Sunday Morning

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Trav is golfing. Obviously, I feel some way about it since I chose to lead with that introduction. (Confession, sometimes I’m jealous that he’s a boy.  In a sorority house full of females, I’ve been told my jealousy is normal.  And just fyi, no, I don’t want to be a boy.)

Avayah is in her room reading The Borrowers. That’s a lie.  She’s watching YouTube challenges. The kind where they mix random ingredients, say pepper, mayo, yogurt, and strawberries into a blender then pulse the concoction into smoothie consistency, before trying to see who can drink it without gagging, or worse throwing up. With that said, I wish she was reading The Borrowers.

Amelia and Anabella are gracefully (if that means tripping and bumping into every piece of furniture we own) running through the house, dressed as Anna and Elsa. In a few minutes, they will reappear as Belle and Ariel. This will continue until all the dress-up gowns are carelessly scattered upon Amelia’s bedroom floor, her room now a wicked piece of abstract art.

Adalynne is sitting in front of me, sharing my desk. Her face is serious lines and focus. She is working on a “surprise picture” for me.  Per her request, I’m not allowed to peek around the corner of my Mac.

I don’t peek, although I don’t like surprises. Even if they are just an assortment of cut-out pictures of a ballerina, colored and taped on construction paper.

I need involvement. I want to watch her little face, her process, her expressions as she creates her newest masterpiece.

Avoiding my instinct to look, I read my father-in-laws blog post about blessings. I’m immersed.

“Mama, they are growing up so fast.” The statement jumps over my Mac and hits me between the eyes just as I finish the article.

I angle myself into her view. Adalynne is gazing at Amelia and Anabella who are dancing, while pretending to freeze one another in the living room. Although I can’t see their newest choreography, I can hear their dresses swooshing and “fffffshhhh.” And if that doesn’t confirm it, it’s definitely set in stone with Amelia directing, “stop moving Bella, I froze you…”

I want to chime in rebuttal to Adalynne, that they all (her included) are growing up too fast. But I sit and listen as she keeps her stare upon them.

“Amelia used to be four,” She informs, her rising little hands stopping mid-chest, “and now she is five…”

“And Bella used to be one,” Her voice sounds lighter, her little arms rapidly mimicking the motions of rocking a cradled baby, “and now she is two…” By now she sounds disenchanted.

“They used to be small mama.” Her voice begs me to confirm this statement’s truth. Maybe if I disagree, saying they were never small will somehow wipe away the existence of time and they will stop growing up, herself included.

“How do you get through this??” She emphatically questions.  She looks so small, but sounds so adult to my ears, as real tears pool in her eyes.

Out of my flock of four beauties, Adalynne (my seven year old) feels everything. More so, she loves babies, to the point of trying to hold stranger’s babies.

She takes it very personally that Anabella is now a busy toddler, who screams when Adalynne attempts to swaddle and rock her.

She starts to fan dry her eyes, because she is not her mother’s daughter at all.

“This is so painful…” She laughs, her misty blue eyes locking with mine.

“It is…” My heart and voice admit, “but it is also beautiful to see them grow…” I smile.

Her innocent eyes begin to sparkle as her little grin lifts into her cheeks, almost mirroring the serendipity, the blessing of this small moment.

May her eyes always see the sensitive wonder of life…

A Tale of True Love

 

My Dearest Love,

I know I’m five days late, missing Valentine’s Day and all, but my new adopted mantra is “it’s never too late to speak love.

So here it goes, boo, bae, snookiepookiesnugglewuggums, whatever works.

Oh, Walmart Grocery let me count the ways in which to profess my undying, irrevocable love for you, from your newest, truest secret admirer.

You probably don’t know it yet, but I’m in love with you. How could you know though? I just found you two days ago. I’ve been stalking (it is really just browsing) you ever since. What can I say? You are gorgeous…like Edward-Cullen-gorgeous, who knows, you might even sparkle, too.

Do you really look this good in person, as you do online? Don’t answer that. I’m going to be upfront, I’m a mom (leave your Twilight judgement here, yes, I’m too old to still talk about it, okay—let it go).  As a mom, if I ask you a question, believe I already know the answer.

I’m going to be honest though, I knew the old you, before you changed (I applaud Carlisle).  I’ll admit, I wasn’t exclusive to you, Wal-Mart. Don’t worry though, it was me not you.

We went out several times, more like we were steady (with the exception of my cheating), back when you were normal, but I don’t think you remember me, or maybe you do? (Think Bella, if she were slightly insane, had some (okay, a lot) kids, and was a tried and true mombie—I’ll get to that later…)

In case you don’t remember, let me refresh your memory…

I was the lady, taming a small wolf pack, in sweat pants, uggs, a t-shirt from the 90’s, who’s hair was in a messy bun—not the cute kind that girls pin on Pinterest either, more the sad kind, like an awkward beehive, if that beehive was set on fire then doused in oil and perm gel. Don’t even ask me about my make-up…in the words of Sweet Brown, “ain’t nobody got time for that…”

Remember earlier, when I said it was me, not you? Well, that wasn’t entirely true.

It was actually my small herd of children. Every time, I’d visit you with them, they changed (think wild animals, the kind that voluntarily wax floors with their pelt, sanitize meat cabinets with their tongues, furiously unwrap 50 candy wrappers in .02 seconds while they stand in line, use your restroom 5 times in one trip (their little bodies groan out at the top of their voice—the kind that even your greeter hears in the entryway—”I’m POO (ugggh) PING”)…and gives your entire store a sweet rendition of “AHHHHHHH, WAHHHHHHH, RRRAAAA!” (It’s a classic, it stays at the top of all the charts.)

