A urologist recently asked me how I could stand staying home with the kids all day--he said that he bets I just can't wait until I can "hand them over" each evening. I feel sorry pointing him out, because I actually think that he meant well. But how would he have responded if I had asked him how he could stand his seemingly unglamorous job of talking about urine all day? Maybe I should have initiated that conversation--instead, I simply replied, "Oh, no! No. I actually really, really love it."
It's hard for some people to swallow. One lady asked me, "You went to school for [your degree] and now you're changing diapers?" I eloquently responded: "Yes, well, not all the time. Well, probably that's only 5 percent of my time." What? I wish that I could have that conversation again because I have more to tell her. I would be interested in figuring out other percentages, like the time I spend doing this (15% of my waking hours maybe?)
and cleaning up things like this (maybe more like 35%?).
I'd be even more interested to share a hundred moments about these precious, precious boys and the great joy that they are to me and Eric. Here are some moments, partway for this imagined audience and partway for myself (to remind me about the joy when I really am feeling like I can't wait for Eric to come home--it happens!).
1. For Mother's Day there was a necklace strung with tiny felt flowers, paper airplanes wrapped in copy paper, a poem. Jacob, who earned several tickets for his school's raffle drawing, put all of them in the bucket for the prize that he knew I wanted (a three-month membership to a popular health club). Then he actually won it and gave it to me for Mother's Day!
2. One afternoon the kids and I were outside when I realized that I had left dinner too long. After I went in to get it, Zachary asked for a piece of paper. He wanted to write down what I had said, just as I do for them.
3. We recently became interested in making homemade ice cream sandwiches. Apparently they impressed Zachary: he talked about our frozen treats for three consecutive weeks during his class's Monday sharing time!
4. Short on time, we had baths in the kitchen sink before school one day.
7. Zachary wanted to play soccer this year. He considers two hours a week of soccer a great exchange for a) team treats each week and b) after-game playground time with his buddies.
8. One morning Adam and I walked over to a pond and discovered dozens of frogs. He was absolutely tickled to find pair after pair of curious frog eyes emerge through the slime.
9. Preschool field trips never disappoint! In the last few weeks we've tromped around the zoo,
handled Kenyan tree coral at the aquarium,
poked around at the nature center, and
taken the city bus to the geology museum (we had five total legs of our trip on the bus, and every time we got on the bus Adam shouted, "YEEHAW!").
10. Other preschool days have included homemade raccoon tails
and backyard photography lessons (Michael felt very grown up!).
11. One morning the kids and I took a two-hour bike ride downtown and back. We stopped at a little beach on Lake Monona and threw rocks in the water and made sandcastles (well, sand mounds).
12. Jacob acted as the little bear in his play for Spanish class. He worked hard to memorize his lines and radiated confidence.
13. Zachary is very amused at the word "stinky" recently. On the way home from church he told me to "Drive faster! We gotta get home. My feet are stinkin' up this place!" Also, one day when he was collecting the garbage from our trashcans he must have said "stinky" twenty-five times, accompanied by various hyperboles. "It smells like ten thousand stinky diapers in here!"
14. Michael and Zachary played and sang in their music recital this week. Beforehand they went to the store and spent about 20 minutes choosing the perfect flowers for their teacher, whom they adore. They played and sang beautifully.
15. I found these guys in a box hanging out and chatting one afternoon.
17. Max has been amazing with his braces. He thinks he's king of the playground now--he'll climb up to the tallest structures and go down the steepest slides alongside the big kids. Sometimes he'll even try to tackle kids twice his size, or he'll just climb on top of them if they're lying on the floor!
19. A few weeks ago we happened upon the very end of the library used book sale. The woman told me that I could take a file box full of hardcover books for $5! I took two boxes and the kids and I unopened them gleefully, setting all the books around the room and playing "bookstore," buying and selling them to each other.
20. One day last week Michael and Adam were space guys for the day. Oh, and Adam has probably colored himself with a magic marker for the past 50 days straight.
I was feeling very grateful for my life and these boys before I wrote this post; now I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. Although I enjoy time away for a run in the woods
or a date with Eric (this time we went to the zoo, dinner, and lakeside frozen custard!),
life is happiest at home.