Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Morning of Dec. 8

I have finished my morning workout and am taking advantage of the still-quiet house to do a little reading before the kids wake up. I'm reading a book called "Everyday Blessings" on "mindful parenting." The chapter I'm on is called "Live-in Zen Masters" and is causing me to reflect on all the things my children have taught me, and are still teaching me. Like how impatient, rigid, and attached to having my own way I can be. How reluctant I am to cede any of my planned free time to unexpected interruptions. How little I pay attention to my own internal state when under stress and how often I lack empathy for what it's like to be small and powerless. Yes, my little Zen masters are powerful and effective teachers.

Ten glorious minutes of reading go by. I hear small footsteps and look up to see Sam's head, covered in a blanket, peeking around the corner. I offer my standard morning greeting: "Samwise! Good morning sunshine!" His mouth opens and a little squeak comes out. The blanket goes over his head and he disappears back into the hall. A few seconds later he is back, curled up face-down on the floor at my feet. "Woof, woof," he says. I rub his back. "'Woof, woof' means 'I am hungry,'" he informs me. "OK, little puppy dog, let's get you something to eat."

The morning routine begins. Coffee, oranges, cereal, frozen berries. Sam gets himself dressed but in the process opens up a wound on his thumb that begins to bleed. At the same time, he urgently needs to go to the bathroom. He runs to the toilet clutching the front of his pajamas and sucking his injured thumb. Alex makes him a "band-aid" out of yellow sticky-note paper and offers to bandage him with it. I am happy she's trying to help, but must veto the paper "band-aid" in favor of a Snoopy one with an absorbent pad. We finish breakfast. I start a load of laundry and load the dishwasher. The kids find the number 8 on their Advent calendars and happily munch their chocolate squares.

10:00 AM. Swimming lessons for Alex. She is making beautiful sine-waves with her body, moving like a dolphin across the pool, a plastic ring around her feet to keep her legs together. Sam is borrowing the instructor's clipboard, writing "SAMUEL" and "MOM" in awkward capital letters with a pencil. "How do you spell 'humongous?'" he asks. We write more words and draw mazes. Alex does a delicate dive, followed by a belly-flop and a cannonball off the diving board.

11:30 AM. Half an hour for lunch and then we head to school. Alex asks if we can go to the library, "pretty please, with a cherry on top" to get a book called Barn Owls that she read in school.  She also asks, "Mom, why is it important to know how to fight?" I tell her that sometimes we need to fight to protect ourselves from being hurt, or to protect others who we love. We talk about self-defense. She wants to study Tae Kwon Do. I think I may sign her up, and Sam if they will take him.

That's it for today. Just wanted to record the ordinary stuff. Life is beautiful, no?