Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Life Before You

To my sweet, sweet babies,

Oh, how I adore you. How I count my blessings every single day to be so blessed to be YOUR momma. How I cannot imagine life without you. 


I am so thankful that I lived the life I did before you were born.

I am so thankful that I had three siblings, an older brother and two younger sisters, to share the journey of my childhood with. I needed to learn to share my belongings, to share my attention, to share my own Momma's love, to truly know how to share my time as a Momma between the two of you. 

Believe it or not, I am so thankful that I was faced with adversity and tragedy with your (biological, maternal) grandfather's unexpected death when I was just 9 years old. This taught be to be grateful, so, so, very grateful, for what I have TODAY. This taught me that life can be too short, that what we have one day may be gone the next, and that I should not take a single thing for granted.

I am so thankful that, after almost 10 years of dancing, my family could no longer afford for me to participate in the competitive and nationally renowned dance company I had been a part of for so many years (after the inevitable financial changes that ensued following your grandfather's death). Oh, I was heartbroken at the time, but I learned that you can't always get what you want. And I learned to be grateful for what you have and go after what you want (you see, I still went on to be a collegiate dancer, even after being a little rusty after a 4-year absence).

I am so thankful that I stood by what I believed in in high school, even if that sometimes meant standing alone. I learned to stand strong and hold tight to my convictions, even when it's not what everyone else would choose. 

I am so thankful that I had my heart completely broken by my first and second loves. Yes, your Daddy is the man of my dreams, and I cannot imagine doing this life thing without him. But I needed to know what it felt like to have a broken heart. To feel broken. To start over. Because now I know how to love with my whole heart and know that my heart will never be broken again.

I am so thankful that I was able to spend four glorious years at Clemson University, opting not to graduate early but rather to spread my classes out and bask in the glow of college life. It was there that I found the best friends a girl could ever hope or dream for. It was there that I made countless mistakes, made even more memories, and learned so much about myself. Truly, the most valuable lesson I learned from my time at Clemson was how special it is to find a group of woman to share life with. Friendship and family, my sweet little ones, is what life is all about.

I am so thankful that I went to school for such a long, long time, to achieve my scholastic dreams. This meant studying longer hours than others to remain at the top of my class, turning down social events to ensure I was learning to the best of my ability, and spending 365 days across the country from your Daddy in order to further my training in a grueling but rewarding program. Although I have put that accomplishment on the back burner for now in order to stay home with the two of you, the journey to achieve that dream taught me to never give up, to give life everything I've got...and then some, and to do whatever I need to do to make my own dreams come true.

I am so thankful that, even though I ached, absolutely ached, in my bones to be a stay-at-home Momma after being a full-time working Momma for several years, I was not initially able to do so. Because now that I am in this position, I do not take a single second, not one single second, for granted. I do my very, very best, each and every day, to be the kind of Momma I think you deserve. And then I do even more. To date, you two have taught me the greatest lesson of all: the invaluable, indescribable experience of being a Momma. And I am eternally grateful to witness these lessons firsthand.

So you see, my sweet babies, I cannot imagine life without you. 

But I'm glad I lived the life I did before you were born because I think it has shaped me as a Momma and will, hopefully, impact your lives, too. 

Your childhood, teenage years, and early adulthood, too, will be filled with love and laughter, heartache and heart break, trials and errors, mistakes and memories. And you should be proud of these moments. Endure these moments. And come out on the other side of these moments with grace and dignity. With honesty and integrity. With a full heart and a gracious hand. Because it is these moments, my little loves, that will make you...well, you.

With all my heart.



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