Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gotta Take the Good with the Bad and Smile with the Sad

It is so easy as a parent to look at our kids and marvel in all the things we see that are beautiful. All the things that we helped to create. We see the dimple from Uncle Bob and the blue eyes from Grandma. We embrace the giggle we hear that echos our own and fall in love all over again when we see the smallest expression that resembles their Daddy's. Seeing all that is good fills you with a warm liquid sunshiny feeling from head to toes. It is beautiful and wonderful and entirely engulfing. The connection created between two people is a living breathing person all on their own.

The hard part comes when you realize you must also deal with those things that might not be so beautiful. Through tears we see our kids face things that they shouldn't have to. Things that we blame ourselves for and question ourselves about. Glitches that seemingly appear out of no where. Crooked teeth or allergies. Illnesses or difficulties in school. Obscure personality traits that can be traced straight back to ourselves. Was there something that we did to cause these things or something we could have done to prevent them? Those questions replay in our minds over and over and there is never a real answer. Simply the empty feeling of if only.

The fact is there is no magic petri dish we can spin around and separate the good of us from the bad when having a child. We are who we are, both the best things and the worst. In the end those things fade into each other and everything blends together into one unique individual. There is no strength without weakness just as there is no happiness without sadness.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I Got You Babe

Sixteen years. That's a really long time. Long enough to realize when you have a good thing. To be able to ignore the snoring and the cold feet and embrace the secret looks and the private jokes. I look at our three children and see all the good things we see in each other. They represent why we fell in love in the first place and how we got so far still feeling that love. Even more then love I think respect and friendship are what seal the deal for us. We are a whole package and that is rare in the relationship world. When we are together I feel like the puzzle is complete but when we are apart I am lost. Sometimes I sit and wonder where I would be if our paths had never crossed. Probably still searching and hoping. Wondering what true love really felt like.The one thing I know for sure is that when we got married and the minister said husband and wife..I knew that would be what we would be forever. No question.
By the way sweetiepie this is your Anniversary card you know I don't like to waste money buying those pre-written kind :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Holiday Road

My husband and I have been taking vacations together for so long we have almost looped the long road of travels. Chris took his first ever family vacation with my family when we were dating in high school. He traveled to South Carolina with us in the back of a sedan. Me, my sister, and my parents all shoved together in a hot car for 12 hours. He embraced all the things that come with a family vacation. Both the bad and the good. The memories all started there and the minute we had our first child he vowed to make those memories last forever. What started out as he and I first married and spending the long rides talking about what we would name our first child turned into calming a crying baby in the back with a pacifier or a bottle. Holding hands over the stick shift singing love songs turned into reciting the wiggles music while making faces in the mirror. Our small car swiftly turned into a station wagon then a mini van. We traveled through diapers and play pens. We survived bottles and naps. Some years I needed a vacation from my vacation and other years I never wanted to come home.
The kids are older this year but the challenges are still there. The whining and fighting is almost as bad as them crying as babies. The hotel rooms seem to be getting smaller and the food costs higher. Chris still tries to attempt stops at Griswald type attractions but it is getting harder and harder to talk the girls into it. They will do it just for their dad but not without lots of eye rolls and complaints. I know that soon nothing will seem to be worthwhile without friends and then boyfriends. I am totally aware that we may have to force our fun on them. I remember when my parents did that to me. I hated some of it then but I love that they did it now. The vacation memories are integral to my childhood. The baby oil sunburns and the miniature golf are a part of me. Forever.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Be Prepared.

I remember that August day 22 years ago. It was sunny and humid but there was a slight breeze that made it bearable. The moment I walked up the hill at the rose garden my attention turned to all the American flags lining the small stage. I knew that those flags were there to represent the importance of what was going to happen there that day. Chris was becoming an Eagle Scout. He was receiving the highest rank obtainable in the Boy Scouts. His whole family was there and all of his friends. The clergy that eventually married us was there. He was wearing his freshly ironed uniform that was filled with merit badges and medals. The head Scoutmaster was the one who presented the sought after award. He talked a ton about who is worthy of becoming an Eagle. Only those that demonstrate the Scout Spirit by following the Boy Scout Oath. Then he read the oath. Most of it was just a bunch of jumbled words to me but the line being morally straight made me stifle a something between a gasp and a laugh. At that moment I was sure everyone was looking at me and could see what had happened only 12 hours earlier that would have earned a very important life merit badge.
The night before started out like most others in our young romance. We took a walk hand in hand and talked for hours naming our kids and discussing our white picket fence. We had already proclaimed our love through promise rings and endless kisses. There was no pressure but everything just seemed right for us to take the next step in our relationship. We had read that was what happened next. We had been told by friends it was time. We were prepared. One locked door and some awkward fumbling later it was in the books and we moved on to the next page.
The funniest part is that the details have all faded and neither of us remembers most of it. All I really know is that I am glad it was him. I do remember seeing everyone shake his hand after the ceremony and blushing bright hot red because it just seemed so ironic that people were congratulating him.
I have been married 16 years and have 3 children and I still get embarrassed when I see a boyscout in uniform....