Midnight Ramblings and Memories of the Last Week of Summer.
What a crazy time in life this is. I'm not sure it ever gets any less crazy from here forward in life, but I know for sure there were less crazy times in the past.
I'm all for crazy.
Speaking of crazy~
Shelton was out in nature the other day. A common place for us to be in summer - okay, honestly, we're out in it pretty much year round. I'm really not as earthy as I appear. You'd think with all the time I've spent educating my children about nature, that things like what I'm about to write wouldn't happen.
But I love my in-the-moment son. The one who just "had to go"... and then wiped himself with a stinging nettle leaf.
Then, as he reported, "Only then, mom, did I realize what I'd done."
Poor boy. OH how it hurt. He ran into waist deep river water and stood there. I would have taken a picture of his face, but folks, that's cruel. As brothers asked him to join them in adventures, he replied, "I can do nothing but stand here, guys. Nothing. I can't move."
I told the other children not to laugh at his situation. But later, when alone, I had to laugh. I did discover something new: Diaper rash ointment helps, a little bit, if you wipe yourself with stinging nettle.
Then there is this baby of our's. She's the baby. Yep, she is.
And I promise you we never gave our babies sweet tea like she's had! I didn't know we had it in us to spoil a child. But if I really step back and watch us, well, all I know is that we never let our first born drink from the jug, let alone sweet tea.
And we never let him walk down the kitchen table while we ate supper.
But I do know that our first born looked a ton like this last born of our's - she's his girl version all the way down to the personality. I have no idea what kind of face I'm making here - but I do know I love Baby's smile in this picture:
Here was Baby's face when I told her she could NOT drink the river water:
Eating cherries at the river~
Scott is in love with his baby sister too. He just thinks she rocks the house! I couldn't agree with him more, but honestly, I don't remember him falling in love with his other sisters quite like he has this little gal. Today he said, "Mom, she's really not like any other baby, ya know? Like she has a personality and you know what she's saying even though she really doesn't say it..."
Well, I know we're biased around here because we're allowed to be, but he's right. She has a personality. What he doesn't know, but I do, is that it's very much like his.
Baby loves to put her head in the water and come up with it dripping over her face. Then she will take her hands and ruffle her wet hair!
Baby has become quite the water baby this summer. I typically plan on going swimming when she is sleepy and will nap most of our time or be content in her pack and play so that I can watch and swim with the other children ~ but I try to make time for her very own little water time with me too. The other day I sat in the inner tube with her in my lap in the shallow and she and I had such a great time together.
I have seen my two little girls hang out more and more through the summer months. Itty likes to take her pillow with her nearly everywhere around the house. Baby has started doing the same. Sometimes they share the same pillow.
They just all sat down in the water like that to get cool. I was sitting there with them and thought I couldn't have placed them any better or any cuter for this shot~
I am enjoying Itty's language these days. She loves big words and most of the time she gets them right, but occasionally she will make up her own big word, or use a word in the wrong way, or call something that it is not... like today she found a pecan and she put it down her outfit. She came to me and said, "Mom I have a harpoon in my pants!" I had no idea what she was talking about until I went to aid in the retrieving. I said, "Oh, you mean a pecan!"
She laughed, "OH, yes of course! A pecan!"
De-seeding her water melon in the water~
Morgan and Itty staying cool on a very hot afternoon~
Sisters eating fish crackers on the little rapids~
I was there with the girls eating fish crackers too - in the water in my dress.
This was one of our favorite summer locations~
Robert picked up the camera that evening so I am actually in a few shots. These that he took are special to me because so much of the time this (swimming/playing) is exactly what I am doing with the children, but of course I can't capture my life with a camera like I do my childrens'.
I have shots of the children doing what they do, but in reality, I am right there next to them. I like how the Me Ra Koh Photography Blog encouraged moms to get in the photos with their kids to capture the reality of life as a mom - I attempt to do that - but honestly, it's pretty hard to pull off unless your husband or kids like to pick up a camera too or you have mad self-portrait skills!
The way the water runs on the white rocks on the bottom of the river it reminds me of the phrase, "Shimmers Like Gold." Here is what it looks like straight out of my camera:
I love how the sunlight dances across the water and makes little sparkling stars~
Everything is like little fairy dust...
I always point out light to the girls as we explore together. We chase light in the water as the boys fish, jump, and explore the shore lines~
It didn't dawn on me until this summer how much Scott has and is always looking out for Bubbie. Bubbie might slightly idolize him, but other than that, I've seen it as a wonderful relationship to watch blossom.
