Purr Purr...

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Three months away from turning eight years old, and my son still takes the liberty of crawling onto my lap to cuddle whenever his heart desires.

He likes to nestle in and rub his face on mine, his mop of hair blinding and tickling, while he says “purr purr” like a kitten looking for pets.

He’s heavy and cumbersome, invades my personal space, and periodically checks me with his flailing limbs, unaware of his size, and unfettered by the fact that he is no longer a baby or toddler.

And yet... these displays of love and affection compose the air I breathe and give me life when life is trying to suffocate me with challenges and heartbreak.

His raspy voice uttering “purr purr” is the sweetest and most life affirming sound in my ears these days; and my gratitude for him and his love knows no bounds. 🙏⚓️💙

#sometimesyoujustneedacuddle #breakfromlife #staycation

*Originally posted on Instagram and Facebook

Three Monkeys

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My heart, joy, heartache, destiny, and purpose, all wrapped up in a little boy. Cocooned in my bed today with a 101 degree temperature and a tummy ache, he wished something would come up and out of him to give his tummy relief. No luck. An easy patient, he was calm and quiet, almost peaceful, and didn’t complain at all about feeling yucky. It was unexpected, since his older sister has the opposite demeanor when she is sick. Comfort came to him today in the form of cuddles with me, books read, movies watched, and naps taken... but most of all, in his three 🐵 monkeys.

His bedtime companions since he was two years old, they are three identical monkey heads on soft security blanket bodies. Why three? He actually started with one that I would switch out to wash, with a spare for the car; but he got hip to my deception and demanded to keep all three at once. And so it has been, for the last 3 years or so.

Today, monkeys were in their usual spot, gathered up together and clutched in his arm like a bouquet of flowers. He dubbed these best friends “rockstars” early on, but now he simply refers to them as “monkeys.” They have priority over anyone and anything in the house; and even when enjoying warm cuddles from me (one of his favorite pastimes), he may demand I move my face a bit so I don’t breathe on them. 😷 The nurturing and gentle care he shows these precious companions speaks volumes. He is a special soul.

While cuddling with him today, his body hot from fever and weak from starving it, I felt a surge of emotion, as the back of his head rested on my mouth and chin. My eyes welled up, and I acknowledged silently to myself that there was no place I would rather be, and nothing I would rather be doing in that moment. An overwhelming sense of contentment and gratitude washed over me, and I felt as lucky as monkeys to be enveloped in his love.

#threemonkeys

*Originally posted on Instagram and Facebook

Like Mother Like Son

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A couple weeks ago, I took my son to H&M to exchange a pair of shoes that didn’t fit him. While there, I saw this scarf and asked him if he liked it. He took the scarf from me, immediately put it around his neck, smiled, and asked if he could get it.

We decided it would be a good purchase for winter, and so he quickly made his way to the cashier to get in line. I spotted the matching beanie as I tried to catch up, and brought it along to show him. He was excited to see the hat, and asked if we could get that too. Yes, sweet boy, we can.

Upon leaving the store, he insisted I take his new scarf and hat out of the bag and let him carry them as we walked through the mall. He held on to them like they were his most coveted treasures, and he thanked me for getting them for him. Every time he has worn them since, he has treated them the same, proclaiming they are just as important to him as “monkeys” (his three sleeping buddies).

Something about that scarf captured his heart and held on to it, beyond any explanation or reason. It’s a beautiful thing because, isn’t that the way most amazing relationships begin? An inexplicable, undeniable connection that defies logic and causes us to hold on with the most fervent conviction.

I love his passion. It mirrors mine; and he is so much like me in so many ways. Unbridled expressions of devotion are just our thing, and we proudly flaunt them for all the world to see.

#likemotherlikeson

*Originally posted on Instagram and Facebook

I Am Strong

Natural History Museum - Los Angeles, CA

Natural History Museum - Los Angeles, CA

I just saw a viral video of a man with his young daughter doing their morning ritual of looking into a mirror and repeating positive affirmations.

