Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Turning Five. Time. Our Fall Soup Party.

Wow!  Our second oldest turned five yesterday.  Five!  He kept telling us all day, "Now that I'm five I can run very fast and probably outrun my older brother."   The older brother kept saying things like, "I'm so fast I can outrun anything this side of the Mississippi."  (He's into American Tall Tales right now, as evidenced by that example as well as this one: "Mom, I'm so  hungry I could eat a hickory stump, roots and all.") 

Anyway, you know what really is fast?  Time.  Everybody knows the whole "time routine", so I'm not even going to waste keystrokes writing about how when you had your first baby everyone told you the time would go quickly and you'd smile and laugh and nod your head in agreement even though you weren't really sure that  it was true...  I get it. I get it.  The time does go quickly.  But I'm not the mourning-mother type, wishing my babies would stay little or wishing I could rewind to when they were younger or being sad that they're growing up.  (I think this trait might be genetic.  Hi, Mom!)  For me, it's now that's going quickly.  It's the present moment that I'm grasping at, that I want to take advantage of.  It's part of my personality to "wait" for the perfect timing for something, or the perfect setting or circumstances.  In many ways I catch myself "waiting for better days," or more specifically waiting for the "perfect circumstances" to share some particular joy with my children.  A simple example of this to illustrate the larger issue would be... I wish I would have celebrated more fully the November 25th Feast of Christ the King with my kids.  But I didn't.  Because to do it the right way, the "perfect circumstances" way, would have required library books, coloring pages, aluminum foil crowns for everyone to decorate, New Testament passages cross-referenced with Old Testament prophecies, a feast served on a regal purple table cloth with a centerpiece made of the various symbols used for Christ, hymns to Christ the King, one preferably in Latin (perfected, of course,  in the two weeks leading up to the Feast),  and the list goes on and on and on.  Before you know it, the Feast is over and I missed it.  And so did my children.

It takes a great effort on my part to let go of all of that.  I have to be very intentional in sharing joys and moments with my children because if I don't intentionally plan them to be less than perfect they won't happen at all.  This is the time that flies by.  This is the time that I don't want to lose because I was stuck in "waiting for perfect circumstances" land.  Because five-year-olds soon become six-year-olds, and so on.  And they deserve to share meaningful moments and joyful memories with me even if they weren't made under perfect circumstances.  

Whew!  I'm going to lighten up now and show you my newest five-year-old... 

Five things about my five-year-old: he is so thoughtful, he is joyful - taking special delight in simple things, he likes to cuddle, he's a little distractible (!), he can't resist a story... if you start reading a book to someone else, he's at your side in an instant, first peering over the book, and eventually just curling up next to you... doesn't matter which book.    And a sixth thing - he loves to sing and surprises all of us with the lyrics that he knows.  

Finally, every Autumn we have our Fall Soup Party, which is nothing more than a night of sampling all of the soups that I've recently made for the freezer.  This year it happened to coincide with the birthday, so it was a doubly fun evening!  Here are a couple pictures of getting ready for the Fall Soup Party.  I didn't manage to get any shots of anyone actually enjoying the soups because I was trying to eat my own three or four bowls while also feeding our screech owl, er, I mean, the baby.  

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