Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Mom’

This is a re-post from about four years ago … but the memories shared here are remembered every spring.

I lost it, and I don’t know where …

I lost it, and I don’t know why …

I lost it, and I’ll never get it back …

It was my creation, my gift, and there is no way to ever fully re-create it 😦

Now, if you know me, you might think I am talking about my losing my marbles … and … you are probably right. But the loss I am talking about is my original post called “Love = Pussy Willows.”

I wrote it, as a gift for my parents, who DID both read the original… before it got lost in cyberspace. But, I wanted to keep it … for me, for my kids. So that when my mom and dad are no longer on this earth, we could be reminded of the legacy of thoughtful, kind and even romantic love, that they shared for each other, and left for us to duplicate in our own lives.

And so, here I go, trying to re-create that which I’ve already created, and is now gone. I feel a bit like I am one of the scientists who created/cloned Dolly the sheep. I am consulting my sieve-like brain cells for what I can recall (not much hope there). I am mixing memories, words and thoughts with the hopes of a carbon copy result. I even consulted others who also read my post, for what stood out to them. The problem is, that as a writer/creator I cannot duplicate my creation perfectly – I may have all of my childhood memories, phrases I remember writing and the help of others, but I can not go back in time.

I cannot duplicate the humidity or temperature of weather on the day I wrote it. I cannot duplicate the food I ate, the exercise I did or didn’t do, or my hormonal levels of that day. I cannot perfectly replicate the motivation I had for writing it.

So, all that said … just like Dolly the sheep, I might have all the exact pieces to clone my post … but, me, as the creator, will never, ever feel it is possible to look on the clone as anything but a cheap imitation of the real thing.

But, all that said, her I go … again.

My parents will celebrate their 40th anniversary on July 24 of this summer. I am so proud of them … (I’ve been married about half that, and I know that each day provides a new opportunity to re-choose my hubby … and he to re-choose me … and lets get real, there are many days we would like to return the other for a refund).

Mom and Dad are a fairly average married couple. They have loved, fought, struggled, and survived each other.

I was blessed to know romantic, but true, deep love and affection through them … and pussy willows.

My memories of pussy willows are so vivid, so clear, and they go as far back as when I was four or five … but they happened for many years!

In the spring my dad would be driving down a country road, usually taking out weekly trash to the ‘Dump’, or driving to my grandmothers house. And, all of a sudden he would pull over to the side of the road and get our out of the car.

Then he would be in the ditch, unaware of the presence of water, or spiders or snakes (yuck!). And he would reach out for what he was after … pussy willows.

Now this was the spring time ritual for my dad, And, as an adult, I have to say he has the eye for the perfectly developed (not too soon, not too late) pussy willows. I always seem to find them as they are just opening, or once they have gone to seed!

But the ritual didn’t end with a bouquet in his thorn punctured hands, and soggy wet feet. No, mom had her part to play as well.

When dad arrived home, with his freshly cut bouquet, he would beckon mom to the door.

And, every year her response was the same, “Oh Denny, pussy willows.” and then that ever-embarrassing (for any child who has hoped and prayed that the stork truly was responsible for the reproduction of humans) hug and kiss … and gaze into each others eyes (I can hear the adolescent within me say “blech”).

Then mom would scurry to the ‘special’ golden-yellow vase, where last years bouquet of pussy willows (cob webs and all), would still be. She would discard the old, and arrange the new bouquet to perfection. Then, the special golden-yellow vase would be set out on display.

The whole experience of the the pussy willows sticks in my head because of how they were GIVEN, and how they were RECEIVED, by each of my parents. If my mom had pestered my dad to go get her a new bouquet … the receiving wouldn’t have been as a gift, but a duty. And if my mom stuck the bouquet in just any old vase, and discarded them after a ‘respectable’ amount of time … the giving wouldn’t have been received in the manner they were given.

I love this way that my parents, unaware, taught me about giving and receiving. And I hope they can receive this post in the spirit it was intended … that of a gift to show my love.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Being a Mom

IMG_2184

Is there anything better than being a mom?

Don’t get me wrong, there are those days when I shake my head and bury my head in my pillow, while asking the Almighty what on earth I was thinking IMG_2181those three nights when I only asked for a back rub.

Most of the time, I cannot believe how blessed I am to be called “mom” by my favorite three.

As I was chatting with a woman, pregnant with her first child, last week, I realized how much time has gone by, how many experiences I have had and shared, because I am mom.

From the moment I first was confirmed pregnant, to the first moves detected from within, to those first indicators that their exit was soon to take place.

From that first eye to eye investigation of each other, to the eye spy games, to the first time I got a stink eye from them.

