Thursday, December 3, 2015
Once again, time has gotten the better of me. Fall has quickly turned nearly into winter (we woke up to a faint dusting of snow on the ground...NOOOOOO!) As I took down my fall decor and replaced it with my Christmas stuff, I realized I needed to update things around here so that I would be able to look back at Halloween in years to come and smile at the creativity of my kids.
With two second graders and a fourth grader, I realize my days are numbered with fun childhood traditions that I (I mean they) hold so dear. The kids had thought long and hard about their costumes this year and I have given up years ago trying to control what they would be.
This year, Turner wanted to be Paul Blart, Mall Cop. (He would also like you to know he is Paul Blart, Mall Cop 2, which OBVIOUSLY was way funnier than the first one!) So, that was what he was. However, I had to fight him to keep the pillow under his shirt for the picture before he ditched it for the night of trick or treating. (PS- the pillow totally makes the costume, without it you are just a skinny cop on a scooter.) Not to mention by the second house, the mustache had fallen off. Whatever.
Olivia and her friend, Lila, were going to be ice cream store managers. The idea then morphed into a soda jerk. This costume was particularly hard to come by without the help of Steak N Shake. So she spent the better part of the night correcting people as they called her a Steak N Shake employee. Oh well.
Quinn was a brave knight. He crafted his own battle scar next to his eye, which led to several people insisting he was Genghis Khan. When he finally looked up who that was on the Internet, he was a little irritated! Which makes him act a touch like Genghis. (Sorry Mrs. Leonhardt.)
The three amigos. Our favorite Halloween tradition is having Cousin Nick (and now the future cousin Kaleigh) come and join us for mummy dogs and trick or treating. Followed by the annual loot patrol at the end of the night which results in Kaleigh and I confiscating all of the dark chocolate and Nick and Steve eating whatever things they can con the kids out of.
But I can already tell I'm losing my babies, because instead of heading home with the rest of us to binge on candy, Olivia opted to spend the night at Lila's. Waaaaaah!
About two weeks ago, Steve and I headed to Virginia and D.C. for a work trip. We managed to add in a few hours of play time before we headed back to the kids. We had a lot of fun shopping and eating in Georgetown. My favorite part was face-timing the kids from the White house. They thought it was the coolest thing ever.
And last weekend we headed to Gramma and Papa's for Thanksmas (our combo Thanksgiving/Christmas celebration on the years we don't get together for Christmas.) It was a great time of food, family and our newest cousin, Josephine. She is four weeks old and I think the kids were a bit disappointed to find out that she isn't exactly "play worthy" yet. They did have fun taking turns holding her and even got to give her a bottle and help her get a bath. The girls are particularly thrilled that the gender numbers are now even. It's been a rough spell having the boys out-number the girls! Ha.
So, life has been good and full around here.
The day before Thanksgiving was a little rough. It would have been my mom's 75th birthday. While she would have just hated turning 75, I sure wish she had! 5 years post her death and I still am surprised every time grief rears it's ugly head. While I love packing up and heading to a holiday with kids running around, hustle and bustle of a full house, there are just days that I wish I was packing the car to head to Toledo. A quiet house where there would be fights about where to order take out from, the tv turned on just way too loud because my dad couldn't hear a darn thing and people bumping into each other because my parents' apartment would have been way too small for all of us. It would have been crowded, loud and tense. But it would be home. It would be that sense of walking into the house, knowing that your mom and dad were pacing the floor waiting for you and your kids to walk through the door. It would be knowing that your dad ran to the store 4 times that day to make sure there were enough doughnuts for the kids, pop for everyone and candies in the candy dish. It would be knowing that there would be fresh flowers in my mom's vase, because the only time my dad bought them for her was when we were coming.
It would be knowing that my mom would want to know every detail about every stupid thing the kids did and said. She would want them to show off all the tricks they know. She would be amazed what Olivia can do in gymnastics. My dad would have yelled at her to be careful and to not do the tricks in the house and my mom would have yelled at him for yelling at her.
My kids would have taken rides on her wheel chair and on her scooter. However, they may have outgrown that this year. Perhaps, there would have been a visit in the hospital, maybe someone would have been in the nursing home by now. There is no telling. Sometimes memories and vain imaginations are better than reality. I know that is true. Oh, but what I wouldn't give for one more walk through their door.
One more, "Hey, babe, you look good" from my daddy. One more tear filled, "I thought you would have been here a half hour ago" from my mom, knowing it was just because she couldn't wait to get her hands on those babies and a kiss on my cheek and a laugh from Steve. No one could make her laugh like Steve could. They adored him. And me. And my babies. They would never believe that Turner came up with the Paul Blart costume all on his own. They would be convinced that Quinn will go to Harvard, or Yale or some other Ivy League, and Olivia would be the apple, beauty and Olympian of their eye.
So, these are the things I imagine and dream of as grief rolls over me like an ocean wave. The dream of what would be. But really wouldn't have been, given the story God has written. It is well with my soul.
But do be mindful of those you love and care about who dream of what would have been this holiday season. It does not mean we are fragile or ungrateful or unappreciative of all the amazing people who are still with them. We couldn't be happier and more thankful to have them- YOU- in our life. It just means there are holes that won't be filled. Give us a moment (or two) to imagine what would have been, what was or what we wish we had back, even for a moment. Give us a hug. Remind us you love us and that it will be ok. Because it will. And so will we. And so will I!