I love my children. I loved them at first sight of those two little pink lines. And when they were born, I didn’t think I could possibly love them more. But I do. My love for them grows right along with them. The bigger they get, the more history we have, the deeper our relationship becomes. But all the while, physically, they’re moving away. They’ve gone from my womb to my breast, from my arms to my side, and as time moves on, from my home out into the world. I’ve known this is how it goes from the start, but I’ve never understood it like I do now, as Jack – my last baby – slips off my lap to run off and away. So I hold on.

“Oh! Oh, no! Where are you going?”

He gently pulls away and his arm slips slowly from my grasp.

“Jack! Jack!! Don’t go!” I plead.

He steps away and tosses a coy, over-the-shoulder glance my way.

“NO!”

He smiles slyly.

“Don’t go!”

And he pads away.

I am dejected, despondent, and forlorn.

He peeks from around the corner and is delighted.

“Oh, he’s gone!” I sob.

Suddenly, he bursts back into the room and runs at me with arms open. “Mama!” he sings.

I am jubilant! I scoop him up and hug him tight. “You’re back! Oh, you’re back! I’m so happy you’re back!”

He hugs me back. Then he giggles and begins to pull away and we do it all again. And again. Sometimes again and again. It’s good for at least three extra hugs.

Jack is my last baby. I’m taking all I can get.

Jack isn’t feeling well. He’s got a sore throat and a cough.

Jack has a sore throat and cough

At first glance, this picture doesn’t appear to demonstrate that. However, you should consider that this was happening next to him.

Painting her feet

Painting her hands

Painting "creeping steps"

Jump!

Jump painting!

And he didn’t want to participate.

But watching this kid –

Painted feet

– sure made him feel better.

There isn’t a bit of clothing on him that didn’t belong to someone else first – from his thrift store coat to his sister’s old pink boots.

Jack in the snow

He doesn’t seem to mind at all. (For now.)

Snow Day Rules

by Leslie

1. Sleep in.

Jack and Julia

2. Stay in your pajamas.

Sledding

3. Play in the snow.

Snow day!

(Under their snow clothes, they are still wearing pajamas.)

Snow Angel

4. Do whatever else you want, in your pajamas, of course.

Proud can stacker

We’d planned to do a melty crayon craft while Jack napped, Bee and I, but he never napped. I repeat, NEVER NAPPED. A not-napped Bub and hot wax is a recipe for disfigurement, so we decided we’d better do something else. Since a not-napped Bub is also an ornery, needful, and very particular sort of man, our aim was to use the craft to distract and delight him.

Behold, the cardboard box train.

Bee the Engineer in her train

The ingredients to make this cardboard box train include a cardboard box leftover from Christmas, duct tape, construction paper, more duct tape, a bit of rope, imagination, and oh, duct tape.

Bee and Chase in the train

Bee was excited to show it off for the camera, but also to play with Chase from Paw Patrol.

Bee plays with Chase in a train

Soon, she left the train behind.

Bee plays with Chase

Jack got in.

Jack the Engineer

This reminded Bee that she wanted to be in the train. So, we invited her to hop in a caboose made lovingly and with great haste and enthusiasm by Julia.

Jack the Engineer and Bee who would much rather be the engineer

This did not make her happy and she expressed it. Jack responded. Then the train went away for a while. But now it is back and loved supremely.

I have a few more cardboard boxes lying around. What should we make next?


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