It was a wild ride.
Sports, academics, music lessons, play dates, sleepovers. And during a most of this 20+ year span, we also had significant DIY construction projects going on in our household (consider 9 months with no kitchen).
I recently had all our camcorder videos transferred to digital. It was fascinating to look back at when the kids were little. We had four children in six years. Three boys and a girl.
When I think back from my Mom perspective, I remember so much activity, so much juggling. Quite a bit of chaos, most of the time.
In my mind, I remember the boys being constantly physical. Poking, prodding, punching, wrestling. I tried to make rules. No wrestling in the house. That soon became an impossible task and a full-time job to monitor. Plan B: No wrestling in the house after 5 p.m. I quickly gave up on that one too. Besides, if my husband was home, he was participating.
In my memories, chaos reigned. But when we watched the videos back, that’s not at all what I witnessed.
I observed beautiful moments of interactions between the six of us. I saw complete indulgence into absurd silliness. I saw teaching and guiding. Dancing and splashing in summertime rainstorms. Bedtime stories. Surprises. Trips. Holidays and birthdays. And OMG, the house I saw in the background actually appeared reasonably organized. Mind blown.
On top of all that, it was incredible to look back and examine the kids’ personalities as children, but from the perspective of now knowing each of them for 20+ years.
As a parent, you’re always questioning yourself. Am I doing the right thing? Am I holding the reins too tight or not tight enough? Am I properly steering these malleable beings or am I going to screw them up completely?
I was amazed and thrilled with the “disconnect” between my memory and the stories revealed by the videos. I felt reassured, when I didn’t realize I needed reassuring. A completely unexpected bonus from access to real moments as a family.
After watching it all back, I looked at my dear husband, whom I’m getting to know all over again now that it’s just us together in this big house where we raised them all, and said “Sweetheart, maybe we did alright.”