Email a picture of yourself, pregnant with your [preschool] child, and then one picture for each year of their life, until present. Seems simple enough. It wasn’t. It took me almost four hours to find these pictures, scattered on hard drives and recovered hard drives, pre– MacBook. This was the best I could do. These are the pictures (coupled with sappy background music), that brought tears to my eyes, a smile to my face and served as a reminder that the years go by too quickly.There was a time not so long ago when the days stretched out before me, filled with nothing but the task of mothering two, young rambunctious sons, alone, while my husband was working long hours. I wish I could say that I relished every minute, but that’s dishonest, after all, moms are human too. The truth is that it wasn’t always pretty. If you’ve been there, or you are there, then you know what I mean. It felt, sometimes, as if the days would last forever. They didn’t.
That’s not to say that there weren’t wonderful days, too, because there were. Sometimes, I wished I could freeze time, sometimes, I wished time away, all the while knowing in my heart, that I would be sad when it passed.
My husband still works a lot, which is a blessing, but not nearly as much as he used to, meaning I can usually count on seeing him a little before seven, which is also a blessing. The days got easier, even when another little person came along, and our life got fuller. Yesterday, seeing the slide show presented at my son’s preschool stepping up ceremony, I found myself wishing for one more child. I always thought I would have five children, I think my husband probably thought of himself as a two kid kind of guy. I think three is a good compromise. We’re both happy. It doesn’t stop me from wanting just one more, a sister for little lady, so she could know how wonderful it is to have a sister. But these guys will have to do, because it’s not going to happen, and that’s ok. In reality, I hated being pregnant, HATED IT! And my pregnancies weren’t so easy. I was always so relieved to have my children, it was like a cloud lifted and my spirits soared the moment I gave birth, that’s when the love affair began. And I’m getting too old, and there’s no guarantee that it would be a girl, though I would love another boy, too, or that it would happen, or that everything would turn out ok, though does anything ever really turn out how we plan?There’s no sense dwelling on it, and I don’t, but there’s something that happens to me when that youngest turns two, when the older ones start getting older, the exhaustion of the baby years is over, things are getting easier, and I start wanting to hold every infant that I see, that makes me want to jump right back in and start all over. It’s like an addiction.I was thinking about all this other day, when I realized that instead of dwelling on what’s not meant to be, I should concentrate on what is, the wonderfulness of the children I have, even when they’re fighting and driving me crazy. Instead of mourning what has passed, I will look forward to every year that they grow, which will bring more adventures and more freedom to them, as well as to me. To then cry when they go off to college (fingers crossed) and cry even more when they get married and leave me forever….ok, this is going the wrong way. I think I’ll just stick to enjoying today!So, congratulations, second son! You’re quite the worker man when it comes to school, all militant like and on cue during the whole performance. Your obedience astounds me (or should I say confounds me, you never act this way at home) and you didn’t even pass out in the oven like temperatures of the church hall. We are very proud of you! I can’t wait to see what the future brings.