Friday, November 3, 2017

Gratitude Day #3 - My Family - November 2017

Gratitude Day #3

Today I am grateful for my children.

We had a houseful! By the time I was 30 years old, our family consisted of four children under five years old -- the last two being ten months apart. Three were in diapers, two were on formula and in cribs, and and I was worn out.

Plus, in between those four children had been four miscarriages.

It was the very best thing I have ever done.

I grew up alone. My sisters were nearly grown and out of the house when I was born, so I grew up a bit spoiled. Not "bratty-spoiled" -- heavens, my mother would have made me into a greasy spot. But, spoiled in the fact that every single toy, dress, girly-thing, whatever...that came into the house belonged to me. I had no one I had to share with.

Kerry grew up in the middle of eleven children. We were polar opposites.

So, when as a young married woman I was shocked beyond belief that half of my bed, closet, bathroom space, etc. would now be going to someone else, Kerry was satisfied that he would only have to share with one, rather than ten others.

Then, here comes the children.

I can honestly say I wouldn't be who I am today if I had not had the experience of having a family. I learned fairness -- and unfairness. I learned deeper frustration -- and purer joy. I learned how to truly care about someone else to the point of feeling their pain, and wishing it upon myself.

And, I learned to serve.

Peter was the guinea pig I made most of my mistakes on. My tears would mix with his as I tried to figure this motherhood thing out. I cheered him on as he took his first steps, and wept when he was sick and I didn't know what to do. His life was cut short by the ravages of drugs at age 30, and I knew what true grief was. Me, who had played for dozens upon dozens of funerals in my life, felt mourning and devastation deeper than I had ever known. I can hardly wait to hold him again.

Harmony is our only girl, and brought a personality all her own with her. She made sure she marched to her own drum from the moment she was born. She and I have similar personalities, for when we're in a public place where something will remind us of a certain scenario, we know better to catch each other's eye. We won't be able to contain ourselves. And, we know it.

Jordan was the absolute easiest child to raise that I could ever imagine. He was and is laid-back, but outgoing. Everybody wanted to adopt him, for he was full of cuddles. He is a marvelous and supportive husband and father today, and his family is stellar.

Erik had us to himself the longest, both as a young child, then later as the others began to leave home. I will always cherish road trips and lunches with him.

The tide has now turned. It is they who are concerned about us. It is they who call home checking in on mom and dad. It is they who turn around when we are touring Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco to see if we are keeping up and are not lost.

These marvelous children have turned into marvelous adults. And, I thank the good Lord that they were sent to our home.

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