This morning I wake up in my own bed after 7 days of sleeping in a bed at the Marriott Grand Chateau in Las Vegas, Nevada. First thing I did was download all the vacation pics to my laptop. I had every intention of doing a day by day highlight post. However, I can't stop looking at this one photo.
Everything in me tells me to take a moment and share some thoughts. We didn't do a whole lot this last week that required much money. Quite frankly, I don't have much of it. We did Vegas on a budget.
There were many times where I wished I could take my kids to all the best attractions, go for a ride in a limo and enjoy fun places to eat. We didn't do that. As a mama I wanted to give my kids as much as possible. Yet, come to find out, that isn't what they needed. . . or what I needed. We simply needed to be together.
Don't get me wrong, we did stuff every day. But mostly it was about being together. We talked. We walked a ton. We played in the pool at our hotel and at the MGM (a friend gave us a room key to show to get in that works there). We connected with friends. Rekindled an old friendship and started some new ones. We took in the sights. We cooked together. We watched movies. We worked out to DVDs. I caught myself so many times watching them, my children. I watched them as a whole and individuals.
For me, the entire trip was about time. Time to snuggle. Time to laugh. Time to watch. Time to be 100% present in their lives.
So often I catch myself playing the what if game. What if I had not married that guy? What if I had ran off with that guy? What if I finished my degree in nursing instead of switching to English? What if I had taken that job in Dallas? What if I had gone to Texas to finish my Master's. What if I didn't have my kids? What if I had stayed married to the boys dad? What if I won the lottery? What if I could be a stay home mom? What if I was thin? What if I was beautiful? What if I had a better relationship with my family members? Oh my goodness it can get out of control.
The thing is . . . the thing I am learning/feeling, I am right where I want to be. To have these four children in my life is beyond a doubt my greatest gift to me and my gift to the world. I don't have to go looking for things to make me happy or fulfilled. I have them right here.
This is the good life.
Today as I adjust to the real world and the idea of returning to work tomorrow, I savor the last week and hope to carry the idea of being more present with my children forward. Now we have a full time job, housework, yard work and all the responsibilities of life to balance. Part of that balance will be to capture every moment with my children that I can.