This morning started off as usual or at least our "new usual" Sunday. A.J. and I were the first ones up. I rushed to get Jimmy who was still in a near comatose sleep state ready for his wrestling meet and sent the two of them out the door. My idea to jump back in bed for just a bit more sleep was interrupted by bedhead Bart who toddled out and climbed on the living room couch as he ordered me to put "Mickey" on the t.v. and bring him his milk. At two he is quite the dictator. I grab a giant mug of coffee and my iphone and join him on the couch to scroll through facebook, wtop, and msn. Despite his bossy little ways, I love my quiet morning snuggles with my Bartman before the rest of them(dog included) wake up. Inevitably, I enjoy my coffee and couch time too long and freak out as I race to wake Josie and Sawyer to get them all ready so we make it on time to see Jimmy's first match. Once in the car, backing out of our VERY long driveway, I paid too much attention to the deer tracks through the snow in our yard and just as I pointed them out to the kids, I realized I had nearly taken down the mailbox and had taken down the security system sign. "Nearly" taken down equals scraped a few large gashes into the side of my car. Once I saw that the mailbox was still standing, I broke quickly, kicked the car into drive, moved up a few feet, then reversed as I slyly made sure none of the neighbors were out witnessing my idiocy.
Off to testosterone-ville aka the wrestling meet. If you've never been to a wrestling meet in our area, imagine wall to wall wrestling matts covering the entire basketball court of a high school gym with a small pathway surrounding them in front of the bleachers. There is not one, not two or even four matches going on at once- there are TWELVE matches. Then there are the wrestling parents- some of the best people-watching I have ever done in my life. During most of the meet people stay parked on the bleachers until it is getting close to their sons' matches. Then they line up on the side of the matts, iphones, ipads, smartphones in the air recording their little men's moments of glory. Each week, A.J. essentially acts as Jimmy's "Paulie"(think Rocky) while I park myself and the three kids in the midst of the overcrowded bleachers and watch as they manage to take over any amount of space around us with their superhero figurines and crumbs of snacks. I've learned to take turns with Josie being down on the direct sidelines while Jimmy has his matches because dragging Sawyer and Bart over multiple people's belongings and coolers and waterbottles to get down for a minute and a half match always proves disastrous. So today I made it down to watch Jimmy's third match. I am positive that the parents of 'the mullet' as I dubbed Jimmy's opponent will not enjoy my screaming "Take him down, Jimmy!!" into their iphone as they recorded the match. Oh well...No one is as passionate about your own kids as you are and if they are more passionate than you, you're not yelling loudly enough.
Our new usual also includes dividing and conquering mass. Thus, after the meet, A.J. went to mass, and I decided to take all the boys with me to get Josie's ears pierced for her 8th birthday. Yes, you read that correctly. Yes, I was sober when I made that decision. Off to Claire's we headed. Except that the piercer doesn't get to Claire's until 2pm on Sundays so the kind woman there sent us up to the Icing which for all you people is like Claire's for grownups. And my happiness that there was no line at Claire's quickly turned to frantic prayers as I realized that there were two people ahead of us- a baby and some guy with his very pregnant wife. We survived and no one accidentally "borrowed" any jewelry from the store. But I was definitely at that panic point of clucking out various commands one after another to each boy to please "sit criss-cross applesauce right here, Sawyer! Don't sprawl out across the floor into the mall", "Jimmy, please get out of the stroller so I can lock Bart back in his seat before he knocks over this entire display!", "Bart- where is Bart?". Another woman who was now waiting behind us with her two kids was super friendly and shared the mommy of three or more pleasantries of always feeling like she was a three ring circus when she took her kids out which was why she left one at home. I smiled in agreement as I prayed we could just get on with things. Hurry that purple marker along, ear piercing lady! Sure they look as even as they're going to! And then, in all this chaos, my little lady, my blue-eyed Monkey, sat up on the stool looking so proud of herself and self-assured. All I could think was how is she turning 8 tomorrow??? The woman pierced her ears and Josie was so still I told her to take a deep breath because I was worried she was holding her breath. She walked out of that store, head held like a little diva as the boys fought over who got to push the elevator button on the way to the candy store(bribery for being good or not while Josie had her ears pierced).
I gave up on bringing the stroller in with us to the candy store and pretty much forced the children to choose the first candy they picked up. In line, I hear someone say "Hi Cami" and look in front of me to see a good friend from grade school with her hubby and kids. It was so good to see her, but I always feel like such a bumbling fool as I try to have the quickest catch up conversation of my life, wanting to really catch up and hear about her, while trying to multi-task and make sure all four kids are accounted for and no one has left the store or run back over to the stacks of candy and tried to take anything else. I try to come off as a "breezy Monica"(a la "Friends"). I'm sure I look like some loon with wild eyes and hair out of place and beads of sweat forming as I try to focus on way too many things at once. We hug goodbye and I feel happy thinking of my past and watching as my present and future trot along through the department store eying the mannequins and sheepishly looking back at me.
All these insignificant details stick in my head and I hope I can hold on to at least half of them so I can look back and tell Bart how sweet he looked snuggling next to me on the couch and Jimmy how well he did in his wrestling matches. Or to be able to tell Sawyer that just when I was ready to freak out while we waited with Josie to get her ears pierced, he made me laugh as he held up a bedazzled cell phone case and pretended he was talking on the phone. And to tell my sweet Josie that as she sat there getting her ears pierced, my eyes welled up as I thought back to being surrounded by my and A.J.'s families as I held her on the hospital bed when she was less than an hour old.