Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Child Of Mine

You guys!!! The Feels runneth over and I absolutely cannot contain myself!

A fun Labor Day weekend...several years ago. How does time move so fast?
I think all parents do this but since I don't pretend to be all parents or know all parents, I'll just tell you I did it...from the moment my sweet little ones were laid in my arms. From the moment the obstetrician or nurses said "congratulations, it's a girl/boy" I knew and wondered...I knew they were mine for only a little while and I wondered what they would become. What their dreams would be, what their hopes for the world would become, who they would fall in love with, where life would take them....

I have cherished adventures, road trips, milestones. I have worried over, cried over, fumed over and rejoiced over so many moments. I have been an imperfect parent but the one things my kids will always tell you is I loved them...fiercely. And I think the love trumps the parenting missteps if my kids are any evidence. Because you guys need to know, my kids are awesome!

North Carolina, October 2015. Right before Trey left to join the fleet.
They are in this new stage now. This stage I've been looking for and dreading since their first cry. Last May we waved as Trey pulled out of the parking lot on his way to Parris Island. Since that day we've seen him less than a month but we talk or text almost daily. It's hard but he absolutely loves the Marine Corps and has said he can't imagine doing anything else right now. I struggle with the missing him and the absolutely joy that he is happy. I've learned a lot about being a military family, particularly a Marine family, this year and I've become one of those people who will quickly correct you if you call my Marine a soldier. I texted Trey a couple of weeks ago...after I'd corrected someone who had referred to swim qualifications as "water training"...that he had ruined me. LOL

Getting ready for a 15 mile hike...no big deal, right?
This May (why is it always May you guys???!!!), I will "give" my daughter away to the man of her dreams. This guy, he isn't anything like what I thought 'the one' would be for Embree and at the same time he is absolutely perfect for her. This has become more and more obvious in the last few weeks as they found out that their long term plans had suddenly become short term plans...as in, Embree is going to have a baby! I've watched the both of them come to terms with this unexpected turn of events and watched as he has loved her, valued her, and calmed her. The night they told me they were unsure of what my reaction would be but he wouldn't let her face it on her own. He was by her side every minute. (You'll be pleased to know, my reaction was what it should have been. Love and acceptance. And, because I am me, a to do list.) They decided together that they did want to get married before the baby was born...and that they wanted to get married while Trey was home because it was important to them both that he was there. So we are in the midst of wedding planning. Which as every Mom who has ever planned a wedding with and for her daughter knows...gives you all the freaking feels all the time!!! Seriously, oh my word. I now put wedding planners on the same level as trauma therapists and ER nurses. God bless you all. And if we could afford you, I would hire you and cherish you all of my days. But since we can't, we'll get it done. (This is a good time to give a shout out to Embree's friend and maid of honor, Virginia. She is awesome at all the things we are not and is also gifted in calming the bride. So, she is basically perfect.)

The about to be Mr & Mrs Grable.
In addition to wedding planning is baby planning. My one request was that I get to buy the rocking chair and Baby's first book. So, as a break from wedding planning, Embree and I headed to Barnes & Noble to pick out the first book. Anyone who knows us, knows we took this decision very seriously!

In case you are wondering, the winner was Pokey Little Puppy. All for sentimental reasons.
You would think a book store would be relatively safe from the Feels...but you would be wrong. I'm pretty sure people were evacuating the children's section and whispering to the staff about us. We cried over books I'd read to Embree and Trey. We cried over a book called "You Made Me A Mommy" and then we cried over a book called "Grandma Loves You". We cried remembering how much Trey loved the Captain Underpants books and then we cried when Embree looked at a section of books about Daddy and children and realized that she would read those books to her babies instead of skipping over them the way we did. But it was all joyous tears. Bittersweet tears...but joyous.

2015 MAT awards. One of my proudest moments.
So I am watching my children "launch" as they call it...going off to make their dreams come true. This is a new season for me and I am relishing it. There is a part of me that wonders "what now?" but I don't think that I will actually have time to think on that until June or July...because it's going to take me at least a month to recover from the whole wedding thing! But mostly there is a sweetness and a joy and a pride. I have raised them well. And when I didn't, their own character and personality made up for it. I am so proud and happy and...seriously, I may explode. I know that there are lots of Moms and Dads going through the same thing...graduation season is upon us, wedding season is upon us...Spring brings new life to the earth and new adventures for those we love. We'll get through it. One cup of coffee, one breath, one tear, one laugh at a time.

From one of my favorite artists of all time...Carole King. The song is called "Child of Mine" Embree and Trey, I love you more than I will ever be able to say.

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