Posts Tagged With: daughters

random “Baby Outbursts”

I’m having random “Baby Outbursts” all over the place.
YBW is beginning to get a kick out of tracking them. Luckily for me he’s super patient, because most of these occur in the least convenient times and place. And they look a bit like I may be having some sort of attack of palsy.

I experienced one yesterday afternoon while engaged in a text conversation with Thing 2!
We can get the bebe a load of Nats gear!

I shared that with Thing 1 in a phone call yesterday. First we oodgey-goodgey(ed), then I expressed my hope that people in Georgia wouldn’t be ‘mean’ to the bebe because he or she is a Nats fan. She laughed and said even Braves fans wouldn’t be ‘mean’ to a bebe…maybe to the parents, but she could handle that. Then we laughed again.
It’s tricky being a Nats fan in Braves territory, but she’s on top of it.
We’re idiots, but we have fun.

Another such outburst took place last night.
We went to dinner with M and J. M and YBW were fraternity brothers, and he and his precious wife are my most favorite of all YBW’s friends.
We four have a monthly date. Last night we were meant to go to this new (to us) amazing burger joint, only when we arrived, it was slam-jammed with folks and no place to sit. So we ended up at a little Mexican restaurant instead. (Even though Mexican is some of my fave food, I spent a great deal of time looking at Melt’s menu online and was more than mildly disappointed we missed out on burgers.)
It ended up OK, we enjoyed our dinner. We enjoyed each other’s company. I oodgey-goodgey(ed) about the bebe. And they joined right in on it!
We finally decided to leave the restaurant and head over to M and J’s house. YBW wanted coffee so we stopped off at the coffee shop before we got in the car. My random “Baby Outburst” happened in the coffee shop while YBW, J, and I waited for our coffees.
I realized if the bebe is a girl, I’ll be able to have things monogrammed for her!
Y’all this brought me much joy! Neither Thing 1 nor Thing 2 give a rat’s ass about their monogram. Now partly this is because they each have a repeating letter which makes a monogram look lopsided, and partly it’s because they went to high school surrounded by ‘basic white girls’ who plastered their monograms on anything that didn’t move.
And my girls are anything but basic.
While I absolutely adore my monogram, I am ‘preppy’ not ‘basic’. Because I actually lived through the 1980s. A point I’ve had to make to my girls more than once.

Anyway…
If the bebe is a girl, she too will have a repeating letter in her monogram. But I do not care. And she won’t care. She’ll be oblivious for the first few years of her life. And while we aren’t about gender norms for this bebe, I will sure as hell make sure she has something(s) with her monogram so she and I can be goofy, girlie, and oodgey-goodgey about it together!
If the bebe is a boy, well…he’ll still have something(s) monogrammed, but I suspect there will be less oodgey-goodgey(ing).

I’ll continue to have random “Baby Outbursts” because I honestly don’t think I can keep a lid on this much joy! Or perhaps when the newness wears off, I’ll just present “Baby Thoughts” in a less palsied looking way?
Stay tuned.

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Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

the most exciting news…EVER!

Eeeeeeeeeee!
I can finally share the most exciting news I’ve ever had to share!
I’m going to be a grandmother!

I got a call from Thing 1 last week on Tuesday. I was walking out the door to go to school, she asked if I had a minute. I explained what I was doing so she said, she might need more time than that. Well, this got me worried. I immediately go into mommy-mode, is she OK? Is Husband N OK? Yes, yes everyone is OK she assures me. And all of the sudden I just knew!
I said, OHMYGOD! Are you pregnant!?!
She giggled and confirmed!

HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY!!!!!
Of course I was sworn to secrecy. That makes sense to me, it’s her story to tell, and Husband N’s story to tell.
I was strictly forbidden to tell Aunt Sundance, and Aunt Sally in Charleston.
I was allowed to tell YBW. (Yeah, like that wasn’t gonna happen.)
However much I want to shout it from the rooftops, I made a promise to my girl and I’m going to keep it. She and her husband are entering into the trickiest place in life and need all the love and support they can get.
She’s since told her aunties and Husband N’s extended family.

