The past two weeks have been an absolute blur of emotions, opportunity, loved ones; and for that I’m thankful. We were SO lucky to have my mom and niece visit us during their spring break. I mean, who wants to come to a snowy Wisconsin in the middle of March from the beauty and warmth of the Florida sunshine?
It’s funny how growing up you loathe your parents advice and requests, and really take advantage of them when its only for your benefit. And then you move out and look forward to a home cooked meal, and the excitement of being able to fly the coop whenever you want. And then you fall in love, get married and have kids and realize what they’ve been telling you for years is so resonate and true it hurts when you miss them. Things like:
“You’re family is what is most important.”
“Friends will come and go, but your family will always be there.”
“Your sister will always be your best friend.”
“When you have kids, you’re really going to want your family around.”
I have always missed them, and looked forward to seeing them when we could. But it is true what they say, as soon as Tessa was born, missing them became a deeper more intense feeling than ever. I want them to experience her with me, and see her new ‘tricks’ and most of all, I want her to know them and have the type of childhood I had with my family/extended family.
It is hard when you get married and meld two families. While there are many similarities between my husband and I, there are very stark differences as well. And they’ve become more evident since we’ve begun to have kids. It is a hard hurdle to jump…the differences and acceptance. And so often, all I want is my mom. Riding this roller-coaster with me.
When I was in the hospital postpartum, our favorite nurse told us the story of her own granddaughters birth. She explained to me (over and over) the importance of accepting help, and taking time to take care of myself. And in a conversation to my mom, she talked about a card that she keeps on her nightstand because it touched her so profoundly. It was a card from her daughter that she received on the mother’s day after her first grandbaby was born. She choked up explaining it to us, and as she reached the conclusion of her story she said her daughter wrote:
“I never needed my mother more than when I was learning to become a mother myself.”
And it’s true. No matter how confident I am, or happy I am, or how much support I get from everyone else–there is just something about having your mother by your side; or at least a stone’s throw away. She doesn’t have to say anything, offer any advice, or even do anything. It’s just the comfort of home, as I begin to create my own, for my own.
It is refreshing too, to get a reminder of her patience and wisdom. And a to see a glimpse of goofy when she’s around her grandkids. Her heart is for children, kids are what she does. And she does it well.
Needless to say, I cherish my family time SO much now. I dream of what it’d be like to be able to call up my sister to come watch a movie with me, and what it’d be like to host Sunday dinners with my family on a regular basis. What it’d be like to spontaneously pack up my kids and take a trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for the afternoon and they excitement it’d bring as my dad built forts and my mom baked cookies for the grandkids.
But still, I realize how incredibly lucky I am to have these visits with them, love where I live, and have a family of my own that I love and adore. I willingly identify with “the grass is always greener” and continue to make a conscious effort to make decisions that suit the immediate and my family for the best. And we are where we belong and the universe always works things out in the wash.
Besides, if we didn’t live here, this visit would have never happened–and I’d never have been able to experience the excitement from a 7 year old who got to build a snowman for the first time, throw a snowball, and make a snow angel. That is something everyone should experience. Pure joy–until toes and fingers become numb with cold and snow gets in your eyes……
The very first thing we did–literally, we walked in the door, put on some snow clothes and walked back out–was to play in the snow! “SNOW!!!”
Kayla enjoyed the “coolest Target ever” and the view from inside…
We spent hours playing in our quaint living room, and telling the little Florida girl it’s a RULE to wear socks in Wisconsin until summer….
We took a little trip to Ella’s Deli….
Tessa loved, I mean LOVED her cousin Kayla. As long as she could see her, she was happy….
We played outside…again….
We did nails…
We had some fun at the Madison Children’s Museum…grandma got in the hamster wheel, and we were both enticed to climb to the top of the giant slide contraption, and slide down….
The Lowry Park Zoo is beautiful even in Wisconsin winter. We dyed eggs…
My baby had her hernia surgery and came through with flying colors. We are so lucky, and so grateful to have such a beautiful and strong baby. But my lord I hope I never have to go through that again…I’m so happy mom and was here. We made a trip to BounceU for Kayla to run around and get out some energy….of course she enticed us to jump and slide as well…man did it make me feel old!
But mostly, we just enjoyed being together. I relished 7 year old hugs and giggles, and my husband and I saw a beautiful glimpse into our not so distant future. Filled with love and toys, and cute little drawings. Visits from the grandparents and trips to see Tessa’s cousins.
I gave Kayla a disposable camera to use while on her trip to Wisconsin…it was a hit. And it was worth every penny when I pulled her photo-album out of her packed-to-go-home suitcase to take a peek and I found this:
All this love, wore Tessa out……So I made the trek to the airport to say so-long by myself. Time to reflect, and relax, and think. But still, I hate saying good bye–and the drive home was so lonely.
But when I got home, I arrived to this:
and I remembered just how lucky I am…in love, in family, and in life.
I am so lucky.
And our snowman, is still holding strong 🙂