Archive for December, 2010

Girls, Girls, Girls

Friday, December 31st, 2010


Today’s gift: my three nieces S, B, and M.

My sister is my best friend and I love her so much.  We talk all the time and see one another as much as possible.

Early this morning, my oldest niece S cried out in her sleep that she was scared.  I dashed into the room where the cousins were sleeping and found myself staring into the face of a miniature version of my sister L.  As the oldest of three, I have always been the caretaker and the “second mother” to my siblings.  The role of oldest — and all the responsibility and maturity that comes with it– is a natural fit like a pair of worn and comfy yoga pants. 

As I peered into my 5 year old niece’s scared and sweet little face and quietly comforted her, I was struck by the deep love I felt for her. 

A few hours later when the sun was up and the bad dreams banished, I realized that I love these three innocent, sweet, different little girls – my nieces– as much as I love my sister.  I adore them and am constantly surprised by the power of this love.  I never expected to feel this perfect sisterly love for these three angels — a delightful, unexpected surprise of motherhood and sisterhood.

Turn It Up! Bring The Noise!

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Today’s gift:  M watched a movie (in a crowded, kid-filled Tangled movie theatre) without his noise-canceling headphones!

The Water Boy

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

This picture was taken in the late afternoon.  It includes three things:  a Wii game, a bag, and a bottle of water.

We were playing a lively game of  Just Dance.  Things were heating up (literally and figuratively) when M disappeared up the stairs in between shimmies.

When he returned, he was carrying –lugging–this bag filled with bottles of water.  Halfway down the stairs he announced ”I have water for everyone” and then passed out the bottles.

This simple (independent) gesture –and today’s gift–captures M’s genuine thoughtfulness, kindness and sweetness. 

Plus that was the best bottle of water I ever drank.

Lucky 7

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

M has always been a very early riser.  There have been many mornings when I  literally wrestled M back to bed, hissing “Please go back to sleep”, tuck and re-tucking him in, fluffing pillows, smoothing fleece-y, ready to sell my soul I’m so desperate to get back to bed and to avoid waking everyone in the house.  I star in this comedy of errors and never remember at this ungodly hour that when M is ready to start his day nothing can change his mind.  I must look like the madwoman from the attic or some version of her during these twin bed altercations.

M wakes up most mornings at 5:00a.m. — sharp.  I’m not sure he’s ever slept late (remember how much I like to sleep?  I finally gave up the hope that one day he would snooze until 6:30a.m.

Blogging here at MSCSL has taught me to expect (and embrace) the unexpected, but I could never have predicted that today M would sleep until 7:00a.m. — he was as shocked and disoriented as I was when we looked at the clock and we did a silly dance on my bed to celebrate.

Everyone loves the gift of two unexpected extra hours of sleep.

Here’s to extra zzzzzzz’s!

Baby Love

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Today’s gift is a Christmas miracle:  M held Baby M on his lap for a children’s group photo!

Many earlier MSCSL blog posts shared details about M’s sensory processing disorder and in particular his auditory processing and sensitivity. I also shared his fear of babies — their crying, their unpredictability, their otherness.  M always avoids babies.  And if he can’t, he stays far away from them often plugging his ears or burying himself into the nearest grown-up. 

At holiday gatherings, M is usually left out of family photos — in part because he can’t take the proximity to the littlest family members.  I suffer silently during these photo shoots and tell myself it isn’t that big of a deal if he’s not in some silly photo.  But of course I feel bad — bad that we try to force him to do it and then that we always abandon the picture taking in a sweaty mess.

Today, my folks wanted a grandchildren photo in front of the Christmas tree.  I braced myself — all the girls and the baby and M and J only. No grown-ups.  In most families, this ritual is an after-thought — a quick interruption in the socializing or playing or drinking.  I decided to calmly offer the opportunity to M and then leave the choice up to him. 

I walked into the living room as the children trickled in and I sat on the couch to watch the scene play out.

M entered the room tall and calm and sat right in the middle of the tree-child madness!  Stealthily, I pulled out my camera ready to snap away as my Dad readied his.  Then, like swarming paparazzi, flashes flashed, cameras clicked, children were rearranged and what to my wondering eyes should appear in my view finder but Baby M sitting on my M’s lap!  A 5 month old baby on his lap with no adults around, holding her perfectly. No fear, no stress, no hitting or hurting or fleeing.  I dared to stare and saw the miracle unfold before me:  both were all smiles with the same sparkle in their eyes and love in their embrace.

I felt so much joy and love and pride and so did everyone — especially M.

Joy to the World Baby!

Over The River and Through The Woods

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Going home has taken on new meaning since I became a mother.   The literal journey home involves a few hours of driving, a few highways and even some hills and woods. 

It means brick and mortar, wood and plaster.

Being home will always mean comfort and care.

Home also means history.  It means tradition; it means future.

It means childhood and children.

It means past and present.

Most of all it means foundation, strength, soul and heart.

The Gift

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

 [photo to come]

Today’s gift:  Christmas with my husband and my beautiful children.

Snapshot of a day:  6:30am, screaming, laughing, jumping on Mom & Dad’s bed, racing down stairs, more screams, “Santa was here!”, gifts & more gifts, Santa hats, ribbons, bows, ripped wrapping paper everywhere, more screams, “Today is my day!”, “I’m so happy”, love, kisses, “I’m surprised!”, thank yous, hugs, “It’s only 6:45am?!”, reading, playing, more reading, eating, family phone calls, Christmas finest, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, Grandparents, more eating, more playing, dessert. 

The End.

A Christmas Carol

Friday, December 24th, 2010


Today’s gift is a classic ”must-post” –

J has been recording herself singing Christmas carols all afternoon on my phone. 

Hearing her sing is like hearing an angel.

She recorded this beautiful version of Silent Night (a favorite in our house as you all know from my recent Silent Night post 

I can not think of a better Christmas Eve gift can you?

Click here to listen: JSilent Night

The Karate Kid, Part II

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Today’s gift:  M earned his White Belt in Karate! 

Ever since M attended his pal’s Karate birthday party (, he’s been asking about lessons.  I’ve been hesitant to add another activity to our busy lives but after a friend explained how great it’s been for her special needs daughter, I called the studio.  Today, we went to an intro session and a one-on-one appointment to determine placement. 

Intimiated at first, M seemed older and wiser at the end of the 20 minute lesson .  He stood taller, his body was calmer, his stance more confident.  He worked through some of the loud sounds and auditory challenges and made great eye contact.  When Sensei C left the room to get the belt for the tieing ceremony, I could not stop smiling because M was so proud.

Starting in January, he’ll begin lessons.


Dear Santa

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010


Today’s gift:  J’s letter to Santa Claus ran in our local newspaper.  Here it is in all of its unedited perfection:

Dear Santa claus, I have some questions for you: why do you wear a red suit? Why do yo laugh ho ho ho? Why do you bring presents? why do people call you old Kris Kringles? Here is my christmas list: A lot of Chapter book series, A real magic wand, some new jeans, peirced ears, some american girl stuff, an American Girl doll, A real live diary, my own paper, Lissie mcguire doll, Rogers and hammersteins Cinderella movie, and book,D s game, DSI games, a coloring book, New Wii games, and a bermuda tringle and hurricane book.

Thanks, LOVE J

(Note: J, 8, drew a sketch of Santa saying “ho!ho!ho!” and placing bags of gifts under her Christmas tree.)

PS:  This is from Mom (added for this blog post):  Dear Santa:  Ever since the twins were born every morning feels like Christmas morning so you can finally cross me off your list.  xoxox, Mom