Today has been one of those days of Mamahood that I’ve found myself shaking my head more than once and had my heart swell too.
Today I found a Matchbox car on my kitchen counter. That never happened before Cooter joined my world.
As I was moving furniture in preparation for today’s painting, I found more foil chocolate wrappers. Ahem. My boy is an addict. Sugar. Chocolate. Based on all of the wrappers I have found behind books on shelves and behind furniture and in drawers during this “Fresh Paint, Fresh Start” campaign, I figured out how he’s gotten by so many nights not eating a bite of his supper. He’s a picky eater, but I could not figure out how he wasn’t absolutely starving.
Now I know.
When I found the first wrappers, his hazel eyes got really big and he swished his blond hair out of his eyes and said, “Oh Mama it must have been a really, really big mouse.” And he gave me that clever grin of his. Sigh. He and I both know it was no mouse. My boy is a chocoholic.
I made sure all temptations were tucked away where he couldn’t reach them. Only I forgot about one. Tonight I was headed in to the garage bathroom. I heard him in there, but as I walked down the hall I heard a crinkling sound. What on earth? I turned the corner to enter and he fell to the floor, clutching his fists to his tummy. “Ohhhh, I have to goooooo.”
It took me two seconds. Crinkling sound. Clutched hands. Aha.
“What do you have? Give it here.” I held out my hand.
Y’all. That boy. He did a dance and held it out towards me, just out of reach, “It’s halfway open, so it’s okay, right?” He smiled hopefully, as his voice quavered slightly.
I said no. Then it was like separating Gollum from his Precious. Not kidding. It took me and his sister both to separate him from the Bob’s peppermint candy.
Yeah. Have a long way to go with this boy.
Then I found this today.
No, contrary to what I thought, my little guy did not put his favorite folks in the Frigidaire. That would be his sister. But he’s the one who left them there after I asked about them. At supper he told us he wants to see if they will freeze in there. “Like Han in that Carbon-Knife.” He tickles me, this one.
At the end of this evening, as supper was in the oven and a stir fry was on the stove, I found myself needing a quiet moment. Aub was at work, my Fella was at his computer, our Princess was reading in her room, and Miss Sophie was settled in for a nap. I looked out and Cooter was riding his bike. I slipped out the front door and sat on the steps and watched.
Such joy it brings me. He went from training wheels to flying, almost overnight it seems. I love the sight of his little legs pumping the pedals on that yellow bicycle, his hair flying back behind him. He loves riding that bike and his joy is infectious. Tonight he was taking advantage of a neighbor running their sprinkler system. He was soaked to the skin, and his smile couldn’t have been any wider. When he showed me the worm crawling across the sidewalk, the gaping spot where his front tooth will grow made him seem so much older, and yet still so small.
I love moments like these.
The other day I found myself alone with my little guy. We had a couple of errands to run. As we walked across the parking lot, him by my side, I held my hand out slightly. When he took my hand almost immediately, a smile and a few tears came simultaneously. I know that one day, perhaps soon, I will reach out and he will be too old to take his Mama’s hand. It makes the moment when that little hand slips into mine all the more precious.
Tonight I am thankful for being a Mama to three wonderful and treasured souls. They keep me on my toes and challenge every fiber of my being at times, but they also bring me more joy than anything or anyone else in my life. I am thankful for the uniqueness of their spirits and the beauty of their smiles and the sweetness of their voices as they share their lives with me. And I am thankful for their love and the privilege of tripping over their Legos and gluing back together their Lalaloopsy dolls and finding their shoes so they won’t be late to work. I have my moments where I’m tired and I just want them all to go to bed; I won’t say I don’t. But when I wake up in the mornings, the sound of their soft breathing and the sight of their tousled heads are what I listen and look for first. And the joy that they bring me is beyond compare.
May you all find a surprise on your counter or in your fridge or on your sidewalk that brings you joy today. Love to all.