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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Happy Anniversary, baby!

Best decision I ever made...marrying this guy.

Twenty-one years ago today, I got married. I wasn't a fresh-faced ingenue. In fact, I was a late 30-something (OK, fine, a mere few weeks away from 40) bride with a broken marriage behind me and a string of reasons to never look again for happily-ever-after. The fact that I got a second chance in the form of the most decent guy on the planet is nothing short of a miracle...the fact that he's stuck with me through  all the years and weathered the ups and downs of our life with not just one but 5 kids is the even bigger miracle.

Our lives were very different 21 years ago. We didn't have kids. We traveled. We ate late dinners, made our own fresh pasta,  cuddled frequently, and focused more on us than on anything else except the dog. Now we have 5 teens...and tonight, we exchanged cards and celebrated our anniversary in the car on the way to a medication review for 2 of our kids. So romantic!

Instead of cuddling, my sweet hubby napped while I helped one of our kids read a passage for history and answer 19 (count them, 19!!!) stinking questions for History homework. Now he's watching a bit of a lacrosse movie with another of our kids while I'm blogging. Jeez, we're exciting...but do you know what? I'm still the luckiest woman on the planet...and I'm still so glad I married this perfectly wonderful guy.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat

A couple of weeks ago, our Tanya pitched her first complete softball game for her school team...and she recorded her first win in a 6-0 shutout. It was a thrill for her and a joy to watch. I posted pics on Instagram and Facebook, claiming bragging rights as her proud mama, and told her how brave I thought she was. Victory is sweet and nothing beats sharing the triumphs of our children, right?

Well, tonight our girl took the mound once more, pitching against an arch rival that her team has been aching to defeat since last year...but sadly, it was a bitter loss for our girls. Minutes after the game, before she even got home, our girl posted this on Facebook:

I knew I couldn't do it.

God, sharing our children's disappointments really sucks. I liked it better when I felt I at least had a shot at protecting my kids...but I digress.

I met her when she walked in the door, put my arms around her and told her just how courageous I thought she was. I told her that I would never have found the courage to stand on the pitcher's mound but if I had, I never would have lasted the game. I would have run crying from the field long before the last inning. I reminded her of her favorite saying, "Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game." I reminded her of the little 6 year old girl we adopted who had a core of inner strength that the orphanage caregivers called stubbornness...and that "stubbornness" is one of her greatest assets. It's also one of the qualities we've always loved best about our sassy girl from the very beginning.

My girl, you didn't fail tonight even though you feel like you did. You didn't let anyone down even though I know you feel like you did. You might doubt yourself tonight but I know better. You have overcome a lot more than a tough softball defeat in your young life and yet you never give up, not at school, not on the playing field, not in life. Your post on Facebook? It's just flat out wrong. You did do it. You had the courage to take the mound against pretty strong odds. You held your ground and never lost your composure. You didn't run screaming for the hills like your mama would most definitely have done. That's the definition of success in my book and I am even more proud of you tonight than I was of your winning game. 

My sweet Tanya, you are my hero!