4 Years Later, Still Less Than PerfectIt’s been 4 years since I last posted for this blog and I have very little regrets about being away this long. As I re-read my last blog posts I realized a couple things; I must really like taking hiatus’ when life is chaotic and, our life is chaotic. I won’t set myself up for high expectations here, but I will commit to being honest, and sharing pieces of our lives that I think people can appreciate and relate to. I am certain I will have a lot to vent about, but I will try never to let you sit for too long in the darker corners of our lives.
This time around I will also give my children names to make writing about our family easier; we will call my oldest son Napoleon and my youngest son Coyote. Napoleon is now in 5th Grade and loves to build complex structures, swimming and collects all things unusual, Coyote has entered Kindergarten and loves Taekwondo, skateboarding and cracking the most hilarious jokes.
Since I last wrote, so much has happened…far too much to contain in the words of a single blog post. Life has ranged from absolutely amazing to incredibly dark and uncomfortable. The Coles Notes version sounds like this though: I finished my social work degree and started working for an awesome non-profit organization. I survived something very wicked that caused me PTSD and left me damaged but stable. I lost one of my best friends to a difficult parting of ways. My husband and I celebrated 10 years of enjoying the calms and surviving the storms of life and marriage together. I have gotten to know some of the most amazing moms that I am happy to count as friends. I celebrated 18 years of friendship with two women I call sisters. I have embraced the chaos our family brings to the world and celebrate our differences. I have had to suck up my desire to avoid conflict and fight for my children to have their educational needs met. We officially went from poor to not poor. You can trust me when I say I have spared you many details, but you get the gist of what you missed.
I am so glad to be back writing here. Our life is not perfect but it is never really dull and I enjoy sharing stories and thoughts about what goes on in our family. I will not sell you lollipops and rainbows here. I won’t pretend that we have our lives all sorted out or that we are the best example of how things are done. Our life is chaotic, fantastic and still less than perfect but I look forward to sharing it with you.
In the Shadow of a Giant
I have two sons. One I have known for over four years and the other I have only known for six months minus a week. My oldest son was a highly active baby that made himself known all hours of the day and night. He would not fall asleep unless my husband or I rocked him for a good half an hour before bed, and even then he’d wake up ever hour or two. I suffered from intense postpartum, which looking back, was made worse by the overwhelming lack of sleep. Though I wanted more children, we put off having a second for fear of a repeat performance of that first year.
Finally, a month after my thirtieth birthday and over three years after having my first child we went for it; nine months later my youngest son was born. It may sound far fetched, but from in the womb I could tell he was an easy going baby. Unfortunately for him, “easy” has sometimes meant getting lost behind his brother’s larger than life personality. Through no fault of my oldest son, we have sometimes neglected to spend the same “getting to know you time” with our youngest as we did with our first. It’s not that we are ignoring our youngest, I am just aware of the struggle over ensuring that his growing personality does not get overshadowed by his older brother.
Finding the balance in love, time and energy spent is a tough job for most parents, especially when children compete for your time. A good teacher tries to find ways to engage not just the eager to participate but the children who are acutely quiet. As a parent, I want to see both my boys have a platform to express themselves while feeling heard and valued. While my youngest isn’t even talking yet, I am excited to get to know his personality. For now I take comfort in that I am committed to finding a balance for my children as I want them both to have voices in our family.
P.S. If you sit in silence long enough even whisper sounds like yelling.
In The Beginning
Parenthood has changed me. When I first envisioned being a mom, I had this picture in my head of what I would be like and how I would parent. I would share my love for creating things with my children in a light filled studio while listing to Nine Inch Nails or Johnny Cash. I would have the patience of a Kindergarten teacher and my children and I would have an amazing relationship free from discipline. HA! I neglected to take into account that once my first son was born I would loose myself in a sea of anxiety, worried every night that someone was breaking into our house to kidnap my son. I neglected to take into account that I would be the mom of a child who less than perfect, or factor in that I was less than perfect.
In the beginning, I was naive and idealistic, but life happened and I changed.
When most people become parents there is a natural adjustment to taking care of a little life, and as they become more independent we continue to adjust. For every milestone we celebrate, we pack five more into our mental archives until ages one, two and three become distant memories. I have begun this blog to chart some of our family’s moments, excitements, discoveries, struggles, and milestones that I feel are worth sharing. So here is where I begin.