Wednesday, January 26, 2011

This Is A Tough Job

I don’t like running late to anything. 
Which seems funny considering since the very day I had our first daughter, I really haven’t been on time to anything else. 
As much as I would love to say that I’ve enjoyed every moment of the past almost-5-year period of babies & diapers & bottle feeding & rocking my sweet babies to sleep, I’m not sure I can satisfy the common reader with an absolute confirmation of sweet gratitude that you may be hoping for.

There was a time when I really did wish things away.  The colic.  The shrieking that lasted 7 hours straight.  The complete exhaustion.  The loss of independence.  I wanted my perfectly organized little life back.  QUICKLY.

I’m sure many people that would read these words would judge & ask why I even had children if that’s where my mind wandered a time or two (thousand).  The wishing of the evaporation of time.  The hope of getting to something MORE.  Cuz there has to be something more, right?

I am not one that typically sugar coats things & I am definitely the person to come to if you want an opinion.  Chances are….I will have one.

I adore….like, over-the-moon LOVE my kids.  But not every day has been a good one.  Or one that I would even want to repeat.  There have been so many times that I have repented for things I have said.  Thoughts I have had.  I have said so many prayers that I have lost track.  (which is really how it should be when you’re a mom!!)  Pray, Pray, Pray until we can’t pray anymore because the only way we can really make this life work is to go to God who gave it to us in the first place.

I just want to keep things real.  I want moms to understand that not every day will be a good one.  We will have moments where we feel like we are complete failures.  Moments when we won’t like our kids.  Where we wish for just a weekend completely alone to do whatever we want without them pulling on every limb.  Enjoying complete silence.  Or watching 20 straight episodes of Grey’s Anatomy in a row & eating nothing but junk food. 

If we can’t stand WITH each other in support through this journey then we will break much quicker in the battle that we really ARE all in together.

I want nothing more than the best for my children.  I am the mom that brings flashcards to restaurants because I want them to be their best.  I walk a fine line of balance.  How many activities to place them in.  What to sign them up for.  Which school to attend.  Or will I actually be THAT mom that I swore I would never be….the home-schooling one?!  The jury is still out on this one but I really do want them to be in their happiest place while they walk through this crazy world.  If it’s a public school, charter school or sitting at our table at home, I want them to be fulfilled.

All I am saying is that we juggle so many things as moms.  We carpool to soccer games & to school.  We volunteer in their classrooms.  We cheer on the sidelines.  We make sure they have a protein with every meal.  We hold them, cry with them, read & pray with them, teach them, shuffle them from one place to the next and still look beautiful in the process.

So let’s take it easy on ourselves & each other!  Share the grace that we have all been given by God.  Show mercy to that mom that just needs a kind & encouraging word.  Share a burden.  Lessen the load for a mom that needs a break by taking her kids to the next birthday party.  NOTICE that she is doing a fantastic job & TELL HER!!

We are all tired.
We get to the end of the day wondering ‘what just happened?’.
We finally manage to place our heads on a pillow & let out a big sigh & hope for peaceful rest to prepare us for the next day.
We may not always do it pretty.  We WILL make mistakes.  We will say things too harshly.  Spank our child with a firmer hand than we should have.  We will raise our voice.  We will apologize.  We will seek forgiveness.

We are not alone in this girls!

It is THE TOUGHEST job we will EVER do!!  No doubt about it.

There will be no raise or pat on the back.  There will be no plaque on the wall of recognition.  No words of appreciation.  In this life, we need to hold on to the knowing that we are doing this for something so much bigger!  And at the end of it, if the ONLY words we hear are ‘Well done, My good & faithful servant’ then we KNOW we have done our job well!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Falling in love

I’ve been with my husband now for almost 10 years.
But today….I fell in love with another man.
I never was really attracted to men that were shorter than me.
And few have taken my breath away like he did.
I’ve known him for a little over 3 years & have spent a ton of time with him.
We have shared many meals.  Laughed together.  Shed lots of tears.  Had some pretty good arguments.
It has been a challenging relationship to say the least. 
And today….Something in my heart was changed.
I woke up this morning & knew that today, I would only speak words of LOVE.
Words of love to my husband.  To my children.  And to God for giving me His.

