In my 36th year I learned that the term "new mom" is relative. I'm thinking at this rate, I may always feel "new" in this arena. Seriously, just when I get a stage or phase nailed down, boom, onto the next parental learning curve. I've also learned I'm sick of changing diapers, but that I can't do a darn thing about it.
I've learned that owning three homes with three mortgages is zero fun. Selling two of said homes feels fantastic and makes me want to never buy a home again. Renting looks pretty darn good to me in the future. I've also learned that not owning a boat whilst living on the river because, ummm, 3 mortgages, is painful. Watching everyone soak in the rays and the breeze on the water while we watch from our deck in 97 degree weather is definitely not as fun. In my 37th year I hope to have learned what it does feel like to be ON the water, but I digress.
I learned that standing before God, our pastor and my family and committing my son and his faith journey to God and the church is a moment I will never forget (even if the pastor called me Bethany the entire time). We cannot make Nash believe, but we can lead him in the right direction and we can show him a God who loves him and ALWAYS has Him in his hands and heart.
I've learned that watching a human grow and develop into a person with a personality is a miracle which unfolds moment by moment and day by day. How lucky are we to have front row seats to this masterpiece? I've also learned that being a boy mom is not for the faint of heart. Seriously, upon birthing a boy, they should give you a helmet and a "get ready for this..." manual. I may or may not have mini heart attacks daily as I try to stop Nash from head diving off of everything.
I've learned that watching those you love battle mental or physical illness can test your faith, but that you have to believe things will get better. They will. I know they will.
I've learned what it feels like to lose your best furry friend and that the realization in that moment brought me to my knees. I heard a part of me cry out from deep inside my soul that the audible sounds startled me. I learned that even 6 months after his passing, I'll still forget Piggy's gone when I run home at lunch or see something at the front door window. There will never be another Piggy. He was irreplaceable and I was the luckiest person to have him love me for so long.
I've learned that although you know your grandparents won't be around forever, their mortality still sneaks up on you. I've learned that the greatest gifts are time and that I never want my loved ones to be alone when they're failing and ailing.
I've learned that being a parent makes you finally understand when your folks used to say "you'll understand when you're a parent." I get it now. Parenting is incredibly hard for a love that comes so easily. It is challenging and energizing and exhausting and exciting and important and silly and it is a gift that isn't promised to all. I've also learned that watching your parents lose their parents is heart wrenching and makes you want to soak in all of the moments with yours while you still have them.
I've learned that goodbyes on this side of earth are not fun, regardless of timing or preparation or warning, but they are not final. This is not our final destination.
I've learned that friendship, both near and far, makes me incredibly grateful. Nothing beats a good friend. Nothing.
And lastly, I've learned that true love takes work and I'm thankful for everyone in my life who works at this crazy stuff with me and alongside of me daily. You all make this journey, and my 36th year, worthwhile. Cheers to 37!