Thing 2 found a way around the strict no-tell policy.

My Things have been talking to each other, and each of them to me even more so than normal. In one conversation, one or the other of them asked what I thought I might want to be called. I always said when I had grandbabies I’d want them to call me by my childhood nickname, Roby. I love the way it sounds when little children say it. Only now that I’m presented with a legit grandbaby, I’m not sure I’m feeling Roby any more. So, I’m made a list.
I mean of course I made a list…

Sent this to each of the girls. This one went to Thing 1, Thing 2’s had the word ‘thoughts’ written up the side.
My top three were Birdie, Lolly, and Mémé (we’ll choose to pronounce it may-may)
Thing 2 and Husband N voted for Mémé and Thing 1 and I are waffling between Lolly and Mémé.

My friend and mentor Jessica (Oh, I was allowed to tell her so she and I could confer regarding the most important parenting books Thing 1 and Husband N would need.) anyway, she suggested I go with Lolly and YBW could be ‘Pop’ and together, we’d be ‘LollyPop’! Gah! Cutest grandparent names EVER!
Only one problem…the Things’ father shared with me that he wants to be called Pop. Needless to say that put the kibosh on me being called Lolly. Sad face me…though I’m not sure I’m ready to cross it off the list.

YBW, first of all is almost every bit as excited as I am. Then the moment of pause kicks in and he says, “I’m not sure I’m ready to be a grandparent.” I figure it like this, he has two options, the first is to abstain from being this bebe’s grandfather, to which he said a resounding NO! The second option is embrace it and realize that even though we’re “only 47”, we’re completely ready and capable of being grandparents. That was his choice.
I keep asking him what he wants to be called, and asking his opinion of what he thinks I should be called. He’s struggling with that because in his experience, his first born named his grandmother by repeating a specific sound when he saw her. My experience is that with the exception of for the first two and a half years of Thing 1’s life, she called both myself and my mother Mommy, until she was finally able to say Grandmommy, she called everyone what they asked to be called.
I love how different families experience the same things differently.

Thing 1 has been struggling with morning sickness. And y’all, I mean struggling. It’s interesting, I was so sick with her from the moment I got pregnant twenty-four seven and for nearly six months. So much so, that twice I was hospitalized for dehydration and hooked up to an IV. Good times.
Sunday was a particularly bad morning for her.

Poor old Bear.

Sundance called me Mimi…I told her it’s not my name, so I don’t want her to get too attached to it.
Sally texted me last night now all I can hear is Laura San Giacomo’s voice.

My joy is honestly bigger than any joy I’ve ever experienced.
Marrying YBW with all the people we love most there to share our joy with us. And y’all, there was a room full of the greatest joy that day.
I wanted to be a mom from the time I can remember. Becoming a mom has brought me unbelievable joy. More joy than I ever expected, or ever deserved to experience.
But this. This is something else entirely.
My baby having a baby…
This is next level!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

twenty years of muchness

Thing 2 is twenty today!
Twenty years of the muchiest muchness you ever saw!
That girl.
Sometimes she’s the most precious angel. Sometimes she’s the devil incarnate. I suspect that could be said about many girls on the planet, only this one is my girl.

At the Udvar-Hazy there, is a missile with Thing 2’s name on it. Whenever I see it, this is what I think, ‘Thing 2 missile, blowing shit up with sass!’
Because that’s kind of what she does. She just goes around blowing ship up with her sass. I actually love that about her.
She wears a bit of an armor, going around like a bad ass, but she’s got a kindness to her that she keeps close to the chest.
Like Veronica Mars, Thing 2 has a marshmallow center.

