Kids…I have 5 of them. They are all different and all unique. There are people that cringe when I tell them I have 5. They make comments…some not so kid…about my children. When I tell them I have 4 girls and my youngest is my son, well that leads to “Oh so you finally got the boy and stopped.” or “kept trying til you got that son, huh?” or any variation of that line.
No, we did not keep trying til we had a son. No, my oldest is not mine by birth but I hate the term STEP.
My oldest daughter, 26, is my daughter. She is my oldest daughter. Like I said, she is not mine by birth but she is mine all the same. I have known about  her and loved her since my very first date with her father. He and I talked about it and I told him what I wanted to name my first child. He told me that that name was taken and if we were to stay together, I would have to choose another name. 26 is my hero. She has been through more in her young life than any human should have to deal with all the while maintaining her strength and courage. She has seen loss, breakups, heartache as well as joy and happiness. It is my privilege to be a part of her life and watch her find a new part of herself. I am blessed to be chosen to be in her life and call her friend. I adore all those things that make her special and I love that she is starting to see those parts of herself as well.
Next is 18. She is my first born and has had her own agenda since she was conceived. She was born early, was not a textbook baby, and was the one to teach me how to be a mother. Over the years I have made many mistakes with her and our relationship has suffered because of it. However, we are both looking to change the future and make things better. She has taught me to be a mom from day one and continues to teach me. She makes me proud every day not only with her work ethic but with her passion for her friends and life. She is a gifted and talented writer…far and above my skill set. She is so beautiful but often fails to see or believe her own beauty. She challenges me and pushes me to be better and for that, I am grateful. For a while it was just her and me against the world and I think she misses that…and so do I. Time alone is precious and we are leaning to carve out time to be with each other. She is more like me than she cares to admit and for that, as well as many other reasons, I love her to pieces.
Third in line is 16, my curly girl. They really broke the mold with this child. She was not a typical pregnancy, was late to be born, and did not want to be born. Once she entered the world, I knew things were going to be different.  She is a beautiful girl both inside and out. Her compassion for people and animals never ceases to amaze me. She can find the one in a million in a crowded room that needs a friend and make them feel like the only person in the world at that moment. People tend to take advantage of her for that and it hurts my heart to see her sad.  She is a stunner to be sure but doesn’t take advantage of that quality nor really embrace it…she is who she is and that has to be enough. She has deep faith, an old soul and reminds me of my humanness daily.
My baby girl is 14. She is the last of my girls. She makes a sailor blush with her vocabulary but can make even the most serious person laugh. She is silly and carefree…or so she would like people to believe! She is a fabulous actress. She has a sweet soul and a gentleness that not many people get to see. She rarely gives hugs but when she does….look out!  You have earned it and she will wrap you up in her embrace. Those hugs and that affection comes from a place deep inside. She is a fierce competitor and a fabulous teammate. She has taken full advantage of her status as youngest girl and often gets away with murder at home…and she knows it. She embodies her nickname of “Queenie” and wears it with pride.
Last but not least is the boy, 11. He is my gift from God and that is also what his name means. He was not planned and a complete surprise. A true miracle baby. Oh, and he knows it! He embraces his status as youngest and only boy. He has learned the fine art of smooth talking his sisters as well as annoying them (much to his own pleasure!). He is the first to give an opinion on a boy that the girls date and is most often correct in his character profile of these young men. His sisters do not like to listen to him but realize he is right more often than not.  He is not one to be ‘categorized’. He is his own young man with strong opinions and an even stronger temper!  He is my baby boy and will always be my baby boy no matter how big he gets.
I am blessed to be given the honor of raising these children. I yell. I swear. I make mistakes. I am far from a perfect mom. I do my best. Some days they make me angry. Some days they make me crazy. Some days they make me burst with pride. Some days my heart is so full of love for them I can’t express it. Every day I am so happy that my greatest blessings call me mom. Peace.

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