My simple pleasure this week? My kids. Duh. I know they've been my pleasure before, and, quite frankly, they're my pleasure every day. I have a reason for it this past week. Their birthday.
Now, before I go further, I should explain. If you know me, you know I make a pret-ty big deal about birthdays. If you know my parents, you know they made a pret-ty big deal about me and my brother's birthday, too. Which made US make a big deal about THEIR birthday's while we were growing up. It was awesome. We made signs and hung them around the house. They asked us what we wanted for a birthday dinner, birthday dessert, sang us happy birthday, and then gave us presents. The best part? This still happens every.single.year. And every single year, my meal and dessert are the same; hot dogs and homemade fried rice, with homemade éclair cake for dessert. I'm very lucky.
Needless to say, with this kind of celebration every year, of course I was going to make a huge deal of my kids birthday! How could I not?! While I can't necessarily use the term psyched to describe their expressions for when they turned 1 and they had about 30 people standing around singing happy birthday to them, I know that with each passing year, they get excited for their birthday. Yeah, I know that's pretty obvious, but this past year, you know, last week, they asked if we were going to put out the decorations up 'like we normally do'. That made me so happy on the inside that they would remember that! It also made me very grateful, because, up until that moment, I had forgotten to remember that!! Epic fail averted!
In addition to the hanging decorations, I also decorated their chairs with streamers, and made them an extra special batch of cupcakes and put them in a cupcake ferris wheel, and hung balloons from the light in our kitchen. We had a special dinner out, then came home for presents. But, before presents, we sang happy birthday ... and yes, they each got their own Happy Birthday sung to them, too.
These kids ... they are soooooooooo my pleasure every day. I feel like I blinked and they turned 9. Nine. I remember bringing them home from the hospital and my husband and I just staring at them on the couch, sleeping, while both of us stood there thinking, "Oh my gosh, how do we raise them? What do we do?" (we actually ended up leaving them in their car seats, sleeping, on the couch, and took a nap, too! Rule #1, SLEEP WHEN THE BABIES SLEEP!) Rolling over, cooing, crawling, having wars in their walkers, bouncing in their bouncers, growing first teeth and taking first steps. And that was only the first year.
Nine years later, they lift me up, and keep me grounded. They make me laugh, they make me cry; they push my buttons and pull at my heart. They're laughter always brings a smile to my face, and their smiles light me up. I love the bond I have with each of them, and I love our communication. Something as simple as taking them to and from the bus stop brings me joy - even if some of those days are tougher than others.
It's not all sunshine and rainbows - we have our fights and I'll be the first to tell you that I raise my voice. I'll also admit when I'm wrong and explain myself as much as I can to help them understand the world as they grow up in it. The few-and-far-between tough days help me to remember my breath and keep me present, ... but they also make the I'm sorry hugs that much tighter and longer.
These kids are mean everything to me, and to say they bring me simple pleasure is an understatement. They bring me joy, happiness, love, strength, courage, confidence, humility, laughter, light, and sunshine to each day.
Love, Happiness & Coffee,
~ Heather ~