Don’t Wear Khaki …

petting-zoo

Living in the dark and light of life and finding the miracle in each. It’s about embracing those dark days and those dirty honest moments with the faith that there is light, faith and a divine plan in all of the muck and bad feelings. It’s about remaining hopeful, kind and full of wonder through it all. I call these moments, SOUL MOMENTS. Moments when we find a way to be shaken and rattled in order to be grateful of things that might be ordinary, but are still full of wonder when you take the time to fully pay attention to and appreciate them.

We sometimes need others to share those soul moments with us so we remember that they are all around us. That the light is all around us, even when we are in pitch black darkness. So I share with you a moment of darkness, mentally and emotionally as a woman, wife and mother but was able to grasp that ray of light in my soul moments that were laid out before me.

So on this particular day my dark and light were these feelings:

Dark = ordinary = boring = khaki = forgettable loser

While my light was: Light = bright = bold = hero with a legacy

Since I know of you all probably have visited such a place of where I came to meet my darkness, let me paint a picture for you. A local barnyard type of viewing and petting zoo. Think ducks, pigs, goats, ponies, owls, bunnies, gift shop and picnic area within an enclosed space that your children cannot escape from. For this piece of storytelling we will call this place ABC ZOO. Let me state first, since many of you are probably petting zoo lovers, that I am not a hater of ABC Zoo and do own a membership to the so-called ABC Zoo…

HOWEVER …. On this particular Saturday I was not an ABC lover. Since the moment I woke up it was playing out to be a dark day … the weekend before I had been in Chicago with JUST my husband for four wonderful adult days where I did what I wanted, when I wanted while I wore adult clothes while eating adult food while doing adult things with my adult husband. But then this adult came back to reality on a Sunday afternoon and  jumped right into a week of VBS, dance classes and giving all of myself to everyone else. So when my eyes popped open that morning I was less than enthused to pack up my clan and head to the zoo. I don’t make a habit of hanging out there on the weekends, but my eldest Braxton was a founder of the Pokemon craze and had been asking to hit up the Pokemon Go stops at the zoo all week. I decided that making my husband suffer along with me would be a good soul moment for him, so we had decided on Saturday morning for a Pokemon pit stop.

When we arrived it started to drizzle which always makes me and my kids happy … said no one ever. When we got through the entrance we immediately logged into the App to find Pokemon for our eldest. This is where everything went downhill for me.

The GPS of the damn app wouldn’t catch … I tried, my husband tried and we tried and we tried with no luck which caused a pissed off first grader. Super. So now what exactly was the purpose of our trip to ABC Zoo then??? With three-year old twins they found a purpose … the actual zoo itself.  So off we went. It being a Saturday it was busy and there were lots of ABC Zoo imposters that didn’t know the lay of the land. I was in a seriously bad mommy mood and was not equipped with the patience to allow strangers to stop in front of me or cut my kids in line. As the rain lifted and the humidity swept in I also was surrounded by not only my sticky skin and the sticky skin of strangers but also the thick muggy smell of animals and hay. As we made our way from the duck pond and into the barn, all three of my little ones began asking for snacks and the echoes of children screaming and parents bickering overtook my senses as we made our way into the tunnel. I felt myself twitch and flashes of Elaine from the episode of Seinfeld when she gets stuck in the subway took over my brain and I too wish I could scream “Shut up! Shut up!”

As we went deeper into the hot dark barn I literally thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown when I saw two parents yell at their kid for touching the drinking fountain. “Don’t! Touch that! IT’s germy! You’ll get sick!” immediately grabbing his hands and dousing them with hand sanitizer. Meanwhile my kids had their snack in one hand and with the other were picking up hay from the wet ground feeding the sheep as they stuffed the rest of their snack in their mouths. Sigh. The amount of parents seemed to grow in number within seconds and I found myself being suffocated by khaki wearing humans with smartphones glowing blue in their faces as they talked about the latest characters on Bubble Guppies. That’s when I lost it. I started to lose my breath as I thought this is not where I am supposed to be. I am supposed to be in the city. I am supposed to be having conversations about art, sex and food. I hate khaki. I hate the smell of animals. I am supposed to be writing a book and rubbing elbows with the cool cats of the literacy world. I’m not cut out for this! I’m supposed to be a hero leaving a legacy of change not a path of snack crumbs. The black cloud that had been looming over my head was now an all engulfing storm cloud and I thought to myself that I could make a run for it! I could run out of that barn and for the main street. I could catch a ride to Chicago with it’s bright lights and dreamy people. I could break out of this suburban jail and be FREE. Talk about dark right? Yes, I am a mom and yes I was thinking my life was a jail at that exact moment. Talk about shame.

