“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.
Car dates. They’re a thing. At least for me and my husband. You, too, can experience glorious car dates with just a few easy steps. Here’s how:
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.
With time and distance, I felt myself appreciating the full spectrum of emotions that came with my experience of having a high risk pregnancy and preemie babies. Thinking about how easily we could’ve had a different outcome. Thinking about how grateful we were to have our three girls. Thinking about my sister. Thinking about Elise.
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).
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.
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.
7:25 a.m. Now crossing in to very late territory. Announce to Seth I have to go, and all babies cling to my legs like static-y socks. Try to peel them off. Still crying. They were happy earlier, do they know I’m leaving? What is going on? Babies don’t cry.
And then, when everyone gathers for birthday cake and starts singing happy birthday, I’ll wait for that moment I always wait for. That moment—when everyone is singing happy birthday, and my daughter looks around and sees everyone smiling at her, loving her.
She doesn’t focus on the laundry that isn’t folded, the dishes that need to be done; in fact, she waves those concerns away as she sits and laughs and holds the babies. She focuses on one thing—baby joy. And that sparks such a joy in me. I notice more. I pause. I don’t hurry through the day’s tasks but instead, I stop. I notice. I appreciate. I take the time to enjoy it all. If only for a few minutes, I pause to breathe in the babies’ clean hair. I notice their sturdy little feet, which are now so much bigger.