Saturday, September 19, 2009

Life As It Stands

Life here is good. Well...It is what it is- every minute an education of sorts- where I throw caution to the wind and decide not to make my bed in order to spend a few minutes extra making fresh chocolate chip pancakes before the kids head off to school; where nobody wants the chocolate chip pancakes and I breathe deeply and try not to take it personally; where I trod the path to the local elementary school and get kisses from the boys that make me feel like a good mommy; where my boys take off running and duck to avoid my kisses and head into the building without looking back; where my kids remember our anniversary with hugs and whispered plans of surprises for another day; where Tom and I brush off our anniversary and shuttle kids to and from school and games and appointments- then fall asleep in mid-air before our weary noggins hit the pillows which I should have laundered a week ago; where romance is a second thought; where friendships are forged and well attended to; where friendships are neglected and growing weeds; where faith ebbs and flows, sometimes with certainty, often with increasing doubt; where sports become a thorn in the side of family time but leave me proud and cheering for my kids; where the kids I love disappoint me by lying, or sassing, or ignoring; where the kids I love behave like kids and I discipline and hold with soft kisses and whispers of acceptance; where the kids I love seem to bloom and unfold with surprising abundance and joy; where I learn that the minutes of life are to be experienced- both in exhilaration and dread-equally, but form a map of my days most perfectly soldered together by God.

Tonight Lily and Liam purchased with their own money and fixed, from start to finish, a most incredible dinner, in honor of their parent's twelfth anniversary. Tom and I were formally called to dinner in our dining room, with candle-light, champagne, and a four-course meal. The romance a mere pilot-light, with three of my four children joining us at varying times during the meal. Benjamin, after an afternoon of rampant misbehavior, was screaming from the confines of his bedroom, as the musical interlude for the evening. But I found that what I heard most was my own gratitude for the collective memories of this night- for the beauty of my two oldest children's intentions and generosity, their selfless pouring out of love for us, their maturity and skill and boundless excitement for the gift they were giving and had planned out over many days this week; for our follow-through with our most challenging son, whom we love feverishly but with great frustration and bewilderment-nothing could have prepared us for the challenges of parenting him, just as nothing could have prepared me for how unconditionally I love him and how I recommit myself to parenting him every second that I'm with him- never giving up on the hope that one day we will see clearly how most appropriately to parent him and meet his needs; for my two year-old's attachment to us and need to be as he is- young and vulnerable and needing of our constant love and attention.

Twelve years has passed since I vowed to love my husband for all of my earthly days, and then some. Our wedding, both jubilant and imperfect, was a foreshadowing of sorts, for the journey that lay ahead. Many moments of that day, on the 14th of September, on the beach, in 1997, were not as I had meticulously planned- the mishaps with the music, the quirky minister (she didn't seem to appreciate the frivolity with which we repeated our vows, a manner typical of our relationship then and now, none of which I would change), the delayed reception, the starving guests and luke-warm breakfast foods. That's all pretty much the way it has played out since- kind of funny, and frustrating, and giggly, somber then silly, angry then simmering then boiling over with love and mercy and contentment.

I wouldn't write the script this way. I'd make it more sappy and sweet, lacking of pain or bumps in the road. But I am not the architect of these days- and I'm becoming more at peace with this life that I'm living and its ups and downs. Because the ups are worth all the downs, any way you carve them.

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About Me

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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