The World on Your Shoulders

It’s nearing 8:30p in our house, signaling the beginning of “Adult Time.” The kids are in bed, sleeping soundly. The chores of the day are (somewhat) finished. The pets have been fed, and are now lounging lazily about the house. In another half hour, my TV will be filled with zombies and my glass with Shiraz. It’s a beautiful Sunday night.

Tonight, like most nights, we started our bath and bedtime routing around 7:30p. I bathe Grant while Evan bathes Miles; I sing Grant to sleep, then I read Miles his 487 library books and we snuggle, and it’s lights out. The routine rarely changes; but tonight, while the routine remained the same, something in me changed.

As I sang, I gave Grant his last bottle of the day (ha – until 2am, anyway). He dozed off, and I put him over my shoulder, trying with futility to draw out one last burp. But, once sleeping, Grant is content to do nothing else. And so I sat, and I rocked in the still, quiet nursery, with Grant on my shoulder. It was then that I felt it.

I noticed the weight. His weight. The weight of my child on my shoulder. The familiar old adage of, “Carrying the weight on his shoulders…” referencing Atlas, crossed my mind.

So this is what it feels like.

My child, my world, on my shoulder. I sat and felt his body rise and fall with each breath. I listened closely to his baby noises of sleep: the grunts, snuffles and sighs. I felt his small hands perched on my chest and arm, holding on to his mama. I smelled his head, and that sweet, baby scent filled my lungs. In the still, quiet nursery, I felt my heart near to bursting with the overwhelming love that I carry for this tiny, tiny person.

Yes, this is what it feels like.

In those moments I could remember, experience and foresee a lifetime of worlds on my shoulder. It doesn’t seem so long ago that it was Miles perched on my shoulder, sighing a sleepy breath into my neck, drifting off into dreams. I can still feel the warmth of his precious body, although it’s been months since he has fallen asleep on mama. For you see, my baby is a big boy now…and it happened in the blink of an eye.

Although it was only minutes, it felt like hours, Grant snuggled up to me. But soon enough, Miles was ready for his PJs and story time and just like that, Grant was slipped into his safe, warm crib, and I was off to mama my first baby.

Snuggled up to Miles, reading our books, he sighed next to me on the pillow. We’d had a very busy and very fun day at church, and with our friends and family. Lots of running and playing and yelling and kicking the soccer ball into our goal. You know, big kid stuff. I could see the joyful exhaustion on Miles’ face as he climbed into bed. And now, sighing next to me, I could feel his sleepy body against mine. As we started the fourth book, he rested his head on my shoulder, and just like that it was there again: the world. My world.

These very young years truly do slip by in an instant. Life marches on, and days can be busy and hectic. But I have learned that no matter the day, I must must must stop and savor every single moment.

Earlier this week, we’d had a run of early evening rainstorms. Grant was already asleep, and Evan was giving Miles his bath while I stood at the sink, washing our dinner dishes. The teeniest, tiniest of frogs jumped onto the outside of the kitchen window. As soon as I noticed the frog, all I could think of was how much Miles would love to see this. And without a second thought, I went into the bathroom and scooped him up in a towel, mid-bath, so he could see this tiny wonder on our window. We stood at the kitchen sink, just the three of us, and Miles stared in pure fascination. We talked about where the frog might live, what his little frog house could look like, what he may have eaten for dinner, all while the shampoo bubbles dripped onto my kitchen floor. The floor, the dishes, those things didn’t matter in that moment; what I cared most about was watching my son discover this tiny frog, and it was worth every single second.

When I’m rocking Grant in the wee, small hours of the morning, I know how brief this time is. I know that soon he’ll be rolling over, crawling, walking, running, and talking up a storm. In those middle-of-the-night times, I may be tired, but I am so incredibly thankful for the joy and privilege to be mama to these two boys, and to sit there with my tiniest one, perched on my shoulder.

