* products used: seafoam edition, we r memory keepers “simply happy” 3×4 cards, vellum, elise joy “today is” stamp, recollections wood veneers.
* products used: midnight edition, elise joy “today is” and “hers” stamps, paislee press week in review card, recollections wood veneers.
It didn’t occur to me until late last night while turning out the lights that it has been three years since I moved to Las Vegas. Three. years.
Last year I had a lot to say. On my first anniversary I also found words.
This year, I’m at a loss as to what to say.
It’s been an adventure, Las Vegas. You make me happy in so many ways (hellllooo, my friends and family back home are FREEZING THEIR BUMS OFF this time of the year, whereas I haven’t really worn a jacket for over two weeks), and you also make me hurt (all my friends and family left behind).
Still, here I am, building a life in one of the last places I ever, ever imagined planting roots. Just goes to show you that life can change direction at any moment!
Happy third anniversary Vegas. We’ll see where the next year takes us.
The house is a mess. The family room is covered with DJ’s toys, and if you look closely you’ll find discarded cheerios on the carpet. I keep picking up sweet potato puffs from under the kitchen table and the fridge is full of food that hasn’t been used to make anything of substance in nearly a week.
All three of us have been down and out with awful colds all week (DJ’s first cold, ever), so everything unrelated to sleep, hydrating and attempting to diminish our respective miseries, has gone by the wayside.
But you know what? Screw the mess. It’s home. A family lives here.
And that is oddly comforting.
I’ve seen you around… I’ve seen you unshowered and wearing last night’s pajama pants at preschool drop-off. I’ve seen you running around with your kids, getting dirty… I’ve seen you sharing a milkshake with a manic four year old. I’ve seen you wiping your kids’ boogers with your bare palm, and then smearing them on the back of your jeans… I’ve seen you close your eyes and breathe slowly after finding a gallon of milk dumped into your trunk.
I’ve seen you crying into the sink while you desperately scrub crayon off your best designer purse. I’ve seen you pacing in front of the house… I’ve seen you looking tired, and frightened. I’ve seen a lot of you, actually. I see you every single day… I don’t know if you planned to be a parent or not. If you always knew from your earliest years that you wanted to bring children into the world, to tend to them, or if motherhood was thrust upon you unexpectedly. I don’t know if it meets your expectations, or if you spent your first days as a mom terrified that you would never feel what you imagined “motherly love” would feel like for your child.
I know that you don’t believe that you’re doing your best, that you think you can do better. I know you are doing better than you think… I know that some days are so hard that all you want is for them to end, and then at bedtime your children hug you and kiss you and tell you how much they love you and want to be like you, and you wish the day could last forever. But it never does. The day always ends, and the next day brings new challenges. Fevers, heartbreak, art projects, new friends, new pets, new fights. And every day you do what you need to do. You take care of things, because that’s your job. You go to work, or you fill up the crock pot, or you climb into the garden, or strap the baby to your back and pull out the vacuum cleaner…
I know you didn’t expect most of this. I know you didn’t anticipate loving somebody so intensely, or loathing your post-baby body so much, or being so tired, or being the mom you’ve turned out to be. You thought you had it figured out… No matter how much you do, there is always more. No matter how little you do, when the day is over your children are still loved… No matter what happened at work, or at school, or in play group, you have still done everything in your power to ensure that the next morning will dawn and your children will be as happy, healthy, and wise as could possibly be hoped…
You are definitely not perfect. And that’s good. Because really, neither is your child. And that means nobody can care for them the way you can, with the wealth of your understanding and your experience. Nobody knows what your child’s squall means, or what their jokes mean, or why they are crying, better than you do. And since no mother is perfect, chances are you are caught in a two billion way tie for Best Mom in the World. Congratulations, Best Mom in the World. You’re not perfect. You’re as good as anybody can get.