Spring is tryin’ to spring….

I feel like I’ve been in a perpetual state of complaining lately when it comes to the grand weather here in the pacific Northwest. Most years I can deal with it. I mean, it’s always a drag when you wake up day after day after day after day and you look outside and it’s doom and gloom and wet. I am not a native to Oregon, so craving the sun is in my blood. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I’m a California girl anymore tho’. The pacific northwest is my home. I don’t think I’ll ever live anywhere else, but I sure do crave the sun this year. Ironically, as I sit here and type this out, the sun is shining and I should be outside. So many unfinished projects lurk in my yard. So even tho’ the sun shines, I’m having a hard time digging deep for the motivation to go outside and enjoy it. blah…

My 7 year old daughter, Maggie, just got back last week from a trip to California staying with my folks. My mom had shot me a text about a month ago saying,, “I can’t handle it anymore, I need to see the kids, am sad.” And then came up with the idea that Maggie should fly to California for her spring break. She had a ball! Lucky for her, the sun was out and it was 70 degrees just about every day she was there. It’s a pretty weird feeling putting your child on a flight unaccompanied. What’s even weirder is walking away from the gate and back past security and out to the parking garage knowing your child is sitting on a plane up in the air without you right there. The idea isn’t so foreign now that she’s back. But man,,, this house was SILENT the entire time she was gone. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t enjoy it. I did. I enjoyed the lack of conflict. My kids fight…. FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT…. every single minute of every single day. Granted, there are those rare moments where I’ll catch them playing together some game or whatever. But 99.9 % of the time, Anders is picking on her, she is tattling on him, he’s making fun of her, she’s grabbing something of his….. it’s never ending. Oftentimes I’ll shout,, “I CAN’T DEAL WITH THIS TODAY GUYS!!!!” “I CAN’T HEAR IT!!!!”….   but it doesn’t stop them. I’ve gone as far as slamming on the breaks in the car as they are in the backseat slapping each other silly. Jerking their little necks so hard to snap them out of it. Pulling over on the side of the road and not moving an inch until I hear heartfelt apologies. Sometimes when I hear them start in on each other, I’ll say, “You guys,,,, just don’t talk to each other. In fact, don’t even look at each other!!”  It’s awful.  And we are a loving family. Me and my husband don’t fight. My kids aren’t witness to battery and fighting…..   so I’m totally perplexed as a parent. It’d be different if my husband beat me and yelled at me all the time. Then I’d understand the mimicked behavior. But there’s nothing there…. nada. If they aren’t at each others’ throats, then their little worlds aren’t right. And it’s always Maggie losing the battle. She will come away from any given argument saying “I hate my brother, he’s so mean to me”. Anders saying “Gosh mom… Maggie is such an annoying baby.” And as a parent, there’s really nothing you can do to stop it. You can’t create a loving feeling in their hearts towards each other. I guess you just gotta let nature take it’s course and hope and pray that God will soften their little hearts and that they learn to tolerate and love one another. Soooooo going back to my original thought….. Maggie being gone all of Spring Break was heavenly. Yes, of course, I missed the dickens out of her. I missed her a bunch….. but I enjoyed and reveled in the peace and quiet. There really wasn’t one single moment of conflict that entire week. It occurred to me that not only as spouses we need breaks from each other, but parents need breaks from their children too. Eric and I don’t get to go out on many dates…. like ever… because we have no family here to look after the kids. Throw a babysitter at any given Friday night and you’re looking at a $100 date… That’s lame. Now…. they are getting older and have the ability to stay by themselves for an hour here, and hour there. But we’ve never left them alone any longer than an hour and a 1/2. I don’t even know what the law is on that sort of thing. I think I heard recently from a friend that a child has to be at least 11 years old to stay home by themselves. Of course I’m the mom that never followed the car seat rules either. When to take them out of the 5 point harness and into a booster seat…. I never followed that. When they were too big for the car seat, into the booster they went. And when the booster seat got to be a pain in the butt, well, then that ended up in the garage sale pile. Shoot….. I remember hanging out the back window in our International Scout, arms flailing, unbuckled, going 55 down the highway. I’m alive. I let my kids steer our huge SUV down the block too….   so there.

Tomorrow is Easter. Today is our very first softball practice. The sun is still shining. Hubby wants to take a run to Costco. I’m going down the mental list of all the things I’ve slowly put down in my brain throughout the month as to what we need the next time we go to Costco. You know the list…  napkins, freezer gallon ziplocs, ketchup, refried beans, mustard, ranch, …….  the usual necessities. He drives me nuts on the weekends sometimes. He’s got all these grand plans and things he wants to get done. And if all of us aren’t onboard with his plan, then he gets pissy. Of course none of us even KNOW what his plans are… but if we aren’t all moving at his same tempo, then he gets grumbly. Drives me nuts. I should’ve gone to yoga this morning as I had originally planned. Oftentimes when I’m getting ready to go to yoga, I go to grab the doorknob of the front door and I freeze. I stop in my tracks and the devilish being on my left shoulder says,, “Noooo you don’t wanna go do this…,.,, just stay here at home in your jammies or get some work done instead……”….   I never let it win. I always make myself go, whether I want to or not. But this morning that little voice won, and I didn’t go. I chose to stay in my jammies and have another spot of joe. The weekends are for relaxing man. Unless you’re my husband…..  When he gets in this mode I call him “merry maids”. It’s a “merry maid” sort of morning around here. I’ll just go to the 4:30 pm this evening instead. But even my own breath is making sick at the moment. And the longer I sit here, the more I’m starting to hate myself for not being out in the sun. AFter so many dreary days, and then you get a sunny day, as an Oregonian, you feel compelled to utilize it as efficiently as you can. You feel pressured almost… it’s really an odd panicky feeling. Because you know for a fact that the rain is going to return, and if you didn’t spend that one single sunny day outside, then it was just a waste. You wasted it.

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