Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Best of Everything

I'm so tired.  I'm pretty sure I fell asleep before my head reached my pillow last night.  David swears I was mean to Reagan.  She was begging me to cuddle with her, and in my tired stupor, he said I just kept saying, "Don't touch me.  Leave me alone."  Hey, sometimes I just need some personal space!

Today was Anna's second birthday.  Twenty four months of pure craziness and exhaustion.  When I went back to work when Anna was just 3 months old, I had no idea how tired I would be. Having one baby was tough, transitioning to two was something I was not really prepared for.  Hats off to people who do it more than that! Two babies within 13.5 months of one another cured my baby fever.  Fovever.

When Reagan was just a couple months old, I remember looking at her toothy grin and wanting to just be able to bottle that moment for another day.  Her little bald head, her coos that only an infant could make, and the exclusiveness of the relationship I had with her then (I had just found out we were expecting #2 and I was more than overwhelmed and feeling incredibly guilty).  

Since Anna's arrival, it's like my life has finally clicked.  Despite the chaos, it's like this is what I was meant to do.  I like the balancing act of motherhood and school, even though I haven't quite managed to have much of a personal or social life.  I realized recently that I haven't had a haircut since Spring Break...of last year.  Eeek!  

Having two small kids is expensive and that was our biggest concern when we were trying to figure out the big picture when those two little lines appeared.  I wish I could say we were instantly happy.  I instantly wanted to throw up, and I didn't have morning sickness with Anna at all.  I was terrified.  Somehow, God has provided for our family.  We don't have everything we'd like, but we certainly have everything we need.  When I look at my little girls, their adoring daddy, and their loving big brother, I'm fully content.  The fact that we have quality childcare, reliable transportation, & balanced meals on our table are something I don't take for granted and am truly grateful for.  

Last night, I slept better than I had in recent weeks.  I'll take that as a thanks from my newly turned two year old for being such an awesome momma.  At two, she still wakes up at least once a night and will not go back to sleep without some mommy snuggles.This evening after our romp in the backyard and devouring pizza & cookie cake, I plopped the girls in the tub, hopped in the shower and hoped to get us all in and out quickly.  Unfortunately, at least for my desire to shower in solitude, I saw Anna's leg over the side of the bathtub trying to escape.  So, with the shampoo still in my hair, I dashed out of the shower, and when I got back in, I had two pint sized guests. Instead of sighing heavily thinking about how I never get any time alone, I looked at my two blue eyed princesses and thought about those bottled moments.  This was another time I would love to keep again for another day.  Sweet little giggly girls who just want to hang out with their mommy.  That won't always be the case.  Reagan won't always want her "hair-do" to be a "mommy bun" and Anna won't always need me to soothe away the night time boogie man.  So, while it's exhausting, it's probably the most fun work I'll ever get to do.  

I was flipping through old pictures today, scanning this day in my social media history via Timehop and I found this quote I shared last year this time.  "The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything."  I have always been an optimist, and certainly I don't really have many burdens in my life, but we definitely have had to make sacrifices the past few years.  I'm a little sentimental too, which rarely happens anymore, something about my second child has left me little time to get sappy. Often though, I see families whose lifestyles are much more lavish than ours.  I used to be a bit envious.  But once I started looking in and not out, I realized that my happy isn't found in stuff.  It's found in the moments I'd like to relive over and over again. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Days

Usually by May my teacher self is screaming "Mayday! Mayday!"  I'm tired.  I'm kinda tired of my kids.  Don't get me wrong, I love my students.  But they are currently blossoming into the fifth graders, and you know, I'm not cut out to teach fifth grade.  When I taught K, I felt the same about my kinder-babies.  I had them reading and writing, and they weren't as little and tiny as they once were, they were ready for first grade, and I was ready for...well, let's be honest, SUMMER!

When I turned the calendar this morning in the kitchen, I was hit with something I wasn't quite prepared for.  You see, May is the month of my baby's birthday.  My BABY is going to be two.  How the heck did that happen?  I still see her as a little baby.  I saw the pictures of her first birthday plastered across the page and instantly I felt a little pang in my heart.  It's hard to believe my youngest is going to be two.  Somehow, I'm getting old.

Which brings me back to May.  Historically, in my 29 year history at least, May has been an eventful month.  It's the month I graduated high school & college, the month I accepted my first job, the month David & I pretty much made all the important decisions about our nuptials.  In 2003, it was one of the most up and down months of my entire life.  I had hurt my knee playing soccer and my parents had decided to schedule my surgery right in the middle of senior week, so I'd be laid up with my leg in a cast while my friends celebrated post-graduation by tanning and partying.  I'd come to terms with this, as most of my friends were boys, and doubtfully my parents would let me spend a night, let alone a week, with my closet friends of the opposite sex away from home.  The night of our baccalaureate service, May 18, I was limping around getting my cap and gown together.  I had to speak at the service briefly as I represented my peers as class president.  The phone rang.  I answered it, curling iron in hand.  On the other end was my boyfriend and one of my closest friends in general.  Just for reference, we didn't have caller id on the line I answered, it was a rotary phone in fact.  I'm not sure why it matters, but I had no idea who was on the other end of the phone when I answered it.  I just heard breathing.  Finally, he said kinda all in one breath, "Therewasacaraccident.  Devin and Alisha didn't make it."  I was lost.  My circle of friends who shared a lunch table, Chris, Travis, Devin, Shandy, Glenn and me, one didn't make it?  My chest is still tight just thinking about that conversation, that night in general.  The other details are blurred, but those next two weeks as we prepared for graduation were so hard.

My mom had left for a multi-night field trip with her fourth grade class, my sister was around, but I vaguely remember.  My dad held my hand as we attended Devin and her sister's visitation, her funeral, and the Board of Education meeting where I was being recognized for something (I honestly don't remember what, he just said I had to go).  My high school English teacher hugged me at that meeting as we prayed for my friend's parents, who in one instant, lost their entire family.  I still remember that warm hug (that sense of comfort is one I try to pass on to my students when they feel lost, hurt or sad too). So, this morning when I turned my calendar to the month of May, I thought of my friend, I thought of her mom and dad, I saw the faces of my little girls and cannot imagine the hole in their hearts.  I still remember May 23 when I sat on the stage and looked at my classmates, saw the chair skipped with the green gown draped over the backrest limply, my friend should have been right there, proudly wearing her gown.  I miss my lunch bunch friends, we are scattered about with busy lives. I have what might of been questions from time to time, but more so in May.

Last year on the 18th, we celebrated Anna's birthday.  It was so nice for me, 10 years later, to have something happy to associate that day with.    As much as I'm looking forward to summer, to spending time with my girls, and just having some time off to breathe, I'm grateful for the here and now, there's no guarantees for tomorrow.  This month serves as a big reminder of that to me.  So as my patience grows shorter, my prayers grow longer, and I do my best to remember my sweet friend and live this life to the fullest.