^^Quick pic of the three of us? I think we nailed it.^^
I've been thinking it's about time to write some about what Emmitt and Cora are doing these days; what they're saying, or screaming; what they like, or don't like. I haven't done one of these posts in such a long time. I've really done very few of these for Cora. I've said it 73 times before and I'll say it again. These posts are hard for me. If I acknowledge what's going on in these two growing-at-the-speed-of-light lives, in writing, then it's real. Like really real, you know? And sometimes that feels a little too heavy to tackle. A little too emotional. But if I don't acknowledge it in writing, it wanders and bumps around in my head, risking being lost forever in some dark, dusty corner up there. Though I try desperately to take mental notes and mental pictures of Emmitt and Cora's milestones, big and small, sometimes a few words are called for to mark this time in our journey.
So here it is. A few words. Although it will likely turn into too many words, because I tend to be like that. As I imagine is the case with every stage of motherhood, this stage comes with new challenges and new joys. But I think the joys far outweigh the challenges at this point. This time is good. Really, really good. The days when Emmitt and Cora would play together seemed like a far off dream not so long ago, and now we have arrived at that stage. And I can't emphasize enough how special that is. They still fight like cats and dogs over toys, and sometimes E just wants to play with his animals, or he claims all the toys in the house for himself. But they're actually playing together now, like house and babies, kitchen, chase (or rather "get me" as they call it), coloring, play dough, legos (if Cora can keep them out of her mouth for long enough), and outside toys. Oh my gosh, did you read that? House. Emmitt's the Dad and Cora's the Mom and I'm the Grandma and Jaron is the Papa, and they wrap their baby dolls in blankets and rock them. When Cora rocks her baby, she says "rock it, baby, rock it, baby" and then sometimes she drops the baby doll to the ground, on purpose, and very dramatically says, "OH NO, BABY!" The cuteness is all too much to handle, as I'm sure you can already tell.
Emmitt is such a proud big brother and introduces Cora to people when we're in the checkout line of the store, at church, or at school. His teacher has told me that when he sees Cora during the day, they hug and he has to tell all of his classmates who she is: "This is my sister, Tora!" He talks to her with the sweetest voice, and says thing like, "my darling" and "Oh, do you want your mama, baby durl?" They just started hugging recently, ask often where the other one is if they're ever apart, and are really pretty good about checking on each other and apologizing if mistakes were made... you know, like biting or hitting or hurdling a toy through the air. It happens to the best of us (oy).
Emmitt just keeps getting taller and bigger and more of a real deal big boy every single day. He went to stay with Jaron's parents in Texas for a few days earlier this week and I could hardly believe how grown up he looked when we picked him up. Be still my heart. He still loves animals and trains. He still sorts animals and the day he stops sorting animals, well, I just don't want to talk about it. His sorting and lining up has evolved, but it's there. He has started working with legos and other little toys that you build or put together. He is good at that kind of thing. Patient and focused. Wanting things just right. He's been doing more and more make-believe and it kills me dead to overhear the scenarios he invents with his stuffed animals and the conversations they have with each other. He has developed a fondness for Ninja Turtles and Superheroes, as you do. He seems to be in a language growth spurt and adds new phrases daily. Some of the things he says give me and Jaron a good chuckle. Emmitt, you are sensitive and tender, active and strong-willed, a kind friend, and you show great excitement for the things you love and enjoy. Oh, what a treat it is to be your Mama. You make me better. I love you, my big little one.
Cora needs to make it clear she's no longer a baby. She desperately wants to be a big kid. When we have our church small group or get together with our friends and their kids, she wants to run off and play alone with them. She's just not quite to the age where I feel comfortable leaving her completely by herself with E and his friends, and this puts her in a rage. Moms are always ruining everything.
I am often in awe of the way Cora lives her life. She has gobs of energy and is so full of joy. She is thoughtful, a helping friend, wildly observant, and a bit mischievous. She is brave, confident, and she knows what you should be doing. And she's not afraid to tell you about it. At a pretty high decibel, nonetheless. Cora has great body smarts... she loves to run, climb, jump. She is silly and likes to make people laugh. Oh goodness, that sounds like some other family members I know. Maybe we have another performer on our hands. She is also in a language growth spurt, and repeats everything. She has an independence to her, and yet part of her still likes being the little one, even if she's not always willing to admit it. Cora, you are a fun, passionate, strong girl, and I am proud to be your Mama. You make me better. I love you, my little one.
It really is an honor to be E and C's Mom. They make life full and as it should be, and I want to serve them well. I've been trying to say short and sweet, yet heartfelt prayers, asking for patience throughout the day. It has been humbling and a little unsettling to discover how impatient, either I've always been (yikes), or have become recently. I don't want to always be rushing my kids. I want them to be able to stop and enjoy simple moments, like the walk to the car, the Target run, or mealtime preparation (you know, you have to feed your kids all the meals, all the days... sigh). So instead of beating myself up about lots of parenting things, I'm trying to let myself be glad in what's going well, and focus on patience for this season. Patience with potty training and nursing and all the little in between moments where I just need to take a breath and RELAX. Because did you see those two busy kids up in those photos? Ah, yes. Life is full and as it should be.