Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Tribe

The world didn't end.
It's Christmas Eve Eve.
The New Year is around the corner.

I'm feeling reflective
and blessed.

This is my family. We're a tribe. Just the other day while riding in the van one of the twins said, "Mom, I know what we are called a tribe!"

"You do?" I said.

"Yes. It's because a tribe is a group of people who stick together."

"Mmm-mm" is what I said. "Yes child" is what I thought.

We are a tribe. We are huge. We are hectic. We are smushed into a 1600 foot house with one shower. Life is .... great. We are healthy and happy. We do stick together. I am proud of my kids for that. They may not always like each other, but I think they are sensing a strong family connectedness that I can only hope transcends these years at home with me. I hope they grow up with their own relationships and I hope their kids are friends. But mostly I hope they will always know they can come home for Christmas. I will bake all the cookies in the world and set the world's largest dining room table for each and every holiday that they can make it.

Halee is our oldest. This is her senior year. She is enjoying it in a way that all seniors tend to enjoy the last year. She loves every minute of it while trying to get through it. She is thrilled for the next season of her life. She's spent hours writing essays and making college applications. Whatever she does, where ever she goes I have a keen sense she will do very well.

Ethan is our second and he is one amazing kid. He thrives on competition and excels whenever he gets a ball in his hand; baseball, football, basketball ... it doesn't matter to him, he loves to play. And play hard he does. He's all boy; full of testosterone and I think he's catching the girls' eyes. We're doing our best to raise him as a gentleman. At six foot two, Ethan looks down on just about everyone but his easy going personality makes everyone feel like they are his best friend.

Eric, well, he's third but don't think for a moment he doesn't hold his own in this Tribe. Stephen is his middle name and he is certainly my namesake. Eric has a servant's heart. He is aware of how others around him are feeling and it gives him a great personal sense of well being when he steps in to lend a hand. Eric is very smart. This, his first year of Junior High, is going tremendously well. Some of the best grades he's ever gotten have happened this year. I'm impressed with his ability to self organize and regulate for assignments. Eric is playing the same saxophone his father played as a child. He likes band and is trying the Scholastic Bowl team this year. It does all of that and still plays sports. He's one amazing kid.

Then there's the twins. Life would be a lot less fun without them. The joy (and noise) they bring to this family is contagious. This is the first year they've chosen an extra curricular activity without the other. Abby choose to try swimming. Bell chose soccer. Both thrived at their chosen activity and it was heartwarming to see the twins support each other. Bell sits on the bleachers and cheers "Go Abby! Go!" while Abby attends Bell's games and yells, "Kick it Bell! Kick it!" They might be twins but somedays it seems like they are best friends/sisters.

Managing this tribe takes a lot of calendar savvy and patience. But we don't mind. It's our joy to be have been given each and everyone of these kids.

2013 is just around the corner. I don't know what it holds. But I look forward to facing it together. This Tribe of mine brings me great joy and a sense of nurturing that I didn't know I was capable of. I love them. It's an honor to be their matriarch.

Thanks for reading and letting me share them with you.
Merry Christmas friends.
May you hug your family as you celebrate Christmas and the beginning of a new year.

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