We’ve had a tricky time of late. She’s trying to figure out how to be a more grown version of herself. I’m trying to feel connected to her as she develops this new version of herself.
It’s easy to let miles and time create a hole in our relationship. We both do it.
The hole in our relationship doesn’t mean we don’t love each other, but it sure feels icky to have to traverse that hole to connect with each other.

Five years ago, she wrote this:

Truth is: You are the best mom I could ever ask for, even when I’m all messed up-you fix everything! Love you.

I want to be this mom still. Only that ship has sailed. I can’t fix everything for her anymore. I know that. Knowing it and accepting how that feels are two different things. I will always be her Momma. Only in an entirely new and less active way.

Last month she wrote this:

Oftentimes it feels like you’re reaching out to and calling for a Thing 2 that I’m just not anymore. Be it that you want different things for me, or just different things in general. I can’t be “your Thing 2” anymore. I have to be the person that I am, even if that’s still flaky right now.

You will always be my mom and I will always be your daughter. I need you to respect that your role in that isn’t going to be as active as it used to be. That doesn’t mean that I don’t need you, and it’s ridiculous that I don’t want you in my life–I just want you to let me go a little.

In my response I wrote the following:

As for being “my Thing 2”, well, you will always be “my Thing 2”, that’s just because I’m your Momma. The Thing 2 you are is a constantly growing and developing Thing 2, that’s natural. That’s how it’s supposed to be.

What you don’t know is that I don’t judge you. I believe you think I do. But in all honesty, I don’t. All I want is for you to get your muchness fired up and be the Thing 2 you want to be. That might look like something I never even expected. And that is OK! I know the Thing 2 you’ve been isn’t the Thing 2 you want to be, I know you want more for yourself. Only you can decide what that looks like.

We will always be connected because you are my daughter and I am your mother. I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world. I long to be connected to you as a human being. I want to know the Thing 2 you are now, the Thing 2 you are becoming. Not only because I’m your mom, but because I have a burning desire to know you as a human being.

Today, as we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of her birth. I’m reminded of the sick baby she was. I’m reminded of the precocious preschooler she was. I’m reminded of the sweet girl she was. I’m reminded of the sassy teenager filled with “wizard angst” she was. I’m reminded that through every illness, joy, sadness, laugh, tear, hair color, and fight, she is my baby.
She is the love I never even knew I needed.
She is my heart outside my body.
I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Woo Hoo! Birthday Birthday! Happiest day to you, Moo! I love you more than the moon and the stars.

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Santa bring my baby back to me.

I don’t think about it any more than I have to.
I’ve only written about it once.
I heard a song today that made it all come crashing back.

I realize I have only flashes. Only moments. I have no full memories of that time.
I remember Thing 1 begging for help.
I remember being in the ER at Richland.
I remember going to Palmetto Baptist and being separated from her.
I remember saying goodbye and leaving her there. I held her close and told her how brave she was.
I remember falling to my knees in tears on Taylor Street before I could even make it to my car.
I remember explaining to Thing 2 where her sister was.
I remember leaving work early every day to be home in time for Thing 2 to get off the bus so she wouldn’t come home to an empty house.
I remember how painful it was to visit the hospital or talk with Thing 1 on the phone.
I remember singing ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ with Thing 2. So hopeful she’d be well enough to come home to us for Christmas.
I remember ‘Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me’ having an entirely new meaning that Christmas.

The pain of that time was excruciating. The healing process even more so.
I don’t intentionally ignore the fact of it. I just don’t choose to get up to my ass in it. Sometimes it sneaks up on me and I don’t have a choice but to feel it. Today was one of those days.
Leaving my suicidal first born in the mental health hospital was one of the absolute worst experiences for my family.
All I wanted for Christmas was my child to come home. And she did. And it was awful.
We lived through it.
We came out the other side irrevocably changed.

When I heard the My Chemical Romance version of All I Want for Christmas is You this afternoon, I was up to my ass in what it felt like that Christmas six years ago.

