Monday, December 17, 2012

Oh great.

It's that week where I hate everything.

What I knew but didn't really notice when I was pregnant, then nursing, then pregnant, then nursing, for oh, about four years, was that I was on this lovely hiatus.

Now, I have demon hormones. I'm not just tearful, like the pregnant/nursing caused. I'm angry. I feel like the Hulk. 

This third week, it's the precursor week, where my mind slips somehow and manages to forget again and I'm left going, "What the hell is wrong with me? And more importantly, what the hell is wrong with everyone around me!?"

Everything is wrong and bad and I just can't keep up. I am trying so damn hard and it's not good enough ever. My house will never ever be clean enough, I am apparently absolutely incapable of being a good housekeeping multi-tasking woman like I am supposed to be, and why in the hell won't my kids eat what they're told?

And this week I cannot possibly deal with a fourth toddler learning to stay in a big bed. And by learning I mean climbing out a hundred times. At that stage where they really need an afternoon nap in the afternoon but that nap now makes them not tired at all at their regularly scheduled bedtime. This week I really feel like letting the toddler rummage around in his brother's room in the dark like he seems to want to do, but since he is the fourth toddler I know that if I succumb to this laziness in this particular situation he will only learn how much fun it is to roam after bedtime and this 'training' will be met with much more of a fight than the smile and giggle I'm getting each time I tuck him back in now. So that work that I desperately need to catch up on this evening for that meeting tomorrow? It has to wait until later this evening, when said toddler has finally succumbed to sleep, and when I have then faced the two older kids who have taken advantage of the oversight that they have not been made to go to bed because of that toddler chaos and are still playing video games. Which the whole world tells me I am a terrible mother for letting them play in the first place but I do not have enough willpower to stand up against. I quite frankly just don't have the energy to ban anything and will quite likely buy them more screen stuff for Christmas.

Even though the Mars needs Moms movie was clearly telling me yesterday that machines shouldn't raise babies. I get it screen. Shut up.

Did I mention my husband has been traveling for training lately? And by lately I mean we're on week 8 of 8?

This week makes me want to lie on my dirty kitchen floor and stare at the fan.

But I can't. Dead-eyed crazy petulant mom would probably scare my children. I know world. You told me already. Cherish the crazy little short people, they'll grow too soon.

Just. Need. To. Get. To. Next. Week. Where gentle, sane, positive Victoria lives.

And bonus! Next week is Christmas.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Where's Max?

It's the question of the day in our house. Asked hundreds of times each day from us parents to the big siblings, and from Troy to I and vice versa.

It gets asked so frequently because keeping tabs on this 2 year old Max is such an important job that is so very hard to do!!!

Possible answers to "the question" when you cannot answer it:

He could be drawing on some walls. (I don't know where all of the pens come from! Lord knows I can't find one when I'm trying to write down a phone message.)

He could be harassing the cat. This ranges from simply under the table harassment, to stuck head first under a bed, unable to get back out.

He could be in the laundry room, using the toilet plunger for shits and giggles.

He could be 'playing the plano', aka walking on the piano keys and terrorizing the piano books.

He could be decorating my room with my jewellery.

He could be inspecting the contents of the fridge.

He could be renovating. That always gets interesting, depending on the discovered tool. (We have gotten very good at putting away the sharp and power tools, but his creativity for seeking out danger never ceases to amaze me.)

He could be feeding toys, tools, hairbrushes, or shoes to the basement through a vent.

He could be playing with Claire's chandelier from her bunk.

He could be trapped in Claire's room, doors shut behind himself.

He could be brushing his teeth, or his hair, with anyone's toothbrush.

He could be dismantling Lego creations atop the boys bookshelf.

Or he could be stuck in a sink.

One just never knows with this little busyton!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crybaby.

I am. Up alone, catching pre-halloween Sandra Bullock in Practical Magic. It's sad. Me and the movie.

Tonight my boys school had a Halloween dance. It's ridiculous and hilarious and so so cute.

My Seth loves this. He has all the moves, not missing a beat in the middle of the dance floor.

Well, at least he used to.

But this year, this year he's seven and a half.

And then, you're almost eight. That age where you start to notice what other people think of you.

And that makes you feel like you can't leave it all out there on the dance floor.

It breaks my heart a little. Seeing part of their amazing-ness dull a bit. Because other people might shun you.

