Thursday, October 23, 2008

Regional Fun

Although most of Hubby's family lives in NH, my siblings and father are spread far and wide across the country. I have regular contact with two sisters and a brother, living in Atlanta and Dallas.

These are warm states. States that don't get NY style blizzards. States where the swim season will last more than a month. States where they rarely buy winter coats for their children.

And they like to remind me, in about January, how nice and warm it is in their states. I love the cold weather but I will admit it sometimes sounds pretty sweet, after scraping thick ice off the car windshield for the fifth day in a row. And when I'm stocking up on food with ten million of my neighbors because the forecast calls for another big blanket of snow.

But this time of year I cannot be distracted by the merits of living in a warm state. And I can tell you why with just one word...


I know many people see work, hours of back aching work, when they see a yard full of leaves. But we have children. We have children old enough to use rakes. And they have friends. And if we play the old Tom Sawyer card, we can usually get a few extra helpers involved, free of charge.

I love that my kids will have memories of sledding and snow angels. But I also treasure days like the past week, where we have raked up the same pile of leaves over and over again, and jumped in it, over and over again.

Baby boy has hidden in them and called to the dog to come find him. He has become hard core this year, pulling out the safety glasses and wearing a belt to keep itchy leaf particles out of his pants.

We are far from done with the entire yard. But the part we have done, we have done over and over. It is a joy some children never get to experience. Not because they are economically challenged. Not because their parents don't care.

Mainly because they will be swimming in their backyard pools in December. Just about the time my kids are breaking out the sleds.

Another Birthday

It has been awhile since I posted and things have been crazy around here but I cannot let today slip by without posting about my baby boy. Eight years ago today he left my body. All ten and a half pounds of his cute chubby self.

I was very aware he was my last. Through the whole pregnancy I rubbed my belly and talked to that baby knowing it was the last time my body would nurture a new person internally. As uncomfortable as I was at the end of that nine month journey, there was still a touch of sadness that our exclusive time together was over.

And now, with the snap of my fingers, it is eight years later. This boy has moved three times in his short life, and lived in four states. He has seen a big chunk of the monuments and scenery across this great country.

Not that he'll remember any of it. If he is anything like me, his true memory will begin about this year. And he will tell his life story like this - "We moved around a lot when I was a baby but I grew up in New York."

We celebrated last weekend, when grammy and grandpa were in town from NH (and a super aunt and uncle too) and we celebrated today by taking cupcakes to school. We will have our own little family celebration tomorrow night when all the siblings are home. And then we will move on.

My baby is now eight. He is not a 'little guy' anymore. He is barely letting me continue to read picture books to him at night. We are in a new era in our household. A decade of 'big kids'.

It's all enough to make this mom a bit nostalgic on this special night. On the day my baby turned eight.