Almost a year ago to this day, I left my very steady, very well paying (with very nice benefits package) j-o-b, to spend more time at home, and be the primary caregiver for my children. Griffin still goes to school, Corben still goes to daycare a few days a week, but primary it's me that they get to hang with, for better or for worse.
Aside from the obvious things that I miss (the money, and the benefits, in case it's not that obvious, and the people that I worked with) it has been nothing but a positive decision. I often find that I need reminding of that when I'm digging out rolls of quarters to pay for gas when things are tight - that everything we have done this past year (year and a half if you include picking up and moving here,) has been the absolute right thing to do. We made some good decisions this past year, that were for the sake of our family, and for our children. And we stand by every last one of them.
Griffin has been on the receiving end of a lot of our time this year. There have been hours in doctor's offices, hours in therapy, hours spent in the park, riding bikes, drying dishes. More than we've ever had or made time for him before. Less days of working means more days of hanging out, just being. Less money to spend makes for more days at home, working together to make our world a better place. It also means less crap in our lives, more room to breathe, more room to just live. It seems to be in this state that we are happiest.
Griffin turned seven yesterday. Seven years old, seven years he's been a part of our lives. There have been hard days, and there have been brilliantly wonderful days. And just about every variation in between. We're no different from any other family that way. Griffin still has daily struggles, but who among us can't say that either? He has come SO. FAR. in the past year though. We can see all the time invested paying off, big time. There are less meltdowns, less explosions. And he is such a tender, loving kid. He has a huge love for all things lego, all things nature, and his family...especially his Mama. (Maybe a little less love for his little brother, who can be so terribly loud and disgusting, but this too shall pass!)
Tomorrow, for just one day, we will throw away the "less crap in our lives" rule, and bust out the candy, cake, food dye for days, and have a little fun. Griffin and 5 of his little peeps will party like only 7 year olds can (and 6 year olds, and 9 year olds.) This is the first real party with friends that Griffin has ever had. The party is 2 hours long, and I'm sure it will take the rest of the weekend to recover from it, but we're going to have a blast doing it!
I'm so glad that we are where we are, with the people that we are with. I am so proud of my kids, especially Griffin who has had so many challenges and has come so far. And, pat on the back for Steve and I too, who have grown so much as people because of these wonderful, smart, drive-you-round-the-bend little creatures. We've made it seven years so far, I can't wait to see what the next seven bring.
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
Things may happen and often do to people as brainy and footsy as you.
Kid, you'll move mountains.
-Dr Seuss, Oh the Places You'll Go.