I remember the night before you were born like it was yesterday. I told your daddy that I couldn’t do it. That I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t think I could be a mother. Luckily, for all of us, it was far too late. The next morning you were born, three minutes apart. Every doubt I had disappeared, the second I first heard your cries.
Mere hours before I feared I wasn’t capable of being a mother; then, suddenly I knew it was the very thing I was put on this earth to do.
But I’ve got to say, I didn’t expect this journey. Before I became your mother, I felt like I had really lived. I felt like I had done much of what I wanted to do and I was ready to settle down. I didn’t know how wrong I was. I certainly had no idea it would be the two of you- oh, so tiny- who would be the ones to show me the world.
You two were meant to light the world on fire. Your daddy and I could barely keep up from the get-go. Neither of you ever really walked. You stood, you toddled a few steps, then you ran. You haven’t stopped since. We used to try to keep up so we could catch you and slow you down. Stop you before you fell and got hurt. But we’ve learned better. Now we try to catch you simply so we can keep up.
Because we know you’re going places.
At two and a half years old you took us on a grand adventure to New York City for the first time. I had always dreamed of going to New York City, especially during Christmas time. It was one of those things I never thought I’d do. But, there we were, sitting on the steps of Teddy Roosevelt’s birthplace, because that is the very first thing you two wanted to see in New York City. You two were still in diapers.
Next you fell in love with film and took us to Los Angeles, California. Daddy and I had never been. We all fell in love with Los Angeles. You’ve taken us back a half dozen times. All in all, we’ve lived nearly six months of our lives there. Then, you fell in love with Frank Lloyd Wright. You were three. You took us to Oak Park, Illinois to explore his home, his studio, and his largest collection of works. Next you took us to Houston, Texas for a private viewing of a rocket launch live from Kazakhstan. Never in all my life had I wanted to see a rocket launch live from Kazakhstan, but watching you two as they counted down to lift off- as you were nearly bursting out of your seats with sheer and utter excitement- I knew it was the only place in the world I was meant to be.
Mommy started to get sick around that time. Things got hard. And scary. Travel became incredibly difficult. But it was what both of you loved the most. You boys are at your best when we are off exploring. So I vowed to push through. You need to see the world. You gave me the courage to keep reaching towards that light.
You took us back to New York City, this time at Christmas. I remember watching your faces when you first saw that tree. I knew I was never meant to see New York City at Christmas Time until that moment, when I saw it as a mother; through your eyes. You’ve taken us back to New York City a dozen times now. It’s like a second home to us. Because of you two.
We haven’t left the country yet. Mommy is still too sick. It breaks my heart to think of all the places you want to see- you need to see- knowing we can’t go to those places yet. But we will. I promise, someday we will.
Because the two of you have taught me what it really means to live. You’ve taught me that we are not meant to stay in one place, that we are meant to run free- to see everything this world has to offer. You’ve taught me that we’re meant to leave a little piece of our hearts wherever we go, so that we have to go back to that spot someday. But most of all, you’ve taught me to how to live. The two of you have taught me that life isn’t meant to be lived quietly or safely. It’s meant to be explored, loudly while running at full speed!
When Mommy got sick, I feared we’d have to stop exploring with you. It broke my heart. But you and your daddy, you tugged at my shirt- at my heart- and said, “Let’s go Mommy. You’ll be okay.” When faced with our greatest challenges, my greatest fears- you’ve taught me that I can. I simply can. Sometimes we have to go a bit slower now so Mommy can keep up. Sometimes we even have to pause for a long while. But I know I’ll get up again. I know we’ll go again. We’ll fly and explore and live again. Because you taught me how.
I’m thankful for a lot of things my loves, but what I’m most thankful for is you. I was so afraid to be a mother. I remember that night before you were born, wishing I could run away. I didn’t know that one day I would run. I’d run after the two of you while you showed me everything that is important in life. So, thank you my loves.
Thank you for showing me what it really means to love and what it really means to live. Keep running, my loves. Mommy will keep up- because you two taught me how.
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