Category Archives: Family

He turned 2

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He turned 2 a couple weeks ago now.  He makes me laugh everyday, this morning it was his (kind of) play, intense embrace and stern face when I said I would need to leave for a few hours.  Later I smiled as we released him to walk with his sister a few doors down, to see if her friend was home.  Oh, the freedom and confidence he felt, and how his big sister held his hand.  We stayed in the front yard watching them go.

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Having reached the 2 milestone, I see shifts happening in him and me.  He’s surprised himself by saying or extending certain words.  “Lou lou”, our cat, is now “Louie”, as in he points to a scratch on his knee and with a look of concern says “Louie” (though I’m pretty sure Lewis did not scratch him).  When I offered him crackers the other day, he communicated with “ah, ah” and “mm, mm”, a movement of his hand and then out came “bowwl”.  I was delighted as was he, and I could see in his face that he’d just said what he was thinking, and how satisfying it was to communicate what he wanted.

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Emerson’s birthday sign. He pointed to it and smiled.

In myself, I’ve noticed little bits of clarity arising and naturally stepping back (a bit).  When both my children reached the age of 1, I experienced such relief that they made it, I made it, we all made it.  2 definitely incurs another level of deep breathing but introspective rather than survival.

We read car and truck books every night.  He points them out in the background of books, in places I don’t notice at first, and he hears them, his ears so attuned to their sounds.  He quickly runs to the window.  Today, he asked me about the “guc” that had been on the street for the last 3 days, the blue truck belonging to the arborist working on our neighbor’s tree.  He did that same face of concern, showing that he missed that truck and why was it gone?

I find myself smiling lately.  I watch him run out the door, right behind his sister, running to meet their Papa at the car.  I see him running with his sister down the sidewalk, his bright, blond hair flying.  I see him jumping, dancing, hitting the table in time to a folky and sweet musical video in which a family plays music altogether, he’s feeling so moved that he’s got to express it anyway he can.

I’m happy he’s 2.

Taking stock

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Catching up a bit about the end of 2014.  OVERWHELM.  The long saga of moving house and an intense multitude of events leading up to 2015:  my 40th birthday, Christmas, a 5 year old who truly understood the nuances of the holidays (Santa!), the start of Eric’s new job, the 10 year anniversary of my mother’s death, and the surprising, but not unexpected, passing of my 87 year old spiritual teacher.

Shri Parthasarthi Rajagopalachari passed away on December 20, 2014.  He became my mentor in 2000, during my first trip to India, when I went in search of a living Master.  He has been a constant source of inspiration, guidance, and love for me all these years.  I’ve traveled to India many times to be in his presence, as well as to other parts of the world and within the US.  He is and will continue to be greatly missed.

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August 2013 – Mannapakkam, India

I almost have nothing to say after that.  The above photo brings back such tenderness for me.  The opportunity to have my children be with him, remarkable.  It’s true that once you become a mother, all you want is for your children to do well, be whole, confident, and have the best start in life.  Giving them spirituality as something that can comfort them in times of need, support them in the material aspects of life, oh, all this provides me some reassurance that life may be a little easier for them.

As the end of January quickly approaches, I have yet to really take stock, sit down and envision what possibilities are ahead, soon soon.

Now let’s go unpack one more box, shall we?

Eve of 5

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We picked up their Papa at the airport on the eve of Iliana’s 5th birthday.  They love their Papa.  Emerson was walking through the airport saying “paw paw”, “paw paw”, in his best pronunciation of Papa.  Iliana was overjoyed.  When we did eventually see him, and we were waiting for his bags, the two of them were doing handstands with one foot up in the air, then they’d turn their bodies a little, and make it a sideways stand.  Emerson pretty much doing what Iliana was doing.  Then they’d both look at their Dad and be like, “did you see that”.  Children express their happiness in such clear ways.

