Thursday, June 4, 2015

mother's day 2015

One of my favorite Mother's Day traditions is having my picture taken with my kids each year. This is what Mother's Day is all about.  These four precious spirits who were sent to me are the reason I try hard every day to be a good mother, and the reason I feel so much joy in doing so.  Ever since I was a little girl, all I wanted in life was to be a mommy, and I'm doing it, and it's amazing.  Sure, it's a million times harder than I imagined it would be, and some days I feel like I can't do anything right as a mother, and there are a million more things I should be trying to do better.  But, I also love being a mother a million times more than I thought I would, and some days I feel like a pretty spectacular mom!  And even when I'm not, I know these four littles love me so, so much. That's the best part.

Leading up to this Mother's Day, I took some time to reflect on how each of my kids plays a very different role in defining me as a mother.  Here are some of the highlights:

Kade is one of my first-born, one of the ones who made me a mother.  As a baby, he tested me more than any of my other infants.  Those first few months he spent a lot of time screaming.  It made me sad when I couldn't calm him down and sometimes nothing seemed to make him happy.  Sometimes I just needed a break from holding a screaming baby.  If anyone else ever held him, and he continued to cry, it didn't matter that minutes earlier I felt like I couldn't take one more minute of holding him while he cried.  I never let him cry in anyone else's arms for very long.  I guess I felt like, if he was going to be sad no matter what, at least he knew he had his momma.  
In some ways, our relationship still feels that way.  There have been periods where it seems like Kade is just unhappy.  I think he sets such high expectations for everything, that when they aren't met, it really gets him down.  But even when his unhappiness leads to acting out, I have such a hard time disciplining him for that.  I just want him to always know that he's got his momma.  
Kade isn't always unhappy, that's for sure.  He is usually really happy, and gets excited by seemingly small things.  I love watching his passion for life, for sports, for friends, and even for school (sometimes). 
Oh Ky, my other first-born.  He was such a different baby, even right from the start, than his twin-brother.  He was much more laid back, and went with the flow.  It took a lot more to get him excited, but it also took a lot more to make him upset.  Even when he was tiny, he has shown us what an unselfish human being he is.  He has always cared so much about other's feelings.  From the time they could walk, Ky was always giving Kade exactly what he wanted.  If they both wanted something, Ky would always give it up to make Kade happy.  When they played superheros, Ky would always let Kade be the main hero, and he would be the sidekick, because he knew it made Kade happy.  Ky was never really scared of things he saw on TV or in movies, but if one of the characters got sad, Ky would immediately start crying.  He's just so compassionate.  It is a blessing to be his mom, because I feel like I learn so much from him.  I'm sure he will continue to teach me as he grows up.
I often reflect on what a blessing it is to be raising twins.  Sure the first year was insane, but ever since then, it is mostly a treat.  Watching them grow up together, and take care of one another, is the best.  Plus, for six years, it was just "two sons and mom" and I love all the memories that we were able to create during that time.
Oh Krew.  I waited so long for Krew to join our family.  He was definitely worth the wait, but boy was it hard waiting!  All that time I wasn't getting pregnant, I just knew I couldn't give up, because I knew there was someone else that needed to join our family.  I get a panicky feeling when I think about what would have happened if I had decided that all the negative pregnancy tests were just too painful, and given up hope.  He is such a light in our family!  He's my little sidekick.  He's the only one of my children to have me mostly all to themselves when they were really little.  I think that has created a bond between us that is special and unique.  He challenges me as a mother because every emotion he has is expressed in the loudest way possible.   Bart and I always say that when he is good, and happy, he is the most fun, funniest, most adorable little boy ever.  But when he isn't happy, he becomes a major challenge!  I think his personality is reflected in my feelings towards him.  I get more frustrated by his stubbornness than I feel like is rational, but I also feel love and protectiveness for him in an equally intense way!
I see so much of myself in his looks, and I loved when he was a baby and I finally had a child that looked like me.  His chubby cheeks, his toes, and his dark hair that turned blond were all me.

When I was a little girl, my heart ached for a sister, and when I finally accepted that I would never have one, my heart yearned to someday have a daughter.  And now I do.  I love so much about being a girl, and all things feminine, and embrace my roles as a wife, mother, and daughter of God with my whole soul.  I'm unbelievably happy that I have a daughter to share those things with, to teach her to appreciate what that means for her, and to watch her experience those things for herself.  
Everly has been my easiest baby, by far.  Her sweet personality, and ever-present, infectious smile are just what this house of rowdy, rambunctious boys needed.  

Sure, I love dressing her in pink, and ruffles, and doing her hair.  I can't wait until we can watch princess movies together, and buy cute girly toys.  I often dream about what it will be like to watch her in dance class, wearing her tutu, and giggling with her friends.  But it's so much deeper than that.  She's my daughter.  That's a simple phrase, but it means so much.

These crazy kids are amazing.  I cannot believe how lucky I am that I get to be their mom.  So much of who I am is because of them.  I am defined in large part by the fact that I have them and they have me.  A huge chunk of my days, and my nights, my thoughts, and my actions are wrapped up in them.  And I wouldn't want it to be any other way!

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