January’s is finally up!

New year, new beginnings. It feels appropriate that we rang in the new year by celebrating Peanut’s first steps – six steps clear across the living room, to be exact.

Today I told Robo the story of his first haircut. How I blubbered like a baby on the car ride home because his hair was so short in the back that his little neck roll spilled out over his collar and he no longer looked like my baby. He practiced giving me a kiss and a squeeze in case I cried when Peanut got his haircut. In the car he joked that he wanted to see me cry. So what did he do when his brother screamed in protest the entire time – big fat tears pouring from his eyes? He stood enchanted with the TV, happily licking the lollipop the hairdresser gave him for tagging along. You win some, you lose some.

Three. Gigantic feelings raging through his little body. A storm. Blown in by the smallest things: no lollipops before lunch, we don’t have time to paint before dinner, he can’t decide what he wants for breakfast, he wants to get out of his car seat “now now NOW.” Helpless to control. Charging me to hit and spit. Screaming at the top of his lungs. I’m helpless watching him. Until he’s finally exhausted and calm and crawls into my lap. It passes as quickly as it comes. The afternoons can be hard, but man do I love this sweet boy.

Closing day. A precious few hours before bedtime to remove shelves before the painters come tomorrow. And a gracious friend to help. When you forget the stepladder? You get creative and use a human stepladder instead

Motherhood, parenthood, you name it. It’s simultaneously one of the toughest and most rewarding jobs out there.

Since working from home this year, I’ve gotten many more moments with my boys. Pre-nap chapter book cuddles with Robo, walks through the neighborhood to gather books from the little free libraries, and endless laps around the house as Peanut tests out his sea legs. While I know this time is a gift, if I’m being honest, many days I struggle to find “me” in the mayhem. Some days my patience is stretched so thin by dinnertime that I struggle to keep it together. Of course none of this helps with the mama-guilt.

This week I got time away to be me. Time to learn something new. While I missed all of my boys, this time away ultimately makes me a better parent and partner. I am so grateful: for the time, for my incredibly supportive partner, for the loving grandparents that made it possible, for my family.

Want to guess what the hot topic of conversation was during our FaceTime calls?

Cow poop.

Yesterday, about school: “I wanted to play with a boy but he told me that I couldn’t because I wasn’t his friend.”

The same story popped out again today.

I know these heartaches are inevitable. They are a part of growing up. And I know he needs to learn to navigate them on his own. To trust himself, to be strong, independent. Because before long, these little hurts will be bigger ones; ones he’ll have to navigate without me. I know this. And I trust this. But even so, it’s almost more than I can bear. My heart aches for my sweet, empathetic boy.

To see more of this project, you can follow along from the beginning here.

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