Posts Tagged With: daughters

grateful for a brain reset

This summer felt weird.
Almost like it didn’t really start until we came home from Thing 2’s at the end of June.
Then I blinked and July ended.
Now it’s all gearing up to get ready to go back to school.

I find myself searching for something just out of reach…
Perhaps I’ll focus on what was worth celebrating.
Perhaps a little brain reset?

I’m looking at all things for which I am grateful.
What better brain reset could there possibly be?

This is what I’m grateful for in May:
four negative COVID tests
YBW being only a little bit sick
Amber (she does my hair)
Jessica being here
Nicole and Jon being here
Baby K finally meeting (and loving) Nicole
two of my three alternative health care providers
Essie Willow in the Wind

What I’m grateful for in June:
LAST DAY OF SCHOOL (Dobby is a free elf)
celebrating at two graduation parties
Essie Aruba Blue
Baby K weekend
a day at Nats park with my darling nephew
an unexpected Holly day
finally being at home with Thing 2 and Boyfriend M
new ink
celebrating Josie at her surprise birthday party
one of my three alternative health care providers

What I’m grateful for in July:
celebrating twenty-five years of Thing 2
an extra long Baby K weekend
Democracy jeans
Six at the National and cocktails at Round Robin with Thing 1

dinner with Nora and Dale
Essie Spice it Up
a Bards Alley trip with Baby K in which she discovered kaleidoscopes
Thing 1 creating the perfect labels for my pantry containers with her Cricut
two of my three alternative health care providers

I’m chock full of gratitude this summer for:
being able to read so many books
fresh peaches
time on the roof terrace

a new grill
tequila
brewing some damn fine iced tea

Even though things are weighing heavily on my brain and heart, I’ve got so much to be grateful for!
I hope y’all’s summer has you chock full of gratitude too.

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April gratitude

As we move into May (my most favorite of all the months) I want to take a moment to look back on April and celebrate.

April was busy. Especially the week it shouldn’t have been.
But the good kind of busy.

I’m grateful for:

two of my three alternative healthcare providers
brunch and bellinis with Mike and Josie
Oscar Isaac (we’re watching Moon Knight or as I call it ‘the moon guy’)
Essie Geranium polish
Smithsonian museums
dinosaur bones
the Smartless podcast
my dad’s windchimes

my friendship with Thing 1
a clean home
Bards Alley Bookshop
YBW’s sense of humor
kick ass charcuterie boards
free oil changes
working just the right amount
talking to my brother on his birthday
skeeball and air hockey (I’m excellent at one mediocre at the other)
time with YBW’s brother and sister-in-law
sunny afternoons
roof terrace time (#porchlife much?)
books
Harp Lager
monogrammed rainboots
afternoons with friends
weekday bubbly with Holly
reading
a really great dermatologist
Natasha Lyonne (we watched the second season of Russian Doll)
snow in April (three times)
celebrating Baby K’s third birthday
being the hostess with the mostest (for YBW’s work fam)
calling it like I see it
Old Navy Super Cash (Baby K outgrew all her warm weather clothes)

Dear April,
Thanks!
(heart) Roby

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grateful for the sprinkled in good

This month got me like:

However…
I took some time to explore the good sprinkled within the madness and found myself feeling grateful.
So, I made a list.
I mean, of course I made a list…
Imma call it ‘Gratitude: get you some’ (or something like that)

With all sincerity I’m grateful for:

celebrating Thing 1’s birthday
freak snow storm
Baby K weekends (even when she doesn’t sleep and we switch to EDT)
being a helper (and earning money doing it)
the honor of knowing some seriously wonderful humans
peanut butter toast
black elderberry – echinacea – C vitamins – acetaminophen – ibuprofen – sudafed
vodka lemonade
warmer days
working well with YBW
Essie Bustling Bazaar polish
discovering The Bitter Southerner
being handy enough to patch and paint closet in preparation of new system installation (also grateful for upcoming closet porn but that’ll be it’s own post)
the group chat with Thing 1 and Thing 2
kick ass laundry machines
cleaning roof terrace and setting up rugs and furniture in anticipation of all the #porchlife
work schedule flexibility
air travel (Thing 2 arrives Thursday)
YBW’s nurturing and caregiving
driveway chalk playtime with Baby K
the ability to read
H2BAR box
orange juice (with calcium & vitamin D – no pulp)
AT&T offering FREE Samsung S22 devices (new phone who dis?)
Ryan Reynolds (we watched both Free Guy and The Adam Project this month)
Shuttle Art G-Line pens
my monogram hoodie

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sometimes a full house is even better than an empty nest

Thing 2 was here!
My Momma joy was SO BIG!
We haven’t seen each other in over a year. It feels so much longer than it sounds.
And what changes that intervening year brought us.

