Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The little things, they really do mean a lot

So it's been awhile since I posted. Life has been crazy as usual, and, also as usual, I have gone out of my way to make it crazier. I had my summer sinus infection, Miss B had her regularly scheduled ear infection, and Sister Goldenhair, realizing even in her tender years that misery loves company, came down with the crud as well. And since her birthday and my vacation were scheduled for last week, I had several little projects to tackle. Maybe someday I'll try not to sweat the little things, but for now I'm sweatin' all over the place.

And it seemed important that Sister Goldenhair have a beautiful cake for her birthday. So instead of making a simple, plain cake, I stayed up making purple, monarch butterflies out of candy melts. And while the cake was good, it turns out that the only thing SG was really interested in was those butterflies. She popped them into her little mouth as if they really could have flown away. She should have known better than to reward my obsessive tendencies, but I must admit that the feeling I get remembering her chipmunk cheeks stuffed with candy is one of gratitude.

How lucky am I that I have these two girls in my life? I feel so grateful when I get it right, when it seems I so often get it wrong. I catch myself getting frustrated by normal kid stuff, and I cringe when my reaction to my girls seems more in line with the reaction deserved by the rudest of strangers. But the sad thing is, I would never treat even rude strangers that way. And so I work twice as hard to change.

And sometimes I get it right. I can live in the moment and appreciate all I've been given. Sure, a mouthful of melting butterflies does not a happy childhood make, but it's a step in the right direction.

The end of July also brings my usual summer vacation. I have taken to spending a few days at my in-laws house and taking pictures of the girls in Mimi's garden and around their beautiful church. And the results? The girls always look cute in the garden, don't you agree?

I took over 500 pictures in two days. Most aren't posed, and I think that's the way to go. While a lot of the pictures aren't anything I'd print (blurs, empty frames, backs of heads, etc.), I caught some unexpected treasures. I caught glimpses of attitude, personality, and magic. One of my favorite pictures of the girls came with an impromptu set of races on the side stoop of the Wayne County Historical Society. SG urged her big sister along with frequent shouts of, "Hurry!" (which sounds more like huh-ree). They raced back and forth, laughing all the way. I hated to call an end to it, but before I did I caught one of my favorite pictures of my whole trip.

Not only am I glad I took so many pictures, I'm glad that I spent time picking out fabric and making their dresses. I like having a way to show them how much they mean to me. And so I do those little things that make them feel special and that I feel good about too. I'm glad I didn't spend all evening watching TV, when I saw how Miss B's face lit up when I told her I had finished her picture dress. She understands that there is effort behind it, and I know that she loves dresses. We're all pretty happy in the end (and that whole sewing machine thing was a good move on my part, that guilt trip is over thank goodness). I see this as a way to show the girls how important they are to me, that even when they aren't around or awake my thoughts and efforts are for them.

So when I think of the time since I last posted, it was well spent and sweetly remembered. Miss B catching her first fish, SG's first look at her birthday tricycle, the slobbery kiss I got when she thought I was sleeping, wading with Miss B in the icy creek, and carrying sleeping little girls to bed. The little things don't just mean a lot, they mean everything.

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