If I wasn't able to contact you personally, I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who swung by to say HELLO yesterday. I am floored and so grateful for each and every one of you- Your words of encouragement stick to me, and I use them to help remind myself why I continue to write when I am feeling like I have nothing new to offer in this crazy web of world wides. Thank You.
Ezra. Let's talk about Ezra. He is the lighthouse to my rocky coast. Spinning around in bright circles regardless of the weather or the storm. The day or the night.
I feel like I am just now reaching a place where I can say confidently that having him was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I may be late in the game to throw that out there, but I wanted to wait to say it outloud until I could say it without any falsehood. Ezra is the third best thing that has ever happened to me. God is first. Chris is second. Ezra is third. A girl must keep her priorities straight.
For the first couple of years there, I wasn't so sure. I have always loved Ezra with everything in me- from the tip of my head to the bottom of my feet, but the reality of what this kid would add to me personally and add to my life didn't sink in until much later. I loved him, of course, but life became so much more complicated after he was born. (Did I just hear a collective "duh"?)
I honestly believe that it has taken two and a half years for me to properly mourn the loss of my old life. My old self. And I think that this is perfectly Okay. Some parents don't need two and a half years to come to terms with their new identities as mothers and fathers. Others might need a bit longer.
That's not to say that I won't ever think back on the way things used to be pre-kiddo and long for a fraction of that freedom again. I will have those days. But I feel like I have recently shimmied my way into the final stage of "acceptance", where motherhood has become more of a well tailored gown rather than the shrunken woolen sweater I felt like I was forcing myself into back in the early days. I can finally put my arms down. I can do a quick twirl and feel like a million bucks.
My gown doesn't look like yours. And I can guarantee that yours doesn't look like hers. Or hers. Or hers. And I think that this is Okay too. This is more than Okay. Who wants to show up to a party wearing the same dress as everyone else?
We are all so quick to agree that every child is different. But we are so slow to believe that about ourselves as mothers and fathers. We are all different. There isn't an age we reach where we suddenly outgrow our uniqueness. If you were to look back and remember yourself as a child, I bet you'd agree that you were unique. In some way, you were different- set apart from all the other kids you knew. It was true then and it is still true now.
We parent with what we've got. And we've been given all that we need. And I am finally (two and a half years later) believing this for myself. I am a mother. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Ezra has made me a better person. A better wife. A better friend. A better daughter. He has shown me deep things about God that I might never have stooped down and paused to see. He has forced me out of many (treacherous) comfort zones and amplified some of my very best qualities.
He likes to sing songs and he hugs all of his friends. He is a picky eater. He likes to try and do things by himself, but he knows when to ask for help when it gets too difficult. He whines. And throws fits. And thinks he's entitled to a new toy every time we go to the store. He gives away his hiding place EVERY TIME we play hide-and-go-seek by squealing with delight when I walk into whatever room he's "hiding" in. He's finally figuring out how to incorporate his shoulders into his dance moves.
He is lovely. And he has changed my life for good.