Wednesday, November 17, 2010

30-Pound Linebacker

Elias and I went to the library today for story time, a sweet 30 minutes of toddlers bouncing off of one another like particles in a microwave through stories and songs with hand motions. Elias always tries to climb into the story-teller's lap--he's always rejected. Too many kids, not enough laps. The "event" of this morning, however, did not happen during story time. It happened afterward in the activity room. The theme this month is "Things that Go"--an entire room full of cars, airplanes, helicopters, cars, and's my son's dream space.

A little necessary backstory: I worry about my son. I worry because in all his little classrooms: at church and at our mommy group, he's the biggest kid in his class, hands down. He is usually about four inches taller and packing a good amount more girth than every other child his age, so he seems to have acquired a bit of a giant's complex. He rules the room with an iron fist. He takes toys from smaller more unsuspecting children and they wisely don't fight back. Most stand in shock and move on after some consideration, only the brave (or excessively tir
ed) dare to cry in his wake. I've found myself sadistically hoping that he'd try something like that on an older, bigger kid so that maybe some kid justice could prevail and he'd be taught a lesson the natural way. I hope this because no amount of chastising from me has steeped his giant's complex. So, as terrible as it sounds, I've been lying in wait for the moment that a two
or three-year-old teaches my son what I have been unable to: bullying is not nice! I thought my moment had come today. I was wrong.

Elias was happily playing with some match-box cars on a table with a pretty elaborate road set up on it. He was, of course, playing with the red car because all red cars are Lightning McQueen from Pixar's Cars. He'd been successfully fending other kids off of the fake McQueen for over 20 minutes when a bigger, older kid approached to dethrone him. Big Older Kid had another thing coming. Big Older Kid snatched the car from Elias and turned to run only to be fully tackled from behind, arms wrapped around him in a vice, and taken to the ground like a trained linebacker. One Tarzan-like yell and my son took down a three-year-old little boy who was a whole head taller than him.
I fear that had I not wrenched him off of Big Older Kid, he may have stood on top of him beating his chest and declaring himself King of the Mountain...or the playroom. All hyperbole aside, mothers gasped and froze who witnessed my child attack and destroy the McQueen thief and I have no idea what I did or said to Elias, I only know that we left. Right then and there. We were out, fast as Lightning McQueen himself.

So now what? Kid justice failed and my son still thinks he runs the world. He seems only to know Elias justice, no matter what I do. On the way home I was suddenly reminded of the prayers I prayed over him when he was in the womb: for strength, and leadership, and fearlessness. Today, I can't for the life of me remember if I added any clauses in that included wisdom or compassion. Strike one, Mom.

Halfway home I turned around and my heavy-eyed little boy blew me a kiss and smiled impishly from his carseat. Another calculated move. Well executed, son. You still have my heart, even if you have gotten us banned from the library playroom.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lost and not-yet Found

My son has hidden his tennis shoes. He's done a fine job of it too, because they have been unfindable for four days now. I'm a relatively intelligent adult and I have no idea where he's placed them. I'm beginning to understand that this may have been entirely intentional. I saw him go downstairs with them one day and come back up without them. I assumed that he'd "put them to bed" because this is what he does with most everything else. He hurls things like stuffed animals, race cars, sippy cups and all articles of clothing from his top drawer over the side of his crib, laying them to rest in heaps like a tiny junkyard--thereby "putting them to bed." His shoes never went to bed. They didn't go to the book bin, or the stuffed animal box, or his dresser, or my dresser, or the bathtub, or the dryer, or the creepy closet under my stairs that smells like a nursing home no matter what I do. I've exhausted all his hiding places and come to realize that he's evolving and adapting his schemes like the velociraptors from Jurassic Park. Every time I think I'm ahead, he one-ups me. Some days it's all I can do not to be eaten alive.

Joke's on you, Elias. Now you're stuck wearing Converse AllStars in the pouring down rain. Extra socks? Check.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I am proud to say that my talented husband is officially touring. Elias and I delivered him and the band to PDX early Monday morning and we won't see him again until November 22. I'm thankful for two things right now: 1) Elias and I took an airplane trip to see family in S. California just a couple weeks ago, so he's familiar with the concept, 2) Elias was there to see Daddy go to the airplane. Now every day when Elias wakes up in the morning, and again when he wakes up from his nap, and again when we sit down to dinner and again when I'm tucking him in bed and he asks for his daddy, I can tell him that Daddy left on the airplane and we will go get him from the airplane when it's time. Sounds complex for a 17-month-old to wrap his mind around, but it seems to appease him most days. Now when he asks for Daddy, I can say "where is Daddy?" and he replies, "shhhhoooooo" which, for those unfamiliar with Elias-speak, is code for "airplane."

I have wonderful people who love me checking in on me with the "how are you doing?"s and the "do you need any help?"s and so far my "pretty good!"s and "no, I think we got it"s are the honest truth. I do intentional things to make time move as quickly as possible and hopefully that works for the full three weeks of husband absenteeism. I'm used to going it alone and independence has never been a sorrowful (or lonely) thing for me; what I was not prepared for was how to help my toddler "miss" someone. And not just "someone," but his very favorite "someone." He breaks my heart a little bit every morning when he calls for daddy from his crib and then has to settle for me--again.

The bright side, however, is that Logan is doing what he loves and he's serving God and people in a specific way that not many are called to do. He is so uniquely and perfectly gifted for it, too, that I can't imagine him in any other capacity. Not that he wouldn't be successful: he's one of those obnoxious folks who is good at everything they try, but I don't think anything else would fit him quite as perfectly. So, if you haven't ever had the pleasure of a Logan Martin concert, jump on his site and check out the rest of the tour dates (and a preview of one of the songs from the NEW RECORD), and if you want a laugh or to feel involved (as I SO desperately do) check out the band's video blog. And if you see him before I do, tell him that his two biggest fans couldn't be more proud of him, and we can't wait to see him.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

FALLing in Love

I used to live for summer. I don't like to be cold but I do like to be outside, therefore summer equaled Erica's time of year. Not so anymore. I do adore summer time, but the older I get, the more I'm falling in love with fall. The colors in Oregon are splendid, and somehow they were lost on me until about 5 years ago. The air feels cleaner inthe fall too, crisp and fresh; it brings cider, pumpkins, hay rides, a fabulous excuse to appear in public in costume, sweet potato fries, rain boots, leaf jumping and a slew of other things that I will miss in another month or two. It's more fun now too, watching Elias discover what fall means. Fall, to Elias, now means petting zoos, picking up as many leaves from parking lots as he possibly can before we get indoors again because
maybe, just maybe, they'll be gone again when we come back out. It means going to a land of pumpkins where he gets to touch whatever he wants and even bring some pumpkins home! It means hay rides behind a tractor and it means Mommy is parking in the garage now (a whole new land to discover and explore). It means that funny looking kids show up at his door and we give away the treats that he's not allowed to eat and then these kids leave...they don't even stay to play. Having him around gives meaning
to the cliche that you learn as much from your kids as you
teach them.
Seeing him discover things makes my world new again and that's such a gift. I've always
thought of myself as a kid-at-heart, but he out-kids me every day (appropriately so, I guess) and it's refreshing.
The more often he makes me play in the dirt, take a
second look,
or run instead of walk, the better I am. Sure, life seems to speed up from the second you bring a baby home and start watching them grow...faster and faster...but maybe, if you let them, they can slow life down for you every once in a while too.