Posts Tagged With: happy birthday

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

twenty three years

Today is Thing 1’s birthday. She’s twenty three. Older than I was when she was born.
I find it hard to believe it’s been twenty three years since I first clapped eyes on her. The time has gone by in only a moment! Yet I feel like I’ve been her mom since the dawn of time. (in the best possible way)
We had some rough times. Times I never expected to recover from.
We had beautiful times that I wish I could somehow bottle, open up and swim around in once again.

She wrote to me earlier this week, “I miss us.” in response to the resurfacing of something her sister said years ago. A moment in time when the three of us were an unstoppable unit of girl power and giggles. A mom and her two girls just living and loving and laughing together.
I miss us too.
But even though I miss us, I know that I raised two very strong willed and independently minded young women. I know I did my job providing the best possible foundation for them to continue to build their lives. I know that power resides in them and they’re going to use it to the best of their abilities when they set themselves to it. I know the natural course of life is for them to create nests of their own. They don’t need to be in my nest anymore, they can create their own, and they can live and love and laugh as women.
I am proud of who they are.
I’m just a bit sad that we’re no longer “us”.
Both of these are OK.

Thing 1 was the human personification of every hope and dream I ever had. Yet she exceeds them. She challenged me every step of the way. But I realize now, she was meant to do. She is who she is to help me become who I am supposed to be.
She will call me to tell me to goofiest things. She will ask for advice. She was the one who most encouraged my decision to return to therapy. She reminds me that I wasn’t always “sick” and that I’ll get through this and will come out the other side better off.
There are times when I want to “kick her in the face”. There are times I want to hold her close and whisper sweet things to her. I think that’s only natural.

We’ve lived through twenty three years of some of the best and worst things I’ve ever experienced. But here’s the deal, they made us “us” and I choose to celebrate that.
She recently posted this photo on social media. I was moved to tears. All the hard work, and all the love, and all the laughter, and all the pain, and all the silliness created this Momma and this daughter. And it means something just as powerful to her.
daughter-crown
Woo Hoo! Birthday Birthday! Happiest day to you, Bear! I love you more than the whole wide world.

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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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My birthday is sacred, does that mean I’m selfish?

Tomorrow is my birthday!
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The forty fifth anniversary of the day I was born.
It is sacred.
But honestly, I think it’s only sacred to me.
The woman who taught me it was sacred is no longer here to celebrate.
The man who loved to join me in my countdown towards it is no longer here to celebrate.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 understand the sacredness of their own birthdays because I showed them how. But do they appreciate the sacredness of mine?
I guess if you break it down logically, they wouldn’t have birthdays to be sacred if I was never born…so they must somehow appreciate my birthday as sacred…?

YBW doesn’t feel as strongly about birthdays as I do.
And the fact that his firstborn son graduates from college tomorrow impacts what’s sacred about May 12, 2016. As it should! Thing C has worked hard to graduate with a double major. This is a “life token” event of high importance! I’m so proud of and for him and he’s not even mine.

Sundance and I talked about spending the day together tomorrow…but I’m not sure I’m actually feeling it. I guess we’ll see when I wake up tomorrow.

I did throw a party last weekend to celebrate both YBW’s and my birthday. We were absolutely celebrated by our friends and had a wonderful time!

But it’s the actual day that matters.
The actual day that one enters this world is what’s sacred.
I won’t be actively celebrated tomorrow. That feels strange to me. Partly because I don’t feel like I can actively celebrate myself.
I feel strongly about celebrating Thing C! He deserves to be loved and celebrated for his accomplishment. It’s not his fault the University decided to host the school of Humanities’ convocation on the day of my birthday.
I hate that I feel conflicted about it. I have the suspicion that it seems as though I’m begrudgingly choosing to attend his convocation. That is absolutely not the case! I want to celebrate this young man. I love him very much and have been through the ups and downs of life with him for the last six and a half years.

