Motherhood – What An Adventure!

On November 11, I was very moved while watching Good Morning America and seeing all of the babies who had been born in a 24 hour period in Orlando, FL.  New life – so much potential and so much wonder and amazement.  And, these new lives were so peaceful as they were held by new mothers and fathers or hospital employees blessed enough to cherish the wonder of new life.

This also made me think that parenting is not for wimps.  The job of raising a child (or children) is the most important in the world, in my opinion.  But also the one that you are least prepared for.  There aren’t classes since each individual child and his or her parents are so different.  What works for one family may not work for another.  So, you struggle through and do the best you can hoping and praying that the life you are responsible for will listen and learn lessons you teach them.

 I have never been so sleep deprived as the first few years of my son’s life.  I honestly don’t know how I did make it through some days.  And, I was a stay at home mom (except for one month after maternity leave). I often wondered how other mothers did it – those with older children, those working 8 to 9 hours a day, or those single parents.  My hats are off to all mothers – those who work inside or outside the home.  We rock ladies!!  And the fathers also rock!  I couldn’t have made it without the support and love from my sweet hubby.  It was new and frightening to both of us but so worth it.

One other thing until you are ready to give up yourself for a while, children aren’t for you.  I have found so many things that I can no longer do that I used to love because my time is spent with teaching my son and spending time watching him explore the wonder that is his world.  I am not saying I regret having him.  Not at all, I just had to realize that I had to be mature enough to not have a problem with putting his needs ahead of mine for a while. Thankfully that doesn’t last forever since you eventually get into a groove and work your child into the dynamic of the family, but it did take some time to learn and adjust – at least for me. 

For example, I wasn’t able to finish a book until he was 2 years old since it was so hard to focus and find quiet time until he was able to play quietly by himself for 15 minutes.  When I did finish that book, I was so excited and couldn’t believe that it had been so long.  Now that he is 4 years old and on a regular routine, I have me time again and my husband and I have us time too!  That is such a blessing and something I hope that we can all find!  He has been a true gift to both my husband and myself!!

And, on days when I want to pull my hair out (which we all have had), I stop and realize that I have two years until kindergarten and 18 years until he graduates from high school.  Time is flying by and I hope and pray that my hubby and I can make the best of it by teaching our amazing son the lessons that he will need to be an adult who can succeed in life and live to his greatest potential.  Thank you Lord for the gift you gave us in our little angel.  We are learning as much from him as he is from us!

I am at the beginning of this adventure and am so excited and looking forward to the ride ahead!  I would love to hear from other mothers – no matter if you are in the beginning, the terrible twos, the teenage years, the empty-nesters or proud parents celebrating marriage and grandkids.

I still wonder how we can have part of our heart walking around in the body of our children.  My job as a mother is to give my son the tools to leave my husband and me one day and be his own man. A daunting task with lots of responsibility but quite an adventure.

“Tickling Brings Out My Happy”

A few days ago, my 4-year-old son said, “tickling brings out my happy.” 

My husband and I both laughed and thought what a great comment.  And, when I later thought of it, I realized, that is quite profound for someone so young. Our son often will say, “Daddy, please tickle me.”  You see, he loves to be happy and loves to laugh.  He is truly a gem in our lives!!

I too love to laugh and be happy. When I was young, my sister and two of our closest friends had a club dedicated to giggling and having fun. We had a special name for ourselves and a special quote that we always shared. I will have to check with them to see if I can share it. But, needless to say, these were fun times that I will always remember.  We are all still friends and still enjoy being happy together.

But since I have been an adult, some days it’s harder to be happy and to be able to laugh.  Sometimes sad and terrible things happen or stress can overwhelm you, or you may deal with a health crisis or a serious loss. Sometimes all you can do is try to make it through the day, much less even consider laughing. But I do honestly believe that with time and faith in the Lord, that each day can get easier.  Even after a great loss, you eventually will stop having so much pain and can remember the good and fun times that you have shared with the special people in your life.  As the song goes, One day at a time, sweet Jesus!

