Bigger Picture: What I Learned When Smooshed My Kid {#BPM}

It was a glorious Saturday afternoon. I had ditched my date with the laundry monster in favor of hanging out with our two cutie pie monsters.


We made our way downtown with the intention of heading to the Farmer’s Market. However, mama can’t do downtown without an iced coffee in her hand. A quick coffee stop turned into a full-on second breakfast.


You know because oatmeal just isn’t enough.


In 2.5 seconds Big E and I had gobbled up our goodies and were left waiting impatiently for Little Red to methodically dismantle his gargantuan cinnamon roll bite by bite. It was painful to watch…I think a snail would moved faster.


By the time Little Red had finished, the Farmer’s Market was over..sigh. With reluctant feet I made my way to the playground. I’m cool with the playground it’s fun for the kids, but sometimes I’m just not into it.


Yes, I am that mom that will sit on the bench, cell phone in hand, catching up on blogs, updating my Facebook status, and Instagraming photos. All while the boys play “battle”, “superheroes” or some other chasing game.


While I sat on my perch watching the boys, making sure no one decided to jump off the highest ladder, I took a deep breath.


“Hey mom,” Big E yelled. “Play battle with us. You can be the bad guy.”


Seriously, why am I ALWAYS the “bad guy”?


Perhaps this is some kind of metaphor.


To be honest I was enjoying my perch, and the room to breath.


And just when I was about to make-up some lame excuse Little Red pops over and says “peas mama.”


Ugh, now they were ganging up on me.


“Ok,” I said reluctantly. I slipped my cell phone into my pocket and followed them to the playground.


They started running, I started chasing.



They started laughing. I started laughing.


Just like that, I was hooked into their game.


Smooshed 1

There I was the ONLY adult climbing the playground equipment, and pretending to be the “bad guy.”


“Capture me mama,” yelled Big E.


I ran after him and tackle hugged him tightly then walked him back to my dungeon. His giggling echoed in the caverns of the playground. I was laughing along, tickling him.


“I’ll rescue you,” yelled Little Red. Distracted by my “prisoner” I wasn’t prepared for the screaming fury known as Little Red. He charges at my legs knocking me off kilter sending me to ground right on top of him.


Laughter quickly turned to tears, and embarrassment {on my part}. The playground grew silent and I could feel every eye on me, as I rolled off my four year old.


“There’s nothing to see here folks,” I thought in my head. “Just a mom who crushed her kiddo. No biggie. Just keep on playing.”


I cradled Little Red in my arms, wiping his tears and kissing his boo boos. “Mama you smooshed me,” he declared accusingly.


I nodded my head, “Yes, I’m so sorry buddy. Are you ok?”


Through snuffles he shook his head yes.


In less time than it took my 40-year old body to get up off the ground. Little Red and Big E were off running again like nothing had even happened.


Kids are resilient, it’s one of the qualities I envy about them. The ability to fall and just wipe their tears and keep on keeping on.


Conflicts and collisions have a tendency to stick with you longer when you are older. It becomes harder and harder to bounce back after you’ve been smooshed by the world.


Here’s the deal though, even though the world may smoosh us once in a while we still need to get off the bench and just keep on laughing.


Boys Downtown

Bigger Picture Moment: Temporary

I walked back into my office last Thursday smiling. It was a “good” day, we had just finished E’s conferences and his teacher gave him a glowing report. He’s outbursts are few and far between, he’s reading well, and likes to participate. Everything I had hoped for him was coming true.


Then the bottom dropped out.


The frustrated texts began.


With each one my blood began to boil.




Then BAM!


It took only 2 hours and our son, had been suspended from the After School Program for a day due to an outburst.


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Then I was informed that from now one I’d have to drop BOTH kids off at school every morning {which takes an hour}.


This was not how I had envisioned the night going.


I grew angrier and angrier. Then bitterness swept in. The “what ifs” started too, those never help.


I went to bed with tears in my eyes and doubts in my heart.


The next morning was a new day full of sunshine.


I vowed to myself that I would not let last night’s debacle taint the day for it was only a temporary setback.


In truth, everything was still ok.


Our angst and irritation were only temporary and we needed to move forward. Three year olds don’t have time or patience for moody parents.


So, I whispered the words “I forgive. I forgive …” Granted everyone in my house {including myself and the cat} Grace, and started a new day.


Because these moments are only temporary.


 This is 40


As I learned that day in a split second life can just up and pull a switchero on you, and you might be left with tears or smiles.


While I prefer smiles, not everyday can be full of unicorns and rainbows. There needs to be both good and bad, happy and sad.


Each moment may seem like forever and anyone that has a child will tell you that. When babies don’t sleep and you feel like it will never end. BAM! The next day they sleep 7 hours straight and wake up talking.


Because moments are temporary.


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On days like Thursday I grow fustrated with the kids. The whining, the outbursts, the temper tantrums, but I remember THIS is only temporary and there will be a day when there will be no more whining, outbursts or temper tantrums. I’ll be left alone at the kitchen table while they run off with friends, head to college and eventually start families of their own.


Because it’s all temporary.


So we must capture each and every moment and live through it, feel it, and remember it, whether it’s good or bad because nothing lasts forever.


Because our time here is only temporary.

Bigger Picture Moment: Jump and Fly

He stood on the wooden stairs of our new house. Packing boxes scattered around him. I was sweating buckets hauling, moving and unpacking, and his little body perched on the stairs created a roadblock to my progress, “hey buddy you need to move so mama can get by,” I encourage him.


“No mama, I jump,” he says.


At which point he proceeds to jump, which basically means he hops and steps down onto the floor.


He repeats this about a billion times or at least it seems like a billion. Then bravely climbs up to the next stair. I wait with baited breath. Will he jump?


He looks at me sensing my anticipation “You catch me?” he asks smiling.


A question with so many connotations and only one answer …


“YES, of course,” I say relieved, as I’d rather not have to visit the ER.


He trusted me to say yes. There was no doubt on his face that I would say no, and let him fall on his face. I’ll always be there to catch both my boys when the need me, and my husband too.


Sometimes they want me to catch them and other times when I’m prepared with outreached arms ready to feel their bodies lurch into mine I’m left empty.


Because at a certain point in their lives they can finally jump on their own. They trust their judgment and my arms might prove to be more of a roadblock than a comfort. So, I step aside and let them jump from time to time.


I smile on the outside and encourage their forward momentum. While on the inside I’m screaming “NO” and my arms ache to cushion their fall.


We continue this jump and catch game another billion times, my arms aching and my heart bursting with joy. Then he says the words I knew were coming “I do myself.”


Stepping aside I let him go on his own, his jump is perfected now and he gets air, flies and lands … CLUNK safely on the ground.


I’ll always be there to catch them.



But I also know sometimes you need to just let them JUMP, because they need to fly.