Thursday, January 06, 2011


Last week, I was surrounded by children, toys, presents, candy, boxes, bags, and garbage, garbage, and more garbage. We were unexpectedly snowed in down in RI at the beginning of the week and missed garbage day. After Christmas is not a good time to miss garbage day! Between regular household trash and all the wrappings and boxes from Christmas, it started to line the garage walls, coming up into the mudroom, and paper and recyclable refuse had its own little corner in the kitchen. By the end of the week, Shawn started parking in the driveway so the trash could pile in his spot in the garage. We truly were overwhelmed with abundance!

In my wildest imaginings, I never pictured myself as a stay-at-home mom of four (soon to be five) children. Growing up, babysitting was a necessary evil to earn some money. I entered college as a double science major/pre-med and still entertained my fantasy of becoming a forensic pathologist. Even after I realized during my sophomore year that science was not my true love and switched majors, I still yearned for academia and a career. I loved history and starting dreaming about higher education, scholarly theses, and college professorships. I started dating Shawn in my sophomore year. No lightning bolt struck me, no voice of God in my head telling me he was the one, but everything did change. A few months after I graduated with my history degree, we were married.

Looking back at my life, it amazes me to see the pieces fall into place. (Some of them at least!) Switching majors, graduating with a degree that I was questioned about again and again, "What are you going to do with a history degree??", accepting a job at a local insurance company which then relocated me to New Hampshire. There were times when I did wonder what I was doing and what path was I on. But Shawn and I were in this together, and that's all that really mattered to me. Now I know why I only had a job and not a career. Shortly before Jamie was born, I quit working completely. I enjoyed my job, but I did not think twice about leaving it. I have never missed working one day since I had my children. I am glad I did not spend all that time and money pursuing degrees and careers that might cause an internal struggle of career versus motherhood. I have never felt shortchanged or that I gave anything up when I chose to become a stay-at-home mom. I know now that THIS is what I am supposed to do, where I am supposed to be, who I am.

So, on this celebration of the birthday of my dear husband, I want to wish Shawn a very happy birthday. I cannot imagine my life now without you and this abundance of life, joy, and love that surrounds us. I love you! Our quiver is indeed full!

“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children on one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they shall not be ashamed, when they speak with their enemies in the gate.”
--Psalm 127:3-5


nichole said...

Happy Birthday to Shawn!

I remember when you had plans on being a forensic pathologist. But I can't picture you in any life but the one you have now. There are days when I am in awe of what you and Shawn have built together and I'm a little wistful, but I think we all have a different purpose in life and I love what I do. At the same time you were dreaming of forensic pathology, I was dreaming of a husband and kids and staying at home. It's almost like halfway through college we switched places :) Amazing how life works sometimes. Happy New Year to you all!!!

Aunt Joan said...

Teresa~ I can totally relate to you! When I was young my mom used to say she could only see me as a "Mom". My dreams of being a nurse did happen, but once I fell in love the only thing important was motherhood! I talked about going 'back' to further my education, but motherhood was too grand! I worked off & on part time by need, but the real joy of being a Mom (& grandmom now!!)was too great. Enjoy every moment cause they grow up too fast! Miss and love all of you! Aunt Joan