My life has been enriched because of my children. They are still so very new, with the oldest being only four, but I think I will feel this way forever. I hardly remember a time without them. Yet, they have only existed for one 7th of my life, and a 3rd of my relationship. Matt and I spent over 8 years together without any kids involved. What did we do with all the space in our house? All the money in our pocket? All the love in our hearts? It was all wasted before they joined our happy home.
They show you that the third or fourth snow storm in March, no matter how much you despise that white powdery stuff, is an opportunity to explore the neighborhood. An opportunity to throw snowballs. Make snow angels. Eat fresh, untouched snow. Take a sled ride. Shovel. Run and fall without injury. Listen to the silence, that exists early in the morning when the whole city is padded with 8 inches of snow. Remind you that there is nothing better than hot chocolate after a good play outside in the cold.
They show you how to appreciate sleep. You will never take a good, solid, 8 hours of sleep for-granted again, after having a newborn. Even with the incredible sleepers I've been so luckily blessed with as children, I appreciate my sleep. I now savor my sleep. I never liked sleep before kids. But I know the potential that exists with all 3 of those little heads soundly sleeping in nearby rooms. Any given night could turn into a sleepless, up every hour, bed filled with little ones, without a warning or notice kind of night. Thankfully, for us, this has happened, well, once, maybe? But now, I take it when I can, and at 12 weeks pregnant, that is ALL THE TIME. Just in case one of the kiddos got it in their head to wake frequently.
Mostly, they show you how to think of someone else before yourself. This is a lesson that many religion classes tried to ingrain in my brain. A mantra many try to preach. Have a couple kids, and it happens naturally. It is humbling, gratifying, amazing, to put another before yourself. I thought this lesson would be a hard one for me to swallow, adjust to, adapt. Most would not describe me as self-sacraficing, or giving, really. I am now, and always will be for my boys. we never hesitate to spend money on them. Provide them with education, fun, experience. Whether it's just a dinner night out or a 5 day vacation, Matt and I do nothing but talk about our kids, laugh about their little antics, and miss them when we are away. Sure, we have some adult talk, but invariably, our discussion returns to those babies. One day they will be teenagers. They will test our patience. Make me second think my current thoughts about them. But our brains will never, ever function as they did before kids. Thank goodness. As I said, my life has been enriched by them. Improved.
Kids show you a new kind of love. They show you that love is never-ending. Always expanding. Fun. Beautiful. Amazing. And grand. For this, I will always thank them, and never expect thanks in return. I am theirs.