Our kids just turned 15!
The combination of preparing for their birthday and loading the Shutterfly app onto my phone, I got lost in reflective mode and became a little sappy and sentimental.
I could feel weird, but then, it’s to be expected right?
The real question is: how can something not much bigger than two butternut squashes become amazing human beings who will most likely be driving this time next year — in just 15 years?!
The shortest, and longest 15 years!
For six days leading up to their birthday, I posted a different lesson I learned in 15 years as a mother on my instagram account. I thought I would combine all the lessons here, and share it all in one place.
Here are the 6 lessons I have learned in the last 15 years as a mother:
1 : ASK
I learned even before they were born that I needed to ask for help if I wanted or needed help.
Our good friends with twins told us about this very important lesson. People, even the ones who don’t know you at all, are always ready to help. Speak up, and you shall be heard (and helped)!
Asking is a practice.
2 : PAUSE
Some days, especially when they were little, felt like they would never end.
And yet the years seemed to speed by.
Those long days (a rare occurrence now) were meant for us to pause and take it all in. Those pauses allowed us to witness the extraordinary in the ordinary.
I think I paused, but I am learning to pause even more now.
Pausing is a practice.
My ears and my hearing got an upgrade over night, especially after they returned home from the NICU where they spent the first week or so (they were a bit early, but seriously, they were running out of room in my belly!).
We, as parents, first listened for those cries. Then we listened to their attempts at talking. Now we listen to their stories, and those gaps in between the stories.
These days, we get to hear about their hopes, dreams, their fears and sadness. Listening, for us as it is for them, is the best gift we can give.
Listening is a practice.
There is no doubt that we give to our kids.
But what is also true and required is that we also need to give to ourselves.
What we give to them is what we must give to ourselves: time, patience, unconditional love. The more we give to ourselves, the more we can give to others.
Giving is a practice.
In general, I might trust too easily, usually from a place of intuition. Or some may call that, gullible.
Becoming a parent, I trusted even more readily.
I first had to trust that all those doctors knew what they were doing with two babies at once (well, there were actually 8 minutes in between, thankfully).
Then I had to trust my body that it would know what to do.
I had to trust that I could step up and learn how to be a mother of twins.
Fast forward 15 years, I now trust that I have given my kids enough thus far so that they can trust themselves, their decisions, and actions.
Trusting is a practice.
There is no question that becoming a mother requires that we grow.
We grow into being a parent; we watch them grow; and we grow with them.
Growth is not an option, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Growing is a practice.
Are you a parent?
What lessons have you learned that you are still learning today?
What lessons are you still practicing, with or without children in tow?