Some veteran parents affirm that each parenting stage is full of blessings. The good times in family life generally outweigh more complicated matters and fleeting moments of humbling self-doubt and exhaustion. Some of us can reflect and appreciate how our parents prevailed through it all. Wise elders, including my husband's parents in heaven, anchor our family values that guide our parenting. We attended our dear friends' 50th golden wedding anniversary last weekend that celebrated the love and joy that connect the stages of parenting and family life.
We admired the angelic two-month-old great niece during the party. She slept through most of the festivities and cuddled into everyone's arms, who held her tiny fingers with a perfect grip.
When our boys were both in diapers, days and nights seemed to last an eternity. Most new born parents agonize over first colds and fevers. The first time new babies sleep through the night can even be scary.
The logistics of organizing little stuff to get out the door can feel daunting. Eventually, routines make each parenting transition smoother. Parents grow in confidence and wonder at baby firsts that seem monumental as they sit up, smile and belly laugh.
Now that our oldest is eight and our youngest is six, I still stumble on parenting fails and try to calm my nerves. Most of the time, our boys comfort me. This weekend, I lamented to our eight-year-old how we should have worn gold to the anniversary party, but he reassured me how we all still looked nice. He recently explained to his little brother that their parents love them as much as God does.
I exhale as our boys enjoy Pokemon adventures with their Dad and build Lego towers. As we trudge through short days with pressure from the office and kid stuff, we slow down for family time. We nudge our oldest to practice the piano.
We wonder at our boys' world when we attend their events. We held our loved ones in the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy photo booth. Although our youngest swore he wouldn't dance with me, he indulged me for a mother son dance to the "Cha Cha Slide."
Our family takes a break from constant play dates and declines some friend parties for more down time. Our social boys still enjoy lots of play. Our oldest promises his loyal younger brother that they are forever best friends.
We smiled reading his perspective of his first confession. "The altar was dark like a black hole. The priest's cloak smelled like a bakery. After I confessed and lit a candle, I saw my friend. We both said, 'hello.' I feel happy, because God has forgiven all my sins."
Joy and wonder abound for each and every sweet spot of parenting. XOXO
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