Thursday, June 7, 2012


I wake up trapped.  The three year old must have found his way to me in the middle of the night, and has draped himself across my legs.  The baby is nestled up under my arms.  My alarm is sounding and I get creative as I disentangle myself without waking either of them.  Success!

The birds seem extra loud this year.  I'm not sure why.  I head to the kitchen, start the coffee and take out the kitchen trash.  On a whim I walk out by the garden boxes to check the trap we set for the groundhogs.  So far we've caught 3 little rascally babies.  This morning, the trap is empty.  I turn toward the garden.

Those groundhogs have really done a number.  In some cases, plants are just gone.  In the past, I've never had a groundhog eat tomato plants, yet there is one that was eaten down to nothing and then half dragged away.  Pepper plants sheared right down to nothing.  They haven't touched the potato plants, which are growing in thick and lush, and they have completely ignored the onions.  Still, the beans have been stripped bare of any leaves.   The kale is just a collection of green sticks sprouting out from the ground.  Still, if we can get this groundhog population under control, we may still get something (anything?) out of this garden.

The orange blossom bush out back that my mother always disliked is in full bloom.  I close my eyes and smell my childhood.  It's really something to raise these children in the same neighborhood I grew up in.  Some days, I feel like I'm still a kid, growing up right along side them.  Orange blossoms smell to me like sprinklers and popsicles and sandboxes and sweat.  They make me think of singing songs while pumping swings and riding bikes and running fast.  I wonder if that's the way my kids will think of them, too.

I make my way back inside, noting the chalk left in a pile at the end of the driveway, the bikes leaning haphazardly against the garage, the soccer ball wet with morning dew.  A kid yard, to be sure.  All standing about, testimony to 5 kids living yesterday in their typical larger-than-life way.  I make a mental note to have them pick up the yard today and head back inside for some coffee.

It's not long before I hear someone small padding about upstairs.  The sun is now pouring through the kitchen windows.  As if a spell has been broken, they all start to wake up.  One by one, down those stairs, they come looking - for me. Another day has begun.

Sometimes the weight of what it means to be a mom to all of these people who need so much, a wife that supports no matter what and a person with so much to learn and discover - sometimes it can weigh me down.  Every day is full to the brim.  But more often than not, I am amazed at the privilege of being adored, needed, wanted, counted on.  The work is hard but the rewards are constant.

Jonah finds me in the kitchen, where he can count on me to be, and throws his arms around my leg.  "Good Morning, Mama!"

I look down and say "It IS a good morning, isn't it?"


  1. Beautiful!! Love or hate our town, I think it must be such a gift to raise your children where you were raised. As someone who moved a dozen times before senior year, reading those lines warmed my heart!
    The warm winter has totally made the critters nuts this year! Wishing you luck with the groundhogs! You know they're my nemesis! (Of course right now we're dealing with a pesky baby possum who keeps getting into the basement!??? A first for us in this house!)

    1. In the basement? How strange! I hope you relocate him soon!

  2. You are such an encouragement to me! You remind me that I need to treasure these 5 little treasures that I have been giving no matter how hard that treasuring process is. Thanks! Tara

  3. Lovely post!!! And really loving this line "I am amazed at the privilege of being adored, needed, wanted, counted on. The work is hard but the rewards are constant." I totally agree :)

  4. Have you co-sleeped with all your babes?

    1. Hi Emily! In some fashion, yes. Our babies usually start to transition to a room outside of ours between 18 months and 2, but we don't have a set age requirement. We mostly just go with the temperament of each child, what they need from us. Peter is actually an extremely content little guy who would most likely be very happy on his own, but oh I just love cuddles too much!

  5. That is so sweet to hear. I enjoy it so much and have a peace of mind when they are in my bed. That was about the same time I transitioned my first and he did great. Pretty much weaned him at the same time too. My little one is 3 months and still nursing at least once through the night. I tell you that I sure get a lot more sleep than having to go to his room, nurse, then try to get him back to sleep. I do find that it is a little harder to have "couple" time. How do you cope?


Thank you so much for stopping by! I love hearing from you! While you're here, don't forget to click "subscribe"!