|(November 2010 - Elizabeth Knox Photography)|
Six years ago today we became a family of seven.
It has been the hardest six years of our lives. For all of us. We share this - the struggles, the pain, the very difficult memories.
It has also been the greatest six years of our lives. For all of us. We share this - the healing, the joy, the love that was proven day after day and the family.
We are a family.
My children are my heroes. They deserve this. They deserve family and hard, hard, hard work from their parents.
I talk with a lot of parents to help them learn and stay present in a way their kids need. I've never experienced anything more challenging than the person I have had to try to become over these last few years. It is hard. It is so hard.
Ultimately, though, is not about us. The parents. It is about our kids.
Today read this and remember who has the hardest job in all of this.
Our kids have it harder than us.
Our kids did not ask for any of this.
Our kids want to do better and be better, but desperately need someone to help them.
Our kids cannot and will not be able to do it on their own until they have been re-parented through their gaps.
Our kids have been hurt in ways we cannot fathom.
Our kids deserve the insanely radical efforts of therapeutic parenting.
Our kids deserve parents who take good care of themselves so they can wake up and try again.
Our kids deserve love and loving acts, even when no one is feeling warm, loving feelings.
Repeat one of my mantras with me: the only thing harder than parenting them is being them.
Celebrate your kids today. The fact that they still wake up and breathe. They are so strong and so scared. They are more strong and more scared than us. They are brave and weary. They are more brave and more weary than us.
I invite you to use our day of celebration (with some pain mixed in) to look at your kids in the way we forget to do. Their whole being. Their whole story.
I love you guys. All of this, everything we've all done, is for you. Because you deserve it. It's not about us, and it's not for us. It's for you. You are so amazing and worthy. I am so sorry that I have had many days of being messed up and human, and I know my words and voice and face have told you otherwise. I know there have been times that I have reflected back to you the very people who brought you pain earlier in your life.
None of the bad is your fault. On those days it is my problem, and I am letting my own issues spill over on to you. What I do know is that you have slowly and steadily responded to the work we've all done. Because that is who you are, in your core and in your very being. People around you did things to bury that and make it feel impossible to truly be your beautiful self. But with some help, the real you has come to the surface. I'm not surprised. You are light and love. And you deserve space to still struggle and still keep working. I will keep working to be what you need.
You are so very worth it.
You have been such a gift to me, and taught me so much about life and being brave. I will never be the same because of you.
It is an honor to be your mother. I love you.