"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mother's Day Weekend, 2015

Tonight, four days after Mother's Day, as I was cleaning up the kitchen after supper, I thought the sounds in the house were a bit too quiet. Quiet is not normal post-supper and pre-bedtime. I called down to the basement to see what was up and discovered my two boys playing Chinese checkers together. By themselves. Without any help from us. My first reaction was "Yes! Maybe a few minutes to read a book!" And then it hit me in a weird way. I have two boys who are both old enough to know how to play each other in a game of Chinese checkers. And then I didn't know whether to rejoice in the little bits of freedom this granted us... or be sad because once again it's a reminder that they are growing up.

So much of motherhood is like this, isn't it? Full of bittersweet moments - reasons to celebrate, milestones to applaud - like graduations and birthdays and siblings who are able to independently play board games together. We work so hard to teach them independence, to help them grow and prepare them to be sent off into the world. And at the same time we want so desperately to keep them little and dependent on us. It's a constant internal tug of war. Those happy and proud and fulfilling moments of watching your children spread their wings also bring the sadness of realizing that it's jut another step away from you.

I've been a little emotional this week. There were watery eyes behind my sunglasses while walking through HyVee during the lunch hour, Brandon's best girlfriend calling out to me and giving me a hug at daycare pickup one night where I'm often reminded lately how much I'm going to miss all of his buddies in just a few months when they all go their separate ways. Chinese checkers this week and preschool graduation next week and Jaden's first UNI basketball camp two weeks after that. It's one milestone after another, and I'm willing life to slow down but it won't seem to listen to me. Everything's a bit emotionally exhausting right now, but I love these two, and they remind me every day that life is good and we have all we need.


Mother's Day weekend included...
...a Friday night at home just the four of us. Daddy did yard work, we enjoyed snacks and dinner outside with the new bench that my mom found at a garage sale earlier that day. Brandon immediately made it his "throne" for the night, fitting since he had made himself a crown earlier that day that he would not take off of his head. One minute he's traipsing around in his Superman cape, the next minute it's a king's crown. You just never know with him.

Saturday morning Cody took the boys to do boy things, James stayed home with Ivy, and Cassi and I enjoyed a few hours downtown just us girls. We stopped for lattes at Cup of Joe, walked every block of Main St. and took our sweet time going in and out of every shop we desired to. We strolled the Farmer's Market and caught up on girl talk, both recognizing that this is something we've let slip in our busy lives, and something we need to make more time for from here on out. Women need women. Moms need moms. And we all need shopping and lattes!

I still managed to arrive back at home before my boys, allowing me some quiet time with a new book before they showed up with new flowers and plants for me, a Mother's Day tradition. They take great pride in finding just the right thing to spruce up our outdoor space, and Brandon loves to spend the rest of the summer helping me care for it all.

After a late lunch, we headed to the Greenbelt to walk the trails, enjoy the sun and do some exploring. We love nature walks and definitely have our favorite places but had never visited this particular spot yet, and we definitely got our workout in! We spent a couple of hours just walking, chasing the countless butterflies, once again catching a snake found near the river, spying on deer off in the distance, admiring the many turtles we caught sunbathing along the way and taking some pictures with those famous bluebells. I was so impressed with both boys, how patient they were on our walk, only getting weary and tired at the very end, when Daddy eventually had to throw Brandon on his shoulders and Jaden resorted to using a walking stick a quarter of the way back.

Brandon of course wanted to pick flowers for me and make the perfect bouquet along the way. And my favorite part of the whole day had to have been when Jaden and Daddy got pretty far ahead of us trying to find Big Foot's hideout and yet even more snakes. Brandon grabbed hold of my hand, and he and I had the best conversation just the two of us for most of the way back. He told me how many kids he planned on having, what he was feeling "in his heart," and named his future children for me. For a girl - Rose Lily Ubben. For a boy - Brandon Louis Ubben the Second. ;) And he never let go of my hand...

Learning how to count the rings to see how old a tree is. They came to the conclusion that this one was 30 years old... born the same year as Mommy. ;)

After our long walk and some late afternoon ice cream, the boys headed off to my parents' while Cody and I went out for our anniversary date. We celebrated seven years with a dinner on Main St. furniture shopped in Waterloo, had dessert at Village Inn and picked out movie rentals for after the boys went to bed.
Sunday included church and a large family gathering all afternoon and the four of us camped out on the living room floor in the evening watching Paddington.
Always proud to be their mama...