It’s almost midnight, and I totally have a stomach ache and a headache, and I think a sore throat too. It’s probably all resulting from the popcorn intake at the drive-in. maybe I can’t blame the sore throat on that. It was colton’s birthday party tonight. we had 11 kids, and the cool part is that- get this- 11 & under are free at the drive-in. chuckle. Good deal. Here, it started out at 81 degrees and dipped to a chilly 77 degrees as we were loading up to come home. You gotta love that about AZ this time of year! we had a good time. the kids loved it and MOST important… colton felt that it was a great party. I am glad that he was happy. It’s fun to see the changes, and growth in your children. Don’t you think? I have seen some changes in him that I really like. Capri has brought out a softness in him that I didn’t really ever see before. It’s caused such different disposition in him. It’s funny how just one person’s attitude in a family can effect the dynamics of everyone. As I sit and contemplate his life…and HIM, as an individual… I marvel at the last nine years. I compare the kind of mother I was with colton as an infant compared to how I am now with Capri. In almost a decade, I have changed and grown significantly myself. I can remember quite vividly the feelings I had as colton was handed to me, and we were released from the hospital. I had the “you really think I can take care of this human?” attitude with the nurses. I couldn’t have felt less capable, or qualified to be his care-taker. I can remember the thrill of each milestone and the pride that I felt in being a mother. The next two were a bit of a blur I am sad to say. The pace of my life increased with 2 more little ones, and along with the birth of cory and the arrival of quincy, it was more of a ‘sink or swim’ mentality than ‘confidence and experience’ approach. 3 little kids close together had an intensity that nothing else really compares to- at least not that I have experienced. And because of that intensity, the learning curve and the experience gained up until this point…having a new baby again is simply the sweetest, most pure and precious experience of my life. not because I love this child any more than the others… because I feel like my love for the older children has been magnified with the arrival of this little one- but because I have a totally different perspective now. I am so thankful for the wisdom, knowledge and experience I have gained up until this point. I am so thankful for the calm and confidence I feel with Capri, as a result of that learning. But above all, I am thankful for the piece of heaven that Capri brings into our home. It’s something I remember feeling when we brought Colton home. 9 years ago.
I am a very different person than I was 9 years ago.
It makes me wonder how the changes in a woman, over the course of years that she bears/rears children, influences/impacts the outcome of the individual children.
I mentioned that we took the kids camping last weekend- and how happy they were- and how happy I was that it made them so happy! When I see my kids out playing with each other and their friends…it makes me happy. And I think that it’s totally natural for all parents to wish and hope for happiness for their children.
Today- as I was rushing around doing my thing, Saturday stuff… normal life necessities, shopping, laundry, cleaning etc…I was in a good mood. Not for any particular reason- and Colton said to me: ‘you seem happy mom. I sure like it when you are happy’. This simple statement, accompanied by a hug around my waist and a very sincere smile, made me realize…that just as much as we hope and wish for our children’s happiness, I believe they wish for ours. Similarly, I have that desire for my parents. I know I like it when my folks are happy too. My point in all of this… on this night that 9 years ago- my life changed forever as I became a mother, is that a happy woman is a better mother. A better wife. A better friend. And as a woman… the time, and effort you invest in your own happiness- remembering to love yourself, and be careful with yourself- benefits all those around you.
I am not always happy. I am critical and judgmental of myself. I have high expectations of myself, and don’t cut myself a lot of slack. i am my own worst enemy… I don’t dwell on my strengths, or focus on my accomplishments… but instead tend to beat myself up about where I fell short, and how I am weak.
You know that I love that ‘she’ book by Kobi Yamada… and I read it all the time because of the strength I find there, and the way it helps me imagine the kind of woman I am striving to become. Anyway, I picked it up again today when I was cleaning up around my studio, and the quote that stood out to me today was:
“she was kind, loving and patient…with herself”
(in the book, the word “patient” is written larger than everything else)
I share all this because I believe that we are much more similar than we are different.
And just to remind myself, that happiness is powerful. Effective. Contagious.
And it’s a choice.