Motherhood For Dummies.......The Greatest Job on the Planet
So as I was going to bed last night....I was thinking about my kids. Yes...it is true that they can drive me crazy sometimes, make me wonder about my parenting skills and single handedly keep Miss Clairol in business, but there is much more to them than just their minor indiscretions. With all five kids, at least one time or another in their young lives, they have made me really proud to be a part of their lives. They have amazed me, put me over the moon and made me whisper a prayer of thanksgiving to God that He put them into my life. It is those moments that make all the other stuff just disappear from thought. It is those moments which make motherhood so worth while.
When the two oldest came into my life, they were coming off of step mother #1 and it hadn't been the best of experiences for them, so they had every right to be leery of this new woman. In fact...with the knowledge I had of their past experience....I firmly expected a long breaking in time, followed by an even longer acceptance time. To my surprise...none of this came to pass. In fact....it was just the opposite. On our first meeting....I was prepared for the very worst, but what I got was two kids who were very polite, very accepting and very loving. They welcomed me with open arms and never once seemed to confuse their past situations with the present. The true test though.....came when they came to stay with us for several weeks in the summer for the first time.
Again I prepared myself for them missing their mom, their home and all that they knew and were comfortable with. While I know there was some homesickness involved.....they gave me the greatest gift a step mother could ever have. They treated me like family. They acted like kids. They argued with each other, got frustrated with me, their dad and rules. They made friends, lived life and every night before they went to bed....they hugged us, kissed us and told us they loved us. We talked, we played games, we went places and we were a family. The best part was when they left.....there were tears all around. We were a family and since I didn't try to be mom....fully aware that they already had a great mom....they welcomed me in and gave me a special place all my own. How could you not be proud of two exceptional kids with such generosity of heart and spirit? Sean and Tiffany.....I love you beyond words.
Man Child....although he has probably given me the most gray hair of all, has had his shining moments. His best moments came when David was born. MC was left to take care of the home front and Z, while his dad and I frantically tried to spend every waking moment with David. MC was 15 and we were in the process of moving the day I went into labor with David....so he was left to do much of the unpacking and also he had a 4 year old brother whom he took care of. At the time he was homeschooling, so he was doing his class work, taking care of the new house, taking care of Z and coming to the hospital whenever he could. During that time.....not once did he ever complain. He had the weight of the world on his shoulders and he handled it not like a teenager, but like a man. Quite honestly....had he not been there to help like he did.....Tim and I would have been much more stressed than we were...and as it was....we were at a breaking point. Looking back and knowing all that he did....I realize that at 15 most kids would not have been able to handle what was thrown on MC and get through it without once single ounce of jealousy or complaint. He was simply an amazing kid and I am not sure he knows just how much his efforts helped to keep our family in tact.
Z! Oh what can I say about Z? Z can take me from zero to crazy in 2.2 seconds. He can make me laugh harder than anyone and make me angrier than just about anyone. He is really an amazing kid, but at times....he truly shines brightly. I think my proudest moments with Z are right now. Yes....he has done some extraordinary things in his young life...not the least of which is surviving the death of his father, but now....I see him growing. It is as if he is finding his place in life and all his past experiences are making him this wonderful young man. I am especially amazed when I see what a champion Z is for David. Z gives David the perfect amounts of helping him to achieve, guiding him to learn and then just down right roll on the floor rough housing and brotherly attention......so that David never feels different with him. David always knows that Z has his back and so does the rest of the world. Through Z....he has taught his own friends to respect, love and cherish David and he makes sure that the rest of the world see's David not as a child with special needs.....but merely as a special young man! To watch Z with David often brings tears to my eyes. They are brothers to the fullest extent....but more....they are best friends. Z's patience and understanding along with his respect and love for his younger brother show a maturity beyond his years and this makes me proud beyond words. He truly is an amazing kid.
And my David. He survived! That was his first huge hurdle and every day....ever since.....David has had hurdles to climb and he not only climbs them....but often he clears them. It appears that no ceiling is too high for him and no fences can corral him for he fights to exceed all expectations and keep going. With him....normal childhood milestones have become huge events and we keep celebrating these events as he continues to succeed and exceed. For all the pokes, prods, surgeries, seizures, bumps and bruises he has had in his young life....he has rarely shed a tear. In fact he tends to face these obstacles with a fighting spirit. Sometime he actually comes out swinging, while other times he merely sets his face to a steely glare......showing the needle, the hurdle and the world that he will not be defeated. David continues to fight and win and he makes those around him want to do the same. He makes me want to be the best I can be for him......because each day.....he is the best he can be for us. David is a blessing I never knew I needed, but God did. God knew that I needed this young man to guide me, show me what life really has to offer and see what real beauty was all about. Never a day goes by that I am not grateful and that I don't learn something from this exceptional young man. David is a gift and he teaches me daily. I am one lucky mama.
No....motherhood is not easy. It has no instructions....each child is different....and you don't get do overs. The best you can do is resign yourself to the fact that some days you will get it right and others....you will get it oh so wrong. Your kids are going to drive you to the brink sometimes; make you cuss, make you cry and sometimes.....even make you drink. Then though...there will be those days when they shine and you will know without a doubt.........motherhood is the greatest job on the planet.
Well..those are my motherhood words of wisdom for this fall Friday. Here is hoping that your day is wonderful, beautiful and full of joy. Happy Friday everyone.