White Flag

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Ever have a day, or DAYS?, where you want to surrender, to feebly raise the white flag and just collapse back on the ground, letting go? I am realizing that I have 2 year old amnesia. Until I go back and look at Alex’s 2 year old scrapbook, I forget the challenges we faced that year—-and frankly prior at 18 months continuing on through age 3. There is so much joy at this age. Language multiplying each day. Opinions shared. Nooks and crannies (and cabinets and closets and off limits spots) which beg to be explored. Friendships forming, bonds strengthening with siblings. Personality strengthening.  And yet, it’s hard.  The first of many attempts to separate & individuate.

I find myself constantly surprised and caught off guard. I might walk into the kitchen, mere feet from Drew, with some dirty dishes, returning 30 seconds later to a table full of salt, expertly poured out. I take a minute to go to the bathroom and if I’m lucky enough to have 2 minutes of privacy, I return to find him standing on a folding chair, outside, reaching for a marshmallow roasting stick on top of the BBQ. Yesterday he was standing on the garbage can in the bathroom, despite childproof door locks, “brushing his teeth” with Matt’s toothbrush covered in “tooth paste”, aka…hand soap.

We are 80% of the way through our spending fast (but who’s counting?!) and I have to say that I am so thankful that tonight, due to a purchase back in December, before the fast was even an inkling in our minds, I bought us tickets to see Josh Ritter in concert. I wrote about our last concert with Josh here, and absolutely LOVE his new album. Take a read of the note he posted on March 5th, the day the album released.  How can you not love this man?!?

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The gift of an evening away seems like the richest of luxuries. Time spent away from the boys is exactly what we need, having no idea the perfect timing back in December.

Is it ok to take a break? To ask for help? To surrender and admit that you just don’t have the bandwidth to keep on keeping on? YES, YES, and YES. And yet, it is an admission that most of us (cue me, waving my hand wildly in the air) hate to make. I’d rather “hold it together” while fuming inside, ready to blow, than admit I need help. We encourage and coax our children to just “ask for help” rather than having a temper tantrum, yet we rarely can do the same thing ourselves.  Or we unleash this toxic energy on those we love most.

Photographs and instagram feeds can tell one story. And that story isn’t fake or untrue. Each day is filled with hilarity. With beauty. With memories, creativity and real joy.  So I am posting a few pics of the past week.  A reminder that there is a balance to be known.  Times to sink deep and be present.  Other chances to wave the flag, surrender, ask for help and even take a break.

So….share on….what do YOU do after you finally raise that flag of surrender?  How do you recharge and reboot?  Glass of wine?  Phone call with a friend?  Hour alone at the beach?  A trashy magazine while sitting outside?  Cooking an elaborate meal?  I’m guessing the list could be a mile long.  Hello to Spring and new growth, life and light.

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Bills and Fun Magazines….the yin and the yang even infiltrates our mailbox!

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Dinner Outside….one of the gifts of California living.

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Hats….oh, the hats.  Think I might make a calendar of the many “Hats of Drew” for 2014.

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Leprechaun Traps for Kindergarten….

Super fun for the kids, but as the parent, glad this project is OVER! 

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Gardening & Weather Predicting….in a classy getup.

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Fun with Friends and Grandma at the Oakland Zoo

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Brotherly Love (aka:  ANTICS)

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