From the rocking them to sleep, to wresting them back to bed for the umpteenth time, to trying to wrangle their sleepy heads awake on a school day.

From the stories read in cardboard books, to the stories shared in novels, to the stores shared on social media.

From the first attempts at latching, to the first solid foods, to the meals they have made for me.

From counting toes, to counting steps, to counting kilometers on a hike.

From first steps, to first bike rides, to first time behind the wheel.

From preschool, to kindergarten, to graduation.

From tears of joy, to tears of sorrow, and back again.

From prayers for their safe arrival, to prayers shared over meals, to prayers made in faith.

IMG_2182These three have changed my life, my trajectory, me in every conceivable way. They have made me softer, harder, more consistent, more flexible.

The stretch marks, across my tummy, were the first signs of the stretching that being a mom would require. They were the predictors of what would be required of me, for the rest of my life. I have been stretched in such a way, that I have been changed, marred, tattooed by mothering.IMG_2183Recently I was talking to a friend. She shared with me that it was an anniversary of the loss of her baby … her only baby. In an instant I had whispered “thank-you” to my God for the three that He has allowed me to spend life with.

It is easy to forget, it is easy to get so consumed by living, that we forget about the blessing of life, as a mom.

I remember well those (five) times when life within, ceased to continue to grow. I remember the heartache, I remember how it seemed as though the world stopped spinning.

Today, I choose to remember those (three) times, when life was birthed … and it seemed as though the world stopped spinning … because I became a mom.

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

My family knows, much to hubby’s chagrin (since he discovered online movies that can be watched at home) that I LOVE to go to the theater to watch movies. I love the popcorn, I love the dark, I love the laughter of strangers all around me, I love that the seats are low enough that my vertically-challenged feet reach the floor, and I LOVE that they tell you to turn your phones off!

So, for Mother’s Day they took me to a movie I had heard of, but written off as one about mom’s of little ones.

Mom’s Night Out is a movie about a trio of weary moms, all dealing with stresses of their own. Allyson is the main character, and she is struggling with the blessing of having what she always dreamed of (motherhood) but not being happy, feeling like a failure and trying to find purpose.

Who couldn’t relate to those struggles (with or without children)?

I strongly encourage (or is it ‘incourage’) any lady (not just moms) to see this movie (plus it has my favorite ‘tweeter’, Patricia Heaton, and the comedian whose voice I hear whenever I get a pedicure, Anjelah Johnson … see her video at the bottom of this page).

I had no idea just how applicable this movie would be for this momma who fails at her dream every day.

And, speaking of ‘incourage’ I discovered that another blogger has already told the tale of this movie, so, rather than re-create the wheel … check out this post from incourage.me.

“In the new movie MOMS’ NIGHT OUT, a group of moms dealing with everyday stresses realize they need a night out. The main character, Allyson (who is played by Sarah Drew), is a blogging wannabe when we first meet her. Enjoy this post written in the voice of Allyson.

“Beck’s playing in the toilet again!”

Not the words you want to hear when you are already late for church, your husband is out of town, and you’re trying to move your little army out the door in the general direction of the minivan. You are of single mind and laser focus: we will not be late, we will not be late, we will not be late!

layout_blogimage

Your children, on the other hand, are meandering through the house without a care in the world. Why brush your teeth when you can play one more game? Why wear church clothes when you look so much more fabulous in your sparkly shoes and a tutu? And why not have a regatta in the toilet while Mom is looking for the only clean pair of khaki pants that don’t have a rip in the knee?

Maybe if everyone just slept in their church clothes.

Sunday mornings would go so much better. Wrinkly, yes, but better. And why stop there?  Why not load up the swagger wagon on Saturday night and just bed down in the minivan so that you would actually be in the parking lot before Sunday school? This idea has real potential and you vow to give it a whirl soon.

Once the kids are finally maneuvered into their clothes and parked on the couch staring at a video, you throw on a dress and reassure yourself that a messy bun is a fabulous fashion statement. And hey, if you hit enough red lights, you can do your makeup on the way. A girl can dream can’t she?

Reality sets in as you roar into the church parking lot.

All the perfect moms are chatting with each other, the sun gleaming off their perfectly highlighted tresses as they compliment each other on their perfectly coordinated dresses and shoes. You know perfectly well they must have nannies. You’ve never actually seen any of these nannies but you know there must be an underground legion of them who hold down the fort while these women take actual showers and blow out their hair and try on outfits. Otherwise, how could they look like THAT?

