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And On She Goes

And on she goes.

My little angel turned seven today.  It simply takes my breath away to know that her days of being a little girl are really behind her.  I know, I know, I know. She’s still little, but the days of needing me for everything are a thing of the  past.

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If I was a better writer I’d probably  know how to share that I’m excited to celebrate this sweet lady while simultaneously grieving the overpowering passage of time–it just keeps happening, the earth keeps orbiting around the sun… again, and again, and now my baby is seven and I can’t get those days back. Those days when they were young were hard for me. I really struggled with being tired all the time, with being needed constantly, and with the endless amount of stuff that needed to be done. All of it was so darn hard. Every day was hard. But now, now that the days are a little easier I just long to go back and find the moments of joy  and to try and be more present, try to be more joyful, try to  not live for nap time or bedtime or even work time.

I remember being in those days and hearing other parents tell me that they love every minute of parenting young children, and I just would simply not believe them. How can you enjoy wiping projectile poop off the wall?  How can you enjoy crying babies?  And yet, now those days are gone forever and I just long for a little bit of them while  also feeling relieved that we’re past that phase.

All of this is to say that today I’m both happy and sad. My daughter is going to knock the socks off of this world someday soon.  She is one amazing little lady: thoughtful, wise, passionate, and full of life.  She loves to sing, to dance, to care for her many babies, and to do just about everything.  She’s stubborn, opinionated, and demanding–all characteristics that both drive me crazy and make me proud at the same time because they are the characteristics that will help her thrive professionally.

Early this morning I went for a walk in the woods. When surrounded by trees and alone I felt comforted. I cried a little and then felt better. I wondered what would have happened if I had done the 365 Every Day Outside Challenge when they were little. I was outside a lot, but was it enough? It wasn’t every day that’s for sure. Was that part of why I was so overwhelmed, because I was disconnected from the natural world? I will never know for sure–but maybe some overwhelmed mom is reading this and finds some comfort in it, maybe she’ll realize that she is like me and needs to get outside often…

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Tonight we celebrate this lovely human being. I couldn’t be more proud to be her mother and our days together just keep getting better and better.

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A Place Where Everyone Knows Your Name

I hang with parents. With the exception of a few sailors and a few colleagues, all of my friends are parents. And most of the time, when I hang with parents, we’re with our kids. Whenever I go to the pond, active families are skating their hearts out, and not just the kids.  Neighborhood parents are playing too, not just watching from the banks (or from the car) but in the thick of it, often playing as hard as the kids.  I love this city.

Yesterday we bought new hockey sticks at Play It Again Sports–we received great help from two of the men in the hockey department. They took the time to show me how to tape the kids’ sticks and truly seemed to be interested in getting as many kids skating as possible. I have observed that when kids (and adults) hold hockey sticks it improves their skating. Both of my young skaters have improved greatly this year, and I notice a difference when they’re holding sticks and when they’re not.  Maybe it is that they’re leaning forward more and maybe it is because they’re playing and thinking less about what they’re doing and more about how to get the puck.  Whatever the reason, it works, and I strongly recommend buying some. I learned that the stick length, when wearing shoes, should be from the floor to the tip of your nose–then, when you’re on skates, it will be the right height.  I bought my kids’ sticks a little longer with hopes that they’ll last more than one season.

After making our purchases my kids, a neighbor’s kid, and I walked to the pond to skate. The sticks instantly became guns–of course! As the afternoon wore on the guns became axes for cutting down the cattails surrounding the rink and they were used for playing hockey too.  My daughter even said they helped her balance.  We skated until the only light on the pond was from the streetlight.  The kids really didn’t want to leave the ice and in fact, I had to get stern with them to get them off of the ice—it was after dinner time and well, dinner still had to be made after the walk home.

As I mentioned before, we saw some friends at the pond.  Words cannot describe how lovely it is to show up and be known—even when it is simply at the pond.  An impromptu play date for grown ups!  How awesome!

Some other great uses for hockey sticks and ways to enjoy the ice for all ages.  Check it out!

130203 josh pulling three kids

130202 wren with hockey stick

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Do you have places in your community where you can show up and find friends?  Do share!

Super Dad Lets Mom Ski Alone

Pineland 1Pineland 2Allow me to take a minute to give my husband huge props.  He’s always helpful and supportive buy lately he’s just taken it up a few notches on the super husband scale.  He’s been editing most of my blog posts and helping me on the technical side of things.  He bought me a new camera for Christmas that I really, really love.  He also found the perfect bag for me to carry the camera in on various types of outings and bought all the things I’d need to use this fine machine right away.

He’s also supporting me to find content to write about… getting outside.  This past three day weekend he watched both kids so that I could ski at Pineland for the first time this year and then two days later was totally supportive when I asked to go play pond hockey–alone again!  Now for my parent friends out there–you know how special a little alone time can be but to have two trips alone within three days…  Sigh, so deeply appreciated.

Thanks Hans Indigo Spencer for so lovingly supporting me and this here blog thing we’ve got going on.  I adore you.

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