Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Dull Moment, Please.

Accident: (n.) a specific, unexpected, unusual and unintended external action
which occurs in a particular time and place, with no apparent and
deliberate cause but with marked, generally negative, effects.

We're two down on accidents here in the Jones household, and if karma comes in threes, I suppose I should lock my kids inside a padded room. Okay, separate padded rooms.

Accident #1: Hokey Pokey Head Trauma

Last week, at a small birthday gathering for a dear friend, my husband was at the piano playing a round of "Hokey Pokey" with an enthusiastic (this was after birthday cookies) group of our collective kids. Eden, my 3-year-old, turned herself around with a little too much gusto and slammed head-first into the piano bench, with markedly negative effects.

She cried (loudly), it bled (a lot), I had a little shock seizure (?!), and then it was over. We avoided the emergency room only because there was already a doctor in the house. Once the trauma subsided, Eden was just the same as before: laughing and singing. Except now she had this

But before the trauma had subsided, there was definitely a few moments where I thought that she (and we) would never be the same. Hence the seizure, I suppose.
But while I was beside myself, her resilience just amazed me. Five minutes (or maybe ten) of painfully intense crying and it was all over. Like, what's next? Why are you all standing there staring at me? Let's move on.

So we did. And then, a mere two days later...

Accident #2: Surrounded by Bees

My two girls were out playing in the woods, where they often play and where we'd just had a birthday party a week before, when Eden was stung by a bee.

It was a yellow jacket, actually, but a sting is a sting.

Daddy ran to her rescue and by the time he got back to the house with her, I heard Mazzy out there screaming. I mean screaming. I ran out there as fast as I could, which was nowhere near fast enough, and by the time I got to her there were still about six bees going after her.

So she's screaming, I'm crying, batting bees and ripping her clothes off, we're running back to the house, (a distance of about fifty yards) and all I could think was, "This is why people exercise."

Let me say here that I have lots of friends who run for fun, and I never have understood what's fun about it. But after running across a field carrying my six-year-old, I was beyond out of breath and it occurred to me in a new way why running (when it's not an emergency) could be useful.

Back to the point.

Safe back at the house, Mazzy explained what happened, which was this: Eden started crying, saying she'd been bit by a bug and Mazzy was trying to figure out what was wrong when she saw a bee. Then she saw more bees and finally she discovered their hive in the ground. Feeling fierce and protective, she grabbed a stick and started whacking away at the hive. She got stung ten times and was scared half to death when I met her in the field.

Again, her resilience was amazing. I've been stung plenty of times, and it hurts. But I've never been stung multiple times at once. Mazzy got stung TEN times, and she was over it in about five (or maybe ten) minutes.

I think we've all learned something here. But is Eden going to stop dancing? Or are my girls going to stop playing in the woods? We'll just have to cross our fingers and hope for our luck to change.

And, armed with Mazzy's map, we're going to get even with those bees.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

It Takes A Village

It's hard to pin Mother's Day down, because every year it's different. First it's Kindergarten crafts you bring home to your own mom, then it's phone calls to her from your college apartment. Eventually it becomes your own: first when you're pregnant and anticipating what motherhood will be, and finally when you're in it, when motherhood is your reality.

No matter where we are along this evolution, as women, we can't help but be a bit sentimental on Mother's Day. Sentimental and appreciative. So today, this Mother's Day, I'm going to gush like only a mother can.

I am joined on this path of child-raising by five very close friends, and it's them who I want to pause and appreciate this year. (If you're reading this, you're probably one of them, but if not, please forgive the personalness of this post, I simply can't help myself.)
It's so easy to take your friends and family for granted. They're always there, a short car ride or phone call away. You see them all the time. But really, to have this close-knit circle of six such different women, who've all arrived at this place and time by their own circumstance, who've become so like family, is truly magical.

They are amazing women, each of them in their own way, and amazing mothers.

Raising and nurturing not only their own children, but all the others' as well.

As we weave this web of friendship and family, we teach our kids the value of community.
That burdens are always lighter when shared, joys are so much greater when multiplied, and that smiles are the best kind of contagious.

I think they're catching on.

So, thank you, my people, my girls, for all your love and support, for sharing your kids with me, and for taking such good care of mine. I love you all dearly.

And a Happy Mother's Day to you and yours.