the things they teach me

We arrived back in the rainy PNW early afternoon on Friday (yes, on our anniversary), and we’ve been going non-stop since we got back. It’s been a beautiful three-plus weeks of leave for Ryan, time off from this rental house for me, and a break for my boys to really spend quality time with family, which was such a treat. We also managed to squeeze in a trip to see our old neighbors, Emily and Colby, who also hail from New Hampshire. It was a whirlwind, and while we’re glad to be back, we know there’s really no stopping anytime soon.

We’ve had more than three weeks to spend nearly nonstop with our little men, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t have its challenging moments. I was working while in New Hampshire, so it was a balancing act in that regard, as well, but goodness, it was also nice to really watch their imaginations bloom and grow with each change, challenge, and new sight that we threw their way. Stay-at-home mamas, I don’t know how you do it, so I salute you! But I digress.

One thing I really saw from my boys over the course of these three weeks is that I can learn from them in so many ways. While we, as parents, know we have a lot to teach them as they learn and grow, there is so much that they can teach me, as well. Spencer is so strong-willed. I see him put his mind to something, and there’s no stopping him. He will conquer it no matter what – fear be damned. That’s admirable, and it’s definitely something he could teach me. Perhaps life has jaded us in some respects, but that lack of true inhibitions is remarkable – and enviable.

I know I’ve mentioned their resilience before, too. We threw every challenge in the book at them during our travels. We left home at 3 AM to get on a plane by 6 AM. We navigated endless lines at SeaTac. We poured out their milk (Porter’s comfort item) to go through security, and we raced down the halls to get to our gates on time. We challenged them to sleep in new environments, meet new people, and taste new things. They did all these things. Each thing is new, and each thing they embrace relatively well.

We could learn a lot from our children, I think. There’s an innocence in them that we’ve long-since lost, and I hope over time they can teach me to regain just a touch of that, especially as we navigate big changes like our move on base, Ryan’s deployment, and really finding our footing here at JBLM. Life is a challenge, but they embrace it, and I hope to learn to do so, too.