What it comes down to is sacrifice. Parents make sacrifices every single day for their kids. Some are teeny and can be made without thought, others are big and take a great deal of maturity to make.
I’m not his mom, but I am a mom. I can put my sacred day on the back burner to celebrate his achievement. I do it with honest intent, not because I “have to”.
I have never considered missing Thing C’s college graduation. I will be there no matter what. Because that’s what you do. That’s how you’re supposed to behave.
But that doesn’t mean I like the way it feels.

That’s been the tricky part.
Feeling like it’s OK to be conflicted. I don’t feel like I can talk about it too much because I don’t want to be hurtful. I would never ever hurt Thing C’s feelings!

Perhaps I place entirely too much importance on birthdays. Especially when I’ve had so many. Am I just that selfish? I’m not above considering that. Am I selfish that I want tomorrow to be all about me? Is that a bad thing? Even though I want it to be all about me, I’m celebrating graduation. Does that mean I’m not selfish?
I guess it doesn’t really matter.
I’ll be forty five tomorrow.
Thing C will graduate from college tomorrow.
I’ll end up being happy about and celebrating both.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

and there was much rejoicing…yaaaaaaaaay

All the Whos down in Whoville, the tall and the small, are really irritated the rain falling from the sky isn’t snow!

The forecast for Washington DC today: 72° with scattered showers and thunderstorms. A few storms may be severe. Winds SW 10 to 20 MPH. (Thanks, weather.com,  for your bleak Christmas Eve forecast.)
The rain has plagued us for days on end and will continue straight on through the weekend. Damn this warm weather! If it was cold outside, we could have a white Christmas!

I’ve already checked my camera battery (new SD card fully functioning) and will head out in a couple of hours to Cathedral Crèche Exhibition!
It’ll be a lovely day to be inside the Cathedral to see all the baby Jesuses! It’ll be a shit day to drive around the Metro area.

Thing 1 and fiance N arrived safe and sound yesterday evening! YBW picked them up at the airport on his way home from work.
Thing 2 and I danced around the kitchen to the Nutcracker while we waited for them to get home.
Finally they got here!
and there was much rejoicing

Boyfriend D was scheduled to get on the train at 4:00 this morning, only the train is running five hours behind and is stuck in Savannah. Thing 2 wonders if he’ll get here by Christmas. I’m with her, but I worry about the poor sod who has to go get him as the train arrival time pushes back later and later.
Our plan was to grab him from the King Street train station at his 2:00 pm arrival time on our way out of DC. New plans are in the works.

Thing C and Thing G come home from their mom’s this evening!
Our own Whos, the tall and the small, will be under one roof tonight snuggled in their beds with dreams of sugar plums and Santa in their heads!

My beloved sister-in-law celebrates her birthday today! In the old days when we lived near each other, the anniversary of her birth would be celebrated with a delicious white cake with white icing and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Now that we live far apart, I post on fb, I text and call. We say: I lovey you! and promise to see each other soon. I miss her so. I long to wrap my arms around her, especially today, on her birthday.

My heart grew three sizes writing this post! I am filled to overflowing with love!
I wish you all the happiest Christmas!

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sassy birthday love

I write a great deal about my love for my daughter, Thing 2. Partly that’s because I’ve honestly never loved another human being the way I love her, and partly because she (frustrating as she is) has become one of my favorite people. She’s become a bit of an acquired taste, but if you can get through her thick hide of protective armor she’s rather spectacular!

The kind parts of her personality are truly something to behold. The unkind parts are somewhat amusing, she can sarcasm and sass like nobody’s business, but sometimes it can cross that line between amusing and cruelty. I don’t believe that’s her intent. She just calls it like she sees it.
She’s quite like me in so many ways. Perhaps years of life have helped my sass remain more so on the amusing side of the line with occasional jaunts over to cruelty. I’d like to think so anyway. My sass intentions are never cruel and, surely that counts for something.
Thing 2 is still in that ‘figuring it out’ phase. That wretched place in life we all have to wade through to get to the place where our actions more and more reflect our intentions.
We do think very similarly about things and have those moments when we call each other and report some event of the day when she had a “Momma moment” or I had a “Thing 2” moment. We laugh about them and I tell her I’m so glad she’s a good sport about being so like me.

