I never dreamed I'd have the life I live. I never knew I'd find a man who would love me for who I am, faults and all. I never knew the All Knowing Lord would send me 5 amazing boys who would teach me far more than I'll ever teach them. I never could have thought up all the blessing that are constantly thrown my way. I'm constantly amazed that I've been this blessed and that I have so many people surrounding me that help me be reminded every day how watchful my Heavenly Father is of me and all of us.
I am an undeserving person. I have the most amazing husband who just celebrated 15 years of marriage with me and we're working on a 16th year. I can't believe that I look at him and think that he picked me out of all the rest. I'm astounded that he would stick with me through all of the things we've gone through. It hasn't all been easy, but loving him and the boys has been. He is an easy man to love and a patient and giving soul. I don't like to think about where I'd be without him.
My boys keep me on my toes and make me have to run like crazy getting everything done, but I wouldn't trade my crazy everyday life for anything in the world. My boys are making me learn and grow in ways I would never have thought I could. I've been pushed over my limits so many times and really believed at the moment that I'd not be able to do it or get through it. Then I find at the end of the moment that it was all worth it and I came through unscathed and even better for the journey and trial. I know it sounds emotional and mushy, but I say it all with a smile on my face and thoughts of excitement when thinking about how much they've helped me grow.
With that in mind I've learned something my parents tried to instill in me all my growing up years. When you think you can't, you're right. There are NO limits. The sky isn't the limit, there are no limits. You CAN do whatever you want, dream or are determined enough to make happen. I've built bridges across those chasms I was sure I'd never cross. I've built ships to sail across oceans full of storms and was sure I'd drown at the time. I've build hot air balloons that have helped me float above the stress of the moment and helped me get to the other side of the issue. I look down and realize I'm still here in the calm of the storm and I'm not destroyed. I'm alive, well and stronger because I had boys to teach me things I couldn't have learned otherwise.
I love telling people I'm the mother of 5 boys. I get the most amazing responses. I love when people tell me they knew someone with 8 boys. There are the ones who look at me like that's the most amazing thing. The comment that I've only heard twice, but makes me think the most is "there is a special place in heaven for people like you." Why? I'm not doing anything special. I'm just here. I'm just a mom like so many others. The difference is I'm selfishly using my children to better myself and glean what I can from them before they fly away to have their own families.
Having 5 boys isn't a trial, it's a blessing that can't be described. My crazy run, run every day life keeps me busy. I hope I'm always this busy. Life goes by fast, but I don't think I'd be a good person if I wasn't constantly learning and doing something.
On the other hand, the unexpected moments of peace and calm, when the boys are listening to me read, or one climbs up for a snuggle (very rare indeed), are the most pleasant times. Deep breaths in and a sweet boy to hold for a bit. My life has been an unexpected miracle and I'm grateful for the crazy times as well as the unexpected joyous moments of peace that will always be a treasure.
When I was in kindergarten I had a teacher who simply didn't like me. She was an older woman and would hit, pinch, and humiliate me as often as possible. In this class was a fellow student who noticed what was going on. Nicole. I wish now I knew her last name and could find her. Somewhere out there is a woman who saved me as a girl. She noticed how the teacher treated me and defended me when the boys laughed after the teacher slammed my head down on the desk. I had trouble counting to 100, but was told by the teacher that I wouldn't be able to move onto 1st grade unless I got this down. She had a large abacus and made me stand in front of the class and count the beads to 100. Nicole knew I had trouble with moving from the 9 in a number to the next set. She mouthed the words to me from sitting on the floor with the other students watching me. The teacher put so much pressure that I'd sometimes mess up on the numbers I already knew. In front of the whole class I stood there and pretended to think while my friend mouthed the numbers to me to help me pass. Cheating? Possibly. I still see it as a young girl saving my heart and spirit when I felt so scared, nervous and humiliated in front of everyone. Today she still has dear part in my heart and soul whom I wish I could find and thank. She'll never know what she did for me. She got me through kindergarten, which looking back is still the worst year of my schooling.
Years later in high school there was a rule that if we didn't run the mile in a certain amount of time then we wouldn't graduate. I could pass all of my classes, but running the mile was something my body just couldn't do. I tried and tried. I would get about 1/4th done and end up in an asthma attack. I love to run. I simply can't do it. My lungs close up and I struggle to breath. They put me with a special teacher named Mr. Nash. He was to make me pass the mile so I could graduate one day. The problem was always the time limit. So on our last day in that class he said he'd give me and a friend - who also struggled with asthma and was the same pace as I was - the rest of the period to get the mile done. We'd run some and we'd walk some. At the end we heard the bell and were almost in tears as we got done with our 3rd lap, knowing we didn't finish and that we couldn't walk another if we tried. We were both wheezing and strained. We stood there in front of him waiting for him to tell us we'd failed. He said instead that we'd passed. We looked at him as best we could, stunned, while doubling over to catch our breath. We couldn't believe it. My friend still couldn't speak so I protested saying, "but we didn't finish!". He looked at me and said, "What did I tell you when you started?" I responded, "you told us to do our best." He asked if we did. We looked at each other, then at him and said seriously, "yes." He looked at us just as seriously and said, "that's all I asked, you pass."
I may have not been the best at everything. I did learn how to count to 100 when I got into 1st grade and didn't have the pressure on me. I still can't run very far without my lungs closing in on me, but I love to run short little distances. A few paces now and then. I will always remember the kindness that these two people showed. There are many people in my life who have changed me and my life by a simple word or gesture they probably didn't think about ever again. Great changes and amazing things happen sometimes when someone just does something simple. I will always love the story of Rosa Parks because she was just too tired to move. Look how much came about just because she'd worked hard that day. It was such a simple thing that made a world of difference. I have been blessed to be surrounded by people who make a difference.
I have 5 boys and a husband now who daily make a difference in my life. They are my family. My extended family I'm not so close to. I wish I was. They have likewise influenced me in more ways than they know. My boys teach me something daily. I'm not in college like a lot of my friends at this time. I'm learning different lessons and expanding the love in my heart. I'm constantly learning about how far a love can stretch and how much people can learn. I'm a believer in change and 2nd chances ( even 70th chances for I've been given that too). When thinking about what I want to be and who I want to become I just want to be someone who has helped someone in some small way. Maybe they won't even remember, but I'd like to know I made a difference to someone. I'd like to be a Nicole or a Mr. Nash. The world has too few.