Happy 4th Birthday, Fletcher!

It’s 4:30 am.  I just finished editing Fletcher’s 4th Birthday video.  This year I waited until the day before, nay, the night before his brithday to fully immerse myself in the task.  For each child’s birthday I make a video chronicling their year.  I started this tradition with Fletcher’s first birthday, skipped his second due to having just given birth weeks before to his brother, but caught up in his third year (Everett’s first) and have been on track since.  As much as I dread the tedious work of it I secretly revel in the excuse to pour through my photographic and video archives as I relive and recount the past year of their lives.

There is no shortage of photographs or videos.  My process begins with selecting what I think I want to include, then choosing music and themes that fit the media I have.  Afterwards I cut, re-watch, cut and cry, re-watch, trim and bawl, re-watch, and time the images/video to the music.  After 8 hours, a lot of smiling, laughing, and even more tears, I am so unbelievably proud of this video.  I’m even more proud of sticking to this tradition despite the enormity of the task and the fact that these past few weeks have been so busy that I’ve barely had a moment to catch a breath.  I had to steal 8 hours after putting the kids to bed.  Thankfully I grabbed a Starbucks beforehand.

I won’t write too much about how I’m feeling except to say that I can’t believe that I get to be Fletcher’s mother.  Sure he drives me positively batty sometimes and I’ve lost my temper more than I would like to admit.  The crazy thing is that he loves me despite my faults, my bad parenting moments, my “go watch TV so I can get ___ done”s and my many dinners of hotdogs or chicken nuggets.  But I guess that is why children are so amazing and tragic and beautiful and why parenting can be so overwhelming.  They trust you unconditionally and love you even more.

I don’t know where the last 4 years went because I don’t feel like I was here for it.  These videos are as much a treasured gift to my children for them to look back on in their older days as they are a way for me to never forget the happiest and most challenging years of my young adult life.  I became a mother at 23 years old and I’m still trying to figure it all out.  Luckily F;etcher and Eevrett have survived their lives {mostly} unscathed.

While you enjoy your Thanksgiving Dinner raise a glass to Fletcher, my original cloth diaper tester, and wish him a Happy 4th Birthday!


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