From the day I moved into my house, I had visions of the life I wanted to create for my family. I dreamed of having the type of home where friends can drop by unannounced, where kids would hang out and play sports, video games, and sit around and talk with me about their daily events.
I have a corner lot, so I put a gazebo on my property where the school kids could wait for the bus when it was raining. I put in a sport court where the kids could play basketball, and I fenced in my yard so they could play wiffle ball and I wouldn’t have to worry about the street. And I finished my basement so the kids would have a comfortable place to hang out.
But as is typical with life, I was thrown a curve ball. When my son was diagnosed with cancer, I felt like my life as I knew it had come to an end. Overnight my thoughts went from swing sets, Super Mario, and playdates to chemotherapy, blood counts, and protocols. I learned how to juggle trips to the hospital with trips to the schools because even as my focus was directed toward Erik, I had three other children who’s lives I had to keep as normal as possible.
Fortunately, all went well with Erik, but as typical with any disaster, there was fallout and it expressed itself differently with each member of my family. The worst coming when my daughter Rachael developed a germ phobia because she too was afraid of getting cancer, which progressed to full blown Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. And again I found my world turned upside down.
Three years, some medication, and a lot of therapy later, she is back to regular school and doing well. So now that I have had a moment to catch my breath, I look at my life today and I realize that through it all, I have what I set out to create. My house is the place where kids hang out, and play basketball and video games. My kids friends come by unannounced, sometimes just to get a haircut or show me a good report card (which goes on the fridge right next to my own kids report cards) or to ask for advice with a problem they are struggling with.
So as I think of the things I have accomplished, the things I am proud of, the fact that my family is still together, still moving forward and closer than ever is something that I know didn’t happen by accident. And while I’m far from being a perfect mom, I have provided for my family exactly what I promised them.