Posts Tagged With: mothers

mother’s day

I struggle with Mother’s Day.
My birthday is always the week of Mother’s Day. Sometimes even falls on that particular Sunday. I don’t remember it bothering me until I became a mom. First one precious little girl and later, two precious little girls called me their mommy. They were SO focused and excited about Mother’s Day that my birthday often fell by the wayside.
When they got old enough to understand, I explained how much I loved their beautiful appreciation of me. I explained that I was their mommy every day. That it was the most special thing EVERY DAY. But that my birthday was only one day and it was special. It took a bit for them to get it, but they knew how important I made their birthdays and they began to come around. So while Mother’s Day remained special, “birthday birthday” became the focus that second week of May.

Mother’s Day is painful for me because I don’t have my mom anymore. However complicated our relationship was, she was my mother and I loved her.
I took Thing C and Thing G to get cards for their mom. I went with YBW to get a card for his mom. I spent the day with YBW and his mom.
It was agony.
I no longer have a mom. It hurts more than I can even communicate.
Thing 1 called to tell me Happy Mother’s Day. She thanked me for being her mom. She talked about the life she’s building. She talked about going back to school. She told me she sent a little gift, but it was going to be late. She told me how much she loved me.
My heart sang with joy!
Thing 2 did nothing. (I don’t know if she was being purposefully hurtful or not…I honestly don’t think it matters. It was hurtful enough.) People that I did not actually give birth to called and texted to wish me Happy Mother’s Day. I’m just sayin’.

When my girls were little and I was teaching preschool, I was blessed to be surrounded by some of the most truly awe inspiring women I’ve ever known.
We were a family. If something happened to one of us, joy or sorrow, it happened to all of us. These women helped me realize who I could be. They let me help them see things from my unique and sometimes brash perspective. (I may or may not have publicly accused the director of being on crack at a faculty meeting…in my defense, it opened a new way of talking about a serious topic.)

When I started this blog I promised my family and friends anonymity. That’s why I never use anyone’s real name…apart from my own. My girls and Sundance have expressed their ambivalence regarding this promise. I keep it because YBW is especially protective of his identity, and the identity of his sons. I respect that. Nobody “signed up” to be part of my public words regarding my private life. I want to keep those who need to feel safe feeling safe.
That said, I’m going to use the names of the women from that perfect moment in time when we lived and loved and worked in the safest and most creative environment.

It kind of started this way:
On Sunday, Nicole posted in our private group chat:
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!! I would not have survived young motherhood without you all!!

I was thinking something along those lines when I was washing my hair that morning. I was thinking about some of the women that influenced my life. What I learned from each of them and how I incorporated that into my parenting style, and into my own personal development.

I learned from my mom that always having to be in control will wear you the eff out. That it breaks you and makes you miserable. My mom taught me the value of creativity and expressing opinions because she squashed those out of us as children. She taught me that love is conditional, you must be exactly what someone wants or they can’t love you.
She taught me that you just have to keep fighting for what you believe in. She taught me what true sacrifice looks like. She taught me that a color book and box of crayons eases heartache. She taught me that birthdays are the most important celebration, because the day you came into the world is sacred. She taught me to love books. She taught me Elvis is the King. She taught me that being redhaird is the most precious gift, and that only a few of us ever have the luxury to receive it.
Some of the things she taught me made me a better mom because I did the exact opposite of what she did. Love is unconditional. Creativity and expressing yourself are the most important life stills to possess.
Some of what she taught me formed my most basic ideology. Birthdays are sacred. New crayons are priceless. Books are uniquely portable magic.

Nicole taught me that organized chaos is a great way to raise children. She taught me that love is fierce. She showed me how to see things through the eyes of a child. She taught me the value of true and long lasting friendship.

Jessica taught me that I was more capable than I ever realized. She taught me to listen differently so I could truly hear. She taught me to ask the most important question: What’s best for children? She taught me the value of my own mothering. She taught me when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. She helped me believe in myself at the lowest point in my life. She showed me the fire in my belly still had embers to nurture. She loved me when I couldn’t love myself.

Becca encouraged me to trust my gut, because she never seemed to be able to do that for herself. She taught me to appreciate every contribution. She brought out even more nurturing in me, she needed and still occasionally needs to be taught self-love. She taught me how innocent kindness can change lives. She taught me that my tough as nails hide could benefit from softening up a bit.

Terri taught me to see my firstborn in a new and different light. She provided much comfort and support when I was struggling with learning how to mom a three year old and a new and extremely sick baby. She was an example of love and tenacity through her own terrible illness. She taught me how to approach the enigma that is the three year old with the perfect mix of fear and appreciation.

