Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Walking Ahead

I watch as you walk ahead of me.............tan legs extending from your bright hawaiian themed skirt, blond hair swinging behind you, a bright blue headband topping you off.

You walk ahead - not behind, not beside - but ahead of me, almost running in your excitement to get back to school, to get back to friends, to get back to routine.

You are eager to show your brother the way.  You show him his locker.  You want to help put away his supplies.  You greet your old teachers.  You've been here, done this.

Because of you your brother isn't so scared, he's actually eager to go.  He's heard stories of school.  He's heard how much you love the teachers.  You've sold him on the idea of recess, gym, computers, iPads, even reading.  I love to see how eagerly he follows you and how much you relish showing him the way.

I can't believe that it was two short years ago that we tentatively walked into this building - all of us.  We were nervous for you.  You were nervous.  We weren't quite sure how this whole school thing would go over.  You hid behind us.  You held our hands.  You missed out on gym the first day because of a tummy ache - an ache that came from more than your tummy, I am sure.

But now...............

You walk ahead.  For all of us, my brave and lovely girl.  You have set the tone in this family.  School is a place to learn but it's also a place to love and be loved.  The best thing I have heard yet from a teacher is that you are always the first to be kind, that you care for others in a way that goes beyond the ordinary.  Oh how proud that made me!  It's what we try to tell you, show you, teach you but what you end up teaching us, instead.

You've shown me, sweet girl, to friend the ones who aren't the same, who don't look like you.

You've taught me not to look for the safest, the easy but to show kindness to everyone.

You've shown me that kindness is not just a performance for others but a way of living in the every day.

You've taught me that patience is for everyone and not just when I feel like it or am having a good day.

I love that you are known not for your daddy the middle school teacher, your mommy the former first grade teacher or grandma the retired veteran of the school.........you are known for you, now.  As Sofia Codispoti you have paved your own way, made your own name at that school that is now yours and yours to share with your brother this year.

I am so proud of you.

And if I forget to tell you tomorrow or my smile might seem a bit too big for a mama leaving her little ones for the first day...........I will miss you.  This summer has been a wonderful one.  It was a time of many trips, reading outside, hip-hop, swimming ALL ALONE (WOW), paddle-boating, picnicking, crafts and so many other adventures.  You bring so much to our little family - you organize, you love on your brother and sister, you work hard, you entertain and you treasure the time that daddy and I spend with you.

I love you, sweet girl.

Happy Last Day of Summer.

Monday, August 19, 2013

What I See

They see you and exclaim, "He's SO big!  When did he get so big?"

I look at you and I wonder what they see.

I look at you and I see the same boy I have always seen.

The boy who still calls for me in the morning to get him out of bed.

The boy who cuddles up on my lap and likes to be held for the first few moments of the day.

The boy who pouts and turns in on himself when things don't go his way.

The boy who feels such JOY at the smallest of things and such anger at the tiniest of offenses.

The boy who laughs with such abandon and loves disgusting things.

The boy with big lips, big cheeks and a big heart.

I see our big, beautiful baby boy.

But in just two days this baby boy will be taking his first steps into kindergarten, into a world away from home.

Is that possible?  Could so many others be seeing what I have been missing?  That our beautiful boy is, indeed, growing up and up and up?

It seems to be so.

Another one leaving the nest.........tentatively and for just a few hours..........always returning, making his way home.......and yet.

And yet it is a step closer to the growing up and growing out and growing away......

But that is another day, another milestone.

For today I will treasure the morning cuddles and wake up call, the big, loud belly laughs, the crocodile tears over the little injustices of a 5 year old boy and the the tender heart of our big, beautiful baby boy.

Tomorrow comes soon enough.

Just ask the weary mama of 5 years ago who put her baby to sleep each night, wrapped up tight and placed in the bouncy seat in the crib and woke up to a boy who runs hard, plays hard and loves hard.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Length of You

Laying still for just a moment, I look down.

And I see.

I see the length of you laying on the length of me.

Oh child.

You wear me down, you wear me out, you wear me.






You are an endless parade of need and love and need and love and more need.

And yet.

I look down.

And I see.

And I feel.

I feel the weight of you, the glorious, tender weight of you, my child.

And I soak in the moment, realizing that you are just as much my security blanket as I am yours.

As much as I bemoan and roll my eyes and sigh deep, big sighs - you are worth each and every moment of aggravation and weariness.  You are my adventure.  You love big and you need big.  You cause heads to shake while mouths betray the joy you bring to people.  You shout and cajole and boss and own this place.

I can't imagine this life, this world without you.

You still grip my hand to pull me places and tug me hard.   And as you tug my hand, you tug my heart. For you are the last in line - the loudest, the most direct, the wildest one.  Your daddy and I often stare at you in confusion, as if not quite sure how you became ours - so different are you from the others.

And yet.

I look down.

And I see.

I realize, as I look at the length of you laying on the length of me..........

So much of who you are is who I am.

An endless parade of need and love and need and love and more need.    My shouts and bossiness and directness and loudness is shrouded by adulthood most of the time, concealed by the awareness of expectations and presence of others.  And I must say there is part of me that hopes who you are is never fully concealed or shrouded.  That who you are now continues to be who you are into adulthood - that all that craziness and loudness is such a gift.    I love the glint in your eye and the sureness of who you are.

One day soon, we will lay and your toes will start to creep further to mine.  Until one day we will stand next to each other, our toes will meet and the length of you will match the length of me.  It's hard to imagine such a time as that.

I pray that the glint is still in your eye, that the sureness of who you are grows and keeps you loving big.

I pray that people are still shaking their heads and that their mouths still betray their joy at you.  

I pray that your sense of adventure will take you many places but will always bring you home, to the ones that love you most and have loved you longest.

Oh my girl.  How I love you.