Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

I've been thinking a lot lately about what my kids have added to my life. Here are some of the things I've been pondering lately:

1. Patience. Teaching middle schoolers I was pretty sure I had boundless stores of patience. Clearly I had a lot left to learn - as my kids quickly taught me. I am more patient than I imagined, but still, it runs out sometimes.

2. Humility. There is no choice when you have children, but to be humble. Like a few weeks ago at the post office when Ben told a man he had a big butt. That was most definitely a humbling experience.

3. Reflection. Sometimes when I watch and talk to Claire I see some of my traits reflected in her - particularly self-consciousness. I hope that I can help her outgrow that, as it is something that I have struggled with all my life. As I watch my children experience things, I spend a lot of time reliving my own memories of similar things.

4. Energy. There are days I feel like I have nothing left to give, but as a parent, that's just not an option, so I somehow manage to find enough extra stores of energy to make it through the day and keep up with two very active monkeys.

5. Laughter. I have never laughed as much as I have since Claire and Ben were born. Every day they do something goofy that makes me laugh.

6. Wonder. Having kids is an opportunity to look at the world again through fresh eyes. The wonder that they find in the smallest things is amazing to watch. The other day Claire said to me, "Look Mama, isn't this the most beautiful rock you've ever seen?" It was something that normally I would have walked right past without noticing, but to her the color and the shape were clearly noteworthy.

7. Fatigue. All nighters in college were nothing compared to the day-in day-out demands of taking care of two kids. Especially when one or the other (or both) are going through periods of not sleeping very much, or for very long at a time. Somehow we make it through. I can do a lot more, on a lot less sleep, than I ever thought possible. It definitely makes me forgetful, though. Sometimes I wander from the dining room into the kitchen, and by the time I've arrived I've forgotten what I was coming for.

8. Pride. There is nothing that makes my heart swell more than watching my kids accomplish something new. When people compliment them it makes me so proud of the little people that they are becoming. Also getting to see the pride that they take in their accomplishments - be it reading a new word, some artwork, or an outstanding physical feat - fills up my heart.

9. Gratitude. I feel as though since becoming a mother I stop more often to be thankful for all of the blessings I have. Clearly, Claire and Ben are two of my biggest blessings, but there is so much else to be thankful for. Every time that I take a moment to stop and think about it, I feel so incredibly lucky.

10. Love. I never imagined that I could feel so much love, and yet it continues to grow and grow. I am so lucky to have these two amazing children in my life. The love makes me happier than ever for the good things, but it also makes me hurt when they are hurting. I wouldn't give it up for anything.