Nancy taught me that I must embrace and celebrate my gifts. She is the first person who said out loud that I am a writer. That moment caused a change in my life that I will be forever grateful for. She supported me with love and hope when I didn’t know who or what I really was. She taught me that life is so much more than simply putting one foot in front of the other.

Marianne taught me that letting go is so much better than holding on too tightly. She taught me the importance of repetition. She helped me realize that a classroom was one of the most loving environments in the world.

Cory taught me that I matter. She helped me understand how to be a mom and a real person too. She accepted me for who I am. She guided my learning of that most important skill. I’m not great at it, but I am working at it every single day…even all these years later.

Julia encouraged me to take risks. She helped me realize that fear is a part of life, but if I didn’t try new things I might miss out on something extraordinary. She taught me a new kind of patience.

Sara gave me the courage to breathe when I needed to take a step back. She showed me the importance of kindness when Thing 2 and I experienced serious separation anxiety.

Like Nicole, I would never have gotten through young motherhood without these women. The gifts they gave me have gotten me through the last twenty two years.
It takes a village to raise children.
It takes a village to raise parents too.

I’m so blessed to know and love these women. I would not be the woman I am without experiencing their love and support.
I saw Becca this weekend, we talked about how those years were a sacred moment in time. We will never be able to recreate that, but we’re lucky enough to forever be better mothers and better women because of it.

Advertisements
Categories: education, love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

it’s all about your point of view

I’m eavesdropping on a conversation between Thing G and his mother. Apparently something happened at school today and she called to talk with him about it.
She got an email and has one version of the story and asked him to her his version.
He immediately gets defensive and says: I can’t really explain it.
She reads the email verbatim. (I know this because I can hear her clearly.)
He says: That’s not what happened.
She asks to be told what happened.
He repeats that he can’t really explain it.
She explains if he can’t explain his version how will she understand.
He gives a HUGE exasperated sigh.
She asks him not to get mad at her for trying to help him.
He says: I’m not mad. I’m just frustrated. You go on and on.
She pauses. (I can hear her pause.) Then she explains she’s trying to help him by understanding his point of view, how he was feeling at the time.
He sighs again.
She tells him she loves him.
He tells her he loves her too.
The call ends.
He returns to watching videos on his phone.

This exchange fascinated me. She’s a tough mom. She takes no prisoners. She calls him on his BS straight away. BUT she’s the first one making sure he’s getting everything he needs when it comes to his education. She needs his input to know how to respond to the teacher. She needs his input to make sure his particular educational needs are being met as laid out by his IEP.

YBW will come home and ask about this incident. He’ll say I got an email. He’ll say I know Mom already talked to you. He’ll clarify he just wants to hear what Thing G has to say.
Thing G will present with the same defensive attitude.

We’ve been working on trying to help him see what it is he presents to the world. His perception of his behavior is vastly different than how it’s viewed from the outside. Don’t get me wrong, we’re all like that. But in the case of this particular individual, he cannot seem to take the outside perception into account.
We’ve been talking to him about how his actions look. We’ve been trying to explain to him what is expected behavior of a fifteen year old boy. (Honestly, he behaves like my three and four year old preschoolers a great deal of the time.)
He’s too smart for his own good. He’s been accommodated in life and in school since he can remember. He manipulates it to his advantage.
He has so many excellent qualities and I absolutely adore him.
Sometimes it’s hard to get past the roadblocks. Some of these roadblocks are naturally occurring based on his diagnosis of ADHD and Aspergers, but some of these roadblocks he creates. He is literally his own worst enemy.

YBW and I were talking with him the last time he was at this house about how what he does and says looks to other people. He simply can’t see it. Whether he chooses not to see it or really can’t, is the question and none of us have the answer.
I found what I considered a perfect example on the fb page of a local community theater. We were at one of the performances and they shot a preshow photo of the audience. In the photo you can clearly see Thing C, me, Thing G, and YBW in the second row. YBW and I were reading the playbill, Thing C was smiling because he noticed the photo being taken. But Thing G, who had complained about going to the show since he got in the car was bent over at the waist with his head in his lap.
So I asked him what did he notice when he looked at that photo.
He told me he thought that guy looked tired.
I agreed and told him that he knew he was tired. (An excuse, because the moment the play started he was COMPLETELY engaged.) But then I pushed further, I asked him about the other audience members. I asked him to pretend he didn’t know that guy with his head in his lap. I asked him what he thought then. He repeated that he thought he looked tired.

