Herd of Turtles

As a family, we are getting pretty good at getting out of Dodge.

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Off like a herd of turtles!

This weekend was no exception. This 4th of July we packed up the 1963 Holiday Rambler we stumbled upon on Craigslist and headed to the Whispering Waters Campground in Hastings.

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Even the coolest cats have to get that booger sometimes.

While Paul spent time troubleshooting leaks and figuring out how to use the camper, we relaxed poolside. All of the manuals are from the 60s and therefore they mostly recommend you figure it out your damn self.

To each his own. Paul prefers tools and tinkering. I prefer sunshine and bad tan lines.

But seriously, aren’t all tan lines good?

The boys spent hours in the pool this weekend perfecting my panic response to their underwater swimming.

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Of course, Isaac continued his exploration of Michigan’s insect population with the help of Momma’s Google.

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The Leaf-legged Beetle

We also went hiking on the Paul Henry Thornapple trail. My boys encouraged my hopes for a future of sibling best friendship with their hand holding and walking way ahead of us deeply involved in their own conversation. I knew that they were creating their own personal memories of each other just out of earshot.

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Levi found and named a little frog, ‘Crickety’. He also discovered the happiness that comes with finding wild berries growing right were you happen to be in need of a sweet snack.

We also removed Levi’s training wheels right before we biked nearly 8 miles over the course of two and a half hours.

Truth be told, he’s been biking for awhile with them teetering just off the ground. I’ve even had a few bikers comment on it and I was all…

YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF US!

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It was NOT easy for him. It involved mosquitos and falling again and again. He even rolled off the trail and into some brambles one time. After a few squeezes and tons of encouragement from his whole family – well, look at that photo – he was our hero for finishing stronger than he started.

The weekend included a few of my favorite, most beautiful purple sparklers in the hands of some happy little boys.

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And other kid friendly explosives.

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I also settled into that space in my head that I find in the woods. I didn’t write much but I did take notice. Mindfulness is so much easier to find in the woods.

It reminds me of my smallness in comparison to the universe.

I set an intention to give my boys and amazing last summer before they are all in school fulltime this fall. I’ve done my best to work less, spend more time creating good memories and focusing on important lessons.

It’s been as delightful as you can imagine.

It’s also been hella frustrating because I love my work. I’ve had to say no more often and it’s causing my inner over achiever some serious anxiety.

That’s the truth. It’s hard for me to slow down. I wish it came more naturally but it doesn’t.

I’m like Isaac in that way. I have two speeds: sprinting and sitting.

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This isn’t really a stop. It’s more of a change in direction. A tuning in to a different, more playful channel where the house is cleaner, the meals are healthier and the children are better behaved.

Hopefully.

I could definitely have worse intentions.

I love this family.

I love watching my husband working to make our newish camper a home away from home. I love seeing my oldest gain independence and test it in stepping outside of our little circle. I love seeing Isaac wonder at the science of the woods in cocoons, insects and water. I love watching Levi learn to be more lionhearted as he tests his own strength.

Time is frail and we only get one chance to give our children all we can before they’re ready to leave us for the world.

I’m so deeply grateful for this time

Sincerely,

Tashmica

PS – Speaking of a herd of turtles, I found one. About 26 of them on a log, to be exact.

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10 Years of Motherhood: Evading Death by Lego

July will mark a wonderful anniversary for me.

No, I’m not talking about my birthday. Although, I know you know how important that day is for me.

I told my husband in December that we better start planning. My birthday is in May.

As of July, I will have been a mother for 10 years.

Isaiah, our sweetest mistake, will be 10-years-old. A completely unplanned, bundle of mysteries and lessons that I decided to accept into my life, has survived 10 years with me as his mother.

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There’s your proof that angels do exist.

I cannot imagine a world where my children do not exist. I feel like I’ve always had them. When I close my eyes and think of my life before kids, I still feel their presence in those memories.

I recently learned that – crazy as it seems – It’s scientifically proven.

I have a super geeky teammate named Vicious Velma. She mentioned to me that at birth women have every egg already inside them waiting for their chance at this thing we call life.

Science says I have never lived a day without these boys which explains why I am so crazy about them.

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Anyway, 10 years is a long time and affords you many lessons. In a couple of months, I am sure I will be focused on the sentimental. Today I’m feelin’ snarky.

1. No matter how loud you call them, they will pretend that they can’t hear you.

2. If you tell your children to put their shoes on, they will put on sandals in the winter and snow boots in the summer.

3. Your fridge may be stocked to the gills with delicious and healthy food. They’re not interested.

4. You will get a skull to the nose, an elbow to the lip, trip over shoes and step on Legos that feel like their number one ingredient is razor blades….

5…..and when that makes you curse, you will be judged.

6. They will try one of the following if not all of these ways to kill themselves: get lost, swim in water that is too deep, run into the street/parking lot, fall or jump off of something high, etc….

7. If you have concrete and impossible plans to change, they will get sick or try an item from #6 that will require a visit to the E.R.

8. If there is heavy snow or a down pour, your child will struggle as if in the throes of death to avoid being buckled into their carseat.