I have several things that make me laugh and truly happy: the laughter of a child which seems contagious to me — especially my own son; a funny story from a friend or relative; the inside joke with a close confidant; the jokes that my cousin tells; movies such as Airplane, and Mel Brooks movies; tv shows like The Cosby Show, Designing Women, and The Golden Girls (yes I am a child of the 80s); and current shows Psych and Hot In Cleveland

And, I have to say one of the funniest people who I have ever seen is Carol Burnett. I really enjoyed her variety show and thought she, Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, and Lyle Waggoner were some of the funniest people ever on television. Do you remember the Gone With The Wind sketch? Carol Burnett has said that sketch had the longest laughter response of any they did. And, I can understand why – every detail is hilarious. Let me know if you haven’t seen it and I will explain. Even thinking about it now makes me laugh and seeing it, I laugh until I cry.

In the movie, Steel Magnolias, a great line is “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” I have laughed so hard that I started crying. I don’t remember the reason that led to that, but I do remember what fun it was.  Another quote I have heard for many years is, laughter is the best medicine. Do you agree? 

I hope that you too can laugh and truly enjoy each day you are blessed with. 

And, I will close this blog with a final thought, I wonder if despite what may happen in our lives we can still find our happy. I hope that we can!

Give thanks

Give thanks with a grateful heart, give things to the Holy One, give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His son.

Those are lyrics from a wonderful song about giving thanks.  On this Thanksgiving day, I hope that you have people, gifts and much to be thankful for!

I am thankful for a spouse who loves me just the way that I am.  He is truly my partner and I am so blessed to have him in my life.  I am also thankful for a son who has so greatly enriched my life. 

I am thankful for parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, and uncles who are so different and so giving and loving and so very special!  Each person in my family is unique and fabulous to know.  You may not be able to choose your family but I choose to love all of them with all that I have.

I am thankful for friends who I have made throughout my life.  Some for many years and some for just a short time.  You too are very precious and have so enriched the tapestry that is my life.

I am also thankful for a neighborhood of people who truly look out for each other and like to keep in touch.  It is a blessing to live again in the city where I grew up!

I am thankful to live in the United States and enjoy the freedoms that other people do not have.  I appreciate the sacrifice that our soldiers and their families have given so we can have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and so many other freedoms that we sometimes take for granted. 

I am also thankful for the gift of sight so I can see the smile on my son’s face as he discovers something new and for the majestic waves in the ocean. 

I am thankful for the gift of hearing so I can listen to a friend sing a song at church, an organ play, “How Great Thou Art,” and the animals making noise in the spring. 

I am thankful for the gift of touch so I can give a hug to a friend who needs comfort or a hug for an amazing accomplishment that has been made, or holding hands during a prayer.

I am thankful for the gift of smell so I can enjoy cookies baking in the oven and think back to my childhood and those familiar scents.

I am thankful for taste so I can savor coffee each morning, enjoy a new recipe, and taste my favorite tacos and enchiladas.

These are just a few of the things in my life that I am thankful for.  Dear Lord let us be thankful for all our amazing gifts. I also am thankful for my relationship with Christ and many Christians who I know.

I still wonder if we can ever be thankful enough for all of our blessings.  And, I wonder what you are thankful for.

My Sunset Picture

The picture I chose to place across the top of my blog is one that I took this summer at one of my favorite places.  It was taken at sunset at Mission Beach, which is in San Diego, California. 

This is an urban beach so that may not appeal to everyone and the water is very cold for much of the year and there is a lot of seaweed.  But, I love it and have for many years.  I grew up enjoying large waves that are great for surfing, and became used to wearing a sweatshirt in the evening since it almost always is cool as the sun is going down.  And, I have many fond memories of eating all meals on the front porch of a cottage where if you look to the left, you see the magnificence and splendor of the ocean and to the right a busy street and beyond that the calmness of the bay.

You see, this place has been special and magical for my family for several generations.  I remember many visits throughout my entire life with my grandparents who bought a house just a block from the ocean for the family to enjoy.  My family growing up would go visit grandma and grandpa, cousins, aunts and uncles and have such fun playing, visiting, singing and listening to stories.  These visits were magical for me, my sister, brother and parents and others in the family too.

Now my siblings and cousins come to this wonderful beach with our children so another generation is able to enjoy the fun.  And, in addition to the special times with family, we are blessed to have a wonderful group of friends who are blessed to live in this beach community.  The are the beach neighborhood who have been so welcoming to us and so giving.  They truly know what family is — even when you aren’t related.  These people have continued to make this a place I look forward to visiting in the summer.  It is truly a home away from home.

I hope you too have a place that was special in both your childhood and as you have become an adult.