Happy 2nd Birthday, Aria

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I write letters to my children on their birthdays. Here is last year’s letter to Aria.

Happy birthday, Aria!

Can you really be two already? Apparently so. You add such a wonderful dose of light into the world, it’s hard for me to remember what life pre-you was like.

You have a beautiful spirit that is curious, funny, thoughtful, and sweet. When you meet someone new, your first instinct is to befriend and charm. You have a wonderful imagination, playing pretend and making up your own language. When you get excited, you squeal with delight.

We have learned to always keep an eye on you because you get into everything. Once you opened the fridge, and dumped a whole container of bread dough all over yourself. Last week you figured out how to climb out of your crib. You certainly keep us on our toes.

You love listening to the “Mo-a-a” (Moana) soundtrack, playing with water, using the remote control to talk on the phone with your grandparents, singing the alphabet song, eating edamame, drawing on things you’re not supposed to, telling us that you want to “guh-buh” (buckle) yourself into your car seat, asking to be picked “uh-poo” (up), and giving really great hugs and kisses.

I love seeing your identity take shape, and hope this year brings so much joy for you.To watch you grow and learn and live is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given. You are deeply loved.

With all my heart,

Mommy

 

Happy 7th Birthday, Aaron

I write letters to my children on their birthdays. Here is last year’s letter to Aaron

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Dear Aaron,

Happy 7th Birthday!

Well I’m not sure how it came to be that you are SEVEN now, but here we are. You are no longer my little kid; you’re a full-grown boy. This morning I said to you, “You’re seven. You were in my tummy once, and now you’re seven! You made me a mommy for the first time.” Your response with an eye-roll: “Yeah, Mom. I know.”

This year has been so much fun with you. You’ve done so many new things –  learned how to swim across the pool, joined a soccer team, lost your first tooth, started reading longer books by yourself.

You’re interested in cooking, very helpful with washing dishes, and getting good at strategy board games. You make up puns and jokes (this trait is from your Dad), and love to make people laugh. When you see your friends, you run off with a quick, “Bye, Mom!” and I’m left shaking my head at how much of a boy you’ve turned into.

You continue to have a fun-loving, laid-back personality. You ask lots of questions, trying to figure out how the world works. You care about others around you. Sometimes you think about how to be generous with your friends.

You love playing at the park, eating ice cream, playing with your sisters, reading your Plants vs. Zombies books, dancing to Thriller, playing 7 Wonders, and going to the beach.

This Mother’s Day, you gave me a ceramic rose that you made in school. I look at it, beautifully molded and painted by my little boy. And I am reminded what a gift it is to have you as my son.

I give you my blessing to become all of who you are uniquely created to be.

I love you and am so grateful you are part of my life.

Your Mom

 

The Pain and Joy of Motherhood

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Motherhood is weird, messy, wonderful, and everything in between.

Some people have painful memories and wounds from their relationship with their mothers. Some people have abiding joy when they think of their mothers. Some people long to become a mother, and are still waiting. Some people choose to mother in other ways – through being teachers, aunts, neighbors.

I have had a myriad of experiences as a mother.

I have the joy of raising my three children. Some moments with them are beautiful and fun. Other moments I want to cry and yank my hair out. Motherhood brings out the best in me, as well as the worst. Some days I feel like I’m in the Mom Zone, doing a great job of parenting. Other days it’s a hot mess and I completely fail.

I also have the pain of losing two children through early-pregnancy miscarriages. It is painful to never hold or know these two babies. But oh how my mother’s heart holds them with such deep love.

I’m trying my best as a mother. I’m trying my best to love and cherish and nurture my children. But I’m also being schooled by motherhood. It’s the place where I am still learning and stumbling. Ultimately, I believe that motherhood is a gift I have been given. I don’t get to control how it all goes. But I do get to learn how to steward it the best that I possibly can. And as I do, my heart is stretched and my love is refined.

I embrace the laughter and the tears. I embrace the beautiful moments and the awful moments. In both the pain and the joy, I embrace motherhood.