Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dear Maddox

Dear Maddox,

Sometimes when I think about your tiny years, I cry.
Partially because I miss you.
Those years flew by.
Partially because I expected too much and looked forward to your 'next' rather than living in your nows.
You were new and exciting and always ahead of the curve.  It was easy to do.
Partially because I shared your time with the needs of a newborn.
I was tired.  I expected too much.  You somehow obliged.
And partially because I was young and cared what everyone thought or expected from us.  (you and I, that team we had formed)

I don't think I did a bad job, as your momma, thus far--
Joy seeps from your pores and you glow wherever you go.
Almost daily I am complemented on the boy that you are and constantly I feel pride in the fact that I cultured that.
But I know it is my words and actions, as your mother, that will stay with you through the years to come and I do wish there were a few days I could delete.

Probably the one that I beat myself up over the most came before you were even two.
My friend Kimberly and I had signed you and Cambrie up for swim lessons and yall hated it.
The difference between Kimberly and I, is that she disciplined like the Super Nanny saying things like, "you're being naughty" in a soft and sweet voice, and I said things like, "knock it off!" through a glare that could shatter glass.  You cried-- loudly-- the entire time-- and fought to get out of the water like a cat; while everyone watched.
Cambrie also panicked-- crying, but much quieter-- while sinking her teeth into Kimberly's shoulder over and over... but no one but she and I had any idea.
My shoulder was spared the trauma but my ego was destroyed.

I remember going to Michael's afterward and you both not wanting to sit in the buggies-- Kimberly quietly obliged and sat her to the ground-- while I fought you through tears.  I thought I would win.  I had to win.  I needed to show you at 23 months that I was the one in control.
Although the word control was opposite of what I was.
Embarrassed and enraged, I finally took you to the restroom and spanked you-- while passionately telling you just how terrible you were.
Those feelings are more than I can handle to relive now-- as I can still see the look of fear in your tiny face.  You were just a baby.  And I have never hated myself more.

I used that day to be better; to never get to that place again.
I only shared it with a few friends that I knew loved me and wouldn't judge me-- and your dad, who has always credited me more than I have deserved.
Unfortunately, I have also used it to beat myself up over the years.

Today, I feel the need to apologize to you Maddox because you were my learning curve.
I rode you when we went to Gigi's.  It never failed that you let her dog out or left your food in a place that she could eat until she vomited, spilled a drink on her floor or teetee'd in her bed when we stayed the night.
I gave you anxiety when we grocery shopped because people were watching me and expecting perfection.  And when you were unable to give me that, we left.  Mad.
I wanted you to use your manners.  I wanted you to impress the people around us.  --I felt that was a direct reflection of me.
I was a ball of anxiety, and I let you share it with me.
There came to a point where the only time I was 100% comfortable and happy was when we were home-- when the walls were down and the eyes were off of us, and no one had their score card out waiting for us to fail.

I can read back through this blog and know that many of my thoughts of sadness are just mirages.
I loved you before I met you, became obsessed with you after your first breath, and have enjoyed your journey more than I can put into words.
I just wish it hadn't taken Kindergarten to show me how tiny you are, and how fast these days are fleeting.
I wish I had let you throw more fits, and make more messes, and push more boundaries.
I wish I had hindsight, then, and would have loved our bad days as well as our goods.
I wish I would have known that a bad day as a toddler was not going to mean a bad week, year, or life-- and a failed dinner at Chilis didn't mean you were going to grow up and be a serial killer.

I said many times that I "didn't care for three" when you were there, but the truth is, I was wrong.
I love three.  Adore it, actually.
Unfortunately I had to share your year of three with Beckham's first year of life and one day you will know just how much work that first year entails.
I was a 3 hour milk machine, diaper changer and non-sleeper.  I was emotional and tired and always chasing my tail.
You were beginning to find your own, as that what three is all about.
Three is persistent, and busy, and ornery, and head strong, and assertive.  Three is about pressing the boundaries.
I wish I had known it was normal then.
I wish I had let you be.

Maddox Payne, you are an incredible little human.  I adore the air you breath and each step you take.
You are so positive, joyful, and full of life.  You are sensitive, and thoughtful and such a caretaker.  You love to laugh and cuddle and be a friend.
I would not change a single thing about you.
And although you are just a tiny guy, I already feel like you will be an incredible adult... an amazing dad... and an outstanding husband.
And I know you will always be my friend.

