The word I have chosen for myself this year is: PRESENCE
Our life these days flies by at such incredible speed. United by sameness (feed kids, drop off, work, pick up, feed kids, repeat) yet each day brings new & unexpected challenges. Running two businesses, raising three boys, nourishing a marriage and finding a moment for myself, is often very overwhelming. It is easy to get lost in all of the "things that have to get done" of each day. When I do find a second to take a breath & actually be still, I can honestly say I wouldn’t trade any of it. The chaos, the squabbles, the endless lost shoes/glasses/library books… the weight of all that frustration dissipates the second one of you says “I love you” or does something kind or at the beautiful fleeting sound of my boys having a deep down belly laugh together. I don't want to miss any of it, the good, the bad, the whole messy business of being a family. My word this year is meant to bring me back to this center, to bear witness to each day I have the gift of being with the four of you.
For you, Quinn, I choose the word: INDEPENDENCE
In the first days after you were born, I found myself in a new world. I was unsure of how to be a mother, let alone a mother to a boy who may need things I didn’t yet know how to give. What I kept coming back to, whenever the swirls of doubt would find a way in, was that as long as you were in my arms, I knew deep down that everything was going to be okay. Now that you are almost ten, I find myself in a whole new stage of motherhood. Still uncertain (hello puberty?!?) and unsteady in so many areas, I know that the job I am faced with now is to prepare you to leave me one day. Just thinking about this makes my eyes sting with tears even as my heart fills with pride, certain in the knowledge that you are meant to do great things in this world. Things that will have nothing to do with me.
You turned eight years old this past weekend. Eight amazing years of pushing boundaries, learning new things & teaching me the true meaning of the word patience. I imagine it is really hard for you sometimes being in the middle. With your older brother getting extra attention for having Down syndrome and your younger for being the youngest, it must feel like sometimes there isn’t any extra for you. I want you to know that I see you my love. I see your full heart and beautiful soul. I witness how proud you are when Quinn does something he couldn’t before. How you want to help Soren to learn new things & to be a good example for him. I know that we sometimes hold you to a higher set of expectations because we know you can reach them. I want to teach you to see the glass overflowing. To show you the incredible capacity of the human heart. You face the world at such incredible speed, I want to be certain that you feel loved enough, that your tank is full when you leave the house each morning.
My rascally, snuggly, silly little one. You remind me each day to make time to drink the pretend coffee, to play rocketship on the floor and take every moment possible to savor your smallness. I know it doesn’t last. That I won’t always be your “most favorite girl in all of the land.” That one day soon, you won’t automatically climb up on my lap to read a story whenever you find me sitting down. In the not-so-distant future you won’t even fit on my lap anymore. For you, my littlest little, I wish you the same brightness you bring to my days. To watch you continue to grow in exactly your own way, gaining new skills & knowledge with an ease that astonishes, I am filled up. I marvel at your luminous heart, ever-growing body & incredible mind. I know you will set yourself apart from your brothers, even as you follow in their shadows.
William, heart of my heart, for you I choose: ENOUGH
How did I get so lucky to meet you that long-ago day? To be on this adventure by your side is my most favorite thing. To grow & change & push each other to be better people, and yet also see & embrace the undersides of our human frailties. To me, that is the beauty of partnership. I know how hard you work, how much you push yourself to do more, to be more, to live up to the high expectations you set. My wish for you is to see that you are already there. You are enough. You do enough. The certainty you seek is right here. I know you want to provide more for us financially, to be free of the worry & debt that comes along with our chosen professions. But that is only one small part of the picture. Being deeply certain of your love is all the security we really need.
Counting each blessing… my heart is full and cup runneth over.