Then comes the cherry on your Sunday sundae: your four-year-old daughter asks to help with your eye makeup. It’s her charming LET ME! LET ME! LET ME! at the top of her lungs that inspires you to hand her that mascara wand. Hiding her handiwork behind a pair of dark glasses, you marshal your last bit of strength and head into church.

Deposit the kids in the nursery, try to fix your raccoon eye in the ladies room, and crawl over four people into a pew. But finally, it’s time. Time for a few moments of peace. Just you, God, and the reassurance that it’s all going to be okay. Your spirit will be renewed and you will be ready to head back into battle. Thank you, God, for these children. For the privilege of being their mama. For the love You show me every day. Please give me strength.

And as you collect them all up again and head back into the parking lot, you smile at the pictures they made and know that it will all be better . . . in five or maybe seven years.”

Read Full Post »

92d0c49839bd37512605633e8b4d56e0

When I met the lovely lady, who is my guest poster today, I was in the phase of life that she is now …

Still young, not an expert yet in marriage, housekeeping, meal preparations or child rearing

… wait!

I am still not there!

When I met her she was a single woman, always looking so bright and cheerful and perky.

I was a wife and mom of one child, with one on the way.

With peanut butter and Cheerios as my most common fashion accessory.

I will not divulge her name, or where we met. Suffice it to say that her ‘about’ page at Autocratricks will tell you what is most important. I will share that from the moment I first met her, until yesterday when I read her latest post, I have known her to be a woman of grace and joy.

94fd207f6621e720990a203fda71c681

Enjoy the joyful sharing of this delightful, inspiring, grace-filled mom of four boys …

The Glamourmom is a rare type of bird with attractive plumage.  Some say its origins date back to the time of the Egyptians, in which pigments and powders were used to great effect in creating an attractive display.  There are those who claim that this bird no longer exists (see Dodo), or indeed that it never has (see Unicorn); but, in truth, examples of this exotic species may be found throughout the world.  One may find a Glamourmom by nosing out its heady cloud of perfume or by following the envious glances of the Common Dowdyfrau (this latter species exists in abundance around suburban areas, in particular).  A theory exists, although as yet unsubstantiated, that (under rare circumstances) the Lesser Gymbunnikus (itself an exotic) may in fact transmogrify into a Glamourmom with some considerable pain and effort, but that – should it take place at all – this transformation is temporary, at best.

–          Excerpt taken from A.Kratt-Rick’s A Rare Bird, Indeed

 

I saw a Glamourmom with my own eyes the other day.  She was dressed in a crisp flight attendant’s uniform, the snug jacket and short skirt neat on her slim form; she wore heels and bright red lipstick (no smudges!), and she was waiting for her Kindergartener to emerge from class.  I must admit, I stared a bit.

There are plenty of pretty Mammas around our school – many of them neatly dressed, even when conforming to the West Coast uniform of motherhood; yoga pants (crusty toddler-prints optional) – and I would never disparage the natural beauty of these lovely ladies.  But the Glamourmom is altogether another breed.  This is the woman whose hair, when long, is smooth and lush – never lank and frumpy; when she wears a short style it looks pixie-ish – not mannish.  Her makeup is always impeccable and she may even go to such lengths as applying false eyelashes and having regular manicures.  Undoubtedly, inside those stylish heels, her feet are also uncalloused and her toenails well-groomed.  In short, this is a woman who Takes Trouble.

Me, on the other hand?  Well, I remember a time when I used to Take Trouble – although I never achieved the kind of cool elegance of a Glamourmom.  To begin with, when I went through phases of being especially careful about my appearance, I didn’t have any kids.  The last time I flew internationally (just over a year ago), I was packing up all the necessities for the flight – and I had to chuckle at how times had changed.  When I was kid-free, I’d include in my carryon: Breath-freshener, Visine, moisturizer, make-up remover, make-up, eyecare stuff, perfume, hair-styley things… (the list goes on).  But with kids, it has been all about Gripe water, Tylenol, kid snacks, breast pump, bottles, Rescue Remedy, extra outfits, entertainment and novelties for the boys, etc. (another long list – but almost none of it for me, and especially none with the aim of improving my appearance before disembarking).

Before I’d go away on holiday (holiday? Ha!), I’d spend weeks exfoliating, layering on self-tanner, moisturizing, waxing, grooming and otherwise preparing to look my best in all the vacation photos.  These days, if we do get away, I expend more energy on finding co-ordinated outfits for the boys (easier to organize, and cute in photos) and preparing them for the inevitable upheaval from their regular routines than I do on my appearance.

