I thought about writing a really cheerful, upbeat, joking post, but I’m in a reflective and grateful kind of mood today. Maybe it’s due to the weather changes and the snow that’s forecast for tonight. Maybe it’s just that time of month. But, right now I am so incredibly grateful for the blessings in my life that I want to honor them as best I can with what limited talent I have with words.
Dumb Mom (btw – she’s anything but dumb) over at Parenting with Dummies has a contest right now that involves posting photos of the faces that make your holiday brighter. This seemed like a particularly appropriate thing to write about with today’s mood and my Wordless Wednesday post. Officially, here’s the language that I am welcome to ad lib a bit and be creative with as long as I include it exactly as she wrote it.
“I am participating in the Invisalign Teen Bright Smiles Holiday Photo Contest with Dumb Mom.”
So here goes…
My children are my world.
This may seem like an obvious to some of you, but for me it’s surprising. I never was the kinda girl that dreamed of her wedding, had my kids’ names picked out before I was old enough to even date their dad, or looked forward to the day I bought a minivan and was a soccer mom. Far from it. In fact, tomboy is too feminine a term to describe me as a child.
Then one snowy day in December of 2001, my world turned upside down.
I became a mom.
I was nervous because I am a planner and I didn’t know what to expect. I was prepared though. After all, my birth plan was 4 pages long and extremely detailed. It was all laid out in black and white, so of course everything would go according to the Plan, right?
Ok. We’ll wait a moment for those of you with children to stop laughing.
As you may be able to imagine, the birth plan was ripped to shreds and I doubt a single word of it was actually read or followed.
To give perspective on how greatly my world turned upside down that night, here is a small idea of who I thought I was prior to it:
I am tough. I have a high pain tolerance. I am a strong, independent woman that can tackle anything. I am ready for whatever the world throws my way.
Here is me after giving birth:
I am a complete wuss. I have NO pain tolerance what-so-ever. I would gladly kneel down and kiss the feet of the person that invented the epidural. Women that choose to have 19 kids are either my hero or completely insane. Most likely somewhere in between. I may not be up for what the world throws my way.
I have slowly come to realize that I am not a complete wuss and probably have a pretty normal pain tolerance. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is I am no longer confident that I could handle anything the world throws my way.
Why? Because there are three little people that hold my happiness and the course of my future in their hands.
If something happened to hurt this beautiful angel, I would never recover.
Even if she does occasionally act like a little devil…
The treasure box this little man’s seeking holds the key to my heart…
And this little monster lights up my world every day with her (usually) beautiful smile…
Their happiness, their laughter, their future and well being is more precious to me than words can describe.
A full night’s sleep is a thing of the past – for the normal reasons that come with babies – but also because my heart and soul are walking around in fragile bodies with amazing smiles.
The monsters under my bed have been exchanged for worry that their safety and happiness is never guaranteed. Things happen unexpectedly to devastate a family. While my first reaction may be to shelter them from life so they are protected, that isn’t healthy for them either. A flower doesn’t grow without sunlight and neither do children without freedom and the space to learn who they will become.
As much as I may be tempted, I cannot shelter them from life in an effort to protect them from the “maybe”.
So, I will kiss their beautiful faces…
Revel in the sound of their laughter…
Laugh (and cry) at their antics…
Comfort myself with the knowledge they’ll have each other long after I’m gone…
And love them with every part of my soul.
While, I can’t control what may come tomorrow, I can enjoy every moment I have with these beautiful people as the gift it really is…and I can find my holidays brighter with the brilliance of their smiles.
By the way, should you ever meet my children, please don’t blow my son’s cover. It’s a secret that he really does adore his sister. He’s hiding it by arguing and fighting with her all the time, but this picture tells the truth.
And just for you Dumb Mom (you have to read her blog to understand)…
Woot! Here’s your doggy face. Are you laughing, yet?
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Last, but not least, a shameless plug to pick me as the winner…
All he wants for Christmas are his two front teeth…
Not really, but a $250 gift card would buy a lot of Legos! Plus, what smile contest for braces would be complete without a toothless grin?