Reminiscing by looking back at photos from last year should not make me want to cry, yet here I am blubbering away because so much has changed.
Last year at this time I was booking a photoshoot to create our “We’re expecting” surprise card! We had some great shots taken and choose this image to give our families on Christmas. Yes, holding in this surprise was one of the toughest things to do because 1) I love me some wine and my whole family would find it bizarre that I was not having some during the holidays and 2) I was soooooo sick and not just morning sickness, I am talking about the whole day ruined because I could barely lift my head up without the world spinning uncontrollably sick!
We were able to keep it a surprise by filling wine bottles with apple juice and water or sparkling apple cider LOL and NOT sharing it with anyone. Also, if anyone poured me a drink, my husband took one for the team and drank it or i disposed of it down the sink.
Last year I was just growing this beautiful baby girl that I now get to hold and snuggle and care for. She has completed our family in ways that I didn’t even realize needed completing. Her little smiles, coos, and baby giggles make us all so happy and I feel so blessed to have a third healthy baby. She already wants to talk and move more than she can and I can tell she is going to be a feisty one! I thought that having another baby might take away from the amount of time and activites that I could do with my other two children, but it hasn’t. Now there is one more kid tagging alongside as we continue to travel and make memories. There is no stopping us and what we want to do. Getting out of the house may take a little more time, but with good planning we get where we are going, and sometimes we are even on time!
The biggest change is actually not a new baby, sleeping less, or taking more time to get out of the house. It’s that my son decided and was allowed to go live with his father. (cue water works) For 13 years I said good morning and good night to my son, I helped with homework, made meals, brought him to practices and games, taught him how to snowboard, ride a bike, roller skate, ice skate, etc and within a few weeks of turning 13 he wanted a change. Many moms wonder why I would let him go, and it was simple…. I did not want my child to feel that I was holding him back, or that I was dictating how he should live his life.
No one can fully prepare you for the heartache motherhood entails. It is even harder when mom and dad are not together. His father was the fun weekend dad for years! Prior to that he was the fun one day a week dad and before that the non-existent because a baby is too much work dad. I am not here to criticize, I did that years ago and he is stepping up to be a better dad, I mean he has to be now that his kid is with him 24/7. I digress…. Zach left because he thought the grass was greener, he thought he would have it easier, that he would be able to get away with more, etc. I am sure that he does and that the rules are not as strict as they were in my home, but I am learning to be ok with that. I am learning that just because everything is not done my way, that he will be ok. I am learning how to talk to a teenager through texts vs seeing him everyday. I am learning how to decipher emojis and forte night lingo. Hell, I am even letting him show me how to play it (I am terrible!)
He is still my son. The lessons and values I have spent the first 13 years of his life teaching him are still there. I let him know I love him and he can come “home” whenever he chooses, if he ever does. I value the days we get to spend together even more because they are so few and saying goodbye makes me cry every time. No one prepared me for this. Nothing anyone could have said would have prepared me for this. This is me, hurting, so that I can maintain a good relationship with my child. It is by far THE hardest thing I have had to do and I watched him be flat-lined as a baby because of a heart condition. I know we will make it through and my hope is that when he becomes an adult and when he has his own children, he will realize the torture he put me through and maybe appreciate the depth of my love for him a little more.
We may not be a complete family of five 24/7, but when we are, it’s great. When we are only a family of 4 we have a blast and the girls are the best sisters my husband and I could have ever dreamed up. Who knows what the future is going to bring us, but I know whatever it is, I’ll be able to handle it with love and the strength I get from being their mom!