Monday, March 4, 2013

All the Thinks You Can Think

. . . when you think about SEUSS!

Initially when I think about Dr. Seuss I think about the hours I spent cuddling on the couch as Theodore and I partnered in my earliest literacy efforts with our sweet boys. These are very fond thinks, I must say. I think about how they would request the same books over and over and about how we all knew them by heart. Their favorites being Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and later, Hans’s beloved Fox in Socks.

I think about MY favorite Dr. Seuss book, Horton Hatches an Egg, and the look my children have all inevitably given me when I am caught off guard by my emotions and can barely continue reading because of the lump in my throat and the tears in my eyes. The frustration and sense of injustice I feel toward that lazy Mayzie LaBird and the audacity of her accusation that Horton stole her egg. Our children are spaced far enough apart that, between readings, I seem to forget the ending to the story and always feel so relieved and grateful when an Elephant Bird actually hatches from the egg for which Horton so lovingly sacrificed with dedication. At that point, every time I read this story, never fail, I feel an endearing love for Mr. Seuss, thankful for his insight and validation.

Last year around this time I had the privilege of adding some new thinks to my repertoire of Dr. Seuss thinks as our three sons were involved in Glacier Peak High School’s Seussical the Musical—David and Leif rocking it in the orchestra pit and Hans on stage as a Jungle Citizen. What a thrilling and fulfilling experience it was! I will think of the abundance of talent displayed not only by the students but the numerous adults involved too. Wow. I will think, with fondness, of all the adults and parents who selflessly gave of their time and talents. I will think of how hard everyone worked to make it a success.

I will think of Britta’s wide-eyed expression of awe as she finally got to see the musical on the final night after living and breathing (and dancing to) the soundtrack for months beforehand. I will think about how it was like she was at Disneyland, so excited to be hugging her favorite characters, insisting on giving everyone “Great job!” treats. I will think of bright pink speck-on-a-clover cake pops and Britta’s generosity toward Thing 1 and Thing 2. I will think about how she wants to be Gertrude when she grows up . . . or a dancing fish with a sparkly blue dress.

I will think of the important lessons I gleaned from the musical itself, wisely reminding me to “Follow (my) hunch” more often . . . and strengthening my resolve during those times when I feel “Alone in the Universe” and  I must “stand on my own . . . (then) so be it.” I will think about how I have committed myself to being accepting of others even when they are thinking “different than us.” My biggest, most grand think of all though was the moment when I looked at my tall, thin, young man on stage—clad in leopard pants and fur—with his angular face and big brown eyes. In astonishment I couldn’t help but think “Why . . . he looks just like me.” I was stunned . . . and ever so grateful.

Happy Belated Dr. Seuss. Thanks for the thinks.

20120420_170526_DSC_0253

1D4_3259 (2)

My boys in the pit. Leif on the violin and . . .

1D4_3303 (2)

David on the keyboard.

20120428_213632 WP_000889

Britta, thrilled to be with the Cat in the Hat.

1DS31602 (2)

Hans . . .  my sweet “Elephant Bird.”

Thursday, June 14, 2012

This Time Last Year . . .

I was celebrating (GRIEVING) the graduation of this handsome fellow.

20110614_16-40-04

20110614_17-24-51

20110614_17-27-54 20110614_17-28-10

20110614_17-28-22 20110614_17-28-23

20110614_19-33-16

I did fine at the ceremony until our wonderful Principal, Mr. James Dean, talked about how mother eagles have to push their eaglets out of the nest—I couldn’t take it anymore and the tears flowed.

20110614_20-52-19

David impressed us with his heartfelt graduation speech—The Music of Happiness. A year later he continues to receive compliments on that speech. We felt proud of his courage and authenticity.

20110614_22-11-28

And I am pleased to report that I have advanced from anger to depression . . . hopefully approaching a hesitant acceptance any day now. 

 

Round Two: Tonight

2305_20111015_00002

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Grieving

This week I spent an inordinate amount of time ironing David’s high school graduation gown. I have ironed three graduation gowns in my married life . . . and David’s was, by far, my least favorite. It took so much time partly because interruptions are pretty much constant when you have cute, little people in your stewardship, partly because I haven’t ironed since Britta was born, nearly four years ago—mind you—and have likely lost my touch (but that’s a blog post all it’s own), and partly because it was really wrinkled and I have been known to be a little OCD at times. . . but MOSTLY it took so much time because it was a symbolic and emotional trip down memory lane. Where has the time gone, anyway?

When I was finishing up graduate school and ironing my own gown I was excited and relieved to be able to put all my efforts into mothering. I would miss my classmates for sure—thirty-one of us who had spent pretty much every weekday together for two years in a rich and enlightening environment—it was a wonderful time in my life and although I was sad for it to end I had something even better to look forward to. My heart was in my home with my three boys and I was thrilled to be able to be there with them full-time.

Years later when Eric finished his graduate degree I wasn’t melancholy in the slightest. I was in awe that we had actually survived, grateful for the generosity of Microsoft who had footed the bill 100%, and so happy that we had successfully worked together to accomplish something important to both of us. I was also very much looking forward to having my hubby at home with our family a lot more often.