It's been fun watching Bubbie play flag football! Having older brothers protecting him from any bully, I didn't realize how he would take this whole football thing. I mean, he's always played football in the yard with his brothers, but never have they pushed on him or tackled him! They'll do that to each other, but never to the little guy!
So Bubbie was put as offensive lineman. After practice he told his coach, "Coach, there are mean boys out there. They are pushing." I never thought in a million years I'd have a son tell on someone who was playing the rules of football! Then it dawned on me that my fourth born son had been very well protected and a bit spoiled by his older brothers. No one dare lay a finger on him or they face the older three!
But I think it's more than that too - Bubbie is a sensitive and very easy going personality. I'm not so sure football will be his thing - and that is just fine by me! He's not into blocking and he's not into being blocked.
We explored a new part of the river last weekend ~ we found channels that poured from one part of the river into another part. These channels were like a natural water park slide. Some of the channels had been isolated and had formed small pools. It was like sitting in your own personal hot tub.
The channels were perfect for floating ~ they would start at the top and float down on their backs. I would stand up on top of the channels so that I could make sure all who went down to float, came through on the other side ~ then Robert would switch out with me and I would float and he would stand on top.
Ah, yes, finally a picture with Shelton in it. He's hard to get a picture of when we're at the river because he's so busy doing all kinds of crazy things... like using stinging nettle in ways it's never been used or exploring the depths of the water, or in the tallest trees. Here he is swimming down the channel with his mask on~
Christian is a strong swimmer. One thing that he really loves to do is see how long he can hold his breath under water. Or see how many flips he can flip under water while I count. Or do hand stands in the water (head under the water) and see how long he can stand on his hands in the water. Or put goggles on and explore under water and see what he can find.
Here is a rare moment of Christian on top of the water~
Morgan would rather be in the water than just about anywhere in the world.
I would rather be with him than anywhere in the world. My hair has now changed to some unknown color since my hair nightmare last month. I've pretty much just forgotten I have hair and moved on with my life. It's actually been a really cool thing to not see my hair as an identification factor. Blonde hair is easy to hide behind - or worse yet, easy to see as an identity thing. When in reality, our hair has nothing to do with who we really are.
This is my favorite summer hat and Bubbie - who, would prefer me not make him wear his life jacket because he is a better swimmer this summer than before - but I insist. I insist all three of the middle kids do for my own peace of mind.
Here I caught Itty workin' on her tan to try to keep up with Lakelyn's.
I think Scott has spent more time above water than in it this summer. If we go to the river, doesn't matter what time of day, the fishing pole and equipment is coming with him! Another thing he likes to do is move rocks around to channel the water all different directions ~ He'll spend a long time just designing water ways and reconstructing nature!
I love how Itty wants to wear her boots to go swimming in.
My niece had a birthday this month. She is a really special, sweet girl.
Since Morgan's birthday was this month too - we had some special girl time together shopping and getting our toe nails done~
It was a rare and special time to be out with my two oldest girly girls. They were so excited!
So summer is near over. It doesn't feel like it because we still have temps in the 100's. Today reached 105 degrees, according to the bank sign in town. The boys had football practice in full pads tonight and it was 100 degrees on the fields at 6pm.
But summer is over because school has started. Shelton and Scott started last week. This week Christian and Morgan start up classes. As for Bubbie and Brighton - I think I'll wait another week to get their preschool stuff going. No one is sad about school starting. That's good...
In fact, I think everyone is excited except for Christian. He is kind of blah about it, not one way or the other. Scott, being the perfectionist that he is, redoes his homework assignments a million times over until they are perfect. I don't remember being that way as a child. But that's okay. He'll get better grades than I did.
He especially likes his science teacher, even though he had 30 pages of reading homework in science alone just after the first week of school!
Shelton has amazing hand writing. I don't recall many guys who do so this is interesting to me. His hand writing is beautiful. Just another plus I suppose to being almost completely right brained. If he could get by in school on his penmanship alone, he'd make straight A's. Unfortunately, he can't.
Christian said today, "Mom, why do I really need to continue in school if I can read well and I can add numbers?" I think he would personally like to get by in school by just playing football. But I know one day he'll be glad we made him go past 3rd grade. :)
We have the first football games of the season this Saturday. Everyone is excited and I'm sure I'll be the only one who will be nervous. I will cheer loud. I will bring orange slices for team half time snacks. I will wear the team colors and pack my video camera. I will have a survival kit for the baby and the girls to endure the long day sitting in bleachers. I will wear sunglasses and get a raccoon eye shaped tan around my eyes. I will be up way too early on a Saturday morning.
I will hear blow by blow details of all three games afterwards. I will enjoy it.
There are some things in life I never could have predicted if I'd wanted to. Having seven kids is one of them. If someone would have told me before I married I'd be a mom like I am today, I would have laughed. Or cried.
