First, Dylan put himself in a sitting position last night. All by himself! I was amazed. He turns 7 months on Friday, which seems way too hard to believe. I really need to write his 6 month letter. I'm behind. He went to the doctor for a weight check this morning. He's in the bottom 1/3 at 13 lbs 12oz. But, he's proportionate in weight and length and did gain, so she isn't worried. :)
And on to the real post....
We all begin as children. I don't think any one would disagree with that statement. We all begin with parents that either love us or don't love us. That path that begins after our birth is different for us all. Whether we have parents or not, because some children do not, we have people in our lives that guide us for better or for worse. We learn through those "guides" even if they don't realize their impact on us.
And all of those things that we "learn" help shape us into who we will become as adults. It doesn't mean we'll always try to emulate our "guides;" although some of us will. It means that our experiences and our "lessons" will always be a part of our memories and play a role in how we view our world. For some us, we work very hard to break cycles that should've never been. For others, we try very hard to instill the same values that our parents instilled in us.
But the fact remains that we never really knew what it meant to be a parent before we became one. And so that's where this begins. When I consider the changes that occurred in me upon the birth of my children, I come up with this:
Ethan made me a better person, but Dylan made me a better parent.
Am I shortchanging my first? No. I couldn't be a good or bad parent before Ethan was born. I could be a good person. I could be a good pregnant person, but I could not be better at something I wasn't. Before Ethan, I would tell people I was too selfish to have children. And I believed that. And at the time it was true. But then I had that child. And it no longer was true.
Ethan taught me how to be selfless. He taught me without doing anything at all other than being born to put someone else's needs before my own. He taught me to learn and practice patience. He taught me to think things through rather than act impulsively. He taught me how to love unconditionally. And he taught me that 20 sleepless nights could be erased with one big smile, one vivacious laugh, one new word, one first step, one hug, one kiss, one Mamma. He taught me how to be a better person.
Dylan. He taught me how to be a better parent. He taught me how to be more confident in my abilities as a parent. He taught me how to open my heart to more love. He continues to teach me how to share my time with them both and how to guide them down a path that will allow them to become better parents. He's made me more observant. He's given me so much and continues to give me so much as they both grow.
Both of my boys have changed my world. And both of them have no idea how special, meaningful and needed it was. I feel so blessed to be a part of their lives. And I feel blessed that I get to be their "guide."