Outside, though, the lemon tree continues its predictable pattern of growing beautiful yellow lemons year after year. To me, their predictability is both comforting and bittersweet. When all else is changing, the fruit trees remain the same—dutifully growing, changing, and repeating the pattern year after year.
At 40, it feels like anything is possible, though there’s also an urgency to do the things I want right now. And I guess that’s what I never understood about a midlife crisis until now: it’s not a crisis at all, but an awakening to the urgency of living the life you want and doing what makes you happy, right now.
“Am I going to be okay, Mom?” My daughter asked quietly as she lie on an ER gurney. It was midnight, and we had been there for hours. She’d had bloodwork, IV meds, and IV fluids.
Everyone has before-and-afters in life. Little did I know, in spring of 2014, my life would be defined by two before-and-afters that occurred in the span of one month.
Two with three means constantly shouting “where’d the third one go?!” Two with three is figuring out who bit whom. Two with three is a connection so deep they don’t know where they end and the others begin.
We were intimately in tune with each other's struggles and victories, both the big ones and the small ones. And so, during those years, we carried each other through the best and worst of things.
I wondered: had I asked too much of her and her sisters? Did I expect her to be bigger than she was? Did I miss things because I was busy with the babies? Did I miss her being a baby?
Every time I open the freezer drawer, I see a bag of frozen breastmilk staring at me. It has been waiting patiently for me to acknowledge it for months now. But I don’t. I usually just push it deeper into the drawer as I dig around for popsicles or pizza for the kids. Day after day, I see it there, and yet I cannot do the simple thing I know I need to do: throw it away.
DO some pre-trip strength training and conditioning. Disney is a strenuous trip. You should prepare for it by strapping all your children and luggage to you and running around your yard. Or, if your gym has a sauna, strap weights to your chest and pace back and forth while you shout, “no this way! We’re going to the Magic Carpets! Stay with us!”
I belted out all of the lyrics along with Marcus Mumford. And it felt so good to feel like myself. Chrissy Roussel. Not “Lucy’s mom,” or “Molly’s mom,” or “the lady with the six girls including surprise triplet girls.” And it was wonderful, all of it—the singing, the dancing, the being present in that moment and feeling the music.
I heard her steady voice: "you're a good mom," she said. "You're trying so hard." Her words flooded my heart and made it surge. My noticer was noticing me, her mom, and not in the typical way of--you are my mom and that's a given--but as a person who was really trying her hardest.
I’m here to tell you—you need to read this every holiday. Let it go. Let the idea of a perfect, shareable photo go.
You know the moments—those beautiful, tiny, unexpected moments where you step back and you see your children with new, clear eyes. Those moments where life, albeit briefly, can’t get any better and see your kids for the beautiful little people they are (or can be, in these moments).
You know there are things you imagine for your life, and then things that you could never in your wildest dreams imagine happening. This—wanting and buying an oversized conversion van—falls in the latter category, along with having six kids in six years, including triplets.
5. Make yourself known, stand out from the crowd, and ask for what you want. This is a biggie. You’ve got to speak up and stand out from the crowd—make yourself known.
2. You can do some serious multitasking while you’re in line. Chat with a friend. Amazon Prime that birthday present for Susie’s party on Saturday. Pluck your brows.
9. Love is texting that you’re at the store, what do we need. And waiting while I send you an enormous list of must-haves, including wine, wipes, milk, bananas, and eggs, and a million other things.