But then something happened … one by one my kids began speaking my thoughts out loud. “These people are loud. “

“This place smells.”

“I am hot.”

“Those kids are mean.”

“Let’s go home.”

“This is boring.” 

I looked at my husband and he nodded in agreement as we all half jokingly and me fully serious in an all out gallop headed past the caged animals to the exit. Just as I saw hope and light as we neared the gates to the parking lot my husband stopped our little clan in front of one of those tornado experience machines that you (as mean mommy) are always telling them no to. He asked if they wanted to experience a real tornado. What was HE DOING???? I was almost free! Should I just leave them? But, I too stopped. more from the shock that he was actually dispensing two dollar bills into the damn tornado machine, but the result ended with me missing out on my jail break.

Once the air began to blow within the man-made cylinder, my husband broke out into an all out stripper dance tease lifting his shirt behind the plexi glass as my three little ones danced around him and screamed with joy. Because see, my husband doesn’t care who is watching he doesn’t care about the opinions of others but he cares about me and making me smile. I laughed and as they all proceeded out of the machine they grabbed me with their sticky snack hands and hugged me. As I looked into the windows of the gift shop, Our reflections were anything but khaki … my eldest son got caught up with the hobby of tye dying so he and my husband were donning their latest creations of bold colors. MY youngest son, into anything sporty, wore a bright flourescent blue and green outfit. while my perfect little girl was dressed in her favorite color from head to toe … screaming pink. And I, myself, wore a polka dot shirt at the age of 33. My little girl slipped her hand in mine and they all yelled to go home … my thoughts exactly and this was a definite soul moment. I had my people! My people got me and my people understood me. But it gets even better …

what really put the cherry on the sundae was when I put my youngest son down for his nap a couple of hours later.  I sometimes squish his cheeks and recite how much I love him and that he’s my baby in one of those annoying Mommy voices that can only come from having so much love for one tiny being. This time he grabbed my face and said, “My little mommy Halperin, the baby’s mommy, my HERO.” — Talk about S-O-U-L MOMENT.

Though it had been easy for me to be enveloped in the darkness of the mundane, boring and khaki of life, when I looked a little harder through the dark I was able to find the light, I was able to find the wonder and hope in those soul moments. My life may not be text book glamorous or thrilling but it is filled with bright lights, bold ideas and colors. I do have a fan club, while I create a legacy and… I am somebody’s hero.

 (P.S. I shared this story with my MOPS group at our kick-off meeting this September)

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Can I borrow a quarter?

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I was just commenting to my friends that my twins had never slept a night in our bed since they were teeny-tiny babies. Be careful what you put out into the universe …

The screaming traveled up the stairs and into the kitchen. My youngest son was crying shortly after I had put him down for a visit with Mr. Sandman. As I trudged down the stairs I assumed he had forgotten his favorite stuffed dog or would complain about it being too dark or one of the countless excuses a three-year-old can come up with when avoiding going to bed.

As I opened the door to his room, my littlest man was on his knees perched at the end of his bed crying real tears as he held his throat with both hands.  “I swallowed a quarter!” Most parents would assume that their child was lying because why would there be a quarter around when hitting the sack for bed?? Well let me tell you why. For Travis he has what I call a “bed shrine”. The shrine is made up of little figurines ranging from Lego men to Pokemon to shiny coins to pencils. The shrine sits around the bed board portion of his bed where he can fall asleep as he fiddles and adjusts their placement. Travis has never been a child who put anything in his mouth. He never had a pacifier. Never had a bottle. Never a thumb sucker or a small baby that put small objects in his mouth. But here he was at 3 1/2 swallowing quarters, at 7:30 at night, during bed time, on a Sunday night. Super.

Can I borrow a quarter?

Up the stairs we went. Tears rolling down his red cheeks as he held his neck and I held his hand. I called to my husband and he called poison control. Poison control informed us that this sort of thing was not their area of expertise. Call the pediatrician was their answer. It being a Sunday evening my husband got the emergency voicemail message and left his own message. Within moments his cell was ringing with the on call NP.  After explaining the events of the Halperin Household that evening,  the nurse said we would need to follow protocol for ingestion of a foreign object — to wait 8 to 12 hours before making it into radiology for an x-ray. We’d also have to keep him up for another hour or so. Then he would need to sleep with us in order to keep watch on his breathing. (This would be where I ended up eating my words about our twins never sleeping with us from just a couple of days prior). For our coin eating kiddo this was a win! Not only did he get to stay up and watch football with dad but he also got to sleep in mommy and daddy’s big bed. His eyes practically sparkled with joy as we explained the events that would be taking place that night.

