I've been thinking about a Valentines day long before I started blogging. Anna was around 5 and Abigail 2. (I think) I remember it was a Sunday. Abigail had a fever so I stayed home with her and Scott and Anna went to Mass. I remember the pink dress Anna wore and the cozy pink clothes Abigail had on. I can even remember the pink sweater I wore with yoga pants.
Anna came in the house all bubbly and ready to celebrate Valentines day. Abigail's fever was down a bit so we JOYfully opened presents in the family room. Like it was yesterday. But also like that one was a million years ago. That was such a sweet chapter in my life. I was home all day with my only 'job' to take care of those precious little girls.
So much has changed since then. Anna is in high school. I'm back to the classroom. But Valentines Day is still sweet, and so is this new chapter in my life. I work diligently about not living and wishing I was in that chapter years ago, but enJOYing this new chapter. I'm certain that one day I will look back at this Valentines Day and so with a deeply thankful heart, 'oh, that Valentines day when Anna was just a freshman in high school and Abigail was so little'.
So I live and am JOYful in this chapter.
And am so blessed to share this chapter with my best friend who this school year has lifted me up off the ground, encouraged me every single day, praised me, given me school advice, helped me, loved me when I've been unlovable through stress, deadlines and teacher demands, cooked, cleaned, driven the girls to viola and dance, given me quiet to work, made sure I'm pulled away to rest... on and on I could go. I'm blessed indeed. He tells me I did that for him the thirteen years I was at home. I know for sure I didn't do it as well as he is now.
So here is Valentines Day this year. Different? Yes. Just as sweet. Because it is us.
It is Abigail's last year in elementary school; it is her last 'class Valentines Day'. Sigh. In middle school there is no little party. No passing out Valentines. No decorated boxes. So we soaked in this year for sure.
And we 'celebrated' Valentines Day on Saturday.
I didn't take a picture of the girls gifts. Sweet, little gold bracelets. Anna's is engraved "music is my life" (viola) and Abigail's engraved "I love dance" (Irish dance) They are dainty and I'm so happy that they wear them every day.
Being JOYful in this chapter as a mama of a 14 and 10 year old and as a teacher sure has its tender spots. I'm learning and growing in ways that I wouldn't have wanted. If I could I'd live forever in that 6 and 2 year old mama phase. But God is loving my into new areas of sweetness. Pulling, stretching, guiding me. It is hard some days, so so hard but I know my life is falling into (was and will forever be) His plan.