1 and 2: . For starters: They grow up, and become more independent!
Yes, for some this is not a happy thought, but for me it is. You see, hubby is still somewhere on the road. But have no fear, the baby of the family, managed to get up and get himself to the grocery store where he returned with these two items. Hard to imagine when you are stuck in the baby-stages that they will eventually remember to look when crossing the street, but they do. I miss some parts of the little-kid-mommy era, but I am also finding reasons to delight in the teen years as well. Today, that independence that comes with growing up sure is appreciated.
3. They still need me. When the boys were little, and I debated over whether to return to work or stay home (in hindsight, holy smokes! That was a no-brainer, if you have the option to be a stay-at-home-mom, go for it), I recall my aunt noting that when they are little, they need you a little, but when they are older, they need you a lot. Oh, I'm sure her words were more appropriately phrased, but the idea was that during those early years, the care required is rather rote: feed 'em, change 'em, put them to bed, rinse-lather-repeat. But as they get older, they can tackle some of these tasks on their own, but they still need that parental presence.
4. They make me laugh! And Oh how I love a good laugh...
Ok, maybe I shouldn't be proud of their PG-13 sense of humor (Hello? He knows about cougars?) But I am. I enjoy a good laugh and certainly a great pun. Both boys are perfectly capable of going toe-to-toe with me in the let's joke around with each other department.
5. They give me confidence to tackle things I never pictures myself taking on.. Ok, so I've always had a quiet sense of confidence to me, but emphasis is on quiet. Lots of self doubt rolls around in my head. I try not to let it show, but oh my, it is there is great quantities. But, when told your child is somewhere on the autism spectrum when he is just 2 years old, well, you find the strength to just plow right through that.
I still chuckle as I recall some of the "guidance" given by that first social worker we met with. I'd love to say "SEE?! I know she meant well, but I really want to say "please don't add to a parent's self doubt by trying to prepare them for the future, when right now, we are trying to sort through the here-and-now. We will figure out as we go along, thank-you, very much".
And yes, we are still figuring things out...but we're getting there.
6. They keep me busy! I recalled getting bored when I would babysit. When I was pregnant with the first Thing, I wondered, what if, you know, I get bored? Oh silly, pregnant woman, what were you thinking? Boredom never happens....extreme fatigue perhaps...but boredom, not on your life!
And what a sight this has been to watch the boys spend time with their Grandpa. My mother passed away before even meeting her son-in-laws, so it is extra special to watch my dad take on the roll of grandpa. He seems to enjoy this adventure more with each passing year...
8. I fully appreciate alone time!
Before motherhood, I pretty much had full control over my time. If I wasn't working, and hubby was otherwise occupied, I had complete say in what I did. Now, with being a mom, those moments all to myself, with full say in what gets done, is not as readily available. And instead of being resentful, I am grateful. I'm one of those people, who if there isn't enough on her plate, just doesn't do much. Now, I appreciate the gift that comes with having time to myself. And whether I curl up with a good book or play in the craft room, that time is still mine, all mine!
9. We're creating our own traditions
From "Baby's first Energy Drink (something he begged for his 12th birthday)...
To new Jammies on Christmas Eve...
We are establishing new traditions that I hope the boys will look back on with great happiness. Both Hubby and I made a conscious decision to live here in Colorado, far away from extended family. It has meant that for many holidays, we've set off on our own in terms of establishing new traditions. No, they aren't what we grew up with, but who knows, maybe they are traditions that both boys will continue with their own families some day (in the very distant future!)
10. Watching them sleep
There is a sense of sweetness when they are asleep. A reminder of all that that they are capable of...while they quietly reset their bodies to tackle a new day.
11. Hugs and Kisses
Ok, they'd be mortified if I showed any pictures, but our good-night ritual still consists of hugs and kisses. It's changed a bit: as they come into my room and tell me good-night (since well, they have the energy to stay up past 9 pm even on a Friday night). Yep, nothing melts your worries quite like the hug from your child.
12. Brotherly Love
Sally Field is remembered often for her glee-filled speech at the Oscars, noting that "you like me, right now you really like me". For me, I am most proud when I see my boys enjoying each other's company. Again, something they'll deny when they read this blog some day...but they really do like each other. And for that I am most proud.
And with that...I say Happy Mother's Day to all.