Can I borrow a quarter?

Hello radiology. Twelve hours later my little boy was having a medical bracelet wrapped around his small wrist as a badge of honor for his crime. The nurse asked him what he ate … he replied “breakfast” which in theory was absolutely correct since only an hour before he had been eating a bowl of cereal but I’m pretty sure she was expecting him to answer “a quarter lady”.

Can I borrow a quarter?

After one waiting room and one x-ray later, the foreign object was successfully found in the upper right portion of his intestine. Good news is that’s what we basically wanted, in the digestive track, rather than caught somewhere that would obstruct his breathing. The bad news? Well we would have to wait on a call from our pediatrician for that part.

Can I borrow a quarter?

Finally, just before dinner. The nurse called, repeating the same question that I had heard a number of times in the last 22 hours … “A quarter??” YES, A QUARTER.  The prognosis? Long story short … Wait it out and sift through batches of his poop. Wonderful.

Can I borrow a quarter?

Though our youngest male offspring may be lanky, his poops are not. Bowel movements from him equal clogged toilets and at least 10 minutes on the porcelain thrown. This means that searching for the treasured quarter would be like searching for a needle in a haystack (except in water and exceptionally disgusting).

Can I borrow a quarter?

What exactly do you use when sifting through tons of poop in a watery hole? You know those paint stir sticks that every hardware store in America gives out for free when purchasing paint?? Yep, that’s the money maker. As a parent, I now advise having at least ten on hand, for crafting and of course poop scooping. Three poops later we are still on the search.

Can I borrow a quarter?

If you should need a quarter, my son is your man … you may just need a paint stick and some patience before he hands over the loan.

 

All-Star Celebrity Status.

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6 years on the job.

Tomorrow marks my 6th anniversary as a mother. Also known as the 6th birthday of my eldest, but don’t tell him that as he assumes that April 27th is all about him (which basically it is). But six years ago I left the corporate world. I left behind the office. I left behind the deadlines. I left behind a chapter in me life while I entered a whole new chapter that I would be living the rest of my life. I became a mother, and as a mother it’s a job that is listed on your resume as PRESENT for the rest of eternity.

I am Braxton’s mom. I am cool but uncool all at one time. I am warm and demanding. I suck at life one minute, but the next I am like a celebrity in his eyes. I sacrificed hours of sleep and my boobs in order to breastfeed. I carried him nine days late and have been quick to carry him when he needs me now. I spent hours watching him breathe to make sure he was okay. I wiped his butt and was even peed on.  I taught him to walk, to hold a crayon, the alphabet, how to write his name, to count and right from wrong. I was there during questions of God and death. I was there during questions of monsters and falling in love. I was there during tantrums, fits, hugs and kisses. I was there during stitches, puking and coughs. I’ve been present at EVERY doctor visit whether well or sick. I’ve never missed a school performance or an at home milestone. I’m teaching him to tie his shoes now. We are solving math problems and completing book reports. We are engaging in discussion on Charlotte’s Web. I’m introducing him to foods that are grown-up like lobster and steak. I’ve even brainwashed him into being my television partner for Cake Wars and Food Network Baking Championship.

My boss of six years breaks my heart and fills it with joy each every day. My boss pays me in kisses and in slamming doors on my face. He measures my performance on how well I remember his favorite foods, colors, sports, Pokemon characters and the names of his friends. My raise is based on my ability to change my voice while impersonating characters while I read a book or if I let him have the cereal he really wants. He has been my best friend and enemy within the same hour. I am the love of his life but one day he will leave me for another woman. My boss is one of my greatest accomplishments. My job is my greatest fear, love, pain, enjoyment and a million other adjectives and feelings.

I’m a motherf**king all-star when it comes to this job. As I look at this little six-year old miniature man today I know that I am killing it in this industry of MOTHERHOOD. When I take in all that he is, all that he has become and all that I know he has in his future, I’m rolling in billions.

I’m a motherf**king all-star when it comes to this job. What’s even better is that my boss will be the first to tell you that I am 🙂

 

Potty Mouths and Butt Tag.

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I’m worried that I may have some sort of amnesia. It seems that I have forgotten that at some point I taught my three small children the words poop, pee, butt, eww and pee-pee and that while I taught them I laughed hysterically at the use of the words.

