Skyler is on the counter eating chips, I am on the computer doing everything but my chores. He is picking the music, which today is MGMT and I am actually really enjoying it. It is only 9 am. Brynlee is chasing the cat with a poptart in her hand. I am not sure if it's for the cat or herself. My older kids are off to school, lunches in hand, homework done and clothes clean. I am a pretty good mom. Not perfect, but ok.
Twenty years ago this morning never would have happened. Kenna would have been at the table, with a variety of other daycare kids, eating fruit and oatmeal. More kids coming in than going out, unlike today. She would have gotten in trouble for sitting on the counter, and I didn't even buy chips. Life changes, constantly.
Lori and I had a long conversation about change. Who we are today compared to what we were twenty years ago. Jon has changed. He looks older, carries a heavier burden on his shoulders and less money in his pocket despite the pay increases over the years. I have changed too. My weight is definitely up and my desire to do something about it is down. But there's good changes as well. I have become so much more sensitive to the needs and pain of others that at times I have to shut out the world because I can't fix it all. My heart aches when I see a homeless person begging on the street, I cry when those sweet kids on tv get surgeries that their parents can't afford and I can't even watch the UFC. Silly I know, they do it willingly, but I can only imagine how much it hurts to have someone constantly pounding on you. Ouch! My world has also changed. Not just in my kids growing, moves from here to there and people coming and going, but my world. Most people don't stray too far from the realm to which they were born. My realm has been somewhat sheltered. I have always lived in Utah, always been near my family, my kids even go to the same schools that I went to. But several years ago I was thrust, happily, into a new realm. My location has stayed the same, but family morphed into something I can't even describe. A part of my past came into the present and made my life so much more than I could have dreamed of. Lori, Lisa and Tracy are my biological sisters. They grew up so different from me, they lived a life so far from the one I lived. I have spent the better part of 16 years getting to know them, loving them and changing because of them. I am happier with them in my life, more understanding of those who grew up differently and more complete with them as a part of me.
I have changed a lot over the last several years. I try hard to change in good ways. Sometimes I need a quiet reminder, sometimes I need a sledgehammer to the side of the head, but I am capable of it. My heart is bigger, my hands are older and my hind end is wider, but it's all for good. The weight is worth what I got for it, ten beautiful healthy children. Someone said to me recently that I am the "agitator". I actually loved this. Let me rock your world and you can hate me for it, or love me for it. You pick. Polly has said several times over the years that she learned to relax with me around. I taught her how to play again. She has taught me to be strong in the face of overwhelming circumstances. It's a give give. Kara has taught me to love more and criticize less. Lisa has taught me unconditional love, no matter what. Mark has taught me to appreciate those you love despite your differences. Mike has taught me to pick myself up over and over again, no matter how many times it takes. Tracy has taught me love comes in all shapes, sizes and kinds...appreciate it all. Lori has taught me that honesty is good, love can be found in it and should be. Jon has taught me that even in my worst moments I can be loved and love those around me. He also has taught me patience. With myself more than anyone. See? I am teachable and capable of change.
Hang in there with your loved ones friends. They might be listening when you didn't expect them to. They might be caring even when it doesn't feel like it. They might change and surprise you, and themselves in the process. I know I have. I still am. Just in the last several weeks I have decided that some serious changes are in order, and I hope the people that needed that from me feel it and know how much I want to love them. If not, I am still on a better path, right?