I don’t actually have words to describe the feeling of wrapping my arms around my second daughter.
She was so snuggly! She sat in my lap several times, and we snuggled on the sofa a great deal. I loved that precious and sacred time together.

We had serious talks, deep and wide with emotions, and silly moments of playfulness. We drank bubbly, and beer, and tons of water.
We shopped and laid low. We shared music and shows. We discussed books and gave reading recommendations.
We had a dance party to the Encanto soundtrack with Thing 1 and Baby K.
She, YBW, and I spent good quality time together too.

Being with my girls together.
Being with Baby K and her Auntie.
Having the brothers and sisters all together in one place.
My heart grew three sizes!

Baby K was all about her Aunt Gaga.
She quickly found where she fit ‘just so’ in her lap. She was even patient and still getting her hair did.

When she was here, I realized I’d been waiting for her to come so it would feel like my home. Now that all four of our kids have been here together, I know it is really and truly our home.
I know I’m not explaining that bit properly, but I do know that once she was here, I felt even more so at home here. As though she was the last piece of the puzzle and now the picture is complete.

I absolutely adore having an empty nest when it comes to day to day life, but having my baby here in this house with her siblings and her niece, well, my cup runneth over.

She left Tuesday morning, and I changed beds and did laundry. I was alone in the house, and it was quiet.
I missed her but was not sad.
There was no room in my heart for sadness, it’s still chock full of love and joy and gratitude!

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we regret to inform you

I got an email Friday morning.
It looked like this.

To be perfectly honest, I’m just beginning to process how I feel about it.
Here’s a quick look into that:
Wait. What?
Disappointment.
Incredulity.
Fuck you, Mason.
I’m not even surprised.
We regret to inform you? Aaand fuck you some more.
A competitive program. And I’m just not competitive enough?
But WHY am I not good enough?
Am I even mad?
I have absolutely no idea what I feel.
Shiiiiit! That was my plan. Now what am I going to do?

I sent the screen cap above to YBW and both the girls Friday morning before I went to school.
YBW was initially sad for me, “Oh no! I’m so sorry, baby!” then he was mad for me, “well…fuck them.”
It was the YBWest response, and it honestly gave me great comfort. Sometimes when you can’t get mad, it’s nice to have someone get mad for you.
Thing 1 replied, “Oh no!” then texted me a bit later on, “Oh no! I just got your email (sad face emoji)”
Thing 2 replied, “How are you feeling about that email?” then after a bit I got a text that said, “How are you feeling about that email? Or are you not ready to discuss it yet?”
These three people are my strongest support network. They each responded in a way that is unique to who they are.
My love, gratitude, and appreciation are bigger than I even have words.

I have been encouraged to feel my feels before I attempt to make any plans.
I have been encouraged to consider what my feels actually mean before I begin to decide how to move forward.
I have been encouraged with love and mindful conversation.
I have been encouraged with cocktails and hugs.
I have even been encouraged by Baby K’s sweet giggles. (Like, she doesn’t know what’s up she’s just happy to talk to her Birdie. Perhaps I should take a play out of her book?)

I asked my beloved friend and mentor Jessica to write one of my two recommendation letters.
I broke down and emailed her the screen cap this morning. She replied, “I’m speechless. My heart hurts for your heart. Hugging you! Loving you!”

My therapist wrote the second letter.
She doesn’t know yet. I’ll have that conversation with her when I’m there the first week of February.

Y’all, I am disappointed.
And a little sad.
And defensive AF.
I feel overwhelmed by making a new plan. (That’s exactly why I’m being encouraged to wait.)
This Destination girl is pretty much ‘fuck all y’all’ to the Journey right now.
However, I am aware that the Journey is meant to be what’s important. (but fuck that too)

YBW suggested I take an allotted amount of time to swim around in my feels. Then amended the suggestion in case it wasn’t enough time. I’m not sure I’m actively feeling my feels. I mean, I don’t actually feel anything.
Me calling out: I’m going to need a minute over here!

Am I feeling?
Am I suppressing?
Am I feeling all the things at the same time and therefore can’t sort them out?
Seriously, fuck this.
Well, it’s pretty clear I’m feeling that, huh?

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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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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!

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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.

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

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.
screenshot_2016-08-10-10-16-35.png
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

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