Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Flying Teddy Bears

"So, what did you do today?"

It's a perfectly innocent question.  Usually asked simply as a conversation starter.  No big deal.  However, I have allowed it to sneak under my skin lately - leaving me with a subconscious feeling of guilt.  And truly for no reason.

I have had the amazing privilege of being a stay-at-home Mom for 13 years.  I laugh thinking back on the adventures {or blunders!} in parenting our first-born, from learning how to swaddle {Yeah, I still can't make a "burrito"}, breastfeed {Um, ouch!?!}, put on a stinkin' onesie {Who knew you could put it on feet first??} to discovering the reason why you should ALWAYS strategically place the diaper over his little man parts during changes {Smile}

Onto our second who taught us why it's important to close the toilet lid {especially while the cleaner is still clinging to the sides} and that life is as fun as you make it.

The third is my mini-me {Stubborn as an ox} and has taught us that every object in life is a mountain that needs to be conquered!

Right down to our fourth who has reminded us that we humans learn by example {something I have to continually reminder her older siblings of} and that a tom-boy mama can still manage to give birth to a pink-loving, dancing Princess!

Thirteen years later I find myself a stay-at-home-alone Mom.  I sent my last baby {Yes, the sweet & sassy pink one} off to Kindergarten this Fall - all day, every day.  The first week was awesome!  I enjoyed drinking my hot coffee on the porch swing, with the birds singing and the sun shining, glorious book in hand.  I soaked in the quietness of the house as it no longer needed to fend off attacks from flying teddy bears, colorful crayons and speedy little feet.  I could take the time to actually think about what to make for dinner, followed by the time to prepare it!  I think that's where the guilt came.  After 13 years, I had time.  And I felt guilty, really guilty.  Until recently....

I love this time of year.  I love reflecting on things that we are thankful for, spending time with family, observing our traditions and making new ones!  This year, it became clear to me how important the little, everyday "traditions" are.  I'm not a super creative person.  I don't go all out with perfect decor, cookies, activities and events.  Not even close!  So, take my guilt and feeling slightly inadequate {Thanks, Pinterest!} {Smile} and bring on my kids.  As if they could read my mind, they started talking about all of our "traditions".  Things I didn't even consider and would have never classified as traditions!  They talked about the way they each have to be woken up in the morning - one is a simple touch, one requires some basketball-style bouncing, another tickle tortured and the other needs her love bucket filled to the brim with cuddles before she sets her feet on the floor.  Every morning each one requires a hug {Yes, even the 12 year old} before leaving for school.  My 12-going-on-13 year old son still loves that Mom gets up early with him and makes his daily PB&J before heading out to the bus.  There is an after-school tradition, a cleaning tradition, a bath time tradition, breakfast, lunch and dinner tradition, game night tradition, movie night tradition and don't forget the bedtime traditions!  We adults may call them routines, but to my kids, they are traditions - our traditions. 

After that conversation with my kids, my guilt disappeared.  They had unknowingly filled my heart to the brim and reminded me what a simple privilege it is to be their Mom {Smile}

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