Friday, September 7, 2007

What I love...

Well, yet another month has flown by and I'm starting to believe all the people that have been telling me to enjoy my baby and toddlers because soon I will blink and they will be grown and gone. I just finished watching "Father of the Bride" which besides being one of my all-time favs, has taken on a whole new meaning now that Olivia is here with us. It is a huge conglomerate of emotions to think of her growing up and starting a life of her own. The mix of excitement, disbelief, uncertainty, concern and elation that it conjurs are more than my postpartum hormonal emotions can take! There are times during the day when I catch myself saying things like "I can't wait until they're old enough to do this or that by themselves," or "Oh, when they're all in school I can't wait to drink my coffee while it's still warm, watch the 'Today Show' and exercise on a whim." But then a moment comes like my kiddos and I together in the car, with the window down, the warm air blowing on my face, and the sounds of "Finding Nemo" mingling with the laughs of my sweet toddler boys, and I want to freeze time, if not for an eternity, at least for a while longer. My father pointed out to me once that eventually each phase would grow tiresome, and I would long for my children to progress to something new. The logical part of me believes that is true, but the emotional mommy side of me isn't so sure I don't want them to stay this way forever. There are so many things I love about them as they are right now. I love that they want to snuggle at night. I love that Sammy says "Mommy?" in a questioning tone right before I leave his room, just waiting for the reassuring, "Yes, Sammy, Mommy's here" before he lays his little crewcut head and chubby cherubic cheeks on his pillow to settle in for a snooze. I love that Jackson asks for more snuggling, and that if I accidentaly wipe off the kiss I give him, a fresh kiss must replace it before I leave the room. I love that I still take baths with them, and that we laugh and splash, and play for a while in the evenings. I love reading them the same stories over and over, and I love the unprovoked and surprising, "I love you Moms," I get from Jack, and the "I ruv yous" that come from Sammy. I love the way they speak, with their words understandable, but perhaps only by me through the hours of listening to their toddlerese. I love that what I say is law and that I am the person in their world who knows more than anyone else. I love that Jackson still says "God made it?" about everything from flowers, leaves, and clouds to the shoes at Payless. I love that they still love each other, and that they hug and kiss before they go to bed at night. I love the way Olivia smells like a sweet baby and that her head often shows sticky spots where the boys have gently kissed her with peanut butter covered lips. I love that they call her "pretty" and that they mean it. I love the way they call her "baby sister" and that Jackson helps Sam take off his shoes when we come in the house, just because he can and sometimes because Sam or I ask him to. I love that they still wear footie pjs some nights, and the way it feels to have them snuggle against me so their head rests just under my chin, the soft scent of baby soap floating off their hair. I love how curious they are and that everything is so new and exciting to them. I love hearing their little conversations in the playroom while I am in the kitchen, and the way they ask each other questions. I love the way Olivia's mouth forms into a huge gummy "O" when she smiles at me, and that her huge blue eyes are always scanning the room for me when I'm not nearby. I love the way Jack calls Sam "Sammybear" and the way Sammy says "Jashshon" and I wish I had a tape recorder running all the time so I could hear their baby voices every day for the rest of my life. I love that Jackson is still young enough to play football in a fairy princess dress and wings and not think twice about it. I love that their personalities are so different and yet they are each other's best friend. I love that they ask for each other and baby sister anytime they are apart and seem restless until they are together again. I love the way it feels when they run to me and throw their arms around my neck in a perfect, tight squeeze. I love they way they celebrate when Daddy comes home from work, and that we all eat dinner together every night. I love that they thank me for "taking care of me" and think everything I do is pretty great. I love that popsicles are one of their favorite things in the whole world and that they throw their arms up in the air in jubilation every time I say they may have one. I love that Jackson sometimes says "Ew, gwoss, Sammy's all messy," even as he has food smeared all over himself! I love that they don't remember a time without a sibling, and that quite frankly they don't seem to wish they did. I love that they surprise me with the smallest things like putting the eyes and mouth on the right place on the butterfly project even though I didn't think they knew how. I love that they are polite and mannerly most of the time and are always willing to give hugs to anyone whom we prompt them to hug. I love that they are so cute that we are a spectacle everytime we leave the house, and that they like the attention as much as I do. I love that Jack asks me to spin when I have on a skirt and tells me I'm pretty. I love that I can still tickle them until they can't breathe, and the sound of their giggles as they gasp and squirm. I love seeing them in their cribs and toddler bed, so small and dependent. I love the way they look as they sleep, their tiny chests heaving with deep relaxed breaths, so comfortable and trusting that we will protect them. I love the way they still say "hold you" when they really want to BE held. I love the way Jackson snuggles up in my bed in the morning with Olivia and I to watch cartoons until everyone is ready to get up and moving. I love that he brushes his teeth a million times a day and has to use all three kinds of toothpaste every time. I love the way they dance, whether running in circles around the ottoman, grooving from side to side at the table, holding hands and dancing in circles with daddy in the kitchen, or flopping like fish on the floor. I love the way Jackson repeats things back to me just to make sure we're understanding one another, and the way Sammy says things that I didn't know he knew or understood. I love the silly way their mouth scrunches up when they say "Cheese" so they aren't really smiling for the picture at all, but have an adorable silly puckered look on their face instead. I love the way Jackson asks "Is that Silly, Mom?" and Sam just declares "It's so siddy" with his usual confidence. I love the way they run in their diapers, Jackson looking like a Gecko with his long legs and straight torso dashing through the house and Sammy with his legs flying out to the sides of his body and his arms pushing like paddles to propel him forward. I love the way they chase each other around on their bikes through the house and that Jackson is always telling Sam how to do things and that Sam just does it because he's so sweet and accomodating and would do nearly anything for Jackson. I love the way they count, pretend to make pizza, and sing "Where is Thumbkin." I love the way Sammy's hair grows like a weed over his ears, spikes up all over the place, and that Jackson's is so fine and thin you almost can't see it. I love to catch glimpses of who they will be someday in every action and word of the present. I love to imagine what the future will hold for them, and reminisce about the way they used to do things when they were babies. But more than anything else, I love that they are mine and that I have the privilege of enjoying every minute of the here and now with them, and that I have the honor of spending my life as their mother.

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