Monday, April 2, 2012

Capture Gratitude: Birthdays, Spring, hard things, and my boys in drag

“There is no event so common place but that God is present within it, always hidden, always leaving you room to recognize Him or not to recognize Him.”  Fredrick Buechner 

 We love every place mat we have from Tabletop Truths (the brainchild of my friends Lisa and Sara; I always knew they'd do something creative and awesome!)

But I have to say that the birthday one is my favorite - it's just so bright and happy, and the boys LOVE digging it out when their birthdays roll around. It makes me happy. (If you haven't checked them out before, you should go look at all their place mats - we have moved on to the Easter ones now, and use the "Child of God" ones regularly. Micah & Tobin LOVE that theirs each have a little boy on it tat look like them.)

I love spring in Nebraska.

And last week was my favorite week of the year to live on our street, because the pear trees were in bloom.

 For that week, it's like living in a bridal arbor. So beautiful. And then they all bloom out and blow away - and it looks like it's snowing. The boys love it, and the little boys and I went out and ran around in the springtime "snow."

And just when the trees are losing their white... The tulips bloom. I bought potted tulips for my apartment every year in Texas. Now they grow all around. LOVE.

(Looking through the flowers picture for Zoo :D).

Last week I went to the bathroom after dinner. As I was leaving the room, Luke was teasing me, wearing my sandals and being silly (walking with an exaggerated "girl" walk.) We all laughed, and I went on about my business. A few minutes later, I realized Luke had Tobin in my room, and I could tell something funny was going on.

A few minutes later, look what came out of my room:

He makes a pretty girl, don't you think? Also: This will be showing up again if he ever gets married. I hope "through the years" slideshows at weddings don't go out of style.

And then of course Micah wanted to be a part of the fun...

I love laughing with my boys.

It was a sad day. But I gave up on the dreads I've been working on with Micah.
I loved them. But the sand and rocks in our backyard were killing me (now that the boys are playing outside, much to my great happiness!) I realized with swim lessons coming soon, now is probably not the time for locs anyway... So rather than putting the work in and then ending up shaving him halfway through the summer, we said goodbye to M's lovely natural hair.

On the plus side, he looks like a Ugandan again.

I like it.

There are downsides to being a boy mom (if you're facebook friends with me, then you know that yesterday, I looked out the back window to see Tobin PEEING off the bottom step of the back porch. And then was corrected by being told to at least pee in a corner of the yard, not right in the middle. Because we have standards around here people. And now I know this isn't just a boy mom problem - although as a girl, I NEVER would have considered peeing outside. Even as a college student, I almost made myself sick holding it while camping, so I could avoid peeing in the woods. But one of my friends commented that her little girl dropped her panties right in front of church this weekend...LOL.)

But anyway...There are upsides to being a boy mom. Very near the top is that I now have 2 little ones who want to marry me. When Tobin went through his pinata bounty and found the prize below, he hid it behind his back, sidled over to me and very proudly presented it to me.

Matt said, "Hey, I'm the only one who's supposed to be giving your mom a ring!" Tobin: "But I WOVE her!!" Precious.

101. PARENTING A PRETEEN = DEPENDENCE. And seeing your own adolescent issues coming right back at you again.

I don't always enjoy the more physical aspects of parenting a toddler and a preschooler. But it's parenting into adolescence that's bringing me to my knees. I always thought that the hard part of parenting teenagers would be the attitude. And while I've become well acquainted with the truth in a statement from a great post on one of my favorite mom blogs, "You can't make a thirteen year old happy"... that's not nearly the hardest part for me.

The hardest part is that the stakes are getting higher. And he's headed into a season of life that included a lot of heartache and regrets for me personally. My biggest regret in adolescence is that I was dominated by fear and wanting to be liked. That led to doing many things I regret, since my main motivation was others' opinions. And it led to not doing many things I wanted to - because I was so afraid of failure I wouldn't try for anything I wasn't guaranteed success at... I never considered anything that required a tryout or election, since I thought it would be so humiliating to publicly fail. I am so thankful the Lord has grown me through those things, and I've left that fearful adolescent girl behind.

Except now that he's in the 6th grade, Luke so badly wants to be liked. And is trying out for some things he's not guaranteed to get. People. It's really stirring up some buried feelings in me. I am so proud of him for trying and risking, and not being afraid of "failure" (since it's not failure at all. You just don't always get what you want.) And I really don't want to parent out of my own issues!

I'm choosing to give thanks for this one...since I can see the Lord's hand in it, even though it doesn't really feel very fun.


So. so. thankful.