It's naptime. Nathan is sleeping. Jacob is in his crib calling for someone, anyone, to release him from that prison. And Tim and Christopher are, I think, watching a show in my bedroom. (Translation: Tim is asleep on the bed and Chris is minutes away from getting bored with his show, jumping around on the bed, and getting in a whole bunch of trouble.) It's quiet, for the most part, and I am taking full advantage of this opportunity to lay down on the couch and do absolutely nothing. Well, except this.
I can still hear Jake calling and it makes me feel only a little guilty. And a little curious. I want to go down to check on him but know that, if I do, this quiet moment will be lost and so I will let him call for a while longer.
My chosen position on the sofa has me laying so that I can see our family picture wall instead of looking outside to the backyard. It's a beautiful summer day and looking outside makes me feel guilty for not being out there. Besides, I love gazing at this wall. Seeing the snapshots of so many happy memories, the faces of our loved ones who shared those memories with us.
Here. I'll give you a little tour.
ONE. A good number of the frames are filled with photos from our wedding. Tim and I with all seven of the priests who concelebrated our nuptial Mass, us walking along the golf course during the reception, my Father-in-Law's toast. I could stare at our wedding pictures all day long. If you ever come to my house, you can watch my wedding video, okay? I won't offer but if you asked I would jump at the chance to show it to you. Without that day so many other blessings would be absent. God has been so good to us.
TWO. Each of the boys has an 8x10 of just them. Right now I'm looking at Chris sitting on a swing in my dear friend's backyard. Those big brown eyes looking happily at me through the glass. He is such a big, strong boy. And yet, he's so sensitive and so impressionable. We're struggling with Christopher right now. When we first moved into this house, he handled the transition really well. IF he woke up during the night he'd just get up, run up the stairs and climb into our bed. He had NO fear. Now, eight months later, it's not a question of IF he wakes up during the night, but WHEN. And when he does? He stands on his bed and SCREAMS for Daddy. We've gotten through the phase of him screaming for Daddy and ONLY daddy (seriously. If I went down there he'd scream even louder, "Not YOU! WAHHH!") and he'll allow me to come to him now. But it's bad. It's really bad. He's scared of monsters. Or ghosts. Or bad guys. Or bats. We've switched from Daddy going to him every night and are now seeing what happens if I am the one to go down. I have a slight suspicion that maybe it's less "I'm scared" and more "I want to hang with Dad," so we'll see if this breaks the pattern. But beyond that, I have no idea what to do. If anyone has any suggestions, I will love you forever.
THREE. One of my favorite pictures is one of my Nonno holding Christopher on his lap when Chris was a newborn. This has been a tremendously sad week. My dear grandfather passed away on Tuesday, July 27. There are many things to say about this, but I think I need a little more time. We'll be going to the Rosary and Funeral tomorrow and Monday and I'm ready for those to be very challenging, but very healing days. For the time being all that should really be said is THANK YOU. Most of my online time during the month of July has been spent begging for prayers, and I have to say that my entire family has really felt the graces that have come from those prayers. Internet friends = awesome prayer warriors. I am blessed.
FOUR. I have the hiccups. Really bad, really loud, really painful hiccups.
FIVE. Thirty minutes in (actually, I don't think it's even been that long) and I am now typing this while SITTING UP on the couch with Chris to my left and Jake to my right. At least Nate is still sleeping. We're watching Bee Movie. Because we haven't seen it enough in the last two weeks; although, you may think otherwise when you hear ALL OF US quoting the entire movie, word for word. ("Black and yellow. Hello!")
SIX. Jake's photo is centered on the bottom of the cluster. My happy little boy sitting at the bottom of a bright yellow slide. He has gotten to the "Why?" stage. It is incredibly cute and infuriating at the same time. He doesn't just say, "why?" He says it quietly, slowly, and he draws out the word into at least two syllables. "whhhyyyy?" It is so precious. Really. The problem, as I see it, is that he is far far FAR more curious than Christopher ever was. There were never this many "Why" questions the first time around.
SEVEN. My Nonna, my only remaining grandparent, is pictured with Christopher while he helped her blow out the candles on her 85th birthday cake. It is such a happy memory. It is such a unique privilege, I realize, that my grandparents all got the chance to meet their great-grandsons. Even more unique that these young boys (Chris, at least) is old enough to have lasting memories of these people who are so remarkable. So special. So loved.
I know I have said it already, but it just can't be said enough. God has been so, so, so good to us. And for that we are grateful.
More quick takes here.