We arrived safely in Sacramento without a single hiccup on the 13 hour drive. Easton and Layla held their bladder to coincide with our gas stops. That's a first! Before I get too far into our adventures I need to circle back around to the comment Mary made in the previous post. As she was talking I typed and listened. She did a great job of describing the 4 Webbs and eventually came around on her own accord to the word "freedom". She summed up her assessment of Easton and Layla by describing them as having absolute freedom to be who they are. Little did she know that this is THE key word on the front of my brain for the past many months of parenting. I've not shared this with anyone including Kendra, but quietly, consciously focused on freedom as the over-arching goal for Easton and Layla. Hearing Mary describe the twins as free made me feel so good because this is exactly what I continually strive for. The following section of my post was already in draft mode from a few weeks ago because I've been working on how to explain the concept.
There are many treacherous pitfalls to avoid throughout life. So many I can't even begin to list them because each person has their own struggles and areas of vulnerability. Choices such as who we have as friends, habits we develop over time, and how we treat our bodies with exercise or the lack of it as well as foods we choose to eat. My grandpa drinks coffee and eats bacon with eggs every day. He's 96 years old so obviously that doesn't have the same impact as it does on another person who would die of a heart attack if they did that for a year.
That being said, there are other pitfalls each of us fell into as an unaccountable child and without the wisdom of age it became bondage without ever even knowing it. These are the most difficult pits to fall into. We were in them before we ever even knew they were a pitfall. Some people mature out of these through adolescence and some, like me, get stuck for many years into adulthood. Kendra is the catalyst for much of my emotional maturing over the past few years. She held up a mirror and showed me the truth about myself in a way no other person ever has or ever could. My journey is longer than any single blog post could contain, but here is the best statement and picture which captures my current state of freedom from the bondage of my pitfalls.
"The moment you can visualize being free from the things that hold you back, you have indeed begun to set yourself free."
The sculpture is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have an eye for art like a T-rex has arms for hugging. Even so, I could look at this sculpture for hours and honestly relate to what the artist is portraying.
You might be wondering what this has to do with Easton and Layla... My desire and plan is to raise Easton and Layla starting out in freedom. I want them to have the best chance possible of starting free and staying free from anything that would keep them from reaching their potential. I don't control them, but I am responsible for the atmosphere. I can't make them do anything, but I will be a role model to the best of my abilities. I won't be able to fulfill all of their needs all of the time, but I'm doing my best to recognize and meet their needs for attention, affection, and approval. I want Easton and Layla's life to look like the care-free statue with arms wide open and dancing. Now that's a worthy goal worth pursuing.
OK, now back to the regularly scheduled musings of life. Easton and Layla had a ball with Aunt Mary around. Kendra and I felt free to run errands, work, and take care of trip preparations without any worry about what the twins were doing. Mary even figured out how to get BOTH of them to be still for a few seconds. Back rubs...
I can count on one hand the number of times Easton and Layla sat perfectly still on the couch without the TV on. I walked in and they were like cats face-down in a bed of catnip.
Easton and Layla filled their fuzzy jar and earned the next toy in line. In this case the reward was a stuffed animal. Bambi for Easton and Marie the cat for Layla. The new toys were thrown around the room, fed and watered, and hauled around in a dump truck like a load of lumber.
Mary stayed at our house as we left for Sacramento. The feeling was deja-vu from years past when Mary lived there. She waved us good-bye and then spent the evening restocking our bare pantry with all kinds of goodies. I'm excited to go home for Mancation 2012 because I'll have enough food to keep me from losing weight while I'm away from my lovely chef of a wife.
We left earlier than normal, which provided daylight for awake kids and special sites along the way. We drove past the windmills along the I-10 and Easton was almost too zoned out watching Finding Nemo to even notice the vast fields of spinning propellers.
We will be fully recovered by tomorrow from the less-than-stellar sleep last night. Now we have a whole new set of friends and family to share life... and a cool breeze at night to cool us off!
See you soon.