I took this photo of Kerry and Hanno just before I drove Kerry to the bus the other day. He'd just woken up, and he's not a morning person. ; ) I love having our sons visit us. When we were sitting around the table the other night, talking and telling each other of our plans, I felt that deep and genuine contentment that often visits me nowadays. Shane and Kerry have become all I ever wanted them to be, and as a mother, that makes me very proud. I love how they still feel a strong connection with us as a family and they return home for most of our important days so we celebrate together. No doubt there will be a time when our family expands to include wives and babies, and while I look forward to that, I do treasure these times when it's just us.
When you think about it, you only form a really close and intimate relationship with a few people during the course of a lifetime. Usually that closeness is with your immediate family and a few friends. They are the people who know you in good times and bad, and yet love you no matter what. I like to think I (and Hanno) made our sons what they are today but the real truth is that they made me what I am. They made me a better person than I was because I had to be a role model for them. My wish to raise decent and caring boys made me model that behaviour; they forced me to be genuine, hard working, loving and tender because that is what I wanted them to be. And while I don't like to speak for Hanno, I'm pretty sure he would feel the same way.
There were times when I wondered if I was doing the right thing, as well as times when I didn't have a clue and just kept going on hope and trust. That was when I operated on motherly instinct. I have lived the ups and downs of all those years, I know my own imperfections and see some of them in my children too, but I've always had the belief that we were doing okay. So sitting at the dinner table on Monday night and seeing three decent men - my husband and my sons, with a strong sense of themselves and a true depth of character, well, that just made me smile and be thankful that we were all there together and looking forward to another year.
I hope you hold your family close at Christmas.