I don’t know how to help him realize how he looks to the rest of the world.
I don’t believe he has to care all that much. He’s his own person, etc. BUT by behaving the way he behaves, he’s not presenting the complete picture of who he is.
Most of us strive to put our “best face forward”, it’s like he’s working hard to put his “worst face forward”. I understand not caring what the world thinks of you…to an extent.

He has been accommodated for so long that he utterly lacks skills to cope when things don’t go his way.
I’m not saying this is right or wrong. I’m stating fact.
He’s great as long as things bend to his will, but the moment he has to make accommodations…well, all bets are off. But that’s the way of the world. We all spend our days accommodating and being accommodated. It’s a delicate give and take.

I want the absolute best for this kid.
Helping raise other people’s kids is so much harder than raising your own. I can pinpoint each thing I did or did not do that buggered my girls. Where I failed, where I was successful. So it’s not that I think I’m the perfect mom and should be able to raise this kid who isn’t really mine.
It’s tricky. I love him. He is part of my brood. But I don’t really have a leg to stand on when it comes to him.

It’s hard to help someone that simply isn’t interested in being helped.
I experience it with him fairly regularly, but witnessing it today while he was on the phone with his mom was an entirely new way of seeing.

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

mothers and daughters: tricky, curious beasts

Being the mom of daughters is tricky.
I’m sure being the mom of sons is not without tricks. But I honestly think daughters might be a bit trickier. At least once they hit a certain age.

Thing 2 is having some issues with her hair after we went and had it done on Wednesday.
It was tri-colored, pink, purple and blue and mostly dead from the over processing. She wanted to save length to grow it into her “hair goal”
d7722722c560edd616678e134d45b746
but there was a great deal of damage. While some length was saved, she has what she bitterly referred to as “mom hair”. She’s not wrong.

Knowing how dissatisfied Thing 2 is with her hair, Sundance suggested she figure out a cute short cut that will satisfy her as well as get rid of all the damage and give her a starting point for growing into her longer “hair goal”.
Thing 2 knows her Auntie is right, but doesn’t know what she wants to do with her hair.
Frustrated tears.

Pinterest to the rescue! After literally hours of searching, she’s found something she really likes!
24

Instead of doing her normal thing of over-analyzing the living hell out of it, she made a gut decision. This is HUGE for her!
Like her mother, (So sorry about that, Mousk.) she has the ability to get so trapped in her head when making a decision…and not just the ability to do so, but the crippling reality of it. Unlike her mother, (Who has twenty-six more years life experience.) she has not yet learned to listen to and trust her gut. The fact that she trusted her gut and then said: Give me a minute to think about my gut decision. made us both laugh.

For those of you who don’t know, hair really is a big deal. Part of Thing 2’s issues with hair is that from the time she could form an opinion, she wanted to have red hair like me. The fact that her hair is brown (A beautiful, warm and rich brown.) is something she just has trouble accepting.
I wanted to be blonde when I was teenager.
hermione what an idiot
So I am acutely aware that the hair struggle is real.

All of this brings me back to my opening sentence.
Being the mom of daughters is tricky.
It’s tricky because you have to have just the right bit of understanding mixed with a splash enough of indifference to keep you sane. I care deeply that my daughter is content but I don’t care quite as much what her hair looks like. Does her hair make her happy? If so, then I am happy for her. Do I want to like her new do? Sure! But it’s not going to cause me frustrated tears if I don’t.
My tears of frustration are caused by other choices for her life…school, employment, life-long well being. You know, the stuff that moms really care most about.
I care about her hair. I want it to be adorable. To match her personality. To look beautiful in my upcoming wedding photos.
What I care most about is her emotional well being. And I know deep in my soul that bad hair can make you feel miserable and dissatisfied. Thing 2 has had enough of that. So if new, good, and ‘gut decided’ hair will make it better for the time being, I’m on it.

I’m both a mother and a daughter. I know how it feels to be each one individually. I want my daughters to know that nothing and no one is more important in my heart than they are. That every single decision I’ve made has had their best interests at heart.
I want to remember that though my own mother was fraught with her own special…idiosyncrasies may be the best word here, I know she loved me and did her best.

There are hard feelings. There are times you’re not sure you did the right thing. You’re trying to take the other one’s feelings, thoughts, ideas into consideration and possibly failing.
But there is love, limitless founts of unconditional love. There are times when you just know that you did it right. That you are the product of, or looking at the product of the most on point mothering humanly possible.
Am I the best mom in the world?
Most likely not.
Have I tried to be the best mom I possibly can?
With every fiber of my being.

Daughters are curious beasts. Every single daughter ever. Some of us grow up to be mothers and become an entirely new kind of curious beast.
As much trouble and hard times as we’ve had, I wouldn’t trade my curious beasts for anything! Because we’ve also had great times and so much love that I sometimes can’t even contain it!

