some thoughts on doughnuts and babies

Happy weekend! It's Mothers Day tomorrow and even though half our family has come down with a little cold and we decided to stay in bed for much of the day and rest, I sure am happy I get to celebrate this day of being a mama. This little family of mine means the world to me and I honestly think being a mother to them is the greatest thing I'll ever do. 
The kids were making notes for me (the standard variety of we love you mama. xo. mama loves papa. I'm sorry i woke you up. ha ha that one was especially cute). Anyway, Akemi and Violet were debating how to spell my name and Naomi went to inform them that my name isn't actually Mama, it's Jen. Oh my goodness, the silence that followed. It occurred to me that at least half our kids genuinely think my name is Mama! How sweet is that!? I think they should call me that forever.The other day, we were out for a little sunset drive and ended up out for doughnuts with the kids (like all cool people late on a Friday night). We were minding our own business, sharing a cup of coffee while the girls compared doughnuts when a woman came over to admire the baby for a second. Now if you know me, you know I tend to be a bit of an introvert and don't chat it up with strangers much (ever). Especially at 10pm at Krispy Kreme with my hair thrown up in a messy bun and half my kids are in their jammies. But this lady, she really insisted on commenting on our cute kids, and how adorable they are and how they will grow up so fast. And then she was serious. She said "oh you guys, I literally blinked and my oldest is 22 and she's getting married. That's how fast it goes." And we talked with her for a minute and she told us how happy she is she has another chance to savor that time (and she pointed to a girl behind us, about Naomi's age, who was getting a doughnut and milk). And she explained how she'd just sold her business and even though she wasn't sure what they were going to do next, she knew that being there for her daughter's childhood was the most important thing. Because she would blink and this one would be grown too. And there's a sense that a lot of people say that, oh it goes by so fast, etc, etc. But then there are people who really mean it. Because they've felt what it is like to miss out on something. I thought about her the whole drive home. And how it was kind of a breath of fresh air to hear what she said. Because I have always felt that I should fully immerse myself in whatever season I am in and for now, for us, that is having a family, and really being present in raising our kids. Certainly it can be a lot of work, and there is so much out there urging you to do the contrary... to carve out more alone time, and leave the baby with the sitter, year round schools and camps for the kids, and so many ways we can all go our own separate ways. But the thing is, I am absolutely positive I would regret it if I did things any other way. These family doughnut dates and days spent learning and playing together, and movie nights where we all pile into our bed, these days are numbered. The kids will grow up and there will be plenty of time for dinner, just the two of us, later on. And I will relish in that season too. But for now, there is a distinct joy that comes from reserving a romantic table, for 7. Or taking a walk on the beach with the sound of little feet right behind us. Or hearing "the light is red! you guys should kiss!" from the backseat every time we stop at a light. This is our life. And it was honestly such a sweet confirmation from someone on the other side of things, hearing these things from someone who has been a little further down the road than we are. And they are saying YES. Be with them, enjoy them, don't worry too much. This will all be over before you know it. 

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