First came love, then came marriage…and then all hell broke loose.
That was the Mother’s Day card I got Jenn and one that seemed very fitting. Our lives are drastically different today then they were five years ago as this entire journey was getting ready to begin.
As I have become a parent, I realize that every day should probably be Mother’s and/or Father’s Day, but still it is nice to at least take a moment out once a year to at pay a little extra attention to the often thankless nights of sleep deprivation, non-judgemental diaper/potty training incidents, and just general stress we have all caused seemingly good people on our way to “becoming ourselves”.
So first, I need to thank my mother. The picture says it all…sorry mom I am pretty sure your kids had a large part in you “going bonkers”. She has supported me in everything I have ever tried or wanted to try. Besides my kids (well at least at this age, as I am sure that will change in the teenage years), she has always been my biggest fan, and as frightening as it sounds, really is the “brains behind the operation” for our family…did I mention she is also able to easily take a joke in a pretty strong-willed family.
I also need to thank my mother-in-law (aka Grammy). I am pretty lucky to have awesome in-laws that have always supported our family. Heck she watched Nolin and eventually Grace for two years every day while Jenn and I worked and when we came home, she had dinner waiting for us. To top it off, even as seemingly un-retirement as life is with a 2 & 5-year-old, she still lives (part-time) a few houses down from us and seems to enjoy the proximity.
It would take a long time (and too many words) to tell you all the reasons why I feel I married up when I met Jenn, and the same is probably true for our relationship as parents. At the end of the day, I feel like I am a decent parent, but Jenn is amazing. It wasn’t a small decision when we decided it made more sense for her to stay home, but I hope our kids understand when they are older how lucky they are to have a mother like Jenn.
Our family dynamics may be slightly different from other families, but at the end of the day, parenting is parenting and even when she is exhausted she takes pure delight in every moment. I am constantly amazed by the activities and ideas and ultimately the values that she has created for our children.
Just the other night, Nolin wouldn’t fall asleep and when I walked in he was on the floor reading a Children’s Encyclopedia (first I didn’t know we had an encyclopedia, second these days, isn’t there an app for that?) and he had finger-marked several sections that he wanted to teach us about. I looked at her and simply said “You did this”.
One of the coolest things to discover when I come home from work is Grace’s hairstyle. It always amazes me at the amount of patience and willingness Jenn has (and to be fair Grace has) to continue to try new things and get better.
For me, Jenn freaks out if there is a bug in the house and asks me to get it. For the kids, she will gladly hold and help catch any one of the many creatures who are beginning to enjoy our home.
These are just small moments in an otherwise book of amazing stories she has created in the past five years. All-in-all, Jenn is one of those people who is at her best when she is being a mom.
Finally and definitely just as important to me and our family…there are two women that none of this would have been possible without their unwavering love for two amazing kids. We are lucky to still be in contact with both Nolin & Grace’s birth mothers.
There are no words that I could ever say or write that would even scratch the surface of explaining how important and amazing these women are. There is not a day that goes by, that they are not in my thoughts, but Mother’s Day especially I reflected on what they mean to me a little bit more.
It’s hard work to clean the house for Mother’s Day…