|Snuggling birthday buds!|
It is a picture-perfect Sunday afternoon. The sun is bright in the sky, about 75 degrees, low humidity, etc. This is the kind of day that, in my prior life, I would have gone hiking. When my husband and I were dating, we lived in the Washington D.C. area, and there are some beautiful national parks within a short drive. We spent many a weekend afternoon enjoying nature and exercise!
Well, my body can't really imagine hiking right now...it's kind of hard to get up out of this chair! But, I would still love to be on a date with my husband right now savoring this afternoon. Rather, I am here with four of my children (five, I guess, if I count the little one kicking me at the moment!). I am keenly aware that this is also quite the blessing (once we were married, I'm remembering how our hikes were a little lonely when we were experiencing infertility!).
Someone else is having a special day with my husband. It is my 7-year-old, Gianna. She is playing a soccer game right now, and then she and Daddy are going to Hersheypark for the rest of the afternoon/evening. Someone at work gave my husband two tickets, and we knew this would be the PERFECT gift for Gianna.
The time alone with one of her parents would be really be special enough, but the fact that she'll be at the "sweetest place on earth"...how do you beat that!? My husband is thrilled that she is tall enough to go on several roller coasters now...so he has a partner to enjoy amusement parks with (I hate roller coasters, so that was never a good date for us!).
I want my daughter to have this day. I remember my 7th birthday very clearly (some of the others...even older ones...not so much). Why wouldn't I want her to make these special memories to treasure?
Because...here I am ditched on Sunday afternoon!!
And, this is one of only two days of the week that I should have help with the children and companionship for myself! I've written countless times that late afternoons are very hard for me. I'm good in the mornings (after my raisin bran and coffee!), early afternoon, after dinner, and even bedtime has its charms...but not so much from around 3:30-5:30 (can you say very needy, cranky children!?)! Playdates help, but now that I have two kids who don't get off the bus until 3:45, there just isn't much time to play before I have to make dinner in time for soccer practice, swimming lessons, etc.
So, I am writing this blog post so I remember to take the high road. My gift to Gianna is not Hersheypark...but, to be truly happy for her (and to not take my mood out on the other children!). I am sacrificing something (family time with Daddy) for someone that I love...and, isn't this what being a parent is all about?!
This quote by Mother Teresa is helping me (a little!):
“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
Or, this one by St. Ignatius of Loyola:
"Teach us to give and not to count the cost."
I don't know what's on tap for after nap time/resting time is over, but I'm *trying* to change my attitude :)!
Happy Birthday, Gianna! I love you.