This week without assignments due is turning into a busy one! I've got just a couple of questions left to answer (unless someone still has one to ask), so here they are.
Marcy asked "what has been your most difficult/challenging part of parenting and also what has been your most rewarding?"
Good question! I'd have to say that every year is difficult and challenging in its own way. The first year was REALLY hard for me. Shell worked two jobs for the first 10 months while I was home with the babies (I went back to work part-time when they were 10 months old). She worked a day shift and a night shift, so basically every shift at home was mine. When they were first born, my sister would come over on her lunch hour so that I could take a nap and sometimes when I was having a really rough day Shell would send me away when she got home so that I could have some non-mommy time, which certainly cut into her sleep time, but I was grateful when she did. We were both sleep-deprived and it was not only challenging from a parenting standpoint, but from a relationship one as well.
For the most part, the following years haven't been too bad, other than when my daughter's chinchilla died. That was very hard, because nothing that I said could make it better and her grieving process was long and hard. She has kept her precious Noel's cage in her room ever since, but she did mention the other day that she might be ready to take it out soon. Her pain broke my heart many times over, but I was also fiercely proud of how she dealt with it. And now, I think that we are quickly approaching what might be the most difficult and challenging years...the teenage ones.
The most rewarding times in parenting my kids happen all the time. Sure, all the firsts like smiling at me, saying mommy, walking, using the potty, saying their ABC's, reading, etc were all very rewarding, but the really rewarding stuff for me has happened in the last few years and is still happening now. Watching them grow into themselves and think for themselves and make decisions that I'm proud of has filled my heart in ways I couldn't have imagined. Hearing about how great they are from teachers and their friend's parents are very good for my mommy-ego. Seeing them consistently earning awesome grades, especially since they are both in honors classes is pretty amazing for me as well. Even though I miss them being little and so innocent and happy all the time, I am also in awe at the people they are turning into and I am excited to see what each year brings to them. Well, except for those teenage ones...I'd kind of like to skip those.
Stacy asked me "How did you pick your donor?" I wonder if we used the same endo at Kaiser. Was it at the one in Denver?
Stacy, picking our donor was hard and easy. The process of going through the catalog was time consuming. When we were going through this 13 years ago, we didn't have a computer to access, so we would make drives to the Denver Public Library to use the computer there and request the free short profiles. Then we'd pore over those and choose a couple to buy the long profiles of. Once we got to that point, making a decision wasn't too hard. We used criteria that mattered to us. That included no major family health issues, particularly of the hereditary kind, relatively decent academic scores, no drug use, and average-above average height. We also kept in mind that we'd prefer for the donor to not have fair complexion like me, as being so sensitive to the sun is no fun. We narrowed it to three that we really liked and that fit our criteria, and then we picked our favorite mostly from his answers to random questions like favorite color and aspirations for the future. And our kids have all the traits we hoped would pass to them, except that they are super fair just like me. Unfortunately, while our donor was dark-haired and marked "medium" for skin color, we underestimated the power of the red hair and fair skin of his grandmother and sister. Oh well. You can't win 'em all.
By the way, it was the Kaiser on Franklin and I think the endo was Harrington maybe?
I've only got one more question left to answer, and I'll save that for another day. I hope that all of you who are cooking tomorrow are able to find some time to relax and reflect on what you're thankful for. And for those of us who are reaping the benefits of someone else doing the cooking, let us not forget to show them our thankfulness for that as well!