Sunday, December 28, 2014

Just a Few More Minutes

Your head once fit perfectly under my chin.

Your tiny body curled so tightly around my stomach.

Your hands would knead my arm as if trying to bring blood to the surface.

Your eyelids would flutter softly down.

Your tiny breaths smelled of sugar.

You squeaked like a little mouse.

I would pull you in so tightly and stare at the moon from the two story room of your freshly painted nursery. I would beg for time to pause, to slow this moment down. It was 3ish am. I was tired. I was begging for sleep, but in that moment it seemed to be just the two of us awake in the universe. We were connected in a way I never felt connected to another human, connected in a way that is unbreakable, breath robbing like pain and utter joy meeting at the exact same time.

Your head now towers over my shoulder.

Your toes stretch down to my knees.

Your hands fall roughly around my neck.

Your eyes fight sleep begging for more time.

Your breath smells of macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets.

You tell me to sing "Twinkle, twinkle."

And I do for the fifth time as you fade away.

You are almost 3 and here I sit rocking you staring at the exact same moon in a different nursery begging to slow this moment down, begging for a few more moments.

Monday, December 15, 2014

One Day

One day you will feel defeated. You will feel as though someone deflated the balloon you've been floating in for years. You will feel like beat up concrete with a pot hole and you may even pop a few tires just to make yourself feel better. You'll feel this way one day, I promise.

And when you do, think about matchbox cars on a Friday night. Think about your dad and I sitting on the tired carpet in our living room night racing matchbox cars through the tiny dining room.

"Again!" you scream.

We gather all the mismatched cars and we race again. Your dad reassures you even when your car barely moves 3 inches.

"Good job," he says. "You're doing great."

Think about matchbox cars on a Friday night. Think about ducks and the way your face used to light up every time you saw them. Go see the ducks. Think about your cousins and the undivided attention they gave you.

"Chase me!" you would scream. And they would chase you through the house giggling and screaming even when their legs were tired and their eyes were sleepy.

Think about ice cream on a hot summer day and hot chocolate on a snow covered night. Think about the basic simplicities that used to fulfill your happiness because that is all you really needed...your family. That is all you really ever needed.

And then stand up...brush the dust off your shoulder, wake up and own the next day. That's the beauty...the sun will always rise and you will always have a choice.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Cheapest and Most Profitable Craft You'll Ever Do With Your Kids

My company sponsors a family every year at Christmas. It's just one of the many things I love about going to work. First on the list this year, the most basic life necessity: Toilet Paper. 

Here is a craft to inspire kids to give back.

Step One: Collect or purchase 3 Ball Jars-I'm guessing they are already in your cabinet.
Step Two: Create Tags with craft paper, chalkboard paint, cardboard, sticker paper, whatever you have on hand. Write Give, Save, Spend with white paint pen. 
Step Three: Attach tags to jar with hot glue gun.
Step Four: Share the life lesson...give a penny, save a penny, spend a penny. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Sand Monster and the Coffee Cup

We're sitting by the ocean. The air is crisp. Not too hot, not too cold. You are chasing birds and moving at rapid toddler speeds. You always move at this speed. We turn disposable coffee cups into sandcastle builders.

"Play with me!" you scream.

We oblige. How could we not? We build towers. You knock them down every single time. We call you the sand monster as you are starting to identify the good guys from the bad guys.

"Rarrrr! I'm the sand monster. I will eat you," you say with delight. You're the cutest little sand monster I ever laid eyes on. We continue these games until your eyelids look droopy and you are covered in sand. Heck, we're all covered in sand thanks to the sand monster.

This is it. This is the place I go in my mind on a day I've identified as stressful. This is it. This is the place I escape on a Monday morning over hot coffee cuddled up in my office.

This is it. My favorite family sand monster memory.