Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Simple Gifts

I just need to talk about how wonderful my kids are for a minute. (DISCLAIMER: If you aren't in the mood for some serious mommy bragging, please do not read any further.) The past few weeks I have been in a bad place, a very bad place for mommies. Feeling just terrible about myself as a mom, because we have been having a lot of whining, crying, yelling, and tantrums in our house. I don't know what changed. Maybe it was coming off of the high from the holidays and all the attention and new toys. Maybe it was just another phase that we were entering. But for whatever reason, I have been going to bed most days feeling absolutely drained, and not really wanting to face the next day when it would inevitably all repeat itself.

Today could have been a very bad day. School was cancelled, and we were stuck in the house all day because of the snow/ice/rain can't make up its mind weather. Normally this would lead to stir-crazy children, who are bouncing off the walls and beating each other by the end of the morning. But today my children gave me a gift. They were absolutely wonderful. Of course there were a few squabbles between them, and they had a few warnings for unacceptable behavior (thank-you Supernanny!), but overall they were great. They played nicely with each other, and left each other alone when they needed to. We did puzzles, games, played dress-up and make believe. There weren't even any mealtime battles. I feel good, and bedtime is less than an hour away. I can't remember the last time I felt this way about being a mom.

And then, my daughter Georgia amazed me. While cuddling in her bed this afternoon SHE read ME two books. Now, granted, these are very simple books (e.g. Pat sat on a mat.), but she sounded out all the words and read the sentences to me. I had tears in my eyes, I was so proud of her. And the best part was seeing her be so happy about this accomplishment. I have no idea where it came from. I do think she is quite smart, but all parents feel that way about their own kids. She has always been curious about letters, their sounds, and reading in general. She would have us read 10 books at bedtime if we would be willing. She memorized "The Cat in the Hat" when she was two and a half. And she has always had an incredible ability to focus and concentrate on something. So much so, that she gets upset if she does not have enough time to complete whatever task she is doing. But reading, actually reading on her own.....I just didn't expect it to happen this early. To see such happiness on her face was just amazing.

And, not to be out done, Noah did a 12 piece jigsaw puzzle on his own today. He is also a smart little cookie, knowing much more at his 26 months of age than I ever thought he would. You always read about how boys are later to talk and learn things like letters, colors, numbers, etc. And believe me, I thought he was a typical, rough-and-tumble boy. I remember watching him ram the play shopping cart into the wall over and over again, laughing the whole time, thinking, "oh, my God....he is such a BOY!" And he has always had a natural affinity for any vehicle. It is amazing how some of those gender differences really do seem to be born into them. But when he did learn to talk, he surprised us all by learning words at an astonishing rate. He also became obsessed with the alphabet, even learning all the sounds of the letters. However, patience and focus definitely do NOT come easily to Noah. He likes to throw things, have tantrums, hit his sister (or whoever else may be in the way), and just generally go about life like the proverbial bull in a china shop. So to see him concentrate so hard on this puzzle, and actually complete it on his own, was a wonderful thing. And when he said, "I did it! I did puzzle all by myself ," it was one of those priceless moments of parenting that I was fortunate to witness.

Sorry for the shameless bragging about my kids. I feel they really deserve it today. We all do. They gave me a gift today that was better than anything I could have asked for. They filled up the well inside me that had been sucked dry of energy, positive thinking, and enthusiasm for what I do every day. I know not every day will be this peaceful, with these momentous accomplishments for both of them. But now I know it can happen. These fun days have not been lost forever, and we hopefully have many more in our near future.

Thank God for the snow.


  1. Nic, please don't ever think you are a bad mom. You are the mom that everyone I know thinks is Super Mom...including me. :) Hang in there and know I am ALWAYS here for you! Love ya sis!

  2. Its funny, I frequently get jealous of my own children because of their amazing ability to be present and enjoy the moment and how they take such pride in even the smallest accomplishments. I guess I could learn from that! I am going to start now...I am really proud of myself that I can type 67 words per minute. See? I did it! Your are an incredible mommy, nicole! I did it for you. Miss you!