I have about 4 boxes of memories that I keep in the garage. With an upcoming move and lack of desire to actually clean the KITCHEN that needs organizing and spraying I diverted my attention to items in the garage.
These 4 boxes contain artwork, writing, stories, pictures, birthday and Christmas cards and other memories from my childhood. I was lucky that my mom was sentimental enough to keep so many precious items for me. With my mom being sick I have an even stronger affection for these items and am now grateful that I was handed boxes of items from my childhood almost immediately after moving out of the house.
She has an awesome trait for loving things in order and keeping things organized and clean. Something that I do not really have. I have the "I'm stressed and cleaning the house is the only thing I can do at this moment to divert my grumpiness" trait but I think that is more reactionary than it is a natural born talent.
So, as I was saying I was rummaging through my dusty containers and remembering a part of me that I forgot about. The one who had a first birthday, who performed, who wrote stories regularly, who went to college.
I found love letters from a boyfriend when I was 12. I found love letters from my now husband-some of which were written in Italian. I got to re read my pink and irridescent journal from ages 9-10.
It while reading these journal entries out loud that I realized a lot of me hasn't changed and although I no longer call my younger brother a "big poop" a lot of my budding personality has stayed intact. And I also got a little freaked out that "Oh my word will my daughter be this boy crazy?" and "Can any parent avoid their kids feeling miffed?" I mean even with just two kids one is always demanding more attention than the other at some point.
I admire my mom and so many other mom's who were wonderful examples to me. Some of the mom's I babysat for growing up gave me such strong foundations for how to help raise a family. One family who I sat for while in college who had five kids ate the healthiest food I had seen-her kids had veggies for snacks and fruit and although her kids being adorable and spitfires she had a very easy going and patient personality.
Another mom who had children with several special needs and typical children showed me about unconditional love, dedication and helping her chidren thrive despite some natural limitations. I still see her every now and then grew close to her while I was with her children.
A year or so after being married one of the children I cared for passed away. His passing came at a time when I had other losses in my life, a miscarriage, my grandmother passing away and a few other situational large losses.
It wasn't until now, with my children being older and after going through a short (in perspective) bout of a chornically sick child that I more fully understood that courage and love that my mom friend had when her child was often sick and needing so much. She reached out to me in an email for comfort and everytime I see her I am reminded of that bravery and love and that sometimes enduring doesn't mean that you are thriving but that you are dedicated and being brave often means crying it out while you continue on the path.
While being at both of these women's homes I not only grew to love their children and genuinely enjoyed being with them but I looked forward to it.
I am so grateful for the life I have had-and continue to have-that I am often surrounded by amazing women who help teach me new pieces of what it means to be a mom.
I feel like through out life we get these sometimes large and at times small sparkles that we need to collect and it takes time and patience to get a bottle big enough to observe and hold and admire.
These sparkles are favorite memories, triumphs, reminders of faith, examples of love and faith and all the characteristics we admire and which we have in ourselves and the challenges that at the time we dont' see the benefit but when they have collected we see their blessing.
My kids are both sick today which makes them more snuggly (which I do not mind at all) and reminds me to be grateful for the times when they are wild, crazy and unkempt.
Like I said before-"those kids"-are mine. I at times forget that from the time I was a little girl I dreamed of having a family. That for years I prayed to get pregnant-then after my miscarriage I prayed for at least just one child and promised I would love and cherish them forever and be oh so perfect!
It is obvious-I am not perfect-and that is a naive promise to make but at the time I was willing to do anything to have my child. I remember this promise when one of my children-with some special needs-is tantruming and not able to communicate exactly how they are feeling. And when my other is full of spunk and crazy and wanting to be my shadow...all...day-that I asked for this. My family was purposefully and wonderfully made.
And I am reminded not to be sad when adding to our family is not immediately met (or might be 5-6 more years in the making) that despite the tiring work I am going to be a mom forever. And Ideally I would not like to have a 15 year gap between my children in ages, I will continue to be grateful to those I am blessed to care for.
I just hope with all this ruminating and twinkl-think'n (ahem sesame street) that I figure out the other side of parenting which is coping....without tools and too much retail therapy.
Although I am not as sentimental as my mom and I do not have an organized collection of ultrasounds and first baby cards and to remember that our time to nurture and love our children and care for our children in our home is relatively short. So I should remember to calm down, take a breath...maybe online shop with a cup of hot chocolate in one hand (just a small one though this time) and thank God for all the sparkles in my life up to this point.