My Tots Teach Me Love

Another week is coming to an end… FRIYAY is here and I couldn’t be more pleased. Hubby doesn’t have a heavy work load heading into the weekend and a ‘after Thanksgiving turkey’ is calling my name. Well– first it’s calling to be injected, rubbed, glazed, and basted. Nevertheless, tomorrow there will be a feast.

It’s been an emotional couple of weeks around here and I’ve been having a lot of trouble trying to find ideas that inspire me to blog. I want to write something inspiring, something worth reading, something… significant. But, I realized, shortly before forming this post, that my kiddos are the three of the most significant things in my life. And that’s where I’ll begin…

My step-son, Noah, has been spending a lot of time at his biological mom’s house due to holiday break from school, visiting family…etc. And my better half has been traveling for work, trying to get those last numbers in to corporate before year’s end. That means it’s just been me and the two tots hobnobbing around. I think I’ve dragged them to Belk 3 times this week buying, returning, and buying. Between the special events we have coming up, my parents’ anniversary, and the growth spurts going on in the house, physically going to the store has become a necessity; causing my anxiety level to spike.


Extra anxiety = a lack a patience, and “mean mommy” comes out. Okay, okay, not mean but, let’s just say that I’m a whole lot more fun when I’m less burdened. Isn’t everyone?

Halfway into Humpday – past tantrums, and potty accidents, too much junk food, and an overdose of Paw Patrol, DinoTrux, Cinderella, and Finding Dory – I decided that we needed to get the heck out of the house and do something other than suffer through the Christmas shopping crowd.

Often, when I find myself overwhelmed and backed into a corner, running low on ideas to keep two babes under four entertained, I drive somewhere (not usually somewhere I previously planned) that I know they will be able to roam. I let them wander, and I follow with my camera in hand. It puts me in such a wonderful mood to capture the joy they have when they are outside learning, observing, laughing…


This time, as many before, we found ourselves at the local arboretum. The kids adore going there to feed the koi fish and hang out on the grounds. Between the humidity and the intermittent rain showers, it nearly felt like spring!


On outings like these, I frequently find that it helps me take a breath and reprioritize; really taking in my sweet littles. Not only that, but it reminds me that they truly teach me about what real love is, on an every day basis.

Of course, with my husband, there are all the emotions that go into a marriage. Good and bad. Marriage is work. Worth it, but something that isn’t always easy. Sticking it out and riding the waves of bad along with the good times. The same is true of a friendship or close relatives. My Ezra & Charlotte teach me those same values in their own, delightful, oblivious way.


The two of them fight, wildly and without thought. Ezra has even mastered the art of sarcasm pretty well for a three-year old! (I haven’t decided if that’s good or bad!) Charlie is relentless when it comes to hostile contact. She is a true warrior when she goes in for the kill. Haha. And yet, in the next moment, they will be giggling, conspiring, and running into the closet to hide from me.

I had them close together on purpose. I wanted them to be buddies. When I was growing up, my [half] brother didn’t live with me and I missed him a lot when he was gone. I was much too young to understand why he had to leave or when he would be coming back. And, right around the time that I could comprehend some of it, he was almost finished with high school… and then on to college. Looking back on those emotions, I knew I wanted to give Ezra someone to hold onto when Noah was absent. When I turn around and see them, side by side in their car seats, holding hands, I know I made the right decision.


The way they deal with each other– angry, sad, happy– demonstrates to me so much that, in every way, it’s entirely possible to forgive and forget. To love without restraint. To be innocent & blissful in the face of jealousy, rage, disappointment…etc. It’s possible to be content again after things go wrong. It’s possible to be joyful and not worry about what’s coming next.

If only we were all more childlike. We would let our guard down easier. We might see every day as an adventure. We might ask more questions without being afraid of the answer. Maybe all of us would just help each other, regardless of the circumstances. We would stand behind each other. Just hug each other when we see tears. Be even more grateful for the person we wake up next to.

In all of these ways, and so many others, I try to see the world through their eyes. To capture the feeling that their wide-eyed faces and open hearts evoke in me. They are my biggest challenge, my greatest privilege, and the most exciting undertaking. It’s only fitting that they should be educating me on how to become a better person; even when it’s unbeknownst to them. And, those are the good vibes I’m starting my weekend off with.

Hopefully, you will go into yours uplifted, brave, and warm-hearted after reading this as well. Wishing you happiness and fun, from my family to yours.


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