It’s Thursday, so I’ve had love on the brain. (Love Thursday being the reason, of course.) I had all intention of writing about a new book we got just recently but… my children, they give me content. For free. They’re good little content producers.
We had to bring home BigBrother’s girlfriend, A1, from preschool today. Her Mom had an appointment so we brought her home with us. (Through this experience we also learned that two booster seats of different brands and one Britax roundabout fit in the back seat of our GMC Sonoma. Win!) We stopped at the Fire Department so BigBrother could tell FireDad about his day. As I was saying my goodbyes, I hear BigBrother whisper across the row of car seats, “A1, I love you so much, too.”
Later, as they had snack together in the kitchen, I heard, “A1, I love you,” followed by, “BB, I love you, too.”
Now, in the living room, they’re sitting with barely any space between the two of them, holding hands, watching a Wubbzy DVD (to be reviewed soon) still whispering things about love. Just last week, after I informed him that he couldn’t, in fact, marry me since Daddy is already married to me, he told me that he was going to marry A1. And they were going to name their children the names of LittleBrother and A1. In all likelihood, they’ll probably just end up friends. (But there is this part of me that thinks, “Oh, wouldn’t it be nice to like my son’s in laws?” Because, yes, that would be nice.)
What warms my heart is that my oldest son hasn’t lost the desire to express love. He hasn’t been told to be a brute. He doesn’t have to push her down to let her know that he likes her, ala the movie “He Just Not That Into You.” He may play basketball but he tells me that he loves me as he leaves the court, complete with a kiss. Even though mean and nasty anonymous commenters think that they know better, I think we’re doing just fine. If you want to raise the child that beats mine up, well, that’s your prerogative. We’ll stick with the concept of love, thank you very much.
That is, until LittleBrother makes a move on A1. He just brough his favorite yellow fire boot to her, said “silly!” and batted his little eyelashes. And then, just now, I asked him to give me a kiss, and he ran over to give A1 a kiss. Oh dear. I’m in trouble. Or, LittleBrother is in trouble. Or, maybe, BigBrother is in trouble. Or, perhaps, we’re all in trouble.
I had just happened to put LittleBrother in his “Probie” shirt the other day. For you non-firefighters who are currently smirking, a probie is a probational firefighter. The “new kid” on the block. The one that you make do all the chores. You know, that one. BigBrother got this shirt for his first birthday. I had forgotten about it until just recently so we’re trying to get some good wear time out of it for LittleBrother before he has another growth spurt.
And so the story of my melting heart goes like this…
BigBrother went back to his room, got into his imagination clothes bin and came out with (one of) his fire helmet(s) on. He was stomping around and putting out fires. I then saw LittleBrother toddle back the hall. A few seconds later, he came toddling back down the hall with another fire helmet in hand. He brought it to me so I could put it on his head. And then he went off to stomp with his brother.
And I snapped this picture.
Forget the fact the the living room is covered with toys. Forget the fact that the picture is not technically amazing. Forget all of that. Look at the joy on LittleBrother’s face. Do you see it? Do you feel it? Because I see it and I feel it every time the two of them do something together. Together together and not just playing with separate toys side by side. While the latter is cute enough, to see them actually interested in doing things together melts me into a puddle of mommy goo.
For the most part, they get along quite well. There are issues when it comes to sharing Very Important Toys but we deal with those as they come. The story wasn’t the same for me. My brother was eight years younger and, as such, wasn’t the best playmate. Sure, he wanted to be just like me. But he did things that drove me insane like the time he painted my brand new bedspread with my oil paints. And while I do predict that these two will ruin things for one another, pictures like these fill me with such love. I know that they don’t realize how lucky they are right now. And when they’re teens, they probably won’t either. But my hope is that someday they can look back at a picture like this and smile.
[For more Love Thursday, visit Chookooloonks.]
Our mountain vacation, as you may have read over on The Chronicles of Munchkin Land, was also a visit with the Munchkin and her family. It was a fabulous time for all of us. Somewhat relaxing for the two adults (you know, as relaxing as four children can be). And lots of fun for the kids. The Munchkin and I had some of our own moments but what touched me the most were the moments that TheBrothers had with their sister.
