My thought process this week has been a roller-coaster of emotions….anger, hurt, happiness, thankfulness, sadness…a jumbled up pile of tears and Laughter. This weekend marks 15 years since I left the comfort of the small rural town in Upstate NY that I grew up in and headed off to Parris Island for USMC Boot Camp. If you had told me in June of 1995 that I would be married to a wonderful loving man, with three beautiful children, and living in Alabama, I probably would have laughed at you. My life 15 years ago was a MESS!
My journey to where I am today has been an interesting one…full of twists and turns….life lessons, Laughter and tears. Some of the most amazing lessons I have learned did not come until I had kids.
Here are a few of those lessons my children have taught me…..
- My Father was right…Insanity IS hereditary…..you get it from your kids
- What matters most in life is not that your furniture matches…your house is spotless or that pair of designer shoes…It is the TIME you spend with those you love that is most important
- To a child…a Minute seems like an impossibly LONG time.
- My kids are content to entertain themselves until I am on the phone…up to my elbows in dishwater…or have just settled down comfortably on the couch to watch a Movie…then all of the sudden it’s “MOOOOMMMYYYY!!”
- I have three extra children living in my house, their names are “I don’t know” ,”I didn’t do it” and “Nobody”
- Children become EXPERT negotiators at bedtime….anything to keep from going to bed…after all, they might miss something.
- The most beautiful sound in the world is the sound of children laughing
- Tears can be turned on and off with ease at the drop of a hat by a child not getting their way.
- Children don’t come with instruction manuals…and EACH child is different…so no matter whether you have one child or three….you still feel at times like you are fumbling around in the dark.
- If the world outside your house thinks your children are wonderful while you see them falling apart and fighting, back talking argumentative at home…you are doing something Right! After all home is supposed to be a safe haven where children learn to problem solve, learn responsibility, Manners, and about unconditional love.
- No matter what you do….somebody is always going to be critical….what matters most at the end of the day is that you do what YOU feel is BEST for YOUR children. you can’t listen to all the voices around you…you will go crazy.
- When you ask God for patience….He helps you gain it…but its not just given easily…it comes in the form of a special needs child.
- Getting a diagnosis of Autism for one of your children is NOT the end of the world…it is the beginning of a wonderful journey.
- the saying “someday you will have a child JUT like you” is NOT simply something parents say to threaten their children…it REALLY does happen!!!
- The ultimate cure for “Mom, I am Bored” is a list of household chores that can be done! It is amazing how quickly they find something to do.
- along the same lines as #15…..when told to go do their chores….”I’m Tired” or “I don’t feel good” sends a child to bed for a nap, gets them out of said chore…only to have them back up out of bed in 5 minute (or less) feeling wide awake and fine.
- Siblings are going to get on each others nerves and fight…but the bond they develop in the process is a wonderful thing that lasts a lifetime.
- When children enter the picture, your parents kick into grandparent mode FAST…and all of the sudden, you are outnumbered….your children and your parents working together , often making you feel like the “Bad guy”
- when you make a promise to a child…you BETTER keep it…because they wont let you forget it, and the heartache of a broken promise can devastate a child.
- Children NEED limits and Boundaries…..yes, They WILL test them, but without firm set limits, how will a child ever learn right from wrong? and Limits have to come with FIRM consequences. If you say no TV for a week….STICK to it, no matter how much they whine, argue or complain.
I am sure there are many more…My children are always teaching me new things. To see the world through the eyes of a child is a wonderful beautiful thing. Hearing my Autistic son say “Mommy” for the first time when he was 4 years old is one of the moments I will cherish forever. They grow up in the blink of an eye…time goes by WAY to fast….I hope I am never too busy to tuck them in at night…never too worried about how my house is to stop cleaning and sit down on the floor with them and play a game….or curl up in a chair with them and read a book. Every hug, every smile, every “I love you Mommy” is a precious gift…far more valuable than jewelry or fancy cars. When people ask me why it doesn’t bother me that I don’t get expensive gifts on anniversaries, or Christmas from my husband, I tell them I don’t need anything. His Love is enough…and besides, He already gave me three of the most beautiful jewels that no amount of money in the world could EVER buy….Our children.