Phew, it has been ages since I posted anything!
Mainly, life has been full. Full of full.
But also, I think I tend to blog more about the challenges, the things I worked on and overcame. It's kind of boring to write about good news. Yeah, we work for our good news, but a lot of it is just who we got as kids.
But I do know that some of that easy-ish that we have now is payoff.
So, when I am laughing with Mr G at bedtime, and teasing him about something or other (maybe about growing a soul patch), and the banter gets around to 'But WHY would you want me to find you annoying, Mom?' it comes out that even if other kids relish complaining about their parents, he sees absolutely no reason to join in. I don't need to give him fodder for the teen angst, because he declines to need it. At least not yet. Because he thinks we're pretty darn fine parents.
And when Mr B is past the urg-I-don't-wanna boundary of changing from one task to another, he more and more often greets the new task with competence and clarity. We still have work to do on the transition skills, but boy does he have the concept of competency, will, and focus. Watching him ride, after nearly five years, is heart-bursting and humbling, because his dedication and love and will, even if not as speedy in development as other kids, is so steadfast. Feeding and tending that until it rooted in him to bedrock was all we did, it was him who grew. What used to be burning passion is now a steady glow of satisfaction. And while it was work to feed and tend that, not every child will grow it - it may not be their way, or it may just be not the right thing for them yet. It was luck that we found (and could feed) that which he could grow.
Miss R, now in school with her brothers (and sister), slowly bringing her ember burn to bear on new ways and things - which means she is rocketing in reading and writing, something she used to avoid. Once she fires up on something, it goes on a while. She's being a leader at school, and kind, and considerate to others. The skills we have worked on endlessly (and with great frustration at the apparent lack of success when it comes to her siblings - or us for that matter) have unfurled at school, the School Child version of her is Fantastic.
Miss M, likewise in school, fierce and sporty and always kind to others. Sporty was a surprise, a bit, though her determination to be friendly to everyone was not. She's become more thoughtfully protective of herself, choosing what she exposes of the things she cares about, keeping her passions out of the limelight where others might dim the shiny with a negative opinion. While I'm sad for the loss of her 'I don't care what YOU think, I like what I like' determination, I had been a little concerned that she lacked some social astuteness. No longer on that - she is balancing the load, allowing for the ways in which she is different without charging through everyone on that point (bringing her stuffed shark to school as her toy for her birthday week, and being happy to put up the photo of her at the shark tank in the aquarium, but not really talking about sharks all that much in social play, for example).
Ep is immensely patient, which means he hangs on by the tattered edge of frazzle many days, when I'd have been long gone into Yelly Mommy mode. I suck at being the dad, but he's fantastic at being the mom. Pretty fine man, that one. I have a coworker who has taken to calling him Prince Charming. As in, "You'd consider taking a job like that one, huh? How could you manage the commute? Oh, wait, you're married to Prince Charming." Periodically I get in the habit of not talking about Ep, because he is so far beyond what most husbands do. He truly husbands. I'm incredibly lucky.
And me, work is WOW busy, and AAAHHHH! crazy, and fascinating, and energizing, and I love the people I work with still. The tasks engage every place in my brain, scramble my resources (in the scrambling jets kind of way, not eggs), and get me going... far too much.
On top of that, I am now at the age that my peers are starting to 'die young' - so another mother is gone with a child and husband (plus family and friends aplenty) left behind. It is at this age that I think we start to feel 'only the good die young' - it is so incredibly wrong to have these people dying. Unfair. Their loss is not redeemable. And at the same time, the things I learn from what happens and who connects and how we carry on is illuminating. I have made some deeper connections through these losses, too.
All of the good stuff is payoff for the work we have already done, and all the challenges are just opportunities to work on something else, which will in turn have its own payoff. Or not, as I'm sure there are dozens of things I've worked on and forgotten about since. But enough payoff to feel like the work is really starting to be worth it.
Mr G has done his Coming of Age. He's taken on a service project at church of his own will and intention. He and his cousin took over Christmas decorating at my mom's. He is gaining about an inch a month in height. The growing is showing, now. Before it was all tending, and now - look. Look at what they're becoming! It's just awe-inspiring.
It also takes up a lot of time. That plus work (where I'm doing a fair bit of growing, myself).