9. Your hands can never be full enough to not be asked to carry one more thing.

10. They want what you have. Always and forever, amen.

The final thing is less of a lesson and more of a law of nature.

Despite it all, you will love them and want them to live their lives guarded from pain and injury.

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The fake pout. Vito is good.

But seriously, how is it no one has ever died from a Lego injury?

Happy parenting,

Tashmica

Mere Mortals

When I was about 8 months pregnant with Isaac my dad called me to see how I was doing. He said I sounded tired. I was.

(see: 8 months pregnant)

My father said something that has been replaying over in my mind for two days.

“You do know you only get 24-hours a day, right?”

My father was not being condescending. He was poking fun at what he knows to be true about me.

I do not know that I only get 24-hours in a day. Scientifically, I know that certain standards of time exist that are factual and consistent.

  • 60 seconds in a minute
  • 60 minutes in an hour
  • 24 hours in a day
  • 7 days in a week
  • 52 weeks in a year
  • 365 days in a year

Just ask the cast members of Rent.

They’ve got the amount of time in a year down to the minute.

I get it but I am special.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have three children. One of whom just dropped a bag of shredded cheese on my lap so that I could open it for a snack. Not happening.

“Chips and pretzels are on the counter. If you want something, have that.”

I have a husband who took me on an adventure last night that included a brewery, a casino and a late night steak smothered in cheese and onions. It was a good time.

To recover, I slept in and then we traded. He is now in bed and deservedly so.

I belong to a roller derby team of amazing athletes that challenge me daily. They are also some of the  best friends I have ever had. Which is nice, except six hours of every week is dedicated to practicing the sport, another six hours is dedicated to bouting and that doesn’t include travel time if necessary. Add to that the time we spend laughing, drinking, dancing, going to events, volunteering and just generally being awesome and it gets a bit crazy. Ask them. They will tell you.

“Roller Derby takes over your life.”

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Sweet RV and Me.
She’s really only sweet off the track. #SmallbutMighty

School starts up again in two weeks. I am trying to decide what class to take while I study up for my re-take of the math assessment exam. Spanish II, Film as Art or Technical Writing which sounds as boring as can be but might help me professionally. In two weeks, my life will become a practice in keeping to the schedule. Skipping my study time, being late, sleeping in or going out could blow my grade for the semester. No pressure.

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Isaac fell asleep on the back of my chair watching me finish my homework.

In all of this, I am still trying to write my story. An emotionally draining, mind-boggling memoir that steals time in heaps. It heals me and hurts me at the same time. It’s kind of like physical therapy for The Walking Wounded. I am asking tons of questions and the answers are coming back like boomerangs.

In the end, I am left with just 24-hours in a day. I need more than that and sometimes I really believe that I can bend time to my will. It frustrates me beyond words when I realize that I cannot actually bent time. When I step back and see that I have no special powers and the clock ticks on whether I like it or not, I get anxious.

I get anxiety over something that I never controlled in the first place. I get flustered, messy and half-assed. I forget things places, show up late or on the wrong day, eat like crap and dream when I try to sleep.

I am a hot fire mess. They don’t call me Firecracker for nothin’.

During this holiday season, I have had some time off. I have locked myself away. I have gone out less, chased simple goals like – well, eat, sleep and enjoy.

It has been a peaceful time. As things head back towards pandemonium, I worry. I count and the hours are not adding up. They never do and yet, somehow I still manage to keep up.

Do you see the problem? Do you see why I am so delusional?

Because I manage. I am not so different from so many mothers.

We take out that rolling-pin, stapler, scotch tape and we will those ends to meet. We stretch like elastic around our families and we plug holes with our toes. We make hours out of minutes and days out of hours.

I am special. I am a mother and that brings with it certain miracle-making, magical powers.

And when I get tired. When it gets to be too much and I get frustrated or annoyed with the clock, I will settle into the time that the rest of the world shares. I will work within reality for a little while. I will slow down for a lunch break with mere mortals.

“You do know you only get 24-hours in a day, right?”

Miracles are not meant to be performed every 24-hours.

They’d lose their magic.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Passing time,

Tashmica

PS – To watch this glorious train wreck, LIKE The Mother Flippin’ Facebook Page.

Happy 7th Birthday, Little Fish

This week marked the 7th year of life for you, Isaac.

You are the little boy we named “laughter” in Hebrew and watched blossom into a true joy. You are the prankster in our family. You love to pull pranks and whether we fall for the joke or not, you still point and laugh uproariously.

This year has been a year of seeking for you. You are the finder of rare rocks, interesting bugs, magic potions and the very best hiding spots. You are starting 1st grade this year. I can’t believe how you have grown.

I am not entirely sure why we are so lucky to have you as a part of our family but I am so happy you are. Nothing would be near as funny, sweet, joyful or loving without you right in the middle of all of us.

We love you, Isaac.

Mommy loves you.

Enjoy a whole, full year of learning, seeking and finding new things. Thank you for sharing your discoveries with us.

Sincerely,

Mom

Seek & Find Isaac