Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Best Days as a Mom

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You know how it is. Those infant days are tough. The toddler days are exhausting. The school age days are challenging. The teen years are labyrinthine. When I look at any day of being a mother my senses become overloaded and each day comes at me and says "And you thought it would never end" yet, they end...

I have to admit that I have found so many days of being a mother have been taxing. I think I really don't adult very well. Yet remembering any single day, November game night or late summer camp outs or April rain days, brings such a tide of overwhelming love. Other emotions too. Having so many days behind me seems...impossible. How can these days have moved so quickly when so many of them seemed inexorably slow?

When I started thinking about this post, about trying to figure out my favorite day as a parent, I realized right away that there is really not a way to name a favorite date. Every single day has its beauty. Every single day have those moments of exquisite perfection. Or that moment of wanting to crumble down to the floor as you repeat over and over I am trying, I am trying, I am trying.

Liz and John with Uncle Mike
Yes, being a parent is a strange trip. Seeing the many, many, many different lifestyles and parenting styles, too, is something that I didn't quite appreciate until recently. I used to envy so many other moms. In the early days I was too busy learning and modeling and comparing that I didn't get to the conclusions that most families are unique and complete and adequate and that most parents are doing their best in the moment; no one is a professional parent.

And now, here I am, looking back at perfect days. How did that time fly?

So these two days, one alone with Elizabeth and one alone with John, are very different from one another. You might be shocked with one of them. But each of these days, in their own way, was a perfect day.

Elizabeth's' Day

One day when our family was visiting Melbourne, Victoria, Australia from our home in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia Elizabeth and I took a train south on a crazy errand. See, we were big fans of the Aussie TV show Australia's The Voice. Both Elizabeth and I were crushing on the winner of the 2013 season of that show, Harrison Craig...well, mostly Elizabeth. When we knew that our family was making the trip down to Melbourne, Harrison's hometown, I contacted the high school that he graduated from and told them a story.

I told them that we were an American family moving to Melbourne and we were looking for a high school for my daughter to attend. Further, my daughter and I wanted to visit the school for a prospective student tour.

Joy on the beach.
When we visited Melbourne, we toured Harrison Craig's high school. We made up crazy stories and told them to the faculty at that school. We saw his pictures and classroom and hallways and theater and parking lot and cricket pitch. We laughed and laughed. Elizabeth and I then went to the beach nearest his home (where ever his house is) and played on the beach. She danced in the wind and the sand until she collapsed in satisfaction and joy on Mornington Peninsula, Sandringham.

She was in stalker fangirl heaven.
Today when she tells that story, she looks at me with such love in her eyes. I blush a little and I hope that whoever is hearing the story recognizes that I was loving my daughter so much on that day.

John John's Day

Inde-fricking-pendence Hall
The next best day was a day that John and I spent in Philadelphia. He and I are YES people. Wanna try something new? YES. Wanna go there? YES. Wanna see that show? YES. Wanna go on an adventure? YES. Let's talk to those people. YES. So when he and I travel together we have a fantastic time.

Philadelphia is a destination that I have always wanted to visit and John was game. Perfect weather, a complete lack of a schedule, unlimited resources, we just did whatever we wanted to do. His huge smile and constant hugs make that day this History Lover's favorite day!

John appreciated Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and Benjamin Franklin history and Betsy Ross's House with me and, soon, he was as infatuated with the city as I was. There is nothing like seeing your love catch fire and be reflected in the eyes of your gorgeous child.

It's a GIFT

Jhevaunte and John
The truth is, I could have picked any number of days for this exercise. So many days when the light in their eyes or the love in their heart was burning for me. Being the mother to these two children is a freaking GIFT, something I could never have predicted for myself so long ago when those other moms really seemed to do it better. 

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