I owe a large number of you a great deal of thanks. Your love and support has helped me ride a tumultuous wave in my life, and as I begin yet another chapter of it, I need to tell you how much you have meant to me.
When KDKA radio offered me a job, I was both delighted and apprehensive. How totally ludicrous that I should deny such a wonderful opportunity to get back to work, right? Well... let me tell you. I've learned a lot in the two-plus years that I've been a stay-home mother. Those experiences have opened my eyes and seem to tug me in a lot of different directions.
(Jack with his best friend, Elsa, before the Steelers-Patriots game.)
I learned that providing for our families has far less to do with what we give them and far more to do with how we spend time with them. I was afforded an incredible opportunity to see so much of what I'd been missing as I managed the treadmill of a work existence. I was able to teach both Michael and Jack how to be responsible drivers. I watched Michael navigate the college application process and saw the wheels turning in Jack's head as he began to ponder his next move after high school.
(Ryan with his baby cousin, Fionn.)
I was able to help Ryan through a transition to a new school after a terrible experience at his old one. His school change involved several months of cyber schooling at our kitchen table, and I was able to watch him single-handedly manage a new form of education with comfort and ease. Seeing him at his varsity basketball games with a new group of friends who elected him onto the school's student council after only three weeks of classes left me speechless. Watching one of your children soar after a difficult experience is something I can't put into words.
(The twins enjoying the sunshine at Notre Dame for the Pitt game.)
Bobby and Chris (who are only 10) have only a vague memory of the frantic lifestyle I used to keep, racing home after the 6PM news to hurriedly clean up the remnants of dinner, check their homework and get them organized for the next school day before it was time to race back to work for the late news. They don't remember that. Their memory of me is of me always being home. Being here when they come home from school. Being here to help with school work. Being here to take them to practices and games and birthday parties. But more importantly that physically being here, I've been here mentally.
(Joe with Michael outside his dorm at Clemson University.)
I've learned these past several years that, while mothering is a tremendous amount of work, it's an incredible blessing. If someone asked you, 'What do you do?' I'll bet you'd likely respond with your work title. "I'm an accountant." Or "I'm an attorney" or "I'm a dentist." What I've come to understand is that what I do isn't who I am. For heaven's sake - we can't forget this! I'm a mother. A wife. A daughter and sister and friend. What I do that helps me pay the bills is far, far down on that list. As it should be.
(Me loving a little time with Michael when he came home for Thanksgiving.)
Tomorrow is Christmas. I don't know if my new job will have me working next Christmas or Thanksgiving or Easter. So I'm going to sit back and thoroughly enjoy these precious moments. It's not the quantity of things the boys are getting (because it's not a lot.) It's the quality of time we get to share before Michael goes back to Clemson, I start a new job, and the other boys dig into the second part of their school year. Time. That's what I want. Time.
Thank you all, again, for helping me through this journey. My goal is to get back onto this community more often and start telling my stories again. I'm sure I'll have plenty of them to tell!
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas. With love.