Monday, May 14, 2012

Not Starting Over

My original intention was to post a light-hearted Mother's Day post with some recent pictures, but I changed my mind.  There will still be some recent pictures, but I've had some thoughts swirling around in my head ever since an encounter I had over the weekend.

Saturday night was Kameryn's junior prom.  So fun to see my basketball playin', outdoor lovin' girl all dressed up!  Our high school has a tradition called Grand March where all the kids are introduced before prom so everybody can see them all snazzied up.  So, off we went with the majority of our crew to see our daughter/sister.

I made a mistake.  I've gotten too comfortable in the circles we tend to navigate with our games, church, etc...where people know us.  You know, no explanation necessary.  This was a whole different ball game (ha, no pun intended).  As we were leaving the high school with the masses, stopping here & there to say hello, I suddenly hear, "Looks like you're starting all over again."  Enter my mistake.  I had not mentally prepared for such an encounter & was caught off guard.  While I don't feel the need to explain myself to people, I am fiercely protective of our children & don't want them to ever feel like they are something less than the blessing that they are.

But that's how this comment came across.  This woman hasn't seen us in years, but her comment came without a smile & an undercurrent of utter disdain.  And all I could come up with was, "This is where God has called us."  Really, Dardi?  Blech.  While God has placed growing our family on our hearts, I'm afraid that statement leaves a whole lot out & makes it sound like our choice--our privilege--to keep parenting is some do-good project instead of the complete joy & blessing that it is. Seriously ticked at myself for that.  Seriously.

What I really wanted to say was, "Motherhood, along with my faith & my marriage, is my heart, soul, & passion.  I do not see it as something to merely survive & get over with.  It is an honor & a privilege, full of laughter & tears, messes & pretty moments, but that's part of being a parent.  Getting to watch as these children grow into beautiful individuals makes every tough moment worth it.  God has brought all 9 of my children in a unique, significant way into our lives, & I shake my head in complete disbelief every day that I get to be their mom."  In a nutshell:

 No, I am not 'starting over'.  I get to continue on...."

Happy Mother's Day, right?  Rant over.  Thanks for letting me onto the good stuff....

So fun to have Kaelee home from South Carolina!  Painting toes, a picnic in the park, & feeding the ducks have helped make up for lost time!


Dad teaching Kam how to fry fish like Grandpa does.

PROM 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, that's her real hair (lol...someone asked me if she got extensions), yes, that's natural curl, & yes, I did her hair for prom. 

Kemeri got to hang out with KiKi during pictures.  So cute.

Grand March

Once upon a time people thought they were twins...Now people think Kyler is older.  When did this happen!?

Keshia (Kearsten's best friend from college), Kam, & KiKi

Finally, a picture with all of us now that Kaelee's home!  Not the best with the funky shadows, but it's what we got for now.  THIS is the reason my heart is so full...and THIS is the reason I hope that maybe next time somebody has a little somethin' to say I will be better prepared to respond.


emariestar said...

Thank you for sharing...I can so totally understand your heart in this, as I ALWAYS feel caught off-guard by comments and wish I had responded differently - in a way that allows my children to hear and know just what a blessing they are and what a privilege it is to be their mommy. Honestly, I'm so relieved to hear that I'm not the only one kicking myself over these things. You are an amazing mommy, and I'm grateful to have amazing role models like you in my life! =)

Jodi said...

Love your story! I know what you mean - I hate when I'm caught off guard - I've begun just answering people - "yes, and blessed. If you want to hear more of our story - give me a call!" They never call, but hopefully God will plant seeds! Living out your worship is what HE has called us to do - and that is what you are doing! And how HE has blessed us!

Karen said...

Great post! I need to remember that phrase, "I get to continue on".

Lori @ Five of My Own said...

I know excatly how you feel. I had a similar encounter last week-unfortunately with my partners wife so I can blast her into the blogosphere:)

What people sadly dont get is parenting is a JOY not a trial or burden. I GET TO KEEP PARENTING. LUCKY LUCKY ME!

Check out the book, "Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids" You will love it.

Becky D. said...

I get those comments too. I try on my good days to always say we have been blessed with more children so they know where we're coming from. The worst was a sales clerk who basically said something along the lines of I would have rather died than had more kids in my 40's. I held my tongue on that one must have been a big holy spirit day. I mostly get grandma comments but my 5 yr old is quick to say for me she's my MOM or I just let it go I am techically old enough to be their grandma. I actually have had less comments with the new baby. Somehow a newborn at 45 shocks them to silence I guess or he's so cute it distracts them. Now I'm getting the comments are you definitely done now, I'm hedging with we haven't even finalized the baby yet.

Jill said...

I don't really ever post but I love reading your blog. Thank you!!

Rebecca said...

Ugh. I know how you feel. I had a girl say to me, "Wow Rebecca. You sure do have your hands full." (In a very snide way.) And I then proceeded to say, "I know. Isn't it great! We are also in the process of adopting a 13-year-old from China and we are SO excited." Like you, it caught me off guard and put me on the defense. I spoke without thinking, but it sure did feel good! :)
Why does anyone feel like they need to defend their decision to add to their family? It may be more effective to just smile and not say a single word.

Rebecca said...

Me again!
I just added a FUNdraising idea on my blog today. If you or anyone you know is in need of a fun, inexpensive, creative, and easy idea hop over and check it out!