When I was young, I remember wondering what kind of a mom would I be when I grew up.
The kind that cuts the crusts off the sandwiches for her kids when she packs their lunches every day for school. Uh well…
The kind that is super organized and has one of those dry erase board calendars with everyone’s schedules color coded on it. Um…
The kind who gusses and fusses over every little bruise, scrap and sneeze with a bandaid or kleenex. Well…
The kind who is super involved with everything under the sun and has her fingers in everything. Huh…
Or the hot mess express that people can see coming a mile away with her obnoxious laugh, the messy bun and about 10-15 minutes late for about everything. Ding, ding, ding…
Of all of those options, I can safely say… no, no, hell no, no and Oh My Goodness, YES!
But parenting has always been a work in progress for me since I became a ‘parent’ at 23 to the children who would eventually become my stepkids. After giving birth to Nick and then Andrew, the playing field changed dramatically because they depended on me from the very start for everything. These babies that looked so much like me and Tim, it was crazy.
I’m in no way a perfect mom, wife, friend, even woman… but our failures teach us to try harder and think smarter the next time, and the next time and so on. Because what doesn’t kill us only makes us strong, right?
I feel like I lose my crap on my kids on a regular basis, not because I want them to be perfect, only because I want them to act better, speak better, think better – be better. My boys have incredible hearts, beautiful minds, are talented beyond belief and so intelligent it hurts… but the decisions a 10 year old and a 12 year old can make on a regular basis scare the f$&k out of us enough to hope they will be smart enough to even make it to 18. I am mostly joking, of course, well kind’ve.
As parents, we have kids and watch them grow up literally right before our eyes to realize that they are truly the best parts of us – our tenacity, ambition, creativity, compassion, determination, optimistic, fearless and sheer stubbornness to never give up (which could be good or bad). Don’t get me wrong, with the good comes the bad too. I know they are far from perfect and they get the bad parts of us too – sarcastic, naive, stubbornness, pessimistic, fearless, little bit of a lack of common sense (they may get that from me), too nice for their own good, too trusting, and too willing to test the meaning of insanity by trying the same things over and over and expecting a different outcome – just to name a few.
If something were to happen tomorrow, I know anyone who knew us could look at my kids and see every piece of me and their father in them. Scary, I know, but crazy and true. Both Tim and I work to raise the boys in a home filled with love, encouragement and joy. Sometimes that’s not easy with life all around you trying to teach them differently.
“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is deciding to forever have your heart walking around outside your body,” – Elizabeth Stone.
Parenthood is like this crazy moving train that never stops and you have to figure out how to jump on and off and back on at the right moments without losing any limbs and still keeping your sanity, all while keeping the door safely closed so the kids don’t accidently fall off or get dismembered themselves. Somehow we figure it out from one day to the next, just to do it all over the next day. It’s the tribulations that are so worth the trials, and the highs that are so much better than the lows when we let ourselves enjoy them.
And I love my kids more than words can express – the one gone too soon, the grown and married one, and the ones who are still young and under my roof.
Do they drive me insane most days – ABSOLUTELY!
Could I imagine my life any other way 21 years later after meeting my husband, now with two boys, a stepdaughter, a son in law, a granddaughter and another grand baby on the way – ABSOLUTELY NOT!
This is my life. I am that hot mess express mom who loves seeing the best of herself in her kids’ eyes staring back at her everyday, in their actions, in their words and in the young adults they are becoming. In a world full of chaos and unknowns, the best parts of us are standing front and center, waiting for the guidance, the compassion and the push they need to rule the world someday after we are long gone.