Thursday, September 20, 2012


Little girl. I remember when you first started walking; tiny little stick legs straight and stiff like a Russian soldier, itty bitty pot-belly puffed out under your tunic. Stubborn, strong, determined: that’s my girl. How is it you can run so fast now? How is it you can speak so well, stringing together oh-so-many syllables and quoting your favorite movie word for word with perfect inflection? How is it I long for each milestone but my heart aches at the very thought of you growing up.
Little boy. I remember those round, cherubic cheeks and Finnish lips squished against me as you slept in my arms, my little newly born man. Sweet, easy-going, curious; that’s my boy. How is it that you have grown so tall? How is it you can throw and kick and jump and play with the big boys? How is it that I admire your independence but dread the day you no longer need mommy cuddles?

You will never discover a puddle or a tide pool or snow or an autumn leaf for the first time again. I will have to hold those memories of each of your firsts as the rarest gift. I will watch as you discover new things, but as you grow, you will lose the amazement of an entire world that’s new to you. You will lose the need for mommy and daddy to be at your side to experience all of your firsts with you. And my heart will break.
Little girl, little boy, don’t outgrow mama too quickly. Know that mommy and daddy’s hearts grow and fill with love for you each day. Each day, our hearts expand like a big, red, infinite balloon that can never, ever pop. Yes, bloom and grow and take your steps toward independence. But take your time and don’t rush your childhood. You will miss it when it’s gone. Mommy and Daddy will miss it when it’s gone.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Vacation (with kids)

Vacationing with kids is so very different from vacationing as a couple. We used to be much more spontaneous – go where the wind takes us kind of people. Vacationing with children requires a lot of planning and foresight. I mean a lot.
My kids are three and almost two, so obviously I have to pack for them. I can only imagine what would happen if I tried to incorporate them in this task. I’d have a suitcase full of choo choo trains and cookies (you didn’t think they’d pack clothes, did you?)! Having to do packing for three (I let my husband pack his own clothes, a costly mistake as he forgot his swimsuit!) really made me hunker down and get super organized. Not only were there clothes for three, but there were snacks for four, toys, diapers, sippy cups, bottles – the list goes on! We did pretty well on this first trip, and with experience as my teacher I will be able to fine tune my system with each vacation. I think by the time the kids are in college, I’ll be a packing and organizing machine!

Anyway, enough about my developing packing skills! It’s hard to believe how much my little ones changed in just one year. My son is two and he had so much fun discovering the beach, from the tide pools to making sand anthills (that’s what they looked like to this observer) to discovering the ocean waves. Just one year ago this boy was intent on eating fistfuls of sand! My daughter, who is now three, experienced her first beach trip while I was pregnant with my son. She delighted at the ocean waves during what was her very last day as an only child. (Tip to anyone in the last couple of weeks of their pregnancy: walking around Boston all day might make you go into labor.) Last year, this same brave girl ran from the waves! This year, she and daddy explored the rocks and she was back to being Queen of the Waves.
I suppose vacationing with kids is in some ways more stressful than all of our vacations before kids, but in many ways, it’s definitely better. Just watching them as they experience new firsts and take such enjoyment and delight in the littlest of things that we, as adults, take for granted has been one of the most magical experiences in my life to date. I don’t think any vacation could be more amazing. And we’re still spontaneous, just with a bit more preparation, if you will.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What We Saw at the Zoo

I often wonder what my children will be like when they grow up. Will they be creative? Will they need to be center stage? Will they be solitary types or need to be a part of a group? Will they be compassionate and caring? What will they want to be? If they’re anything like me, they’ll go through about a million different hats before deciding what they want to be when they grow up. If they’re anything like me, they’ll still be discovering what they want to be long after they’re “grown up”!
As we were leaving the zoo this Sunday, my daughter stopped and said, “I need take a picture!” She proceeded to pose in front of a semi-landscaped area. (Apparently, the translation should be “I need you to take a picture of me!”) My husband and I couldn’t help but wonder and marvel at this. Did she see this area and think, “this would be the perfect spot for them to take pictures of me”? It was a great spot for a photo op! Did she know this intuitively or was this some momentary flight of fancy?
My kids do things so differently. We have been working on building a play house and we decided to let them be a part of the creation by having them help paint. My daughter paints with such focus. My son gets distracted and paints the gravel! I admire and love them both for the different ways they approach things. I often try to imagine what they’re thinking as they’re helping out on a project. Was my son thinking that the gravel was a little too dull, a bit in need of color? Did he feel our landscaping had an overuse of “white space”? (Very possible, since my husband is a graphic designer!)
I watch my son at the new zoo play area, carefully inspecting every toy and feature, trying to “reverse engineer” anything he can take apart as my daughter paints with water on slate, selecting various brushes and experimenting with her preschooler techniques. My son will sit quietly to feed the animals, not afraid to hold open his hand full of food for the big, wet licks of the petting zoo goats. My daughter would rather run around the playground area, dashing from slides to swings to monkey bars faster than a dragonfly.
We’re just beginning to get a glimpse of who these two creatures are. At ages three and almost-two, their discoveries of themselves and the world around them have just begun.  I love discovering who my kids are and I suspect they will be surprising me for years to come.
This Sunday, we saw giraffes, elephants, and zebras. We played with forts and magnifying glasses and paintbrushes. We saw our children discovering the world around them. We saw ourselves discovering our children.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Welcome to my blog and my very first blog post. I’ve been wanting to start a blog of my very own since I was pregnant with my son. He’s almost two now! It’s been very easy to put this aside for the myriad of things that bid for my time. This is it. No more putting it off. Today, I celebrate my first blog post and hope that you will join me on my journey.
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’ll stay a while. :)