Mothers and daughters are tricky. There’s never going to be any getting around that. But sometimes tricky is the best thing ever!

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

blowing a kiss

I find myself missing my mom today.
I don’t know if it’s simply “that time of year” with my birthday rapidly approaching. Or if it’s that I’ve seen so many robin birds in the last two weeks. Or if it’s because it’s gray and cold today.
Maybe I just miss her.
It’s actually kind of strange because I honestly feel like I miss the idea of her more than I the physicality of her. That probably has to do with the fact that we lived so far apart and didn’t see each other that often.
Maybe it’s just knowing she was there was enough.

At the end of her life, she and I were not speaking often, I was wrapped up in my dad being very sick and burning miles back and forth between VA and SC. But learning how sick she was for so long before she actually died, I’ve figured out that it wasn’t just that I wasn’t reaching out to her, it was that she had stopped communication. She was keeping her illness a secret.
I wonder why she did that. She loved to play the martyr, but not seeking treatment when you’re as sick as she was…well that’s just ridiculous if you ask me.
It wasn’t my choice though. I can’t say how I would choose to behave if I was that sick, diagnosed or not…though I’m pretty sure I’d fight the good fight and do what I could to be well. I can assure you I wouldn’t keep it a secret.
I’m not quick to volunteer information, but I sure as hell don’t hide it.

I miss being able to talk to her whenever I want. To pick up the phone with any big or little thing that runs through my head. To send and receive mail on a whim. We were the quick to send each other any old thing from the crazy post card I found at Tower Records a million years ago, to trinkets like little redhaired Kelly doll or a new color book and box of crayons. She would have adored and fed my (and the Things) love of MLP.

I’m tickled to find myself choosing little trinkets to send to Thing 1 or Thing 2. Carrying on the tradition as it were. It’s as meaningful to them as it is to me. I mean, who doesn’t love getting mail? But more than that, isn’t it lovely to know someone is thinking of you with affection enough to send you a little something?
Thing 2 just got a little box of yellow smiley face gumballs from me. Randomly, because I saw them and they made me giggle. She was so happy to receive them, not only does she know she’s loved, the gumballs were yummy, too!

I suspect when the day comes that I get grandbabies I’ll do the same for them. Just a little love wrapped up with postage affixed waiting in the mailbox. How perfect is that?

It seems absolute crap that I’ll never get to talk to my mom again. Never hear her voice. Laugh with her. Get frustrated or angry with her.

There is so much unresolved baggage between my mom and me. Here’s the thing though, even if she was still here it wouldn’t get sorted. That’s simply not who she was. I’ve come to accept that.
I’d just like to hear her call me baby or tell me that she loves me.
I’d like to tell her I love her.
When I was little and we spoke on the phone, we would always blow a kiss before we hung up. Literally, “mwah, pfff” (kiss sound, blow sound).
I have the very last card she sent me on my magnet board above my desk. It’s a Mother’s Day card. It’s kind of funky like me, kind of sappy like her. She wrote, “I love you, Mommie” just like she signed every other card she ever gave me. But this was the last time she ever wrote it. She died almost exactly six months later.

The robin birds are out in force. I have a strong desire to call her to report the news.
Maybe she knows.
The pragmatic part of me knows it’s not the case but it seems kind of sweet somehow to think it.

I’m not sad. I’m…what? Thoughtful? Yes. Thoughtful. I’m in the positive place of memories and I’m filled with love.
As Sirius told Harry,”The ones that love us never really leave us…and you can always find them in here.”
For good and bad, my mom is in my heart. She always has been and will always be.

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

#itsallminenowbitches!

I finally started going through the boxes from my mom’s. I’ve found photos from when my mom was a little girl, when Grandaddy was still in the Navy looking so handsome in his whites. I especially love a photo of the two of them in the side yard of the house where we (she and then years later, I) grew up.
20150131_173118

I opened a box that turned out to be filled with framed photographs. The very top one I opened was this one of my mom. It hung above Grandaddy’s chair ever since I can remember. I wore this dress to homecoming one year. I asked her husband about this photo specifically and he was unsure about it’s whereabouts. I opened the box and unwrapped the very first photo and said: SCORE! (I said this out loud even though I was alone in the room.)
I immediately texted this pic to Sundace with the following: #itsminenowbitches!
20150201_084153
I never use hashtags, but this seemed the perfect way to express my satisfaction.

