Not in my house but in my heart…always

I remember where I was when I found out he was coming.

His mother pulled me aside after church and whispered, “I’m pregnant. Seven weeks.”

I hugged her tight, willing my excitement to somehow transfer from my heart and brain and arms into her so she would know–really know–that this news was an answer to prayers I’d said for her and her husband for months as they waited for this to happen.

I remember where I was when I found out he was here.

A text from his aunt popped up on my phone as I stood in a friend’s living room celebrating the impending arrival of another dear friend’s baby. It was five days after I turned 30. I’ve always considered him my belated 30th birthday gift. Because this child is–without a doubt–a complete gift in my life.

***

There’s something just get-you-in-the-gut amazing about watching your friends raise their children. Seeing them parent, parenting alongside them, and watching their (and our) little people grow into who they are. It’s not always easy and is pretty much always messy, but I try to do what James tells us: “Count it all joy…” Because…man, what a privilege to witness such things.

I mean, think about it. You’ve got this friend–or friends, in the case of the little guy I was talking about earlier–who you love and enjoy so much. And then they have this little baby who has parts of each them–either through biology or bonding–BUT ALL WRAPPED UP IN ONE PERSON.

I can’t not be completely in love. I don’t stand a chance.

***

I am the parent of an only child.* But that doesn’t mean I have one child in my life. I carried one, gave birth to one, and am currently raising one, but I am blessed to have so, so many to live life with and to love fiercely. Even though they don’t live in my house, they live in my heart. They’ve burrowed into it and made their marks, and I am forever changed.

(Happy birthday, Grey.)

*I don’t like to say “I only have one child” because that somehow implies that parenting one child is easy. Maybe it is for some people; it depends on the child and the parents. My point: you don’t know how easy someone’s parenting life is until you’ve spent time in his or her brain.

Coming up (or out) for air

In the last two weeks, JR has gone to school one day–maybe two, I can’t remember WHAT WITH THE FOURTEEN (14) DAYS OF NON-STOP PARENTING THAT HAS TURNED MY BRAIN TO MUSH. We got a little snow, you see. And then a little more snow, and all things came to a grinding halt.

I love my child. But I also love others things, too. Like going to work so we can have food. And talking about things that aren’t Ninjago or who’s the best Powerpuff Girl.*

I’m told they’ll be back in school tomorrow–two hours late, I’ll have you know, but back in school nonetheless. I’ll believe it when I see him walk into his classroom. And then I’ll turn around and run like hell.

Here’s a picture from the 15 minutes JR spent in the snow over the last two weeks.

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*JK, I’ll talk about this whenever. Because it’s Bubbles.

The beach was swell (and re-entry is the pits)

Before I begin, I’d like us to take a moment of silence to officially mourn the end of our vacation in Hilton Head–a week of sun, naps, and (that most wonderful of wonders) grandparents who are willing to take the morning shift for six days straight.

Thank you.

***

Anyway, hey! It’s been a while. I bet you didn’t even know we WENT on vacation. Well we did. And it was awesome. I’m thoroughly exhausted, freckled, and hating the fact that we’re home. But I will say that I’m much more willing to return to life as it is now than what it looked like when I was working full-time. If that were still the case I probably would’ve spent yesterday’s eight(ish) ride back up to Richmond weeping and curled up in a ball on the floor of the car. Instead I just pouted a bit and clung desperately to the fact that at least the dogs are being boarded until Monday. Once I pick those (adorable!) jokers up, it’s all over.

Until then, I will stare at these pictures over and over. You should too.

He pretended to sleep for the first 15 minutes of the drive. Then he spent the rest of the time kicking the back of the driver’s seat.

Photo by his Mamaw. I was very much asleep when this was taken.

Swimming was his favorite. He’s still pretty nervous in the water, but I think we’ll have a little fishy by the end of the summer.

Freckles. All I get are freckles.

Mini golf was totally my favorite part of the trip. The kid had The Adorable turned up to 11.

First real ice cream on our last night in town.

***

Things look to be calming down a tiny bit for the summer, so I’m hoping to spend more time over here. I’ve missed you guys. What have you been up to?