I've read that our monkey roots made that very strong feeling happen. Because if the other monkeys shunned you, you would be alone. And without the group, you would actually die.

It feels like that is still true sometimes, that you would die if this person didn't like you. And never more than as a kid and a teen. Do you remember?

Eventually, you out-evolve that feeling. Well. Mostly. But I hate watching my kids deal with it. Squashing their individuality and delightfulness, on purpose, in the meantime.

We made their Halloween costumes this year. And they turned out awesome. So cute. A ninja and a knight. Seth's armor used up a LOT of duct tape.

I like homemade costumes because I find they usually turn out the best. You know when you look around a Halloween party and the best costumes are homemade. Often clever, funny, thought out. Unique, like a good piece of art. A found object marvel. The creativity is why I love Halloween.

But in a kids eyes, you can be super proud of your costume, as my boys are this year, but it's not good until it's passed the kid test. The 'is it good enough to be worth being different' test.

They did. Mostly well received. Their friends loved their handmade swords.

Until I overheard a conversation with Seth and one of his buddies.

"Why is your costume made out of cardboard?"

Said ever so innocently by the kid who meant no offense and had just never thought of why you would ever make a costume.

But, to me, Seth was thinking "Because mom said costumes are expensive", all of the sudden devaluing his costume. I instantly wished I had also mentioned all the other reasons I love handmade and feel store bought is for my too busy last minute Halloween years. That consumerism is a problem for our Earth. That the process is the most fun part, that I like to share making with them, that they learn great skills doing it. That I feel good spending the time with them. That when I stick them in a store bought costume it becomes this symbol that I can't seem to give them enough of my time.

Well no, that last one I would keep to myself. That's just a bit of my own crazy he doesn't need.

Mothering makes me cry.


Sunday, October 21, 2012


 
Lemon and ginger, with honey. 1 am tea.

Maybe it will make being up when I'd rather be sleeping a little more enjoyable. The pretty little yellow box does says it's naturally caffeine free. I should drink this all day. Maybe I would not be in this not-sleeping situation in the first place.

Overwhelmed. That’s the reigning feeling of the day. I keep thinking that I will eventually get the hang of it. Of everything. I would like in general to feel more zen. Maybe I should become a yoga teacher. That would zen up my day.

But I don’t feel like I’m getting the hang of it. My life is oscillating between hectic and exhausted.

One of my most treasured things to do is to pour myself a coffee in a quiet moment, settle in at the dining table and peruse through some of my favorite blogs. The posts are like bitesize chapters, the characters women (mostly) who I have grown to love. I have a list of well-written favorites, stories with no end. I haven’t done this in months. So this morning, sensing the hectic and exhausted in myself, I took the time to do just that. One of the blog post’s I read was about another mom’s day to day. The rhythm with her kids sounded so wonderful. Today though, the inspiration was also sad. It made me wistful about what I’m not doing with my kids. Really, it just came down to speed. I need to slow the heck down.

Why can’t I do everything and do it well? I feel like I was tricked, in the great feminist theory.

I’ve had a couple random days off in the last two weeks, glimpses of weekdays I don’t usually get at home. Quiet daytime with the little ones, afterschool calm with the bigger boys. No hurrying anywhere. And last Thursday morning while Claire was at preschool, Max and I went for groceries and to the bank. Just us. It’s delicious, when I have time with one. And the two year old I just want to pause in time, pointing his little finger and naming everything. Pushing the amazing door opening button.

There was this waitress I used to work with. She was a hardened old lady, so gruff. Discussing my then two baby boys one day, she threw out the “Enjoy them while they’re young”, a phrase I’ve grown used to. An irritating, panic inducing phrase I might add. But then she continued, with “I have three teenagers now, when they get older they’re just hard and really irritating.” I remember gaping at her in horror, that she could talk about her precious children like that.

But now, as my oldest hits double digits, I find myself silently repeating that they are precious to me, as a mantra while they’re making me absolutely crazy. It’s not innocent toddler busy-ness anymore, or just jostling for Mommy’s attention. They call me on my shit. They are sure to let me know when I suck. I’m not sure my self-esteem will be able to take teenagers.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Love is bruschetta.

