Momma's Gone City

Thursday nights are a little hectic on the home front. By the time the end of the week approaches we’re all fairly exhausted, so I tend to make an easy dinner or order take-out and we buckle down to make sure Zoe’s homework is completed. Zoe is very energetic, artistic, full of life and creativity, but this child does not dig homework. It’s sent me to the drawing board many times to figure out what will motivate her to get interested in completing her various pages of required school work at home.

The differences between my children probably won’t ever cease to amaze me. When it comes to their personalities and preferences, Jack and Zoe couldn’t be more different. While Jack is reserved, often shy and thoughtful, Zoe is much more like me-she is inspired and motivated by impulses and surroundings. Her mind is constantly untethered. While these differences tend to complicate their relationship, in one way they are very complimentary, especially when it comes to school. Jack is eager to learn, he is organized, thorough and incredibly meticulous. He wants to excel and goes to great lengths to meet his goals and welcomes challenges with fervor. He is eager to help Zoe and motivate her to complete her homework, and we both really appreciate his companionship and help when it comes to spelling words and arithmetic. Otherwise, it’s been my main focus to find things to entice her to want to sit down and work, and with Zoe that often means fun supplies to work with.

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This is what Zoe would do all day every day, if she could.

Zoe got a new bedroom design late last year, and as a part of that I made sure she’d have a desk that she could work at, and a place to put all of her various school and art supplies. Yoobi is a school supply brand that we’ve piled high in Zoe’s arsenal. Not only do they make vibrant, cool products and have a long list of items, they also work within the buy one, give one model. For every Yoobi item purchased, Yoobi donates a Yoobi item to a classroom in need, right here in the U.S. Together with the Kids In Need Foundation and its affiliate network of resource centers, Yoobi aims to impact more than 30,000 classrooms nationwide by the end of the school year, changing the lives of over 750,000 kids. I’ve used this as a segue to a conversation with Zoe about how fortunate she is to get to go to school at all, and how we all think it’s incredibly important to give back to others. Instilling values is something that happens beyond a conversation, but approaching the topic at all is the first step. A conversation piece, so to speak.

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With these supplies, Zoe immediately began organizing. She put her favorites from the collection, the Color Your World pencils in the drawer, the Stick To it tape on the shelf, and the Luck Of The Draw crayons in a little jar that sits on top of her desk next to a picture from school. I know with her beautiful Virgo soul, being sorted and organized is a big part of her process, and I think that the bright colors really motivated her to get started. While the homework task seems to be an overall hiccup in our weekly routine, I can tell that she is drawn to her own creative, quiet space and outlet with the new fun supplies. She eagerly built a zoo with hand-drawn animals, but that math sheet is still waiting for her completion.

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I’m much more inclined to purchase a product that has an overall mission to help those in need, and with Yoobi it was a win/win. Learning about what makes my children tick and how to manage it effectively is one step in the parenting process that I hadn’t anticipated being so challenging, but it’s a delightful challenge and one that I’m happy to accept.

Thank you to Yoobi for sponsoring this post, and thank you for reading!

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Becoming a parent to older children seemed to happen over night. One day, Jack and Zoe were small and the next they were grown. It’s like the newborn phase all over again with that glowy haze of uncertainty and moments stockpiled with new discoveries, reaching and moving and learning together.

Navigating childhood with Jack has been a journey that’s left me a bit bleary. The challenges and triumphs we’ve faced and overcome together from the very beginning are the essence of life; gritty and yet matched with the unrelenting peace that comes with lessons learned, absorbed.  He possesses a quiet wisdom that he’s earned, and he is far beyond his years.

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My first baby, he has paved the way for his brother and sisters better than I could have ever hoped for them, or for me.

Birthdays are a big deal for Jack. In the weeks surrounding January 24th, he is excited and emotional and full of anticipation.  Beautifully exhausting. He requested that Hannah, his first real friend since he was just a baby, be at his laser tag party with the 8 other boys he invited. She came, just as she always does, to support him. He received a birthday text message from his best friend from Kindergarten in New York City, another little girl that he built the most special bond with. Both relationships have withstood the test of time and distance, regardless of their age and gender. They are thick as thieves and I sense they always will be.

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At home Beau and Zoe rally around him. They regard him as the leader of their pack, their guide, their friend. The one that will steer the sibling ship while making fart jokes.

He’s fiercely competitive, incredibly thoughtful, compassionate and sensitive so much so that it threatens to deter him.

I’m not quite sure what the next chapter holds now that we’re officially big kids, and as much as it aches to see him getting so big, it’s exciting and amazing watching him getting more and more comfortable in his skin. His growing confidence is my soul food.

Parenthood is ever evolving.

I’m standing in the center of what feels like a merry-go-round. I am a solid, steady source, the anchor around which they are circulating, the highs, lows, and the blur of movement in between.

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He’s eight now, he is my everything and I have loved (almost) every minute of this journey.

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