Thank you for being good sports while we get all nostalgic over here. Only one more celebratory post to go, Emily’s, on this the last day of our Birthday Week celebration and then it’s back to business as usual!
About this same time last year, we wanted to venture up into the mountains to see the leaves changing, but somehow make it fun for the boys. We put together the Nature Hunt, where each Explorer could collect the images on the Nature Hunt printable and tape their findings to it. We all couldn’t stop laughing when Quinn ran up excitedly wondering where on the sheet he could tape the bone he found. Silliness aside, when I picture that afternoon, Hayes seemed so small at two and a half. He was shy and timid and needed me to walk with him to find each item. I watched the other boys running ahead, being guided by their own sense of adventure and I hoped for that for him one day. Looking back now, I can’t even pinpoint the moment where Hayes went from hiding behind my leg, to running, but he has. I really believe that creating these opportunities for him as helped feel more comfortable finding adventure in the world around him.
As the appointed writer here at Small Fry the task was given to me to come up with a purpose slash introduction slash welcome post for our first day up. Something that summed up all the conviction and emotion we all felt and still feel to this day, and convince you, the reader, that what we had to say was worth staying for. I sat down with some mood music (Sigur Ros if we’re being specific) The words and my tears were at a constant stream until I finally hit “publish.” I was so emotional thinking about my little family, the families of my friends, my most important role of being a mother. How much pride and heartache it brings, the constant urgency to be better or more deserving of these wonderful boys of mine, yet they wouldn’t change me for the world. Parenthood is a roller coaster, and I often look back to that post as an affirmation and a reminder to stay the course.
We’ve done a lot of collaborating this last year, and we’ve gotten some flack for it. I say some because it’s probably five comments out of thousands, but sometimes it’s hard to focus on the many when the few are disappointed. This was one of those posts where I found that awesome sweet spot, that moment where I was entirely present, and I looked in my boy’s eyes and he smiled up at me, having the time of his life. It was an opportunity that wouldn’t have been so wonderful if it wasn’t for a sponsor. It’s been an interesting year of learning, but that side of this venture has been a blessing, and I’m grateful for the awesome companies that have wanted to take a chance with us, because without them we wouldn’t be able to do Small Fry at all!
This photo is one that I hold so dear to my heart. Nicole has captured my boys in a way that I never could, and how lucky am I to have such a library of memories to look back on! The last thing I wanted to pinpoint from this year is the celebration of people, not just children, for who they are. Whether it’s a kid that loves vacuums, or a birth mother’s story of selflessness, I am so proud of the stories we’ve been able to share. I have learned to love and value people for their individuality, and in turn find myself encouraging my boys to be whoever it is they want to be, to be different, to blaze their own trail. To cheer them on in their quirks and craziness as much as I do everything else.”
Happy Birthday Small Fry!