Thursday, May 05, 2011

I Want Them To Know...

A comment my mom made to me yesterday got me thinking. Her comment was along the lines of "you're always so day you will stop and the kids will be all grown up." My reply was something along the lines of "I'm with my kids everyday! We have fun and connect and play everyday!" It bothered me to think that in her eyes, I was living in such a way that I was missing out on something. Or maybe my children were.

Am I?
Are they?

If it's true. I don't really know how to change it.
Because this life I lead is ME.

I am at home with my kids everyday. I take them to school and pick them up. I make their breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners. Together we read, cook in the kitchen, make play-doh, kick the ball, sing songs, play "I Spy," paint our toe nails, and pray. I always make it a point to literally hold each one in my arms individually and have a few minutes of "just us" time. My "I love yous" and hugs and kisses are probably more than they care for. Yes, daily all these things occur. And I love every minute of it.

But daily - lots else occurs too. Like cleaning, exercising, calendar keeping, blogging, sewing, menu planning, and grocery shopping. And on top of those "duties," I commit myself in areas outside the home as well. Guilds and book clubs, theater groups and supper clubs, volunteering at church and school. And I love every minute of it.

I am not me without one of these components. Take away one of them, and you are taking away a part of my mind or body or spirit or relationships or passion or creativity.

All this introspection caused me to look at my children  at the end of a crazy busy day and think to myself...

"I wonder now what your memories will be of me when you are older? Will you remember the singing and snuggling, or will you remember your mother as an over committed whirling dervish? What if I am not here when you are older? Will you pester Daddy and Grammie for details about their life with me? Will you know who I was and how much I loved you?"

In an attempt to calm these nagging questions in my head, today I am putting down on paper

Five Things I Want My Kids to Know...
About ME. 
1. I love to cook and bake. I've often dreamt of owning my own restaurant or bakery. I'm always telling Daddy after we eat something yummy..."Oh! This will be on the menu at our restaurant when we open one, okay?" My collection of "recipes to try" is almost silly - and for this reason, menu planning and grocery shopping is actually kinda FUN for me! 
2. I love, love books and fresh flowers. I'd rather have flowers on my table than diamonds around my neck. Anyday. And digging in the dirt is similar to therapy to me. Dandelions make me smile as much as Peonies. They are all beautiful. Similarly, I have yet to find a book I hated. Every book is good in it's own way. But I have to go back and forth between meaty, well written books (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Book Thief) and what I like to call "Escapism books" (usually YA Lit: Twilight, The Hunger Games, Uglies) aka books I don't really have to "think" to read. I enjoy both kinds but can't read too many of one before I get bored with the "scholarly-ness" or "cotton candy-ness" of it all. Anyhow - give me fresh flowers or a book for every occasion, and I will always be happy!

3. I love, love, love GOODNESS. I am always moved when people are good, or do good, just for the sake of being good. Not because they are going to get anything out of it, or how it will make them look to others. One of my favorite bible verses is Colossians 1:10 "Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and you will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while you will learn to know God better and better." I try to personify this verse every day.

4.  I love, love, love, love your Daddy. He truly is my best friend and we have a ton of fun together. He makes me laugh, loves God, is the hardest worker I know, supports me in my endeavors, and is an awesome Father! Our love created 3 of the most amazing little people we've ever met and that is such a gift!

5. Things I DON'T love: Meanness. No one should say or do things to break someone else's spirit.
Intolerance. Everyone has a right to their convictions.
Prejudice. We are all HIS children created in HIS image.
Beets. I've tried. Several times. And I just can't stomach them!
And since this is all random stuff about me, I want you to know, as an added extra, that I will always love you. I may be crazy. And constantly juggling 100 projects, but nothing is more important than you. I hope that you can always come to me with everything, tell me anything, and know that I will listen and try very hard to understand. Finally, I want you to know how very proud I am of you, whatever you achieve, whoever you become, wherever you are. You have no need to prove yourself to me or achieve anything for my sake. You just have to keep being my children, and know that I will always be your Mom. And never serve me beets!


Joanna said...

Oh, sweet friend. Your comment, " Every book is good in it's own way" struck a chord with me. It is a metaphor for how I (and I believe you, too) "see" others.
I loved that.
(And, I love goodness and don't like meanness. I think this is where you and I meet in life.)

LauraC said...

Love this.
But I have to say, none of the things you want the kids to know about you are any surprise because you wear all of it on your outside every day. Which is why I like you!

Andrea said...

such a sweet post, and those pictures at the end priceless!

Tessa said...

Someone once said to me that one of the most important things you can give your children is availability. It doesn't necessarily mean that you are constantly creating special memories with them, but instead you are always available to them. If they need you, you are there - to tie a shoe, help with homework, or give a hug. I always think of that when I am feeling like I am not doing enough "special things" with my kids. Bottom line - they will look back at their childhood and remember you being there. :)

Dave and Ronda said...

That was a great post Erin. Really made me think about how I spend my days. I love that verse and I think verse 11 is really good too, especially for busy moms.

Jami said...

I LOVE this post and your life sounds a lot like mine. It is so important to be intentional about "knowing" our kids and making sure they "know" us. Great list, I'm with you on the beets ;)

carlisle clan conversation... said...

I love this! Love getting to know your heart precious! I battle what choices to make everyday. I too spend my all day, every day (home school...hello!)with my kidlets and some weeks I can't catch my breath, but in the end we love our silly, crazy, imperfect life. Beets, 'cotton-candyness' crack me up!

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