So, life has intervened: four kids, a recent shoulder surgery (putting paid to any efforts at fitness during my convalescence), and general exhaustion have taken their toll – and I have discovered that I have now become a perfect specimen of the Common Dowdyfrau.  Things just got a bit too tricky, and I forgot to care.  Until I have a night out, that is – and then I scramble around, trying to figure out what fits and what I might have worn to the previous night out (so long ago it was) so that I can just throw that on in a pinch.  The last time we went out I settled for a silky tunic with microsuede leggings (supposed to look like real suede – wishful thinking) and threw on some earrings, which I promptly snatched off when I realized that they looked clunky next to my decade-old glasses (my contacts are bugging me, but I’m not ready to bite the bullet of replacing them) – I was not going to spend the whole night squinting at West through red, rheumy eyes.  So it is clear that I am no longer practiced at looking my best.

However (and this is a big however), we birds are a resourceful bunch.  I have looked in the mirror (as it were – I *obviously* don’t often actually look in the mirror) and realized that I have let my plumage fade.  It’s time to fluff those feathers and make some changes.  Now, don’t go expecting any miracles – my life isn’t an episode of ‘What Not to Wear’ (sadly) – but I think that a few tweaks are in order.  Decisions need to be made:

Hair – too long to be flattering (on me), but just long enough to stick in a ponytail.  So maybe just a touch-up on the highlights and leave it at that

Makeup – yes (that one’s easy.  Have lots, just need to apply)

Clothes – will be ruthless in culling old maternity things from my wardrobe (even if they are ohsocomfy) – keep transitioning into leggings; not ready for pants with zips

Shoes – polish/replace/consider a heel (considered it – not happening)

Self – smile more (doing that) and do a bit of running again (have begun.  Just need to keep going.  Maybe tomorrow)

OK, so maybe not big changes.  Still, all my boys want at this age is a Mamma who can keep up with them and give them cuddles.  That might be hard to do in heels and tailored clothes – right?

Read Full Post »

Since ‘My Loves’ (pages) needed updating, and since I am returning to work this week, I thought I would give myself a bit of time to adjust to the rigors of the work week, by editing these pages this week. Besides, you might be reading this and have never had me introduce those who are nearest and dearest to my heart!

Today I am linking to my pages on My Mom and My Dad (you can click on the links to read them).

20130825-180143.jpg

I am blessed.

221817_10150181497055789_516595788_6792159_1665817_n

Read Full Post »

As it was past 10:30pm when I sat down to write, and my brain cells were simply comatose I have done what I do not often do … I re-posted a blog post from the past. This one came easily to mind as I had been in communication twice today with moms of kids with special needs. It is these moms who I most admire. Let me explain …

I am a mom, and I am a special education assistant … but it was becoming a mom was what gave me a better understanding of the people I would be called upon to assist … the students and their families.

In my job I am very aware that God has entrusted ‘my’ students:

first, to their parents …

and w a y down the line, to me.

I am also aware, because I am a mom, that I do not know what is best for them … God didn’t entrust the students to me first.

I am not always right … ask MY kids!

I work with ‘my’ students about six and one half hours a day, for a year, maybe two or three … their moms are with them for life.

To be a mom of a child with special needs means living with public scrutiny, public embarrassment and public shame.

To be a mom of a child with special needs means living with a large host of professionals who ‘are better educated’ about your child’s ‘needs’, than you.

To be a mom of a child with special needs means constantly having to hear what is ‘wrong’ with your child.

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle.

I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”

Mother Teresa

But …

To be a mom of a child with special needs also means …

being a mom to a son or daughter

who you have dreams for

(what good mother doesn’t?)

who you have fears for

(what good mother doesn’t?)

who you love, with that unconditional love that is called ‘Momma Love’

(what good mother doesn’t?)

PERIOD!

I remember well the day I realized how heavy the weight can be to be a mom of a child with special needs. The mom was bringing her daughter to school, and I asked how the new ‘special’ air mattress for her child was working. The mom’s reply was that she had just had her first full night’s sleep in YEARS. Now I do not mean one or two years … this ‘child’ was about sixteen years old …

Then there is the mom with a child who, as a toddler, would sit still on a blanket when out at the park. And the other moms of toddlers would tell her how ‘lucky’ she was that she didn’t have to run around after him … when, inside, she so wished that her son would need her to run after him.

Then there is the mom whose son is mostly non-verbal, and can be violent and aggressive. She spends most waking hours ensuring that she knows where he is, as he is a flight risk. When her son does express affection, adoration and love it is never to or for her, because her son only has eyes for other males.

Then there is the mom who spent many years doing homework with / for her son, so that he would not be embarrassed that his work was obviously ‘inferior’ to that of his classmates.

