Another Love Letter To My Babies

For My Babies
My sweet babies. You have saved my life, again. You teach me new things everyday; about life, myself, love, parenthood, patience, joy, struggle, beauty, sweetness. Everything. You require so much from me that I am forced to stretch myself to my limits, but you give so much back in return, sometimes when I least expect it and always when I need it most.
I have been losing my mind lately. Not completely. Not insanely. I haven’t flipped out on anyone. I haven’t completely broken down. While there have been atleast a few days in the past week that I found it difficult to get out of bed, I still have done so and faced the day with a smile on my face most times. Not all times, to be sure. I partially blame it on stress, partially on hormones, and partially on past pain that sometimes still wraps around my heart.
We came home from a wonderful two week vacation that was full of fun, love, family, and adventure. I really needed a break when it was all said and done. A break to get our home back in order. A break before both Dylan and I went back to school. A break off of work to just have me-time and feed my soul after the two weeks of family-fun-adventure. But my schedule and our finances didn’t allow for that. I think that is when my psyche started to fall apart a bit. All of these circumstances came together to make a perfect storm for me to have a slight mental/emotional breakdown.
And it’s been just over seven years since we lost Dad. I think there might be something psychologically significant about that time frame. I think emotions that I was never capable of dealing with all at once, slowly seep out at times. And seven years is just one of those boiling points for me and my heart. So, when the stress started to build up, I went to talk to my Daddy in my mind and heart like I might normally do. But I couldn’t hear the sound of his voice. I couldn’t imagine what he would say. And it killed me. I have come to grips over the years with the fact that he is deceased, as shall be every person’s fate some day. I have learned to believe that he still lives inside me, an essential ingredient to the very essence that makes up who I am. But at that moment I couldn’t feel him. An equally terrible feeling came over me, too. No one can ever take his place.
And then my babies snuggled me. Then my two gorgeous children wanted nothing more in the world but to be by my side and tell me how much they love me. There are many others in my life who love me. Your daddy was also sweet and loving to me during this time. He told me he loved me and bought me flowers and cooked dinner and tried to not be afraid of the tears I cried. But it was the love that I received from my two sweet babies that really healed my heart (again).
Rowan, you are such a beautiful, smart, strong little girl. You tell me everyday how much you love me. Dylan, you are so sweet and loving. You just told me earlier tonight how I was the best mommy in the whole world and that me and Daddy were your most favorite mommy and daddy ever.
I have a painting on my bedroom wall with a quote on it that reads “To love and to be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” The love I share with you two is the epitome of this. It is your beauty that helps me to see the beauty inside myself. It is your sweet strength that reminds me of how strong I am. It is your powerful love that brings me back to the reality of how much love I have in my life.
I will have more moments in my life when I have to face sadness, stress, loss, grief. You will, too, my loves. But to face the feelings, to feel that pain, to cry those tears is not a sign of weakness. For after doing so, you may be stronger than ever before. During my moment of feeling sad and weak, your love helped mend my breaking heart. And I will love you forever and beyond. Thank you, my loves.
Sincerely,
Your adoring Mama
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To Dylan and Rowan (because if you put it on the internet, it’s there forever)

For My Babies, writing
My sweet, beautiful babies, your mama loves you so much. Dylan, you are such a kind and gorgeous child. Your beautiful blue eyes remind me of both your father and of my father, also. They are the same brilliant, entrancing color and filled with the same characteristics of both of those wonderful men: your father’s playfulness and tender, kind-heartedness, and your grandfather’s trust-worthiness and never-ending love. I see this all in your charming demeanor. You were my first born, and it is mostly because of the love I share with you and your little sister that I have been able to heal at all from the pain of losing my own father. Your obvious unbridled love for me is what puts a smile on my face and in my heart, even during the worst of times.

Rowan, you are so gorgeous and sweet. I love you so much, and you show me everyday how much you love me in return. My baby girl, my precious daughter, your innocence and strength inspire me to be as beautiful and strong as my dreams will allow. Even at your young age, you are independent and courageous. I know that you will love life and understand the importance of seizing every day. Your creativity is already obvious, too. I have never seen a child so moved by music, nature, and beauty. I cannot wait to teach you and show you all the magnificence and wonder that is in the world, but I have a feeling you will end up showing me so much more.

You are both so young right now. Someday, if you ever do come across these letters, you will look back and remember your childhood, and I wonder what it will look like to you. Currently, most of our days are filled with normal things like Daddy going to work and me taking care of the house and all of you kiddos. I am working too, but it is only part-time, which is still atleast 30 hours/week, but this is far less than I am used to. Since Rowan was born, I have tried to work less. It was hard enough to maintain my 40-60 hour work weeks when we only had Dylan and then also Sarah and Bastian part time. Once we had Rowan, though, I knew from the beginning that my career would be mostly put on hold, for a few years atleast. The time I spend with you all is way more important to me than how much money I bring home. I like to spend money, do fun things, and have nice things, but I also know that the more money you make, the more you spend, and that this can become a vicious cycle. A person without money can still be happy. Financial wealth is not a prerequisite for true happiness. However, a person who has sacrificed time away from the things that are most important to them for the sake of money will more than likely find themselves unfulfilled and regretful. I would rather us go without for a while, knowing that I spent these wonderful years of your childhood with you, than have lots of money and a ton of regret to go along with it. I will never regret having spent more time with you.

Sarah and Bastian are currently living with us also. The two of them are a beautiful blessing to have in our home. We do truly have a wonderful, sweet little family.  There is stress at times over normal things: occasional financial difficulties, the expected bickering amongst you kiddos, the stress of taking care of a home and young children. Your daddy and I love you all so much, though, and I hope that is what you see when you do look back on these years. And you babies adore your older siblings so much. I hope to nurture this throughout your life. Even if some of you are “only half” brothers and sisters, you are still a part of each other. Just because you have different mothers does not mean that you don’t greatly effect one another. Just because you don’t always live in the same house, does not mean you can’t have rewarding, lifelong relationships. All of my five brothers and sisters are “only half’ brothers and sisters, technically speaking. None of them have the exact same mother AND father as I do. Still, your aunts and uncles have all made such a difference in my life. I have never seen them as anything less than simply my siblings. They all mean so much to me, and each are special and amazing in their own way.
Hold on to your sibling relationships as best you can. Be there for one another when needed. Be a part of each other’s lives, even if life and circumstance take you other directions and away from one another. Who you are is a part of what lies in one another. You can find strength in each other. You can give strength to one another. Do not forget this, and do not take it for granted. This will not always be easy. It can be hard to make time for the ones you love, especially as your own individual families begin to grow. Just do the best you can to appreciate and preserve those relationships that have helped you grow and shaped who you are. I struggle with this myself. With five brothers and sisters, I’m sure I’m not nearly the sister that I could be. I am trying, though, and I hope that all my siblings know how much I love them and would do anything for them, regardless of the time or space that may stand in between us.
You are so wonderful and precious, my beautiful babies. I have complete faith that you will grow into extraordinary beings, just as you are so magnificent to me now. Find your way. Find your peace. Find your place in life. Be kind and honest along the way. Both of these things will assist you in finding your true path to happiness.
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
~Albert Pike
Know that I love you so much. I pray that my life reflects every lesson that I hope to teach you, but even as my imperfections may shine through, know that this does not make what I am telling you any less true.

You are everything to me, and I am so blessed to be your mama.

Yours truly and forever,
Your adoring mother,
Sandra Lea Highfill
XXOO

MAMA AND ROWAN