The Gift of Life

Today I was at the gym, torturing myself as usual, I thought.

Then this PRICK, because as you will quickly learn there is nothing else to call him, starts talking about how he never wanted kids.

My wife is the one who wanted them. If it was up to me, we wouldn’t have even had one.

We had an amazing life, if we wanted to we could take off on a mini vacation on a friday, just pick up the phone and book a ticket and be in the Bahamas within a couple of hours.
We used to be able to sleep in all the time, do whatever we want. We could go anywhere with anyone and didnt have to worry about the time, or drinking.
Now I’m lucky if i sleep in ’til 10.

Bla bla bla. He would not shut up. He didn’t have one nice thing to say about his family. And I listened to his rant, and the only positive was that I was so infuriated that it helped me get through the increased weight of the next set of barbell curl. 

Finally, thankfully, he left, presumably home to his wife and annoying kids. 

I felt terrible for them. Imagine how those kids would feel if they could have overheard their father?

I mean this guy made it seem like having kids was the worst thing that ever happened to him.

It really broke my heart to hear someone go off like that, especially because of a tragedy my very close friend and his family had been going through.

Just this week a relative of his has been going through a terrible ordeal. Her 10 month old baby boy is going to be an angel in heaven.  

There’s no need to go into details. What could possibly matter at this point but the painful ever present fact that there is nothing they can do to save him?

I bet she would give up sleep for the rest of her LIFE to have him back. I bet she would give up her heart, mind, body and soul for him.

There was nothing medicine nor science could do to save him.

Only a miracle could save him.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant for him to be saved, but instead for him to become a savior.

His parents decided to donate his organs. He would bless at least 5 children with the opportunity of life.

Only a perfect blameless child could become a savior, much like Jesus Christ was for us.
Of course, it is a hard ass pill to swallow that your child wasn’t meant to be saved.

Our minds were not made to conceive His will, His greater plan; to understand the afterlife, heaven, or eternity. These are all concepts our minds simply cannot grasp.

When you have a child your heart doubles, triples, quadruples in size. I don’t even know how it fits in our chest with the amount of love we have for our children. 

Sadly, only some people feel this way.

And it’s not about being the one who actually gives birth, my husband adores our kids. I know he wouldn’t trade any of them for ANYTHING in this world or the next.
So many people out there take their children for granted. They treat their children like an accessory, a commodity, like a talking point; a nuisance, pestilence, como un estorbo.

And not just men, women, life-giving mothers!

WAKEUP people!

You have been given a gift! The gift of life, of creation!
You have brought a human being into this world! It is something so amazing, an unbelievable honor; a great responsibility, but a privilege nonetheless.

And for those who can’t have kids of their own, there are plenty of ways to bring life into the world. We can bless others every day through kindness & generosity; by being sincere and showing compassion.

Just loving each other and respecting each other is enough.

We don’t know how much time we have with our children or loved ones, or they with us, but we have to cherish every day! Love them and treasure them; teach them and care for them.

Hug them, kiss them, hold them close.

Let them creep into your bed; read to them, sing to them; pray with them, joke with them, color with them.

Find the time to listen to them and talk to them.

Every moment is a precious gift.

***********

John 3:17 KJV

[17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Romans 13:8 KJV

[8] Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 

1 Peter 3:8-9 KJV

[8] Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: [9] Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

The Jackpot

“Mommy, can I ask you something?”

Sofia begins 5-6 conversations a day with that question.

“Sure,” I say, quickly pondering what outrageous interrogation will ensue.

“Is it hard to be a Mommy?”

This was the second time in the past week that she had asked me. The first time, I responded with a lot of Uh’s and Um’s, but this time I was more prepared.

“Well, sometimes it feels hard, because I’m tired from work, but you guys make it easy, because you are so wonderful. Why do you ask?”

“When I’m a mom, I’m gonna have 6, or 4, or 5 kids.”

I was glad to hear that response, because I didn’t want to frighten her away from her dream of having so many children.

Women aren’t easily motivated nowadays to have one kid, let alone 6, or 4, or 5.