It’s been a whirlwind of trying to prepare for a little, birthday party that we’re having for Iliana on Saturday.  She invited 5 friends, since she’s turning 5.  This seems a nice way to keep it simple and manageable for her as a little person who will be the focus of the day.  One of her favorite guests is a little chihuahua named Chica.

Preparing for this party has been a lot, considering I hardly felt moved in, really.  A lot of my preparation has gone into making the house as comfortable as possible, so that when guests come on Saturday, we all have places to sit, there are dishes ready and available for the cake, (that there’s a platter for the cake!), and that it’s relatively clean.  All assumably easy tasks if you’ve been living in a home for awhile, and have had a birthday or two, but when you’re new, it takes a lot of forethought and planning.  We still haven’t moved all of our things from the house in Illinois, not that we’re moving everything, but the little things, like nice plates to eat cake on, nice silverware to eat said cake, tablecloths, candles, all those things are still in Illinois.  Luckily, as Eric’s arrival grew closer, I was texting him daily with items to bring, trying to remember exactly where they were in the house, and hoping they’d fit in his luggage.  He told me, as he was packing, he’d look at the clothes he wanted to bring, and the pile he’d made of my requests, and tell himself, no, I don’t really need that many shirts, then he’d pack one more item for us.  Pretty nice.

I still found myself yesterday making a trip to Michael’s to get some party items, decorations, crafts for a project to do together.  I stumbled upon this birthday post, which has me feeling like I want to make another trip to get a few more things.  You must check out the link, Posie Gets Cozy’s birthday for her two year old is absolutely darling!  Oh my!  That woman goes all out.  It’s fun to see a post for a two year old given that my Emerson is almost 20 months.  Fun to follow along someone close in age.

In the end all will go as it goes.  There will be ups and downs, happy moments and sad, excitement, disagreement, but hopefully, and most of all, love.  Love for a little girl turning 5.  The magic of birthdays.  The magic of growing up.  The magic of cakes, and friends, dogs, Papas, brothers, and hopefully Moms.  May the fairy of birthdays sprinkle a little dust on all of us here.

Happy Friday.

Kristin

Indian Summer

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Hello!  We’ve been enjoying unseasonably hot weather, up until just the last few days, or rather, maybe since the beginning of this last week.  Boy, was it hot, dry, and all of a sudden, ice cream time again.  Emerson had his first cone with chocolate, coconut ice cream (Cow’s Gone Coconut, made in Longmont, new to us!).  It’s been so good, I bought another pint of it while grocery shopping on Wednesday.  I’m struck by, how at this age, 19 months, he wants to try everything!  He also wants to be just like his big sister.

We did some spin art outside during this hot spell.  That was fun.  We started cutting our own paper and tried India ink too.  The ink got a bit messy, so wouldn’t do that again, but it was fun to try.

Lastly, or firstly, as the photo order may suggest…Emerson had another pony ride.  He loves those ponies, the rides, watching them eat.  No fear.  Iliana took the photo, which I thought was pretty darn good.  Mine of her during her pony ride were no better.  She really captured something I think.  I was walking away and handed her my phone and said, take some photos.  This was her first and best one.  I love the big sky of Colorado, the open field and the red truck, and well of course, a Mama and her little guy on a pony.

These weeks have been so full.  I don’t know if it’s the little squirrel/creature in me that’s trying to make sure we’re all set for winter, stashing away, gathering, storing…Or if it’s trying to live out every last bit of summer around here.  Or fear of a dreadfully, cold winter like we had last year in Illinois.  Where we were stuck inside for days.  Okay, no more, no dwelling on that said winter.  Colorado winters are so different.  Yet, I do find myself trying to make sure we’re set up so we’re not just feeling the effects of cold weather all the time.  Fun things to do inside, rugs to cushion the floors of our new rental, socks, socks, socks, and well, turning the heat on.  It’s a bit easier to heat this place given it’s smaller size and windows/doors that let in the strong, sun warming rays around here.  Funny to write about the heat inside, in a post about the intensity of heat outside.

