The gift

I am not a gift giver.
It's not in my nature.
I don't accept them well, I don't give well, it's just not part of what I do.

But what you don't realize on this journey of parenting is that each day, your children teach you something new.
About yourself
about your triggers
about your buttons
about your capacity to love
and your inability to manage and contain your feelings
about how you can run towards and away from love all at once.
And most of the time, you view these lessons as failures that you need to learn from.
But what they also are, what they can also be called, are gifts.

Here is what I have lovingly accepted as your gifts, to me.
Anna, you have taught me more about myself than anyone, and this sweet girl is such a gift.
I see so much of me in you.
I see the good, the bad.
The gentle and the anger.
The perfectionist, and the frustration that makes you want to give up, on yourself.
I see the nerd, the one that has a love affair with school.
I see the quiet one that is loud and insane in her comfortable pack.
The one that loves just us four, but also has such a need and desire to expand her circle, her need for framily.
The one that holds us to our promises, the one that wants to know why, the one that finds our traditions such a necessity.
The one that carries the weight of the world on her shoulders and therefore feels empty when it's all just too much.
You have gifted me the ability and foresight to really watch my words because you are listening.
You have gifted me, for the first time, the reasons to just not talk about my body, because the only thing that matters is strength and health.
Anna, you have gifted me my title of mom.
You have given me the gift of you.
And what I promise to give back to you, is the gift of me.
All you want is to be close, to feel connected, to spend time.
I gift you time to go for runs with me,
I gift you all of me when you come home from school,
I gift you some quiet time for us to sit,
I gift you time off of my phone, away from my work, so we can be together.
I gift you my time to teach you things, to be my shadow,
Anna, I gift you all of me.

you have gifted me the ability to find another way.
Because you have always wanted to make a different mark.
You have always wanted us to know that you are not your sister and that won't work with you.
You have gifted me the ability to find out what love at first sight means, how it feels.
You have gifted me the completion of our circle of love.
You have gifted me your joy, you have brought it back into our house.
You have gifted me the beginning with your dad, because you are all him, in every way.
You have gifted me the ability to start over, to see it all for the first time because your soul is brand new.
There is nothing old about you, you are seeing it all, just now. Day by day.
You have gifted me the love of eating, having it make your feet dance and doing it with your whole face.
You have gifted me the importance of snuggles, because you reminded me that you love with your whole body.
You have gifted me the definition of all in, because whatever you do, you are always, all in.
And what I gift to you sweet love, is the power of the word yes.
Can you climb, yes.
Can you run, yes.
Can you jump and chase and go crazy, yes yes yes!
Can you eat that, yes.
Can you smooch me, yes!
Can you just be glorious you...yes sweetie yes!
I gift you our attention and play time with you.
I gift you glorious, joyful, emotional, you.

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