A Letter To My Exhausting Children

Dear children,

You are exhausting and relentless and I’m eternally grateful for this. Every morning, at least one of you thumps down the hall into my bedroom. You climb in quietly beside me before twisting like a pretzel on spit, your elbows and knees prodding me erratically. Or, you stand next to the bed and say, “I’m hungry.” I haven’t needed to set an alarm in years.

We rise and start the day. There’s the melee of getting dressed, eating breakfast, hustling off to school and work and back again. There’s the afternoon adventures, music and swim lessons, and setting you free in the backyard while I cook dinner. I’m your referee, cheerleader, refuge and teacher. You’re my joy, laughter, softest heart and sweetest smile. After dishes, brushing of teeth, baths, and my repeated calls for “bedtime,” I eventually tucking you in and I fall asleep next to your gently rhythmic breathing. And during some nights after I make it into my bed, one of you joins me for extra comfort.

To all this I say thank you. When the rug of my own life was ripped out from under me leaving the world unrecognizable and impossible to fathom, you were my tether to this world. You’re still young. Five and seven years old. Your needs all too frequently are larger and more pressing than mine, and I see this is what has kept me going and given me perspective. You are the gift of something bigger than myself, and are two great reasons why do another load of laundry, cook another meal, and plot another adventure.

I love you with all my heart.

Love,

Your mom

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