Tuesday, June 4, 2013

As I watch my kids try to figure out the world, 
each other, 
I can't help but reflect.

(OMG, I know, right?  Am I ever NOT reflecting on something?)
Hey, it's the ABC's of me, man, 
as my beloved SI would say on Duck Dynasty, my new favorite show.
Back to reflecting.
I reflect on my own childhood. . .it was wonderful.
So let's skip right to the teenage years.
All my own stumbling and flailing along the way.
A girl who always had a boyfriend.  Always.

Always in a "serious" relationship.
How "serious" are we really, at 16?
But every guy I dated, I was going to marry.
There's so much wrong with that, but we won't get into it. 
I'll just make sure my daughter makes better choices.
Now married and settled and enveloped in chaos, 
I want to be alone most days.
Like, totally alone.
This same girl, who at 15, 16, 17,

whose friends and her boyfriends were her life,
was ALWAYS with or surrounded by someone.  Rarely alone.
Now?  Many days?  
Although I've come to embrace the life I'm living,
ALONEness is soaked up like a sponge until it's all dried out.  
And I can't help but look back.  
See the humor in it all now.
This girl, who at one point felt it was her destiny to marry an Italian soccer player. 
Short, yes, but with olive skin and big thighs,
and an amazing smile.
Then in college, maybe it was a small town boy,
with homegrown roots, who had the potential to one day buy me a Dodge Ram with dueley's and only listen to country music.
In the in-between's, all the other boys,
dreams of musicians, artists, the strong and silent,
the loud and obnoxious.
So funny where you end up.
Right where you're supposed to be, if you're lucky.
I can now say, 
with great pride, mostly gratitude and Thanksgiving,
I've settled in to a life with a hard-working, German businessman.
SOOO not what I pictured.
SO glad he's here.
All brawn, with the heart and soul and gentleness of a little girl.
{I was overcome with gratitude and a THANK YOU JESUS, this is the beautiful man I got, when I saw this book on the kitchen counter the other day.}
One of his current reads.  
I'm the lucky one. 
A man, husband, father, who works harder than any man I know,
yet somehow still finds time for his family and shows up to his kids,
day after day.
Who, without hesitation,
takes the kids out to lunch, keeps them busy in the yard,
when I've outdone myself or just need a Sunday nap.
How odd it is that a college girl who once felt called to truck driving, hog tie-ing, maybe a cattle ranching life,
now does yoga and meditates and rarely eats meat.

(Um.  Except for all those cheeseburgers.)
Who was quiet and shy and painfully nervous much of her life,

then learned she had a voice, a strong one.
Is actually quite a fearless leader.
Who thought, often, it's smarter to be quiet, be strong, keep your wall up and only say the right thing.
But grew up and learned life without touching other people, relating to other people, 
connecting and SHARING all of our ENTIRE selves, no matter how messed up we are, is the way to go.
That for me, life is boring as hell if I'm not doing that.
Funny.  How all those things we thought we wanted turned in to what we really needed.
Watching my kids grow and learn and transform is as brutally painful and terrifying as it is
In the meantime, 
I'm Living the Dream.
Living MY dream.
Watching my kids try to love each other,
even when they don't.
{Charlie made breakfast for Gracie while we were all asleep.}
He loves his big sister.
Although it's been unseasonably cold and rainy in Minnesota this Spring,
we trim Lilacs from the hedges,
to breathe more life into our home, to drown out the sweaty sock and stinky shoes stench.
We swim.  In pools.  At grad parties.
{OMG, is Instagram not the greatest invention since Cheeseburgers?  Love what it does to a simple picture.}
Anyway, celebrating one of our favorite people, one of three sisters, our beloved babysitter.  Moving up and on with the next phase of her life.
AND getting to see my work in print, both small and large, is so cool.
Biking.  Even if my ass threatens to take over the whole picture.
Whatever.  It's the life from a 4-year-olds vantage point.
It's what we're good at.
My kids think I'm the coolest, 
because I'm friends with the Ice Cream man.
And I have his number.
(If you haven't met Mike yet, he's also an incredible videographer that shot my video for MY business.  Go say Hi.  He just happens to own an Ice Cream Truck too.)
They have lost their minds at this realization.
They yell as they pace back and forth on the boulevard every Friday night after dinner.
What else.
Um, my kids told me (essentially,) I missed the boat.
Instead of daddy, I should've married Ryan Seacrest.
Yeah, I know, SOOOO not my spec.  And WAY too short.  And too pretty for a man.
"Why?  Why Ryan Seacrest?"
"BECAUSE!  You'd be a millionaire and your husband would be on the radio!  SO cool!!!"
Cleary, I settled when I married my husband.  Should've held out for Seacrest.  
Liz Seacrest. 
Grace told, me for the umpteenth time,
that she doesn't think she wants to have kids.
"Grace.  You always say that.  You're 6.  You don't need to decide that right now."
"I know.  But I just don't think I want to.  It'll hurt too much, you know, trying to push a baby out of your business parts."
Sounds about right.  All business, down there.
But never mind all that.  Despite their unrelenting sarcasm and humor, they're sweetest when they're asleep.
I love it after 9pm.
When the house is dark, lit by one bathroom light, 
and one illuminating the kitchen sink and all the dishes that can wait 'til tomorrow.  I tiptoe up our creaky stairs and kiss the kids goodnight.
In those sweet moments,
in their peacefully, sleeping faces, I feel as if I've traveled the world.
To the most sacred and unknown places.  And feel if I died tomorrow,
this would be enough.
That all the things I've ever wanted, ever thought I needed,
is all right here.
Them.  Peaceful.  Content.  Surrounded by love.


B. Holmes said...

Love the VIDEO, so cool to see you in action. Yes, duck dynasty is the funniest show ever. We have it on right now, season 1 DVD, weird... Also funny we had an ice cream truck for a few years. Just sold it last summer. And yes my kids were in heaven. What I like so much about your blog and photography is the "realness" you are not afraid to share the messy parts of motherhood, of which there are many! Take Care and keep up the good work...

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