My sister went to Gatlinburg, TN today with some of her friends for a quick over night. Tre was working today, so I jumped on the chance to watch the kids! My other sister Kathy stole Darleen from me so I was only left with Louis. As much as I love Darleen, part of me is so happy that I was only responsible for Lou-bear. Darleen was in good hands with Kath, Bryn and little mother (Tegan) which allowed me to really have an interactive day with the grown boys!
First we got some pumpkins...and paint...and brushes. We took a pit stop at The doctors for Deacon's flu shot.
Tangent--As we walked in there was a swarm of parents and anxious little kiddos waiting for their shots. Parents filling out forms and being ushered back with their kids for "the shot". Deacon and I were in line with Louis of course and we were witness to kids slithering down the hallway in tears, grabbing their arms and parents walking in distress behind them. I got nervous--they called us back. Deacon asked, "Mom, why those kids crying" I said, "I don't know honey." UGH...I knew...so my distress came early, knowing that I just completely lied to him. Not a lie--it was a form of protection for my sanity. Anyway We hop up on the stool, the nurse rubs his arm, instructs me to hold his elbow to his side and viola---in goes the shot. Deacon turns and looks at me with utter disgust, then to the nurse with a puzzled look. THEN tiny tears of, "ok, ok, my arms feels funny". Those who have had the flu shot, know the medicine tingles a bit going in. I told him, "DEACON, YOU did it, you got your muscle shot--look at your big, strong muscles!" And with that the tears stopped. Nurse nodded her head in a congratulatory fashion and said, "good job, mom!" Deacon got a sticker as did Lou and he practically skipped down the hallway and out the door! I was so proud of my little man!
So after that almost-crisis...we headed back to the house and donned our fake artist aprons that Deacon and Louis were so proud to wear! We set up the colors, the pumpkins the brushes and the water. The pictures speak for themselves:
I was proud of myself. I am such a control freak---no mixing of colors, no smearing, no fun (I mean because when you are three, those things ARE FUN!)
I all of a sudden didn't care. Their smiles, their laughter and the amount of pride they had with painting their very own pumpkins, their very own way made me not worry about the way I would be painting pumpkins. (does that make sense?) Deacon kept looking at me like he knew I was wanting to give instructions or tell him how to do something...but I wouldn't and he would just smile and on the inside I know he was saying, "Thanks, mom, I told you I knew what I was doing!)
It seems so small and insignificant---but it this pumpkin painting madness was a big step for me. Doug and I had a conversation a couple days ago---he wasn't pointing fingers or blaming me, he was just observing and I appreciate the feedback. He told me that I try to control too much...and that I need to let go, I need to see what others do, their way, not mine. He also said that I need to involve Deacon more. I didn't believe what I was hearing. But as I replayed our conversation in my head today, I realized how much work I actually needed to do.
I need to let Deacon be his own person, his own way, and I need to involve him in the process. He is 3 now...capable of making decisions, choices (not like huge ones to you and me, but big ones to a 3-year-old!) I patted myself on the back today...I took a big step in motherhood and I know Deacon grew as a person today too!
After painting, I plunked the two in the bath, we ate lunch (not in the bath!) and then took a nap. Yes, I successfully got two kids down for a nap--I'd rather not talk about it because I'd rather not jinx it for the next time!
We did a nature walk. We were on the hunt for all sorts of things that were "Fall". As we were taking our walk and finding acorns, leavings and twigs we were stomping our way through leave piles and the crunch of each step we took was the Earth laying out a welcome mat and greeting us with such hospitality that we didn't want to go inside. We did end up going inside and took our beautiful crimson colored leaves and made leaf rubbings. Again the amazement Louis and Deacon had as they were rolling their crayons across the paper and seeing the result was breathtaking for me to watch. I just saw their brains flutter with excitement and their eyes lit up with joy and wonder. We proudly hung them on the fridge and each time we'd walk into the kitchen they'd say, "LOOK, we made dat!"
To cap of perfect day, I made one of my favorite fall/winter meals: Sauerkraut and Kielbasa, New potatoes (with parsley and butter!) and fresh steamed carrots. The kids loved the kraut (thumbs up!!) and ate the 'basa only because I called them hotdogs! It is true comfort food. The tang of the kraut with the juicy flavor of the Kielbasa--YUM. Heaven I'd say!
Tre came by picked up the kiddos (by this time I had Darleen, for Tre's ease of only going to one home to pick up). Although I am exhausted, I wouldn't trade the day in for the world. I survived the day, with two preschoolers--who were so incredibly well behaved it was semi-ridiculous! A simple day of babysitting turned into life lessons, happy kids and beautiful art. Thank you, God for giving me this opportunity to grow as a person, a mother, an aunt and a wife. Thank you for the smell, the crunch and the beauty of fall--it delivers joy in my life on so many levels!