Each age brings new adventures and discoveries; each age is incredibly fun, and challenging, all at the same time. As Miles has grown older, I’ve said, “18 months is my favorite age…” then “two years old is my favorite age…” followed by “2 ½ is my favorite age!” You get the idea. I have realized they are all my favorite because we are so fully in the moment at each age, we unquestionably experience them as the best possible age, ever. A head on my shoulder from a sleeping infant, or during story time with my toddler, will turn into a head on my shoulder during a dance at his wedding. As much as I beg time to just slow down, I also remind myself that my boys will be just that – my boys – forever. We will have our “world on my shoulder” moments at every age. And while the thought of these young days passing does make me sad, I am filled with excitement and encouragement for what our future holds, too.

To know the weight of this love for my boys, my world, is unexplainable. There is no other love like it, although it does give me the tiniest of hints as to how God loves us. He does a pretty good job of carrying us on His shoulder, too.

The boys will get bigger, yet my shoulder still carries them – my world – on it.  Always.

Mom Confessions

Another installment of Mom Confessions, because I’m tired and too lazy to finish composing anything else.  Enjoy.

This week I…

  1. Ate a pepperoni pizza Lean Pocket for dinner at 9:30pm.  AND I ENJOYED IT.
  2. Wore maternity pants to work.  Skinny cords on bottom, yoga band on top…it’s the mullet of fashion choices but OHMYGOSHSOCOMFORTABLE.
  3. Started a half dozen blog posts, and have finished none.  Because when it comes to finishing a post or taking a nap…well, naps win every time.
  4. Started a sentence with, “Miles, please don’t ride the…” many, many, MANY times.  The cat is not amused, and the laundry basked is now hidden in the garage.
  5. Contemplated how much cat food a toddler can safely eat.
  6. Wondered “What’s that sticky spot?” at least three times a day.  Answer: oatmeal, yogurt, honey, jelly, crushed Cheerios, milk, peanut butter, more jelly, more yogurt, and what I believe is banana smeared with Nutella then rolled in rubber cement and applied liberally to the sliding glass door.  Just a guess.
  7. Made BLTs for dinner after a very long work day, then instantly felt mom guilt for not cooking something more nutritious, and then craved another Lean Pocket at 9:30pm.
  9. Secretly smiled when Miles got upset as I left for rehearsal on Tuesday night.  The kid misses me when I’m gone.
  10. Covered broccoli with spaghetti sauce to make it more appealing (FYI: toddlers are super smart, and are not easily fooled).  Am I the only person who loves broccoli?
  11. Set up the water table in our kitchen on a desperately stir crazy and rainy Saturday afternoon.  Bonus: THE FLOOR IS MOPPED!
  12. Found four balls, one train and a book in the refrigerator’s produce drawer.  Was not surprised.
  13. Found my car keys in the back of a toy dump truck.  Still not surprised.
  14. Found my husband’s dirty socks in the laundry basket.  Was VERY surprised.

It’s Winesday (not that we needed a reason…) which means we’re halfway to the weekend.



Additional Confession: Tried to find something funny about Hot Pockets, spent 20 minutes scrolling through Google images, and 5 minutes laughing at this.  Who knew Hot Pockets were that funny?

Additional Confession: Tried to find something funny about Hot Pockets, spent 20 minutes scrolling through Google images, and 5 minutes laughing at this. Who knew Hot Pockets were that funny?

Sunday Mom Confessions

This weekend I…

  1. Hid in the kitchen to eat Easter candy.  Twice.
  2. Let Miles play with the drawer full of (sealed) Scentsy bars in the kitchen so I could finish eating a piece of bread with peanut butter on it (moms of toddlers, you know how it is).  He promptly closed the drawer on all eight of his fingers (not his two thumbs).  And I didn’t get to finish my half a peanut butter sandwich.
  3. Also let Miles unroll an entire roll of paper towels all around the dining room, so I could finish my coffee while it was still hot.
  4. Watched my son eat food off the floor that he refused to eat while sitting in his highchair.  Does it taste better off the floor?
  5. Let the cat clean up the spilled milk in the dining room.  More than twice.
  6. Took the highchair outside and hosed it off in the driveway, instead of wiping up the mess.  Work smarter, not harder.
  7. At Rainbow Sherbet for lunch on Saturday.  At 2:30p.
  8. Did not shower for two days, and the only reason I showered today was for church (although Jesus doesn’t care if my hair has oatmeal in it, I’m sure).  There are many, may things I can accomplish in my son’s three hour nap, but showering did not make the list this weekend.

