Do you have a few secrets you keep from your children? Of course you do. We all do. I keep some gems hidden quietly in my heart -- mostly out of love, but sometimes for my own survival.
Here are my top seven:
7. I have a favorite child. And my favorite can change almost instantly, depending on who has placed his small hand in mine or instead used it to wreak momentary havoc. But, my favorite also can REIGN AS KING for much longer periods, going on weeks or months, as you each journey through your own seasons -- and I do, too. In fact, having a favorite child is a simple way of saying that BOTH of my boys are my favorite. I love you equally, and also in totally different ways.
6. I watch you sleep. Late at night, I slip into your beds. I lie next to you and feel your breath on me. I marvel at your mere existence. I wonder at your absolute peacefulness. And I say a little prayer for Our Tribe.
5. I fake cry. Why, oh why, do I fake cry? Because I know it will make you STOP whatever you are doing, be quiet and then be REALLY NICE to me for at least the next hour. I invoke this strategy on a limited basis, so as to avoid overuse and future ineffectiveness.
4. I wanted to return you. But only for the briefest moment, when I was new at being your mother. Dad and I brought you home from the hospital, and we were complete novices. I spent two whole days sobbing to myself and silently praying that I could return you to the hospital because it was SO HARD to be your mother. I sat with our beautiful baby girl (The Labrador Retriever), and together, she and I reflected on the simplicity of life before you, because I was too afraid to share it with anyone else. But then, like magic, I found my new mother compass. And somehow, your dad and I haven't been able to imagine life without you for the past eight years. EXCEPT on that awesome trip to Italy, when you stayed with Gramma and Grandpa. And I mean awesome.
3. I love your father more than you. Honestly, I'm not sure whether I am supposed to or not, but it is what makes this whole thing work. And there are times when it seems like perhaps I don't -- those days when your voice rings louder, your needs are great, or I find myself sitting, totally in love with you, watching a movie and cuddling on the couch while your dad sits off somewhere distant. (Like right next to us in the big blue chair. But still distant.) But, I do. I love him more. I chose him. And, together, we chose you.
2. When life cheats you, I am screaming on the inside despite my calm demeanor. But I know it is my responsibility to teach you that sometimes life is just unfair. And it is how you respond to unfairness that defines you as a person. I'm helping you grow to understand that the beauty of life lies in being able to see the whole forest and not get lost amongst the trees. That the little things will come and go; they will matter, but then they won't. And, ultimately, your greatest hope and courage will be found navigating them all while seeing that life is so much bigger than your current hurdle.
1. I count EVERY DAY as a small victory for Our Tribe. We made it. We so totally made it.
I'd love to know just ONE of your secrets! Send me a note, or comment below.