When did this happen??

First off…Happy New Year!!!  Thank you for all the support last year as I start this new adventure…it means the world to me!

The break here was good and I’ll highlight some of our favorite holidays traditions, old and new, in the future…but on to more pressing matters.

Our baby, Anna, arrived at 3:35 am on January 4th…13 years ago!!!  Can someone please explain to me where the hell those 13 years went!!!????

anna

When I look at these photos, my heart literally hurts with so much emotion.  I can’t even begin to imagine what empty-nest syndrome is going to feel like (let me apologize in advance, Kevin).

I think the two things that surprised me most about becoming a parent is the fact that it is impossible to fathom the amount of love your heart can hold for these human beings and the equal amount of fear your brain will manifest regarding said humans.

Don’t get me wrong, this is the best job I’ve ever had or will have…I mean it is so much freakin fun.  Seriously, I love that our family knows how to have fun.  (For example–we always do our Christmas stockings on Little Christmas and for various reasons we had a small ice cream cake in the freezer.  What a perfect excuse to eat cake!  So yesterday, Kevin, who was working upstairs, joined us after school for stockings and cake.  This led to a whole discussion about awkward office birthday parties.  Kevin said we all had to stand around to eat our cake, while having awkward conversations…  Of course the kids had never heard of this, stories ensued and we all ended up on the floor laughing.  I said to Kevin last night that Anna is going to be standing in a conference room years from now eating cake and is going to start laughing.)

But the other part of parenting for me is the worry.  I worry about every choice I make as a parent.  Overall, I think that my kids are happy (when not being asked to do anything around the house) and they are good people.  What more could I want?  Kevin and I have had tons of parenting conversations (you know, on those date nights when you are not supposed to talk about the kids) and in the end the two things we stress are academics (they are sick of hearing, “your only job is to get the best grades you can get”) and to be a good person (but a couple of years ago i did add “but don’t take crap from anyone” after a couple of issues).  We don’t always get it right, but I think we are going to continue on that path and keep reevaluating our parenting choices as we head into the teen years.  Please pray for us. 🙂

I get that life can’t be perfect, but I think it’s a parental instinct to want to protect them from pain.  I need to remind myself that they will learn from both the good and the bad.  I guess what I want is for them to have more good days than bad.

So my dearest Banana (yes I will always call you that),
I hope you have more good days than bad.
I hope you have more good days of feeling confident in who you are.
I hope you have more good days of doing something you enjoy doing.
I hope you have more good days of ending up on the floor from laughing.
I hope you have more good days with moments where you close your eyes, point your face towards the sun and smile.
I hope you have more good days with people that just get you and you get them.
I hope you have more good days with random dance parties.
I hope you have more good hair days.
I hope you have more good days where you find yourself singing in the shower.
I hope you have more good days of truly feeling that you are loved “bigger than outer space”.
I hope you have more nights of lying in bed thinking “that was a good day and I can’t wait for tomorrow”!
And on those few bad days, I hope you can remember all the good days and know that “this too shall pass”.

Anna, you are truly loved bigger than outer space and we are so proud of who you are! Love, mommy

2004-07

P.S. You are still really good at “the look”! 🙂

anna's pout

Anna’s party hair brought to you by Jessica Lewis from Capello in Waldwick, NJ
(one of the best Aunts and stylists in the world!). 🙂
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7 thoughts on “When did this happen??

  1. What a beautiful open letter to your little banana. I am the Queen worrier in our home. My 15 yo is so tired of me repeating myself over things like “stick together with your friends when you are at the mall’. I don’t know how I will handle her going away to college. My son on the other hand, will be living with us until he is married. By the way, you are a ‘no-reply” blogger. That means that you don’t have an email address tied to your account. I can’t reply back to you when you leave a comment.

    • Thank you for your sweet comments, Linda! I’m definitely learning that the worry is never going to go away…I’ve just got to keep it in check. 🙂
      That is so annoying about the no comment thing!! I’ve got to look into that. I remember reading your posts about blogging comment settings to be open and I thought I set it correctly. I tell ya, the tech aspects takes more time than the writing! Thanks for the heads up!

  2. Kate, the empty nest is bad – really bad but for us it didn’t last long enough to be horrible because your Mom and Dad just love being together and I’m sure that it will be the same for you and
    Kevin. You kinda get married again with no kids to distract you from one another and then comes the best part of all – GRANDCHILDREN like Banana and the other 6 with more on the way. It doesn’t get any better than that. Enjoy the next lap of your family journey – TEENAGERS – scary
    but awesome and soooo much fun. I have a funny feeling that you’ll have many more nights on the floor laughing. And when your teenagers cause you a few tears remember your words to Anna “this too shall pass”. And yes, your Mom and Dad pray for you every day – that your kids bring you all the joys and laughter that you and your siblings brought to us. We love you ! XOXO

    • OMG, I haven’t responded to my own momma!!
      Thanks for the encouraging words…I have read them many times already. You’re right that there are positives to after kiddies…kid-free travel and grandkiddies!!
      And you are so right that I need to remember “this too shall pass” with teenagers. Thanks for the prayers and the wisdom. Love you both! ❤

      • My daughter thanks me for my wisdom. How sweet it is! Have we come full circle or what? Remember when you were little and you adored your parents. Then, funny enough when you became a teenager we became a little stupid. And now, as a mother of a teenager you thank me for my wisdom. You see, Kate, each phase of parenting certainly has it’s own challenges and blessings. Love you!!!

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