It’s been so long since I’ve done an ordinary days post! I can’t believe how much my kids have all grown this year, and often look back at my days with little ones and think “How did I do that?” So much work! It really is an extraordinary amount of physical, mental and emotional work to raise a family, especially one with many ages and stages. Gone are the days of diaper and naps and potty training, and that constant “red alert” feeling that crawling babies and toddlers in the house bring a mom.
And it does get easier! Please know that. Not life always (heck no, here) but raising children. Getting out of the baby and toddler stage (and trust me I would go back again if I could I LOVED that age) frees up so much time and energy. Teens bring us vast stages of mental and emotional expenditures also, but once you have a couple under your belt, I’ve found, it’s much easier to know what to stress over and what to not stress over.
Here’s a little update:
Isaac (my oldest @ 27) work like crazy in the DC area. He and his fiance Cecilia have pushed their wedding back to June 2022 because of overseas travel issues (her family and friends from Denmark would be traveling here). Their wedding would have been last Friday when it was freezing and rainy so we consider ourselves lucky. They come visit often and I LOVE having them here-I’m sure for them it’s nice to get out of a tiny apartment and city life with all it’s noises and inconveniences. The best of both worlds for them, as DC is an amazing place to live. I love my soon to be daughter-in-law and consider us so so blessed to have her walk through life with Isaac.
Abbey, my second, is working in photography and marketing for an artsy denim company, and also does her own photography on the side shooting everything from weddings, to grad photos, which makes her extra busy also. She lives here with me still which I love, although it feels like she is never home, the way she works and travels.
Matthew, my third, has one more year of college left and is living in another city this summer with friends and working also. I can’t believe how fast college went for him so far although I think covid definitely had something to do with that, since they were home earlier and went back later last year. I’m excited to see where he ends up after graduation! It’s fun seeing these kids have their own dreams and plans for life! I will always always encourage my kids to spread their wings.
Andrew, my fourth, has one more year of high school left, has grown about a foot it seems this year (one more inch to catch up to Isaac) and is busy as ever, with his social life and working out and working in general, and soon college applications. He is a lifeguard and a swim coach, and works at a sub shop and has the nicest friends.
Patrick is heading into 7th grade, and Janey is heading into 3rd grade (#5 and 6). I call them my twins 5 years apart because they are both blondies, and stick together (which does not mean there isn’t teasing going on just that Patrick is protective of Janey and Janey loves her big brother.)
I am so so lucky to have been given these incredible humans to raise and love and enjoy. It is no easy feat as a mother to work so hard every day (as I said before), but it is tremendously satisfying to be able to have the work come to fruition and just enjoy them all.
I am adapting to my “new life” as a single parent and am proud of the healing I’ve done because it has been an enormous amount of daily work. I am blessed to have incredibly supportive loving helpful friends and family around me and have leaned on them during the last four years. I really don’t know how I would have done this all without them.
I am three years out from my breast cancer mastectomy surgery which is when the “count” starts till five years when I will breathe a little easier. I’m hoping no more surgeries-although I think I was finally get a little “used to” the expectations I had to set myself up in terms of recovery.
I find a huge amount of satisfaction in helping others who have been diagnosed with cancer, particularly triple negative, which is very scary to read about when first diagnosed. I feel like when it comes to cancer, and for sure also the trauma of divorce which was much worse than the cancer diagnosis by far, there is major women-to-women bonding – a lending of a hand to help pull us up, or drag us if needed through, or cheer for us, from those who have walked through the path of the stages of grief and healing. It is never easy when life throws curveballs (or sometimes fast hard balls to the face:) that are so unfair and wrong and hurt so much. To be able to gain that strength and self worth back is a journey for sure.
I have learned to do things on my own again, and it’s like those baby steps of independence that could be terrifying, once completed, just give so much confidence. I might be up on a ladder taking down a storm window (with a teenagers help-no more broken bones for me!), under a sink repairing a leak, diagnosing a car repair, figuring out finances, or driving us to a far away state for a vacation, but strong women before me have done so much more (that’s where my love of inspiring historical fiction comes in.).
This summer we are looking forward to pool days, and cookie baking, and good books and the company of friends and ordinary days for sure. We all have so much to be grateful for.