We have a little girl’s birthday coming up, a turning 5 birthday.  I myself can hardly believe we’ve had a child for 5 years now.  That seems so long and yet it’s been so quick, it seems like she was little just yesterday.  I’ve always heard everyone say that, and yet it’s true.  She’s so big now though.  She speaks so well,  does so much herself, that I forget sometimes how young 4, almost 5, still is.  Yes, she’s big, but also, still little.  If that makes any sense, as I write this at an ungodly hour, or godly, if you’re one to get up in the wee morning hours and do some puja (worship).

Happy Weekend!

Riding away

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Here’s my girl, riding away!  Such freedom, learning to ride a bike all by oneself!  Oh my!  Can you believe it?  She knows how to ride a bike, all by herself.  This was the first day that she really just took off.  She’s done it before, but she did it over and over and over again on this day.  Starting and stopping all by herself.  Even slightly falling and catching herself.  A baseball diamond is the perfect spot!  Round and round you go, nothing to stop you, a relatively soft surface in case you fall, and of course your family standing all around you, cheering, chasing, and helping.  And with the Boulder Flatirons as a back drop, how could you not feel happy?  And who needs shoes?  Hmmddiddydooo.  Not this girl.

(The color is very different amongst these photos as the evening that we did this, it went from cloudy and overcast and slightly cool, to very sunny and hot.  That’s Colorado for you!)

 

 

Father’s Day

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Hello!  That was Father’s day around here as the day drew to a close.  I kept telling Iliana to give me a nice expression as in a few years she might ask me, why did I make that face?  As you can see, that didn’t really matter to her.  The only way I got Emerson to sit there for a few moments was to give him one of the controls for the TV.

I’ve been thinking about this post for a few days now, and what fathers mean, and what I would say about it.  Since I only post once a week, I get the luxury to contemplate for a bit what I’ll write about.  I’m finding all sorts of ideas and some insights come to me.  This week, as I thought about Father’s day, my father, Eric’s father, and the principle of fatherhood in general, I was struck by a few things.

This business of fatherhood and parenting in general, is a hard business.  It’s not easy to parent.  It’s not straightforward, it’s curvy, and it always zig zags and throws you a curve ball when you least expect it.  You have to be on your feet and think on your feet most of the time.  You have to be patient and kind and understanding.  You have to be kind of Buddha-like, a kind of zen papa, able to go with the hits that work throws at you and then transition into home life and still maintain your cool.  And on the weekends, you have to put in overtime, as your wife gets away from the house, you have to put in long hours, not having built up your stamina for it throughout the week, and you have to hope that you can keep up with those children that have changed and grown, leaps and bounds, throughout just that one week, since the last weekend.  Because these children, they grow fast, they learn how to do things you couldn’t have guessed from your time with them the weekend before.  They can do monkey bars and go down slides, and climb up playgrounds and walk to the edge, not knowing that they might fall.  And you have to be strong, willing to let them venture out and try things, help them stay confident, yet guide them so they don’t get too hurt.  And if they do get hurt, you have to be brave for them, and fix them up, blot their tears (or blood!) and be gentle on yourself for not having prevented that particular fall, or injury, or insult.  You have to get over things quick, so that you can be present with them, and love them, and let them know you are there for them.  This business of parenting, boy, it’s not an easy one.

SO NOW, with all that said, at the risk of laying accolades on the man that I married and hoped would be a father one day, and who I am now in the thick of it with…I will say that he’s doing a darn good job at something he claims to not know much about, and in truth had almost no experience with before his own children.  He’s become a kind of Zen Papa, or at least that’s what we’re calling him.  And in the calling him of that, it brings forth all those zen qualities that are so necessary to be a truly good papa (and it helps me attempt the equivalent Zen Mama, or at least I try).  Thank goodness for Buddha, for writings by Thich Nhat Hanh, and for a husband who is willing to read them and grow from them, to take them in and make them his own.

Happy Father’s Day for a day (and job) well done!