Saturday, July 25, 2015

Stumble? Get back up.

Now that I've been home for just about a week, I have sort of sunk in and processed things a bit and I'm ready to start sharing my many MANY "aha moments" from my trip. This one isn't directly related to the conference itself or anything that the wonderful speakers said, it is simply a realization that a busy, sorta tired, sometimes moderately frazzled momma of three came to when she had some time away to focus on her and fill her cup.

As many of you know, last week I was gone for four nights, and five days. It seems like a light year ago and I have only been home for less than a week. Since I have been home, it has been a game of catch-up and I was feeling like we hadn't had any really good play time together. You see, sometimes with three little ones, even things that are super-fun in theory, end up being a little overwhelming to actually make happen. First it is getting everyone ready and finally out the door and loaded into the car. Then there is getting to wherever we are going. Then there is the hyper-vigilance that is necessary in most places when you have three children, two of which are 2-year-olds. While we usually have a great time or can at the very least pick some bright moments out of our adventures, there is a underlying level of stress that accompanies them. It wasn't until I was a way and solely responsible for me - getting myself ready and out of the hotel room, feeding myself, getting across the street safely (haha), entertaining/occupying myself - that I really understood what that meant. Basically, for the last 5 years (and even more heightened in the past two), I have been living at a slightly (slightly? Haha) elevated stress level...we'll say I have been incredibly alert (ha) nearly every moment!! Woah. Talk about nuts! No wonder I WAS that "busy, sorta tired, sometimes moderately frazzled momma of three"! What an eye-opener!

It makes perfect sense to me now why I have felt like we have not done much at all over this Summer break and simultaneously that we have been busy enough to not really fully enjoy just playing together like I longed for so much at the end of last school year. So here we are just barely one month away from the huge transition of Nolan being in Kindergarten ( and I'm like, "Woah...what the heck happened? What about the playing all day every day we had planned for summertime?" It is time to stop being busy worrying about things and time to GET BUSY playing!!! This morning I went on a little "hike" (read: nature walk) with the kids and it was so fun. Granted, it helps that they were really amazing today, but we'll just go with it being my new (re-found really) awareness of the need to connect and play. 

We had a blast! I took a chance and left the Ergos in the car, hoping the girls would just go with the flow. Twenty feet away from the car and roughly five steps onto the trail, Alice face planted. Oh Lord. I thought that was the end. Haha. But, I picked her up, brushed her off, gave her a little pep talk and we moved right along. What!? Way to go, Alice! She ended up tumbling at least two more times and got jabbed in the lip by Lilah's stick once too. Lilah fell once or twice as well, but somehow each time I just helped them up, made a goofy noise while I brushed them off...or dabbed up the blood...and then we moved forward. We collected sticks and rocks. We watched the river pass by. We stopped and listened to the birds chirping and the wind rustling the leaves. We decided that some of the rustling was surely bunnies, snakes and mice in the bushes. We found some glitter on the ground and decided it was magic fairy dust. We flexed our muscles so we could be so strong and walk up the big hills. We put our arms out wide (or held a momma hand) and walked on "balance beams". We ran through the grass. And then we made our way back to our car (without a single fuss...what!?) and drove home in the perfect time for nap and snack. 

AND THAT, MY FRIENDS, IS WHAT I WANTED SUMMER TO BE ABOUT. know what? I'm going to take a lesson from my little ones today. I'm going pick myself off and brush myself off - all the stress, the worries, the fears, the insecurities of motherhood, of the past 5 1/2 years, 2 years, 2 months...whatever...and I'm gonna move forward. Here's to making the best of every moment of the last month of Summer break and then here's to transitions and to making the most of those moments too!

On the trail.
Should have put N in bright clothes too. We can barely see our leader. ;)
Stick Collector.
So brave. Nolan and Alice blazing the trail.
Reaching the "view point". Taking it all in.
Showing me her muscles and how strong she is to get up the hill.

He walked the whole way to the spot of sunshine in the top right. It's all about balance, right?
My resilient little one and her walking stick.
The end of the trail. All smiles.