Wednesday, April 28, 2010
"Life sometimes gets so bogged down in the details, you forget you are living it. There is always another appointment to be met, another bill to pay, another symptom presenting, another uneventful day to be notched onto the wooden wall. We have synchronized our watches, studied our calendars, existed in minutes, and completely forgotten to step back and see what we've accomplished."
— Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper). As the years pass by sometimes we just need to stop and think about what really matters to us as we go through this life. Summer always makes me think about how quickly time flies. Another school year ends. Another year goes by for my beautiful daughters who begin to daydream about their upcoming birthdays. They are already beginning to decide on which gift they want the most this year: another chance for a horse show, an IPad, a new wardrobe, a blackberry. So many choices, so little time, to decide which of these gifts would make an ‘official’ teenager (turning 13) happy or what would satisfy a 15 year old throughout the summer. Truth is, they don’t need ANY of these things. They have WAY more than is necessary to survive in the fast moving world known as ‘Teenager’. Teenagers LIVE for their birthdays; however, it doesn’t really change as we get older. We start to think about that special gift that we wouldn’t normally give ourselves any other day of the year. We believe that since we survived another 365 days around the sun that we should be ‘rewarded’ for a job well-done. Of course, in truth, all of this is completely out of our control. We actually didn’t have anything to do with the journey. Fate was responsible, as well as our ability to keep ourselves safe from harm, to eat healthier, to work out a little harder, to get flu shots, to remember our seat belts, and look both ways before we cross the road. I recently attended a 90th birthday party for a very close friend. Before he blew out his birthday candles (no, we didn’t put 90 candles on the cake) I reminded him to make a wish. He shut his eyes for but a moment, only to open them and extinguish the fire with one breathe. I needed to know, just what does a 90 year wish for: a happy family, one less ache, a fun trip. I asked him what he wished for, and his reply was nothing what I expected. He said, “Just another birthday!”. It says everything I was thinking wrapped into one! From his lips to God’s ears. I know what I’ll be wishing for at my next birthday and the one after that, and the one after that, and the one……..
Sunday, April 25, 2010
The following is an excerpt from a novel I love. It is House Rules by Jodi Picoult. I hope it inspires and makes you think about life.
When I was little I remember wandering the cereal aisle and picking my breakfast based on what the reward was: A Frisbee with the Trix rabbit’s face on it, a mystery decoder wheel, holographic stickers. I could suffer through raisin bran for a month if it meant I got a magic ring in the end. I cannot admit this out loud. We are expected to be supermoms these days, instead of admitting that we have flaws. It is tempting to believe that all moms wake up feeling fresh every morning, only cook with organic food, and are equally at ease with the CEO and the PTA. Here’s a secret: Those mothers don’t exist. Most of us-even if we’d never confess- are suffering through the raisin bran in the hopes of a glimpse of that magic ring. In real life, I have to pick superglue out of the carpet, rarely remember to defrost a dinner, and plan to have BECAUSE I SAID SO engraved on my tombstone. Real mother’s know it’s ok to eat cold pizza for breakfast. Real mothers admit it is easier to fail at this job than to succeed. If parenting is the box of raisin bran, then real mothers know the ratio of flakes to fun is severely imbalanced. For every moment that your child confides in you, or tells you they love you, or does something unprompted to protect a sibling that you happen to witness, there are many more moments of chaos, error, and self-doubt. Real mothers secretly wish they’d chosen something for breakfast other than this endless cereal. Real mothers worry that other mothers will find that magic ring, whereas they’ll be looking and looking for ages. Rest easy, real mothers. The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already ARE one.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Ugh, Prom shopping with a 14 year old. Can I say that I’m glad I have the best hairstylist because most of my hair is pulled OUT! Aside from driving to every mall in Phoenix to find the ‘perfect’ dress, I still have OTHER children that need their mom to be present and chauffeur their little butts across town. I have learned several things from this experience. 1) Apparently I have NO taste. 2) I stress my daughter out when I say “we only have one day left” 3) she might kinda ‘like’ me…. Maybe this was THE experience to help us ‘bond’. She has said some sweet things about me. She said she told her friends that I am strict! I like that! She said she likes that! It shows I care! Huh, imagine that! Well, as Mother’s Day approaches and I think about the 14 years that I have been employed with this position. I’ve decided that there are some things that moms need to accept about this way too unappreciated job: These things are:
It is ok if it sucks. It is ok if you cry. It is ok if you aren’t sure what the hell you’re doing. I don’t!! It doesn’t matter if you breast feed them and only gave them organic foods, they will eat a dozen donut holes and McDonald everyday if they could! It is ok if you hate people that tell you your child is a joy when you are just SO MOTHER EFFING TIRED. It is ok if some days you can’t honestly say you love your kids. It is ok. I know. Childhood doesn’t last forever! You won’t always sit and stare at your child and think, “Where did you come from?”, or you might, but you’ll also stroke her cheek and thank God she is there.
One day you’ll realize you’re the mom. THE MOM. And that is OK. Turns out, you’re pretty good at it after all. I heard something today that made me think, 14 said, “Mom, instead of the after parties, we might just come home, to our house, and hang out. Is that ok?”….well, it’s always ok to come home, whether your 14 in a prom dress or 41 and need a soft spot to land…that’s what moms are for…and I slowly tip my wine glass and smile!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Well, it’s officially here! Where’s my diploma! You always wish for your children to be asked for play dates, to be the first pick on P.E. teams, and have someone to sit next to in the lunchroom. Most, if not all, of these things have happened to my babies. Now the granddaddy of them all…Prom! She called this morning to tell me that he asked her. “ Just a friend”. I like him! But the stew of insecurities and worry begin to boil over in the pit of my stomach...and my heart! They say watching your daughter being collected by her date feels like handing over a million dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla. I can say that I agree! You hear of the horror stories and I even witnessed some first-hand with fellow classmates, of alcohol, drunk driving, and sex! I have the image of my Facebook friend; the strapping young athlete; forever damaged at our prom from drunk driving. I see him in profile pics with his full-time nurse and am filled with fear. What if his parents would’ve said ‘no’ to prom? What if, by fate, he could have been grounded that day? That one second in time changed his and many lives forever. Do they believe, “What happens at prom stays at prom?”, in a way. I still picture my first born as the baby I rocked; the child who gave me sore nipples from sucking too hard; the one who kept me up for endless hours for the first five years of her life. As I thumbed through the baby book I noticed the tape is yellowing on her pictures. Could it be possible that this time, this growing up, is so advanced that the pages are even old?! There is no manual for growing up, for a daughter or a mother. My daughter has never been 14 years old before, as much as I’ve never been the mother of a 14 year old. Prom isn’t just a popularity event for those most fortunate to be invited. Prom is when mothers need to let go of their babies; hope that we taught them what they need to know about so many ‘grown up’parts of life. The letting go begins with little steps along the way, from sleepovers, to camp, from crossing the street, to waltzing across a dance floor…..
Sunday, April 18, 2010
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