Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Gifts of a Lifetime

When my babies were little, I relished the time I spent with each of them in our padded blue rocking chair. I would consider the future, when they would be able to walk and talk, and would wonder if I would be able to love them as much as I did when they were totally dependent on me. I loved snuggling their soft, little bodies, and the way they smelled of baby lotion and powder. Their precious smiles made the middle of the night feedings and early morning wake-ups worth it. I just knew I was going to miss their baby days so much.

I needn't have worried. As it turns out, the trade-offs were worth it. As they grew they became less dependent on me, and their individual personalities began to develop. As their vocabularies grew, it was so rewarding to be able to communicate with them finally; to know what they needed and wanted; to hear their little "I love you"s; to hear their first prayers; to attempt to answer their endless questions.

My memories of their growing up come to me in pieces and fragments. The lullabies, the hugs, the scrapes, the silliness, the story times, the school days, the first loves, the first apartments. I have loved every single stage, as it turns out. 

Now that they are adults, I love to reminisce about the days gone by, but I don't spend too much time in my reveries because they won't let me. I am pulled into the present moment by a quick phone call, or a check-in text. The three of them have become very self-sufficient, but they are good to check in on me. My happiness and welfare have become their concern. It seems the tables have turned, and I am the one on the receiving end of the teaching, the caring, and the favors. 

What would I do without these guys?
Just this last week, my oldest showed up with his tool box, and set about the tasks I'd been postponing...hanging the last of the pictures since I moved into the LITTLE COTTAGE two years ago, removing the tacky satellite dish from my roof, and finally getting all of the coaxial cables off the floor, out of the walls, and gone. 

"What else can I do?" he asked. I couldn't think of a thing at the time, and was just grateful for his help.

Between the two sons, there is a daughter. Sierra is one of those beautiful women with an even more beautiful soul. She has never taken her looks seriously, and is just as comfortable with her hair pulled up in a messy bun and wearing workout clothes, as she is in full makeup and a dress and heels. 

When I arrived in Salt Lake City from Chicago, she checked in to see what we needed from the grocery store. She had already turned the heat up in the house, and was going to start dinner. We ended up going to my mom's for our evening meal, but it is not unusual to have Bridger and Sierra in the kitchen, cooking and taking care of dishes. Sisi brings her Dyson vacuum over, and takes care of the carpet for me, since I only have a small stick vacuum that just doesn't deep clean at all. 

After the weekend, and as I continued my DE-CLUTTERING, I discovered other things that needed to be done. Luckily, I have another son who steps up, and helps when I need it. Bridger will change the lightbulbs on the ten foot ceiling in the kitchen, and he will hang the coat rack I bought long ago. 

The good ole days at Eagle Point Ski Resort.
It's not all work and no play, though. We love to laugh, and between the kids'` wit, sarcasm, and practical jokes, we do plenty of that. We spend time in the kitchen together, baking, cooking, and if we're at Dylan's, grilling outside. We all get a kick out of shopping in thrift stores. We've gone on vacations together, done road trips, and we like just hanging out at home, too.

My favorite activity with my kids is hiking. They are my guardians in the great outdoors, and not the other way around. When the hiking terrain is steep and rocky, even when I don't need the help, they are always offering a hand to steady me, a boost to get to the next rock, or a suggestion for better footing.

All of them are good listeners, and they offer good advice about exercise, diet, home maintenance, and general life skills. They check on me, making sure I'm okay and happy. They appreciate all Chuck does for me, and for them. I lucked out not only in the husband department, but in the offspring one, as well. 

You see, I needn't have worried about the future when I was a young mother raising babies. I gave birth to some amazing human beings who are now taking care of me, and who watch out for each other. In the last few days, I have been entertained by Bridger's guitar, Dylan's jokes, and Sierra's antics. My house is even homier because of the boys' handyman skills, and Sierra's baking and cleaning. Bridger has been so attentive, making sure I'm not alone while I'm here in Utah. Sisi even painted my nails for me last night. 

I kind of like the way things are turning out. I gave myself the gifts of a lifetime: babies who became wonderful adults who love me unconditionally. I couldn't ask for more. 

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