Apparently at some point I must have squatted over a basket while also pretending it to be a potty. Along with these incidents I had at one time pulled down my pants baring my ass cheeks while I cupped them in both hands wiggling my buttocks back and forth while humming. I mean I MUST HAVE because my children are constantly engaging in this behavior and where else could they have learned it???

I’m confused as to when my three soft and adorable babies became tiny adults using phrases like “Eww, look at your butt” and turning every ordinary object into a pretend potty.

The more I thought about it the more I realized I do not have amnesia. Rather, I blame the evilness that is Kindergarten. In analyzing where the birth of such language and fascination of bowel movements started I recall an incident in September when my son’s teacher pulled me aside after school to inform me that my sweet first born boy had been engaging in potty talk with some of his friends during class. HOW COULD THIS BE??? My angel? My little boy who I read to nightly and listened to classical music while he incubated in my belly?!!?? Yes, true story, my son had become a potty mouth.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is where it all started. Like a plague the use of such words and play spread like wildfire from my eldest to my youngest. I could physically see with my own two eyes the bright light and gleaming glee that came from the eye sockets of my younger son as he heard the word butt used by his older brother. It was as if a light-bulb had been switched on in some dormant part of his brain producing a euphoria that he could not and would not ignore. When my sweet little girl was ordained into this butt and potty mouth fraternity, she cooperated and followed like a first class potty word slinging soldier. Soon all three were taking the gift of potty words and running with it. What followed was a progression from shaking butts, to making butts talk to dropping their pants at passing cars. The words had taken on actions and a mind of their own.

It gets worse. Now we have hit a whole new level of low. A low where their mother, yes me, stooped as low as her children in attempt to stop the butt shaking, ass tagging, potty mouth insanity. Let me paint a picture of this new low for you:

I’m in the bathroom trying to look presentable when I hear the potty words begin as my three lovely offspring play with different action figures in a KidsKraft Firehouse. In my first attempt to stop the spread of the words any further I yell from the bathroom to knock it off. About one eye shadow swipe and a brush of the hair later and I hear, “Hurry! Throw the toilet out the window! Oh no he’s pooping everywhere!” “Put the fire out with the pee!” Now I leave the bathroom and enter into the living room to make it clear i’m not messing around. Now I’m standing in front of them telling them that they know better and aren’t to use those words and that I can hear them. They all promise to stop. I head to the bedroom to throw some clothes on.

Now as I pull my shirt over my head I can hear the muffled words, “Throw the garbage can out the window! Look at his naked butt, he’s shaking his butt out the window and has no where to pee!” Now with only a shirt and underwear on I storm down the hallway for my third attempt to quiet their potty mouths. As I turn the corner they are already looking in my direction and before I can say my peace my youngest son points at me and loudly exclaims “Eww! Mommy’s underwear! Look at her butt!” Now I had become the butt of their butt jokes. That’s when the low came into play as I exclaimed back, “If you guys like poop and pee so much that is what I’m serving for breakfast, lunch and dinner from now on. If that’s the language you want to use and be potty mouths then that is what I will feed your potty mouths!” As their eyes grew wide and their potty mouths dropped open at the possibility of such a reality I knew I had struck a cord. Apologies were fast and needless to say I finished dressing in peace only hearing that the firemen were saving babies and climbing ladders like normal non-urinating rescue workers would be doing.

Unfortunately, my scare didn’t take as permanently as I would have hoped.  The following day I watched my youngest son run naked through our kitchen while his older brother ran after him trying to swat his naked tush while yelling “BUTT TAG!” It appears that in using their language I had only stooped to their level rather than raising them from it.

Moving forward, I will be claiming my original claim of amnesia. Don’t be surprised if you see me pant-less at Target, but at least you’ll know why.

Parenting Pop-Quiz

Pop

Since the birth of my twins I’ve been receiving somewhat of a pop quiz from the Texas Twin Project (my babies are TX born).  An assortment of questions ranging from what my little ones eat to when I read them stories to how I handle stress when I am in their presence. The questionnaires have been popping into my inbox every six months. Usually around 30 pages long and containing what feels like a million questions.

A parenting pop-quiz.

Truth be told I look forward to these pop quizzes. They keep me in line. They demand that I stop and take a deep long look at my skill set as a mommy. Filled with questions that ask me how I am treating my children as a whole and individually. I answer the questions with complete honesty. Thinking over my interactions with my minions. Analyzing the last six months of bed times, meals, arguments, hugs, games, books and struggles. Was I right? Was I wrong? They even ask if I think that I need improvement in my skills as a parent. Well, mommy do you????

