10th Birthday Eve

by Monica on January 20, 2015

I’m usually overly reflective to the point of wallowing on the coach in a weepy pile on the eve of the peapod squad’s birthday each year.  I do it to myself really. I admit that. I look at old baby pictures and remember those precious days of their tininess, their newness, their complete dependence on me. And though those days were certainly the most physically exhausting of my life, they were also some the most wonderful. I reveled in the beauty of these three incarnations of answered prayer.

Each year I feel like they are growing away from the safety of my arms. It terrifies and saddens me immensely. I need them to still need me. I need to still be able to protect them.

10 feels huge. Double digits. The beginning of what most call the “tween” years. This strange sadness I usually feel the night before their birthday is mixed with a lot of pride and wonder too, though. So instead of focusing on my sappy emotional response to their growing up, I’m listing some of the ways that their growing up is awesome.

I love how they relate to people who are unlike them without preconceived ideas. And it’s not simply the naivite of youth anymore. Sadly, they have been exposed to the ugliness of prejudice already. Their responses are from hearts and minds that are choosing something better, something more loving. And it makes me nearly burst with pride.

I love how unashamedly they speak of their faith and how eager they are to share that faith with their friends in a quietly confident way.

I love when I realize they get a joke they wouldn’t have just last year.

I even love our private talks about “grownup stuff.” I love how maturely they handled “that” talk this year.

I love that they are all willing to step out of comfort zones, to try new things, to take risks and to do what they feel good at even if it’s not the culturally expected thing to do. I love that during the holidays I drove around with a softball sticker with Sweet Pea’s name on it and window paintings for the boys’ Nutcracker performance on my car. I love that they are each just doing their “thing.”

I love the connection they have with our parents and grandparents.

I love that more and more, we can share things as a family rather than having an adult version and a kids version.

I love that while they are so eager to grow up as quickly as possible, they all still love to snuggle with Mommy.

I love how their prayers have evolved from the rote prayers of a young child to purely personal conversations with God.

I love that they express genuine concern for those less fortunate…without prompting from either of us.

I love that I get to be a part of the wonderful story of their lives.

Thank you God for these…your perfect gifts to me.




Possibly Related Posts:


No One Panic…

by Monica on June 3, 2014

hermit crab petAlternate Title: “A Mini Crustacean on the Lam”


“No one panic! Lily has escaped!”

This was my cry yesterday when I realized we had a umm,  situation.

The kids talked us into bringing home 2 hideous adorable hermit crabs last summer. After arguing discussing it for a couple of days, Hubby and I said “OK.” We were assured that the kids would be the ones to take care of Spencer and Lily (formerly known for one day as Simon and Garfunkel…wish those names had stuck). Now why we believed that nonsense is completely beyond me, but I digress…

As is ALWAYS the case, I was the one cleaning out their habitat yesterday. I carefully took everything out…the sticks, the extra shells, the food and water dishes, the little hollowed out tree thingy they both like to burrow under. There sat Spencer, huddled in his stripy shell. But no Lily. Assuming I’d find her nestled under a clump of the dirt in the bottom of the habitat, I still wasn’t alarmed. But when sifting through every single speck in that container did not reveal Lily, I had no option but to alert the fam.

“No one panic! Lily has escaped!”

Sweet Pea was away for softball camp. Split and Snap were playing in the family room and didn’t hear me. Hubby, though, looked up from his work on the laptop and said, “What do you mean? How could a hermit crab escape? Are you sure she isn’t just dead in there?”

“Um, no, honey. I would still SEE dead Lily. There is no Lily, dead or alive, in this container.”

Hubby seemed rather unconcerned. “No worries. I’m sure the dog probably had a nice treat.”

Enter Frick and Frack.

“What? What did the dog eat?”

Again. “No one panic. Lilly has escaped.”

“Oh cool! She could be anywhere! Do you think the dog really ate her?”

Then Snap got serious and remembered that he is the one who named Lily. He feels connected to her somehow…in that never ever took care of her and probably hadn’t seen her in weeks sort of caring way. “But that’s sad. I loved Lily. I hope she’s OK.”

So I posted about it on the book of faces and got some interesting comments. Someone recounted a time she stepped on and smashed her sons’ pet crayfish that had escaped. Someone else said hers turned up 10 days later with no problems. Another pointed out that a dead one would smell like a “several day old crime scene.” That last comment was especially pleasant, right?

Sweet Pea came home a couple of hours later and was the only one who panicked. She was not at all cool with the notion of a hermit crab creeping around in her house. And for two nights now, she has gone to bed with the certainty that Lily will crawl across her and pinch her while she sleeps. Unfortunately for her, Snap and Split find this image side-splittingly hilarious and end up in a pile of giggles in the floor when she talks about it.

We searched high and low for her today and came up empty handed. Somehow I’m not seeing a happy ending for Lily. And I’m already being asked if we can get a new crab when we go to the beach in a few weeks.

Ummm…that would be a NO.

Possibly Related Posts:


No Makeup Selfies for a Cause: I’m Joining the Conversation

March 29, 2014

For days now I’ve seen these no makeup selfies posted on social media accounts. “Post a no makeup selfie for breast cancer awareness” they say. And kind-hearted women who desperately want to do SOMETHING to help jump on the bandwagon. So they wash the layers of pretty paint off and post a picture of themselves […]

Read the full article →

Same but Different

April 5, 2013

People are always asking me if the triplets are a lot alike. Well, yes, as much so as any siblings would be. And obviously, Split and Snap look just alike. But they each have their own personalities, their own ways of looking at and processing the world around them, their own ways of responding to […]

Read the full article →

In Memoriam: Ms. Betty

March 27, 2013

I still remember the day Anne said, “Hey, I’ve got someone I’d love for you to meet. Can I bring my friend over for lunch one day? She helped take care of triplets in NY and could really be a great resource for you.” You met me when I was terrified, bearing within me three […]

Read the full article →

I Know it Isn’t Normal to be Like This

January 21, 2013

I know it isn’t normal to be this sad about my kids getting older. I absolutely know it’s not. But what I don’t know is how to turn it off. I’m a mess. Every single year it happens, and I’m overwhelmed by the emotions because I don’t know what to do with them. I try […]

Read the full article →