Dear Rachel, (and all my other children)
I read all your blogs and feel like I am reading all my feelings when I was a young mother. I loved all of it! I never wanted it to end. I know I wasn'the best best housekeeper, but I really tried and I had several little children and a child like Kaden who just went from one thing to another with such curiosity and love of life. I never minded the messes much because I loved the time I spent with my kids.
I wish you all could remember making Indian Headbands, drums from oatmeal containers, making placemats, doing crafts, playing Zion with Dad and I even when you were only 2. We altered the questions for you like, "Do you like your brother?" or, "Are you going to get baptized when you are 8?" I wish they remembered making snow forts, going on sled rides to get hot chocolate with Dad and I, rocking and singing with us, planting flowers, picking pumpkins, going to the Fun Spot in Boise, going for Paddle Boat rides, baking cookies and bread, singing in the car, stories, and all the many things we did when everyone was little.
Unfortunately it seems kids tend to forget all the great things you did- so I'm glad you're taking pictures. You can prove it! I can relate to your feelings about not measuring up. I have struggled with that so much. All I wanted was to be the best mom I could be and help my kids be happy and feel loved.
Life takes some harsh and unexpected twists and turns, and at times nothing seems like you thought it would be. Cherish the times when all you have to worry about are the messes, bumps, and bruises. Remember, "Life is what happens when you're making other plans." I am so happy that you are enjoying your children. Having them close in age has its advantages. (Even when we are surprised at the timing of their arrivals.) Each day is filled with adventure, challenges, and beautiful, innocent children who love us unconditionally and forgive us no matter how many mistakes we make. Remember to look at them when they are sleeping. That is when you are reminded of the sweet spirits they really are and you see the remnants of their so recent time in heaven.
The time will be gone in the blink of an eye. When your family is young it seems like they will always be there and you will always be together. Before you know it they are married and raising children of their own. The time is gone and you can never get it back. (You finally learn how to do it right and there is no one left to practice on! )
I don't wish to do it over again though. I don't think I could handle some of the trials we went through over the years. I think I am just too old and worn out. This is why we have children when we are young. (Thank heaven I am not going to be asked to be like those biblical women who gave birth at 80 years old!) It really is all in your perspective. They thought it was a great blessing! It's a good thing we all have our own trials.
Remember also to take care of yourself. Life can get overwhelming at times. As women especially, we tend to be caretakers and we care for everyone except ourselves. Remember if your well is dry, you can give nothing to others.
I am so thankful for all my children and grandchildren. They are the highlights in my life and the joy in my days.