I am grateful for my family

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I am grateful for my family.

Everything that is good in my life has it’s origins in my husband and our three sweet girls. I am a mom. Being a mom and raising our girls with my husband is living my best life. How did I get so lucky? I don’t know but sometimes I need to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming. Really when I stop to think about it, I don’t feel lucky at all. Really, I feel God’s grace on a daily basis.

I feel God’s grace because I didn’t grow up with a mom. I did have three step-mothers but they certainly were not mothers to me. I was raised with my younger brother by my dad who was raised by a motherless mother (my nana was raised by her Norwegian grandmother in North Dakota). My dad’s family was ‘motherhood-and-apple pie’. He was the oldest with a dad that worked, a mom who stayed home, one brother and one sister. They went camping every weekend and are still close but my dad struggled with relationships. They were a family though through thick and thin.

There was always strife in our house. My childhood is marked by which stepmother was in our lives at the time. I didn’t like them and they didn’t like me. “How long will you stay,” I would think.  I never felt the solidarity of my immediate family. I did have an extended family that we spent all our holidays and birthday with and that was a blessing because I had the construct of belonging to a community. This was extremely important but I didn’t have that daily reminder of who I was. To whom did I belong? Where would my loyalties be directed? Who had my back? Who could I trust? These were all impossible questions but as a young person you just adapt and keep going. These are core needs. We are human therefore we are social.

I became really good at whatever I did whether it was at school or my job and identified myself by the company and title of my job. My community was the people I worked with and I had the illusion that they had my back. Then BAM! we had our first child, moved from Metro NY area and landed in Suburbia Pacific NW (where we are from). Suddenly there was nothing to stand on. Suddenly there was no easy community or a job to feel proud of. It was just me doing rasberries and Ellie during the day. My husband was the one I trusted, he had my back and my love so that was covered but there was no community anymore.

It was hard. I made friends and tried to create a community but I think my expectations were a little tweaked. Was I looking for friends to be my family? I chose a friend or two that weren’t the best choices for bringing into the family. Finally (after 8 years) I started seeing a therapist to help me identify patterns that I didn’t even know were there. I learned that I don’t have to ‘create’ a community. I am in communities just by being. My sun was not circling my own family because I was too busy looking outside for that group that I felt so secure in as a child – my extended family. Wow. It is amazing how just a small insight into your own psyche can change your whole perspective. I don’t ‘do’ anything different but I do care a lot more about what my little family is doing and a lot less about what other people are doing – or not doing.

My stars have been aligned and the sun now rotates around my world, my family. We have an amazing life together and I cherish every moment. My life has become my dream.

I am so grateful for my family. For Bob, Ellie, Abbie and Lexie through thick and thin.

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