22
Apr

Rich

I want your memories to be rich.
I want them to keep you warm.
I want smells to bring you back to your home, the one you started in.
I want sounds to take you back.
I want your memories to be rich.

I want our time together to be remembered the right way.
I want you to look back and realize how hard we all tried.
I want you to think back on each tradition, the ones I created, the ones you love
and I want you to know how much those were meant to stop time.
How much those were meant to slow us down, slow everything down.
How much those were meant to hit pause.
How much those were meant to create what became so special, so meaningful, so gorgeous.

I want you to go to the beach and not be able to not think of our summers at the Cape.
I want you to go to the track and not be able to not think of your dad.
I want you to sit on Christmas Eve and miss Nonna's food, the gifts, the family.
I want you to spend your first Thursday away from Framily and realize how amazing it was when...

When we were all together
when time stood still
when only love mattered
when it was this simple.

I want you to look back on your childhood and remember the smell of dad's sauce
and mom's perfume
and Nonna's gnocchi.
I want you to remember Easter and all of the cooking, all of the wine, all of the kids.
I want you to remember all the pools and all the Sunday family swims.
I want you to smell pancakes and immediately be transported to a Sunday around the island.
I want you to set the table on Sunday night and remember how much mom wanted it to be a little more special.
I want you to think how important it was to her that we focus on the good and show what we are grateful for.

I want you to remember your childhood as that, a childhood.
I want and I need to know that you had one
that you can remember being a kid.
I want and need to know that you had fun
you laughed
we played games, I need you to remember all the games we play, all the movies we fell in love with.

I need you to remember sand in your hair
and sun on your skin
and Pearl and Mia at our feet
I need you to remember puppy smooches
and mom cuddles
and dad's arms.

I want you to know that we were stable, even when we felt shakey.
I want you to remember that home is here.

I want you to remember the mother I was when we first started out.
The one you have zero memories of, but I hold on to.
The one that wrote a chapter she never thought she would, the one that held you, smelled you, fell madly deeply and forever in love with you.

I want you to remember the mother I was when I was running toward and away from love and you.
The one that struggled, the one that panicked.

I want you to remember the mother I am now, the one that listens to you, that turns everyone off to put all eyes on you.
The one that drops everything to play a game or read a story.
The one that will never say no when you ask for attention from me.
I want you to remember the mother I am now.
The one that makes mistake after mistake after mistake and comes to you on bended knee to ask for forgiveness, the one that demands the same from you.
I want you to remember the mother I am now, the one that laughs with you, teaches you, expects lots from you.
I want you to remember the mother I am now, the one that wants you to have a happy childhood.

I want you to remember the mother I will someday become.
The one that is scared of the future and letting go.

I want you to remember how much you loved each other.
How important having a sibling was.
I want you to remember your summers.
Your time with dad,
the track
the adventure days
the sun
the warmth
our town.
I want you to remember our little house at the Cape
how close we were to the beach
the framily that crammed themselves in.

I want you to remember your family.
That you always have a place
that you always belong
that you have a home to go back to.
I want you to remember that your family is strong, we are present, we are neverending.

I want you to remember the good, the bad and the ugly and we gave you plenty of all three.
I want to you remember times you were disappointed and times you were heartbroken and I want you to remember how you were still able to get up, go on.
I want you to remember times you, we were happy and times you, we weren't.
I want you to remember that families are alive and with life comes grace and love and imperfections and fog.
I want you to remember that we always loved,
we always tried.

I want your memories to be rich.

20
Apr

Five Minute Friday - turn

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 turn.
Go.

It's our turn.
We have been focussing on you
your needs
your wants
your cries
your little grunts
your inability
your everything.

But, I don't have babies anymore.
I now have kids
and part of the appeal of aging and independence is we get to focus on us.
Our turn
our lives
our rhythm.

We get to find a new version of us.
One that has been through hell and back.
One that has turned towards and away from love and coming running back again.
One that leans hard on one another.
It's our turn now.

Things with kids get busier
schedules get crazier
schedules become really important
schedules were always important to me though.

Things with kids get blurry
because we think they put us out of focus when in actuality they have us focus on what is most important.
And that is always and forever togetherness.
It's all they want, it's all they need, it's all they ask for.

Things with kids get overwhelming
because we feel overwhelmed.
Because we think it should feel heavy
because raising humans is heavy.
But, what they really remind us of is how light things should be.
How dumb we are for making it overwhelming
because how is love anything but light?

It's our turn now
it's on us to refocus
reinterpret
rephrase our worry
regroup and reclaim us.

Our turn to look into what is meant for us to carry vs what we add that has no meaning.
Our turn to define our family.

Stop.

15
Apr

Finally grateful

What I once took for granted, I have found gratitude.
What I once saw as a burden, I now see as a gift.
In my year of different, I have found a way to be thankful for my life.

