Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013...A Year in Review

One of my preschool friends has a blog and she asked for submissions for guest posts. I thought and thought about writing something up to submit, but I didn't do it. The topic was a year in review for 2013. So, here is what I would have submitted.

2013 for me was raw. It took everything I had to make it through. It brought me to my knees, kicked me in the heart and then it smirked at me while kicking me again and again. It made me so deliriously happy that I cried tears of joy and laughed out loud. I wouldn't have asked for anything more, nor anything less.

The birth of my fourth son was one of the best days of my life. I had a normal birth. I had people surrounding me that loved me for who I am. I had planned birthing my other three sons in the water, but something always derailed the plan. This baby was water-born. This baby was guided by something other than me. This baby literally had angels guarding him through birth. The simple fact that if we had known from the ultrasounds he had 4 heart defects, he never would have been born at home. He wouldn't have had the most gentle transition from womb to earth. He would have been whisked away from me and I wouldn't have gotten my hands on him for hours or even days after he was born. Knowing what we know now, I am so thankful for the blessing of him being born at home. I am grateful for him being alive and healthy. His open heart surgery (at 5 months) was immense and all-consuming. Some parts of his recovery are still too hard for me to discuss openly. There were mistakes made and my son suffered because of it. I failed him as a parent. The guilt haunts me daily still.The pictures bring me to tears. His journey will continue for the rest of his life. He has captured my soul and will never let it go.

Watching my oldest, 13, a man-child grow has been astounding. He is smart. He is caring. He is a gentle giant and bothers his little brothers. He teaches me how to parent. He makes mistakes and learns from them. He refuses to change a diaper. He is messy, doesn't like making his bed, and keeps growing! He is taller than I am.  He does stuff that either drives me (or his brothers) insane or makes us laugh. He is my firstborn son and I love him.

My 6 year old is teaching me what it is like to parent a child who has the exact same temperament and personality as I do. I'm learning to read his heart instead of his mind. I'm watching him take volcano breaths to get control of those wild emotions. I'm understanding that he has to do everything his way to learn. He is a child of intelligence and honor. He is passionate and crazy. He is my second born son and I love him.

My 3 year old is allowing me to feel emotions I normally suppress. He is quiet, happy, emotional, sneaky, fun loving, and gentle. He has taken a spot where he isn't the baby nor is he the big kid. He feels lost many days because of this. He takes you in, holds your hand, and wants you by his side. How can someone so little know so much about life already? He is my third born son and I love him.

My husband has been my rock. He has held me up, supported me, supported this family, in ways I don't fully understand. We've fought hard & ugly & too often this year, we've laughed, and we have loved. We ebb and we flow. He's my best friend and I don't know what I would do without him. He stole my heart when I was a 15 year old girl and never gave it back.

I've learned so much this past year. For every closed door, two more have opened for us. The blessings have been bountiful and very appreciated. They been humbling and joy-filled.
I have cried more this year than I ever have in my entire life. I've yelled to much, eaten too much sugar, and some days have barely gotten enough sleep to function. I've seen perfect babies being born, supported other heart moms through the diagnosis, cried with them when their baby's fight has ended, and prayed with them. I volunteered with the PTA and birth groups, had coffee with some of my besties, prayed more than I ever had, essentially stopped my doula business, kept in touch with far away friends, had a few too many glasses of wine, and relied on friends and family to make it through 2013.

I never, ever, ever want to have another year like 2013, but I can't bring myself to throw away the calendar that I kept on the wall. 2014 is almost here. I'm ready.