They say that raising kids changes your life. Not just the sleepless nights, diaper changes or extra long road trips. But because the things that used to be important, aren't so important anymore. You find excitement in the things that light up your child's face; such as the song at the beginning of the Mickey Mouse cartoon or apple slices at McDonalds. I find myself snapping pictures of all the little things that to me are simply amazing…because MY 2 year old is doing it. To many other people, it might just be "oh look at the typical things she's doing, whoopty do", but it's MY 2 year old doing it. I'm sure all parents can relate! My iPhone is literally so bogged down with pictures and videos that I have to meticulously scroll through old pictures to decide which to delete just to make space to take a new one and then half the time, I end up missing the cute picture opportunity any way. And while all of this is so amazing to me, I also experience the opposite end of motherhood that many others do not. I have a 5 year old who is still learning to do things that my 2 year old learned to do months and months ago. But nonetheless, I am over the moon excited about every little thing he does! Some of the things that come "naturally" as a mother in raising children, doesn't come naturally when the natural sequence of life, is disturbed. And just when we think we have it figured out, life changes again. Two steps forward, three steps back. But despite the challenges, we keep on trucking…and all the hard work, will some day pay off again. This afternoon, as I have a few hours of quiet time while Lily is riding the big school bus with a friend who is a bus driver, I decide to use my time catching up on details for the upcoming 5K and posting new blogs. Grown up time, right?! Well, I'm TRYING to do grown up things, but amidst my dining room table of Mother's Day flowers, my untouched purse and cup of coffee, there is this odor. An odor that keeps distracting me from my grown up tasks. I have lit a candle and sat Carter's vanilla scented scentsy lion next to me so that I can try to concentrate. But the odor keeps penetrating my sweet smells with it's annoying presence. I have pulled every toy out of the nearby toy box in search of an old sippy cup or old piece of food but to no avail. As I pull out the toys, I subconsciously think of when one of the kids got this toy or that book…even as I am annoyed by the disturbance at hand. Lily has lots of stuffed animals, babies, computer learning programs while on the other hand, Carter has squish balls, texture/sensory toys, and a peg board for occupational therapy. We have even resorted to looking for toys for Carter in the pet section, because they make squeaky/scratchy sounds and are easy to grasp. A learning curve along the journey. We also shop in the infant-2 years old section rather than the toddler boy aisle. And as I sit here smelling the vanilla from Carter's scentsy toy that was donated by a kind stranger online, I smile. Although I miss some of the quiet, predictable lifestyle I used to have; I wouldn't change this crazy, spontaneous adventure I have now, for anything! When I wake up each morning, I never know what the day will hold. I have went from a person who likes to schedule every minute detail to a person who can change those details within 45 seconds if need be without feeling my left eye twitch. I used to be the most organized and tidy housekeeper I knew; now I am lucky to have a clear path through the living room amongst the toys and blankets around the play area that takes up the largest portion of our living room. But this play area is Carter's link to normalcy and exploration despite his self aggression.
I have returned from picking Lily up from the bus garage and had yet another exciting drive home. I handed her my chap stick which is one of her favorite things to do; carefully putting it on over and over. But this time, she decided to smother every inch of her exposed skin (which is a lot since she's wearing shorts today). Oh the things that we mothers will do for a quiet drive home…and the messes we will clean just to have that. And of course, I had to snap pictures of that too!
I'm sure every family learns to modify their world as kids change their lives, but these are just a few that I thought of today! Sometimes it just takes a little digging through a smelly toy box and wiping chap stick off your tired child, to remember how much your life has been modified, yet perfected!