And now we will pause for a moment of parental bragging because when you are a parent who has a blog sometimes you do that.
My darling 4th daughter made a parade…for a university…for their homecoming. It’s kind of a big deal for the university and for the city of Tempe and my kid made it.
Of course a homecoming parade for Arizona State University is not something one creates over night. No. Months and months of planning and hard work and stress and emails and reams of paper and telephone calls and meetings go into it. Thank goodness for a great team, that you put together, backing you up, working just as hard as you are.
Yet when the night-before-the-parade nerves just might get the best of you, thank goodness for Mom to remind you that it’s going to be just fine because all those years of dance competitions and recitals and high school student leadership events has prepped you for a moment like this. Trust yourself, mom tells you, because you got this and so much more after this.
Like I said, it’s what moms do. Plus, your mom knows that you got this.
Yes you did, my darling daughter! Just like I knew you would.
And you did it wearing the most amazing fanny pack as Homecoming Parade Directors do!
If you’re me today, you are wearing purple because today is Spirit Day and it is just one day to put it out there that you don’t tolerate bullying of any kind. You are also wearing leggings and running shoes and a ball cap because after a morning walk-run, you are just too lazy to change because it’s Thursday and it’s errands day and you are rocking your mom-uniform hard today! It really doesn’t matter how you look on the outside because today you are feeling a little bit empowered after that third and final Presidential Debate because, thank gawd, it was the third and final debate and because your candidate owned that meet up…like a nasty woman.
You are driving down 99 to Modesto listening to one of your favorite podcasts when suddenly YOU HEAR LIZ DROP YOUR NAME and that Facebook post of yours when you were last on Facebook being social…except for that photo album from Kathy’s retirement party a few days later because when a coworker has been a nurse for FORTY ONE YEARS, you honor that.
But I digress…
Yes, you are out and about in the 209 running errands while listening to Spawned with Kristen and Liz of Cool Mom Picks talking about the need, especially right now, for some self care because the election season rhetoric of late does make us feel like we just might blow up and you do hear them drop your name because in your little world you imagine that you are the only “Laura” they know.
You scream out loud alone in your car while driving down the freeway and then you laugh until you cry all the while nodding your head yes over and over again because they are sharing some great tips right now for a little self care…which you know all of America needs right now…along with a hug and a pat on the back because we are going to be okay…
GAWD I HOPE SO!
It will be. It has to be. I mean remember the 2000 election and how your then 8 year old Zoë was so stressed and worried that America was going to end because we went weeks not really knowing for sure who won the election until the Supreme Court stepped in and Gore conceded like a gentleman and a patriot? Good times those were…not. Yes, not the usual stuff that 8 year old nightmares are made of but the eventual takeaway for her, you and most of America is that every vote does count and it is super hard to fuck up the peaceful transfer of power that has been peaceful since Washington’s term as President came to an end. As horrifying as that orange-faced man is, soon enough he shall be consigned to the septic tank of democracy.
Tell yourself this, Laura and keep on taking care of you and those you love. Tell your family and friends this too…just like you did back in 2000. Also tell all your friends that they should subscribe to Spawned because Kristen and Liz are that great!
Election Day is November 8, y’all! Only nineteen more days…
When you have no appointments, no particular thing to do or place to be there is sooo much that can be done…so much to be accomplished. So you check that to-do list that is is just too much…but today, at least, it can wait for another day…another day. Today is a slow day and, for once, you are going to to take the time to do slow day kind of things:
Like curling your hair and putting on makeup.
Then take a picture because you know this won’t last. But now it will because you took a picture which will end up being your social media profile pic because it’s a slow day and you have time for that…and because you curled your hair and put on makeup.
A bit self indulgent, I know.
Perhaps I should consider others on a slow day.
Don’t judge. Son is at school. Darling husband is at work. Darling daughters are on their own in the world doing on-your-own-in-the-world grown-up kind of things. Don’t tell me that you weren’t asking the same question about Siri. Well now you know. You’re welcome.
Oh, and on this slow day I begin a little light reading.
And discover what was likely Lin Manuel Miranda’s epiphany while enjoying a little poolside vacation light reading…832 pages of light reading, y’all. On a slow day seems like the thing to do, to begin.
Storms make the oak grow deeper roots.
~ George Herbert
As a survivor I know why I have survived and why I thrive. It’s my roots. So many storms weathered through. Too many, much too many when I was at my most vulnerable and defenseless as a child. The fact that I am a alive it’s a miracle!
Yeah, I still sometimes quote Hamilton with no apology whatsoever!
It’s true though. How did I manage to survive and thrive when others have not?
That is not for me to figure out.
Instead I will continue to survive and thrive. I will because I am stubborn. I am loved. I also continue on because I know when I must fight and when I must retreat. I don’t retreat because I am letting you who attack me win. I retreat because I am working on me which means that I win. I win because I know for a fact you (who belligerently raged at me trying to rip open wide horribly scarred wounds in reminding me what a useless, worthless shitbag fuck I am) are apoplectic right now in that I walked away from your very public meltdown directed at me. And while you raged on like a storm, I retreated into words…words that heal, that strengthen and remind me how much stronger and better I am than you. Three thousand-six hundred-fifty eight words, words filed away for now. Filed away with your words that I have boxed up for no other reason than I can. Perhaps someday you might read those words, all directed at you. Perhaps not. It doesn’t matter either way. In all these words I have strength and power in me and over anything and everything you have and continue to try to throw my way.
My roots are deep and I am stronger because of and in spite of you.
Try to imagine dedicating 41+ years of your life caring for the tiniest, but mightiest of humans. Think of all those babies. Remember all the moms whom you hugged with tears of joy…and sometimes tears of sorrow. Recall all the brand new daddies you guided and reassured as they gently diapered their babies for the very first time…and they survived, the daddies, just like you told them they would.
Look around and see some of the nurses (literally generations represented) whom you have trained, encouraged, led and worked tirelessly side by side with…including me. We met at a March of Dimes planning meeting, You representing the NICU where you worked and me the NICU Mom representative. You introduced yourself to me immediately and scarcely ten minutes into our introductions and conversation, I was invited to consider working in your NICU. I think that it would be a good fit for you and for us, you encouraged me. That was more than ten years ago and here we are today.
Here we are today with you teaching us all how to say goodbye as you begin the next great adventure that is your remarkable life.
Happy retirement and onward dear Kathy G.!