27
Aug

He's the one

He's the one you call for.
He's the one that signs you up for all of your stuff.
He's the one that gets you ready every. single. morning.
He's also the one that tackles night time routines.
He's the one you love two claps.
He's the one you look like.
He's the one that worries most about you.

He's the one that asked me out.
He's the one that got down on one knee to ask me to join him in forever.
He's the one that puts up with my crazy.
He's the one that has embraced my family's crazy.
He's the one that worries the least about us.

He's the one that sets schedules for you.
He's the one you spend your summer with.
He's the one that plans our vacations.
He's the one that plans our days.
He's the one that loves adventure.
He's the one that needs big breaks.

He's the one that celebrates your milestones.
He's the one that is never sad anything is over.
He's the one that loves your first and your last everything.
He's the one that asked for you, he's the one that realized we were now a complete family.
He's the one that wanted this life, always and forever, you were always a part of him.

He's the one that had the hardest time letting Mia go.
He's the one that I got to watch fall in love with her.
He's the one that adores Pearl, and I got to watch them fall in love too.
He's the one that walks her, he's the one that is so patient.
He's the one that realized we needed to wait and heal.
He's the one that also realized I couldn't live without her.

He's the one that won't let any of us walk away angry.
He's always the first to apologize.
He's the fixer, he's always putting us back together.
He's the one that built our house.
He's the one I see in every corner of it.
He's the one that is always trying to make us happy.
He's the one that loves us, so much he can't see straight.
He's the one that laughs, his job is to be silly.
He's the one that has so much joy, naturally sitting in there, and we're the ones that need to remind him of that.

He's the one you get your eyes from
he's the one you get your childhood joy from
he's the one you want to make happy
he's the one you really adore.
He's the one we can count on.
He is the one I count on.
He's the one that knew we were it for him.

He's the one that is more simple.
He's the one that doesn't question much.
He's the one that hasn't met someone he doesn't like.
He's the one that sees the good in everyone.
He's the one that has a good heart.

He's the one that forgets a lot.
He's the one we love.
He's the one that needs constant reminders that all of this is crazy messy goofy love.
He's the one that needs constant reminders that this is childhood.
He's the one that needs constant reminders that this was his childhood.
He's the one that needs constant reminders that this was him, always him.
He's the one that needs to be reminded that he will never be loved and needed this much again.
He's the one that we love.
He's the one that we love.
He's the one that we love.
He's the one that won't ever let us give up.
He's the one that won't ever walk away.
He's the one that expects you to move mountains.
He's the one for us, he's the one for me, he's the one that put this family together.
He's the one that we love.
He's the one that we love.
He's the one guys.

25
Aug

Five Minute Friday - guide

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on guide.
Go.

Eyes wide open, that's how I explain to people that I went into parenting.
I did not have misconceptions about the diaper commercials and thinking it would calm and full of nothing but love.
I knew parenting would be hard.
I knew it would be messy.
I knew it would change me, I knew it would hurt me.
I knew that I wouldn't recognize myself.
I knew that it would make me lose sleep, and money and patience.
So, you would think someone that is that aware, would have a guide.
You would think she knew a thing or two about what to do, how to handle a situation, how to not buckle under pressure, how to measure up, how to stay calm during the chaos, how to not yell, how to only love, how to keep her marriage unrattled by the changes parenting brings, how to keep up with it all, how to balance it all, how to live the life I want, how to accept the challenges, how to handle the breakdowns, how to motivate, how to ask, how to raise you, how to not be upset, how to not shatter, how to build, how to guide.
You would think she would know how to guide, she would have the book in her back pocket and she would pull it out whenever needed.
Because my eyes were wide open and I didn't for one second think it would be easy, I knew better.

But someone who knows better knows there is no guide.
There is no book.
There is no one size fits all.
There is no way of knowing what is ahead, what challenges will come.
There is no way of knowing how to answer all of the questions.
There is no way of knowing what is the right way to handle every situation.
There is no way of replicating the situation.
There is no way of seeing what tomorrow brings.
Someone who knows better realizes how frustrating parenting is.
Realizes that is is all so much hard work.
Someone who knows better is not confident.
She is shaky because parenting rattles you.
She realizes there are no answers.
There is no right vs wrong.
There is no making up for time lost.
Someone who knows better knows that it's not just you that changes, everything changes.
And at times, that can feel so humbling, so out of control.
Everything is changing all of the time.
Someone who knows better knows it's not just money and sleep and patience you lose, you also lose control.
You lose yourself.
You lose who you were, your identity, how you define you
and so does your partner and so do your kids, everyone and everything is changing all of the time.
Someone who knows better knows that rough patches come and laughter and time heal.
Someone who knows better knows that all you can do is hold on
and come out the other side someone different and a bit weathered, but you are still there.
Someone who knows better knows you can't just become their mom and lose all of you.
Someone who knows better knows there is no guide.
And so she takes it day by day.

Stop.

21
Aug

I promise.

In less than three weeks, you start on this great big adventure,
and I get to watch and cheer from my sidelines.
And so sweet boy...