There is trouble in her heart. A wound that she simply hasn’t figured out how to let heal. I’m hopeful that with time and hard work she’ll realize that it doesn’t have to define her. But I have great concern she may not ever know how to come to that place. I’ve offered every kind of help I can think of. She’s becoming more open to help…perhaps that’s a good sign.

She celebrated the eighteenth anniversary of her birth last week. Eighteen years of Thing 2. With all honesty, I can hardly believe it! It seems only a moment. Only a moment since she was a teeny little think in the NICU. Since she was fitted for her first pair of glasses (at sixteen months). Since she put on her first black leotard and pink shoes. Since she got on the school bus the very first day of kindergarten holding her big sisters hand and smiling from ear to ear. Since she stood on the stage for the first time as a young princess in disguise.
Since the terrible moment she told me she didn’t want me to be her mom anymore. And the beautiful moment we found our way back to each other.

Eighteen years of love and laughter and sadness and tears. Eighteen years of silliness and snuggles and sassiness to spare.
One of the best gifts I’ve ever received! And so many more to come!

I wasn’t with her on her birthday, that was hard for me. But I’ve come to terms with it. She was with her friends and her big sister even came to town to celebrate with her. She and I decided to celebrate later on, when she’s here for a while. I didn’t even send her gifts (some she even knows about). Because I found what I hope will be the coolest gift and I selfishly want to be with her when she opens it. I can’t yet share the secret because she sometimes reads these words. I can say the item is celebrating it’s centennial this year, that it was involved in an important historical situation, and that it is meaningful to our family.

Interestingly enough, it was YBW who came up with the idea that sparked my search for this perfect item. I love that he gets us, even though he sometimes doesn’t understand us.

I have this item for her and wanted a special way to present it to her and nothing felt quite right. So I made a trip to the craft store and found the thing that sparked my idea for the way to present Thing 2’s special gift. A janky little balsa wood suitcase that with a bit of stain, antique travel and map stickers, and some mod podge became the perfect box for her gift!
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Thing 2 loves antique suitcases and bags, I hope she loves this one too!

The inside had to be as perfect as the outside.
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How precious is this little case?
I’m so excited to celebrate my baby’s birthday!

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

cheers, bitches

My birthday is coming and I absolutely need these candles for my cake.
IMG_20150412_112041
I’m just sayin’.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

counting down

My birthday is in seventeen days. This may be the first year in my life history I’ve not “counted down” those days. The only other person who loved the “Birthday Birthday Countdown” as much as me was my dad. And without him to be silly about it with…well I’m just not feeling it.
This is not to say I’m not excited about my birthday, because I always am!

I think my mom instilled that in me. I grew up rather poor, like the food drive at church would feed my mom, brother and me, kind of poor. (Though I didn’t know that bit of information till I was a grown-up.) Anyway, since we didn’t have much, and there weren’t always loads of pressies or big birthday parties, my mom was very particular about our birthdays. She made such a big deal about celebrating the day we came into this world. It was the most special of all the days. There would always be cake and our favorite dinner…which most times included colored mashed potatoes. I’m not actually sure why, perhaps because they were cheap? I don’t know, but mine were always purple because that was my favorite color when I was a little girl. When I tell people about the colored mashed potatoes they look at me like I’m crazy, but it seems so normal to me…It’s all about how you’re raised I guess.
Colored mashed potatoes aside, celebrating birthdays was of paramount importance and something that has stuck with me my entire life.

I love to celebrate the birthdays of the people in my life! I love to celebrate my own birthday! Not in a way that’s ridiculously “look at me” but more along the lines of I’m special and I choose to honor that for myself.
I absolutely adore birthdays!

