Four Seasons, One Rooftop

Beau and I fell asleep together last night with tear stained, salty cheeks.

Earlier in the evening, Justin and I had made a nice meal together. He roasted a tenderloin on the BBQ and I made fingerling potatoes and steamed green beans that had been trimmed by my middles, Zoe and Beau. The Giants are in the World Series again, so the game was on in the living room. It’s exciting rooting on Justin’s longtime favorite baseball team, the vibe in our home was energetic while the hum of the the announcers played on in the background.

Sports bring such a welcome sense of levity to the atmosphere, and I have been relishing it lately.

By all accounts it was a really nice evening up until dinner time, both of us were even about to remark on it when we sat down. Evvie was exhausted and hungry, wavering between fits of crying and nursing while I tried to snag bites of my food. Beau launched into his normal dinner routine which consists of yelling, pounding the tables and jumping on the couch. He’s well aware of our rules, and he knows how to test us consistently and forcefully. And, lately, routinely.


We took turns addressing his behavior and in the end we both failed. Beau is incredibly strong willed; his tempers are hot and his emotions are always flared. He’s pushed me to my limit more than once and in different ways than either Jack or Zoe ever did. Beau is teaching me things about my own character that I never thought I needed to learn.

We lost our tempers and Beau and I both ended up in bed without dinner. We made a truce in the end, that he would try to listen when we asked and that I would try not to yell when he didn’t. We said we were sorry. We said we loved each other. He whispered “best buddies” to me before his long lashes closed for a long, deep sleep. I vowed to try harder for him, for all of us.

I woke up in time to feed Evvie and tuck the big kids into bed, and stayed up late enough to make sure that the tooth fairy visited Jack. I dug out the porcelain box from it’s hiding place in my dresser that holds his four other teeth and a lock of blonde hair from Beau’s first hair cut. A testament to my motherhood, perhaps.


The sun rose this morning and brought a fresh new day, smiles from everyone and a bounty for Jack. Evangeline is getting big enough for her own bed, so Justin put together her new crib while I sorted out the clothes that no longer fit her nearly two month old body. Fresh tears came when I started stacking the tiny onesies and gowns, realizing it was time to pass them along as we wouldn’t have any more new babies in our home.


Four children means there isn’t one season playing in our lives, there’s four different ones at once hovering around making space in our lives under one medium sized rooftop. I’m not Horae, though. I want to live and breathe each one of their seasons right along with them so that they never feel alone, but I can’t. Or at least, I haven’t been able to just yet.


They have each other though, and there is something about riding these waves through storms and sunshine with a companion and life is that much richer.

First photo by Ana Photography NYC

Join the Conversation


  • Just breathe…..these moments will pass (and new ones will happen) and the flow of parenting will keep washing over you….and as mothers we remember the pain that both we and our children feel at times of angst. In talking and remembering the past with my adult children, I find I felt the pain much deeper and much longer than they did! You are doing just fine!

  • I so appreciate your honesty….to know that as mothers we are all fighting the same battles. It is so easy to read blogs and “see” how perfect the lives of others are and to feel like what am I doing wrong? I know these posts can’t be fun to write so from one momma to another I just wanted to say thank you for letting mommas like me know we are not alone. No one is ever joking when they say being a parent is the hardest job in the world but we know at the end of the day it is all worth it.

  • I have a one month old and my almost four year old is acting almost the same way. You described a lot of meals (ahem, or entire days) at our house exactly. It’s refreshing to see that it’s not just us because I often blame myself when things get tough and most people only want to show the happy side of everything. Thanks for your honesty.

  • I just want to say that I really really really appreciate you writing about the hard parts. I only have two kids but it’s been difficult adjustment and it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one whose ol kids don’t always listen or do what I wish for them to do.

  • Thank you for letting us in on your happy, sad, and stressful moments. The last picture on this post is so beautiful, it looks like Beau and baby Evvie are planning to get in trouble together. Again, thank you for sharing with all of us.

  • I’m blubbering my way through this blog entry… as always, the way you journal your heart makes me weep, and then laugh, and then tear up again when you describe Beau’s trying so hard to figure it out. I love your descriptions of your parenting as he tests the boundaries (which he actually love/hates), begging for your attention/approval/love while pushing back the whole time. You could see this strength of will and independence even as a he was a toddler running around NYC! Thank you…. and now I’ll get out the tissues.

  • Love and appreciate the rawness in your writing as of late!!

  • My heart hurts for you and for Beau. Even though this too shall pass, right now it must be pretty darned trying for all of you. I appreciate so much the window into your lives. Please know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of many.

  • 2- 3-yrs were tough for my Strong Willed Son… he still has times when he doesn’t have his listening ears on… we all struggle and with the added dynamics of 4 siblings means that the baby who isn’t the baby anymore is pushing to see what his role is…. tears will come and although you haven’t experienced with your older ones- just understand that pushing and pulling on both sides of the child and the parent happens… we – NONE of us are perfect not you, me or our children- we will have disagreements @ times because of human nature…. breath as another reader said and remember that it will happen… the best laid dinner plans where everyone is grooving and listening and having fun can deteriorate in a nano-second – yikes! and last night won’t be the last time… but, you solider on and hope that something sticks and the next time your son will listen better. πŸ™‚

  • I want to respond individually, but I just want to tell you how much it means to me that you’ve responded to this! I’m so glad that it’s resonating with you… It’s much easier to take on when you know you aren’t alone. Motherhood is wild.

  • My husband and I struggled with how to discipline the kids so we actually took the Boystown Parenting Class twice. The class focuses on the concept of consequences: good behavior = positive and bad behavior = negative consequences. We followed the system religiously and it worked well…until… my 4 year old daughter started using it on us. She would say, I can see that you’re not listening to me and because you’re not listening, you will have to have a consequence. Overall, I think one of the best ways we wrapped up those out of control moments was by apologizing to the kids, asking their forgiveness and reminding them that we’re human. It opened the door to acceptance and discussion during the teenage years.

  • I really respect and admire your honesty in this post. I have five children and thought I knew a whole bunch until my rowdy sprout number four came. Piper has made me learn new ways of parenting because what worked with the three before her does not work at all and mostly back fires with her. I have learned to turn a lot of things into games and give her lots of jobs to do and keep her super busy. It is hard having to curve myself and change my style of parenting to suit one childs needs but it works for us…the temper fits have all but said goodbye and I have learned so much about this child by just listening to her and not my own voice. You will find your groove too, and it will all fall into place.

  • I have been loving these recent posts. I’m sorry you have been having a hard time in certain areas, but I appreciate the honesty and voice of your work. It’s all good to know we aren’t alone. Motherhood can be so isolating. Praying your issues work themselves out soon.

  • Second time i’ve gone back to read this post. Going through almost identical evenings in our home in the recent past it helps me to read this and want to thank you for writing it. Definitely makes you feel less alone with all the craziness that comes with raising littles. Congrats on the newest baby, she’s perfect! I wish i was brave enough to go there πŸ™‚

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