Troy's excitement for our new little garden has been contagious. I was, at first, excited about the idea in theory. The tired part of me was a little more wary. He's been gravitating to it, weeding, watering, tending in general. I'm starting to realize if I notice Troy missing, I can probably find him in the garden.
As our peas and cucumbers climb their way up their little trellis, it reminds me of being a kid. Running across the lawn to the raised beds, eye level with the vines, choosing from the ripe sweet peas to snack on. Washing a handful of little carrots. Scouring the raspberry bushes, gingerly stepping between them, nervous of snakes or mice lurking in the hay, being pulled at by the thorns, looking for the hidden spots with the biggest undiscovered berries. It makes me happy.
We've been watching our little herbs grow, realizing we're not really sure what to do with them. The other night Troy was running around, obviously working on something. YouTube/Google to the rescue and he was on his way to the garden, back soon with our first little harvest. We looked at it on the counter, at each other, and I couldn't help but giggle. Now what do we do with it?

I continue on with the evening, bedtime, baths, jammies, books. One trip through the kitchen and Troy holds up his blender, revealing heavenly pesto beneath my nose.

Later, I'm snuggling on the couch with Clairie, the little girl who wouldn't sleep that evening, and Troy emerges from the kitchen, a platter of bruschetta in hand, rivaling any I've ever had. I love that man.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Happy Day

Tonight, Troy and I were working together on renovating the bathroom. After many months, it turns out there is a light at the end of our bathroom reno after all! It's now quickly looking like a vision realized. Thane surveyed it today after I had gunked out the reno clutter and sawdust, and said, "This is going to be a lot fancier bathroom. And it won't have that wall that keeps falling off!" It's true, the sad little bathroom we now occupy has a shower wall that is nailed up. It's served it's time. Who cares about fancy, we'll just take walls that stay stuck!

In our usual roles, Troy was installing something and I was painting. We had had an energetic, busy, fun, and productive day, had just put the kids to bed, and were putting in a couple hours on renos before we planned to settle onto the couch with some icecream. It reminded me of the first few months here at the house, when we were spending our evenings working upstairs on the kids rooms. At the time, Claire was about the age Max is now, and we were full of energy for this 'project house'. Max had not even been imagined yet. Fast forward to a couple years later, and I feel like we're getting our pace going again. With the onset of spring and sunny days our spirits and energy have lifted too.

At our last house it seemed to take about five years for it to really feel like our home, with our spaces truly adjusted to suit us the way we liked. We're almost three years in here, and I feel like I am starting to see spaces being carved out around us, signs of it becoming the home we've been hoping for, working towards, that my on again off again love affair with this house has been refueled. I remember standing with Carolyn on the landing at the top of the stairs here, before any of the inside work had began. What is now the boys room still had yellow walls and yellow carpet, flowered in maroon. It was the first time Carolyn had seen the house and she was excited about it with us. She loved the feel of the old house too. She said "In five years you'll think back on this and it will be amazing to see what you've done with it."

Today, even the tiny muses were on key. Pleasant and helpful, happy kids who liked each other. We slept in, we played, we cleaned and worked, ate yummy things. Thane and Seth are getting so good at their chores, or just better at not fighting about the chores, it makes me feel like we're doing something right. An encouraging pat on the back. They emptied and filled the dishwasher, gathered dirty clothes, emptied the compost bucket, took the garbage down, changed beds, Seth even went out to gather some reno garbage in a bag for me and Thane sorted laundry like I had just taught them the other day. It made me happy, mostly that they did it happily. All four kids must have played in a pile of blankets on the trampoline for an hour. Claire was even graced with a China snuggle, a feat for a kitty who's had a rough month. As Seth put it, she's recovered well but "still working on her braveness". They had turns getting rides on their little four-wheeler, and Thane and Seth practiced driving. This evening Thane, in an effort to get the little kids to bed so Troy could play a game with him, helped Claire with her jammies and brushing her teeth and read Seth a bedtime story.



This is my littlest helper in training. Doing his own laundry. (I'm expecting thank-yous from future wives.)

It was a day for the memory bank, a refreshing easy day to recall on those days that are difficult.

When I snuggle Max lately, he'll put his cheek on my shoulder, twist his fingers in my hair, and sigh, "Me happy."

A day like today, and that there seem to have been so many more of them lately, and closer together, makes me that Max sigh-worthy happy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Her superpower is dancing

In perfect timing, the muses have been amusing in full force.

Seth tripped the other day, on his birthday. He said, "Oh sorry. It's my first day in my new seven year old body. I'm not used to it yet."

