Good Company

By Natalie

imageI must tell you that these three vivacious little boys have increased my stamina this summer. Solely throughout the day. Then I get home, and pass out on my dinner plate, but I stress to you that it’s the best sort of exaustion.

We discovered this awesome little outdoor play area near Southpark Mall’s food court. When I saw that it had those blue sail like shade panels I knew we’d have to check it out, cause this summer’s sun has been no joke. The boys have been retreating to the small shaded spots of the playgrounds, Unwilling to play due to the extreme heat.

At the parks moms, and grandmas have been sneaking glances over at me, and playfully stating, “So, three boys…”

And I’ll respond, “Yep, they’re wonderful little balls of energy. But the real hero is their mom. I’m just the nanny.”

Then the women become even more curious, by my care, and affection for these kiddos. imageI’ve started to notice some similarities between the boys, like the fact that after I set their lunch plates down, and before I can manage to get a bite of my own lunch, all three have scarfed everything down, and are asking for more. Those boys can eat! And all I can do is pray over the fridge in that kitchen, for the food to stretch, and multiply. There’s just no other way around keeping up with it.

imageLook at that handsome kid!!! He just turned ONE. Can you believe it!? He’s been walking all over the place, and loving to explore on those feet.


In efforts to beat this summer’s humidity we’ve been swimming at the neighborhood pool nearly every day!! By doing so the boys and I are happily avoiding laying limp on the sidewalk like a plate of cooked spinach.

imageOne day on our walk back to the house from the pool there were these neighborhood kids who had set up a lemonade stand on the sidewalk. Lost in the bliss of summer leisure Caleb and I found ourselves unable to resist a dollar a cup lemonade, from a genuine kid run lemonade stand. So we strolled back to the house, raced down the driveway, grabbed four quarters, and headed back up toward the stand.

All the way I was quizzing Caleb on how many quarters were in a dollar. He’d slow his skipping down the street to peak into his fistful of change, and respond FOUR!!

Check. Out. That. Grin. ↓ You just can’t put a price on it.

imageWe also discovered this fabulous little splashground just around the corner, where we sat for lunch, and stayed for play.

imageThough these brothers share some strikingly similar qualities, they remind me daily that they’re each their own little man.


constantly surprises me with his knowledge. I’ve loved getting to know him better on his summer break. There was a day this summer when Grant wasn’t feeling so hot, and got sick in his carseat on our way to camp. I decided to pull over into the library after hearing Ry say “Eww, nas-tyyy, nas-tyy!” Caleb, worried about Grant’s inability to keep his breakfast down, was not so sure what to do. He was confused and sensed a change in schedule, his sweet little mind allowing a bit of anxiety to wash over him.

I looked back at him and I said calmly, “Caleb, I’m going to pull over. Grantsy doesn’t feel well, so I’m going to stop, and clean him up super fast, and then I’m going to drop you and Ryder off at camp! And you are going to have so much fun at camp today, because you love camp!”

He calmed down a bit, but was still pretty uncertain about the slight change in plans. A moment later he reached his hand forward and said in a distressed tone “Madalie, hold my hand.. hold my hand please Madalie.”

I reached my hand back to squeeze his, as we drove into the library parking lot just like that.

I consider myself blessed to be someone who is able to walk him through the unfamiliar.. blessed in such a way that I don’t know I could describe. Whenever he is uncertain about things, and searching for my signals on how he should respond a wave of compassion rolls over me, and I think about how much I love him. How much I want for his future. If I can aid in him getting there, I have quenched something so great in me that no other job could ever satisfy.


is the quirkiest, silliest, curliest, tank of an affection-craver. I pushed him to tell me “Ryder’s Turn” when he wanted a shot on the backyard swing. Now, with minimal effort he says it in the sweetest way possible, and I never ever want to forget it.



has sort of turned into a mini Ryder. Eyeing my breakfast banana while he smacks his lips in expectancy. Don’t you pull your baby tricks on me Grantsy. I know all the secrets, cause I’ve pulled them all too.

He’s developling this strong personality. And most often he wishes to be close to where the action’s at. He loves games, and squeezes, and under the chin tickles which is where I’ve found the best belly laugh out of him. He definitely knows what he wants, and goes right for it. He has incredible focus, and I can already see how his qualities will develop into some wonderful assets in a man.

A few days ago I spotted a big ol bug on the dining room floor, and I squealed, and yelled for Caleb to grab his Croc, and smash it. I am not in the business of trapping bugs, and carrying them outside. Too much can happen on the trip outside, and I’d rather not risk being touched by them or potentially losing them. Bugs in the house get squashed when I’m around.

So Caleb runs to grab his Croc, and Ryder is squatting down to inspect this creature. I noticed Ryder’s intrigue and quickly screamed for him not to touch it. But of course that only intrigued him more, reaching for the bug now with a smirk on his face. Caleb got to it first, and began slamming his shoe on the little centipede looking thing.

At this point Grant was interested in all the ruckus, and he was making his way over to the action. “No Grant!” I yelled, as he peaked back at me. Caleb kept smacking against the floor, the lifeless bug flying in the air with each hit. Ryder kept trying to grab at it, and Grant was getting closer and closer to the whole mess. So I grabbed a paper towel and squeeled as I scooped the bug to toss him. The boys were giggling at my disgust all the while.

I thought to myself, these boys… My little bug smashers… They are exactly who I want to be around.

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