Yesterday Gryffin told me for the first time that he didn’t like me.  Ouch.  And I’ll admit that one of my first thoughts was charming, kid, reeeeal charming.  I’ve been up with you and your brother every night this week because you are both sick, you’ve been unbelievably cranky the last few days, and earlier today, you sneezed in my face and got some of your snot in. my. mouth.  This is just great.  But another part of me felt so bereft when I heard those words and I thought yeah, well, I don’t like myself very much right now either.  I had lost my temper several times over the course of the afternoon and felt at my absolute wits end with him.   It was not my best day.  Not by a long shot.

Jason and I continue to be amazed at the heights to which we soar with Gryffin & Isaiah, how good we feel around them, how much unabashed delight we feel in their presence, just watching them move about and do their thing, and yet in almost the same breath, the depths to which we can sink when things aren’t going well.  How quickly we feel frazzled, frustrated, and overwhelmed.  And it can happen in the span of about 2 minutes sometimes.    Seriously.  One minute we are absolutely swooning, as we watch Gryffin fall down and see Isaiah reach him first, bend over and put his hand on Gryffin’s back and say “hug?”   Oh, my heart.  Those moments.   Nothing makes us feel better than to see our fellas moving with ease in the world, being silly, showing kindness, learning new things, just generally being their inquisitive, goofy, transparent selves.   But just seconds after said exchange between the brothers, one of them is kicking the other, spitting on the floor, and thrashing about because I told him it was NOT ok to lick the butter straight from the butter dish.  Sigh.  And just like that we’ve gone from the highest to the lowest in the span of 1:32.

It’s hard not to let the negative parts of the day (and some days there are A LOT) outweigh the wonderful parts.  To be bogged down by all the cajoling, coercing, bargaining, time-outing & tantruming of toddlerhood.  But, I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again – mainly to remind myself this week – that I am going to miss these years.   These are good, good years.  They really are.  My friend Stefanie reminded me once that the days are so long sometimes but the years are short.   These boys have changed us, Jason and me, so completely, so utterly, so unexpectedly.   We often find ourselves reflecting on our life before they were born and wondering what it was that we were doing.  How could we not have had them in our lives?   We can’t wait to watch their lives spread out before them.  And last week we were talking about what life will be like when they are grown and gone.   Jason, feeling forlorn, asked what I thought we would do with ourselves, our life together, once they are out of the house.  And I said “oh, I think we’ll have plenty to do.  The question is really whether or not we’ll enjoy it half as much once they aren’t with us anymore.”

I remember reading once (again, I can’t recall where… I need to work on this!) that having kids means that you will have higher highs and lower lows.  And it’s been absolutely true for us.   So we’ll take the low days, the difficult weeks, the trying times if we get to sail to such unbelievable, breathtaking, chest-swelling heights.

Some of the highs from the past few weeks…

The boys were sick on Sunday but they really rallied for a few hours in the morning,
making for a good Mother’s Day brunch

Jason making me, hands down, the best breakfast of my year

Jason’s mom was still in town so we got to celebrate Mother’s Day with her as well

A couple weeks ago down at Lincoln Park Beach

Gryffin sharing his drink with Isaiah at the park
(no, little brother does not need that bike helmet but he insists!)

Heading out for a walk with Aunt Rita & Uncle John,
who came up for a much-too-brief visit a couple weeks ago

Uncle John brought some photos of tractors and such just for Gryffin.  They really poured over it.

J and G in the doughnut at Volunteer Park

View from the doughnut

Every night Jason and I sneak quietly into the boys’ room before bed to kiss them one more time, pull their blankets up and just kind of marvel at them together.  Jason was out of town a couple weeks ago so I tiptoed in on my own.  This was how I found the G-man.  All his cars lined up just so.  His hands tucked under his chin in his signature sleep position of late.  All it takes after a discouraging, disheartening day is to behold him sleeping like this…
…and just like that, I’m flying high again.