BigBrother had been talking about the visit for a full week. On the morning that we were set to leave, he had a small break down when I informed him that he still had to go to school first. He was so excited that he was jumping up and down, making it impossible to put pants on. The joy on his face was contagious, or, perhaps, my own joy at the visit was contagious. All the same, he was a happy little-big dude when we finally got there (only to be disappointed that his sister was sleeping). He enjoyed playing with the Munchkin and JD. There were small issues, of course, as there are when any children attempt to play together but, for the most part, they had a great time together.
What was even more touching for me was watching the Munchkin with LittleBrother. Due to circumstances that were really above and beyond the control of those involved who cared, LittleBrother had never met the Munchkin. I had talked about her since the day he was born, just as I had with BigBrother, but we were unable to get together until just now. Life happens, right? As such, watching my youngest child meet his sister and then follow her around like she was the best thing since Bee Crackers warmed the heck out of my mommy heart.
Some people teased me for taking close to 600 of my own pictures on our visit. These two pictures I’ve thrown together for today’s Love Thursday are a reason as to why I did such a thing. While we have another visit scheduled for this coming May, I need to be able to look back on happy moments like these when the dark days of grief roll in as they are bound to do. The healing process has hills and valleys. I’m still on that post-visit high right now. But there will be moments between now and the next picture-fest in which I will need to look at this picture and realize how truly blessed I am. I have so much.
To clarify: I have so much love.
[For more Love Thursday, visit Chookooloonks.]
Today FireDad and I are celebrating our anniversary. Well, to be honest, we’re not celebrating-celebrating until the 27th. We’ll be going away, without children, for a weekend of romance and love. And sleep, to be honest. But, today, the 18th, is our official anniversary. A friend is watching LittleBrother while BigBrother is at school so the two of us lovebirds can dart off for a lunch without someone fighting over who gets to lick ketchup over french fries.
The other day, while waiting for Santa to arrive on a fire truck, FireDad and I took some silly pictures. We do this a lot. I don’t know why. Perhaps because we’re silly. In fact, we’re still rather silly for one another. Through the sleepless nights, diapers, work drama, missed holidays due to work (and associated drama), postpartum depression, arguments, grumpy pants and general boringness of life… we’ve somehow found a way to stay silly with one another. Which is good as life can be far too serious sometimes. It’s good to laugh with one another.
We’ve been through a lot and, no doubt, there are things ahead that won’t be as funny as this series of pictures. But I think we both feel very blessed to be heading into each day together. We’re not perfect. But finding the humor in our mistakes has brought us thus far. Looking at the joy in our eyes, I have hope enough for the future.
Happy Anniversary, FireDad. You’ll always be my hero.
Perhaps at Thanksgiving more than any other time of the year, I am just overwhelmed with the amazingness of my immediate, under-this-roof family. And I would double that feeling this year. As of Thanksgiving last year, I was 38 weeks, 4 days pregnant. I went into labor the following evening and LittleBrother officially joined our family on that Saturday after Thanksgiving. The boys were due the day after (BB) and the week after (LB) Thanksgiving and, so, it is probably expected that I am filled with love and memories and general feelings of thankfulness for their existence around this beautiful holiday.
A year ago, my life was nothing like it is today. I was uncomfortable. And huge. And chasing a newly-turned two year old around while uncomfortable and huge. It was no easy task. Now, less huge, I am chasing a newly-turned three year old and a newly-turned one year old around and around and around. And sometimes they chase me back. And we laugh. And we cry. And we learn. And we change. FireDad and I have both been experienced great opportunity this year; he has been teaching many fire classes and I’ve been writing and writing and writing. It’s been an amazing year.
As I put my two boys to bed last night, I was amazed at the changes we have been through this year. Good. Hard. Indifferent. The growth, itself, has been amazing. BigBrother no longer possesses those baby cheeks. LittleBrother is no longer a newborn. Or a baby as he’s technically a toddler. It’s just amazing.
Today we’re off to The Farm to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. And we’ll be thankful. Even when BigBrother won’t eat the food. Or LittleBrother throws up on my sweater. Or FireDad makes an inappropriate joke in front of Great-Grandma. We’ll be thankful for it all. For we are so very blessed.
Happy Thanksgiving! (And Love Thursday!)