With David's impending graduation I am struggling to find the silver lining. There is nothing really obvious for me to look forward to. I am so sad to think that soon our family will not be together as much, I am sad to think that we will not be as involved in our son’s life,  and I am sad that our kids will not have their brother around. I am sad when I realize that this is just the first of six high school graduations and I question whether I will make it through. I feel sad and I feel angry and the tears seem to always be right at the surface. I think that I am grieving. I am grieving our family life as we know it . . . a rapid-fire of activities as of late have unwittingly catapulted me from denial to anger on Kubler-Ross’s model of the five stages of grief. My time with my children is swiftly slipping away from me and I feel angry that there is nothing I can do about it. I have this animated image in my head of a man hanging off a cliff by a rope when suddenly he realizes that the rope has been yanked from him and he is suspended in mid-air. Once he realizes what has happened he starts scrambling like crazy for the rope. That is how I feel about my kids growing up—I am scrambling to hold onto their childhood and youth and I feel helpless, and even a little panicked. It really does feel like a blink of an eye and, all of a sudden, my little boy has become a hairy-legged man who can vote.

There is a part of me that understands that David will be JUST FINE—that he doesn’t really need me anymore and maybe that is another thing that I am grieving—my identity as a mom—my need to be needed. It feels vulnerable and uncomfortable and I am scrambling to find my new place. The thing is, I don’t want a new place—I LOVED my old place. The one where I kissed ow-ies, nagged about piano practice, helped with homework, and motivated with a sticker chart.

My more rational self realizes that I am being selfish—that I need to share our incredible young man with the world. He has things to do and people to serve  . . . but my eyes well up and my throat tightens and I get that ugly cry face every time I think of it. His graduation is the beginning of the constant change that will be happening to this little family of ours—and it is a slippery slope, I’m afraid. So I am struggling to see the silver lining . .  .  I know it must be there—maybe I am just refusing to see it. Maybe I’m just not ready yet. At any rate,  I hope I am able to reach a cheerful acceptance before David is forced to run away from me as fast as he can, screaming, arms flailing, because his emotional-wreck-of-a-mother is driving him absolutely crazy.

I love this guy and our family will not be the same when he leaves us.

david2

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dear Grandma Connie--

We are SO EXCITED to have you come for a visit! Here is a photo of me so that you will recognize me when you see me. I’m the cute one who cries when I’m not with my mom . . . be assured, it’s nothing personal. See you soon!Love—Inge

inge1

Friday, April 15, 2011

Our Home is Alive . . .

with The Sound of Music.   This isn’t an unusual occurrence, of course . . . it’s just that it’s alive with particular music these days. For the last four months or so our home has been filled with our children’s various renditions of songs from my most favorite musical. Highlights for me have been Leif’s rocker-version of “Do-Re-Me” replete with air guitar and his beatnik-reading of “Favorite Things,” snaps provided by yours truly. Then there’s sweet little Britta’s “So Long, Farewell” that somehow melds into “76 Trombones.” It’s been fun. It’s been a lot of work—but mostly fun. It’s exhilarating. It’s exhausting—but mostly it’s exhilarating. Now, after nearly four months of preparation, opening night is upon us . . . TONIGHT. Wow!!  Wish us luck—or at least  some leg breakage . . .

David

David as “Uncle Max”

Hans

Hans as “Party Guest” and “Random Nazi Guard”

Leif

Leif as “Friedrich” (Saturday Cast)

Freja Jorgensen

Freja as “Brigitta” (Friday Cast)

Eric

Dad as Photographer

Mom Britta Inge

Britta and Inge as Nap Sacrificers and, overall, Very Patient Fans.

Mom as Agent, Gopher, Chauffeur, Seamstress, Make-up Artist, Hair Stylist,
Consultant, Chef, Costume Procurer, Life Coach, Administrative Assistant, Deep Breather, etcetera.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sheesh . . . We’ve Been Busy (Part 2)

(Warning: This series is dedicated to a very patient Grandma—who cares to catch up on all our busy-ness . . . and our photos.)

Inge’s first days . . . Got milk?

20100501_09-49-44

Mom with her special Inge-rrito (think “burrito”). Our girl still loves a good swaddle.

20100501_09-50-02

Friday, November 5, 2010

Halloween 2010

Big Baby (from Toy Story 3)—I oscillated all night between laughing and thinking we were clever to feeling guilty for letting Eric scribble on our sweet baby. A good mom would have dressed her up like a pretty flower or cute little elephant. When I asked Freja if she thought Inge would be mad at us when she was older and realized what we had dressed her up as—Freja grimaced and hesitantly replied, “. . . maybe.” Please forgive us Inge . . .

20101030_18-19-56

Cinderella –Britta has loved Cinderella since she was born it seems. I don’t really understand how—we don’t own the movie or a storybook even. When she was just beginning to talk she would excitedly point and say, “Girls” whenever she saw Disney princesses in the store or whatnot. It was extra special to me considering the difficult time she has had with words. So when she wanted a “Girl Cake” for her birthday and to be Cinderella for Halloween—she didn’t have to ask twice. She has assigned Princess roles to all the females in our family. She, of course, is Cinderella. Freja is Sleeping Beauty. I am Belle, and Inge, well, she will be have to be Ariel. She has paired everyone up with the Princess of their eye/hair color combination, except for Inge, that is—I highly doubt she will be a red head—I think Britta is feeling very willing to share the blonde hair/blue eye position with her sister. For Halloween Britta wanted Mommy to be Belle and Daddy to be "The Beast!” Funny girl.

20101030_18-29-30

Dryad—also known as a “Tree Spirit.” She even had me spray her with pine scent. Clever girl.

20101030_18-32-24

Roman Soldier—Man, can my boy wield a sword or what! He’s had lots and lots of practice.

20101030_18-33-38

The National Debt—The scariest of all our costumes this year. Eric was the life of the party.

20101030_18-31-17

Hans opted not to dress up but did help in the haunted house. David joined us at the party after work—so he was dressed as a Pizza Guy of the Papa Murphy variety. (I didn’t get a photo—darn!).

20101030_18-30-41