"A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God." Ecclesiastes 2:24
This is where I find myself today. Midway through November. Almost to Thanksgiving. Christmas time just around the bend (though I turn my head from the already put up decorations in attempt to savor just a few more moments of fall).
We're well into the school year. Somehow, Greystoke is more than halfway through his first year of life, and here we are.
Every day we wake up- (sometimes early, though the older 2 seem to have finally adjusted to daylight savings, praise the Lord)- we eat a lot, and drink water and Carnation instant breakfast, and we toil, and lately the toil has been full of satisfaction.
Greystoke is napping better now. In my bed, on his side, just like the other 2 used to nap, and it works for us.
He's still smiling a crazy lot.
Sunday night I took him to an assisted living facility for a visit, and we were the show stoppers of the night.
I don't think I'll ever forget these precious days with him. The way he makes a point of looking each of the elderly ladies who surround his stroller in the eye and give them a smile meant just for them ("I actually just got chills" said one of those ladies that night, and I almost cried).
The way, when I tell him to "say hi", he mimics me in "haaaaa" to everyone's delight.
There is no greater pleasure then seeing your child, who so delights you, give others the same pleasure.
It occurred to me, as I watched him carefully surveying the audience he was destined to charm on Sunday night, that this gift of the happiest of happy babies wasn't just meant for me, or my family. He was meant for each of these ladies surrounding me.
With his round bald head, and his ears that stick out just a little, and the way he sucks on his lower lip in between those great big smiles.
I savor the beauty of it, even at the same time as I so look forward to watching who he becomes.
The Dude is in preschool now 5 days a week, and it's going really well. It hasn't seemed to slow down the busyness of life whatsoever, but it has taken a little of the pressure off for those few hours. He loves school. Last Friday, I picked him up, and he said his favorite part of the day was when I picked him up (every now and then, he forgets to be ornery), and then when I told him happy weekend, he saw "Aww! You know why I said aww? Because I LIKE school!" And I loved to hear that because I didn't think I'd ever hear that from any of my boys.
Though I am slightly worried that he's going to be my A.D.D boy, but that's a worry for another day.
Right now, he's only 3, and standardized testing and traditional schooling do not have to be on my worry radar.
Right now, there's just mud puddles.
And breaking free from mom.
I remembered anew the other day how I encouraged myself when Aquaman was 3 with the knowledge that our tumultuous relationship stemmed from a very secure attachment. A strong mom and son attachment, must, at its very nature, be violently broken by a 3 year old boy who is just learning to be his own person. And so, I take it as a compliment. And I learn to let them grow up, just a little, without it hurting my feelings.
"I wish you would DIE so that Daddy could come home from work and take me on an adventure"
Yes, I used that moment to tell him that it's not a good idea to tell anyone that you wish they would die, AND that I didn't actually believe that he wished that. But no, it did not hurt my feelings in the slightest. It is just the Dude trying desperately to grow up and separate in the only immature way he knows how.
In a weird way, it's kind of sweet.
As he heads out on an adventure Saturday with Daddy, and suddenly realizes I'm not coming, and comes back for one more reassuring hug.
The push and pull of growing up has begun.
But at least not yet for this one, who has just entered separation anxiety phase.
He wouldn't let me leave him at the nursery this week, for the first time.
When he sees me walk away now, he puts his head down and starts sobbing, like his little heart is broken.
Then again, my mom told me that he did the same thing when the oxygen guy left the other day, so maybe I shouldn't be so flattered.
And Aquaman. Aquaman is all boy right now. All wild and barely able to contain himself, and yet very very agreeable. I really enjoy his company.
I really love talking to him about almost everything.
Especially since, unlike a lot of other boys, he mostly doesn't like to talk about gross things like poop.
He is, as his teacher put it last year, an old soul.
Profoundly interested in hearing me read the Bible every night. So much so, that somehow or other, though I thought I would never finish on time, I finished reading the Bible through 6 weeks earlier than planned.
That night, he asked if we could start over from the beginning, and so we did.
He was actually off, and there was zero pressure.
We ate dinner at Dakines.
Then the boys were going to take their kayak out for a spin at Grandma's, but they were way too cold.
And, before our attention turns to the fun of Christmas, we're savoring the spirit of Thanksgiving time.
We made a thankful tree, and ironically, one of the things we were thankful for- was Christmas. :)
The light wasn't very good, and my camera is pretty sensitive to that.
And they would not stop moving.
Ezra liked that.
To bribing them with chocolate pretzels.
Ezra wasn't sure what a chocolate pretzel was, but I'm pretty sure he knew he wasn't getting one.
Thank you, God. For the many many hours of toil we've been putting in lately.
And for chocolate pretzels.