I’ve mostly smiled and laughed at the items I’ve unpacked but there was one thing that brought me tears. It may seem silly, but it was Grandaddy’s wallet. Exactly the same as it was when he died in 1992. Filled with pics of my little brother and me.
20150131_185933

His “Washington Shopping Plate”, a sky blue credit card that was accepted by:
Hecht’s
Jelleff’s
Kann’s
Labsburgh’s
Raleigh’s
Woodie’s
Garfinkel’s
His Bloomingdale’s card.
(Can you tell he and I liked to go shopping together?)

His driver’s license was still in his wallet, expiring in 1993 at the mark of his eightieth year of life. Unfortunately he didn’t make it to his birthday that year.

Until Thing 2 was moved into the NICU before she was even eight hours old, the worst day of my life was the day we buried my beloved Grandaddy. I miss him every single day. He was the first man I ever loved. I was mad about him and from the stories, he was just as mad about me. Not a day goes by that I don’t treasure what he taught me, the love he gave me, I’ve carried with me my whole life.

I sat on a little wicker and wooden stool all day yesterday and for a few hours this morning going through boxes, setting aside items for Thing 1 and Thing 2. I called Thing 1 when I discovered the long lost recipe for apple butter and she laughed and cried at the same time.
20150131_160816
I saved all the old recipe boxes for her. Her love of cooking will be furthered by the recipes of her grandmother and great grandmother.

I’m dead tired but I’m excited to see what’s next. Perhaps a box or two each day until they’re all unpacked.
I’m waiting for the thing I want most…the flag from Grandaddy’s coffin. It’s in there somewhere…and it’s mine.
It’s ALL mine now!

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

standing in the rain, and waiting for the stream to settle

Today would have been my dad’s sixty-ninth birthday and I stood in the rain scattering his ashes in a place he loved to be.
I did this because his oldest and dearest friend came from Colorado to perform this act and he is the one who chose the date. He felt it was a good way to honor my dad, the anniversary of his birth. I’m not sure how I feel about this.
I did it because it was what my dad wanted, and he wanted his friend involved. I’d known this for years so I had plenty of time to prepare for it. They were cops together, I’ve know him since I was a teeny little thing, but you know how that goes, he’s close with my dad and I grow up and move on.
My heart wasn’t in it really, I was just going through the motions. But I’m OK with that because it wasn’t about me it was about my dad’s friend…and my dad. I am a good daughter.
I’m tired now it’s all over. It was cold and rainy which wasn’t physically comfy and it was emotionally exhausting. I want to get in the bathtub with my ipad for a bit of soaking and Netflix.

On the Thing 2 front, I finally had a good long conversation with my friend and mentor last night. She asked what my heart was telling me to do. I told her my gut said, make her come back, my heart is tired of fighting and my head pretty much wants the other two to get it together. She laughed. She reminded me I’m a “gut truster”. I agreed.
We talked a bit more and she told me I had been tromping back and forth in the stream and it was muddy and unclear, that perhaps I should sit by the stream and let the sediment fall to the bottom and wait for the water to clear. (Oh how I love this analogy!)
We talked a bit longer and she just wondered aloud where I was. I took a deep breath and said: I’m going to let it go and leave her where she is.
I feel good about that decision because instead of focusing on her, I decided to focus on me. I’m going crazy trying to decide what to do what’s best for her life and completely ignoring what’s best for my own.

This morning I had the most freeing thought.
I’m so worried about Thing 2’s future but I didn’t take into consideration that teenagers live in the now. So if she’s sad, lonely and uncomfortable here in this home, how successful can her future be?
I know her dad won’t hold her accountable, but perhaps she really can live happily in the now and STILL have a relatively successful future.
And that might be as positive as I’ll ever feel about it.
I lived in that horrible situation for years, trapped, scared and feeling unsafe. It hurt me physically and emotionally. If she FEELS safe, etc. then isn’t that actually “what’s best” for her?
I believe she stands a better chance here but I’m only going to focus on me and my future.
She’ll sort it out eventually. I believe I’ve done a good enough job raising her to have that faith.

And that’s how this portion of the story ends.
She will be responsible for ‘cleaning up her own mess’ and building her future and I’ll focus on my own future and just love her.

Categories: death, loss, love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

hearth-fires and holocausts

Thing 2 is here!
It’s been really positive and she’s enthusiastic about starting over. She decided she was ready to go back to proper brick and mortar high school. (This was a difficult choice for her as she has to be a junior again instead of being a senior. But she made it and she’s feeling strongly about it.)
We went back to school clothes shopping and got everything she needed from skivvies to sweaters. Shopping is interesting with Thing 2, I always learn something new about her and we have hilarious dressing room conversations!
She got a job today and a brand new do. Things are certainly going her way.
We go tomorrow to register her for classes. She’s picked out what she’s going to wear and has a notebook and pens in her new school bags.
It has been VERY positive. I overheard her tell someone she was so glad she was here and it was a good choice.

