Welcome 2017, I am going to breath you in.

My goodness, 2017 is actually here.

We all needed a little Christmas to prepare for this New Year. We had a lot of Christmas, and it was glorious.

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Tiny Humans, Christmas 2016

We have done basically nothing with our week off. It jives with my own inner mantra for the next year. My feelings about how to live this next year are still a jumbled mess, but I am working on sorting them out. They include the words on this list. I had a professor once who suggested writing lists when I couldn’t write accurate sentences.

2017 Concentration List

Less

Stop

Breath

Patience

Work is not my entire life

Read

Cook

Eat

Enjoy

Yoga

Find Joy

Slow down

Watch for laughter…listen

Listen

Smile

Mindful Mothering

Move

Sleep

The data person in me is a little agitated by this list, because half of it is not measurable. I can measure the meals I cook, the yoga I practice, and the smiles I capture. I can do that. Some of this list I can’t measure, and it is an exercise for me to remember what I am assigning value this year.

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There was a lot of sunlight on my mat this morning. 

Our 2016 was stupid hard. I did a lot of yelling, and not enough sleeping. I could resolve in 2017 to yell less, but that is not really a goal, because it is not sorting out the root cause of yelling.

I’m determined to live a better year. Mostly, I am determined to smile more.

Be Kind, Fall

I had one of the best summers I have had in years. I never had a moment where I wished the tiny humans were back in school. I never sat bored. I never felt the annoyance of heat and humidity. I basically didn’t lose my shit with the burdens that

Tiny Humans at The Lake
Tiny Humans at The Lake

summertime brings parents, working parents, students, or humans. It was a summertime that made some semblance of sense, or kind of, maybe. I am working on adulting 2.0.

Granted I did this summer with a tremendous amount of help, stable housing, financial stability, and wait for it… I did not have an infant, and I did not write a thesis, or read a 172 zoning ordinances, I did not take a summer class, and I did not commute an hour, or buy a house, or nurse a baby, and I did not organize weeks and weeks of childcare, or spend even a minute of it looking for company, because my friends were in abundance.

I cherished my friendships more than ever this summer. It was the first time in many years that I felt like I had the time to spend with friends. I ate so many salads. I drank so many coffees (and diet cokes), and beers. We cooked so many meals. We talked and texted for hours. I had so many late night phone dates. A morning turned into afternoons, and dinnertime was on lake time. We texted about nothing and everything until the early morning hours. I ignored naptimes and bedtimes in the spirit of friendship and summertime.

I exercised my academic mind with part-time work six minutes from my house at the College. I watched the tiny humans grow into water babies. (The tiniest one now walks straight into the water with double “floaties” and thinks she can go as deep as she wants.) I watched as their bravery wowed me.

Granny and her tiny humans doing summer.
Granny and her tiny humans doing summer.

I watched as their friendships grew. She asked between tears, “when will I see my Lake friends again? You Mamas only get together when we are at school.” “I do not know my sweetness, I do not know. Soon. Columbus Day. Let’s have a Halloween party!” It stopped her tears for a moment, at least before the inevitable

More Tiny Humans doing summer.
More Tiny Humans doing summer.

night-before-the-first-day-of-school meltdown.

Well Fall, professionally you have already been embraced (#slideone), but lets face some facts. You are knocking me down hard tonight. I am trying to adult (the thirties version), I now have all of the things to do, I will forget to check in on my friends this fall, and I will miss so many tiny human moments. Be kind, Fall. We are returning from a pretty epic season, and we will miss our friends.

Keep Them Close

My tiniest human has a new phrase of words. She says, “up in birds.” We call our Chloe Tula “birds” because there are birds on it. She loves being up. It is her happy place. (Unless she wants to run in the street in front of traffic. Then I am the meanest mama on the face planet for putting her up in Birds.) I did not realize when I first started wearing her that it would become her safe haven. She likes ups even with mama friends who look after her, and with childcare providers . She likes to feel snug against the adult who will protect her. Her knowledge for finding security provides her and I tremendous comfort.

I worry about the day when she won’t want ups. I already catch glimpses when she says, “down” or “play.” I know my days of wrapping her against me and keeping her from harm are limited, and I need to cherish these days. I know someday “walk” will be her default response, and “ups” will be forgotten.

One of my dear friends, Ginger Snaps Pictures, captured this picture and it embodies what it means to carry my youngest baby. She is snuggled into my back. She is smiling at the wishes of a dandelion.

Dandelion Wishes, by Ginger Snaps
Dandelion Wishes, by Ginger Snaps

She is safe, and warm, and happy. She is with her Momma. Babies belong to their mommas, and this baby is happy to belong to me.

As the longest days turn to into the shortest years I hope she will remember our connection. I hope she will look fondly on these pictures and carry her own babies. I wish for her that the security, confidence, and contentment of always knowing her mama will be there is passed down to my future generations. I wish for her that her own heart sighs with love when she glances at this picture.

I Missed the Moment

I missed the day when I stopped missing you.

I looked at your ankles as you were picking out your perfect back-to-school outfit. They are covered in scratched and picked bug bites; after a shower, the bottoms of your toes are still black with dirt from the inside of your summer-loved Keen sandals. Your feet have grown long and lean, and I missed when they became the feet of a school girl; I missed that day, that moment.

For your outfit, we had originally settled on your elephant dress, but you changed your mind at some point during the day, and decided the monkey-bars (the play ground challenge you now scale with ease) would be problematic in your elephant dress. You declared a skirt with shorts was your only option, and your outfit could have absolutely no pink, obviously.You went to Kindergarten in head to toe pink. I missed the “no pink” memo, I missed that day, I missed the no-pink moment.

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First day of Kindergarten, and the last day of Kindergarten.

Wearing no pink, you will start first grade tomorrow. And I realized as I was staring at your feet, that I am only excited for you. Only EXCITED. Tomorrow, sweet girl, I will not miss you. You will leave with Daddy, and head to first grade in your purple skirt, and orange shirt. I will miss the moment, but I will not miss you. I will pick you up, after your first day of first grade, and I will be ready to hear all about your new classroom, but I will not be sad that you had this day without me, because I will not miss you.

Simply put, I missed the moment when I stopped missing you. I missed the moment, when I knew you were out there in the world literally being awesome, so I did not need  to worry, I did not need to miss you. I missed the day I stopped missing you.

You my sweet girl, will not miss me either. You will take your confident, lean and leggy self to first grade. Daddy will drop you at the door this year, he will not walk you in, and you will embrace your Montessori training, and you will go, by yourself, and you will not miss us, and that is okay. I can only hope, that as your legs grow longer, and you detest new colors, that you let us know, that you will remember to tell us about the moments we miss.