Yes, even with sleepless nights, worried nights, No’s, stomping feet and even I hate you’s, there is nothing like my kids. Through thick and thin, I love them. They are God’s special blessings to me.
I loved the finger paintings and stick figure drawings I displayed on the refrigerator door prompting a smile each time the door was opened and closed.
The wiggly garter snake thrust at me with great excitement exclaiming, “Look what I found, Mom. Can I keep him?” As I struggled not to show my unreasonable fear of snakes and somehow not stifle the excitement of discovery by keeping the intruder outside. Grubby fingers clutching bunches of ragged and frazzled wild flowers, and with eyes brimming with love, saying, “For you, Mommy” will forever be burned in my memory.
One of my most treasured pieces of jewelry is a necklace fashioned by my daughter in 5th grade. I still wear it. And one of my fondest memories is when she planned a surprise birthday party for me when she was in high school and with the help of Dad arranged everything – even cooking the meal. She continues to create wonderful scenarios of life through photography while efficiently and competently running her home and professional life. Thank you daughter – you are a treasure.
As a kid, my oldest son loved to create new, complicated board games. With Dungeons and Dragons as inspiration, he wrote and self-published game magazines. He still has a love for creating new games. Life wasn’t always easy for him. His own struggles have given him a sensitivity and understanding of others which are reflected in his classroom today. As a teacher, he motivates and inspires his students to be the best they can be. I am so very proud.
Our youngest is no longer with us. But the joy he brought to everyone in the family cannot be put in words. We all smile inwardly as we remember his humor and mischievousness, his tenacity and outlook on life. In spite of a physical handicap, there was little he couldn’t do. He started drawing as soon as he could hold a pencil and his incredible art covers the walls of my home. Your creative ability amazed everyone, son. What a blessing you were to all of us.
Sometimes we are quick to remember the not so pleasant memories of time outs, rules and consequences, misunderstandings and those infamous teen years. Long colicky nights as babies, sibling rivalry, sneaking out, and less than desirable friends. Yet it is precisely there in those times, where I have learned patience, understanding and appreciation. And just as quickly I remember spaghetti covered faces, childhood theater productions for the neighborhood and rotten eggs in mailboxes at Halloween. And I chuckle.
As a parent I struggled with the enormity of raising such wonderful but diverse children. There were many unknowns that I had no preparation for. But with every step along the way, I gave all my love, my hope, my sincerity and prayers as I shared my love of God and the principles and values needed to live a mature and responsible adult life.
I hope my children will forgive my mistakes, struggles and bungling. I hope I have given them the tools needed to meet their life challenges and that the best of it all can be passed on through the generations of children and grandchildren.
Kids – they may be a challenge – but oh, what a blessing.