and oh, how much love is in my heart for my grandmother, Adriana.
She is a member of the FBI...a Full Blooded Italian. Italian is her native language and if you are really lucky, you can get her to speak it.
She is a long-time survivor...of depression.
She is a widow...to one of the most amazing men I have known, my Nonno Ernie.
She is...an avid reader.
She loves stationery...I'm pretty certain that's who I've got that love from.
It's difficult for her to write, in fact, I don't know if she can anymore, but when she did, she signed all her cards with"Lovingly"...so I had it inscribed in Erik's wedding band when we got married.
She is and always has been very generous...making sure to know the mailman or the paper boy (back in the day), or taking me and my Cousin Catherine
on a trip of a lifetime to Italy for our college graduation.
She is 89 and ailing, but it doesn't stop her from loving.
She gets frustrated that she can't be and do all the things that she once did, yet she still
appreciates a visit from her daughter, her granddaughter and her great-grandkids.
She is...my only living grandparent. I don't visit her as much as I would like, but when I do, I make sure that she knows that she is a gift. I make sure to poke a little fun at her, 'cause if anyone can it's me, and she'll still take a joke. I make sure that she knows how very much I love her and I thank her for being my grandmother. I make sure that the kids give her a hug and a kiss. "You know how much you love Nonna?" "Yes", they reply. "That's how much I love my Nonni!"
They don't know my Nonni like I do, but they know how much I love her and that matters to them.
Love is love.
Though Nonni tires easily and our time with her is brief, it's just enough. Just enough for her, I believe, to have the hands that she cared for for so many years...
It's so very important to me as a mother to let him have these moments...
the moments that might make my heart skip a beat, but give our children such joy.
It's worth it's weight in gold,
especially when it's the very first time
that Tatum has gone swimming.
On the days that he is tired, frustrated, stressed, even annoyed sometimes, it's these moments, the moments where his inner-child is released and I can honestly feel his happiness.
It's the special connection that they share that makes the nervousness of having the third child, quickly melt away.
It's the moments like this when he asks, "Do you really have to take a picture?, to which I reply, "Yes, it's Father's Day!"
He wasn't thrilled that I posted this, but it was the only picture I had with all 3 kids, and at least 2 out of 3 had their eyes open.
Summer has finally arrived and what better way to spend it, than with their dad.
He is far better than he gives himself credit. The best judges are the three tiny people that smile adoringly at him the minute they see him. One of the best parts of my day is watching Kieran and Anna run into his arms when he arrives home from work. If Tatum could, she'd run too, but for now she crinkles her nose with happiness as her daddy whistles his made-up songs.
They love Erik so very much, and so do I.
We are so thankful for all of his hard work, the sacrifices he makes, the care that he provides.
We are so thankful to call him, "Daddy" and "Husband".
He was the only kid who waved and it was as if to say, "Here I am, and I love you!"
Dressed in his graduation (aka Kirkland men's dress shirt) attire, he repeatedly told me before today's event that it was his "best day ever".
He was so incredibly proud of himself and it's all I could have asked.
Preschool, Schmreeschool, some may say, but not me.
At 2 years 9 months, on my mother's hip, I entered the preschool doors. Most mother's leave when they drop their child off, but my mother stayed. No, she didn't stay to see if I'd be okay, she stayed to teach in the very next room.
In fact, she stayed, and stayed, and stayed, and if you are curious to know, she's there right at this very moment. She's been there for over 30 years...teaching.
It's not just the Science, Math, Writing and Reading, though certainly important. Kieran has soaked up the academics like a sponge! It's also the gift that is born in the heart of a child, that is nurtured by a preschool teacher. It's the gift of learning to be themselves and learning to "love one another so as I have loved you". Somewhere along the way, some kids and even adults lose that...I wish they'd just go back to preschool for a day.
Just like my mother, Kieran's teachers have helped him to grow and change from his very first day,
to the day that he graduated. Thank you, Miss Diane!
We could not have been more proud today while Kieran said the Pledge of Allegiance,
sang silly preschool songs,
and received his diploma.
That's what a preschooler does...he uses his diploma to look at the world through his telescope, as he should.
Here's to you, my sweet boy.
you are officially a soon-to-be Kindergartner. Some day, you and I will be hugging each other as you graduate from high school and college. Just imagine!
We love you,
(your baby sister does too...she was asleep in the stroller)
and can't wait to travel with you on your next journey.