To my children-
You are young, and sometimes feel as though you lack independence because of me, your mother. I tell you what to do a lot. I tell you when to get up, I give you a limited menu for breakfast (cereal or the other cereal), I tell you to get along, to do your school, do your chores, get your shoes on, say "I'm sorry", and put a smile on your face. You may think you should have more choices, and you may be right, but don't worry too much, you'll have plenty of choices soon enough.
I have countless choices to make each day. Some are very minor, even though they may seem like life and death issues to you, in comparison, they are minor. For example: What is for lunch? Minor. Complex, yet minor. I do need to know what is in the fridge and if nothing is there, how much I want to spend on lunch. I often ask myself, "do I really want to actually cook?" I have to determine how much color will be on your plate and give myself a list of questions like, "will I be comfortable admitting that I am a dietitian after this meal?" Complex, yet minor, because in 12 hours we will have already forgotten about this decision.
Others, however, have been a little more life-altering. Like marrying your dad. I can't exactly remember why I made that choice- I'm sure there was very little logic involved- it did make a pretty big impact on me. And for you too, for that matter. All I can say is, good thing he looks good bald. None-the-less, that decision is made. I dare not change my mind because I'd hate to go through the first 10 years of marriage over. And I love him to pieces. As you know, he's my most favorite.
Another biggie was about priorities. Where would mine be? Did you know I didn't even plan for you in my life? The doctors said it would be difficult for me to have children, so I didn't get my hopes up. Now, there are four of you. I know I could have had a fantastic career. I have a great job when I'm not around you. It's my paid vacation from you, because when I'm there, I sit in a quiet office with scheduled breaks. And I have intelligent conversations with adults. And I get paid. Did you know I don't get paid for waiting on you 24/7? But when I leave, I get a paycheck? Did you know I had the choice to do that five days a week, but I chose once-in-a-while?
I could have chose homemaking. I could have made cleanliness, wardrobe, and manicured lawns my priority. If you weren't around so much, I might just get around to finding a home for everything we own and de-clutter effectively. However, four little people can pull out more stuff than this tired mama can put away, especially when you add cooking, laundry, vacuuming, and a cheery disposition. Your presence makes my life nearly impossible.
Or appearance. Did you know, I have not had an actual hairstyle in years?
Did you know most people in Target are richer than us?
Did you know that sometimes I act crazy just to cover up the fact that I probably am?
Ya know why? Because I cannot, with clear conscience, choose anything but the life I now have. I had to choose one priority. I chose you. I chose the pleasure of building this relationship over dry clean only clothing and non-greasy hair. I chose to settle for McDonald's once in a while over RD approved meals. I chose this gross carpet and those dandelions over the magazine cover house.
Other families- good families- may do it differently. That's okay. I'm not the one to decide what is best for anyone but us. But I wish for you to know that often times, we won't have it all. We can't have perfection. In fact, perfection is boring. My decision, which I firmly believe is actually God's decision for us, has made me weak. I am in over my head, and I'm positive a few marbles were lost in the process.
Yet, in spite of my half-missing mind, (your dad's is not much better), I feel like the luckiest person alive. Tonight, I sat in a book corner with an old and worn blanket serving as a canopy reading, "Catalina Magdalena Hoopensteiner Wallendiner Hogan Logan Bogan Was Her Name", and then listening to made up names like, "Catalina Magdalena Pillow Blanket in a Taco with Dirty Blonde Rockets into Space", followed by the beautiful harmony of laughter.
I learned that Dr. Doolittle was a playwright for many animals, serious plays for penguins and comedies for monkeys. And Jason of Iolcus may be a hero, but also incredibly foolish. I've listened to countless Boxcar stories that have burned fantasies in your minds. I know, when we bowl together, which "coaching" techniques would work best for which of you. I know when to challenge you and when to take it easy. I don't get it perfect every time, but I know better than anyone else.
I know I drive you crazy sometimes. I know that still you are crazy about me. Its pretty obvious when I was ready for peace and quiet twenty minutes ago, yet you still want another hug. You are my treasure. I pick you, and I will do whatever I can to start you off well.
I choose to do this because someday you will have to make millions of choices, and a few will be life altering. I don't want those made for the wrong reasons. I want them made from true conviction, which may look like insanity to the world around you. Well, that plus the fact you are a whole lot of fun to be around.