I miss you still.

I have a notebook I started for you.  Letters written to the baby I was carrying.  Letters that began quite literally moments after receiving a positive pregnancy test.  I suppose its no surprise that being a writer, my first expression of love for you was in writing.  I imagined you having the notebook your whole life.  With it, you would know how adored you were from the start.

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I felt such a connection to you.  I found out you were coming to me on the anniversary of my father’s death.  I thought it some way God was trying to reach me, a wonderful right to a horrific wrong…

I wrote to you often and with such anticipation.  Life was great.  We were blessed.  I tracked your size each week and would read all I could so I would know everything I could about you.

Baby names were kicked around, gender neutral clothes purchased, hand-me-downs from family trickled in and were oogled and fussed over.  My goodness, you were so wanted.

11 years ago today, I had a different entry in our love journal.  The love letter I wrote you was scary.  It was hard.  A mother should never have to write such things.

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I wrote this 11 years ago today.  I am not sure I’ve prayed harder.  This week tested my faith to the extreme.  This week is the reason I left the Catholic Church and declared myself Christian.  This week was life-altering for us both.

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I have wanted to write about you, to you again, for longer than I can say.  I just didn’t know how.  The loss is still breathtaking and I never even got to hold you.  A meaningful footnote is that this last entry is your brother’s birthday.  One year after writing this, he was born.

This stirs guilt in me sometimes.  Had you stayed, he wouldn’t be here.  And as a mother, this is a hard emotion.  Because I feel pure glee that he is here I sometimes wonder if that makes you think I love you less?  I trust Jesus to hold your hand and explain to you that I love you no less.  My heart is big enough for all my children.  Always.

I keep this notebook of ours.  I keep it even though you are no longer here to receive it.  I keep it for myself.

These days there is much debate in our government over when a baby is a baby.  To many in the mainstream, you were not.  This is untrue.  You were everything.  You were loved and you mattered.  You are thought of every day.

Life has gone on and more children have been bestowed upon me.  I am grateful.  I am happy with my role as their mother.  I hope you still feel how important you are and you know the place you hold in my heart.  I will certainly miss you all the days of my life until I see you again and hold you for the first time.

Until then,

I miss you still.

XOXO

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Reminder

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I am still here.  I write this as a reminder to myself even more than a notification to my readers.

I have been writing so much these last few months, just not blogging.  I have missed this.

I find myself thinking of this blog often.  I think,

“What do I want to write?”

“What is there to say?”

“Do people really want to hear a housewife’s take on kids and married life?”

“Do I really want to talk about kids and married life?”

“Should I just post works here?  Try to get feedback?”

Lots of questions.  And with full disclosure, I didn’t come to any definitive conclusions.

With the exception of this:  I want to write and I want to write here.

I want to write about whatever I want.  This blog doesn’t need to fit under an umbrella that only touches on certain topics.  It can be all encompassing.   I have no control over who reads, who shares, who cares.  But that isn’t why writing has ever mattered to me.  Writing has been my lifeline since I was a child.  When I was 7 and used writing to help me grapple through my father’s death and throughout my life going through every other hardship and joy.  Writing is home.

So here it goes.  Continuing the act of saving myself.  Using my God-given talent to spend time with myself…and hopefully you all as well.

XOXO

I figured something out…

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Maybe it isn’t anything earth shattering but it is important to our family and I am willing to bet, it may help yours as well.

Our eldest daughter Studious has always loved to read.  I mean ALWAYS.  No surprise there with me as a mom.  We spent hours each day getting lost in books.  It was what I was most proud to have passed on to her.  I still am.  There is nothing like the gift of being able to read and travel to the endless possibilities of the mind. I gave that to her.  Parental win for sure.

Lately I was looking at our final three and while they do love being read to, they did not have the deep desire to read that our eldest did.  I thought maybe times were just changing.  Maybe society was creeping in more than I realized.  I mean, they did just decide to shut down the circus – WHAT?!  Maybe reading was next on the chopping block.

Then I realized, the problem may quite possibly lie with me.  You see, the reason our daughter wanted so desperately to read all the time was because I was.  I was reading all the time and she was doing that thing our children do that we forget most of the time.  She was watching.  Like a hawk.  She wanted to emulate me and the desire grew until she took it and made it her own.  Separate from me.

Now you may ask, “Did you stop reading when Clever, Dapper and Spicy came along?”  The answer, of course, is no.  Not at all.  But HOW I read changed.  I got a Kindle and then I have a Kindle app.  I was reading just as much (okay- maybe a little less since I had 3 instead of just 1 kiddo) but I was reading.  The difference was, I was reading the books on my Kindle App on my phone.  Picture that in your mind.  What do you think my children saw?  Do you think they realized I was reading books or did it just look like I was playing on my phone?  How could they emulate my love of reading when they didn’t see me doing it?