~

Thane came inside drying his tears of laughter and pointed at Claire, who was dancing her custom freeform style on the deck (Troy says she's watched too much lyrical dance). She's a free spirit, that one.

Thane, between giggles, told me, "She said her name is Sarah and her superpower is dancing."

~


Unfortunately I've only remembered a couple of the hilarious highlights. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Broken hearts


Oh Carolyn. We miss you.

It hurts to watch these little hearts around me as they experience death, growing older and sober in that knowledge; that sometimes things aren't going to be okay. I don't want them to know this. I don't want to know this. I want them to stay tender, and hopeful, and trusting that the adults they love have infinite superpowers and invulnerability. We can't explain away that you can lose someone you love so much, that there is no constant you can depend on. The world seems scarier, even to me.

It's hit me like a brick lately, this fear that no one's exempt. Not even me, or my beautiful babies. I just want to sit and hold them, just in case.

I find myself rating every moment's worthfulness, or lack of. Getting incredibly frustrated if it's not something worthy of my time that now seems so incredibly precious.

I feel like I need more time, more than ever. I feel like I'm wasting it.

I miss talking to her. Her non-judgemental, forever positive words. I still take mental note of the cute things the kids say to relay to her, think automatically, "Oh, Carolyn will like that one" when I get a cute picture of them. It takes me a minute to think of someone else to call when I'm washing dishes or folding laundry in a quiet moment. Especially when I need a pep talk, the 'you're doing okay mama'. She was good at that.

We still need her, and Carolyn deserves to be here. I'm still mad and stuck on it not being fair. She was too young, too positive, too much of a light in our lives to be gone. She had just raised her kids, just finished the hard part, this was supposed to be her sit back and enjoy time. She deserves that part. So does Troy's Dad. They were supposed to have that together.

I just want to fix it, and there's nothing I can do. I can't make the hurt go away for any of us. I can't protect the kids, or Troy, or his family from going through this, I can't even protect myself from this. I can't keep their little hearts whole and protected. I would like to take my own off my sleeve and box it up for a while.

It hurts.

Troy's away this week and I miss him. He's my person. I need him. What if I ever lost him? He's on a trip with his Dad that seems to have really brought all of this up again fresh.

Our cat got hit by a car this week, although we think now she may make it. I found her waiting for me on our porch when I got home from work Thursday evening. I keep wondering how she got back, picturing her struggling to get home, trusting that we would help her. Her little broken self is at the vet for the weekend, they're worried she might not eat. She has five broken ribs, two of those in two places, a broken leg bone, and a collapsed lung lobe? She's a little eight pound bundle. Apparently this stuff can fix itself, as long as she eats. Regardless, I can't handle any more death. I can't handle any more death dealt to my kids. She has to be okay.

Why can't we just will it so?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Words

Claire says 'yogalet'. That means yogurt. 'Teerios and yogalet' is a request for cheerios and yogurt.

Her new saying is 'Seriously.' Which is seriously hilarious. Except it's 'Ceewuswee'.

Even at 6, Seth has held onto his habit of saying 'for' instead of 'because'. As in, 'I need my mittens, for it is cold outside'.

I love these little words, these little quirks in their growth to speech. Even while you're teaching them along the way, reading, repeating, modeling the 'right' way to say these things, it's still almost sad to see these little words disappear.

This morning, as he was getting his diaper changed, Max was watching Claire struggle with opening the door. "An oen de dohwah", he says, shaking his head no and pointing a chubby finger at his big sister.

That was 'She can't open the door'.

Max is my earliest talker. It's sooo lovely. After three late talkers, causing much inner, 'What are we doing wrong?' turmoil, an early talker is a nice treat, an affirmation that sometimes it has little to do with us. They all have their own timelines.

He repeats everything, and has been for months and months! Last night while reading a book he was on a roll, repeating all of the animal names the little elephant was looking for. Tiger sounded like Tierrr.
More is 'mooah' (complete with little chubby fingers signing it), all done 'all nun', ear 'eeyah', hair 'hayah'. Hot is a breathy 'httt', with expressive eyebrows pulled up and making the hot sign, palm out. It will still be a while before strangers can understand him, but in the meantime we're thoroughly enjoying it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sweetness.

Claire and Seth are too awake too sleep.

Seth had a nap at 5. Pm.

I have no idea why Claire is wound up.

I have a PILE of work to do this evening. So of course it's a good time for boomerang kids. And blog writing. It's a list of deadline's style pile, so it's been a 'Mommy's not in charge' evening while Troy took over.

