I have so many things I want to write about. Every single day I think of 5-10 blog posts. Then I can't get to the computer or I'm at the computer but have a million things to do for work. But today is the day after Christmas and I'm one of the only people in Washington DC at work. I may be one of the only 5 people in my building today. So screw work right now, I'm going to write this instead.
Often times, I forget that my family is not a silo. Clif came from parents who love him. I came from parents who love me. We get so wrapped up in our family, that sometimes we forget that there are these extensions. We forget that our kids won't always be this little, that someday they'll be grown with their own families and we'll be the extensions. I want that for my kids, because the family that Clif and I have built makes me more happy than anything else in the world. But the thought makes me sad. I don't want to think about a day when Ainsley and Freddie and Cohen aren't hanging out on the couch in their PJs on Christmas morning. And all I have to do to make them smile is buy an American Girl Doll, a big tractor, and a box for Cohen.
On Monday, I brought Ainsley to work with me. She was off of school,
it was a half day right before the holiday for me, it was just easier than working something
She wrote me this note...
today I'm sitting here looking at it and feeling sad because I think,
how much longer will she write me little notes like this? How much
longer will she call me mommy? How long before she wishes someone else
were her mother? She's growing up so fast, I can't believe we just
spent our 7th Christmas with her. That's more Christmases than Clif and
I spent together, without her.
So today, I have a letter. Not for my kids, but for my mommy. Because as a mommy, I know my kids will always be my babies...I can only imagine she feels the same way. And I'd like to think that 30 years from now, I can still get a note from my "dotr" that will warm my heart.
Sometimes, when I'm having a difficult time with one of my children, I think about you. I wonder how you did it. You were SOOO much younger than me. I think, here I am at 36 feeling like I'm going to just sit in the corner and throw a screaming, crying fit because my 3 year old will not stop jumping on the couch and the baby won't sleep and the 6 year old insists on sounding out every single word in the book for the last 30 minutes. I'm 36 and I want to act like a 4 year old in these moments. How did you do it at 19 or 21 or 25? Proof that maturity is not always linked to age. You have told me more times than I can count, you do what you need to do.
And you hear all these stories about women who just can't step up. Who are young and not ready to be mom's and they just abandon or neglect their kid. You've told me that you once hoped to grow up and raise St. Bernards, not children. But there you were, with 3 kids and if you hadn't told me that story, I'd have never known you never imagined yourself as a mother.
I don't know how much advice you got from your mom. I know you weren't reading parenting books, or googling "how do I get my damn kid to freaking sleep." You just did. I don't for one second think it was easy, but as a kid, I never felt like it was hard.
So I want to thank you, mom. Thank you for making barbie clothes, thank you for teaching me to count the seconds between thunder and lightning, thank you for screaming and cheering at my softball games, thank you for my microscope, thank you for telling me the truth, thank you for being an awesome grandma, thank you for bad hair cuts, thank you for not allowing me to wear make up, thank you for fake cabbage patch dolls until you could afford a real one, thank you for grounding me for bad grades, thank you for loving my husband, thank you for teaching me to ride a bike without training wheels, thank you for being a strong woman, thank you for going back and finishing your education, thank you for making me get a job early, thank you for giving me chores, thank you for taking me to church, thank you for letting me make my own mistakes, thank you for asking my permission on anything concerning the kids...thank you for being my mommy. I've always felt loved and wanted. You have been the perfect mom for me and I'm so thankful for you.
Love your dotr,