Over the top...probably...Out of line...hmmm?

Hello All!

I don't even know when I wrote the last time. I have been basically lazy this summer, and goofing around. But, yesterday, in the New York Times, there was a full page article about my daughter, Anne, which leads me to the title I chose for today's piece.

Yesterday began with my daughter's fiance calling me and my husband at 7:00 am to tell us about the article. He was so excited and proud and I loved that he chose to make the call. Anne had said she would call us later, but he took the lead and said it was time then! Again, I loved his passion and excitement.

My husband and I had an inkling that this article was going to be published sometime near the end of July. The section that the article appeared in runs on Wednesdays and we were clued into checking the paper yesterday. So, when Patrick called, we were not surprised, just really really excited!

I then chose to figure out how I could legitimately spend my day telling as many people as I could about Anne in the New York Times, the lead in title being, "The Rise of a Cheesemonger." Reading her story made me immensely proud, and that led to my perhaps over the top behavior yesterday. ( I don't know who could blame me!)

In our local Starbucks, they have a news stand that sells the New York Times. I went in and bought all that they had ( it was just 4...could have been a lot more) and then when I went to pay for them, a woman in line asked me why I was buying 4 papers....I said..."Because my kid is in it!" I don't normally talk like that, I don't even refer to my children as "my kid", those words just came out of their own accord! I then, sat down, and read the article and grinned and grinned and grinned! Here on the top of the page, was a picture of Anne smiling amongst all sorts of the cheeses that she sells, and she looked really happy and really excited! That did it for me! I wanted to take the article and the photo and walk all around the village that we live in proclaiming to all..."Look at what my daughter has done!"

As it evolved, I toned it down some, but not much. I went home and called and emailed as many friends and relatives that I could. I know that some of them thought it was truly fantastic, and truthfully, some probably thought "Oh Brother...here she goes again!" :) That is all o.k. with me.

Here is my point. Was my behavior over the top yesterday? Of course it was! Do I care? Absolutely not!!

Few people ever know the true story of children and a family except those that are in it. My daughter, and her sister and brother, have been the primary focus of my life, and my husband's as well. When we decided to have children my husband and I made the choice for one of us to be the full time parent, and in our relationship, it was me. Were there times of struggle and doubt and challenge and hair pulling? Yup. Being a good parent is the hardest job on earth.

I have said that there are as many ways as there are people to be a good parent to you kids I do not proclaim or claim to have all the answers, or the lock on raising kids. I do know that as I read the article about my daughter yesterday, and enjoyed the telling of her tale, I was happy and proud and content. I had an amazing acknowledgement that the time my husband and I put into our daughter and the struggles that occurred along the way, were worth it. Maybe some kids can thrive naturally, but I truly believe that the more effort and thought and care you put into the time you have with your kids, the more productive and complete they will become.

Not one person on earth goes through their life without struggle. Our family is no exception. We went though challenging periods of time with all 3 of our kids. Anyone who says they have not struggled while raising their children, is probably a liar or delusional! Raising kids is hard work, work that requires time and effort and thought and planning. It also involves flexibility and a little bit of luck as well. I do know, that for me, being lucky enough to have the option economically to stay home, made a big difference. I know many parents who do not have that choice or luxury. But, being a parent that stays home with your children does not guarantee success. Being a parent that is involved and loving and does the work, those are the qualities that bring success, no matter where you are, home or working outside the home.

In some of my earlier pieces, I talked about "Filling up your child's bucket" the concept of taking the time and exerting the energy to help each of your children find the path in life that works for them. I do think that if parents choose to be aware, and involved and nurturing, kids can and will find the path in life that is for them. Taking the time to notice and encourage and listen to what is important to your children, and then supporting them in their efforts will, in my opinion, go a long way to helping them become competent successful adults. Success in adulthood does not mean money. It means feeling whole, knowing yourself, all the parts of yourself. Each one of us has parts that are good, and also parts that are flawed or challenging. The successful adult accepts all of those parts, and because of and in spite of those qualities, chooses their own path with confidence, courage and strength of character.

So, yesterday I was celebrating! Celebrating a couple things. I was celebrating our daughter for who she is, what she has accomplished and most importantly, the quality of character she continues to demonstrate in her life. I was also celebrating myself, and my husband for the time and energy and love we invested in this lovely young woman. And, I was also celebrating our family, for it takes everyone to help each child grow into who they are meant to be. I know that Anne's brother and sister were equally thrilled for her, as were her grandmothers and aunts and uncles and cousins.

Children are a precious commodity. Take the time. Do the work. Be invested.

Who knows? The New York Times! Wow!

Until I get motivated again,