Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The skies certainly are friendly

Okay...how many bottles do I need? Swim suits. Can't forget swim suits. Milk. Frozen milk. Shoot...is there a limit? Gotta Google TSA frozen breast milk. We're all good. Thank you, mothers before me! I need ice packs. I can't do this. Okay, I'll bring the stroller...and the car seat. Shoot, I totally forgot socks. I can't do this alone. Did my breast pump get bigger? Emme needs a jacket. Jack needs a hat. Mittens? How am I going to do this?

My inner monologue while packing for a recent trip likely was not a model in optimistic thinking. Half empty. No, that's not exactly right. My glass was feeling like it had sprung a leak. A slow leak, but I couldn't find it. And how could I patch it without finding it? Yep, that's a much better analogy.

Flying with a child is a daunting task. Some of you are likely rolling your eyes, saying been there, done that. In fact, I do it often. It's not that bad. Or maybe you're thinking, stop with your First World problems, I'd love to fly away right about now. Points taken.

But even though my brain knows all that stuff, I was stressed.

On our way to our destination, my husband and I had to fly on different days. He took Jack and I took Emme. I had a lot of stuff. My mother-in-law is a flight attendant and was flying out that day too so she was actually able to help me to the gate. Life seemed doable. I mean I still looked like a hot mess and felt like I was leaving a trail of bread crumbs (if bread crumbs were personal, baby items) throughout the airport.

Then she had to leave. I found myself trying to move a jogging stroller through a small space while carrying multiple bags. I was still okay. But Emme wanted to be held. So I did. A nice woman who was impeccably dressed (I was jealous in my sloppiness) asked me how old she was and commented about flying with her own child. It was sweet to know she was in the club.

Then I got to the bottom of the jet bridge. How was I going to remove the car seat (which requires two hands) while also holding Emme. Sure I could put her back in the seat, listen to her cry, then remove the seat, then breakdown the stroller. That's what I was all ready to do when two people came to my aid. An older man started trying to help with the stroller which was so sweet even though he didn't entirely understand how the darn thing worked - I can relate. And then that woman who had the clothes of a businesswoman but the eyes of a mom, looked at me and put her arms out. "If you don't mind," I said as I handed her my little girl and quickly got everything situated.

Before I had children I don't know if I was always as kind and aware of that mother quietly trying to hold everything together. I should have been. I am now.

While preparing for the trip, I had planned to do it all myself. I forgot the x factor. We don't live in this world alone. Sometimes we just have to open our eyes and receive the goodness around us.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Eye on the prize, mamas

"Jack's bowls!" Yes, buddy, those are your bowls. "Jack's cups." Uh-huh, yep. I'm slowly loading the dishwasher and watching Jack stack up the dirty dishes already loaded. My tired brain is watching him undo my work, but it takes me a moment to realize that I am putting dishes in and he is essentially taking them out.

I move into the living room and pick up some toys while he is coloring at the table. Satisfied with the fact I can again see the floor I walk out, go to the bathroom, return to the living room and stand in complete awe of the number of toys scattered on the floor, the couch, the fireplace. But I left the room for about one minute, I think to myself. He's back at the table with his Lightning McQueen toy.

This is motherhood.

I'm constantly cleaning, picking up, coaching, teaching and often times I feel like my words and actions are unnoticed or instantaneously undone.

Then I remind my tired brain, eye on the prize. I'm not trying to win the award for fastest dishwasher loader or cleanest house keeper.

I think back to the dishwasher. Jack was putting the three stackable bowls in correct order by size. He's learning. I wasn't there to witness his toy-throwing tornado event, but I have before, and typically it involves him dumping out toys because he's in search of something specific. There's something he would like, and he has taught himself how to get it. It's a messy process, but it's an accomplishment.

And I look over to my buddy, and he is smiling.


That is my prize.

I am trying to raise good, caring, thoughtful people.

No trophy. No finish line. Just life. Exhausting, beautiful life.

To all the moms out there, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY.

(pro newborn photos by camithompsonphotography.com)