Sunday, May 9, 2010

To My Loves

Dear Eddie, Neily, and Jack,
It's just before noon on Mother's Day. It's so pretty and sunny out, but just a little cool. I'm in the house by myself and I can see the three of you from where I sit, working and playing in the yard.
I look around our house and you are everywhere. The wrapper to a juice box straw discarded on the rug, leftovers from our lunchtime picnic earlier this week still on the bench at the door, my Mother's Day gift from Neily (a flower pen in it's own decorated pot) sits in front of me.
It's hard for me to see the blessings of where I sit sometimes. I wish I had the fancy Pottery Barn desk for the computer instead of the rickety armoire that I'm sitting at. I think about how nice it would be to have a pretty, bright laundry room in lieu of the slightly scary one in the basement. Yesterday the dog threw up on the wood floor that I'd just spent 30 minutes mopping and I really wanted to strangle him.
But this morning, when I opened my eyes on my 8th Mother's Day, the first thing I saw was a tiny clay pot resting on top of a handmade card. No one was in the room, Neily had sneaked into the room before I woke and laid it next to me. She loved me enough to leave it and sneak out, letting me sleep. She woke up and remembered instantly that it was a special day, and knew she wanted to do something. I thought about how selfless an act it was, and how hard that must have been for a 7 year old. She knew that I would find it and she wouldn't get the satisfaction of seeing me open the gift. It warmed my heart that she had made something, hidden it from me, and then given up the privilege of seeing my face when I opened it. Every time I look at that little clay pot, I will see so much in it.
Jack bounded in, bursting at the seams waiting to give me his present. Just yesterday as I was heading out the door to meet friends, I said "What I really want for Mother's Day is to wake up to a clean house! Will you clean for me while I'm gone? That's what I REALLY want..." Jack immediately jumped up and said, "You don't want a silhouette?" and seemed crushed. I knew exactly what he meant- on Wednesday, he brought home a wrapped gift from school and told me that under no circumstances was I to peek under his dresser. I didn't. He chased me up the stairs last night asking me if I really only wanted him to clean, or did I maybe want a silhouette, too? Was that something I'd always wanted? I told him that yes, I have always wanted one of those but I didn't know how to make them myself so maybe we should find out. The smile on his face as he hopped off will not be something I will forget.

Dear Eddie,
Without you, I would not be here right now, and we would not have this family that I am so thankful for each day. I look at Neily and I see you. That is such a gift. I love to tell people who sweetly say that she looks like me that she, in fact, looks just like her daddy. I think about the moment we found out that we would be parents, and the day she was born. I love to tease you about your music but secretly adore it when our kids hum some crazy song that only you have heard of. I think it's even more adorable when Neily asks you to fill her iPod with Hannah Montana and Black Eyed Peas, and you do it, without much complaining. I think about the stressful year when our house was on the market and we dreamed of more space, moving away, and leaving this silly little house behind. I realize now as I look at the front window that this is exactly the view I want to see and I'm content and happy here. Don't take that too literally, if we hit the jackpot, I won't refuse to leave this house.... ;) I love you for being the best father our kids can dream of, and for always being on my side. I appreciate that we are showing our kids the value of loving someone, and showing them that we are important to each other.

Dear Neily,
Before you were born, I could imagine you in our family. I knew I would have a little girl and buy her sundresses and put bows in her hair. I knew you would be smart and funny. Now that you are 7, it's hard for me to believe. The moment you came into our lives, we were a family and I will always be grateful to you for giving us that gift. Sometimes I look at you and feel overwhelmed because you're so pretty and sweet. You are passionate about everything you do. Everyone likes you and gravitates toward you. I can't think of a better gift to possess than that, you have always been confident and fun, and I hope you never lose that. You have a contagious laugh and are always smiling. You and I are very different and the mother/daughter relationship is not an easy one to figure out. You challenge me in ways I never thought possible, and I know that it's only the beginning! I will always be on your side and I will always give my best to you. You are such a GOOD person and I love you!

Dear Jack,
You are my little man. I never knew how much I wanted you until the moment I laid eyes on you! You are mine. Sometimes you tell me stories, and I find myself just watching you and laughing to myself. You are smart and silly, and you think of things in a way that is uniquely yours. You are sensitive, sometimes too sensitive! Sometimes I see so much of myself in you that it's eerie. I hope that as you grow, you continue to be as caring and sweet as you always have been. You make people laugh, which is a true gift. You wear your heart on your sleeve, and can't hide how you feel. When you're happy, everyone knows it. When you're not, EVERYONE knows it. I've never known a child who got in more trouble because they were having fun than misbehaving. When you smile, your eyes light up. You love with your whole heart and we love you back! You have the biggest heart and thank you for sharing it with us.

Thank you to all three of you for making me a mommy!

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