I promise to take my proper place
I promise to cry in private
I promise to beam and take pictures and have a smile as big as yours in each and every one
I promise to make it all about you and not at all about me
I promise I am really proud, I swear I am not faking it at all
I promise I am in love with how ready you are
I promise I am just as excited for you
I promise to love your teacher as much as you do and I promise that too is not fake
I promise to watch you climb that bus
I promise to hold it all together until you pull away
I promise to count the minutes
I promise you will be great
I promise you are so ready
I promise to be on your side
I promise you will make all of the friends
I promise you will laugh and smile so much
I promise this is your time
I promise to be ready because you are ready
I promise to follow your lead

I have watched and cared for and carried you, sweet boy.
I have loved every second of our time together, five amazing years.
I have loved how we found a quiet moment of us, especially because you're my number two.
I thank you for your flexibility
and your patience
and your ability to quietly play.
I thank you for always being so creative
and for your excitement to just be with your toys, in your own world.
I will miss you
I will miss our time
I will miss these days
the ones you gave me.

See, I am not ready, not really, but you are and therefore I promise to be too.
Your dad is all a flutter, like always, just happy for you.
Your sister, she is excited to take good care of you on that bus and to be the leader she is.
She already has it all planned, how she will sit with you, how she will walk in with you.
I know how ready you are.
I know how much this makes you beam with excitement.
I know you want to meet all of the kids and your teacher
I promise to follow your lead and have you feel only the light of love from me.

But, in this safe place I hold,
the one I want you to read one day,
know that your mom had to be brave.
She was so sad to let you go even more than she has.
She is in love with your face and wanted more time.
She just wants more time with her little ones.
Because this is only the beginning.
This is only the start
and for her, it feels like the end of a very special moment of parenting.
And endings are always so tough for her.
So, she was brave lovey
and you were strong for her.
She wanted to cry and hold you and tell you it's not time
instead, she remembered her promise, the one she has to make over and over and over again
and she let go.

I promise I will always love you, even from the sidelines.

Now, you go do you because you're the best you I know.

18
Aug

Five Minute Friday - speak

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on speak.
Go.

For years and years and years
when faced with someone I viewed as an authority, I struggled to find my voice.
I even struggled to find the right words
even though I know the right thing should be said, I struggled to find what that was.
I struggled to speak up for me, always advocating for others.
Finding it easier to speak up for those that did not have a voice
even though I found myself unable to find my own,
I struggled to speak.

It's the reason I won't allow their voice to be taken from them.
It's the reason I won't allow them to be seen but not heard.
It's the reason I want to hear their explanation, I ask them to find the words.
It's the reason I advocate for them to speak up.

Because we set their bar.
We set the standard of what is appropriate and when to say something and how to say it.
We are their only chance at saying something inappropriately and finding a better way to have said it.
We won't write them off, we won't fire them, we won't kick them out of a classroom,
we can give them as many second chances until they get it right.
Because to speak is not to be disrespectful.
To speak is not crossing a line.
It's finding your strength and courage to stand up.
For you and others.

My dear children, when you see people being mistreated
speak.
When you feel mistreated
speak.
When something in your bones feels wrong
speak.
When you are asked to do something you don't want to
speak.
When you are asked to stay quiet and it enrages you
speak.
When you make a mistake
speak.
When you feel wronged
speak.
When you need a do over
speak.
When you are sorry
speak.
When you are full of fear
speak.
When you need someone
speak.
When you see someone struggling to find their voice help them to
speak.
When you see something beautiful
speak.
When you find love
speak.

But also know this, part of the beauty in relationships is also listening.
When someone is facing a challenge
listen.
When they are verbalizing a fear
listen.
When they need to be heard
listen.

All too often, adults find a way to stay more and more quiet.
There is so much we just do not talk about.
Out of fear of being the only one experiencing it.
Out of concern of what others will think.
Out of not being liked.
Me, I am still finding my way
I am still finding my line
but age and maturity have allowed me to find a better balance.
A voice but the ability to hear a need on the other side.

Your voice, your words, they hold power.
They have a force.
They show the world who you are.
Use them carefully and with intention.
Take a breath, pause, remember that they carry strength.
Use your heart and your intellect
to speak.

Stop.

4
Aug

Five Minute Friday - try take 2

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on try.
Go.

The last time I wrote about this word, I wrote all about our fire.
I wrote about how you need to keep going, keep trying, keep giving it your all.
This week, I want to tell you that what I love most about you Anna is that you are willing to try anything.
You always try.

Anything we throw your way, you give it your all.
You really put your best foot forward, you never say no to a new challenge or option.
Actually, it excites you.
And so when I hear you say "yes!" to something new, it warms me up because you always try.

As you get older, I don't know if this will stay with you.
I don't know when the world will grab hold of you and tell you that you aren't good enough for something.
I don't know when fear will stop you.
I don't know if those two things will ever happen
because right now, in front of me, is a girl that accepts challenges and new.
A girl that always tries.

I wasn't like that until I was much older.
When I was a kid, I always scared to try.
Until I got older and realized that I needed to try new things to open up new opportunities for me
and now? Now I try to prove to just me that I can.
Most times, I am trying too hard.
At proving myself
at my job
at my health
at my everything.
You? You try because you just always try.
There is no question, there is no fear, there is just you and your willingness
to try.

Stop.

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