And then…
She just came downstairs with tears in her eyes and told me she was going to bed. I asked if she was OK and she just shook her head. I asked if I could help and she shook her head. She headed back up the steps and I asked if she needed to talk about it. She called back, “It won’t help.”

My initial inclination is to rush to her and work my ass off to make it better for her. But something strange is happening. It occurred to me that she needed to feel whatever it is she’s feeling. She needs to mourn the loss of her friends. She needs to shed that old layer in order to feel at home in her new environment.
She can cope with sadness. She can cope with feeling stressed about all the change. She can even cope, albeit not really well, with the anxiety of starting a new school.
It is extremely difficult for me to “sit this one out”, but I can’t fix this for her, I can only be available when she needs me.

She’s anxious about meeting people. “Cool people, not because they’re popular, but because they look like cool people I’d like to hang out with.”
She’s a bit of a hipster, that Thing 2 of mine. She wants to hang out with quirky people like her, but not end up in social Siberia. She doesn’t want to be popular, she wants to be real. She likes to play D & D. She likes eclectic music. She’s got a sassy personal fashion style. She wants to be engaged while functioning through her own special brand of awkward.

I want to go up and get all snuggly in her bed with her and feel as though I’m helping her feel better. I think that’s about me.
I trust her to sort it.
On the other hand, she’s been left to sort it for the last year all by herself.
So, I can offer love. I can listen. I can encourage.

When I think of my baby, I am reminded of Jimmy Stewart’s beautiful words in The Philadelphia Story: “You’re lit from within. You’ve got fires banked down in you, hearth-fires and holocausts. You’re made out of flesh and blood. That’s the blank, unholy surprise of it. You’re the golden girl. Full of life and warmth and delight.
I believe there is a part of her that realizes this about herself.
I aim to make sure of that.

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

how exercising patience made it better

Thing 2 is coming home to roost in MY nest.
The joy this brings me in indescribable! Though, quite possibly not for the reasons you might think. Of course I want to be nearer my baby. BUT I believe she’ll be better off where there is more stability, a solid foundation of extended family to help support her. As well as two “brothers” who adore her and want her to actively be a part of their life, a YBW who has opened his arms and home to her and wants to do everything in his power to make her transition as smooth as possible. Mostly she’ll have her Mommy. And for that girl and this Mommy, that is paramount. She and I have a connect that transcends time and space and I believe we both miss it.
Thing 2 needs to feel safe.

Sundance told me she thinks Thing 2 is afraid she has to ask me to be her Mommy again and isn’t sure how to deal with that. My response was I never stopped being her Mommy. Perhaps she’ll realize that.

Thing 2 texted me about wanting to talk to me if I had time. When we talked she said: May I come live with you? I’m ready to be there with you. My child asked permission to be in my home…perhaps Sundance has a point.
Yes, yes! A thousand times yes!

YBW is a bit nervous about having a teenage girl in our home…he’s never really been around one. But he’s open and excited.

I talked with Thing 2 just yesterday and she’s so excited, she’s packed up most of her things and planning how to pack the rest and excited for the Mommy – Thing 2 road trip. She’s planning her room and what she wants to study when she goes back to school. She told me she had the worst year, that she completely effed it up. But she’s ready to get her life back. She texted me: Aspirations! Ah!!
The fire in her belly that was just sad little embers for the last eighteen months or so has once again become an inferno. She is ready to take her life back.

I couldn’t be more supportive of this if I’d invented it. I’m ready for Thing 2 to be the real Thing 2 because that’s what’s best for her. And she deserves to be the best Thing 2 she can be.

My friend and mentor has been very invested in every moment of this process. We talked last night on the phone and she asked about Thing 2, we talked about the goings on…how I’d been patient and respectful of where Thing 2 was. Then she said something that rang so true in me.
She said: You have been present with her though all her craziness.

Isn’t that what Mommies do?

Categories: love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

executrix…may I have another word please?

I found out this week that my dad’s ex-wife (not my mom) is the beneficiary on his life insurance through the police department.
(Would you like to see a container for my joy? Envision a teeny salt cellar spoon…only teenier…nope, still teenier…yes…right about there!)

I have read I can challenge the beneficiary but will need counsel. My cousin has hooked me up with someone she knows…but I have to pay $200 just to meet this woman. And I’m concerned that the ex wife will sue me for a copy of the death certificate…and win.
I would have that money sit and rot before I’d let her have it…so I need to decide how to move forward.