This is not an anti-kindle or other e-book post.  This is merely an observation and a truth I have made and discovered in our home.  Children will model us.  What do we want them to model?  Are we giving them the right things to model?  In my case, I wasn’t.  I was still reading but my children were not seeing it.  Trips to the library were few and far between because I had everything I needed on my app.  BUT THEY DIDN’T SEE THAT!  They saw their mom sitting quietly with her iPhone up to her face.  A lot!  Lets face it, I love to read so you can imagine how often they saw this…

So now, recently?  I have gone to the library over and over and then back again.  I have stacks and stacks of books that I am touching in my hands and actually holding.  You know what else I realized? I had missed the tangible books as well.  The smell, the textures, the actual sight of seeing words on an actual page…It has been a coming home of sorts.  I didn’t even realize I had stepped away.

But the best thing?  I have turned this parental fail into a win.  In the short time since I have altered this behavior, I have noticed a change in the final three.  They are emulating me with stacks of books of their own.  More quiet time is being spent curling up with pages and words and all is right again.

XOXO you fabulous models!

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Simple Joys…

Someone near and dear sent me these two photos today with the best compliment to go along with them, “Saw this today and thought of you.”   I have to be honest but to some (heck, maybe many of you) that would seem nice and then you’d move on with your day.  To me?  I grinned from ear to ear because there is just so much to love in these pics.

Of course, the main thing, its a free library!  They have to be the sweetest and most fun things I have seen.  Its as though they are little nuggets of innocence scattered over our wild and not-so-innocent world.   I also adore the quite that was painted on the side, “The more you read, the more you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”  Not a truer word has been written.  And you all know I love the painting.  I think the more colorful these bad boys are, the better.

I definitely feel that being the steward to one of these is in my future.  As I mentioned before, we don’t really get much traffic my way…  But I still think it is doable.  I have to work to convince my handsome husband that we should build one.  What do they say, “If you build it, they will come.”?

Thanks to my beautiful sister for sending this to me.  Thanks for seeing me when you saw it.  That tells me I am living an authentic life as my authentic self and that you see me.  🙂  Isn’t that what we all want?

XOXO

 

The Creative Spark…

I share the belief with many that we are all creative beings.  Each human has the capacity to make, create, build and dream a little piece of the world for themselves.  Do any of us know a child who doesn’t color?  A child who doesn’t imagine mystical realms?   The truth is we are all creative but we are not all brave.

Creating takes Courage.  It requires that we muster up the toughness to fight off our insecurities.  Insecurities that present themselves as inner voices we hear that tell us we don’t have the ‘right’ to make whatever it is we wish to make.  The self-whispers that tell us there is no one out in the world who wants what we have to create.

Children don’t care.  They are brave without even intending to me.  They haven’t been pushed down by society yet to think that any art they create may be “bad”.  To their eyes, each paper they paint, color or tear is a masterpiece.  Seems to me that this realization proves children are not only brave, but extremely smart as well.

If you are lucky enough to have a creative child, which is to say, you have children- let them create.  Encourage it. Support it.  Embrace it.  And believe in it.  Your positive words and actions will foster their creative spark and will let it catch fire.  Anything else would be a huge disservice to them and to the world who is waiting for more awesomeness to be created.  And while you are at it, go create something yourself!

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Spicy is Four!

It happened!  My baby has turned a corner.  I don’t know about you all but I feel there is a huge change from 3 to 4 years old.  One is still considered a “baby” and the latter?  A little person.  A child.

My Spicy is four today!  She is so excited and ready to take on the world!  She seems to be acting older today.  Could this metamorphosis take place in the short nine hours she slept?  Because I swear when I tucked her little sweetness in last night, she was a definitive three year old.  Time flies!

Have an amazing birthday, Spicy.  And an amazing life!  I am so happy God chose me to be your mommy!

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XOXO always!

The Bucket List…

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I came across this book today.  In it lies the bucket list of my daughter, Studious.  We had asked her to start this a few years ago as a way for her to set her dreams to the max and as a method to keep track of her successful accomplishments.

She has in it various places to see in the world.  She has in this a variety of tasks that she wishes to complete.  Daring things, clever things, thoughtful and fun things.  Some things on her list have since been checked off.  Others remain.

I wanted this book to serve as a compass for her.  A compass to setting goals and meeting them.  A way to broaden her horizons.  To see her life for the great and glorious blank canvas for which it is and to inspire her to paint vibrant life-experiences onto it.

Tonight, I realize how fortunate I am to have her and this book of future dreams and aspirations.  I am blessed beyond compare that my children have the ability to dream and become whatever it is they wish to become.  So immeasurably blessed that my children can look out into the world and decide what parts of it’s magnificence they wish to join.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t draw to mind all the parents I have known or heard of who don’t have their children any longer.  How finding a book of these unaccomplished dreams would likely paralyze them with grief and sorrow.  How blessed I am indeed.

I have seen the exact moment each of my children have entered this world.  I pray that none of them ever make decisions which will force me to see them exit it.   That would be against nature and unbearable.

Finding this book today was a pot of gold.  It is proof that there are things yet to be done.  Memories and fun still in store.  Love to be had.

Here’s to the bucket lists of this world!