As the year draws to its conclusion, this is the time to reflect on the adventures we have embodied and to highlight the triumphs and glory that made our hearts sing. For our family, we had these moments. Mad Dog’s new job, moving to the beach, Full Speed’s coaching dreams pursued, T. Puzzle’s spelling bee victory, but they somehow pale in comparison to the one simple fact, …
So did you.
If no one has told you lately, let me remind you what a marvel you are. You didn’t give up, even on the darkest mornings and the bleakest days. You kept rising to the challenges that erupted like land mines across all your expectations.
I am dedicating this post to you.
What an honor you continue to be a part of our family’s journey. Thank you for all the ways big and small you have shown up for us, for your loved ones and I pray above all else, for yourself.
Now that we have the scars of survival etched in our hearts, this is our roadmap to the turnaround. This is where the lessons learned, the gratitude gleaned, and the hope harvested move us beyond our collective healing.
This is where our survival becomes a revival.
We can’t prevent disaster but now we know whatever happens, we will get through it. 2020 tried everything in its power to stop us. It knocked us down more times than it lifted us, but we kept righting ourselves back to the life in front of us. To all those tiny, precious details we never had time to notice, until 2020 halted our motion and busyness and these little miracles were all we could see.
What beauty to know our strength is infinite and that together or apart, we are one.
Thank you for reading. May the year ahead provide us with all that is needed to grow our courage, cherish what matters, and cultivate love for ourselves and for one another.
As November amps up and we head at a dangerous clip towards the holiday season, I am taking a moment to count my blessings. Sure, when I sat down in front of my mighty laptop and writer’s block settled over me, I had no idea where this post would take me. For inspiration I scrolled through some older WFAMs and thankfully, I found writing that stands the test of time. Of course, the writer has evolved but the themes like love, self-acceptance and humor are the threads that remain consistent.
My boys are growing older and older and I don’t know what that means for the future. I don’t know how this blog will unfold as they set about making their way in the world.
What I know for sure is I am so grateful to have them in my life. I am grateful I have been here to watch them grow into fine, young men and I am grateful to have a husband that supports all of my writing endeavors.
It is quite possible I have reached the pinnacle of good fortune. Maybe this is where I stop trying so hard to be ‘more’ and simply savor the blessings already here.
Mad Dog and I were seated 15 yards back from the end zone. Our panoramic view of the field added to the excitement. T.Puzzle was at QB calling the shots and Full Speed was zipping up and down the field at a breakneck pace.
Sounds amazing, right?
It kind of was and it kind of wasn’t. There are many perks to having the boys on the same flag football team such as shared practices and games. There are also many pitfalls. Let’s just say there are days when egos collide and managing the talent is way above my pay grade.
Even though their flag season was a mixed bag of victories and defeats, I am grateful that I get to watch these boys from the sidelines. Besides, I’m feeling generous because I am a World Series Champion! Yes, it was a long road and a lot of hard work, but I hung in there. Don’t worry, I haven’t let success go to my head.
In the spirit of full disclosure, success actually has gone to my head a little bit. As it happens Mad Dog and I are predominantly featured in a recent World Series recap. It premiered on FS1 and is available for DVD purchase. Well, we are flashed on the screen for a millisecond or two, but it still counts. Here’s proof the Cubs couldn’t have won without me.
Now that I’ve sufficiently addressed my newfound celebrity status, here’s a breakdown of the rest of my team:
Let’s start with T.Puzzle. This is the child that continues to confound me. He is overly opinionated and strong-willed yet gets glowing reviews from teachers and coaches. Often, after another flip comment has escaped his adorable face I’ll say something like, “wow, raising you is the challenge of a lifetime.” His instant response is, “because I’m so awesome, right?” Something like that. He’s something alright.
T.Puzzle continues to loathe school, adore video games and aggravate his brother. He’s entering the double digits age-wise. I have a feeling I may need to start another blog dedicated to coping with T.Puzzle’s impending milestone decade. The truth is, he is completely true to himself and even though he challenges me a lot, I know he is always going to land on his feet.
Full Speed is transforming before our eyes and becoming a kind and thoughtful young man. Thankfully, he still has a great sense of fun and is loving his Extended Studies this year with its focus on improv. He loves school, reading, reading and oh, did I mention reading? He is a walking encyclopedia of sports facts and stats. This was really helpful for me, especially as I got farther into my World Series winning season. Chicago thanks you, Full Speed!
Then, there’s Mad Dog. He continues to excel at work. There I reasons I love this and reasons I don’t love this. I love this because I can tell that he is feeling challenged and inspired by all his new and varied responsibilities. He’s also an incredible leader. I am very proud of him and like that he remains humble and grounded. I don’t love this because he is often working long hours and has to travel. I’m not a huge fan of sharing Mad Dog with the world, but I get it. He’s awesome and the world needs him. So, I let him go with love.
As for me, it really all boils down to this. I realized that I am my truest, most genuine self when I am in the company of these three incredible men and they all accept me exactly as I am. My goal for the coming year is to be the self that is loved by them when I am out in the world. It is easy in concept but hard in execution. I’m not sure if the world is ready for an empath like me. All I know is that if I have these guys in my corner, then what the world thinks of me is less important. In fact, for any of you reading this, I encourage you to be your truest self in all circumstances. The only approval you actually need is your own.
Wishing you a Blesssed Holiday Season, a Bright and Merry New Year and above all else Love.
All I want is peace and quiet. I want to sit, put on some Bing Crosby and gaze upon my beautiful tree.
I attempted to do this. Soon, I had tackling boys join me in the room by the tree. At no point had I said, “Hey, guys! Get in here quick and start wrestling like maniacs!”
I tried oh-so-very hard to ignore them.
I knew my moments of silent reflection were slipping away once T.Puzzle decided to run speed tests on his backwards running ability. FYI, backwards running is not one of his shining strengths. Thankfully, he holds tightly to that wonderful six-year-old mentality that he is hands-down amazing at everything (or is that a trait inherited from Mad Dog?!?).
Full Speed added his two cents by creating this ‘Deck the Halls’ gem:
“‘Tis the season to listen to your Mommy… fa la la la la, la la la la
‘You better listen or she will punish you… fa la la la la, la la la la”
He is clearly showing signs of being an astute and accurate lyricist who can capture a moment in time beautifully.
Quiet and Christmas just aren’t meant to be at this juncture in my life.