These final two focuses are hard to wrap up because obviously they are all subjects that are ongoing. I do, however, have a few thoughts on each of these subjects, especially since my daughter, my family, and finding delight took up most of my focus this past year.
They are also what took up most of my time! It’s no secret that the adjustment to a family of four was tough and I “did” a lot less this year as far as work outside the home and extra activities and trips. Some days, this was a hard pill to swallow. I missed how easy it was to carry on with my earlier activities- even after I had my son this wasn’t too hard thanks to baby wearing and his super outgoing personality. Finances, breastfeeding, and still having to chase a preschooler even when I was wearing my daughter all made that much harder this time around. I felt like the world might judge me as a failure for how many balls I either dropped or flat out threw off to the side. And maybe they did or do… but as I embraced the delights of this time with my children I found that I cared less and less about all that.
My daughter has taught me to slow down. She has expanded on the lessons my son already started teaching me about perfectionism, how many things are outside of our control, and how to delight in the little things. My daughter’s existence reminds me that even when I feel like my body isn’t great or working 100% correctly, it is still a miracle and it has created miracles. So far, she is more sparing with her smiles than my son and I’ve grown to love that because when they come they are so earned and they bring so much joy. She is always observing the world around her and in that she is teaching me too. She brings out so much joy in her brother and their interactions and time together are perhaps my greatest delight of all.
We have grown closer as a family and have grown closer to my siblings and parents this year, and that is because we did so much less. So out of that difficulty came such a blessing in that. My son reminds me all the time how much he loves being with his family and having everyone together. He is the one that initiates FaceTime conversations I wouldn’t think of. He is the one who reminds me to delight in every meeting with loved ones, even if you just saw them a few days ago. And as far as immediate family, the kids have made my husband and I reassess how to help each other best and what we want to model as priorities and values.
One of my mom’s favorite phrases to repeat to me is, “one is one and two is ten” and I’ve found that to be oh so true. It definitely feels like ten times the laundry and ten times the sleepless nights and ten times the expenses… But it also feels like ten times the joy, ten times the adventure, and ten times the love. I’m so thankful for our family of four.