Thursday, August 29, 2013

Enjoy This

A sweet song for you since Playlist went kaput: Bitter Heart by Zee Avi


There's a little sign hanging in Ingram's room that simply reads, "Enjoy This".  I found it in a tiny shop in Santa Barbara and knew immediately that it was meant to be mine. It has moved from place to place, its' homes including above my desk, in the kitchen and near the front door. Now, every time I leave Ingrams room, which Tim remarked today "smells like a hamster lives in there", I see it. Suddenly, changing Ingrams diaper for the 8th time that morning seems not altogether awful. Seriously. I never knew a baby who poops more than mine does.

A phrase as neutral as "enjoy this" could be interpreted so many different ways and I, queen of the neutral statement, really like that. Every time I see those two little words I feel inspired to connect with the moment I'm in. The state of being 'in the moment', also known as "mindfulness" in buddhist speak, seems so simple and so attainable. I've dabbled in buddhism mostly because buddhists all seem so peaceful and I crave some of that quietness for myself. Nevertheless, mindfulness mocks me with her elusive nature and that just pisses me off. Ultimately I wind up skirting the edges of buddhism once again because I don't want face how crappy I am at living in the moment. This little sign, "Enjoy This", helps a lot. I'm spontaneously snapped into the moment each time it even so much as grazes the edge of my peripheral vision. I need the practice and apparently I need very gentle, very anonymous encouragement to be mindful.

With our first New York anniversary under our belt I can truly say that I feel a major sea change. I'm a more focused, calmer person and, as a natural extension of that, a better mother. Twice today, different people remarked at how "calm" I seem about the children.  I take this as a compliment only because the kids were really well behaved in both instances! (had they been running amok I'd think it was a passive-aggressive comment) I've been working hard at positive discipline and I think I'm getting a little closer to being the mother I want to be: patient, kind but firm, loving and adventurous. Yeah, sometimes I lose my cool but that happens less often now. When it does happen I make it a point to apologize to Ada and follow it up with lots of reassurance that I love her no matter what and she's one of my all-time favorite people in the whole world! Telling her that last part makes her skip all around the room from happiness!

Feeling better about my parenting also makes it easier to "Enjoy This", whatever 'this' is. Lately it's a lot of time with my kids, which is just fine by me. As long as I'm not feeling like I'm completely screwing the whole thing up. In the great spirit of enjoyment we are gulping down the last juicy bits of summer.

We're enjoying:

Back to school shopping. All of sudden NOTHING fits her. She is a tall one, my girl is. She sat ont he floor at HandM and refused to take these pink sparkly high tops off.

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Full moon over Manhattan the night before my birthday.

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Legoland

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Offering nectar to the lorikeets and messin' around in general at the aquarium

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How bountiful our garden is and the fact that I am still not tired of tomato sandwiches:

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This guy is fascinated by doors and gates. He could sit for hours opening and closing, opening and closing...

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Living on the fog line in San Francisco we were only successful at growing lettuce. Our virgin harves this year is INSANE. Truly, we don't know what we're doing. In fact, I can't wait for next year just so that we can use all we've learned and do things a little differently. Still, it's awesome to be gardening. I hope something of it sticks for our kids.

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How much this kid loves corn on the cob. Want to see a really pissed off one year old? Yeah. YOU try to take away his corn cob. I dare you.

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Tim likes to joke that Ingram must be fathered by someone else since he doesn't look a thing like Tim. At least not yet. I have two arguments against that: one, all his height is in his torso and his legs are relatively short. For one-piece things he's easily into 24 months (at 13 months old). Likewise, his shirts are 24m size but for his pants he's only just now out of 12m pants. Oh, and two, he raises his eyebrows when he takes a bite of food JUST LIKE his father. Now I have photographic evidence.

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She is growing up so fast. I can't believe it. My arms and hands got all pins-and-needles tonight as I watched her riding her bike with her skinny legs pushing the pedals as hard as she could and her little dress flapping in the breeze behi. She wants to do it all herself and she is quite capable.

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IMG 1352 from monica shepherd on Vimeo.


Ingram is walking like it's his job.

IMG 1308-1 from monica shepherd on Vimeo.



1 Lovies:

Sheila Simmons said...

Your children are adorable. So you moved from Cali to New York? I live in Chicago and I also have a veggie garden. I'm growing tomatoes, collards, kale, Swiss Chard, bell peppers and broccoli. What else did you grow? Stopping by from Medical Mondays.