In case you missed it, here’s the latest blurb from Liz and the monthly newsletter…

             HAVING CHILDRENDSC_0860
I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t plan on having babies.  I never debated about how many I would have (four.) I never contemplated when would be the “right” time (as soon as I had a suitable mate–I lucked out and got one that was actually better than just suitable.)  I never planned on how to space them (however they came was just fine.)  Yet here I am now, for the first time in my life,
without the plan of having babies.  Instead, I have children, and I must say, it’s pretty incredible.
In the last two weeks, my heart has been full of love and my soul with pride, as I witnessed my children in situations purely demonstrative of their growth as humans.  My “baby”, Isadora made the shift from world’s favorite two-year-old to world’s favorite three-year-old.  She will clearly tell you, “I not a baby!” This is mostly when her big sister, Gianna (AKA Boss Lady), is employing her incredibly helpful, mothering, grown-up self to get Isadora fully dressed, in full Minnesota winter garb, saying “Come on Baby, let’s get ready to go!”  And Isadora’s right–she’s not a baby. She’s an independent, strong, funny, sweet child, who started preschool last week, with no more than a simple wave good-bye to her parents.
That afternoon, when I picked all four children up from school, Giacomo was so incredibly proud of Isadora for surviving her first day of preschool. He gave her a huge hug, curious to know if she had been excited or scared, how her day was, what she played with, and if she had met with any new friends.  His kindness, compassion, and empathy is a clear sign of maturity.
A few days ago, my mama pride went through the roof, as I watched Lucia morph from a standard five-year-old into a mini-doula. She attended the birth of our fabulous Enlightened Mama acupuncturist, Erika Sullivan, right alongside me. She was incredibly calm and involved, as she offered sips of water and bites of toast between contractions, words of encouragement modeled after her doula mother, and the occasional hint of innocence to lighten the mood (like saying, “Oh wow, there’s a lot of blood there, but it’s okay–Erika’s body will make more!”) I was amazed, as was everyone in attendance, how she seamlessly joined in the action to welcome Erika’s sweet baby girl, Azalea, into the world.
As I reflect on these sweet moments, I am overwhelmed with the joy I am finding in having children, especially given years of baby-planning and baby-having.  While I loved the newborn snuggles and exciting “firsts” of my babies, I’m finding that big kid hugs and clever art projects are fulfilling in a completely different way.  Watching my children love and support each other as they grow as individuals is something I couldn’t really contemplate while I was changing diapers and sleepily nursing in the middle of night.
I often hear people making predictions about what my kids will be like when they’re older, cautioning about those dreaded teens (and yes, in 2024 I will have fourteenagers.)  Maybe I’m wearing rose-colored glasses, but I’m not falling for it.  I find it hard to believe that I’m going to enjoy them less as time goes by, especially given the fact that I just keep enjoying them more with each passing year.  Will there be challenges?  I’m sure.  But will there be a multitude of joy?  I’m planning on it.
Those of you with babies–enjoy them (and keep bringing them to Enlightened Mama because I do still LOVE snuggling babies). If you’ve got children, keep enjoying them.  If you have teenagers and/or adult children, please tell me that I’m right, and that it just keeps getting better!
In Gratitude, Liz Abbene