So many more swirling thoughts about a lot of things, so I'll start like this:
This is a morbid post surrounding the questions: What if I die? What if Tyler dies? (Which I'll blame on Tyler because it's open enrollment and he asked if we should take out a life insurance policy on me!
My last post was Of Things that Fade. Doing things, making things, creating things - memories - that last, has also been on my mind.
The most important things to me are the 4 people living within this 700 sq. foot box we call "home." We make up our family - full of good choices and dumb choices and tantrums and laughing 'til we are crying, and let's not forget the dirty diapers; we have lived here 4 years and I haven't known this place without them - mine and theirs.
Our family motto is, "No matter what happens we are going to have fun." Sometimes I have to remind Tyler, and sometimes he has to remind me, and together we pull each other through this roller coaster without any lasting damage (0, 1, 2, and 3 year olds can take their toll on a parent's brain...)
Returning to What if Tyler Dies?
I figured I had a good plan: We would live on his life insurance until the girls were old enough to go to school and then if I wanted I'd go back to work. I would move back to Rexburg, Idaho, teach at BYU-Idaho in the Early Childhood/Specialized Education department (where I completed my undergrad - I majored in EC/SE, and double minored in Spanish Education and TESOL - Teaching English as a Second Oral Language.) I would get my Master's while teaching. It's an amazing program and I could hopefully be home when they got home from school. I wouldn't love living in Rexburg, but it would be cheap and I love the college. We would make it work, and no matter what we would have fun!
But I hadn't thought much about
What if I Die?
All of a sudden I was thinking about all of the things that are most important to me, things they "have" to know to be the kind, positive, empathetic people I hope my girls would be:
First off, the biggest lesson I have learned is: This life is about love. If I'm not loving I'm not doing it right.
It has taken the stress off choices I have to make and the way I see the world. It has lightened my load and made my rose-colored glasses more rosey. Love really does change everything - it changes us. Love is the reason we are here, love is the reason we get to go where we are going, it's the reason people heal and change. Love is central to everything we do and are and will become. My girls have to know this.
Today Kate and I were walking up a hill holding hands and I said, "I love when my Goosie hold my hand! I love her holding my hand." And she started laughing. Then she said, laughing, "It fun!!!" All of me melted right then.
So, what if I die?
Who will give them cookies or chocolate cake for breakfast? Who will snuggle them on the living room floor until they fall asleep? Who will teach them to be includers and watch for the one who needs a friend? Who will tell them to come back inside so we can kneel down and thank God for every blessing he has given us before leaving for the day? Who will sway and dance with Kate while singing a million times in her ear, "I yuvvv my Goosie girlllll. IIIIII yuv myyyyy Goosie girl. I yuuuvvv myyyyyyyyyy Goosie girl" while she sighs and melts into me, wrapping her arms around my neck, smiling, and drinking in all the love in the world? Who will plop them on the counter to make cupcakes and eat half the batter before baking any? Who will focus on saying "yes" to as many requests that come every minute? Who will get to lay in bed every morning while listening to a 3 year old convince a 2 year old to do all the naughty things, so when said 3 year old gets in trouble she only has to reply, "no, Kaaaaaaaaattee." Who will laugh through all of the prayers we say as a family? Who will teach them we take the Sacrament because Jesus loves us? Who will be serenaded by a beautiful 2-year old voice while driving everywhere in the car? Who will be told, "Mommy you're so pretty in your dress and your skirt and your hair today! You're so pretty!" Who will patiently not interrupt Annie while she stutters through questions and phrases on end? Who will whisper to get toddlers to calm while they are screaming their heads off? Who will "peent" their nails? Who will jump out to scare them as they pass by a doorway? Who will always choose play over chores? Who will they grab around the neck and squeeze as hard as they can when they are happy? Who will they cry to while saying, "Mommy, I'm so sad wite now" and then, "Nuddle me mommy (snuggle me, mommy.)" Who will let them wear whatever they want when they get themselves dressed? Who will tell them they are beautiful and fun and nice and "I love when you share with one another!"? Who will teach them our life experience leads us to believe and think and act the way we do. Who will teach them to choose kindness, always? Who will wait patiently for Annie to be ready to say sorry when she has hurt a friend? Whose hand will Kate hold whenever she walks anywhere? Who will she tell, "Holdjume, holdjume."? Who will tell them "Happy Birthday" every 5 minutes on their birthday, and celebrate all day long? Whose hair will they braid and whose makeup will they do? Who will love them fiercely, proudly, patiently, gently, consistently?
After I thought of everything that was important to me and everything we do together and everything I focus on I thought, "I am a good mom. I love my babies. I love what we do, who we are, and who we are becoming. While it is crazy hard up the wa-zoo sometimes, it is beautiful and fun and funny. I wouldn't trade any of it for anything else - not even the 4:30am cereal breaks, even with Annie screwin' around cause "no, mom, I 'dis bein' funny. I 'dis make Kate laugh. ha ha ha. See, Kate happy now.'"
While nothing we do is perfect over here, we have learned - and are learning - to listen to one another. We know how to forgive one another and buoy each other up. We are strong, and can do anything, together.
All of it really is too good to be true.
Here are the photos from our trek to the pumpkin patch. I was reminded how much of a city girl I am not, and how one day I hope to return to the boonies with ponies and gardens and egg-laying chickens and green fields as far as the eye can see - or ocean, I'll take that too.