Posts Tagged ‘Big Brother’

There’s a magical book out there called Bear of My Heart, by Joanne Ryder.   I’ve read it to Big Brother since he was a very little boy and we like to think of it as our own special story.  I read it to him with tears welling up in my eyes and take deep breaths to absorb the sobs that creep from the back of my throat.   It’s beautiful and I hereby recommend it to any of you out there with small cubs in the house.

However, reading it today – on my Husband’s birthday – I’m struck by how easily it translates to a story about marriage.  True love.  Partnership.

“Paw in paw, we will greet every morning,

Paw in paw, we will meet every day

For you are the bear of my heart, dear

And nothing can take that away.”

Paw in paw.  Hand in hand.   I’m so grateful for all that he’s given to me (to us) in the giving of his hand.

In marriage

A first dance

In Romance

In Unabashed Fatherly Love

With a Generous Heart

With a Steadying Touch

Offering Little Life Lessons

And reassurance that the next step, however unfamiliar, is safe.  Because he’s there.  He’s with us.

“There are so many bears in the world dear,

but there’s no other one that will do.

You are the bear of my heart, dear,

and I am the one who loves you.”

Happy Birthday, to my Husband.    Thank you for (more than seven years ago) asking for my hand.  And for, since then, holding us all so tightly in yours.

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How in the world do mothers of Olympians do it?  Standing on the sidelines, hearts in their throats, watching their precious children chase dreams, wanting more than anything (anything at all) for them to succeed and, if they fail, wanting even more desperately to take their disappointment and sadness away.  And, if they do succeed.  My goodness.  The tears.  The joy.  The pride.

In a little 8-child weekly Rock Climbing class at the YMCA today.  The fourth week of class.  The fourth of week of “do you really think I can do it, Mommy?  Really?”  The fourth week of “Yes.  You can.  I know you can.”

Well, today.  He did.  Big Brother rang the bell.

And, I was a hooting, hollering lunatic behind the rock wall chains.  I didn’t even realize I was doing it until it was over and suddenly the area around me was, well, not filled with the sound of me yelling anymore.  If he was any older he would have been so completely mortified by my behavior.

Instead, he’s just so proud of himself he could burst.    And he can’t wait for Dad to come home so he can bask in sharing his big news.

Way to go, sweetie.  The first of many big things.

Here’s hoping your ole Mom’s heart can take it.

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One of the little benefits of having children is that they can eventually start to do things that you don’t really want to do anymore.  When I was growing up in Vermont, I proved to be a very handy lawnmower, wood stacker and dog food pourer.  So now, my time has come.  Big Brother is finally at an age when he’s actually starting to be useful.  And, while he’s still too young to mow our lawn or stack wood, you can bet he feeds that dog.   And he loves fetching things around the house for me — a diaper for Little Brother, a pair of shoes, Dad’s dry cleaning bag and other such tasks.  I’d say, though, that I have found him to be most useful in the area of reminders.  As my Mommy brain goes a little more J-e-l-l-o each day, his five-year old brain is sharpening.  So, we often leave the house with a recited list of errands.  Or enter the grocery store with a little chant of critical items.   And, it’s very, very helpful.  He’s saved me from near disaster many times.  “Mom!  You forgot to pick up the dry cleaning!”   or  “Mom!  Did you forget the taco sauce?”

A couple nights ago, the boys and I enjoyed a sunny late afternoon playdate with my wonderful college friend J. and her three kids.   We met at her house, ran the kids around outside and then, as the sun started going down, we all headed back into town for dinner at a local pizza place and ice cream across the street.   For the most part, the kids were stellar.   All five of them well-behaved at the restaurant — eating their dinners, sitting in their chairs, having fun but not to the detriment of other diners.   We were hard to miss with our piles of children but, thankfully, (luckily) we were also the picture of two functional Mommies enjoying a meal with our kids.  Until…

Packing up to leave, throwing away various paper plates, stacking trays and returning the ketchup to the counter.  Big Brother shouts to me from across the restaurant.

Oh!  Mommy!

Shhhh.  What?

Mommy! Racing across the restaurant now, undoubtedly attracting attention of many diners.   Jumping up and down in front of me now.

Mommy! VODKA!  VODKA!  We need VODKA!

(Oh. my.  goodness.)