As I write this, I am filled with love. The love of a mother who nearly lost not just one, but both of her babies. That love is precious. That love is sacred. Those girls are my heart. And that means I have all I want for Christmas.

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terrifying and strange and beautiful muchness

Thing 2 sent this via snapchat one day last week. It triggered in me a deeply buried memory of a poem I read or heard…before Warsan Shire’s words became the backbone of Beyonce’s Lemonade.
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Thing 2 is a curious beast. She struggles with her place in our family. She struggles with her place in the world. She is the kind of girl that defies labeling. Like Alice, her muchness is undefinable.
She is cursed with the kind of awareness that not many of us possess. The kind of awareness that sends one straight into one’s head with a great deal of difficulty to get back out again.
Thing 2 doesn’t really have enough life experience under her belt yet that these words ring true in the deepest levels of her soul. But they ring true on the surface.
She knows that even if she doesn’t completely understand it.
What she does know is that she’s a bit different from most people.
The Hatter said to Alice, “‎You’re not the same as you were before,” he said. You were much more… muchier… you’ve lost your muchness.” Thing 2 was muchier when she was a small girl…life has gotten in the way. Her muchness isn’t gone, she’s just kind of forgotten where it is inside of her.
She knows she’s meant to be more than she is now. She just doesn’t know quite what to do about it.

Here is “for women who are ‘difficult’ to love.” by Warsan Shire, for my Thing 2 and for all the women out there who are much more muchier than they realize.

you are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
forget you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
prettier
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

my defining moment as a frog in cold water

Acute stress feels like it will crush you where you stand.
I promise you it won’t. Your fight or flight instinct will kick in and save you. Acute stress feels overwhelming and most of us would do anything to get away from it. But, acute stress won’t kill, no matter how much you believe it might.
Chronic stress is what will kill you.
Chronic stress is like putting a frog in a pot of cold water and then slowly turning up the heat. The frog doesn’t realize what’s happening until it’s already boiling! That’s when one of two things happens. Fight or flight kicks in to save you, or you just die.

I’m an expert in chronic stress. I’m that frog in the pot of water. I was lucky enough that my instinct for flight is so strong. It saved my life.
I spent seventeen years with a man who emotionally abused me.
His sabotage so subtle, his manipulation so nuanced, it was poetry of pure unadulterated evil. He brought passive aggression to new and frightening depths. For the most part I was unaware on a conscious level. I went about my daily life feeling anxious without actually realizing it.
Sometimes I would wonder…Why did I require so much sleep? Why did I turn so much of my focus to my children? Why did I feel nauseous when he would come home? But never for long because there would be some sudden kindness and I would smile and believe him when he told me everything was lovely.

But on some level, I did know what was going on. I did know that something was amiss. I focused on my children to be a buffer between him and them so he couldn’t treat them the way he treated me. I presented the picture of the perfect little family to the rest of the world so no one would realize that he was not what he seemed.
I was scared of him. And scared isn’t a big enough word, but I’m honestly too lazy to thesaurus right now. He frightened every fiber of my being. Somehow I knew he’d never lay hands on me. I wasn’t worried about that. I didn’t realize the internal wounds could occasionally be worse.

He used to tell me that I was crazy. That I was certifiable. That they would put me in a straight jacket in the padded cell and that was where I belonged. He told me no judge in his right mind would give the girls to me. I had nothing and I was crazy. He told me that he would take the girls and I would never see them again.
I would have done and would still do anything for my girls. So I stayed with this man.
He read my journals. He read my email.
He even tried to sabotage my friendships…he had to do that carefully because he didn’t want to show his true colors. I was lucky that most of my friendships were strong enough to withstand his tricks.

I was trapped in a hell I helped create.
Every single day of my life I was scared.
Every single day of my life I was anxious.
Every single day of my life I was angry.
I was miserable. My girls were miserable. I was failing at being a mother. I was failing at being a person.
I was the frog in the pot of water suddenly aware that I was boiling!

