After a brief detour yesterday, I am back to matching the gift I’m writing about with the number of the day of Christmas we are on. You know, “on the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me 3…” I find this a fun challenge for myself and love the thought of matching up as many days as possible with that same number of gifts to write about each day.
Well, on this 3rd day of Christmas I do write about the 3 gifts my true love gave to me, our 3 spectacular children. The greatest thing Russell and I ever did together was parent our 3 children. Even in those times when things weren’t quite right between us as a couple, parenting our children and helping guide them through childhood was a mutually loved endeavor. I can honestly say there is nothing in this world that I am prouder of than my 3 children – Kateri, Soren and Demetri. And I know that Russell loved them more than even he could ever express to them.
We’ve had a number of opportunities over this holiday season to witness lots of toddlers and young children reveling in the fun that comes during this time of the year. My kids and I have smiled watching little ones run around, talk of Santa, look adorable in holiday clothes, and just be the little bundles of wonder that they can be. It has brought back lots of fun memories of when my kids were younger and I have enjoyed sharing stories with them of their younger years. Wow, were they adorable, magical kids. And they are growing into magical, adorable still, and fun to be with teens and adults.
I love nothing more than spending time with these 3 fascinating human beings. Our ability right now to understand and support each other has been a powerful gift of this time, this moment for me. Our need for silence at any given moment is something we all respect and honor for each other. Our desire to be silly at times and simply play like children has been a balm to my wounded heart. Our willingness to give each other space while also being open to listening no matter what else might be happening is a gift that I deeply treasure and hope continues for the rest of our lives.
Soren is a daily inspiration to me to get into better shape. I have watched this young man transform his body, mind and spirit over the last couple of years. Even as I have slid way backwards in the physical health aspect of my being, he continues to make daily strides to stay on track and make healthy choices. Our conversations when it is just he and I always leave me curious to learn more. Watching him figure out how to articulate what he most needs right now in an honest and yet gentle way with me is an honor to witness. I watch him begin to spread his wings and desire to break free into new open spaces. He is brave, loving, funny, strong, gorgeous, creative, and smart as a whip. He is seeking a clear path forward that leads him to a better understanding of himself and I seek to cheer him along in any way I can.
Demetri, my munchkin baby, now towers over me. I swear he is growing at least 1 -2 inches a month. Every time I turn around we are going shopping again. He is one of the sweetest, kindest young men I know. His smile can light up the room. And I love how he gently cares for me right now. He can make intellectual connections especially in science and math that make my brain spin. The stories that he writes make me smile in their creativity and the depth of his characters. Only my brother, John, could talk faster at his age than Demetri. Somehow his speaking can keep up the speed of his brain even if I can’t follow it all the time. Demetri is learning to speak his truth about what he most believes about himself. I stand in awe of him. He can engage in activities like reading or playing a game so completely that the rest of the world drops away. He remains my snuggle kid, often hugging me several times a day. He has the biggest heart especially for animals and all of nature. He is a young man full of compassion, love, passion for all kinds of myths, a growing sense of his own style, and much joy for learning. I love when he calls me Mater because of his learning of Latin. Seriously, what young teen chooses to learn Latin just because they want to?
Kateri has grown into such a strong, empathic young woman. She is deeply committed to her family and her friends, being willing to be there for them no matter what. As can often happen with young women, she has little idea of how truly beautiful she is. I watch her with the care she is giving to her horse, Walter, and know that she has embraced the full understanding of being responsible for another living being. Not a day goes by that she doesn’t think about what more she can be doing to heal this horse of hers. No matter how tired she is, or what the weather is, or what else is going on she goes out to take care of him. I see this faithfulness of hers in her love for me and her brothers as well. She is constantly tuning herself into what we might be feeling, seeking ways to help if she can. She is making daily choices to seek new ways to heal, grow, learn, and understand herself better. She is fun to be with, loving, beautiful, an excellent teacher, smart, silly, and deeply connected to those around her. I am so proud to be able to watch her train young people and be a role model in so many ways. I love that at 18 she still likes spending time with me.
I am humbled to be the mother of these 3 wonderful human beings. I am in awe daily of the ways that they are growing during this cuckoo luckoo time of ours. I am honored that they consider me trustworthy enough to share their stories, their hopes, their dreams, their fears, their lives with me. I love them more than I ever thought was possible and believe them to be the absolute greatest gifts of my life.