the list


I realized today that I have great kids.

And yes, I’ve known this for some time, but I’ve taken it for granted.  I’ve focused on the icky stuff – the back talk, the mess, the insatiable hunger (even at four in the morning), the tired nights, the never-ending laundry, the tantrums, the blah, blah, blah…

I mean really, this list could go on forever.  I’ve been writing it for nine years.

But today,  I found myself giddy with thoughts about all the great moments that we have shared together in the past month.  Since Trevor has been gone, my focus has changed.  There has been a shift in my household.  I think I may be growing up.

During what could have been a very precarious month loaded with emotion and sadness and feelings of overwhelming emptiness, I have been content.  I anticipated moments of strung-out chaos and believed I was prepared.  I had a mindful of excuses formulated to use in their defense.  In my defense.

But, today, I found myself describing my house as a “love fest.”  Really.  What is that?  My house?  I heard the words tumbling out of my mouth and I couldn’t stop them.  I was stupefied.  Who was I trying to fool?

It’s true though.  Some kind of silent pact has been forged here among myself and the girls.  We are working in tandem – and I realized today that I have taken so much  for granted.  I expect them to behave in a particular way.  I pray that they will learn by both the good and bad examples I set.  I hope that they will replicate the good.  I anticipate that they will criticize the bad.

But I was not prepared to like this parenting gig more (Trevor, pick yourself up now.  Breathe.  Now, keep reading).

Abigail is an amazing blend of bold, brave, sensitive and self-righteous.  She acts outs – she should.  She talks back – she should.  She loves her sisters up close.  She sometimes loves them more from afar.  She sets expectations for herself and strives to meet them.  She embodies success. She is learning that she is an important link in this family; she has an important role and for the moment, she is proud of it.

Fia’s volume has gone up.  Way up.  She is trying to be heard and, lest anyone wonder, she is oftentimes the only thing we hear.   She is learning to love on a whole new level – not just as the cuddly recipient but as one who is capable of doling out affections.  Heartfelt.  Genuine.  Tonight, during storytime, she looked at me and said, “I know that being with three kids is hard Mommy but I love you” (makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time, right?).

Evie.  Evie.  She is the secret that Abigail, Fia and I share.  We exchange a lot of smiles and knowing looks.  We all know how to react to her whims.  She is the baby.  She’s figured out how to punch that card.  She is sweet.  She is cunning.  She is angelic.  She is tumultuous. But, she manages to bring us all together at least once a day, locked in laughter and loud, loud love.

It’s still ugly over here sometimes.  We don’t always make growing up look good.

But, they make me proud.  A million times a day.

So. . .

I am re-writing my list.


2 Responses to “the list”

  1. 1 Mandy Thumm

    I love this entry. Thank you for including us!

  2. I’ve shed tears reading each one of your entries (and I’m not even PMSing.) Tears of happiness for you, tears of sadness too… You are a beautiful woman and writer. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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