My kids have a friend in CT whose dad just suddenly died of a heart attack – no warning, just gone. It made me think about what I’d like to have made known to my kids if something happened to me. I’m not sure I can get through this post without crying, but I think it is important to have thought through the things that are critical to me to have passed on, as well as to leave them with a smile on their face as they remember my silliness, too. You are welcome to look in on this conversation, but you’ll have to excuse the personal nature of my post today as it will be addressed to my 4 amazing kids.
1. I am WAY more health conscious than I live in reality. My self-control doesn’t equal my passion for all things healthy. I hope that I have passed on the knowledge and the passion for what great nutrition can do for your life in spite of the fact that I have fallen so short of implementing these beliefs.
2. On the flip side, I hate to exercise. Really hate it. If I get out and actually do it, it is because of sheer belief in it rather than passion for it. However, in my mind, I am a marathon runner. What does that say about me?!?
3. Without the socialization of your father, I would not be the person that I am. His influence has allowed me to keep pace with his endless relational energy, and to be able to communicate to others that I really care and am approachable.
4. What I hear myself saying all of the time is, “That’s good enough,” and yet I really don’t like that about myself. I wish that I had higher standards.
5. I feel really confident in 4 things: parenting, homeschooling, creating memories, and communicating tough concepts. That doesn’t mean I’m really good at them…I just have done them enough that I feel confident in my role.
6. One of the reasons that I feel confident about parenting is because right after I had my first baby, I attached myself to someone who had raised kids that I respected. I sucked her dry of all of her wisdom and insight. One of the best things I’ve ever done, and I highly recommend you to do the same when the time comes.
7. If I had more money, besides being radically generous with you kids and with others, I’d dress a lot differently. My wardrobe reflects that “…it is good enough…” attitude. If I knew that everyone’s needs/wishes were met, I imagine that I’d have fun picking out a wardrobe that reflects more of my tastes than it reflects being frugal.
8. I have learned to control my external emotions; however, while you don’t see me cry very often, I am really extremely emotional. There are dozens of times a week that tears come to the surface, only to have me push them down. It kind of scares me how deeply I feel.
9. You guys know this…I just think it would make you smile to remember if I wasn’t around: I get completely grossed out by watching someone else brush their teeth. Truth be told, I get grossed out when I brush my own teeth. Of course I brush, but I consider it a success if I get through the experience without gagging. It is so bad that I brush my teeth while I’m in the shower…with my eyes closed. (I am even getting queasy thinking about it as I write…).
10. I want so desperately for you guys to be
great best friends. I imagine (a lot more than you would think) days in the future when we all get together and completely enjoy being in each other’s company. It is one of my favorite daydreams.
11. I’ve decided that I don’t hate cooking – I just would like it more if I had all of the latest gadgets, the best laid-out kitchen, and the most exotic ingredients. I don’t like having to try to make the same old things taste different every evening. I’m not very good at that.
12. Nature is a gift to me, and I am always imagining how to craft our day so that we can be outside. Having lots of open space helps me think, process and breathe easier.
13. I am a really good typist. In fact, if you watch closely during conversations, I often type what is being said. Subtly, so that no one notices…because that would be really weird to type what people were saying, wouldn’t it? I am also a great speller, but my secret is that I have to type the word to know how they’re spelled. If you ask me how to spell something, watch closely, because my fingers are moving to help me “visualize” how the word is spelled.
14. My definition of happiness includes a lot, but the highlights are: a slight breeze on a 75 degree day on the beach of the ocean, having what I need when I need it, a good book and a fire place, and hearing you guys laugh and having fun together.
15. I am terribly nostalgic, but I don’t get to indulge in that because it makes me emotional. And we now know how I feel about showing emotions, huh?
16. One of the things truly puzzles and grieves me is that I have very few clear memories from my past: childhood, high school, or college. That is one reason why I scrapbook and intentionally create memories with you guys. I get to capture memories I want to hold on to, and capture memories I hope that you can remember.
17. There are few things more satisfying to me than editing. I love the order of it, and how things “magically” jump out at me that are grammatically wrong, or that could simply be said better. I do, however, have to be careful not to be critical of bad editing in public. I can be so snarky when I see billboards, signs, or publications that have poor grammar or misspellings.
18. Gardening scratches two itches of mine: being outside and being productive. I spend time scheming in my mind how I’ll be able to fit in more veggies and containers in the backyard (and the side of the house, and the front yard, and the neighbors’ yards…). The process of planting and seeing things grow is only eclipsed by preparing meals from food that I’ve grown.
19. I love your dad deeply, and believe that our commitment and enjoyment of each other makes you guys all the stronger and happier. Loving him is the best way I can love you guys, and I have worked tirelessly to be able to honestly say that I love him with all of my heart and I am so happy that I married him.
20. I am unbelievably proud of each of you. I don’t deserve credit for how great you guys are. I’m not patient enough. I’m not creative enough. I’m not godly enough. I’m not wise enough. And yet, He loves me enough that He gave me you. Mind blowing. My heart is full with gratitude that I get to be your mom.