don't cover yourself with thistle and weeds

It is the end of September and the promise of fall is slowly beginning to show itself. Lately I believe I can truly feel some mild breeze in the air, like a welcomed break from the constant, nagging humidity that delves deep into your lungs. We're approaching the days of pumpkin patches and fall festivals and all those things that seem increasingly magical each year that passes. Last year was Ethan's first experience being propped up amongst pumpkins, silly hats adorning his head and even sillier booties shoved onto his feet. Last year I'd swear that nothing could top the magic of seeing my child dressed up for Halloween but this year I'm swearing the same because in motherhood, everything is always new and incredible. For that, I am thankful.

The end of September means more in our family than pumpkin lattes and the smell of nutmeg and cinnamon. It means it's time for my husband to work late, insane hours in which some days Ethan doesn't get to see him at all. These days are hard for all of us and leave me with some lost feeling in my gut and a tinge of guilt because I'm supposed to know how to fix this situation for all involved. I'm supposed to know how to keep Ethan's mind so occupied that he never once inquires where his father is and I'm supposed to know how to make my husband feel at ease with his sudden absence around our house. Not only do I not know how to do any of these things, but I really don't know how to do any of these things. I walk around feeling like I'm stumbling through a daily routine when I thought I had all the moves down pat. It's funny, really, because I'm finding it's only my husband and I who are lost in this tangled, confusing dance of work schedules and busy times and creating guilt where it doesn't otherwise exist. This feisty little toddler of mine? He keeps me on my toes. No two days are like the other and, well, he gives me the confidence that we'll get through these next couple of weeks together. Maybe not without tears, but not without laughter, either.

This morning we ran out of diapers. It was as a result of one of the inevitable miscommunications that happens when you barely see your significant other and when you do, you're both deliriously exhausted. It was 9:30 this morning and I found myself at home with a stark naked baby and no diapers. Ethan played on our driveway, completely naked, while I dug through my car and found a swim diaper. Ethan peed all over the driveway, watching the liquid run through the cracks in the pavers. He giggled. I was ready to bawl my eyes out. With his swim diaper on underneath his shorts, we set off to Whole Foods in pursuit of more diapers. That's when the entire tone of the day turned from disastrous to wonderful, thanks to my beautiful boy's smile as he pushed his cart at lightning speed up and down the aisles, crashing into other shoppers who couldn't help but belly laugh at the adorable little shopper navigating his way through the store. He was given an oatmeal cookie and a sheet of stickers but neither could captivate him quite like doing his own grocery shopping did. We got the diapers and, relieved, I let myself browse a little too long at other items on the shelf. Ethan took note and decided to stock up the cart with coconut water -- his favorite -- after noticing it on a cardboard display. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard.

And while I haven't quite mastered how to occupy Ethan's inquisitive mind enough so that he does not point up at photographs of my husband and ask for his daddy nightly, I've learned to instead use those times as an opportunity to celebrate the father that my husband is. We look at pictures, we listen to the music he likes...and we make a lot of surprises.

From cookies waiting for daddy on the counter when he comes home from work after a long day and night at work, baked with love by Ethan (and with the, um, help of Immaculate Baking Company) to special notes tucked away inside of daddy's lunch bag for him to stumble upon the next afternoon, we're trying to master the element of surprise to bring a little joy to the day of a man who brings so much joy to our lives. Sometimes, I'm learning, all you can do is just know that disasters will happen but love and laughter are the easiest ways to clean the mess up.


  1. The post is amazing. From the photos of the little guy mastering the shopping cart pushing, to the bits of love tucked away for Daddy. Thanks for sharing - Monica

  2. Very touching and beautiful post. Your husband is very lucky to have both you and Ethan in his life. Nice writing! Newest GFC follower from the WED blog hop. Would love it if you could visit my humorous blog site and follow back--I would be super grateful if you could. Thanks for sharing! http://Menopausalmother.blogspot.com

  3. Such cute pics! Sorry to hear about your husband's hectic schedule coming up, but the notes and cookies are so sweet!

  4. Oh how sweet! I always love store that have the little carts for kids. I am sure he loved it!

  5. You are one strong and amazing momma and wife! Looking forward to following your blog. Thanks so much for linkin up with me! Hope to see you this Sunday again :)


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