Today marked the 7th anniversary of my introduction to the joys (read: pain) of motherhood. Yup, that's right, Noodle turned 7 today. Wow, has it really been that long? I've been a mom for 7 whole years??? No way, not possible...but then again, I guess it is, because, well, it is. One would think that this would make me an expert. But no. Seven years and three and a half kids later and I still run across issues daily that make me scratch my head, rub my chin and shrug my shoulders. I have spent the last 7 years making mistakes. I would hope I have learned from my mistakes, and I'm sure sometimes I have. But so often I doom myself to make the same mistakes again...like failing to learn to never give your kids peanut butter on a spoon and let the go to the living room to watch tv. I have spent the last 7 years screwing up so bad that I sit in wonder that my son is still alive, much less seemingly well-adjusted. If there was ever a poster child for parents who screw up but the kid still turns out ok, it's him. I am lucky. No, I am blessed. I look back over the last seven years of screw ups and see how God has taken care of us. I can't blame anyone else for how he has turned out so far. Often it was just he and I. But on the flip side, there are many who can take credit for how well he has turned out, mainly God. My parents have been and remain to be a huge influence in his little life. They guide him with patience and grace that a parent lacks. It must be the mellowness that comes with old age. My sweet, darling husband deserves a HUGE deal of credit for the last four years. With Noodle's real dad often working overseas, he lacked a father figure, until Mr. Smartypants came along. Mr. Smartypants took Noodle in, treated him like he was his own flesh and has continued to do so even with the arrival of his own flesh and blood. There is NO man, aside from Christ, that I would hope my son would model himself after other than my husband. I'm blessed like that. I hope that my sons will model themselves after their father and hope my daughters will seek men like their father to marry. I could ask no more for any of them.
I have actually learned much over the last seven years. I have learned that God has given me way more patience than I ever imagined I possessed. I have learned that the person I thought I would be is not who I have turned out to be. But I like this me much better than the person I thought I was gonna be.
We spent all day Saturday celebrating Noodle's birthday with a barbeque, cupcakes and a pinata. Now I sit here and contemplate celebrating seven years of the blessings of motherhood while I enjoy my tenth helping of leftover potato salad, recipe courtesy of Big Mike all the way from Iraq. Maybe he'll give me permission to share the recipe with all of you. But, if I am allowed, I will only post it on one condition...you can never, never, never show it to your doctor. Just the ingredient list would cause cardiac arrest.