This was the defining moment.
Would I die in that pot of boiling water?
No! I would save my own life!

The chronic stress was literally killing me. I was dying. I had to do something to preserve my own life.
I told him that I was done. I told him that I was empty and dead inside. I told him that I had nothing left to give. I told him I was leaving because I knew he would never leave.
When I finally left, he acted as though he was surprised. As though I’d never expressed any of my concerns. I didn’t even argue. I just walked away.
That’s when he turned on my girls. He manipulated them. He used them as weapons to hurt me.
That’s the only thing I regret about leaving him…what he did to my babies. You want to hurt me? Come at me directly.
My poor babies had to suffer for me to live.
That doesn’t seem right. But it was how it was.
A dying person is a desperate person.
I had to save my own life.
They’ve moved through that part of their lives. Will they ever heal? I honestly don’t know.
I know the only one who came out unscathed was their father. He has no clue what he’s done…or he doesn’t care. How’s that for crazy?

I was told by friends and family that I was strong. That I was brave. I felt neither. I felt as frightened as I’d ever been. I did what I had to do to stay alive.
It was the hardest thing I ever did, saving my own life. I only wish I’d been strong enough to do it sooner. Of course, the frog doesn’t realize what’s happening until the water comes to a boil…

I’m writing about this because of a conversation I had with my friend Nora last night, and a conversation I had with my sister in law today. Nora and I talked of relationships and life and celebs and sports stars we’d like to have our way with. We talked of previous lives and choices we make. We discussed “winning” at divorce. (When your life is better than it was before AND better than your ex’s current life.) We talked about being mothers. We ate pasta and drank a goodly bit of wine. We were “just girls” together, but we talked of important topics.
She’s actually the one who verbalized the frog in water analogy.

This afternoon I had a distressing conversation with my sister in law about her relationship with her children’s father. Apparently their state of chronic stress has escalated to acute and he’s announced he’s leaving. Knowing him as long as I have, I think he’s having a bit of a temper tantrum and it will blow over and they’ll go back to their life of chronic stress.
It is killing my sister in law. Now, there is a fairly decent amount of her stress that has little or nothing to do with him. She has some of her own shit to sort.
I told I knew what she was capable of. I suggested she tap into that deeply rooted power and make a better life for herself.
She expressed her fear.
Fear can ride shotgun, get it out of the driver’s seat. Fear will never drive me again. But it sure as hell likes to go along for the ride. I was scared half to death to make that huge change. Especially considering what impact it had on my children.
She’s not ready to do that hard work. She will eventually have to decide to save her own life or she will die.

I can’t run other people’s lives.
Some days I can barely run my own life. Seems that way lately.
I have stress in my life. But it’s acute stress. It causes an immediate reaction. And though my flight instinct is the strongest, I’m learning to fight. Fight the good fight. Fight for what’s right.

I fought the good fight by flying all those years ago. The fight to save my life. Because I tell you, I was dying. Not metaphorically dying. Actually. Physically. Emotionally. I was actively dying.
I learned the most important lesson about myself by saving my own life.
I learned that I can do anything.

Categories: divorce, loss, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

happy birthday to Thing 2

Today is Thing 2’s nineteenth birthday!
My sweet angel baby has been in the world for nineteen years.
She is a miracle. She almost died twice before she was eight weeks old. She’s a fighter. A survivor.
I went into the NICU to see her before she was even twelve hours old. I reached to touch her little hand and she grabbed my finger so tightly. In that moment my whole life changed. I fell in love in an entirely new way. In that moment I knew she was going to be fine. She was so strong, that tiny little girl.
She is my gift from God.
She is light and love and deep dark feelings. She of the waspish tongue and deliciously dry wit. She is hopes and dreams even though she’s forgotten how to hope and dream.
I love her more than the moon and the stars.

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goodbye, Why Not?