A parenting pop-quiz.

Though just a simple email, just a series of questions, a click of a mouse and clatter of computer keys. Simple tasks that mean so much more within my mommy self. A parenting pop-quiz that makes me answer uncomfortable questions while confronting the struggles I face as a wife and woman who is a mother of three.  Why do I react to each twin differently? Why do I yell on bad days? How can I laugh more? Emphasize the good I am doing rather focusing on the bad I wish I would stop doing.

A parenting pop-quiz.

In fact, I like this questionnaire so much that I wish I received the same one in regards to my first born. Making me check-in with who I am as his mother. How I interact with my little man. How my mini-me is growing with me by his side. Though I am not receiving any formal questionnaire when it comes to my eldest, the one that hits my inbox every six months makes me create somewhat of an informal check-list and quiz within my mommy brain, taking in to account the words I’ve said and the actions I’ve taken when it comes to my little boy. My own version of a parenting pop-quiz.

A parenting pop-quiz. Holding me accountable for holding one of the most important titles in the world: Mommy. The brilliant minds behind the questionnaire never send me any results or data quantifying how great or bad of a mommy I am. They don’t need to. The questions they ask are enough. The reminder each six months gives me a reality check, gets me interested in the mom I am and the way my children are being cared for. I would say with each day my grade is different. Sometimes I am an A+ and other days I probably deserve a big fat F. Some days I’m a cool C+ being an average mommy, but other days I’m above average with a B+ or an A- after scoring big with no tears, easy school drop-offs, crafts executed with Pinterest quality and five star home cooked meals.

A parenting pop-quiz.

Have you taken your parenting pop-quiz this month??? What grade would you give yourself? How would you improve your scores?

 

81%

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A little over a week ago I was presented with a figure … 81%.

Eighty-one percent.

That’s the percentage of time that we spend involved in activities  NOT present. Not mindfully living the moment. That means we are somewhere else in our minds, whether that be in the past or in the future, rather than in the present. We are thinking of something that happened or predicting something that will. Not giving our complete selves to the person and/or activity we are engaged in at that exact moment.

I can only wonder if this number is behind the increased divorce rate. Or behind the lack of committed relationships and actions we all exhibit. Our minds and thoughts being pulled in a million directions by the pings of emails, texts, Facebook alerts and the technology of our world.

Yoga has taught me so much about being in the present moment but I have to admit that though I am focused on the moment in class and mindfully living out each pose, it’s difficult to extend that mindfulness into my daily life. Especially when it comes to my marriage.

Inside the walls of my marriage I take the “mindful time” opportunities we have for granted. Like many couples in the throes of raising little people, we find ourselves talking about the events of our children’s day or planning out the events of the following day to meet their needs as parents. Then the other part of our time is dispersed among chores, work, bills and then zoning out after our greatest treasures are fast asleep.

I don’t want to be part of that 81% statistic and I certainly don’t want my marriage to be within the grasps of that number either. In order to escape the villain of 81, I searched my mind for mindful moments, to identify and understand them in order to make sure I acknowledge those moments as they come to play out in my present moments before they passed by without a mindful thought.

The evening of Valentine’s Day we put the kids to bed and found ourselves on the couch just talking. Not watching the latest Netflix documentary. Not checking off the DVR list. Not a Smartphone in hand or a laptop on a lap. Just us, just talking. Mindfully talking, completely in the present. Before we knew it two hours had passed feeling like an instant. For me, such a talk is equivalent to a diamond ring. I’m a planner, a person with so many ideas filling the nooks and crannies of my brain. Sharing all these thoughts with the man I vowed my life to, makes me feel complete and cared for.

The act of teaching lead to another opportunity where I found ourselves immersed in the present moment. Completely focused on one another, my husband recently gave me my first tennis lesson. To be taught such a craft, the teacher and the student need to be in sync. My husband needed to be focused on my needs and my body movements just as I needed to be focused on his words and his movements. Being focused mindfully in the present lead to an encounter that was loving and tender.

I love the gym. I especially love the gym childcare. But I really love it all when I find myself in the lounge with my husband, just talking. Just he and I, coffee cup in hand. No televisions to be watched, no phones pinging away, no children competing for attention.  Our attention mindfully on one another as we talk about everything and anything … mindfully.