And here I am.
I was out with the kids today in town. We had errands to run. When I do errands, shop, whatever - I pretty much (like 99% of the time) take all the kids with me. I like them with me. It's living life together.
We're like a big day care group, shopping around.
And honestly, I'm not one who likes to make a grand entrance. Slipping in and out is preferable. But that's impossible these days. We walk in a store and all the mouths drop open. People freeze. People stare. People laugh. Whisper. Point. Joke. Tease. Run!
Okay, just kidding.
It's especially hard to slip in and out unnoticed in stores like the ones we went today -- front entrances are small and the doors hard to get in and out of when you are walking as a herd. And that's how we walk because we don't know how to do straight lines. The check out line is right there and it's busy. Everyone is bored, waiting their turn in line and then we walk in. People on their cell phones begin describing us in half hushed voices as we pass by. Others don't do it in hushed voices. Others are so grateful for the entertainment amidst the dullness of line standing.
Sometimes I'm not sure how it could be much worse if we didn't just go ahead and all wave and yell hello as we walk in!
There is always someone who will blurt out loud enough for all to hear, "One, two, three, four, five"... and before they even get to six..."are they ALL YOUR'S???!!!"
Well, that's where it's hard to know how to answer. . .because I don't always know if they are all mine.
You see, the other day I was walking in the store with the kids and I looked around me to count heads to make sure all were accounted for and there were nine! Somehow as we'd been shopping, others had joined my crew. It was like the more I walked the store, the more the number of children around my cart grew!
I'm not kidding, it was like my children were collecting friends as we went and some how other mothers thought since I already had seven, I wouldn't mind baby sitting their's too!
At the checkout line the kids said bye to their new found friends and mothers came and picked up their kids to go back out to their cars. It was kind of like a walking day care as I shopped for our food. I should charge for that type of service.
The ad could say, "Need a place for your kids while you shop? Come shop with us! You can shop in quiet while your kids socialize with others around our cart!"
As I was leaving a store this afternoon the woman behind me began asking me about the children. "Are they like all one year apart or something?" she asked.
I smiled politely and said, "No, they're all twins just different sizes."
She laughed and turned to her father who appeared to be in his 70's or so. She began explaining to him that all the children were all from the same mom. The older man looked at me and said matter a fact, "That's a big sacrifice."
I looked him in the eye, "It's a wonderful sacrifice." I replied.
There are moments when I forget the "wonderful" and just think "sacrifice." Life can feel overwhelming. I have found more than ever that I must make just one time in my day (or even if it must be at night) to give myself a "time out." A time to sit and not have anyone ask anything of me.
That's really only possible when everyone is asleep. Like right now. I can't even close the door of the bathroom to take a second for even necessities without knocks on the door and people calling my name. I am always needed. Always wanted. I have the two minute shower down well - and even that isn't without interruptions.
Yeah, there are a lot of things I am "sacrificing" right now. Namely: self.
Mostly privacy, quiet, comfort, time, body, sleep, order. The list goes on.
And then I think about what I am exchanging for self. The trade in that I have made...
Tonight I sit here and think about this summer and the memories. I think about the kids. All seven of them different and wonderful. Those who dance like ballerinas in the water and those who stand there aching from stinging nettle in their...lap.
“The sacrifice which causes sorrow to the doer of the sacrifice, is no sacrifice. Real sacrifice lightens the mind of the doer and gives her a sense of inner peace and joy."
I don't wonder if the sacrifice is worth it. I don't wish I'd walked another road.
I only want all the more to do what is right by my kids. To be here for them. To guide them. To step in when I should and step away when I should.
To cheer. And to hold and to let go. To scratch the boys' backs each night because right now, these days, they are here for me to scratch. To even struggle through the issues of knowing how to educate and where. The questions -- Is he mature enough to stay the night with that friend? Is it good to let her make that decision on her own? Do I really know how my children feel about this or that? Do I care?
Will I fail at this mom thing? And what does it mean to succeed? Am I just after some outward appearance thing that will make me look successful as a parent? Or do I run deeper than that? Are my kids here for me or am I here for them? Do I sacrifice out of love or out of secret inner self pity or necessity of survival?
There is a lot out there giving different definitions of what it means to be a successful parent.
I've a feeling, at least just this night, that it has a whole lot more to do with my heart than anything else. It's exciting, really. This is like an adventure, a journey, a finding out of who I am.
What's down deep inside of me? I'm not afraid to ask that anymore because I want to know for their sake.
Favorite quote for this week~
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
| ||Posted 8/24/2010 2:33 AM - 1615 Views|