I am lackadaisically catching up here. I keep meaning to come here and update, but client work comes first. And so do iPhone word games. And sitting on the couch eating Easter candy with Jake.
So, an update:
This morning Grace stood by the light of the back window. She tucked her hair behind her ears and ate her cheerios and looked at the window. I stopped making sandwiches and let my hands fall to the counter and stared at her. She is incredible.
Minutes later I watched her and Ruby bound up the steps of their school together. Running to get out of the rain. When did we become so integrated into this earth, this world, this thriving community? They are so present in their own lives now, sitting in their classrooms, talking to their friends and taking tests. They come home and I juice out of them no more than 1% of their day and the rest is filed in their brains under "life experience". I wish I knew all they were absorbing.
Ruby has a major BA in the morning (Bad Attitude). She doesn't shake it until about 12 minutes after waking up. So it's 12 minutes of pushing her to get her act together. I drag her skin and bones carcass out of bed and help her get dressed. Then she pouts all the way to the bathroom and afterwards, lays down in front of the shoe closet. With no motivation to take the necessary steps to adorn her feet. The hair brushing is just ridiculous. You'd think I was taking a slice out of her toe.
Last night we played a game just before bedtime. Everyone sits on the floor facing Dad and he has to try to make us laugh using only one word. When he says the word, the first person that laughs or giggles is out. Last one standing gets to sit in the chair and make us all laugh. Lillie is not so calm in these situations. It takes all of us working together as a family to keep her happy and settled down and satisfied. Everyone helps. When it's finally her turn to sit in the chair, Grace and Ruby each offer to laugh first so she feels funny, etc. I love seeing the girls treat each other well. Because it means that amidst the mess and stress, we notice some success.
Tadi is a bad (good?) teaser. The car is like chinese torture. Driving down the freeway and Lillie starts humming a tune. Tad watches her and after about 15 seconds, calmly states: "Bopp". (which means "stop"). Lillie flails. The screaming cracks my brain open. Emotions spray onto the window and doors and it takes her several tens of hundreds of seconds to calm down. So I tell her she can sing again. I threaten Tada, "WANNA TIME OUT??". Lillie sings. I watch Tada in the rearview. She leans in. Her eyes sparkle. She says, "Bopp". And the cycle continues. I look out the window and wish I was somewhere else. I remember Ruby doing the exact same thing to Grace in the car.
Jake and I muddle through our day and at the end, sum it up in long conversations that twist and turn. Life is so good, I often stop and really try to feel it. I wish I could grab it and embrace it. That feeling that I'm lucky, that I have so much. I felt it pretty strong this weekend when I photographed a funeral for a beautiful boy that passed away much too early. In the face of such grief, and the complex feelings that follow, I come home to hug my babies. And celebrate today.