Our family is far from perfect. Our house is almost always a mess, I never dust my baseboards (or really, much else) and toys and random miscellany are constantly strewn across the floor no matter how many times I pick them up or yell at the boys to pick them up. The laundry is going to come to life one of these days and take over my house because it’s really that out of control. I have two overflowing (clean) laundry baskets on the floor in our bedroom that I haven’t even attempted to put away for literally months (just living out of them), ditto for the boys’ room, and their clothes never even get folded when they do get put away (more often than mine), just dumped into their dressers–if it wrinkles too badly, it does not survive in this house. My cooking skills are somewhat better than my housekeeping ones, but not much. Glenn and I are picky, but in different ways, so finding something that we (and both of our children, who are good eaters, but their tastes change on a whim) will both eat is a challenge…and that does not include quinoa, kale, or anything else that I know we should probably be eating to raise healthy children, but we just aren’t. We eat a lot of takeout. We watch a lot of television, and the boys just get a lot of screen time in general. Glenn and I both work too much. Despite that, we have debt, and sometimes the fear of it catches in my throat and keeps me awake at night. Some days (most days) the boys have meltdowns that make me want to hide in my closet with a box of chocolates, and sometimes said meltdowns turn me into the scary mommy who screams, which in turn makes them scream louder, and I just put my head in my hands, try to breathe and know that it will be over eventually.
Our family is far from perfect. But in so many ways we couldn’t be more perfect. Carter is intuitive, inquisitive and the ease with which he learns just takes my breath away. He will gladly sit at the dining room table to go through an entire workbook by himself, because he just loves to learn. He loves to read books to us, and not in that choppy, new-reader kind of way–he has cadence, rhythm and excitement in his voice. And he loves us with such a fierceness I can only hope that it will last. “I just want to be with you forever,” a common sentiment when we are trying to make him sleep somewhere other than our bed or when I dropped him off at school for the first month and a half, is sometimes trying now, but I know I will look back on it and wish I could freeze time. I can’t believe how quickly he has gone from little baby to lanky boy.
And Collin. Oh, Collin. He is just the funniest, sweetest little guy. So dear. His personality comes out more every day, and it is just so amazing to me to watch him develop likes and dislikes, and opinions–boy does he have opinions. When he is happy, he says so off the cuff…”Ha-ppy!” with a smile on his face. When he is excited (often following his big brother around) he walks with a little spring in his step like the enthusiasm just can’t stay inside. When he wants me, he comes over –“Lap!” –climbs up, and seatbelts my arms around him. At dinner last night, we had a whole conversation about the movie Shrek, one of his new favorites, and while there were no complete sentences involved, he answered all of my questions about the characters and plot. He is mesmerized by Christmas magic this year, and showed no signs of fear when we saw Santa today. He loves our elf on the shelf “Handy Hane” and can’t wait to go on “Mickey boat” later this week. He loves his family, and he loves his friends, especially “Lachan” (Lachlan) who he asks for on a daily basis despite him going to kindergarten every day, and follows around like a puppy dog every time we see him. My Collin is still a baby in many ways, but he is also a boy in so many more. Watching him growing up is the most bittersweet dichotomy of joy and sadness.
And I am so lucky to have a wonderful partnership with Glenn. We’ve been together since we were just kids ourselves, and now nearly two decades later we have this beautiful life and the most amazing children. We almost always see eye to eye on the important things, and my day isn’t complete unless we’ve had a good talk. Usually a serious guy, he is silly and fun with the kids and I can’t help but smile when I watch the joy on their faces as he tosses them around.
Soon enough we will have another perfectly imperfect person joining our family. And while I should probably be more scared about how we are going to afford our growing family, or how on earth I am going to juggle three children, I’m much more relaxed this time around. I know that I will have plenty of love to go around, and really, I think that is the only thing that matters. We will have successes and failures, good days and bad, but at the end of the day, we will be perfect.