Why do I blog?
I get this question a lot and I have to say that the answer has evolved quite a bit since I started this project. Initially, I began the blog as a way to share recipes with my sister-in-law since we both enjoyed talking about food so much. She started her own blog and inspired me to do the same. Then, the project became a way to record the evolution of our family as well as serve as an outlet for my cooking hobby. It also has been a great way to force me to keep our photographs updated and organized. Lately, however, I have been seeing the blog as a vitally important way to remember my children when they were young.
I was terrified to find that with each baby we added to our family, the memory of the infancy of my eldest child became increasingly more distant. It's not that I don't have memories of him at all. There are specific memories I have of him that I hold very dear to my heart - the conversations he used to conduct with the stand mixer, how he used to sit all hunched over while perusing his board books, and the time Paul kept scaring him by sneaking up behind him with an orchid. But what I do not remember is how he used to feel while asleep in my arms, the exact contours of his fat little hands and feet, or the sound of his voice when he finally began to speak. Those things are very hazy to me now and it saddens me. Every time one of the kids says or does something amusing or cute, I immediately want to write it down and record it so later on, after I have most certainly forgotten all about it, I can go back and read it and perhaps enjoy the thrill of some of those memories flooding back.
Facebook has honestly been great for this reason. When Matthew was my only child, I used to post a lot of status updates with little anecdotes about him. It's been quite the treat to open my facebook account and have a new memory from five or six years ago pop up in my feed, reminding me about a precious moment with my first born. Usually they are just little funny things he said or did. This one popped up the other day from when Matthew was two years old and we were expecting Emma:
Paul points at a picture of me pregnant with Matthew: "Hey look! Baby Matthew's in mommy's tummy!"
Matthew replies: "She EAT HIM?!?"
With that in mind, I am going to retell a couple funny incidents from the past week. The first concerns Matthew, our scholar and resident know-it-all about all things dinosaur and, most recently, anything extraterrestrial. When he began reciting off all his knowledge about the solar system, I rocked his world by telling him that I was taught that Pluto was a planet because when I was young it was still listed as one! He couldn't get over that.
"That's ridiculous! Pluto is too small that's why it is called a dwarf planet," he lectured me.
"Matthew, believe me, I am more than aware that Pluto's status in the solar system has changed!" I told him, hoping to end the conversation. But he just couldn't get past it.
As we were driving to our Thanksgiving celebration in Indiana, Paul began teasing Matthew that we were planning on moving to Indiana. Matthew was adamant in his disdain for that idea: "I do not want to live in Indiana. That's a bad idea!"
"Why is that such a terrible idea, Matthew?" Paul asked curiously/
"Because they have bad schools in Indiana. Just terrible. They taught Mommy that Pluto was a planet!"
My child now holds a disdain for my home state of Indiana because, in his mind, they have an inferior educational system where poor children are fed misinformation concerning our solar system. Like his dolt of a mother.
"Emma! What are you doing?"
She spun around and motioned towards the tiny, empty manger and whispered: "I'm looking for the baby Jesus because he escaped from his bed!"
While visiting the zoo one last time before the cold keeps us inside, Lucy took a horrible tumble right in front of the duck pond. I ran to comfort her and she cried and cried inconsolably. Suddenly, she perked up, wiped the hair out of her eyes, and pointed behind me: "Wook! Ducky!"
Standing right behind me was a female mallard, her head cocked curiously to the side probably wondering if we had some food we were planning on sharing with her. I seized the opportunity to make Lucy forget her skinned knees: "Look Lucy! The duck wants you to feel better. She was worried about you so she came over to make sure you were ok!"
Out of the corner of my eye, I suddenly spied Emma, who had been listening and watching the whole scene, throw herself dramatically onto the concrete, cover her face with her hands, and emit the most pathetically contrived crying fit I have ever heard. After about 10 seconds, she peeked through the slits in her hands and, not seeing any fowl coming to her rescue, removed her hands from her face and proceeded to scowl: "Why are the ducks not coming!?"
Ironically, later on as we were leaving the zoo, Emma was dragging her feet and walking behind the rest of us because she was angry that it was time to leave. As I glanced back to urge her to catch up with the rest of us, I saw that she was not alone on her slow trudge across the zoo. For unbeknownst to Emma, not more than two feet behind waddled a duck, keeping in perfect step with her as she slowly shuffled along her way. It was the most hilarious sight - and Emma was not even aware of it!
Never a dull moment with these wonderful, crazy kiddos I am blessed to call my own!