Amidst my former hope of joining #teampink, I finally delivered my fourth (and final) healthy boy – and I am elated. I’m still wrapping my mind around the idea of being in the house with five males; glaring at the toilet seat that is still up at times when I want it to be down; trying to ignore the waning desire for tea parties and tiaras and yet cherishing the throne that remains all my own as the reigning Queen (smile).
What sticks out most however, is that I am thankful. Like any parents, there have been days when I longed for the serenity that comes with an empty house. I’ve joked often with my friends and told them my favorite day (pre-Jonathan Paul [the newborn]) was haircut day, because all of the “boys” were gone. With such an active household, it’s nice to have peace – and to be able to enjoy a dessert alone – something rarely done in a home full of foodies!
Admittedly, I’ve cringed at the rough-housing inherent with little men. I’ve fussed about broken trinkets and misplaced socks and shoes. Nevertheless, I’m filled with reflection of what it means to have a family, as I find myself nostalgically immersed in the magic that is motherhood all over again; but, sometimes, I find it bittersweet. Why? Because I see it in so many contexts now.
I consider the baby I lost that will never be forgotten. I’m acutely aware of the anguish that comes with parenthood – and not being perfect at it. I’m pained by the hard lessons you watch them learn that you wish they didn’t have to, seeing their missteps with each turn they make, and I am grieved by the tragedies that befall other parents that are simply inconsolable (and there are far too many of those lately). Each and every element reroutes me to the bliss of being a mom.
I hear parents with empty nests tell me, “Oh baby enjoy them while you can. They won’t be young forever.” I realize, unsurprisingly, they are so right! I laugh about my comparative experience with my first son, now 11, and I almost want to tell the clock to rewind so I could do it all over again. He’s going to middle school next year, and I’m not ready. Like many, I’ve put baby pictures side by side, marveling at the similarities and doting on the differences. I’m ultimately thrilled that they’re all healthy, happy, and whole.
I remind myself often of the games I’ve been to; their pivotal moments and fondest experiences, and I’ve endeavored to savor everyone. Because having gone to more funerals than I would have ever imagined so early in the year -the hardest being my father’s; being blown away by the iconic things my brother has been sending me from the 70s and 80s era that we adored as kids and being thrown back into history with the loss of celebrity greats – I’m proverbially reminded…that our families…are priceless.
* * * * * * * *
I dream. I hope to create legacies that my children can embrace, espouse, and extol. When my today becomes their yesterday, I want them to recall it with a fondness that would warm the hearts of their great-grandchildren. I want them to remember the laughter at our dinner table; the feel of their father’s calves as they wrapped around them with their whole little bodies; what it was like to sing and dance in front of the TV with their brush-turned microphones and horrible Michael Jackson impersonations.
I dream that the love that we’ve worked so hard to impart – on their best days and their worst – will flow through them fluidly, not only to their children, but in the form of kindness to others – as they share their faith, their convictions, their fervor and their friendship.
I dream that my boys will share an inseparable bond – a kinship that makes them as much brothers as they are friends – that they will know that what they had with their family is unlike any treasure they’ve ever known, rivaled only by the love of God.
I dream that each reader of this post will not only share in the joy that our family has, but will remember how important it is to treasure – and make right, if you haven’t already – the relationships in families of their own. Life is a gift. We seldom take advantage of all it has to offer. While it’s too short to be angry, we wait too long to rectify what’s wrong. Remember to live life to the fullest, and love the ones who love you most. Don’t forget, we’re the models for the tiniest of all. Dream big.
Caption: Feeling full with my Final Four – and thanking Him for the gift of each and every one.
#pursueyourpassion, #catchyourdreams, #bethe1, #dreambig, #loveispriceless