Forward & Backwards.

Molly is 10 years old and trying desperately to figure out what it means to be grown.  She's realizing that sometimes friends are not as nice as they should be, her skin's not as tough as it needs to be, and she doesn't know how to respond to all of the emotions and hormones that are beginning to split her in two these days.

So, she cries.  

And we talk.  We listen.  I try not to smother her with advice and I remember to let her wrap her arms around me when it's a sweaty 95 degrees outside because one day she won't want to anymore.

Lily is 7 and is no longer the baby of the house.  She is a little bolder these days in her requests and still wants to be spoiled with affection.  She's always marched to the beat of her own little drum set and is pretty confident in her eccentric ways.  All of the sudden she's not a little kid anymore and not yet big, either.

So, she creates.

She flits and twirls and whirls through life.  She raises her hands and spins and dresses up and commands your attention.  She draws pictures and writes songs and makes up scenarios that we are all a part of whether we like it or not.  I worry about her getting lost in the middle, but she is usually the most content of the three. 

Olivia is 1 and is figuring out that her smiles and grins are going to get attention.  She impresses the crowds with her tricks and gets angry with the shakes when she doesn't get her way.  

So, she waves. 

She has learned how to manipulate people with her dimpled cheeks and turn them into mushy crazy people.  She wants nothing more than to follow her big sisters and figure out what they are doing.  I know she's my last baby, and I want to soak it all up.   

And I'm the 35 year old mama who still doesn't have it all figured out.  While I no longer stress about the little things, I've become more aware of the bigger, scarier things they don't warn you about, and I'm not always sure what I'm going to do when that next stage hits.  I still have days when I feel like I'm doing it all wrong and I become unglued by the madness that is my life. 

So, I pray. 

I pray for my girls and that I will know how to guide them.  I listen to my heart and try to be better the next minute, the next day, the next time.  I don't have all of the answers and I seek the wisdom of other mamas who are going through it with me, and the wisdom of those who have already survived.  

Because, in actuality, no single person has this whole child-rearing thing figured out.  We are all flying by the seat of our pants and trying to make the best decisions for our little people as they come.  We can read all the books and try all of the techniques and our children will still find ways to completely surprise us.

And I'm glad.  

I'm glad my family's story is going to be completely unique to us.  I'm glad we have our own issues and junk and stuff and that it doesn't look like everyone else's.  I love our swoony moments and memories and secrets that we share.  As I told Lily today, "I'm the only person who has known you longer than you have known yourself."

And I'm overwhelmed when I remember that I've been trusted to tend to these people, and I am honored that they get to call me "mom."

Mother's Day (and my 35th birthday)

So, I wake up each morning and take the next step forward. 

After my first cup of coffee.

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