Monday, December 19, 2011

the pendulum

There are times when my parenting seems to be on the upswing. Without much thought, each day flows relatively uninterrupted into the next.

Even on those upswing days, there are bumps along the way. Perhaps there is a grumpy mama rushing 3 boys to head out the door in time for school or name calling by one or all of my boys, which results in a flood of tears, apologies, and acceptances.

Those upswing days seem to offer a quick recovery from those slight mishaps and we move forward.

But then there are days when the parenting pendulum rebels. It no longer desires to reside in the upswing neighborhood. It hops in the car, switches to reverse, and drives until the sun seems to disappear and it arrives in the dark land of downswing. And in that seedy neighborhood it finds days that run into the next without much joy or appreciating. There is discontent, arguing, and regrets.

When the pendulum lands in the downswing hood, I muscle all the strength that I can find and I wrestle that swinging sucker down to the ground. There's nothing like trapping that dangerous rebel and halting it's harmful effects.

Such as when there are multiple days of stress in the casa de spencer.

Charlie seems particularly sensitive to the shift in the pendulum. He's my pendulum monitor. I read him and know which way it has swung. When he seems to slowly melt down and crumble, it is my duty to turn things around.

After I dropped all 3 boys off at school one particularly emotionally charged morning, I sent a text to Kevin.

"Taking Charlie on a date night tonight."

There's nothing like changing plans in order to be with a little that needs some extra love and time with mom.

I kept it a surprise despite his constant clue begging until we pulled into the bowling alley parking lot.

"Bowling! My favorite!" Charlie exclaimed.


We bowled and I secretly tried to take pics of him with my iPhone because I didn't want this to be about a photo opportunity.


I didn't want a single thing to distract from my attention on him; not even quality photos.



After our game, we headed to his favorite restaurant where he shared some kindergarten gossip and told me his made up version of knock-knock jokes. We even indulged in a warm brownie topped with vanilla ice cream. Date nights always call for dessert.


As we drove home in a quiet minivan, I felt triumphant. The pendulum was back in the upswing, as was my heart--where it belongs.

Much love,

Linking up with Jami today.


Lesley @ the floyd boys said...

So sweet! I can't wait to have little dates with my boys.

Laurie J said...

the pendulum swing--way to keep it in the upswing! i love how you are so in tune with your boys, katie. this encourages and challenges me, friend. keep it up! <3

Brooke said...

I LOVE this. You are such a good Momma ;D I think I need to take my kids on dates! (They would probably refuse to go, because it would mean taking away precious Daddy time, but I could try!!! A heavy dose of bribery might work.)

Sara @ Seeing Purple Stars said...

awesome, so sweet!! you're a good momma!! :)

Betsi* said...

Great parenting, friend. Way to listen to the Holy Spirit!

Brittany said...

Such cute pictures!

hannah singer said...

beautiful, katie. oh how wise you are. god is so good to nudge us toward these special, needed opportunities!

Digger said...

This is awesome!! I love this post soo much!! :) Thank you for sharing and giving a fresh look at parenting. I know I need it!! :) Thanks again!!


Mamasita said...

I am a sleek mini van driver as well :-) (that's what I refer to it as) also a teacher turned mama turned daycare provider and LOVING every minute of it!
So excited to have found your blog!
Can't wait to follow along!
Merry Christmas new friend,
Maggie :-)

Susan said...

This made me cry.
I'm a bit of an emotional mess these days. Oddly enough, I think it is an adjustment to mommying full time. How timely your post is friend!

carissa at lowercase letters said...

aww!!! love this. happy up-swing! this pendulum of parenting is so true. thank God for the up times to encourage us in the down times.

Michele said...

One-on-one time is so precious. Those moments are of such great value. I know it's got to be tough to maintain a balance. It's tough with two kiddos so I can only imagine throwing one more in the mix. Also, loved that you weren't worried about "quality photos" it was just about being in the moment. Glad you got some really cute ones with your iphone so you can remember it though!

theolivetree said...

awwwww what a great mama you are! Merry Christmas!

Lesley @ the floyd boys said...

oh! and I meant to ask you, would you want to swap buttons with me?

Rebecca @ heartland farmhouse said...

Merry Christmas Lady!

Laurie J said...

merry CHRISTmas! <3 <3 <3