I've been sitting at this dining table, at this laptop, while the household revolves around me through the afterschool, supper and evening rhythms. Kid conversations offering mini breaks, little partners offering company while they color beside me. Max talks about his 'bwuubewwies' as he eats. A kid is delivered to my lap for a bedtime book, fresh out of the tub, the best kind of softest sweet smelling kid.

As I type this evening, design banners, prepare for our upcoming exhibition among mulling over four other big ol' projects, I listen to these two. They're tucked in our bed, not far from the dining room, mostly to keep the racket away from the two upstairs who are sleeping, and because bedtime is always more enticing when it's in Mommy and Daddy's bed.

Seth tells stories to Claire. They leaf through books, him deciphering a lot of words, her filling in picture details.

He is sleepier than Claire, and tells her, "Claire, the clock says eight five two. That means we stayed up too long Claire." She quiets, then changes the topic. She talks in her 'baby voice', so I can picture her dolly being the puppet talking to Seth.

Seth parents, telling her she has to close her eyes and try to think about nothing. It always amazes me when I hear my words come out of their mouths. Apparently they do listen.

This evening, Seth came into the kitchen with a crib board, asking Troy to teach him to play. Troy says, "It's quite a hard game buddy, but I can try to teach you." Sitting down, fiddling with the little pieces and the enticing board, the lines of holes that look like a race track, Seth asks, "But, how did you learn to play Daddy?"

A pause. "Well. My mom taught me."

Seth is so perceptive. He is a little startled and scans Troy's face for the feelings attached to this sentence. It's so scary to talk about someone you love when they're gone.

Deep into the instructions, Seth's face concentrating on his little hand full of cards and trying so hard to lock in the details, and Troy says, "Now that's the first part of the scoring."

Seth looks up, concerned. "After this, can we play Go Fish?"

We laugh, Troy replies, "Yes. That sounds like a good idea bud." Seth lets out a sigh of relief.

This office has the sweetest view. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Carolyn.



Yesterday, we lost Troy's mom. Carolyn. It's just not fair.

Stupid cancer.

I'll miss her so much. I miss her already.

I ignored the signs. I think I chose not to notice how tired she looked before Christmas when we were down. How her voice was getting smaller on the phone. I don't think I wanted to notice.  

This weekend went from 'She's not doing so well, maybe you should come down', to arriving at the hospital, shocked at her smallness, her exhaustion, realizing suddenly she wasn't in the hospital just facing a setback.

She looked at Max, lighting up, excited to see him, 'Max!'. She glanced to Seth, unsure in the chair by her bed, attempting, like his mom, to process this. Then she fell back to sleep. I'm sure he and Thane were thinking the same thing, told this was their grandmother and searching to recognize her in this cancer shell.

Once this year she told me about something she had read that she found so poignant. That the most important thing you could do as a parent would be for your face to light up everytime your child came into the room.  

Carolyn did that.

I shuffled the kids around for a few days, attempting to keep them quiet in the midst of the stress. Not that anyone but me cared about their noise. Taking them to my sisters for the night, wanting to be at the hospital with Troy and his family, needing to be with the kids, ultimately meeting my parents in Moncton to take the kids back to NB.

I dropped them off and rushed back to NS, just wanting to be there. Not sure why. Just wanting to be there, somehow recapture lost time, let her know how much I love her, how much she means to me.
      
My sister in law, Kaylea, quoted,
"When I'm weak and unpretty I know I'm beautiful and strong. Because, I see myself like my mother does."

Kaylea does know she's beautiful and strong, always. Carolyn did that. I hope I can do that for Claire, for my boys. Carolyn mothered me too, wanting me to know this. She placed many of the foundation stones for what I hope to be as a mother.

When I entered their life just 10 years ago, Carolyn literally opened her arms wide, along with Laurie, welcoming me into their lives. Just after Troy told his parents we were expecting Thane, I opened my little apartment door to Carolyn and Laurie, her hugging me tight, offering her warm and genuine reassurance that I was loved and we were supported.

She's been our biggest cheerleader, eager to hear the kids news, the receiver at the end of the line when someone has learned to use the potty, arriving at my doorstep to collect children when I have the flu, listening and problem solving when I don't know what to do, mad at the class bully with me. She listens and listens, even helping me decipher Troy at times.

