Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! I know there will be a lot of cooking, and celebrating, going on today and I am so giddy thinking about my babes gathered around the table with my family and truly engaging and being a part of all of the holiday cheer. This year while amazing, has gone by literally in a blink of an eye ,and I know that is so cliché to say, but really you guys how is it almost over? Being a mom is non stop, and being a mom to two under two- 14 months apart was such a whirlwind for me! Just recently we were cleaning out all closets to make room for our winter wardrobe (we live in sunny so cal! So winter means it is under 70 degrees and we consider that cold!) and I was looking at my baby boys newborn clothes and I started sobbing. Did I miss it? Of course we interacted with him, but I feel like with our daughter all of our attention was so focused on her that we truly soaked up every move she made. Now, my son is only (already!) 8 months old so I know we still get him for so long but 8 months! He is trying so hard to walk and chase after his big sister, he is so expressive, and is always smiling and laughing. I wish we could all stay like this forever!! That being said, I have chosen to reflect, REALLY reflect and not the typical “I’m so thankful because…” half thoughts that I’ve had before. I feel after all of the horrible things that have gone on this year we owe it to ourselves and our families to really stop and stare at them and wonder aloud “How did I get so damn lucky?!” So these are a few of the people and things I am thankful for this year!
- I am thankful for my husband. Loving is hard. It is not the memes and the movies all of the time. It can’t be and it shouldn’t be. Being a parent while finding time for yourselves is hard. Dating and talking about anything else besides the babies when they practically consume your whole life? Hard. I am thankful for my husband because he tries even when its hard. It is not always the grand gestures that he always used to make like whisking me away on a surprise getaway that does it for me anymore (babe if you’re reading this, surprise getaways are still nice though!) it is little things, subtle things, thoughtful things. We were all at the table the other day, and my babies were laughing and eating and we had the music going and Billy and I were meal prepping and ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz started playing and he quickly looks up at me and asks “you know what this is from don’t you?” In 2009, Billy and I took a trip to Hawaii. Our first big trip as a couple, we rented a convertible and drove all over that gorgeous island and that song played every 2 minutes on every station. It became sort of like an anthem for us and we heard it everywhere after that. Of course, the song is gorgeous and popular so that is why it was everywhere but in our world it was always playing just for us. It was and is ‘our’ song, one of a few. He asked me to dance, in the middle of the kitchen and there we were. In front of our babies, the song from our early twenties playing and us, 9 years later. This is how I want to think of him. Not all days are like this, But I have days like this. I am loved. Through the easy days, and on the hard days, through laughter and tears and stress and every other emotion imaginable- I am loved. I get to sleep next to someone who sometimes knows me better than I know myself, even after all of these years.
- I am thankful for my daughter. Oh my wild child, my free spirit, my carefree hair flying in the wind, laughs loud freely and courageously. I could write endless novels about how her hair glistens in the light, how her smile shames the sun itself. She is the kind of girl that is the pure reason poetry was invented, and songs are worth listening to, and gives an entirely new meaning to the word love in fact she gave it meaning to me. I’ve known love in my life time but there is nothing that can compare to the overwhelming emotion of having your first baby placed on your chest. I could and I will, but I am literally already crying. So Valentina, you are the reason the word thankful exists in my vocabulary and the reason it truly means something to me. You made me a Mother. My heart longed for you since the day I held my first baby doll. While so many little girls dream of their wedding and moving on the amazing ambition of a career, my heart always longed for you. I knew being a mother would be the greatest thing I could ever do, and while there are not enough things that I could do for you and not enough words in the english language to praise you, I am thankful for you.
- This is actually #2 as well. I am thankful for my son. My sweet, beautiful, growing up entirely way to quick, thoughtful, curious, and perfect little boy. My heart needed you. It called for you before my brain had time to catch up. You have taught this family so much and it is so clear that you were wonderfully and fearfully made solely for us. You were meant for me. The second you were placed on my chest, I recognized you. I’ve had you for only 8 months, but your soul and my soul are very old friends. If we do live more than one lifetime, my son and I? We are meant to be together through them all. I remember being so afraid of not being able to love a second child as much as my first but my God how I adored you the second you came kicking and screaming into the world. When we locked eyes my heart grew so big, big enough to give you and your sister more love than you could ever endure. More love than you will ever want, especially when you are in middle school and high school and mama still wants to smother you with kisses and pictures in front of your classroom. I like you forever, I’ll love you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be. I am thankful for you.
- I am thankful for my heart, my love and the courage that they give me. While I am blessed much more than I deserve, it is not always easy. Being a mom and for me, being a mom to two under two is hard, some days more than others. I am thankful for my own endurance, my ability to keep moving forward and doing what needs to be done for my family. I am thankful for how much love my heart has to give to my family, even on the days when I don’t show it to myself. I am thankful for my courage and strength as a mother, to stand strong as their caregiver and protector. I guard them from everything and everyone that does not add value to their lives and while I know I will not be able to do that forever, I will absolutely try. I am thankful for this body that carried them and that nourished them long after birth and that will continue to nourish them in different ways as long as I live.
- I am thankful for cameras. I know the age of cameras and phones being everywhere is a double edged sword but there are a few great things about them. I have so many memories on video and over 18,000 pictures at my disposal and I fawn over them often. When I think and feel sad about missing my baby boys newborn stage I have proof at the tip of my fingers at just how much I’ve loved him, and stared and wrapped him up in my arms daily. I have so many memories of all the new things my girl learns every day, and how much zest she has for life. All the magic in the mundane of our everyday lives.
I am filled with gratitude for all of the people in our lives that send us positive vibes and love us and most importantly our babies. But at the end of the day, when all is said and done we are the ones that are together always. We are the ones that experience all of the ups and downs on a day to day basis and the ones that take care of each other and lift each other up. Today, I will not think about all the stuff that I do not have that I can’t wait to get tomorrow. Today, I will not think about all of things that are wrong, my perceived failures or the ones of my husband. I will hug them, love them, and be so unbelievably grateful to have them. Many, especially in this time of senseless shootings and horrid fires, do not have that privilege. Today, I am thankful.