We’ve all heard the African adage “It takes a village to raise a child.” It has taken an unfortunate turn of events to remind me that I need to thank the people in my children’s village and tell them how much they mean to us.
Just as I know that their bad days are not reflective of who they are, they know the same is true for me. They see all the good and all the bad in me, on my best days and my worst, and still love me fiercely, wholly, and are ready to pounce on any one who dare criticize me … even when that critic is me.
We all know vacations are a lot of work for parents. We did it all. Packing, organizing, schlepping, baby wearing, comforting, mediating, planning and plan-b’ing, but you know what I did most of all? I breastfed my baby all over Disney World. I mean it too. Holly got feedings and extra-feedings…
In fact, I find that most Mondays I return to work more exhausted than when I left on Friday. Sure, part of it is that we are trying to cram too much fun into each weekend, but another part of it is simply that “relaxing” activities of my carefree, childless days now require significantly more energy and work in order to be successful (or survive).
After our hike, we ate a great meal and took a pint at a rustic hiking lodge with a clear view of our mountain. I could not help but think to myself: This is the kind of person that I want to be for my daughter. This powerful, determined, caring, supportive woman. We were changed and it was good.
Motherhood has always challenged me to be the best version of myself and this has never been truer than in the tween/teen years. Sometimes I am just so tired.
I quickly lose sight of the fact that she is only 4 and a half. I’ll be the first to admit that I have become complacent. I leave her to her own devices at times. Especially when I am trying to run a house by myself. She is also painfully independent (see aforementioned slamming of bedroom door). I trust her not to put peas up her nose or to eat crayons. I am far too trusting.
Maybe I am a traditionalist at heart, but I still believe every woman has to do what is in her heart … what is right with her soul. And that is pretty damn progressive.
But, then I found myself fallen from a treadmill at 9:45 at night with bruised and battered legs. “Jerry, HELP!”
I always dreamed of having three kids and life did, in fact, bless me with three beautiful children. One boy, one girl, and one child who falls somewhere in between.