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Sundance texted me Tuesday evening: I’m going into mourning. Why Not? is closing.
My response: Oh NO! Saddest face.
Sundance: I just saw it on the news! We need to go check it out.
Me: I’m wide open Friday. Can you go then?
Sundance: I believe so.
Me: Sold!
Sundance: Boo yah!

So I picked her up this morning and we headed into Old Town Alexandria.
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Why Not? Is a toy store on the corner of King and Lee Streets that we have been shopping at for more than twenty years.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve taken any number of our four kids into the store to climb the steep and narrow stairs to the all important Groovy Girls/Playmobil/book section.
Thing 2 and Girlie Thing had so many pairs of adorably patterned tights from Why Not?
We’ve bought more books from Why Not? than from Amazon in the last twenty years.

Why Not? has been there on the corner for more than 50 years!
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It is heart breaking to know that an independent toy shop just can’t keep up in the day and age of Amazon and Target, etc. Not to mention, it’s probably time for the owner to retire.

I am filled with sadness this afternoon. But I am also flooded with the happiest memories of being in that shop with my girls. Of sneaking down to Old Town when the girls were at school to do a little Christmas or Birthday shopping. Of piling into the car to see the windows decorated for the holidays.

Sundance has been coveting this little dolly for almost two years. It’s made in France and she saw it for over $100.00 at another toy shop. It was $74.00 at Why Not? and everything in the store was 30% off.
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That little brown haired dolly had a red haired sister!
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We decided we needed them desperately…but not enough to actually buy them. Our grown-up brains overrode our dolly needing little girl brains.
‘It was just Christmas. I don’t have a job. Blah blah blah.’
We discussed how my Mommie would have convinced us there is always money for a new dolly. Made us miss her. Sundance talked to her mom after I dropped her off at home, she told her we should have bought the dollies. So much for us being grown-ups.

I did purchase a children’s book.
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It’s about girl power, I absolutely couldn’t pass it up!

Sundance bought two little teeny angel dollies. One for me and one for her.
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I LOOOOOOOVE her!

My sadness runs deeper than I expected. It feels like a part of all the Things childhood has died. Luckily, they’re big kids now. They have happy memories, and hopefully no sadness.
How lucky are we that Why Not? was in our lives for so long!?!

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Hope. (an essay on redhaired girl)

The new year has me thinking.
Thinking about hope.
Which reminds me of ‘An Essay on Man’. Only I’m thinking of it as ‘an essay on redhaired girl’ because I feel hopeful. I don’t know why, but I do feel it with every fiber of my being.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin’d from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
– Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle I, 1733

In feeling hopeful, I’m considering practical ways that my hope can translate to practicalities in my life, and the lives of the ones I love.

I’m feeling hopeful about my health. That my brain will finally find a way to heal itself. That I can put this struggle to be well behind me. Even though the swelling is no longer increasing because I’m responding well to the meds, my brain is still swollen. I’ve kind of decided this is the new way of being. That may sound a bit defeatist, but that’s not how I mean it. It may simply be acceptance.
I trust that I can have acceptance and hope together.

I’m feeling hopeful for my children.
Thing 1 and fiance N have had a bit of a rough patch. N was hurt on the job and has been out of work for almost a year. They’ve been living with his mother, which has been hard for all of them. He had surgery on his knee and has a clean bill of health from the doctors. This was what they were waiting for. Working with the VA, he’s in a program that helps find a home and new employment. He has a few job leads and they’re moving this week into their new home. The program will also assist in education for a career change, he’s very eager for that.
Thing 1 has a lead on a job working at a horse stable. How wonderful for her to earn a living doing what she loves!
They’re talking paint colors and she’s asking for my help finding things she needs. YBW and I are gifting them a new set of cookware. She’s so excited!
They’re finally getting their life together back in gear.
One thing I love about where they’re living is that it has not just a major state university, but several smaller colleges. I’m hoping this will entice her to go back and finish school.

