We barley miss a dinner together. In a world of such unpredictability, the one thing you can be sure of is dinner together at 6pm. As the kids are getting older, I started recently realizing that this ritual our family has will slowly start to change. We started off just Amir and I, and soon enough Isabel joined us at the table, 2 and a half years later, another seat was taken up by Melina, followed by Lia 21 months later. For 8 years there was an extra seat at our dining table and the kids always felt uneven about it. They often stated how we needed another kid so that all 6 seats would be filled. And here we are, our 6th occupant, Liam, is now 2 and a half years old. Boy our table is a full one. Lots of home cooked food shared, some take out here and there, Friday night pizzas, extra seating added for friends and cousins, school complaints, work complaints, debates, arguments, chaos, even the occasional fist slam, and people leaving the table. But one thing is for sure, every evening at 6pm those people come back to the table and we start all over again. I wish I could freeze time and keep all of these individuals at my table, soon they will blessed to be part of others dinner tables and I pray they will always feel as welcomed as the table they will always have at home.
My first born daughter, my first parenting class, my trial and error, my science experiment, my oops, my first parenting mistakes, my looking glass into future parenting, my lets try this, my lets not do this with the other 3, my reward, my success. 15 years of parenting, you make me feel accomplished. I am so proud of you and I know you will only continue to make us proud. Thank you for helping me figure out the foundations of parenting and for helping dad and I build a strong structure for you and your siblings.
Almost close to being 2 and a half years old and this little guy has such personality, attitude and already has an opinion of what he likes to wear. He’s afraid of Spiderman shirts at the moment, so those are currently not being worn. He loves to wear his red flannel, and refuses to wear a jacket, hat, gloves or boots. He spent snow days playing with a bin of snow in the house! He’s got us all watching episodes of blippi, I know every song by heart and plan to have our dj play bljppi songs at Melinas batmitzvah. He loves monster trucks, his favorite is Max D. The other day he said “mommy I’m going to buy you a Max D truck. ” and I asked him “how are you going to pay for it?” And he said “with my quarter’s.” I melted. In a house full of girls he’s 100% lover of all things boy. He sleeps with a bat in his hands, or some kind of ball, and he brings it with him as he makes his way into our bedroom during night. Sometimes I roll over and there’s a bat under my head…ahh the sweetest thing! He’s know all of the right things to say like “mommy, I love you so much, and I love you eye’s and you nails.” Not sure where that came from. He loves his milky and yes, he still likes his boobie time. I know, it’s time to cut him off. But in a season of my life where the days are moving so quickly, I enjoy these quiet, cuddly moments which would otherwise be filled with something else to do. One of my favorite things that he does lately is after he wakes up and we are all downstairs he yells “here I am.” It’s the best, because I am so glad that he’s here. Oh and did I mention, he loves to play backgammon!
These are the days that I leave for 20 minutes and in a matter of that small amount of time, empty glasses are left on the center island, cabinets are hurrily left open, a car makes its way across the kitchen table, crumbs have been collected as another cookie gets eaten because someone left the cookie container out. A water cantene is used, yet again as a drinking cup. These are the days that I’m going to remember and cry about because I’m going to miss them so much. So today when I walked through the door and saw the little messes that was left for me, I sat down, smiled and reminded myself that without them, none of this would be here and I’d take hundreds of dirty cups on my counter for hundreds of clean ones just sitting in my cabinet. These are the days, the best days.
When I ask Liam about our new laundry room, he tells me how it was built. He tells me how walls were torn down and new walls went up. How the floors were ripped up and how new tile went down. He talks about the nails and the hammering, how the old machines came out and new machines went in. He naturally wants to do everything daddy does. Thankfully for Liam we have a good daddy to copy, although there was some cave like behavior at times when things got frustrating, but those sounds are fun to copy too.
Holidays are sneaking away from us just as quickly as they sneaked upon us. It was nice to have a full house. Many joyous moments but definitely lots of bickering, yelling and well chaos! We had a blessed two full months of celebrating joyous holidays. Today, everything eased its way back to normal. Kids off to school and Liam back to having about 75 percent of my attention. The rest is for the 6 loads of laundry, never ending dishes to wash, floors to vacuum and meals to make. I wouldn’t want my normal to look any other way.
Christmas is in full swing. Last weekend we headed down to Luins Farms in Calverton to get our tree. What a fun experience. We have never been there before for tree shopping. My nephew told me all about it and we loved it. Along side from the delicious hot chocolate and super soft hot pretzels you get to take a fairly long tractor ride down to a selection of beautiful trees. We had so much fun walking and searching to find that perfect tree. We somehow always seem to agree on that one special tree. We usually get something bigger, but this year we went with a smaller and fuller tree. Dad always does a wonderful job chopping it down. My favorite part was getting back on the tractor and watching our tree travel on the big wagon with all of the other trees. It’s always so exciting to bring the tree home and begin decorating. The energy is so high and then I start to lose my helpers, one by one they go off and find something else to do and a box of ornaments sits by the tree. Sometimes it takes a couple of days to get that last ornament on the tree. When all is said and done there’s nothing more lovely!
Tonight is officially the last night of Hanukkah, even though the holiday lasts for 8 days it never seems like enough time. I’m going to miss lighting the menorah with the family. Every night I say that I’d like to just sit and watch the candles flicker but that never happens as life is so hectic and filled with so much busy work. Growing up catholic I never had the pleasure and joy of lightning a menorah. It is truly a wonderful and beautiful event to experience. In learning and growing more in the Jewish faith I’ve realized that this is an event that Jesus had once celebrated and that brings comfort to my heart as I celebrate Hanukkah as a catholic mom with my Jewish husband and children. Next on our list are the Christmas lights! For the past 13 years, one of favorite holiday books, has been titled Light the lights. It describes exactly how our family experiences both holidays. I can’t wait to read it tonight.