9 months of swelling, indigestion, and 20 to 60 pounds of weight gain—yes, I gained 60 pounds throughout each of my 3 pregnancies, on a 5’1″ frame, you could say I “got around; then a long, tedious, painful labor and delivery—with or without an epidural, it bites; 30 to 45 endless nights, of crying and crankiness, and not just you, the baby is adjusting to living outside your body, as opposed to the water world they inhabited for 40 weeks; 40 torturous nights without intimacy, where you think, “I’ll never say no to sex again!”—that doesn’t last; add on the throw up, poop, pee, and other things you can’t identify that babies spew all over you; and all of a sudden, before your baby is even walking, it’s settled. You’re done. “One baby is more than enough!”

You’re right! All of that does sound awful; but there are rewards in between. Sweet smiles and giggles; gentle tugging at your hair while they nap; eyes that bat softly to sleep to your lullabies, despite your awful singing voice; and when they start talking, it’s all over.

That first time they call you Momma or Daddy, it’s like hitting the 600 million dollar PowerBall. Ok, I know it probably seems like there’s NOTHING better than hitting the 600 million dollar PowerBall, but I feel that becoming a parent is like buying a ticket and winning the jackpot every day.

So, when Sofia asked me if it’s hard to be a mommy, I quickly answered no. I don’t mean to lie to her, I just don’t want her to fear motherhood and all the responsibilities, sacrifices, and spit-up it throws at you.

What is the right answer to that question?

I don’t know, but kids don’t know that you don’t know. So, just give it your best shot.

Tonight, I lay next to my curious daughter, after reading a story and praying. She said “Mommy, can I ask you something?”

Third time’s the charm, I thought. I was ready with my fairytale response about motherhood.

“What is it, Sofy?”

“Mommy, what’s a solar eclipse?”

Mouth agape, I blurted, “Go to sleep!

Move Over, Me

As I lay in bed last night by my husband, fully clothed (this is relevant later), iPad propped up on my knees while I worked on this blog, my iPhone vibrated. It was my turn to roll in Dice with Buddies.

Is this what relationships have come to…electronic conversations and gaming, side by side with your partner?

YES! Five-of-a-kind! I take great pleasure in this roll worth 50 points, because my husband beats me all the time. In the game, he beats me in the game.

Marriage Tip: A little competition is healthy, heck, maybe even necessary in a relationship. It can keep things interesting, especially if you spice up the deal; loser cooks dinner; loser gets up if the kids start crying—null if more than one child is crying; or loser grants winner some other “special favor”.

::insert winky face::

Anyhow, I have been a practicing nurse, negotiator, singer, storyteller, and professional butt-wiper for almost seven years now. I have a 6 year old girl, a 4 year old boy, and a 2 year old girl who is thankfully almost potty trained. I have a full-time job operating a retail clothing-shoes-hair accessories-luggage-toys-watches-perfumes-custome jewelry-among other things, store.

::insert self promotion here:: VALSAN

I am married with children and have 3 dogs, Kobe, Konan, and Kay (Karl was recently deceased)—”every kiss begins with ‘K’ay, our favorite jeweler’s jingle. We also care for a spunky (that means loud) cockatoo, Mango; Maria Sofia the pet turtle who shares a tank with an orange parrot and other colorful cichlids; another tank decorated with disney and spongebob figurines that houses pleccos, a brainy goldfish, which my daughter claims is very smart, and 2 angel fish, who contrary to their name, can be rather vicious and territorial. A lonesome fighting fish keeps us company in the kitchen. A recently acquired lizard—and by acquired I mean I caught it in a red solo cup in my patio as the kids cheered me on—Mrs. Stripes, peers at the fighting fish, from atop her faux cactus. Thankful, the dwarf hamster, does cardio on his wheel in the laundry room. Hamsters are nocturnal, by the way.

Parenting Tip: If you should ever make the mistake of promising a hamster to your child if they behave well, and they will, be sure to grease the hamster’s wheel, or it’ll be squeaking ALL NIGHT LONG!

For those of you that don’t have kids or pets yet, I’ll even warrant that some plants need caregivers too, here’s a little heads up: MOM is an acronym for Move Over, Me.

In other words, whatever you enjoyed doing prior to having kids, or pets, and yes, in some cases plants, such as—falling asleep naked after a romantic evening; or, enjoying a romantic evening at all; driving to Krispy Kreme after midnight for a fresh, warm snack; vomiting out your friends SUV window, AND all along the side of the car, after a night of dancing and drinking; or just simple things like taking a hot bubble bath, quietly reading the latest bestseller on your toilet, sleeping through breakfast on a lazy Sunday; all of this and more, takes a backseat to your kid’s needs.

I never particularly enjoyed sleeping in the nude. I’m too friolenta (easily prone to being cold); I need a shirt, pajama pants, socks, a bed sheet, blanket and comforter. As I warm up throughout the night, I get decidedly provocative and start stripping; although, I never quite make it to ‘R’ rated nudity, nor do I have a sexy dance number, as I am not very limber.

I never cared much for staying out late either, partying it up on a random Tuesday. Who goes out on a Tuesday you ask…

Lot’s of people! Young, carefree, childless people; maybe careless, but also free of child.

When it’s just you and your husband, or significant other, you can pick up and go anywhere, anytime, with or without a plan.

Oftentimes, I pry my eyes open in the wee morning hours. After snoozing for 9 minutes, I get up to get my daughter ready for school, myself ready for work, my gym bag ready, then wake the other kids to take them to Abuela’s house, and I think, “Again?” Is it yesterday or tomorrow? Whenday?

I brush my teeth and shower every day, and that’s okay. You gotta eat regularly, and drink: 64 oz of water, half your body weight, or whatever the doctors are recommending now a days. You have to work, a lot. Occasionally get some exercise in, like at the gym; on a treadmill; or lifting weights; NOT at the office exercising your jaw chismosiando with the girls, that’s Spanish for gossiping. Then, I come home, eat dinner, play with the kids, read to them and tuck them in, before a quick shower. Wiggle in some time with my husband, at least cuddling for a bit before he’s fast asleep snoring. Then I find myself enjoying my new endeavor, blogging; or at least trying to between nudging him every couple of minutes when his snoring begins to resemble the snarl of the Predator. Finally, I’ll get a text from my sister, scolding me to, “GO TO SLEEP!” because she caught me Pinteresting. I fall asleep about 10 minutes later, after checking Facebook, Instagram, my email and WordPress one last time. Then to do it all again the next day.

This broken record feeling is NOT because of the kids; we’re just all grown up. It’s called life, and it’s not a simple game of rolling the dice.

For a while, I thought the spontaneity would be gone from my life once I had kids, but I was wrong. What’s more spontaneous than a child—throwing up curdled milk on you, and then some remnants of the macaroni and cheese from dinner, just when you thought they had evacuated completely; your son peeing at you and your surroundings while you change his diaper; your daughter cutting her hair to imitate Tangled, thankfully, hers does grow back; how about your youngest repeating a curse word after you yell at a veering motorist.

The truth is, you don’t realize until after you have kids, not so much with pets and plants, sorry, that there was something missing in your life. Kids occupy a special, messy and sometimes smelly, place in your heart.

There’s nothing more spontaneous than a sweet hug and “I love you” from your toddler after reading her a story; a heart shaped drawing left on your nightstand addressed to Mom; a genuine prayer, “for all my family members. I don’t know how many I have, but please bless all of them”; an innocent voice asking you to lay in his bed and give him cosquilla until he falls asleep…

Today, I accompanied my sister to get an ultrasound; she is 20 weeks pregnant with her first child.

Looking at an ultrasound most people wonder, “what is that,” while all along nodding and smiling as the technician points out the right foot, kidneys, and ,”oh look at the nose!”

Nose? I thought that was the sex of the baby. I guess it’s not a boy. O_o

Regardless of what our eyes interpret, every mother sees a vision of perfection; innocence and purity embodied in this tiny human she is blessed to carry for 9 months, and care for all her life.

Only God knows the plans that he has for each parent and child, but I believe they all include, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11

I’ll admit, it doesn’t say anything about getting peed or pooped on; staying up late with a sick and cranky child; or giving up JayZ when the kids are in the car.

What it does say is that a child gives much more than it takes. So, Move Over, Me; let your child teach you about living.