Monday, February 28, 2011

Family, Freebies, and my Fiftieth Blog Post

            Last week was February vacation here in New England. Unfortunately all the fun things we had planned for the week were cancelled thanks to a nasty cold virus that invaded our home. James and I got hit early in the week so we were feeling pretty close to normal by Saturday. That was right around the time his accomplice big brother became pale and feverish and wasn’t up for anything more challenging than sleeping through Saturday morning cartoons. So James and I went to Target Saturday on a mission for supplies to sustain the family through another day or so of quarantine.
            We picked up juice, crackers, ibuprofen, a tub of modeling clay, a jigsaw puzzle and a couple of movies from the $5.00 bin. It had been a long time since James had been out of the house and he was spastic bouncing of the walls enthusiastic at Target. The cashier remarked that there was only another day left of February vacation left. She was looking forward to sending her kids back to school on Monday. I could relate! James had been home most of the week before vacation with a stomach bug. I have been sorely missing my time alone for the better part of two weeks. I can’t tell you how blissful it feels today to go a couple of hours with no one asking me for juice, complaining about their stomach, head, or throat, ask to borrow my computer, or describe in detail the difference between a Storm Trooper and a Clone Trooper.
            But then the cashier said something I couldn’t relate to. She said, “If I had it to do it over again, I would have only one child not two.” I didn’t quite know what to say so I laughed it off and said something like, “I have two boys. They can be a handful, but they mean so much to each other.” She shook her head and replied, “It’s too much. I would only have one.” I try in this world of parenting to not judge other parents. There are so many choices to make and so may different ways to raise children. And none of us knows for sure what is going to work until our children are grown. But she said it twice. She said it casually to someone she doesn’t know at all. I couldn’t help but wonder if she says thing like that in front of her kids.
            Of all the things I’ve done in my life, the two things I absolutely wouldn’t change are having my boys and marrying my husband. I’ve been a parent for almost nine years and I have no romantic illusions of perfect children (or being a perfect parent). I’ve held my baby while he was getting stitches, been thrown up on, cleaned up all manner of icky things, been so tired I could barely stand, second guessed my decisions and had days of frustration and anger. I have wished my children would be quiet, wished I had more patience with them, wished they would listen, wished they wouldn’t wake up so early, wished they were self cleaning, even wished it were acceptable to duct tape them on occasion. But never have I wished I hadn’t had one of them. They are my greatest blessings.

            Another decision I am glad I made was starting this blog back in September. This is my fiftieth blog post! I am so grateful to the folks who stop by to read what I have to say. I am overwhelmed by the support and feedback I’ve received from readers—some of them aren’t even related to me! In honor of my fiftieth post, I’m offering my very first give-away this week. Leave a comment below before midnight Eastern Time on Thursday March 3rd and you’ll be entered into a drawing to receive a $20 gift code for CSN Stores. They sell everything from pendant lighting to popcorn poppers. I’ll announce the winner on Friday. Good luck!