Even though we used to date, we may never have traded glances (I’m shy, okay). Really, I was busy ducking to avoid eye contact, while chasing the herd (the 4.5 kids ages 9 and under) and trying to pay attention to you, too.

Ducking, while chasing? Yes, I’ll admit that I might have mirrored a slightly intoxicated person. Is it coming back to you now?

Security may have alerted you back then, as I wildly threw your merchandise in my cart, sprinted after the herd (or small terrorists, as the old man on aisle 4 referred to them last time), and stared at the ground to avoid those “people” who love to tell me how full my hands are, or that I have a lot of weddings to pay for.  They probably told you I was on drugs, but that’s motherhood, okay. My kids are the only drugs I need.

But those days are gone now. The old you is dead to me, now that I’ve heard about the new you, the kind that only offers services through the internet. Where did I hear this you ask?

Housewives, the ones you’ve recently corrupted. You forgot to have them sign the NDA, Christian.

They are kissing and sharing…

Walmart Grocery, you are now a hot commodity; your time slots are going faster than Adele’s concert tickets.

I wish I could say that you were too good to be true, but you are a real LIFE Adonis of my dreams. I was helpless as my inner goddess fell for you.

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(The photo above is of me jumping for my new found joy.  That’s a lie, it’s not me, but it emulates how I feel on the inside.  That’s what counts, right?)

Let me list the ways I will never be the same again thanks to you, Walmart Grocery :

Because of you, I will never have to step inside another grocery store with my wild herd ever again. This will save my sanity, my self-esteem, and my children endless spankings.

Because of you, I already gladly accepted and used the free $10 coupon you gave me just for joining your provocative musings. That $10 covered my margarita mix. Thank you for already knowing my needs, soulmate.

Because of you, I can sit behind my computer screen and click to the beat of my own drum, ordering groceries and essentials from my home. Tampax to chicken broth, your entire website is my playground.

Because of you, I have two-whole hours to show up whenever the hell I want. Walmart Grocery, you know my life. You understand me and that I’m never on time (thanks children and all the lost shoes we can never find).

Because of you, you will call and tell me, in the most pleasant voice, that my grocery order is ready and just to ring you when I’m ready. You will even laugh when I tell you that this is my first time…

Because of you, I will never search for another parking spot again. I will simply pull into the designated A-D parking spaces for grocery pick-up. This will add years to my life, my car value will go up too. You’ve saved me from a parking lot altercation and my vehicle from countless dents.

Because of you, I can remain in my cozy driver seat and the children buckled, zombified by the dvd player, as you load our groceries. Again, you know my life Walmart Grocery. You know I wasn’t thinking about grocery shopping when I voluntarily signed up for four kids.

Because of you, I have to do no work other than lift my fingers to sign. (This one needs no commentary, really who wants to do the work? Believe and Receive, amiright?)

Because of you, I don’t have to go without that pint of rocky-road ice cream, because you will even substitute out of stock items for me. It’s like you can read minds, of course, I wanted triple fudge, you God.

Because of you, I now know true love.

Thank you Walmart Grocery for being my one and only, don’t mess this up.  I can’t go back…

I love you.

XO,

—Your (not so) Secret Admirer

Neverland…

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Singing a lullaby–this act is a ritual, a staple in our bedtime routine for our daughters.  At the fringe of bedtime, I am responsible for the soft whispering hums of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and You Are My Sunshine

Most nights, I’m tired as I sit upon the edge of their beds.  After a long day of mothering four daughters, closing with bathing, slathering them in lotion, brushing teeth (and flossing, if their dentist reads this), picking out pajamas, putting on pajamas, fulfilling last-minute requests (I need a drink, I need my folder signed, I need, I need, I need…) I feel the weight of the day heavy upon my shoulders.  Lethargy spreads from my mind, trickling down my body.  And I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t tried to weasel out of ‘singing’ several times.

Last night we had company over for dinner.  By the time our hosting duties wrapped, the girls’ bedtime extended further into the night than our normal routine and I was enveloped in exhaustion.

I found myself rushing, while a slew of ramblings flew out of my mouth. (get into bed, come on…yes, it’s bedtime)  

I was chasing, trying to run down the elusive me-time; the hour(s) I have to myself after all the beauties are tucked in, safe in their beds.  

“Mommy, you have to sing.” Adalynne stated, reaffirming my nightly duty.  Every part of me longed to proclaim, “It’s late.  Mama will sing tomorrow, you have to go to sleep.  You have school in the morning..” But for some reason, I couldn’t.

Pushing myself to achieve their normal, regardless of the time or my tiredness, I sang their lullabies.

Nearing the end of the final verse, my eyes filled with the scene of my oldest daughter’s lip trembling.  Her eyes began to glisten and her chin wobbled.

Silently, she was doing her best to hold back a sob.

“What’s wrong?” I questioned her, alarmed.

“I was just thinking…of the day,” She hiccups through tears now streaming down her face.  I can see where this is heading. “When you won’t sing us songs anymore.  When we grow up.” She finishes, stunning me.

Every part of me crumbles.  She will be ten in a week; the brutal, stark light of this world is starting to leak through the hairline cracks forming in the door of her childhood.

I reached over and hugged her, stroking her hair.  My face now mirrors hers as I whisper, “Children never grow up in the eyes of their parents.  I will always sing to you.”

She isn’t able to see yet, but one day–closer than I want to admit–she won’t need me to sing to her.  She will willingly walk out of Neverland.

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” –Graham Greene

But until that time comes, I’m reminded to not let my tiredness jiggle that door knob, or race after that day.