It’s been a heck of a week around here.  Sometimes, you just have to embrace the chaos…because even in the midst of “how did that get on the ceiling?” it’s still sunshine and rainbows and love and magic.  Chaos is still the best thing going.

Amid the chaos, we also taught Miles how to give kisses on the lips – he does it with a great, big, open and drooly mouth, and it is adorable.  He also learned where his nose is, and can even show it to you without picking it!  He has learned new words like: ball, thank you, yo-yo, kitty and tree (so at some point he’s going to intentionally call me mama, right?!)  And since taking his first good steps two weeks ago, he’s now practically running laps around the dining room table, with me following closely behind saying things like “Please don’t eat that!” and “YOU MUST WEAR PANTS!”

Tomorrow is Monday, which means in one more week, our best boy will be one year old.  Weekends and first years pass by much too quickly.

Enjoy each moment,


Monday Miles: Parent Driver Training

Oh, hey there…it’s me, cutest baby in the history of time and space, bringing you another edition of Monday Miles.  Today I’d like to discuss some important ways to test the driving skills of the person responsible for your transportation.  In my case, that’s primarily my mom.  She gets me to and from school every day, to Target on Fridays, and to Publix on Saturdays.  I need my mom to be at the top of her game when it comes to navigate the great metropolis of Cape Coral, so I’ve developed a series of tests.

Want to play a game involving six lanes of traffic and a toddler?

Want to play a game involving six lanes of traffic and a toddler?

Hand-Eye Coordination…When navigating busy streets, it’s important that your hand-eye coordination is at its best.  This will ensure you are able to politely wave drivers on at a four way stop, and tell other drivers who run red lights that they are, “NUMBER ONE!” (that’s what my mom says, anyway)  To keep mom in top form, I like to throw random objects at the back of her head while the car is moving.  Toys, my blankie, an empty water bottle she gave me to keep me quiet (LOLOLOL) my shoes, you name it…to the front seat it goes!  Keeps her reflexes sharp and her ninja skills at their best.

Focus Focus Focus…You must always pay attention to the road and other drivers, no matter the distraction.  The best way to test my mom’s ability to focus and avoid distraction is to yell, generally for no reason, for fifteen blocks.  Sometimes it’s a happy yell, and sometimes if I really want to give her the essay portion of the test, it’s a hungry yell.  Today, she successfully maintained her concentration by cranking up Guns ‘n Roses.  I then successfully matched Axl octave for octave.  WE ROCKED.

Welcome to rush hour, baby.

Welcome to rush hour, baby.

Multi-Tasking…Sometimes a driver needs to be able to multi-task, like reading street signs and using a turn signal at the same time, or reaching aimlessly around the backseat floorboard to find whatever it is I dropped that I suddenly need RIGHTNOWRIGHTNOWRIGHTNOWOHMYGOSHWHEREISMYTHINGGIVEITTOMENOOOOOOWWWW!!!!

The Boy Scout Rule…Always be prepared, right?  Cheerios in the glove compartment, sippy cups in the diaper bag, blankies in the center console, extra toys shoved under the seats.  This keeps you prepared to answer my demands of I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, I’m bored, I CAN’T SEE YOUR FACE, MOM, can we play peek-a-boo while you’re driving?  Also good for all boy scouts: a roll of paper towels in the backseat which I found on my way home today and OHMYGOSH it was awesome.  Good luck multi-tasking after that toy, lady.

Hide and Seek…Or better yet, ESP.  I dropped something in the backseat.  I need it.  You don’t know what it is because we’re on I75 and you are ignoring me.  You must sense the item, locate the item and return it to my possession.  Hint: It’s probably something I was eating that I shouldn’t be.  Also, spoiler alert: I ate more than you realize.

My mom tells me that she is a super awesome fantastic driver, that “Ten and Two is the Thing to Do!” and that it’s totally okay to drive five miles under the speed limit.  I just like to throw in these additional games to make sure she’s bringing her A game to rush hour traffic.



Honk honk,