Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Expat Mom in Guatemala tagged me for a new meme that’s been traveling the globe and will keep going until it reaches every corner of the world. It`s called Around the World in 80 clicks.

This meme was started by Catherine of Her Bad Mother and David of It’s Not a Lecture. The idea is for moms around the world to share five things that they love about being a mom.

What do I LOVE about being a mom? Wow. That's a big question...

1. They love each other - I knew that I would love my kids. I knew my husband would love our kids. I knew they would love us. I also knew, intellectually, that they would love each other too, but to actually see this miracle happen - and to continue as they grow - was amazing. I still remember the first time they gave each other a real hug. Honor was barely old enough to sit up by herself, 4-5 months??... she needed some help balancing, but she had the strength... and Brian, who was not yet 3yo, was sitting next to her. They were playing and laughing, then, they looked at each other, smiled, and reached out and hugged each other. A real snuggle not encouraged or copied. They did it themselves and liked it so much that they did it again several times before turning their attention to other things. They are years older now, and they have their differences and squabbles here and there, but you can really tell that they love each other.... and I LOVE that I am a mom to two loving children.

2. They were born to be who they are - I birthed two babies, but they came into the world with set personalities that I had no part of forming - except, genetically, of course. Who knew?! You think of kids being born with physical traits, but full-blown characters? Attitudes right out of the womb? Oh yea.... We were not given two breathing pieces of blank living clay, to be molded as we saw fit, no, we were given two ready-made people... small in size and in need of care, feeding, toilet-training, language lessons, room and board times 18 years, and who knows what else. As a mom, I have a responsibility to set a good example and guide our children to be the best that they can possibly be, but I have no right or ability to 'make them' into anything. I cannot. It is impossible. The responsibility for forming their personalities and character... that's not on me. They had these traits built in. Motherhood is not 'just a job', it is more akin to a sacred duty. I feel like I have been entrusted with two beautiful pieces of the future and I LOVE the feeling of responsibility I have for these two little people as they discover who they are and who they were meant to be.

3. I am in love with my kids' dad - I mean, that seems obvious, right? Especially as I recently posted about our 17th anniversary. I look at our kids and, physically, I do not see myself or my husband in either child's features.. they look like each other! I sometimes see hints of my sister, or her children, or of my husband's aunt or uncle. A smile might remind me of a niece of nephew, but nothing of us (although other people claim to). And yet there they are - they are most definitely a part of who we are. Being their parents is definitely an integral part of our marriage. I look at them, and I LOVE my husband.

4. Watching them grow and learn - I like to think of myself as a knowledgeable person. I read, I study, I explore... I'm curious and like to try new things. Yet all the enjoyment I get from my personal studies, pales in comparison to watching our children learn as they grow. Oh, it can be frustrating at times... just ask Honor about my not letting her use kitchen appliances and/or sharp knives because they are not made child-sized and so are not safe for her. And ask Brian about cursive writing (uh... maybe you don't want to do that, to him it is curse-ive). But they discover, and rediscover, and experiment, and share with us as well as one another (sometimes they like to share new things with their sibling even before they share with Brad or I.) Their perspectives on the world around us is fascinating. I love how they manipulate and define and redefine. How they express their interpretations is also awe-inspiring... especially when it changes as they mature, and even more so when THEY can compare their new understanding to how they used to understand it. I LOVE that I can almost see their minds expanding on a daily basis.

5. Anticipation of the future - I have no idea what will happen next, and yet, I cannot wait. Of course, I have worries. We have had too many visits to the ER, hospitalizations, traumas and dramas and sad things... and I know life will bring more. I will hope and pray that it treats us kindly and gently, but I do not worry and fret. That's life. But life also brings so many good things. Adventures. Travel. Friends. Family. Pets. School. New skills. New accomplishments, etc. I LOVE the thought of the future with our kids.

This meme ends with a request to tag five moms around the world (only 5?!), so, in keeping with the global theme, I'll have to choose:

My sister-in-law at "Smiles and Trials" (US) - who has adopted around the world, and is in-process of doing so again. (For this story, read: Smiling All The Way Back)

Mama Seoul, fka Cairo Mama, who is temporarily in the US, but will soon be returning to Korea with her young son and new baby! She has reviewed baby and toddler products, breastfeeding, living in Korea, and most recently, VBAC (success!) and Hypnobabies birthing techniques.

Danie at Earth to Danie - currently in Canada, but don't blink or you'll miss her. Mother, expat, repat, soon to be moving again, and a witty author (published even "The Expat Arc" - free advertising! I try to be a good blog friend :-) !) .

Donna in China at "Email from the Embassy". Donna has four little ones and is very adept at writing about living life as an expat mom, as well as insights into daily life in Beijing.

And a close neighbor, Simple Answer, in Amman. She's a mother of two, and a US expat who is learning and blogging about life in Jordan... although I'm not sure how she manages, with all the side trips and other fascinating travel she does. (Me? Jealous? ;-) !)

(Sorry to skip over the other wonderful blogging moms, I read, but I was trying to choose blogs around the world! oh, and the meme was 'mom', so sorry to the dads too.)


Unknown said...

I may have to change my blog name to "Don't Blink or You'll Miss Me."

Rachel said...

Brian and Honor are two special people. Tell them I said hi.

Expat Mom said...

I LOVE your number 2 . . . it`s so true! I always figured my kids would be somewhat changeable, but no. They were 100% who they are from conception. :)

Connie said...

Danie - :D Maybe, but I think I like Earth to Danie best :D

Julia - I will! Love ya!

Expat mom - I had no clue! It's not like I hadn't been around tons of babies, but I guess there's no way to really see this unless you're around a newborn, from birth, 24 hours a day.

3 Bay B Chicks said...

This was such an amazing post, Connie. You and I share many of the same joys and fears for our children. The experience of having little ones in your life is truly awe inspiring at times, especially for a married couple. :)


megabrooke said...

aw, this is a sweet meme.

thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting! hope you'll visit again:)

rachaelgking said...

This is beautiful. I really hope to have a family as wonderful as yours someday.

Nicole said...

It's amazing how fast they grown up and into their own "person". It makes me sad to think about it. You have very special and beautiful children who couldnt ask for a better mother!

♥ Braja said...

I'm not a mummy but i am so glad to see your face and meet you :)

Connie said...

What wonderful comments! Thank you!! Our kids have definitely brought so much to our lives - I know we are blessed. And often worn out... this weekend has been so busy... but this is a good thing (:-)

Mama Seoul said...

Thanks for tagging me. David said I was the first one in Korea!