So a couple of weeks ago a friend asked me what it was like raising my boys. “What was it like when they were little?”, she asked. I felt my blood pressure rise and then a sense of nervousness in my stomach. Kind of like when I stand in the Dr’s office and they ask me the birthdate of my one of my kids. I freeze. Then I proceed to say that I have six kids and I just need a second to remember the year. Tt is the year that I struggle wit (The days and months are always there for the record). They look at me like really lady? You have no clue when you kid was born. That feeling. The “I forgot” feeling. Well that is how I felt when my friend asked me what it was like to raise the 5 boys.
I mumbled through the whole answer, they were wild, broke everything and then flipped into a funny story my sister in-law told me years ago about her own mom who raised a lot of kids and that sufficed. That moment is now engrained in my head. I literally forgot how it felt to be the mom of 5 boys. That is who I was 5 years ago. The mom who had 5 boys. Everyone knew who we were just because of the size and gender of our family.
This past week I decided it was time to complete a project I have been working on for the past 3 years (no judging). I had this idea of how I was going to display my photo books. The ones that remained stashed away in compartments all over the house. What is the point in having them if you never look at them. 3 years ago I bought the shelves and after realizing the photo books that weighed 100 pounds are no way going to be held up by floating shelves. A year later I bought the brackets to support them and a year after that I installed them.
We have taken many walks down memory lane over the past couple of days. The kids have grabbed books. We pulled down Patricks birth pictures on his birthday. Memories. I took those pictures in hopes that my kids would remember the good and forget the not so good. My son just asked me last night if I took parenting classes before I had children and when I stated a big “NO” the look on his face was priceless. I guess I probably should have. Instead I just walked into the hospital on Feb 20, 2002 and walked out on Feb 21, 2002 with a little boy who was all mine.
Not sure in the whole scheme of things how efficient that is but how would I know I forgot how it felt! So after beating myself up over my pathetic answer I have taken a lot of time out to review the past 13 years locked in those picture books. As I glanced over the images memories flooded my mind of all the milestones, chubby legs and curly hair. We had all of that and I am still so proud to be raising 5 great boys. This is the last Christmas before we have a teenager in the house. 13 years is just around the corner.
The one thing I have not forgotten is how much I love these guys. I am so proud of them and not sure how they have accomplished what they have with us as parents. We have struggled, it is a lot of work raising 6 children but….. the details. The details where there. The special birthday celebrations with cotton candy that blew all over my chandeliers, the magician who took over the front room of our house and the families that filled our home every friday night for pizza, all those details. So I really hadn’t forgotten. I just needed some simple reminders of just how amazing it was and remains to be..
Pictures are important. They are little windows of your memories. Kind of like reminders that the moments really happened. If I were teaching a parenting class right now my #1 would be to take them. Take pictures, but don’t stop there. Print them, because there will be a day when someone asks you the same question. What was it like 10 years ago? And I promise you, those picture books will bring you back some of your favorite moments. Moments that you forgot because your mind is now full of even more beautiful moments but when you remember. That will be magic.
Happy weekend friends! OX Katie