Then there is the mom who has taken on the task of raising the special needs child of another woman. And that child’s special needs are the direct result of the actions of the child’s birth mother.

Then there is the mom, whose child has been so discouraged by teachers, leaders and other adults that don’t ‘believe’ his diagnosis, preferring to think that this student is simply ‘lazy’. And this child, so beaten down by the bad attitudes of some teachers, leaders and adults in his life that he has chosen to be viewed as bad over being seen as stupid. And his mom has picked up the phone far too many times to hear the school principal’s voice to tell her of another antic causing harm to people or property.

And then the mom of the child with Down’s Syndrome (Trisomy 21) who NEVER goes out in public, with her child, without facing strangers staring at her child …

“Hey, keep staring at me and you just might cure my disability.

Then we can work on YOUR social skills.”

Anonymous

How many of us, as parents, as moms, have said, ‘I wish my son, my daughter could stay a baby forever’? To the mom of many special needs children, that wish of yours can be like a curse to them. As they might have a child who will never live independently, or have a job, or learn to drive, or learn to count, or be toilet trained.

I like to think that I have thick skin, but I know that mine is nothing compared to the mom of a child with special needs.

For anyone out there who is the mom of a child/children with special needs, may you know that …

I don’t know more than you, about your child

I don’t look at your child as a disability to our society

I don’t look down at you

I don’t know how you feel

… and there are many more, who feel the same way.

All that to say, I just wanted to give you some positive ‘air time’. And to tell you, that if I have worked with your son or daughter, I have respected, appreciated and prayed for you …and may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

“Perseverance is not a long race.

It is many short races one after another.”

W. Elliot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

When it comes to the end of the school year, I thought I was the worst mom, and I thought that I alone held that title (and there still might be a few teachers of our kids, past or present, who would still ‘amen’ my self-declaration).

Last week I was introduced to another blogger, and through her blog post, and the conversations with others who giggled and sighed through reading it, I have discovered that I am SO not alone!

For parents with school-aged kids this time of year is truly the storm before the summer calm. Personally I am counting the days that my son has left of band classes … forever (he and I are ridiculously irresponsible when it comes to his practicing and my signing the practice records)! Bed times have stretched much later into the nights, resulting in great struggles awakening the gang in the mornings. End of school year events are viewed more as ‘have to go’ than ‘get to go’ events. Homework … well, I think Jen Hatmaker says it best.

Jen is a a gifted writer, a speaker, a wife, a mom of five kids, and a woman with a heart for God. I am looking forward to getting to know her better through her blog, now that I have subscribed to it. I certainly know that when it comes to how I feel at this point in the school year, as a mom, she is a kindred spirit … and she even gave me a chance to laugh!

tft-june“You know the Beginning of School Enthusiasm? When the pencils are fresh and the notebooks are new and the kids’ backpacks don’t look like they lined the den of a pack of filthy hyenas? Moms, remember how you packed innovative and nutritional lunches and laid clothes out the night before and labeled shelves for each child’s work and school correspondence and completed homework in a timely manner?
 
I am exactly still like that at the end of school, except the opposite.
 
We are limping, limping across the finish line, folks. I tapped out somewhere in April and at this point, it is a miracle my kids are still even going to school. I haven’t checked homework folders in three weeks, because, well, I just can’t. Cannot. Can. Not. I can’t look at the homework in the folder. Is there homework in the folder? I don’t even know. Are other moms still looking in the homework folder? I don’t even care.”

And there is more folks! Please keep reading Worst End of School Year Mom Ever, and if you too have school-aged kids you will love the camaraderie that this post provides.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Brittany Wheaton

reflections on living intentionality and soulfully in the midst of the grind

Frank Solanki

If you want to be a hero well just follow me

The Wild Heart of Life

"He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life." ...James Joyce

Ishshah's Story

Tell the story. Live the story. Be the story.

This is Ellen Peterson.

Playwright and actor Ellen Peterson writes mostly true stories.

Widow's Manna

A widows journey. Discovering God's provision is just enough for each day.

My life in words...

My heart and soul explode with joy- full of glory! Even my body will rest confident and secure

Explore Newness

My quest to do or learn something NEW as often as I can!

Malcolm Guite

Blog for poet and singer-songwriter Malcolm Guite

Musings of an Aspie

one woman's thoughts about life on the spectrum

Social Health

Insights on the Power of Social Bonds

itsawonderfilledlife

looking for wonder in everyday life

Have Kids, Still Travel

A Family's Adventures Around the World

LoBrow | UpStyle

Castoffs are the new couture

Vonj Productions

Bringing you love through spirit!

colorfullyaliveart

Get to know me and my art...