Friday, December 16, 2011

PARENTING

I’m trying to appreciate the busy-ness amongst us right now. But I have to agree with baby Reef at times, “waaahhhh!” Pete and I already had a lot on our plates, and now…the holidays. Sometimes I daydream of our carefree days, when we… went to the movie theatre every weekend and took spur-of-the-moment vacations and went to endless happy hours and dined at chic restaurants and lounged in bed talking for hours upon wakening and enjoyed long meals with a bottle of wine and played uninterrupted board games and window shopped and slept a good 8 hours every night. I’m grateful that I had that time with my babe. A couple of years of just the two of us, doing whatever we wanted whenever we wanted to. It was important for us to have that then, so that we can be the best we can be to our children and each other now. Because some days, I look at my Petey with heavy eyes and think “I never even kissed you today.”

We willingly signed up for this. We expected it to be hard and tiresome and different from what we were accustomed to -- and so when it is, we just remind ourselves of that commitment. We never imagined how much parenting would open up our hearts. How much joy we would find EVERYDAY! in our hilarious little 4-month old, tender-hearted 10 year old, and brilliant 12 year old. And we never anticipated how much more love we’d have for one another watching the other embrace our new roles with the baby.

I share so much of the beauty of our family on this blog but it’s only fair to talk about the sacrifice and the stress and the hard work it requires. Children are amazing but they do change everything. Daily, we find ourselves learning to navigate this new life. We are finding ways to exist happily with its unexpected complexities, with the lack of individual and couple time, with the mess and the chaos…and couple it with the love and focus we feel for our family.

“We are doing important work” as a friend once told me. And none of it should be more important than the other -- raising our children, handling our responsibilities, taking time for ourselves individually, and nurturing our relationship. It’s a balancing act and one we don’t always feel like we are succeeding at -- but we continue to work at it, admit our defeats and our successes and move forward -- and really, that’s been our ticket to keeping it all afloat.

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