29 October 2013

boy crazy

a few weeks ago we were watching one of my favorite films, the fantastic mr. fox. o, have you seen it? wes anderson is the creative genius behind it. and y'all, i swoon over everything wes anderson.{someone paid me the biggest compliment of my career when they told me my household reminded them of the royal tennebaums}.

so anyway, we were watching this movie. it's basically about how we all kind of want to be a little bit fantastic. and it made me think. 
More cowbell on the part of the pep squad.

somewhere between the shock of finding out i was pregnant with our fourth child and said child's fourth birthday, i decided we should have more children. the Mister did not concur. he remembered hearing me saying about 2.1 million times how very overwhelmed, lonely, lost, exhausted, discouraged i felt most of the time. not to mention he was looking at these four little waiting mouths and wondering how he was going to care for them: mind, body and spirit. and that is a daunting task, my friends. daunting. 

and then the mommy fog parted. i could see down the road a bit and contentment set in big time. i realized that four was our final number. in a way.

a while back i wrote this piece. and i have to say, it is even more relevant in my life right now as an older mom to older boys.

extra seats in the car await boys who have no ride to their cross country meet. extra places around a fire. extra fixings for s'mores for boys who have never had s'mores. extra energy to make pumpkin muffins for boys who were reluctant to eat something so weird, but who request them every time they see me. and i am happy to oblige. 

our two oldest boys just finished their first cross country season this past week.{dear jesus, thank you for this!!!} it has been an overwhelming experience. seeing all those boys {one son goes to an all boys school, the other is on a team with just boys}run, hard. beating their previous times. discouraged over their runs. feeling like giving up. it makes my mama's heart feel like bursting a thousand times. 

i have spent months trying to get a boy named travon to smile. i have been trying to discern abdi's accent without making him feel self conscious. i've been wondering about nicknames and family dynamics for quindez. 

spending time with these boys and many more of their running mates has made for the most heart wrenching, delightful and enlightening time in my life. my whole life. 

i sat around a bonfire on friday night. i had just fed close to 30 many of whom were the teammates of our 14 and 12 year old. one asked, "why is there grass on my chicken?"{rosemary} another shared, "there are no homosexuals in kenya because if there are they are burned to death". another hinted that he is being raised by two moms. all around a fire. in my backyard. i supped and laughed and loved on these boys. i couldn't get enough. i really am boy crazy.

as the night dwindled. the coaches had all been thanked. i wrangled the ones who stuck around the longest to help me clean. the casual conversation went from doctor's visits to food choices, sleep habits, ahem dating and language. the language!

a week or so earlier we had all been sitting around waiting for a race to commence. two boys were being quite rude with their choice of words. the mother in me cautiously reminded them that those words are not words that should be used by gentlemen of which they clearly are "and besides, no one really takes you seriously when you use such vulgar speak." they took the correction kindly. clearly they have experienced it from mothers, aunties, grannies. 

these past few months of watching my boys struggle and stride in running and building relationships with their classmates and school culture, i have sat back and reveled at it all. the good. the bad. and the ugly. 

the conversations have been so sweet. i've had to tackle some issues that i touched on earlier with my children, but have only since become part of the middle school/high school landscape as of late. and you know what? it's been really rather grand. 

i am beyond grateful that the creator in his divine graciousness has given me these boys, the ones i birthed and the ones who just happen to be part of our community. and truly, if i had my way, i would take them all. i would find a way to squeeze them into our little-cottage-in-the-hood. but i doubt their families would give them up because they're all pretty fantastic.


08 October 2013

four letter words

maybe you haven't noticed. maybe you have, but it's been a few weeks since i last sat down to write. it's not for lack of material that's for sure. it has more to do with lack of time. 

a word i choose not to throw around willy nilly is busy. to me saying "i'm busy" is akin to say "this headache is killing me". it's just a bit too strong for my taste and those who overuse it become so comfortable using it, it's hard to discern when they truly are busy or just living life. 

so for the past few weeks, i have been just living life. showing up for the job i applied for which entails driving carloads of stinky boys, many of whom are not mine, to cross country meets. 

i've been scolding dogs "not to run in the house" and to "use an inside bark". dogs! i've not even trained the boys and now i have dogs to throw into the mix. 

i've been monitoring some work being done around our cottage-in-the-hood. the operative word being monitoring

i've been trying to school two very unruly boys. i've been keeping the oven hot with all this food this family expects to eat-daily! i've been opening doors to weary travelers. i've been trying to figure out where i fit into the mix. 

i've been keeping my gasps to a minimum whenever my growing boys enter a room. i've been helping mamas with their babies. i've been biting my tongue {or not} every time i hear a bad word spoken about the school my oldest attends from people who have never stepped foot into the school. i've been not so patiently breaking up disputes over Lego creations from little boys who don't listen. i've been dodging the beginning of fall with one last hurrah at the watering hole with my part amphibian/part fish little men. 

i've been desperately trying to broaden our vocabulary from pirate speak to words we can use in public. i've been trying to be a good wife-fail. and i've been trying to be a patient friend-also, fail. the operative word here trying

i've also been baking late night rounds of fudge pie. {im}patiently waiting for the netflix queue to go from star trek to something that doesn't involve space or science. i've been trying to catch up with four boys who are fast runners. i've given up. and catch some sleep. insomnia is not for the weak willed or short tempered.

so today whilst the laundry sat unfolded, and my coffee was enjoyed by a four legged friend, i chose to tell busy to go bye bye. i joined my fall break enjoying boys on my bed for a game of apples to apples, followed by timeline with a chaser of animal instincts just for good measure. it was a fun kind of day. instead of using the word busy, i'll choose full. a better four letter word, in my opinion. so when you ask me, "how's life, girl friday?" i'll answer "full, very, very full". now i'm off to either take a nap or make more coffee.