In reference to parenting young children, someone once wrote to me, "The days are slow but the years fly by so quickly". It was one of you smart readers of this blog and I couldn't agree more. Where has the time gone? My babies aren't babies anymore. That's as bittersweet as it gets.
I'm screeching around the corner of 40+ and Brock is headed down the 50 hill. Crap! Everyone is aging quickly! MAKE IT STOP. My children, at 5 and 8, aren't quite so young either. As in, I don't feel the obsessive need to stare at them every moment of the day for fear of them ignorantly killing themselves due to the dangerous and ridiculous nature of toddlers.
In fact, my boys are turning into wonderful, caring, responsible young men right before my very eyes and for that I feel extremely blessed and grateful. But it scares the poo our of me how fast they are changing and growing up! That is why I have chosen to be as present as time allows- which is only one of my many super awesome excuses as to why I have neglected my blog. Because blogs, unlike children, marriages, animals, jobs and plants, can exist with little to no care. Yay for blogs! And yes, I have been known to kill plants. They fall pretty far down on my list of priorities. The other stuff I am at about 85%, which obviously means I'm winning at life. Let's all take a moment of silence and say thank you to coffee.
Our summer was a whirlwind of activities- mostly of the equine variety. Having acquired two more full sized horses, one of which was a 31 year old Paint whom was mine as a kid, we found ourselves enjoying multiple horse camping activities; you can read a condensed version here. The boys enjoyed it so much that it was well worth all the slave labor from Brock and myself (hence another reason for not blogging- I'm too busy scooping horse manure!).
The dudes still kept their ponies as well as their new big horses, because PONIES. Also, those little turds are adorable and the boys can saddle them on their own, which fosters confidence, skill and independence. Plus, they are super fluffy and have teeny tiny ears. Have you ever looked hard at pony ears? They're pretty stinking cute.
As far as our pets, we didn't fare as well. We experienced some tragedy as we faced the fact that our beloved Black Dog was dying from intestinal cancer. One particular morning, we talked about our responsibility to gently end her struggle when the time came. Both of us wished she would just close her eyes and quietly go in her sleep, but we knew that probably wouldn't happen because she was a stubborn old broad with a will of steel. Later that same day, my favorite Craigslist pet and spirit animal, Smelly Cat, had a stroke (or something equally terrible) right in front of me. Oddly enough, he was laying on Black Dog's bed- which he never did. I rushed him to the veterinarian where they advised me to say goodbye and ease his pain. It was shocking and terrible. I grieved hard for two days. He was only eight- too young to go- and I felt cheated out of my time with him. Brock and the boys built a wooden box and we laid him to rest under the crabapple tree. We scattered flowers on his grave and read a poem about him. Two months later, we called the veterinarian out to do the same for Black Dog and she claimed another spot in our yard where the dirt is still upturned, just like the fresh wound on our hearts. The passing of those pets still lays heavy on all of us. We were fortunate to have their loyal companionship and miss them both every day.
We eased the pain with a new kitten, because we are clearly ill.
He belongs to Thing 2, who named him Billy so he "could call him HEEEERRRREEE BILLYbillyBILLYbilly!"
It's fun to call Billy. You should try it right now.
Billy chose us when we were visiting my family in Iowa. He is so sweet and calm that we immediately fell in love. Then when he continued to be oddly sweet and clam, we worried he was sick and dying. Turns out he is actually just sweet. And calm. Clearly we aren't used to sweet. Our animals are sassy and sly and cantankerous and serial-killer-esque and funny, but not sweet. My friend an I thanked him for his kindness by neutering him on my kitchen table. Who wants to have dinner at my house? Billy is not only sweet, he was also a bit flea-ridden, which he promptly deposited on my bed and his new best friend, Captain Fluffernutter. Such is life with animals!
The boys are getting big enough where I don't feel that I should share too many details of their lives, because they deserve privacy and respect. I will say that I signed up Thing 1 for basketball to try and create a love of the game as well as a senses of urgency. I thought that a quick-paced team sport was better at fostering awareness of time than the method by which I learned it- which was someone constantly yelling, "GOD DAMMIT JOHI, PAY ATTENTION!"
Anyhoo, it turns out the team needed a coach.
Guess who ended up coaching eight second and third grade boys? You got it. This chica right here.
Soooo, there's a reason that I never went into teaching.... but no one has cried (in front of me) yet and the kids are improving their skills, learning about good sportsmanship, respect and being a team player, and they seem to be having fun, so let's chalk it up as a win! It's honestly been extremely rewarding for me as well. Maybe I like kids after all. I don't know. Jury is still out.
I have much more to share, but I'll leave it for another blog post. I will say that in the past year there have been good days and bad. There have been many moments of 'hell yeah!' and many moments of 'what in the hell?'. Yet, no matter what happens, my life is moving forward in a perfectly imperfect way and I am truly trying to simply be grateful for every day. And days when that doesn't work I pour a glass of wine and watch dramatic television with Brock.
I am fortunate to be surrounded by so many really spectacular people (and animals) and their impact on my life is profound. I only can hope to be returning some the favor, particularly to those tow-headed treasures of mine.
And Brock too, of course.
Peace, love and all the good stuff,