In the accompanying article, this man states, "My dad did this with me in the mirror as well, which I believe has helped make me more confident and positive."

This is a true testament to how good parenting gets passed down from one generation to the next.

I wasn't raised at all like this, so I don't inherently possess the tools to positively and effectively parent my own kids. While this man was given a road map and spotlight that shone from within, I was sent out into the world with a wonky compass and a flashlight with dead batteries.

Yes, we do the best with what we were given, yet what we were given sometimes sucks.

DON'T ACCEPT THIS.

I don't. Even though it is more of a struggle for me as a parent (and frankly, as a person) to do the right thing and say the right thing than it is for this man, and even though I may make way more mistakes than he does, I hope, aspire and persevere to do better, be better, and give my kids a better start in life than I was given.

There is nothing more important.

#iamstrong

 

*Originally posted exclusively on Instagram and Facebook.

Soulful Six

Malibu Bluffs Park - Malibu, CA

Malibu Bluffs Park - Malibu, CA

My son turns SIX today. A gentle and kind soul wrapped up in an energetic and hilarious character, he is a kid who likes to shock and amuse just as much as he likes to cuddle and love.

He possesses a depth and a soulfulness way beyond his years; yet he is raucous and rambunctious, needs to be told to use his inside voice constantly, and tires out his mama on a daily basis.

One minute he is leading our blessing at dinner, expressing how he is "grateful for companionship, the Earth, and everyone in the world, even the people he doesn't know, or who aren't alive anymore" (that last one being for my mom). The next minute he forgets all proper table manners to joyously revel in his ability to make uncouth bodily noises at will.

He is the yin to his big sister's yang, loves to pick flowers for me any chance he gets, and never ceases to surprise, bemuse and fascinate us with his remarkable capacity to elicit smiles on our faces and laughs in our hearts.

#thisissix

 

*Originally posted exclusively on Instagram and Facebook.

Let Things Come to You

This kid is so my kid... loves herbal tea, dark chocolate over milk chocolate, ginger kombucha, and a healthy dose of introspection...

My five-year-old son loves to drink tea with me... he absolutely LOVES it. Loves everything about it. Apart from dousing it with raw honey and enjoying its sweetness and warmth, he especially enjoys ripping open the small paper envelope, retrieving his aromatic bag inside, and anxiously asking me to read the pearl of wisdom that's printed on each Yogi tea tag. Every time I read one, even if he doesn't fully understand what the inscription means (which is most of the time), he'll pause a moment, as if contemplating it, and then say, "Hmmm, good one."

That moment, in and of itself, is MY favorite part of our ritual.

His go-to flavor is "Calming," while I switch between a few stress relief and detox varieties. This instance, when we opened our packages from different flavored boxes, we were surprised to discover the same quote on each of our tags: "Let things come to you." I found this to be timely and sage advice, so I've decided to heed it. He, again, thought it was a "good one" and is going to do the same.

We'll let you know how it plays out.

 

*Originally posted exclusively on Instagram and Facebook.

Picking Him Up

Wearing a robe ready to jump in the shower, I was confronted with a distraught four-year-old, his arms reaching up and crying, "Mama, pick me up." Now almost five, I hadn't seen him this way in a long while. As I scooped him up, he buried his face in my neck and clung to me tightly. I remained silent, allowing his tears to flow, gently swaying from one foot to the other. After a few minutes, his cries slowly began to subside, but his grip remained tight.

I then caught our reflection in the mirror, and I was transfixed. There we were, as we had been countless times before - mother and child, giving and receiving comfort - yet this time he wasn't the tiny armful of chubby deliciousness he once was. Now over half my size, a boy with gangly limbs and a head full of curly hair was clinging to me. And although my eyes could see how big he was in that mirror, my arms could feel how little he still was in that embrace. He was my baby. The baby I have held onto since he was born.

And in this moment captured, I was reminded... my body knew that he needed me, my heart knew that he loved me, my soul knew that he was a part of me, and my mind knew that, no matter how much he grew, "picking him up" was something I was going to have the honor of doing for many years to come.