I’m grateful for the fact that I’m lucky enough to have my husband home for lunch and dinner most days of the week. When we sit across from one another, talking about the day. Or rolling our eyes at the dramatic tendencies of our children.  Or laughing at the weirdness and innocence of our household. Or sharing in the stress of whiny children who seem to be able to get along with everyone BUT their siblings while asking for a glass of milk or seconds each time we raise our own forks to our lips.  Eating our meals, not so mindful of our food, but definitely mindful of one another.

81% is just too much of life to let it go by quickly and without full acknowledgement.

I need to make my mindful presence in my marriage more often.  Rather than waiting for the moments we are alone I need to start taking advantages of the opportunities that pop up on a regular basis. As hard as it may be when children are screaming or dogs are scrambling under our feet. We vowed through richer or poorer in sickness and health and well past death do us part, so why not live all these vowed moments, good and bad completely mindfully.

How will you spend your 81%?

 

Throw a Hug Rather Than a Punch.

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Rather than fighting the forces of nature, why not embrace the season of life we are all in. Why not give a great big bear hug to the now we are in rather than throw a punch with what we think we should be doing . How about caressing the present instead of coming at it with blows.

I will admit my guilt when it comes to questioning the present rather than just accepting it with open arms. I’m guilty of wishing for 7 pm to come faster, for the weekend to arrive sooner, for quiet instead of loud, for sleep instead of chaos. Wishes that are only fighting the now.

I question if the way we spend our days is “enough” that if we are using our time wisely, that maybe I should have the kids in more activities or if I should be dedicating my time to even more causes and people.

I wonder if I let the kids sleep too much.

I wonder if I should have them in the “real world” more often.

I wonder if I am boring with a ten o’clock bedtime.

I wonder if I should dress sexier or drink more until I become sexier.

I wonder if my husband and I are spending too much time on the couch.

I wonder if I should be enrolling my kids in some sort of program to create geniuses rather than letting them run through the house like screaming maniacs as they pretend to be holding some sort of makeshift light saber?

I wonder if my husband and I should be having more sex.

I wonder if my kids are getting enough exercise during the winter months.

I wonder if my kids brush their teeth efficiently or if they’ll become toothless at ten.

I literally lose hours of sleep each week with the number of different “wonderings” that fly through my mind as I lay in bed.

Living in a decade of long days but short years. When feet grow quickly and hearts grow strong. An era when innocence becomes something you want to hold onto. A time in which we should really be throwing a hug instead of a punch at the life we are dealt.

Throw a hug rather than a punch. After all, my days are made up of last times. I’m not saying that today will be the last time  for everything but eventually these times and daily happenings will be a thing of the past, things that I will crave as my babies grow taller and older, and as I grow, hopefully wiser and finer.

Throw a hug rather than a punch at the daily last times.

The last time my babies will be in cribs, I cringe at the idea of what my mornings will be like when all three have the run of the house.

Throw a hug rather than a punch.

The last time my kids will nap, I can only imagine what “adventures” will be had when there isn’t that short window of calm.

Throw a hug rather than a punch.

The last time when my little ones will have butts little enough to fit in my lap.

Throw a hug rather than a punch.

The last time when they let me choose the books to read while finding my narration fascinating.

Throw a hug rather than a punch.

The last time my husband and I will sit on the couch with all three little ones asleep, in 10 to 15 years we’ll either be sharing the television with teenagers or worried about where they are and what they are doing.

Throw a hug rather than a punch.

The last time my little girl won’t care if her hair is brushed or if her tights match her shirt.

Throw a hug rather than a punch.

The last time that hugging mom really tight and screaming her name when she picks you up from school is cool. (The day that my children no longer do this I may fall into a deep depression as I fall down the ladder of  cool people in their lives).

Throw a hug rather than a punch.

It’s okay to be who we are. It’s okay to do what we do. It’s okay to embrace our lives as they are, to love it and live it instead of planning it or molding it to what we think it should be like. It’s okay to be self-centered bitches thinking our lives and our time are important. It’s okay to make our own schedules, goals and memories. It’s okay to not follow the rules while making our own. It’s okay to throw a hug instead of a punch.

Throw a hug rather than a punch.

Every mundane, loud, quiet, scary, funny, sad and loving moment takes place as a piece of a divine puzzle planned for each of us. In the end, no matter how much we choose to fight it, no matter how many punches or blows we throw, it’s all going to have the same ending. The difference lies in the path to that destination, will we come out bloody, black and blue from all our resistance or will we come out wiser and finer from all that hugging and embracing.

Throw a hug rather than a punch.