My brother is convinced there is “mortgage insurance” a policy somewhere that will pay the balance of the mortgage on our dad’s house so we can sell it free and clear…so far, I’ve found no evidence…but a close friend of Daddie’s has offered to purchase the house at fair market value, so we are leaning that direction…it would cover the mortgage as well as leave a bit of money for each of our pockets.
I’m inclined to put mine away for Things 1 and 2…but my brother wants me to be in a safer vehicle…mine isn’t unsafe, it’s just made by a manufacturer he doesn’t like.

I’m beginning to dislike the word executrix…specifically because it’s a new “label” for me…I don’t want the responsibility…the hassle…any of it really.
I am taking up the mantle because it was asked of me by my Daddie, he trusted me enough to be the responsible one…
He told me once he was sad I wasn’t his mommy…that I was such a wonderful mommy and he wished sometimes I could have been his mommy and he would know how well he was loved by the way I cared for him.
I’m not his mommy, but I can take care of these last things for him because he was well loved.
That’s what good daughters do.

Categories: loss, love, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

music that moves me

I’ve been thinking about music today…how it moves and shapes us…individually and as a society.
Specifically, how it moves me.

When Things 1 and 2 were little, there was always music playing in our home, anything from showtunes to classic rock, (Luckily they were too little to understand how inappropriate AC DC lyrics are for children.) blues to classical. When they got a little older, they began influencing what got played, for Thing 1 it was Spice Girls, then she discovered Blondie after which she moved into Nirvana and Eminem. Her musical tastes are as eclectic as all get out, if you went through her itunes you’d find everything from ‘screamo’ to the Music Man Soundtrack. Thing 2 loved the Go Go’s and Talking Heads, then she shifted into really alternative stuff…she often talks about how she wishes her life was a movie so it could be one musical montage after another using any and every type of music she deems appropriate. (Quite honestly, of all the people I know, Thing 2’s life as a musical montage would be something I’d love to watch.)

Once I began to think of how music has shaped my life, has moved me, has gotten its hooks deep into me, I began to create a sort of list of albums that have heavily influenced me. (The List Lady strikes again.)
I feel the need to point out these are not my “favorite records” but ones that shaped or changed me in some significant way.
They’re in particular no order, just listed as they came to me…some I’ll talk about why, some you’re just going to have to go with me on.

Little Creatures ~ Talking Heads
This is the first time I remember buying my own album…everything up to that point had been bought for me as gifts or me asking for it to be picked up with my babysitting money when Mommie was out. God, I wore out this record. David Byrne is a megalomaniac, but because he’s so brilliant, I guess it’s OK. As She Was reminds me so of Thing 1 when she was just beginning to blossom.

Disraeli Gears ~ Cream
Because I dated a bassist in high school (he would probably prefer the term ‘bass man’) you know I can still sing every bass line from every Cream song? It’s funny to me what sticks with you. My God, Jack and Eric and Ginger are absolute perfection! I love this band second only to Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin III ~ Led Zeppelin
It’s hard to pick the favorite of the favorite, but as much as I love Houses of the Holy, I think Zep III changed me more, changed my point of view somehow.
The softer side of the Hammer of the Gods.

Defenders of the Faith ~ Judas Priest
I will say only one thing about this album…we all have a past.

London Calling ~ The Clash
What I love about Joe is (was) his ability to continue to break out and do new things, this record is absolute proof of that! They were evolving musically and it showed. I believe this album is an absolute staple in any musical library.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars~David Bowie
I played this record until my ears bled. I remember jumping on the bed at camp at Orkeny Springs singing Hold onto Yourself with a girl called Angie at the top of my lungs. The later released CD has bonus tracks on it…and they’re perfect! This album still moves me when I hear something from it today.

Strong Persuader ~ Robert Cray Band
I LOVE every single song on this album. It’s bluesy but also kind of rocks…this guy has women issues. I love it! He also doesn’t take himself too seriously. Did you know Robert Cray taught his friend Eric Clapton how to bend a string? Yep, during the recording of Clapton’s Journeyman album.

Seven and the Ragged Tiger ~ Duran Duran
Rio is probably my favorite D2 album, but I remember being more moved by this one when it came out and even today, when I hear something from it, it gets me…right in the pit of my belly.

Pyromania ~ Def Leppard
One word explains why this one is on the list: my little brother (Well I guess that’s three, but you get the point.)

The Libertines ~ The Libertines
I adore Pete Doherty, all smacked out and all cleaned up. He’s raw and beautiful and the combination of Pete and Carl Barat is truly exceptional. This album is a painful realization of the destruction of a band, but it’s so great. What became of the likely lads, indeed? (Pete’s got a new band-Babyshambles and I love them too! Shotter’s Nation gets a special little shout out here.) 