YBW asked me what I wanted for my birthday…I told him I want the girls here. That precious man got on the phone with Thing 2 and sorted it. Then Thing 2 got on the phone with me and YBW bought plane tickets for those girls and Thing 2’s boyfriend, D to come for Mother’s Day and my birthday!
I’m so excited! YBW is so excited! Thing 1 and Thing 2 are so excited! D is excited too, he’s not yet met YBW or his two Things! Thing C and Thing G don’t know yet, but they’re going to be excited too!
I called Sundance to see if she, her husband, and Girlie Thing and Boy Thing would come celebrate too. Waiting to hear back from her…oh that would be absolutely the BEST!

I’m going to reach out to Thing 2’s Godfather who works at National’s Park to see if I can get tickets for a game Mother’s Day weekend! YBW, Thing 2 and I would be “pants peeing” excited, not so sure about the rest of them…but it’ll be fun cause we’ll be all together!
I’m so happy!

Birthday Birthday, Thing 1 and Thing 2, YBW, Thing C and Thing G, and Boyfriend D, and my Washington Nationals!
Turning forty-four is going to be SPECTACULAR!

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

happy birthday, Thing 1

I completed my second decade of motherhood today.
Thing 1 is twenty, but not until 7:21 this evening to be precise. This is the first year I will not be with her on the anniversary of her birth, I thought it would make me feel more sad, but I guess I’m growing too, accepting that she is a pseudo-adult and her birthdays are no longer about her family of origin, but the new family she is beginning to create for herself with friends and fiancee. (That word still gives me pause.)

I was up very late editing the book and slept until 9:00 waking in a momentary panic that I hadn’t yet called her. In addition to not being with her on this day, this year marks the first time I was not the first person to tell her, Happy Birthday. That fell to N this year, as I suspect it will for years to come.
It doesn’t matter though, for she will always be my baby…my very first girl, the one who was given to me to challenge me to be the best possible me. She and I have had some dark times, but the light was always lit just waiting for it’s time to shine again.

N entered her into a contest in which she won tickets to a bridal show in Savannah…so that is how she’ll spend her 20th birthday…how precious, and how appropriate for her.
My sweet girl is no longer stubbornly fighting her Aunt Sundance and me to wear too small shoes. She is no longer swimming in the pool when the water is 50 degrees simply so she could be the first one in and the last one out at the start and close of our pool season. She is no longer that lost girl trying to understand what to make of her world when I changed it by leaving her dad. She is no longer the girl who hurt herself and came to me desperately begging for help. She’s not even the girl we dropped off at college with her most precious lovey, the little pink doll, Emily who had seen her through all her scariest moments.

She is a woman, one who is beginning to make a real plan for her life, to go back to school and study something she is passionate about, to find a job and make a home, and plan a wedding. She is able to open up and be honest with me about who she is and what she thinks and feels.
She sparkles once again, the way she did when she was small.

Sometimes I worry that she is too jaded, so quick to assess and pass judgment because it can come across as unkind…she’s going to have to learn to temper this, perhaps time and maturity will aid in that. I believe she feels safe enough to be who she really thinks she is, even if she’s a bit brash because I trusted her to make her own opinions and express her creativity…it is very hard to have a strong mother, I suspect she felt she had to fight to be heard instead of trusting in me to hear. Perhaps that is why she is quick to express her opinion without thought of how it might make those around her feel.

She is so bright, and interested in things that boggle my mind, she loves science and math, even though she wasn’t terribly successful in those courses. She is truly an artist who has yet to find her medium.
She has made me so proud, not simply because I’m her mom, but because I know her. Yes, I raised her, I did my best to give her a solid foundation upon which to build her life, but I am savvy enough to know that she has impacted her own character and destiny, and I can honestly say, I am proud to be her mom and proud to know her as a person.

Today is bittersweet for me, that little girl is still inside the interesting woman she’s become, but those times are gone, nothing but nuggets of precious memory, old photographs and an indelible imprint upon my heart.
I accomplished and survived her.
My love for her is knows no bounds.
I am still her “Mommy” but I am also something new.

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

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