Thursday, May 15, 2014

To My Precious Boys

My Dear Ryan, Zachary, & Connor,

A few days ago I talked about the sadness I felt in learning that I will never have a daughter. And yes, that sadness is real. I hope that as each of your grow up with me as your Mama and Daddy as your Dad that you will learn  to always feel comfortable expressing your emotions, especially in a productive way, no matter what those emotions may be.

But no matter how sad I may feel at never having a daughter, I don't want any of you to EVER doubt my love for you and how much both Daddy and I wanted each of you. Daddy and I pretty much always knew we wanted three children. When we found out Zachary was a boy, we started having many conversations about whether we definitely wanted three children or if we were just thinking of a third to hopefully have a girl. And the answer was a resounding, "We want three kids, whether that third be a boy or a girl." So, Connor, know that you were wanted and dreamed of long before you ever came to be. We haven't met you yet, but we just know you'll be the perfect completion to our family and we cannot wait for you to get here!

Ryan and Zachary, watching the two of you develop a relationship as brothers, and being your Mommy has been the greatest joy of my life. You make raising boys a joy (most of the time!) and I wouldn't trade you for the world...not even all the daughters in the world! ;)  I know Connor will just add to the fun and I can't wait to see it happen.

I promise, no matter what, to always be there for the three of you and I hope you will always be there for each other. I promise to support you, love you, brush you off when you get hurt, build you up when you're feeling less than confident, to foster your strengths, work on your weaknesses, and love you unconditionally. I'm your Mama, you're my sons, and I will always be here for you.

As you grow up, as you develop close relationships with people outside of our family I promise to support you in learning the complex task of only letting people who truly value and respect you for who you are into your inner circle. I hope to develop in each of you a strong sense of confidence and self respect so that one day, by the time you choose someone to spend the rest of your life with you will choose someone who loves you for the amazing person you are. And I promise to love and respect that person as you do. (A letter to my future children-in-law is forth coming).

Until that time comes, I will relish this brief time Daddy and I have of watching you become who you are. It is a challenge, a joy, and the greatest privilege of our lives, to walk with each of you, to help mold you into the young men you will one day be. We won't be perfect. We'll make mistakes. Please forgive us when we do. Please understand that we always want what is best for you. And know that despite the mistakes, we will never, ever waiver on the fact that we love each one of you for who you are, unconditionally. On this life journey, along with the mistakes, we hope to enjoy lots of fun, many tickle fights, family dinners, hugs, snuggles, games, sporting events, concerts, performances, kisses, cuddles, goodnight stories, family vacations, day trips, walks to the park, and everything in between.

I love you so very, very much Ryan, Zachary, and Connor. Thank you, each one of you, for being a part of this amazing little family we have.



Monday, May 12, 2014

"Because, Well, That's What She Is"

Today at Target, in the check out line, there was a young girl, maybe 12 behind us in line. She was with her mom, and she was in a wheel chair. She appeared to have some form of Cerebral Palsy. I immediately noticed that she had on bright yellow Crocs, just as Ryan does.

I looked at Ryan, and pointed to the girl's feet and said, "Look Ryan, she has yellow Crocs just like you! She has good taste in shoes!" The girl laughed. I asked if yellow was her favorite color. She said, "Yes! Is it his?" Ryan said, a bit shyly, with a little encouragement, "Yeah, I like yellow, too." Zach then piped up, not to be outdone and started saying "Hiiii-eeee, hiiiii-eeee, hiiiiiiii-eeeeeeeeeeeee!" The girl laughed again, showing her beautiful smile. She said, "He's cute." It was clear speech is something she struggles with, but she was completely understood. I said, "Thanks!" And we finished paying for our items. We turned to say goodbye before we left.

Seeing as I had two small kids, and more items than they did, by the time they were leaving we were still getting situated. We said goodbye again, and the mother, quietly, sidled up to me and said, "Thank you for talking to her like she's a normal kid. Because, well, that's what she is." I was a bit caught off guard and said the only thing that came to mind, "Of course!" And they left. Mom and daughter left, chatting together as they headed out the door. I watched them sadly, thinking that if the mother went out of her way to thank me, that someone treating her daughter "like a normal kid" must be a fairly rare occurrence.

Ryan asked me what the mom had said. I explained that sometimes, because the girl was in a wheel chair, that some people might treat her differently and that the mom was thanking us for being kind and treating her like the normal kid that she is. Ryan said, "Why was she in a wheel chair?" (We've talked previously about why people use wheel chairs). I said, "Well, maybe she was born with an illness that made it so that her legs don't work so well. So, a wheel chair allows her to get around and go to all the places she would like to go." He said, "Oh, it helps her move around, like the people that use the special carts at the grocery store." And I said, "Yes exactly." He said, "Can she walk at all?" And I said, "I don't know. Maybe she can a little. But it probably makes her really tired, if her legs don't work quite right, so, when she's in a store its easier to use a wheel chair." Ryan said, "I wish I could ride in a wheel chair." And I said, "Maybe one day you'll have a friend who has a wheel chair and they will take you for a ride." And we headed out the door as well.

I hope more and more encounters like this, with other normal children, will teach my children to always be kind, caring, friendly, and casual with everyone, even if they do look a little different, talk a little different, use a wheelchair/braces/a walker, or act a little different. We're all just people, going through this world, looking for love, and hoping to find it in as many places as we can. If my children learn nothing from me, other than the goal of spreading love, kindness, and compassion as far and wide as we can, then, well, my job is done.

The Cam Fam has been Published on:

Scary Mommy