And then the love story began!
His hand reached up & caressed my face as gently as I’ve ever felt before.
And he whispered the sweet words ‘I love you so much’.
His big blue eyes met with mine & as his precious little fingers touched my face my soul had shifted.
Shifted from being just a woman put here to be his mom.  To walk through this world with him & to love him.  To being absolutely totally IN LOVE with him.  Wanting the absolute best for him.  Understanding what is behind his eyes.  And knowing how very much God is in my presence through this sweet boy that I am so proud to be a mommy to.

His hands held my arm tightly & in a desperate plea he said ‘I want you to stay’.

And even though I had so many things to do….. A house to clean.  Phone calls to make.  Laundry to fold.  I realized that this time passes by so quickly.  That there will be a day when those words will almost mean even more than they even do now..  That things on his priority list will number much above spending time with his mom. 

Those things on my to-do-list quickly evaporated with those words being spoken & I laid my head next to his.  His hand held mine.  And together, we fell asleep. 

Priorities shift at times.  Soulful things take precedent over the mundane.  And I am so very thankful that they did today.  I am thankful for taking the time to fall in love again.  And I know, without hesitation, that this will be romance that my husband will be glad that I had.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's been 5 nights since this world lost this beautiful sweet man.  I'm sure you all heard about it.  That sound that you heard of sweet singing in your ears last Thursday night.....that was the sound of 10,000 angels welcoming Rob's grandpa home!!   
We said a final goodbye last night & following is my tribute to him.  It is an honor to write of him in such a way that makes my heart so happy to have known & loved him.  

This place may not be filled with an endless number in attendance, standing room only, flowing into the halls.  However it is not due to lack of a life lived well or of love not given.  It is only because few have seen as many days.

I have come to realize that it is sometimes more beautiful to watch someone leave this world than to enter into it.  To be able to speak final words, pray final prayers & hold hands for one last time is more worthy of celebration when it is someone like grandpa.

I don’t call him that because of blood.  Because of lineage or genetics but by choice.  I call him that because he WAS that to me.  And he allowed me to love him that way.

I only hear stories of decades lived before I was blessed to know him.

I can’t tell you of boyish dreams or games played with him in the streets of New York as he grew into a young man.  I can’t relive moments of teenage rebellion.  I can’t reflect back to when he met the love of his life or the day he married her or  speak of the feelings that he had when he watched his children come into this world.

I can’t look back & speak of piggyback rides or corporate meetings.  Of bowling leagues & bridge club partnership.

I may not have been there for the best days of HIS life but I CAN tell you, without a doubt, that he was there for some of the best of mine.

There are very few people in this world that will even allow you to love them so much.  That welcome you with such lingering tenderness, the warmest smile & with a spirit so deep with gratitude for what I saw as the most insufficient of deeds but to him meant incalculable love.   Grandpa was that, for me. 

He delighted in what we would consider to be trivial things, yet to him, it was unconditional love poured out.  The making of a meal & the sharing of many.  Watching his great-grandchildren play & laugh.  Spending time together from the beaches in Cozumel to taking a canoe ride through the rainforests in Costa Rica.  Being there to walk me down the aisle when I married his very handsome & wonderful grandson.  

Witnessing his tired arthritic hands as they held tightly to the great-grandchildren that are so blessed to have had a chance to meet & be loved by him.  Enjoying countless glasses of scotch with his grandson that he adored more than words can say.  Taking him to Rockies games & and watching him as he enjoyed a nice cold beer.  And laughing at him & with him on countless occasions.  Watching he & Denise battle the surf in St. Marteen while she tried to keep his speedo on.  Seeing him work in tireless effort to keep up with his grandson while he tried drinking his way through Cozumel. 

Explaining to him that, although a lovely gesture, buying each of our kids a Kindle for Christmas probably wouldn’t be worth it, since none of them can read yet.  Being there the first time he saw a chocolate fondue fountain.  And laughing hysterically when he proceeded to stick his entire arm through it, chocolate dripping from as far up as his elbow, because he didn’t know that he just needed to gently dip the strawberries.  (I think a few people just walked away without getting any that evening)

Grandpa gave us reason to slow down.  Sometimes, because well, he was just slower than the rest of us.  More times however, it was because the things of this world that tend to make us rush became secondary to caring for him, loving on him & spending time with this wonderful, quiet sweet man that we are all blessed to have known & loved.

As I said, I am not standing here to tell of lifelong memories but to honor him for what I did get to be a part of.  A life, in it’s time, that made me a better person.  Each of us here today have been made better because of him & may you walk into this world with a little bit of the light that grandpa gave to all of us.