Realizing that not so many are lucky enough to have an amazing mother in law like I do, I told her once that someday I hope I can be a great mother-in-law like her. She told me, carefully putting her sentence together, that it takes biting your tongue sometimes. It made me laugh. I hope I can someday be half as patient and supportive.

I arrived at the hospital, filling with dread, alone now, the kids taken care of, ready to join everyone else. And I know I'm already too late, she's been having a hard time breathing, the others have been watching, breathing with her ardously all day, waiting for the next inhale. Even if she's still with us I'm too late.

I step off the elevator, and by Kaylea's face I know. She's gone.

What do you do? We're here, and she's not. I see her slippers and cry. I think about the kids and what they don't even know they've lost and cry. I look at the people who have known her four times longer than I, the grown kids who have lost their mom, her brothers, the sister in laws who have lost a best friend. My father in law. And I cry some more.

We watch a funny Ellen clip, where an actress describes having to be between 3 and 7 on the emotional scale to not be crying. Troy looks at me and winks.  

Then you do some laundry, wash dishes, keep busy. You talk about her, about good memories, funny things, remembering. You chat about other things completely, try not to talk about it at all. Answer the phone, relay information, explain, accept condolences. Or eat some more of the food bursting out of the kitchen.

I try to read. The kind maids in the book I'm reading, The Help, who know how to love little ones so well, they remind me of Carolyn. I'm pissed that the kids are going to miss out on having her in their lives.

Family buoys family. We drink, we laugh, we eat. The company is warm, comforting.

It's shitty. It's not fair. I want her to be okay, and be here with us.

She told me last year she wasn't afraid to die. She recounted a story while we drove by the river, watching the sun set. It was about a baby dragonfly, a larvae that lives underwater. The baby dragonflies would look through the water to the sky and one asked the other, if you ever get above this water you have to come back and tell me what it's like. Except of course when the first one grew up, he was a dragonfly, and he couldn't go back underwater to tell his friend about where he was.

All I could think was that I wanted her to stay here in the water with us.    

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sledding

Where do the words go?

Sometimes, they're just not there.

When my heart feels achy, sort of empty and old. When everything feels so hard.

I just can't strum them up.

So I need to do something. I'm happier when the words are there.

Sometimes it helps to notice the happy.

~

Today was perfect winter weather. Cold, but not a face melting freeze, fluffy soft snow. After school, we went outside. Thane, Seth, Claire, Max, and Mommy. Taking Max outside in the winter, and attempting to keep up with the 'big boys', it puts my fitness to the test. I watch my big boys, the able 6 and 9 year olds that they are, sleds slung over their backs, quickly climbing up the sledding hill ahead of us (not the small one, the BIG one, I call it Dragon Hill Mommy) as I shepard Claire, stumbling in front of me to make it over the high snow on the steep hill, eager to catch up to those brothers. Someday soon that three year old walking in front of me will be Max, and there will be no baby on my hip, watching the scene in amazement, snow on his black eyelashes. I squeeze him a little tighter, appreciate the weight in my arms.

On the flat at the top of the hill, I set Max up to watch the action in his little sled (well away from the lip of the run). He sits and watches those big brothers happily, a rosy cheeked puffball in his snowsuit, as Claire and I get ready to go down. She holds the rope excitedly, brave with Mommy on board, we glide down the hill gently with the help of a little brake action from Mommy's feet for our new sled rider. I turn around to hear Seth, "Here he comes!".

Seth's face is glowing, he's so excited... to introduce his brother to the infinite pleasures of sledding.

My heart leaps, Seth, no!, it's too late, Max has been sent off in his little blue sled (Moses and his basket pops into my mind), Seth realizes from my face this was not a great idea after all. And Max,

stops.

His sled stops.

"Nobody move. Don't move Max..." I singsong to Max as I clamour to him, grasping my second chance to intercede in what would surely be a scarring ride for Max.

Max wiggles in excitement, waving his snowsuit captive arms and bouncing in the stuck sled, looking down the hill wide eyed with glee, trying to restart what looked like good times. It was like watching a cartoon car balancing precariously on a ledge.

I get to him, breathe a deep breath, and we get back to the top. Thane and Claire recount the whole thing a hundred times, and Seth and I discuss why it would be a bad idea for Max to go down alone. He concurs.

But Max is so disappointed and now determined to crawl down, he ends up in my sled after all, between Claire and I.

Big boy.
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