Saturday, November 20, 2010

November to Remember: All My Children

In my life, I have co-parented fourteen children. When I arrived in their homes, they were of the ages from infant to fourteen. They came from the east and the the north and places in between. Some had impeccable manners others had imaginations most adults couldn't cultivate with any amount of practice or education.

They came from parents with education, work ethic, power, creativity, ingenuity, and a broad world view. The homes in which we played were modest or extravagant and held large gatherings or none at all.

These children have been (and continue to be) my teachers. They taught me about the importance of snuggling and snacking; making a huge mess and not caring; timing and "showing up". They broke me into the rigors of menu planning, daily laundry,chicken pox and potty training. They invited me into their secret hiding spots, showed me their treasures, and offered their hearts. Often they taught me about quick response time; I have lightning reflexes when it comes to falling objects and small people.

They reminded me that I could read all the parenting books on the shelf and still not "get it". I was helpless to protect them from a bad day at school, insecurities, or an ear infection. I could however, provide a warm, safe place for them to recover from such disasters, even if such a place was my lap.

Now I am a "step" closer. I have three beautiful, bright, and loving teenagers in my life. They eat the food I prepare (mostly), pick up their socks, answer my calls and texts, and gently remind me of their family traditions.

Today, I am thankful for all of the children whom brought me into their hearts. I know they will always be in mine.

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