most difficult to handle child into an angel when they're sleeping.
I'm sure this is the chemical that connects me to my two year old moments after she gets sick for the ninth time in two hours.

Whatever this magic dust is, I'm thankful it gets sprinkled over my memories so I look back and wonder why I didn't treasure the moment more at the time.

Experience tells me today won't be sugar coated in its moments, but I'm betting I'll say again tomorrow - it was a good day.

21 February 2011

Goodbye Borders

Fluorescent yellow "Store Closing" signs drape the front of my local Borders and I am sad.

I stopped by to see for myself the progress of Borders eliminating its local inventory and couldn't even find a place to park. Cars filled those extra empty spaces along the edges of the parking lot and people flocked into the building. I passed the man holding a big sign notifying traffic of the giant sale going on and felt a twinge of something that surprised me.

Was that sadness weighing my steps down?
Where did that come from?
It's just a store - and a chain store at that!

But still I wanted the strange people who were only there for a bargain to leave! Where were they when the store desperately needed more book buyers to keep the doors open? Why do they show up now just to get a good deal?

Ok, so I'm quite a loyalist to my stores, and when it comes to books and my favorite stores, that loyalty is sunk deep - deeper than I realized.

I soon left without purchasing anything.
Mainly because the length of the line was insane.
Also because the discount of 20% off was less than what I usually got with a coupon.
And somewhat because I didn't like watching the desperate pawing through merchandise that happens when bargain hunters catch a good trail.

As I backed out of the parking lot, my heart hung heavy. I lament the closing of one of my favorite places to escape. We still have our Barnes & Noble. We have a local favorite used bookstore. But the symbolic rejection of a bookstore feels deeper than a store that no longer sells merchandise. I join the others in questioning the future of books and feel bad that I often do look for the cheapest option and buy books on Amazon.

The Borders cafe is closed, the small children's tables and chairs are filled with discounted books, but I will visit again to say goodbye. If you see my eyes filled with tears, just ignore me I'm saying goodbye to books - my place of escape.

18 February 2011

Lizard friend

During Brazilian church services, lizards entertained me while they scampered around the walls - when I was 6.

Floridian lizards fascinated me when we vacationed as a family - when I was 9.

St. Lucian lizards climbed up my new husband's arm yet I remained calm enough to snap a picture - when I was 26.

Another Floridian lizard sat in my son's carseat and I FREAKED out - when I was 34.

What happened in the meantime to change me from one who befriends lizards to one who panicked at the sight of them?

I became a mom.

A practical mom who worries about lizards crawling on her children while we're driving down the road.

One who imagines reaching into a toybag for puppy friend only to find scaly moving friend instead.

This transformation into overprotective, safety loving, lizard fearing person began during my first pregnancy and Walter claims it's gotten worse as more kids are involved and especially when pregnancy hormones are in full swing.

But this time I know I'm justified.

Our lizard friend found his way into our car and perched himself in a sunbeam on Asher's carseat. The seat where my beautiful boy sits his sweet behind. The discovery happened while my husband, who (thankfully) has not transformed into overprotective, safety loving, lizard fearing dad) filled up his drink inside the restaurant.

Walter's absence left a pasty white, large bellied Midwest tourist in a parking lot with two lovely children. No one moved or breathed so lizard friend would not be frightened away from his sunbeam into the secret places of the car never to be seen again until at some future moment he found his way onto my shoulder.

When my adrenaline almost reached a tipping point, Walter did return, put on his superhero cape (after taking a picture of course) and rescued his family from a lizard trapped inside a minivan.

Well, we thought we were rescued until we arrived at our next destination 30 minutes later opened Amelie's stroller only to discover our lizard friend was not just an expert at breaking into locked vehicles, but a stowaway as well.

And so we said goodbye to lizard friend and mommy tried to keep her overprotective self in check for the rest of the trip. Really he did give us a good story, right?

15 February 2011

Flamingos, stingrays and lizards

Oh Anna Maria, I miss you already. Time to read and knit for hours. Those sunrises that called my husband out of bed.

Amelie's favorite pink shell that she carried tightly gripped in her fist.
Bunk beds where Asher allowed his sister to come play!
Sandcastles that turned into Sand Faces
Crab sandwiches with legs and pinchers.
Bundling on the beach praying the sun would reemerge one more time before setting.
Flamingos nibbling from outstretched hands.
But Lizards and stingrays - you can stay in your place and I'm happy your place is 20 hours from mine.