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I love the park.  In fact, our house (in a town of nearly 21,000 people in about 4 1/2 square miles) backs right up to one of the largest parks in town.  It’s got a wonderful age-appropriate playground no more than 100 yards from our back deck.  And, we bought this house (in a land of postage stamp yards) in large part because of that park.   But, you know what’s driving me nuts?

The swings.

Because we head to the park all geared up for the guys to run around and play and exercise and slide and romp and chase and tag and work out all that little boy energy.  And we get there and you know what they want to do?  Swing.  And swing.  And swing some more.

And you know who’s getting all the exercise when they swing?   Me.


So, lately I’ve resorted to actually telling them that I’ll take them to the park on the one condition that there will absolutely be no swinging.

I am such an awesome Mom.   No?

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Big Brother drew a picture in school today of someone he kept referring to as “Fancy Pants”.   His teachers, attempting to label his artwork for him, were likely taken aback.  Perhaps they may have viewed “Fancy Pants” as a somewhat derogatory expression, seen the picture and pegged us as snobs.  Or, thought that perhaps we make fun of people and use judgmental names in the presence of our children.   Here’s Big Brother’s picture.

But, had they judged us as bad parents for teaching our children a few teasing nicknames (such as “Fancy Pants”) they would have had us all wrong.  All wrong.  No.  We absolutely refuse to be judged like that.

Now, had you accused us, instead, of letting our son play too many computer games like this one we may have played now and then?!

Ummm, ok.   Well, then, you might actually have a point.

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Don’t Blink…

Because one minute they’re propped up on your couch in a strawberry hat…

And the next minute, you’re holding your breath trying to act like it’s really no big deal at all that they’re doing this.

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“Yes, W.”

“Could I be a teacher when I grow up?”

“Sure!  Course you can.  You can be whatever you want, honey.”


“Ok, then now I’ve got three choices of what to be when I grow up.”

“Well, you’ve always talked about being a pilot.   Or, now, a teacher.  What else do you think you might become?”

“A clown!”

Oh, good lord.  Here’s hoping that was his first real joke.

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An actual conversation over lunch today.



“Who’s your favorite Dragon Tales character?”

“Ummm…I think Ord.”   (first one that came to mind)

“Ohhhhh.  I know why you like you Ord so much.”

“You do, huh?”

“Yup.   You just like him because he’s so BIG.  Like you.”


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Late last week, I decided to take my boys to “Open Gym” at our local YMCA.  We’ve done this a few times before and it always took place in the Y’s Main Gymnasium.  The room is loaded with stuff — trampoline tracks that lead to a big pit of foam blocks, balance beams, giant foam building blocks, a rope swing and the entire floor is covered by mats.  Plenty of easy entertainment for a couple of boys.  I can let them run wild together and know they’re safe while I play on my iPhone watch them lovingly.

But, the other day, we excitedly arrived at the gym and found it was full of (gasp!) gymnasts!  Twirling, swirling, leaping little girls in leotards.  Hmmm…did I have the time wrong?   Turns out that Open Gym that day was to be held in another gym.  One room down.  A real, shiny wooden floor, bleachers, basketball hoop and soccer goals type of gym.   The Y had made a small attempt at improving this new version of “Open Gym” by throwing in a few foam building blocks, one balance beam and a few random balls.

I looked at my guys.

“What do you think?  Is this kind of lame?  You wanna just go home?”

Because to me, it looked awful.  No real entertainment. Nothing new or different than what you’d usually find in, well, a gym.

Big Brother looked at Little Brother.  “You want to play Freeze Tag!?


And off they went.  Racing around, chasing and laughing and throwing balls around and just completely, gleefully entertained for nearly forty-five minutes before they collapsed down next to me ready to go home for a snack and a nap.

Apparently anything that can be done at maximum speed suits them just fine.  Lesson learned.

Big Brother in foreground (like I said…fast).
Little Brother in background.

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There are certainly times, like last week, when I can do a lot of complaining and feel fully justified in doing so.  And then there are days like today.  Sunny, mid 50s and spring is in the air in this beautiful New England seaside town.  So, I spent the morning at the beach with my little family (even the dog).   Searching for Periwinkles.  Splashing along the shore line.  Hearing them call out in high-pitched voices as they discover something new.  Breathing in the ocean air and thinking…wow.  Thank you…

For curiosity
For carefree splashing
For tiny hands…and frog boots
For this foolish but good-hearted dog
For the way he loves them.   The way he loves us.

For all of it.  Thank you.

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