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4 years ago

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Photo: I got my free morning, so you know where I went!! The water is flowing, no longer frozen. Matter of fact, the water has risen significantly and will be pretty high soon. You won’t be able to walk beyond the statue to the left before long. That’s how high the river gets! Tour groups have returned, which means that it isn’t the best spot for stopping and thinking anymore. Might need to find a new pondering spot…


On Sunday night, my family sat down to dinner and started the usual nonsense of “no, you can’t have more of that until you eat some of this”  which is the new nightly annoying fight that we need to have with both of our children. Getting into it with Minor, especially, seemed to b the thing that I must do instead of enjoying my dinner. But on Sunday, I stopped mid-tirade because my pet fox came out from under the barn the barn

with three little kits.

Three adorable little gray kits with little white tufts at the end of their tails. The fox looks magnificent, as usual, and to see him… him? Her…? I guess I should probably go with “her,” huh? Anyway, she looks marvelous and strong and healthy. All four of us barely ate dinner so as to watch the show. The kits are good on their feet, playful and happy, wrestling with each other, hopping around and exploring, and venturing a good bit away from their hiding spot.

While the rest of the family hasn’t had a chance to see them since, I’ve had the privilege of a lot of time with them. I have prime view of them from my office window and they seem to come out mid-morning and again in mid-afternoon, which is prime email/blogging time for me!

And I really do mean “privilege” when I describe this week of watching. How many people get to watch a vixen and her kits play in the sun? How many people get to watch her worry over them, play with them, teach them a thing or two? And I’m feeling really joyful. She lived here before we did, remember? And this has been her home for a long time. There were no kits last year, so I think our moving here disrupted her cycle. How much trust has she put in us that she has decided to continue to live here, and even raise a litter here? It’s such a gift to have them here.

What I’ve noticed about my fox this week is that, though taking on that new-parent glow, she seems to have a lot on her mind. The kids play and wrestle, and you can hear her bark in warning or caution or instruction. She rarely sits, constantly on her feet to push a baby upright, play with a baby, check the perimeter… from time a time, a noise will happen and they will all perk up at once… or she will sit to scratch at her ear or take a deep breath and then the three will run over and jump on top of her.

And Lord, I just feel for her. I’m just like, yeah, I know all about that. And I love her and I’m proud of her. Because she’s beautiful and she survived the crazy winter and she brought three adorable kits into the world.

My Quiet Thoughts are about how the world seems to expand and contract all at the same time in motherhood. Where I used to see my pet fox come out of the barn and roam, here she is tethered to my yard and my barn. For now. She’ll be roaming again. Meanwhile, my two little bears are expanding their world and horizon daily, yet making everything feel that much smaller and tighter as they claim more space for their own.

For example, last night, The Husband and I sprang for Chinese. We ordered our usual favorites: beef with hot pepper for me, General Tsao’s for him, fried rice and lo main for the boys, and this delicious beef-wrapped scallion pancake that The Husband and I love. And don’t usually share. We rarely order Chinese and this is like, a special treat.

Well, you know who wanted some, right?

Major: “Oh my God! This is delicious! I love this! Can I have some more!?”

Minor: “Yummy! That’s yummy bread! Can I have some more!?”

Homies, there are only 4 pieces. Two pieces for me and Daddy!! 

Not any more.

Palettes expand. Favorite lists extend. Little pleasures for me and Daddy seem to get taken.

Even the playlist in the car is a shared experience. Little boys must hear certain songs while we are in the car. The same 4ish songs at any given time. I add stuff to the playlist, I take stuff out… they change up on what their favorite rock-out song is. But can mommy listen to a mommy rock-out song? Oh no! There is much ballyhoo about that or, even more classy, they talk or fight through it. So mommy can’t enjoy it. Smooth Criminal comes on? Ohhh, they’re just happy little bears!

Of course, I’m like <sigh>, Mommy can’t have nice things. But then again, I’m grateful for two little boys who rock out to music and eat all my Chinese food and hang out in my living room and make up games. (Instead of playing in their beautiful playroom? The one we spent months working on? Killin’ me, bros…) I feel like they’ve hit a lot of milestones this year and, best of all, they are still happy and healthy and growing fine. We’re doing ok over here. It’s a real blessing to have these two boys be as perfect as they are. I know that there are parents who have a lot more worries than I do. It hits me early and often that I shouldn’t complain so much.

Then there is nap time. We’ve had a week without it. I’m pretty sure that it’s over… Major certainly doesn’t need it anymore, and Minor will not sleep in the nursery without his brother. Ain’t gonna happen. So that means that my days are going to be rearranged again. Gone are the days of the reliably quiet hours outside of my 5am to 7am stretch. The good news is that there seems to be a lull and peaceful play after lunchtime, so I should still be able to regularly post the way that I have been.

But who knows? It’s a whole new world! Their days expand, mine contract and so it goes. Growth is good, change is inevitable, and isn’t it wonderful, really? I’m grateful beyond measure, dear reader. I hope that you, too, have something to be grateful for today.

It is a gray and misty Friday, with snow still covering the majority of the laws and mud pretty much everywhere else. Coats still need to be thick and boots still need to be on, dear reader, but Spring’s march is still on. Slow, but sure. So I wish you green and color this Friday: a potted flowering plant, some daffodils, maybe some tulips in a pretty vase. I wish you a new pretty dress or crisp new shirt for upcoming Spring holidays, maybe a pint of pale ale or white wine, and most certainly a light and fruity dish served up next to a window with a sunny view. I wish you bird calls from returning friends, peeks of nature renewing just outside your window. Finally, I wish you a small and intimate moment: a kiss on the cheek, a squeeze of a hand, a whisper in your ear or a gift left in a secret spot. A small gesture to say “I love you” and start a conversation this weekend. i wish you joy, and warmth, and the wisdom of knowing that you are worthy of both.

Until Monday, dear reader, take care.

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