Friday, October 19, 2012

Mummy Dogs, Eye of the Tiger, and Bouncing Curls

There must be something in the air this time of year.  Fall seems to bring with it the smell of fallen leaves, a cool crispness in the air, and the preamble to the holiday season.  Something about it always makes me reflect on years past and each and every year I am amazed at how fast time flies.
I don't know why I'm feeling so nostalgic, but every little thing seems to throw me into a whirlwind of memories, and an odd mixture of sadness, excitement, and most of all, satisfaction.
We were driving down the road a few days ago when "Eye of the Tiger" started playing on the radio.  My boys (like many boys, old and young) seem to get an extra rush of adrenalin whenever they hear that song.  The music instantly took me back to a phone call I received last year.  The number on the phone was recognizable and I new after a moment it was the elementary school.  I quickly answered, just a little nervous about what I might hear.  To my surprise it was Luke on the other end of the phone.  Here is how the conversation went:
"Hi Mom"
"Hey Buddy, what's up?"
"Can I be in the talent show this year?"
"What do you want to do in the talent show?"
"I want to whistle Eye of the Tiger."
"You want to whistle Eye of the Tiger"
"Yep but I have to stay after school to practice.  Is that ok?"
"We'll talk about it when I pick your brother up."
I instantly found myself in a motherly dilema.  I was proud of him for being confident enough to put himself  "out there," but the overly-protective mother in me was worried.  You see, my handsome, bright, confident son was a cute little 2nd grader.  His school had grades k-8.  I remembered how cruel older kids could be.  I was worried that if they saw my adorable little 2nd grader step on that stage with nothing but his witts and a microphone and begin to whistle Eye of the Tiger that they would be, well, cruel.  I never want to be the mom that doesn't encourage my kids to go after their dreams, but I was finding myself coming up with ways to talk Luke out of it.  
I picked him up from school, and I can honestly say I don't remember how the conversation went.  I'm sure I brought up a couple of points to consider and he eventually talked himself out of it. 
I really don't know if I did the right thing.  Sometimes I don't think so.
Now in my nostalgic moments, I see my sweet little Luke growing up.  I see him worry more about what other people think about him.  I see him developing more confidence in a lot of areas, yet losing some of his childlike innocent confidence.  The kind that doesn't give a crap about whether or not 8th graders laugh at him in the talent show.  So when I heard "Eye of the Tiger" playing on the radio, I found myself wanting to hold onto that moment a year ago, onto to that sweet 2nd grader and his innocence.  I made sure to pay extra close attention to the whistling coming from the back seat.

Then just this morning when Tanner was reading to me on the couch I was marveling at what a good little reader he is.  Almost instantly I was transported back to our 2nd house.  I remember sitting on the back porch with him when he was 2-years-old.  I can still see his curly hair, round little cheeks and gappy-toothed smile.  I would show him Luke's preschool flashcards, he knew every color, every shape, and a few letters.  I was impressed, but I wonder if I really knew how smart he was.  I wonder if I really how smart he is.

Ellie is growing so much, but still, she seems to hold onto a lot of that childhood innocence that I see slowly slipping away from my boys.  She can lock herself in her room with a few barbies and her imagination, and she's happy for hours.  She lives in the land "Happily Ever After."  In her mind the world is made of princes and princesses and it won't be long until a prince whisks her away to start their own Happily Ever After.  She's probably right.  It won't be long.  I just hope and pray that it will be just that.  Happily. Ever. After.

My little Mya with her blue-eyes and bouncing blond curls is a constant reminder that our family dynamics are changing.  I've said many times that she is the exclamation point that finishes our family story.  She's our last baby.  Watching her take her first steps was a first for her and a last for me.  Now she says things like "Oh NO, baby poot (pooped)!" she knows what she wants and tells me what she needs, she wraps her tiny arm around her daddy's neck for a loving kiss good-bye.  She's getting good at voicing her own opinions and she tries with all of her itty-bitty might to keep up with the big kids.  However, she still loves to be snuggled, she still needs me, she still takes baby size steps, and she can still only wrap her baby hands around two of my fingers.  I hope I can savor these moments.  I know they will pass as quickly as all the ones before them.

Our family has moved passed the expanding stage.  We're in the growing stage, the watching in awe stage, a stage full of changes and progress. And while I am living my life in this stage, I am sure that this year won't be the last time that I see a picture of mummy dogs when Halloween-Time rolls around again, and smile with tears in my eyes think of how our family has changed since we ate mummy dogs the year before.  I guess it's kind of a stage of reflection mixed with a boat load of anticipation and a good dose of savoring the moments.  It feels good.


lmackay32 said...

This is Beautiful post Kaydee, thanks for sharing!

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