5 years of lessons

1,825 days of laughter. 1,825 days of worry. 1,825 days of happiness, exhaustion and love … so much love!

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Yes — I’ve been a mom for five years.

It’s unreal.

I’ve lived a lot of life in my 35 years. Not to brag, but I’m incredibly lucky and have had some amazing experiences in those years. I lived in Bangladesh. I’ve traveled all over the world. I’ve gone sky diving, worn a “bite suit” and been attacked by a police K-9, slid down a fireman’s pole, went to Guatemala on assignment, rode in a helicopter, fostered a baby squirrel, met and interviewed our current president (when he was a senator) … the list goes on. All of that happened in my first 30 years before I became a mom.

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All of those experiences — while incredible and really memorable — don’t hold a candle to the adventure that is the journey of parenthood.

Seriously!

Don’t get me wrong, every day of this adventure hasn’t been awesome. In fact, many of them have been downright stinky and tough — most of year 3 I cried at least twice a day — but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Being a mom is what I was supposed to be. This is who I am; it’s my identity.

Tuesday night, on the eve of Miles turning 5, I sat with both of my boys on my lap, each sleepy and extra snugly. Moments like this, where they both have slowed down at the same time, don’t happen much these days. So I savor them. And on this day, the emotions were overwhelming.

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As they nuzzled into my chest, the tears cascaded and five years flashed before my eyes. I remember the first time I saw Miles, the first time I kissed his swollen cheeks, the sound of his hoarse cry. I remember those first waddled steps. I saw his stubby and stubborn legs kicking themselves over the side of the crib when he willfully decided he was too big for that thing. I can hear him sweetly singing “Tinkle, Tinkle Wittle Staw.” I watch him bravely skip into his first day of preschool. I recall the stress of searching for a nickel that he swallowed (use your imagination.) I smile as I recall the millions of questions — really, it has to be millions — of questions this kid who never stops talking has asked.

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