Friday, January 4, 2013

Ringing in the New Year Right

it sort of just hit me that another year has come and gone... it doesn't help that i have just spent the last two hours looking over old pictures of the boys, teary eyed, wondering where in the world did my babies go?  yes, i know they're still babies, but they are turning into such boys lately that i don't know how i am going to handle it when we're all said and done with 'babies'.

this past year has been a pretty rocky one for the kelley family... with ben working out of town and a new baby, this momma could use a coffee (wait, i gave up caffeine.. maybe just a nap then). on the flip side, however, this past year has shown me how much i have to give.  

these boys are. my. life.  

i live, eat and breathe for them 
(as i'm sure any parent does for their child)

some days i feel like i am utterly failing and then i hear simple words, like:

'momma, i love you so much' 

'my favorite part of today was playing with my best friends; you (as in me, mom), preston and spencer'

or when i peek in on the boys playing together and their imaginations are millions of miles away and my knights in shining armor are working together to defend their precious castle (thanks auntie shelly) from the dragon (or the ogre, sea monster, giant...) and you can hear in the their voices how much they truly love each other 
(and even with their wrestling matches, that often go too far, they still commonly sit back to back {just barely touching} in the playroom while they each read books)

those are the moments that i know i have done something right.
i don't know what it is, but it must be something.

a favorite quote of mine is one from donna bell:
'motherhood is a choice you make everyday to put someone else's happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing, even when you're not sure what the right thing is... and forgive yourself over and over again for doing everything wrong.'

it just screams out to me because even on the bad days (and honestly there are more of those than i'd like) i can see the goodness in my boys. 

we have done a lot of growing this past year and i am so happy that i am open with my kids about how i feel, what i expect from them and what type of mom i want to be.  i am happy that my kids aren't afraid to tell me how my actions or words are affecting them... 

parker: 'mom, do you know i am not listening to you and i am making this angry face?'
me: 'i might have an idea, but will you tell me?'
parker: 'i am just really upset with you because you said we were going to paint today and now we're going to bed and i didn't get to paint today. that really hurt my feelings that you said we would and so i am mad at you.'

(yes, that is an actual conversation i have had with my three year old)

first of all, nothing puts a parent in their place like their child telling them that they hurt their feelings... talk about ouch. secondly, you have no idea of proud i am of him for being able to express that to me.  if he wasn't able to process those feelings and then be able to tell that to me i can tell you how that scenario could have played out:

me: 'ok, let's go get ready for bed.'
parker (whining): 'nooo....'
me: 'it's time for bed, we need to get upstairs.'
parker (this time screaming) 'nooooo... i don't want to!'
me: 'you better listen to me and get upstairs.  it is late and i don't have the patience for this.'
{enter yelling, crying, threats... and you can imagine how that may go}

*** disclaimer, i am not a perfect parent. i do not always give my children the patience and respect that they deserve... i do snap and i do yell. i said it's been a year of growing, i didn't say i'm fully grown ;) ***

what i guess i am trying to get at here is that i am proud of my kids and i am proud of myself.  like i said, it's been a blur of a year and i feel lucky that i made it out alive, but that's just it.. i am still standing and with this new year, with so many new opportunities, i feel more ready than ever to lead this family on more great adventures.

here is wishing all of you an amazing 2013

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