Thank you for being my guinea pig.  Thank you for letting me mess up.  Thank you for trying so hard.  Thank you for loving me back.

My very favorite part of my morning each day, is watching the way you skip into school, with a smile plastered from ear to ear.
My very favorite part of my afternoon is watching you and your brother reunite like you haven't seen each other in years.  Beckham adores you with unconditional love, and I know you feel the same for him.

Thank you for showing me that I shouldn't control everything--
Not color-coding my closet has cut my laundry time in half...
and your mismatched pajamas and character tshirts sure make you happy.

Last night I was looking through old pictures and crying like a crazy person, so I crawled into your bed and rubbed your little face and told you all these things myself.
You told me this morning that God spoke to you last night and asked me if that was weird.
It wasn't weird, tiny boy.  It was just what your momma needed.

You have always, and will always, be exactly what I need.

All of my love--
Forever and always,

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring Break 2015

We celebrated our first 'real' Spring Break this year.

Beckham and I decided to break Maddox out of school early on Friday for a late lunch/ early dinner at pho noodles, then ice-cream.
They stayed with my step-mom while Lance and I worked on Saturday morning and had a birthday party the next day.
We spent Monday and Tuesday playing games around here and packing for our first trip in our camper.

I pulled the camper to Boyd on Tuesday night for a test run and so that Lance could give me pointers.... but Wednesday morning, I pulled this bad-boy to Glenrose-- all by myself.

I was following mom... who had my kids with her--
and we walkie-talkied to each other,
but I was pretty proud of myself, seeing that my resume for pulling things is almost obsolete.

The first evening consisted mostly of un-hooking, setting up our camp and playing with the boys at the park before I went on call.

The next day, we ate at a cute little restaurant in town.
The boys wanted to sit on the porch and the owner brought them sidewalk chalk to color.

We left there and headed to Fossil Rim Wildlife Park.

It was incredibly busy, and they re-routed us around the giraffes so we didn't get to see any of them.
The park is mostly full of different breeds of deer and I think they were all full, as most stayed back!

A couple of deer looking things did eat out of out hands, so I think the boys liked it--
But four hours, a quarter tank of gas, $100, and two boys tired of being cooped in a car later...
I don't foresee us ever going back.

Lance came in that night, and once call died down, we went to a late dinner at Babe's.

Day three was spent at Big Rocks.
The park was walking distance from our RV park and free to enter.

Maddox thinks he's American Ninja Warrior material and had the time of his life jumping, climbing, and scaling rocks.
Beckham did his best to keep up!
Mom came out for a bit and then she went shopping around town...
And we got our feet wet in the dam before walking down to the snow-cone stand for dessert.

David made it in that evening and we finally grilled hamburgers, true camping style.

The boys crashed hard that night and even slept past 8:00 the next morning.

Day four started by supervising Pop making breakfast burritos and eating the bacon before it could be crumbled into the eggs!
They played more whiffle ball at the park with some kids they met there, before heading to the state park.

We were not prepared for the hiking that Dinosaur Valley entailed, but had a blast making do!
The boys loved scaling walls and climbing rocks and taking their shoes off to run through the river.
Maddox could spot the tracks before we could and Beckham loved the big dinosaur statues at the end. We will definitely go back in the right shoes with a lunch packed in the future, and will spend a whole day doing more trails!
It was a lot of fun.

More basketball, more baseball, naps, a weird camper neighbor man, grilled pork chops and a late night game of Mexican Train Dominoes finished off our Saturday.

Day five was for packing, cleaning, hooking up and heading out.
We stopped off at an urgent care in Weatherford for Lance and made it home around 2:00.

It was a great time and hopefully a memorable Spring Break for the boys!

We already can't wait to go camping again!

Monday, March 2, 2015

More snow pictures

I love summer.
But I love our few days of snow that we get each year too.
We play, make a fire, over-eat, eat some more, and usually end up playing dominoes or cards.

Before we know it, everything melts, and it is summer again.
Sometimes that all happens in the same week!

And that is a Texas winter in a nutshell!