How Mabel’s Labels made me cry…Reflections of a SAHM

I truly can’t believe the time has come for Jayden to go to school! He’s been home with me for 3 years and it feels like its been no time at all!
As I use PTPA Award Winning Mabels Labels to label his clothes for school, write out his favorite things and fill out all the contact numbers, I’m so torn with what this all means….for him and me.
My twins have had the benefit of me being a SAHM for their 3 years. When the twins were born and we realized what our weekly schedule would be like for Zack and had to make the hard choice. The burden was on Paul to be the sole provider and I’ll always be grateful for that. While we weren’t financially or even emotionally prepared, I decided to stay home and raise both boys and get all the help we could to help Zack reach potential. Jayden was luckily and unluckily around to share the ride. While at some times, he benefited from being able to stay with me, he was also dragged to all of Zack’s physio, speech and even Sick Kids appointments. Was that fair? Part of me is so thrilled to have had those 3 years with Jayden and enjoy the extra 2 years that I didn’t experience with Ty. On the other hand, my twins are so different and I’m conflicted with some guilt and regret. Was it really right to ask Jayden to tag along on Zack’s adventures? While he loved being able to use the gym equipment, having daily visitors and meeting all of the amazing women who make up Zack’s Team, he also wasn’t allowed to shine on his own- did he just share Zack’s glory?Jayden has always been the comedian in the family. The silly little “true boy” that falls and jumps back up with scrapes and bruises, finds funny ways to amuse us, plays hard and loves even harder. I know that I loved having Jayden around for the days where Zack was crying all day, throwing up all over the floor or after an appointment where I heard bad news. I would grab Jayden and hug him close, long to play something “normal” with him and hear him say my name. I was so thankful that I had him with me through that first year or two- a distraction from some of the hard work that I was going through with Zack.
We took music class and sign language class and it was Jayden who made that a blast! While I beamed when Zack was beating the drums, it was Jayden participating to the fullest and making us laugh. Zack would receive our claps and praise for the amazing things that he did- whether it be just turning to his name or banging two blocks. Jayden certainly enjoyed all the praise for his accomplishments, but the expectations were so different. I don’t think he noticed, because he was always Zack’s biggest cheerleader.
I loved to dress the boys the same when we went out- matching shirts for as long as Zack could keep his clean! While I bought them 2 sizes apart, my guys still looked like twins. I took the boys to Walmart and Costco and did the usual mommy errands. We always had a great time together. Whether its playing guitar, getting ice cream at the mall, playing dress up policeman, Mr. Potato Head or sports, we have always had so much fun. Last winter, Jayden and I took a mommy and me class at the community centre and we had a blast. It was just the two of us, while Zack was with his nurse and it was heaven!

Jayden has really matured and changed in the last 3 years. In fact, I really feel it has turned him into a more affectionate child than we first thought him to be. He was never one for snuggles and kisses- too busy to sit still! Over the last year, he and I have really bonded in a way that I had not expected from him. He is such an independent boy who loves to be on his own and have it own way, but he has also evolved into a sweet, cuddly little Mommy’s boy! Nap times are so special to us, we read and snuggle together. He loves to wrap his arms around me and fall asleep. He know that if I’m grumpy about something or sad for whatever obstacle has come our way, he comes to wipe his mommy’s tears and say “I love you mommy”. Monday is the day that Jayden will start every morning at our local Preschool. And as most mommys can relate- I have mixed feelings about this new chapter. I’m nervous to say that first good-bye and walk away…but I know he will be okay. I’m also so excited for him to have playmates everyday to learn from and grow with. I’m proud that his teacher and classmates will see what a wonderful, happy, silly and comically little boy he is and I know he will be enjoyed by those who spend time with him. I’m sad to miss those mornings with Jayden and Zack together, but I know that he will be loving circle time, recess and snack! I’m anxious to have this new chapter begin in our lives but eager to see him blossom and to hear about that first morning on the way home. So, as I finish the labels, pack his favorite things for school and wipe my tears, I’m really overwhelmed with the feeling that I’m incredibly thankful for 3 years with my delicious Jayden and I am so blessed to have had that time at home with him. Now, it is his time to shine.

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