Alternative to Love ~ Brendan Benson
This is what pop music was intended to be. He writes beautiful lyrics and the music is catchy. I love this album…it’s a “go to” in my car.

Way to Blue: an Introduction to Nick Drake ~ Nick Drake
What can I say? This man was taken from us too soon. Pink Moon. My GOD! Beautiful. Heartfelt. Nick wrote and sang from his soul and this is a lovely compilation of his work.

Dream into Action ~ Howard Jones
I used to love Howard so much! This is another record I wore out. I love when I’ll randomly hear one of these songs when I’m out somewhere…usually in the grocery store.

Slowhand ~ Eric Clapton
Two words: The Core.
This album is perfect from start to finish. I love every single song on it! They scrawled “Clapton is God” throughout the London Underground for a reason, people.

West Side Story Soundtrack
I love this play, I love the music, the beginning of America is one of my all-time favorite bits of lyrics ever, the dance at the gym, the mambo and the little “snapping” song…Something’s Coming is perfect and I Feel Pretty is just too cute for words! When you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way. (Till my last dyin’ day.)

Other People’s Lives~Ray Davies
I’m a Kinks girl without a doubt, actually, the first concert I ever saw was the Kinks. Ray is one of the most beautiful song writers and this is his first solo album in his whole 40(ish) year career. It’s GREAT! He’s still got it. This is another “go to” for me in the car…if it were a record I’d have worn it out by now.

13 Tales of Love and Revenge ~ The Pierces
These sisters from Alabama are absolutely amazing! I love the way they write, the way they sound…I love the darkness that permeates this album. And the ennui…and the hopefulness…and the bitterness…and the love.
It got me through a really bad break-up, but I still love to listen to it now, all these years later.

Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars ~ Edie Brickell and New Bohemians
This album absolutely defines a time in my life, yet I find it transcends it too. I love these songs now as I did then, and it’s not just the nostalgia.
Sundance and I saw her at the Birchmere in 2004…she borrowed a ballcap from a guy in the audience to keep her hair out of her face with jokes of lice and made up a little scat about the vinyl checkered tablecloths. Sassy thing.

Billy Idol ~ Billy Idol
Billy FOREVER!
Love Billy. Love this album. Generation X, they tried so hard to be bad ass like the Pistols and just couldn’t cut it…Billy did better on his own. This album is perfection! From Come On, Come On all the way to Dancing with Myself. I turned Thing 2 onto Billy.
Saw him with Sundance in Richmond in September of 2003, we raced home in front of hurricane Isabel. He’s got so much energy and gives every bit of himself.

The Pretty Reckless ~ Light Me Up
Taylor Momsen, the girl I loved to hate as “Little J” on Gossip Girl is the girl I love to hear in this band! Thing C actually turned me on to them. This album got me through a horrifically tough time with Thing 1, I listened to it all day every day. Thing 2 loves them too, and Thing C and I saw them in concert in the fall and she was wearing proper clothes not vintage lingerie.(Part of me was disappointed, I love vintage clothes…even undergarments.)

I’ve most likely forgotten something…and I’m actually considering albums that quite possibly could be added to this list…but only for the love or nostalgia…though that isn’t really what I’m trying to do here.

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

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50

Navigating the second half of my life

Sawblades In Your Walkman

I'm the rain on your parade

The Blonde at the Film

a fresh look at old films

Must Be This Tall To Ride

I'm a single dad documenting his journey. A guy trying to walk a higher path. And messing up. A lot.

Staying Southern

A guide to living a Southern life outside the South

rhondastephens

To Catch A Falling Cactus

Neurodivergent Rebel

Rebelling against a culture that values assimilation over individuality.

ChrissyAdventures

Everyday is an Adventure. Embrace it

Here By Design

Ideas and inspiration for beautiful, sustainable gardens.

Be Inspired..!!

Listen to your inner self..it has all the answers..

Kana Wanders

Life in Kana-text (er... CONtext)

Spring into Summer

finding my voice and speaking my truth

Ginger's Grocery

Come on in and browse. The biscuits were made fresh this morning, the Slush Puppie machine was just refilled with a new bottle of red syrup, and we have the biggest selection of bait this close to town.

witlessdatingafterfifty

Relationships reveal our hearts.

JackCollier7

Charming, cultured, generous, honest, sophisticated, understanding, and urbane.

The Georgetown Metropolitan

News, Information, and Events for the Georgetown Community

%d bloggers like this: