Reflections

Reflections on Putting on My Wedding Dress for the First Time in Years

wedding dress

This week I put on my wedding dress for the first time in many years.  I’m not sure I’ve tried it on in the last nearly eight years since I got married because for most of those eight years I knew I wouldn’t fit into it.  Now it fits.  But not the same way.  It served as a reminder of how my body has changed in the last eight years.  As my weight has fluctuated over the years with babies and binging and exercise and dieting, the dress showed me that my thighs are thinner and my chest is bigger than before.  Even though I’m at the same weight, the dress would still need to be either altered or exchanged for a different style in order to be worthy of such a special event.

But being a wife and a mother has made its mark on me in more ways than just a larger bra size and stretch marks.  I’ve changed in the process.  I’ve learned more about who I am and what I should be focusing on in my life. 

Relinquishing single status made me aware of the fact that I need time to myself to gather energy up.  I love my husband more than anyone else, but I can’t spend all day with him every day.  I love my kids, but I need to get away from them, too, sometimes.  I have to turn off all the noise and just be quiet and still sometimes, with a book or with my knitting needles or just wandering around a store with no purpose except to clear my head.

I’ve become more patient, not just with family members, but with other people you come in contact with in daily life.  The slow check-out line, the rude driver, the people you are counting on to do something that don’t do it, the constant preschooler questions, the toddler that is into everything…things are easier to handle and annoyances easier to brush aside while I continue to move forward.

I discovered a strong need to delve into big ideas expressed in excellent literature.  I spent a few pivotal weeks over two summers attending the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture’s Teachers Academy.  Six weeks, each day discussing literature for its merit and for its application to society and life.  I’ve gone back to various lectures and presented at the annual alumni symposium three times since then, and those times help illuminate parts of my brain that grow a little dim in the day-to-day focus on cleaning, cooking, and childcare.  What I’m working on now is keeping that from getting dim in the first place.

While marriage and motherhood haven’t been the easiest road (is it for anyone?), it’s been a joy to walk, and I generally like the way I’ve ended up in the process.  I’m grateful for the way the years have opened my eyes to truly see myself, and to smile back at the woman I see.

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Littles

Little Bird is four years old!

Little Bird is 4!

Excitement, art projects, and cake batter pancakes. Happy Birthday!

It is so hard to believe that my beautiful Little Bird is four years old today!  She has brought so much sparkle and light to my life since she made me a mother four years ago today.  She has been enjoying her artistic passion today in the form of new supplies and a trip to the local paint-it-yourself ceramic studio, where she chose a piggy bank that was painted green and pink and yellow.   She loves to make art.  She can color and draw and then cut things out and glue them down on other paper all day long.  She recently turned our extra bedroom into her own “art museum” where she taped up some of her recent work.  She has always been a girly girl who loves dresses, skirts, and the color pink.  She loves to snuggle and give kisses.  She loves preschool and going swimming at the gym.  At this point in time, Little Bear is usually a pest to keep away from her art projects (I don’t blame her…that kid is into everything!), but they do have their sweet moments together.  I am looking forward to watching her continue to grow and learn as we spend our days together!

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