I’m feeling hopeful for Thing 2. She’s in a living situation that isn’t as positive as it could be and I worry how it impacts her psyche. She’s being the “mom” of so many “lost” young adults and it seems to be sucking the life from her. Interestingly enough, she’s the youngest of all these friends.
She’s finished being stuck and tentatively starting to move forward. Her fear and anxiety are her worst enemies. I’m hopeful that her determination will overtake them and she’ll be stepping into the life she chooses to create for herself.
I have concerns that she isn’t comfortable about going to school. She doesn’t know what she wants to study, she doesn’t want to waste time and money. I don’t care what she goes to school for. Even trade school would be fine with me, a certificate to do whatever is enough that she’ll be able to take good care of herself.
I feel hopeful that with love and support she’ll be able to break the cycle of spinning her wheels. I’m hopeful that she will be able to start working towards creating a new life for herself, even though she’s not sure what she wants. Taking the first steps will get her moving forward and the rest will come as she goes.

I’m hopeful for this life I’m making with YBW. Being married feels a bit different than not being married, but the life we lead is essentially the same. I feel hopeful that we’re heading in the right direction.
We have three “grown” kids and one that’s quickly growing. We need to begin to decide what our life will be like without kids at home. How do we want to live? Maybe even where do we want to live?
I’m hopeful that we can begin planning for our future while we’re working to successfully live in our present.

I long for everyone I love to feel as hopeful as I feel.
I want those of you who read these words to know that I feel hopeful for you.
My heart is filled with love and hope. I wish the same for everyone.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

sometimes you have to make your own light

Christmas Eve at the Cathedral was magical!
We made a quick stop at the space window before going downstairs to see the nativities.
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Once downstairs, we kind of went out separate ways.
I spent a moment of prayer in St Joseph’s Chapel (My favorite space in the entire building.) before moving along to the creche exhibit.
YBW said he felt a bit jaded, that because we go each season, he feels as though he’s seen them all. I don’t feel jaded in the least. Though I do feel like these nativities were not as lovely as some we’ve seen in the past. Precious few moved me enough to photograph them.
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I especially liked this one from South Africa made of fabric and glass beads. No donkey and camel in this nativity, but the lion and zebra sure came to celebrate baby Jesus!

Thing 2 came to find me and asked if I’d lit my prayer candle yet. I hadn’t, so she took my hand an led me through the gorgeously colorful mosaics of the Resurrection Chapel to the Cathedral Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage. This is the teeniest little room with a spiral stone staircase, a few wooden chairs along the wall behind a small kneeling alter in front of the candle table.
I hugged her tightly and told her this was where I always lit my prayer candles. She nodded and whispered that she just knew it.
She had been there before she found me, I could see the freshly lit candle and sense her presence. She sat in the corner behind me and I kneeled for a moment before using her candle to light mine.
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God is in us. Always. There is no need to be in a house of worship to feel that connection. But in that moment in that tiny dark room I felt it more keenly than the way I carry God with me every day.
Perhaps it was being there with my baby. The one I always pray for in that particular room?

We left the Cathedral for the ellipse where the National Christmas tree was waiting for us.
Thing 2 and I drove past on our way home from the Nutcracker earlier that week. Honestly this tree has the prettiest lights I think I’ve seen in my entire life. But none of the trees were lighted this Christmas Eve afternoon. (Pourquoi pas?)
Thing 2, of course, was all about the trains. Thing 1 and I dug around for pennies and we took turns tossing them into baskets on the trains as they passed by. (We made more than we missed, go us!) Thing 2 mused what the change was used for. I teased that it was to pay the electric bill so the trees could be lit. Then she decided she would want to be one of the people who worked there with the trains. She could keep them running smoothly and gather up the change on the grass and hand it to all the small children standing along the fence so they could try their luck as the train cars went by. Thing 1 and I agreed that it would a great job for her.

Finally, we were tired and ready to head home. YBW got this shot of us walking together.
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(I’m on the left, Thing 1 in the middle, and Thing 2 on the right.)

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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