I wrote this last night while I was thinking about my babies... (I'm breaking it into several parts since it is so long. That way if you want to read it all, you don't have to sit through my dribble in one sitting. :) )
As we grow older, we shift our focus on what is important in our lives. When we're little, we want to play, have fun and explore the world around us. I watch my two beautiful children do this everyday. Chloe is constantly learning something new and saying things that amaze us to know end. Recently, she walked into the kitchen and said "Mom, did you know the largest plant in the world (well, she tried. :) ) is Jupiter?" She asks a million questions to figure out what is going on in the world around her. Finn in the last few weeks has gone from a little baby to almost a toddler! He is crawling everywhere (he even made his way into the kitchen yesterday to help me cook!). He pulls himself up on chairs, the playpen and, of course, I'm greeted most mornings by a standing baby in his crib!
Then as teenagers, we want to get as far away from our parents as possible. We exert our own independence. We learn by doing (as I think we do our entire lives). We define who we are and who we will likely become. (I say likely because I don't believe anything is set in stone.)
As adults, we start to look to our families to be there for us again. Right now, I miss my parents terribly. I know the move they made to Florida was an EXCELLENT move for them. They are both happier than I have ever seen them before. But, at the same time it breaks my heart to be so far away from the people who helped shape and mold me into the woman I am today. With mother's day on the horizon and father's day only a few weeks ago, it saddens me that I'm not just around the corner from them. It makes me laugh a little to think that just 15 years ago, I was embarrassed to go to the movies with my parents and now I think I'd give anything to be able to do that any time I wanted. It also scares me that in about 10 years, my daughter will be embarrassed to be seen with me!
I know my "loss" is not the same as loosing a parent completely. I, unfortunately, know too many dear friends and family who are experiencing their first to fourteenth or thirtieth Mother's day without their mother. I know several who are about to experience another Father's Day with out their fathers. I also know a beautiful soul, God bless her, who is experiencing her first Mother's Day without her beautiful baby boy (may she find peace some day!) My heart breaks for these folks. I'm so lucky to have such amazing parents and have them both still on this earth with me, even if there is distance between us. I am also lucky to have the amazing in-laws I have who love me as if I were their own. And an amazing husband who loves me, respects me and trusts me. I am lucky to have a brilliant and absolutely beautiful 3-1/2 year old who sees the world for all its beauty. I am lucky to have a handsome 9 month old who can't wait to grab the world by the ear and lead it where HE wants to go! (Man, I'm going to have my hands full with him!)
(Yea, I know - I need more updated photos...I'm working on it!)