Bittersweet Birthday Cake

From the second they place your newly born baby into your arms your life has changed. Not only because of the sleepless nights and endless diapers, but also because there is a person that you instinctively love more than yourself. I have received so much joy experiencing life through their perspective. Getting another chance to feel excited over the first snow fall or the last the day of school. Raising my children has allowed me to reminisce on my own childhood, to feel the magic I once believed in.

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Today my youngest child turned five. As I write it, I still cannot believe it to be true. It feels like the closing of a chapter that is bittersweet. No more toddlers running through the house with bad pronunciations and a desire to stay in the nude. No more little fingers pinching away at scattered cheerios, or toothless grins. No more wobbly feet desperate to walk and no more teeny, tiny hands grasping onto my pinky finger.

There are many things I will not miss from that era of babyhood through toddler-hood, but somehow those details fade to the background, slightly out of focus.

My youngest child is now five.

Now, here I am, navigating through parenting with their childhood fully bloomed, inflated with feelings of their self esteem, curiosity, stress, fear, ego, anger, just to name a few. As a mother, I feel as though somebody turned the parenthood dial up a few notches. There is more to it than just maintaining their life and teaching them not to bite people. I feel an innate urge to ensure they are each emotionally okay, despite the world of influences they face everyday when they step out over the threshold of our home.

“A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child.”

An accurate statement loaded with stress and heartache, which cannot be avoided. I know that in a few years, when they cross over to the next plateau of their life, I’ll probably look back and think how easy I had it. Tears and frustrations will fade and I will be in amazement of how fast time is passing and how bittersweet it is that they are minimally in my presence.

However, today I am working hard to make sure they have a childhood they can recall upon one day to fill them up with joy and reminisce the magic they were able to experience when they could rely on their mommy to fix their mishaps and make them feel loved unconditionally.

Happy 5th birthday to my last born child.

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Learning How To Balance

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We are all performing our own balancing act, cautious not to lean too much in either direction, contemplating each step and considering the elements that surround us. Although at times we may wobble, we can quickly gain balance and move forward. We have mastered the delicate balancing act of life.

This weekend, my husband rummaged through his tool bag until he pulled out his pliers and removed the training wheels off of my daughters bicycle. Each wheel fell to the floor with a clang as he loosened the lug nuts. My daughter eagerly straddled her bike ready to give it a try. I hope she approaches everything in life with enthusiasm and determination.

We told her to be safe and wear a helmet. I hope she always considers safety before pursuing any future endeavor.

We told her to think about where she would be going. Aim for the fence. I hope she always has a goal she is in pursuit of achieving.

We told her not to lean too much in either direction. I hope she always remembers to hold her ground.

We told her to steer clear of any obstacles. I hope she can always be aware and avoid anything that may get in her way.

We told her to put her feet down when she is ready to get off. I hope she is always able to land on her feet.

When she fell, we told her to dust herself off and get back up. I hope she never lets anything or anyone hold her down.

My husband held onto the seat and ran with her until he couldn’t hold on any longer. We were forced to watch, filled with anxiety, hoping she would be okay. I know one day she will be ready to face the world, soaring forward and, ready to conquer. On that day, we won’t have a choice but to let go.

❤ My baby learned how to ride her bike this past weekend. ❤

Absent Minded Professor Syndrome

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Despite the daily rituals and routines, my son is a driving force, rebelling against regularity. At his tender age of eight years old, he pretty much lives the same day on repeat, as most children do. Routine, routine routine! He has the same homework every day, reading, math and spelling. It is all logged into his agenda book daily, which needs to be signed by a parent. We have the same morning and nightly routines that one would expect in any household with children. Pretty standard stuff right?  One would think so.

It could be viciously snowing out, freezing cold temperatures in the dead of winter, when my son charges off of the bus after full day at school. There is only one problem. “Where’s your coat?”

We sit down to do homework, part of the aforementioned routine, and sort through the contents of his backpack. There is just one problem. “Where are your books?”

We are getting ready to leave the house, all six of our family members waiting by the door to leave. There is just one problem. “Where are your shoes?”

I suppose its more than just “one” problem, but every time I am always sincerely surprised. I honestly just cannot believe that he hasn’t mastered the routine of his life by now. I should mention that he receives great grades in school and his reading is well above his grade level. He is no doubt a very intelligent boy. Intelligent but dumb!

I am at my wits end and losing patients . . .

A Letter To My Son

My son just recently turned eight!  I am in shock as I sort through photographs of him, tiny and chubby, but still ever so handsome.  Now when he hugs me his head rests just under my chin.  In his class, his teacher plans a week long celebration for the birthday child.  One of the ways to celebrate was to have me write him a letter.  So I did. Here it is.

Dear My Eight Year Old Boy,

In Paris, France there is a bridge called the Pont Marie. This bridge is known as the “Kissing Bridge” because it is believed if you kiss your true love and make a wish as you pass underneath, the wish will come true.  Some time ago, your father and I took a boat ride down the Seine in Paris. When we passed under this famous bridge, we kissed, and I made a wish.  Nine months later, my wish came true, it was you.

As my first child, you changed me from being just a woman to a mother. I will always be grateful to you, as I believe being a mother is one of my purposes in life.

You have grown into an amazing person. You are athletic, smart and funny.  You are extremely talented in your writing and drawings. I have seen you be a great friend to others and a role model to your sisters.  You are compassionate, caring and patient, you have to be with three younger sisters!

As you know, I always ask you to do your best.  The reason is because I know that your best will take you wherever you want to go in life.  Please always remember this. Oh, and good hair helps! 😉

To an awesome, extraordinary 8 year old, Happy Birthday! We are always here for you and will always support you.

Always know, all the love I have in my heart, I have for you!

Love,

Mommy

xoxoxoxoxoxox

Write letters to your children and save them! I am grateful to have been asked to do this and intend on continuing to write all of my children a letter every year.  What do you think?

The People I Live With

I’m worn down. Underneath my nose is chapped and raw, as I take in a series of short breaths.  My eyes are watery, my bones are achy and worst of all, I can’t taste my coffee.  My symptoms come as no surprise, just proof of the affection I have received from the people I live with.  These same people have been screaming and whining throughout the house, like a sword slicing through my ear drums.  They have been arguing and fighting, tumbling down to the floor, vibrating the walls. I am forced to live with people that are slobs, leaving piles of their things everywhere, dishes in the sink and a trail of dirty laundry. Sharing a bathroom with them has become intolerable, toothpaste on the vanity, paper on the floor, and you can almost always count on a surprise waiting in the toilet.  I live with an inconsiderate bunch, just when I sit, they ask for a favor.  Just when I take my first bite, they beg for seconds.  I cohabitate with the most unorganized group of people you could imagine.  The moment they put anything down, its lost!  Better yet, they rely on my ability to see before they are able to use anything. These people have no consideration for boundaries and what belongs exclusively to me. They are constantly asking for help, always needing, always wanting.

Just when I decide, “I’ve had enough, I’m going to find a new place to live,” they widen their adorable little eyes, reach their tiny little arms around my neck and call me “mommy.”

Although they aren’t the ideal housemates, I do love them anyway!

It has just been a rough day!