Thankful for things like
each night, we get a couple of hours of "us" time before we head to bed
on Sunday mornings, she would crawl into bed and read while we still sleep off the exhaustion
the kids are so healthy that they get to be crazy and drive us crazy
we still hold hands, still touch toes, after all these years
we have really amazing three day weekends
I am good at my job
we have friends that have become framily
snow days
family movie nights
slow Sundays
I sometimes get to steal 30 minutes alone in a coffee shop while my daughter is at piano practice
I sometimes get to spend that time with my son
vacations and not making school lunches
we make little getaways special and fun filled
a tired Pearl after a good day of play
finally learning how to ask for help
a handy husband that pours all of him into our house turned home
great classes at our inexpensive gym
traditions and making time stand still for just a few moments
coffee dates with good friends
hosting holidays in our new home

What I once saw as the wash and repeat, I now stop to recognize as special.
What I once felt was boring, I now see as time slowing down.
What I once carried as a heavyweight, I now see as my life, unfolding and I am putting my baggage away.
I am finding the room, the time, space, to reflect and be grateful for all I asked for and received.
This is my life and I am all in.

13
Apr

Five Minute Friday - other

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 other.
Go.

I have options.
I stood at this place in my life
a place of blue and hardship and I took a step back.
I looked at things from afar, tried to give myself some space and distance and I quickly saw two lanes, two roads.
I had to pick...one or the other.

One path looked foggy and had lots of obstacles and trees down, things in my way.
But it also looked so familiar, almost comforting because I knew every twist and turn.
This path has been all of me, I have built a life on this road.
I can see the younger me fighting for a way out.
I see all the things I put in my own way.
I see my home, my family, it's calling me to come back.

The other looked clear, it had more sunshine but was also brand new to me.
Newly paved, new trees planted, new life.
But all the same, new, and not at all familiar.
There was no same old same old on this path,
nothing for me to fall back on because I always fall back on old faithful.

I had a choice to make and it was time I treated that choice like a gift and not a burrden.
I am lucky enough to have options and choices in my life.
I am lucky enough to be afforded that space but I had to pick, one or the other.

Was I going to go down the path that was full of fog, steeped in it, so difficult to see but also so familiar that I could navigate it in my sleep?
Fog or no fog, this path knew me and I knew it.
Or would I choose to move through the new, the shiny, the sun, the light, the fresh air, the full of life but still...the other?
After almost forty years on this earth, where would I go, how would I live?

I stood at the crossroads
longing for things to be different and realizing that means I have to be different.
I was ready, no longer wanting to dip just my toe
I was ready and in my year of different,
I was ready for the new, the unfamiliar, I was ready for the other path.
And so, I took my first step in.

Stop.

6
Apr

I never knew

This week is your birthday.
And before you
before us
before this connection
there was so much, too much
I never knew.

First, I had no idea how I would be as a mother.
And you sweet angel, you made it so easy.
You never ever made me feel like a first-time mom.
You didn't give me new mom fog.
You were just always here, we always fit and we were always connected in this weird and wonderful way.
I never knew how brave I could be until I said yes to you.

I never knew how much I would adore having a daughter.
I never knew how great believing in happily ever after would feel.
I never knew how great feeling like a queen would feel.
I never knew how gorgeous I would feel standing next to you.
I never knew there was power in pink.
I never knew what grace looked like.

I never knew that beauty does not come from a mirror, it came from the eyes of someone who saw you as everything.
I never knew you could quiet years of not liking yourself by holding a gorgeous girl in your arms.
I never knew how important it would be to let you be any form of girl you wanted to be, including loving all things girl.
From dolls to princesses to pink and purple to twirling and dancing to singing and dresses.
You were this girl and I was all in with you.
I never knew that your love for girl would finally make me love being the woman I am.

I never knew I would have a shadow and I never realized how much I would adore that too.
I never knew I wouldn't want my space from you.
I never knew that I would have no problem answering your questions, holding you close.
I never knew how important all the little steps were to make you feel like I will always be here.
I never knew how big all the little things would be to you.
I never knew how important bedtime snuggles would be, how much you would bask in love.

I never knew how much you would look like your dad.
How much it would make me fall in love with him all over again.
I never knew just how handsome I had married, until I met you.

I never knew how strong I could make all the princess you loved.
Belle for being brave, her love of reading.
Moana who wasn't a princess at all.
Rapunzel for finally leaving her tower.
Anna for being so loving and proving once and for all, love is all you need.
I never knew how easy it was to make strong the new pretty.

I never knew how much you would love Cole.
How important that relationship would be to me,
how much you two will always need each other.
I never knew how great it would feel to introduce you to the concept of framily and how important it is you pick the right people to spend your time with.

I never knew how simple love was.
How just being with you, spending time with you, made everything for you so much more special.
I never knew how much you would recognize my stress
how much like me you would be.
How much you would cry and laugh and how hard and loud each of those emotions would sound, how easily and quickly they would come.

But what I know now, all you have taught me is that I wasn't really me until I met you.
You allowed me to slide into a place of rest and love and acceptance.
And what I also know now is I cannot imagine a life without you in it.

I never knew,
how much I would love you.

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