Memories (light the corners of my mind)

I adore my family.

Every once in a while, something happens that makes me stop and realize how incredibly blessed I am. It happened yesterday, as a matter of fact.

I ran into my office mid-day to get something out of my purse. I pulled out a piece of paper on which Tucker had written directions. I stopped and looked at it and nearly cried.

I don't know what it was about it; it was the not-nearly-as-childlike handwriting that I seem to recall him having. It was the fact that he wrote down directions because he is so type-A that he cannot bear to think I don't know exactly where I'm going. Was it the fact that it was a young man's crayon?

Whatever it was, I thought about Tucker. I remember the day he was born like it was just yesterday. I remember sitting on my sofa in Manteo nursing him for the gazillionth time and crying because I was 35 and yet had no clue what I was doing. And then as he grew....I grew too. Not only as a mother, but as a human being. I began to see the world through his eyes.

Then along came Griffin, and I got the privilege of nursing TWO babies at a time, for an entire year. I jokingly tell people that I only did it because I was too lazy to wean the first before having the second, but the truth is...I didn't want to miss a single moment. I didn't want to take something so special away until they were ready. Was it easy? Abso-freaking-lutely not. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. But looking back, even from the day it ended, it was oh-so-worth-it. Seeing Tucker, who was ripe with jealousy, reach over and stroke his brothers face while they both nursed, and seeing the baby smile, with milk dripping down his chubby face....well, those memories are priceless.

Then the girl arrived. The boys were in love from day one. Well, today, not so much, but up until about a year ago, the girl could do no wrong in their eyes. Now, of course, she is too much of a diva to warrant a whole lotta devotion from her elder brothers. But nevertheless, she is precious and she totally completes our family, and all I can say is that I am 100% thrilled that that urologist's business card hung, undisturbed, on our refrigerator for 2 years.

I cannot believe how fast time goes. I looked at my family today as we sat in the audience to watch Tucker compete in the regional spelling bee and I was just stunned. How did it come to this, that my baby with reflux and adorable cloth diapers who nursed until he was 3, is now standing in front of a room full of people showing off his spelling prowess?

So yes, what I'm saying is that a simple page with hand written directions has the capability to reduce me to a big ole ball of tears these days. Who knows why. I could speculate all day, but at the end of it, I'm really glad that it happened, because it makes me not take my family for granted. It makes me stop and listen to them -- really listen. It makes me converse with them and cuddle with them and kiss them (when they'll let me). It makes me speak a little more gently. It makes me love a little more deeply.

It makes me the mom I hope they love to have.

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