Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

Dear Henrik, Theodor, and Elinor,
When you wake, it will be Mother's Day. Despite your best efforts to let me sleep in and to shower me with the most beautiful glitter creation in all the land, this day isn't really about me. I've wanted, and waited, for this day to be about me for 7 years. And, to be honest, I've dreamt about a night away from you all to celebrate in solitude, in front of trashy TV, a bottle of wine, and some chocolate while cheering my self on because you're all still alive. But this year, after seeing the lack of build up and prep, I've finally figured it out. It's never about me... it probably won't ever be about me.

I've longed for a day where I could sleep in past 6 AM. I've hoped for a day with no fighting, a trip to the grocery store or even the bathroom by myself, mimosas all day, massages or even a mani/pedi, and, most importantly nothing to pick up or clean, no laundry to put away, and a day without saying, "put on your shoes" 600 times. But the reality is, without you, I wouldn't be a mother. Without the millions of loads of laundry, the mess on the floor mere seconds after I've vacuumed and washed them, the sibling rivalry, the tears and even the fights, this day would just be like a birthday or any other anniversary. What makes this day so special is that YOU have to be part of it. If that means that my meal out is accompanied by a two year old who stands on the chair and starts dancing, so be it. If it means the majority of my day is devoted to finding that one Lego piece, we will find it. If that means I have to stop reading a book that I've had on my bed stand for 4 months so I can play catch with you, we will play.

I have been lucky enough to become a mother 3 times, and there is never a day that I'm not thankful for that. It's because of Henrik that I am a mother. It's because of Elinor that I get to experience life as a mother of sons and a daughter. Through each of you I've made mistakes, regretted some of my words or actions, but most importantly, I've had some of the best days of my life.
Each of you have taught me more about myself than you could have ever imagined, actually, more than I could have ever imagined. There's nothing like the words of a two year old to make you evaluate yourself more critically. There's noting like the question, "Why?" that makes you really sit and think about what you've said.  Hanky, you've taught me to see the world through a different and inquisitive lens. You've forced me to keep learning and searching for information on the unknown. You ask me daily to be logical yet compassionate. You've increased my knowledge in all of the sciences, and because of you, I'm able to no longer settle for the easy solution or answer.

Teddy, you've tested me in ways no one could have prepared me for. You've taught me patience, how to be firm but kind, and you've made me understand the real tolls of motherhood: depression, loneliness, and fear. You've taught me that emotions can all happen at once and that it's OK to feel more than one at a time. You've forced me to realize that it's OK to treat each kid differently and that no person is the same so we might as well realize the needs of each person. Most importantly, Ted, you've taught me how to live life to its fullest, to be passionate, to go all out, laugh loud and long, and to be in the moment.
Sweetie, from your emergency c-section, I learned that no matter how prepared, or healthy someone is, life is fragile. You've shown me that I can be strong even when I didn't want to. You made your debut 7 weeks before a 10 month deployment and you were the reason I had to hold it all together. You've shown me a love that your brothers never came close to. You made me question what being a woman was all about. You made me parent your brothers better, become even more of a feminist, and to fight harder for women's rights. Because of you, I've learned that I have to be more active, lead by example not just in thought or in solidarity, and to show you that the world is truly at your finger tips.

You three have no idea how many times you've made me cry, lock myself in the bathroom, scour the internet for parenting help, or called my village of friends for tips. But, even on the bad days, I can look at you unconditionally, and honestly tell you that I love you more than anything in the universe. You see, yes, I'm supposed to separate myself from you, but my life is consumed by you. I see you in every part of my day, even when I'm not with you. You still are part of me, and I'm so happy to have you show up when I see a really long train, or see a digger, as I scroll through Sports articles and National Geographic--Even my Netflix account is filled with suggestions that are really for you. I want to share special events with you. I would way rather have a dance party with you than spend a night on the town, and board games and pizza Fridays are the highlight of my week. And, while the bewitching hour happens every evening, and every morning I say, "brush your teeth" about 1000 times, the truth is, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Ever.

So, while I expect nothing out of the ordinary, and while 8 hours of sleep would be AMAZING, Sweetie has already come out of her bed and into mine, and ya know? I'm really, really glad to have her here. Because I don't need flowers or a brunch to feel special. What I need is her soft, chubby hands caressing my cheek and holding on to my ears. It's Hanky, climbing, unannounced into my lap just to give me a hug. It's Teddy asking for me to play catch. And it's the noise, all of it, that makes me feel special and lucky enough to be your mom.
Happy Mother's Day, you three, thank you for making my only wish for this lifetime come true.

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