227. “But I want you to stay soooooooooooooooooooooo badly.” Oh I’m just going to soak up those words right now. I can only imagine there will be a day within the next 10 years or so that Natalie will be saying ‘please give me my space Mom.’ But tonight, just like almost every night, Natalie longs for me to lay down next to her after I tuck her into bed. She yearns to have me wrap my arm around her body, as she lies on her left side. She pulls my arm up and around her and holds onto me. I guess there’s something about having my mama presence and my loving arm around her that soothes her and gives her peace as she unwinds from the day. It is sweet beyond words. I always try to slip away before she’s totally asleep. Sometimes though I linger and wait for that heaviness of her body to mark the sign of her having fallen deep asleep. But typically I let her know that I have a whole kitchen full of dirty dishes waiting for me. She begs for more time. She says “ohhhhh mama just a few more minutes??!!?” And today this: “But I just want you to stay sooooooooooooooooooo badly.” Beautiful beautiful words of yearning. Gosh those are magical words. I’m thankful that Natalie enjoys her time with me. I pray that will always be the case. But I tell myself ‘prepare yourself for some stage in her life where that won’t be the case.’
228. Today we went to the El Segundo Public Library to retrieve Natalie’s “Little Pet Shop” collection that had been on display for the past month. The sweet librarian Carol told us it could be Jacob’s turn next to put a collection of his on display. So in he walked with his shoebox full of Lego City vehicles. When the display case was opened, Natalie treated each and every Little Pet Shop animal as though they had been long lost friends finally encountering each other after a very, very, very long time. Without letting up, she very enthusiastically said hello to each one and gave each and every one two little kisses on their noses. It was adorable beyond words to watch!
229. Thankful that Jacob is such a voracious reader. Oh my goodness he eats up books!!! I can’t get enough books to keep up with his appetite. Today I walked in to the El Segundo Library with 41 books to check back in and we walked out with 51. That’s just over the course of three weeks and doesn’t even count the books we have at home from the Wiseburn Public Library. Today after setting up his Lego vehicle collection in the library, he asked me where I had put the roller coaster books I had found. We had piles and piles of books on the table. He simply couldn’t wait to get his paws on them. He pulled one out and started reading it right away. Then after going upstairs, checking them all out and putting the bags and bags and bags of books in the trunk of the Passat, he asked me “can you pleeeeease take out one of the roller coaster books before you close the trunk?!” I obliged and handed him one. “But Mama can you get me another one too?!” I told him it was a short drive home and one would do. Oh my goodness!?!? Who has to say that?! One book only son. One book. I am definitely thankful he loves to read.
230. I am thankful for libraries.
231. Thankful for Norma, Carol and Eric at the El Segundo Library who know us so well and are always so nice to welcome us back.
232. Thankful for DeeDee at the Wiseburn Public Library who is so easy to interact with and knows us so well also. Thankful for how down-to-earth she is and her laughs. Thankful for her “Weeeeeeelllllll, helllllllooooooo”
233. Thankful that when I read books to the kiddos while they eat lunch or dinner, they are engrossed! I’m talking SERIOUSLY engrossed! So much so that I need to require them to take a bite of their food before I turn the page. Love it that they ask for another book whenever I finish one.
234. Thankful that Grammy thought of gifting Jacob and Natalie with a stocking stuffer of a Veggie Tales Devotional Book.
235. Thankful that every day since Christmas…..now almost 5 months later….the kiddos are just as eager to read their devotional as we tuck them into bed at night. Thankful for the diligence and eagerness they have in reading from the Bible each night and learning a lesson and saying a specific prayer.
236. Thankful that Natalie was appalled and in tears the other day when her two little friends suggested that she make up a story about why she had lost the bracelet Omie had made her. “They wanted me to lie Mama!!!!” She was sooooooo shocked and upset by the fact that these two friends suggested it!!!!! She was already upset about having lost the bracelet. But on top of that to hear of their suggestion was just too much for her sweet heart. “That would be so, so, so wrong Mama!!” Oh how thankful I am for that desire of hers to have truth rise up above all. So so thankful.
237. Thankful that Natalie and Jacob are learning how to pay attention to their bodies, their minds and their hearts. Thankful that they are beginning to understand that when they are hungry or low on energy, they need to address that need instead of getting irritable or letting their emotions snowballing into huge emotions. Thankful that they can express when they need space. Thankful that the other day when I began to share with them about the tornado that had passed through Oklahoma, that Natalie let me know it would be too much for her to know about. I had told them I had a video of a tornado- she asked to please not watch it. I wasn’t even going to show them the destruction- just the actual tornado spinning across the fields. But Natalie knew enough about herself- it would be too much for her heart. I’m glad she has that self-awareness and confidence to share that with me.