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Dear Kids,

It is almost mid-January and you finally all went back to school this week after a long and glorious winter break. The break was full of highs and lows and traveling and staying home. In all honesty (for the most part) it was great, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that some days were better than others.

As I reflect on the break I can imagine how it will feel to send you all of to college one day and reflect on our family years. I imagine myself a blubbering mess, sipping coffee in my corner of the couch (the one you find me in every morning as I wait for you to come down the stairs and crawl into my lap) and sorting through the bazillion photos I took over the years (of course this will have to be done digitally since I cannot fathom actually printing photos).

There will be highs and lows to reflect on but much like winter break it will have gone too fast.

Similar to winter break there will be pieces and parts I do not wish to remember. Like when we were trapped in the house last week for days straight due to snow and all the while it looked like Christmas threw up in our living room. Or when the four of you decided to team up against me like a pack of banshees at the airport. I had to channel my inner Mother Teresa in order to not lose my ever-loving mind in front of the hundreds of people we were sardined in line with. Or any of the many times when we fought, cried, yelled, and acted less than lovely.

Much like winter break I might not care to recall the parts where you humiliated me and made me completely reconsider my parenting abilities – like when you opened your present from your 80-year-old grandmother with a look of disgust and greed. I don’t care if it was a pink and purple Nerf gun, you know better. I have raised you better. Suck it up, smile, and say thank you. (By the way… a couple hours later you were having plenty of fun with that feminine weapon.)

Also like winter break – there will be plenty to joyfully reflect upon – like how proud you were of your gingerbread house (that was being destroyed by a bloody shark and a ravenous bear) or how much fun you had playing in the glittering snow. Just as I sit here now and reflect on the joy and laughter of winter break, I know I will always cherish the giggles, the belly laughs, and the glee of your childhood. Something that good that can only be from heaven.

I particularly loved the times this winter break when you all acted as though you liked each other. It was beautiful. It was glorious. It was my favorite.

Truly, there is something about seeing you love on one another that will forever make me weepy. There were times when a big kid helped and guided a little kid and there were times when you all played the same thing, together, by choice. This is something you will only get better at with time. Your sibs will always be your truest friends… treat them accordingly and you will always have someone to stand beside you for all the highs and lows in life. (Just ask Uncle Mer and Aunt Cate… Oma forced us to be friends and it was the best thing she ever did.) I know when my nest is empty these will be the best times to reflect on.

The parts that will be the hardest to reflect on won’t be the frustrating or humiliating, they will be the sweet tender moments. They will be like snuggling on the couch for movie with the twinkle of the nearby Christmas tree or the stories, prayers, and songs at bedtime or even the silly conversation around the dinner table. These are the sacred precious moments that I try my best to savor each and every day. You won’t always fit on my lap, you won’t always want tucked in at night, and I’m sure at some point my hugs and kisses will be awkward for you. I’m already mourning the loss of this.

Winter break flew by.
It’s gone.
It was precious and exhausting and special and it nearly fried me to the core.

I have a funny feeling that in a decade or so I will find myself in this corner of the couch thinking the same thing about your childhood and our family years. It was precious and exhausting and oh so special and it nearly fried me to the core.

I guess what I am trying to say is I love you.
I love being your mom.
I love watching you grow.

It pains me to think of how tiny you were and fast you are growing. Motherhood and this season can be really hard at times and I can be guilty of wishing the day away but you are so very precious to me. I think you are all fantastic humans, but can you just slow down a little bit?

Love you,
Mom

Christen Spratt

Christen is the wife to one (he is the coolest engineer you will ever meet) and a mother to four (one from her teen pregnancy, one with epilepsy, one with SPED needs, and the fourth may or may not be related to the Hulk.) She is a recovering “perfect wife/mom,” up to her eyeballs in all things motherhood. She doesn’t have a Pinteresting life, she doesn’t cut sandwiches into dolphins, she doesn’t have a perfect marriage, and she regularly shares all this good/bad/ugly with her sweet readers over at http://christenspratt.com/. Christen is passionate about authenticity and frequently writes about the FaKebook phenomena, parenting, marriage, and faith while keeping a canny sense of humor. It is her heart to offer hope to other moms in the trenches. You can also find her on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/christenspratt, Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/christenspratt/, and Twitter - https://twitter.com/christenspratt.

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