goodbye 50

It’s kind of awkward that I am saying goodbye to 50-Something Moms Blog before I even turn 50, but I am. Much to the surprise of many of its 800+ (past and present) writers, The Silicon Valley Moms Group founders announced that all of its blogs, including 50-Something Moms Blog would be ending at the end of this month. The announcement did come as a  huge shock to many as was evident by the email responses of many of the SV Moms Group writers but reading the email that we all received earlier this month, it was clear that this was a very emotional, very difficult and painful decision. Of course in the beginning, some of us did not accept this decision too graciously. Change, especially sudden change is hard. It’s scary. It’s unnerving as we wonder what else is going to happen now that this has happened? It is the rare person who openly embraces changes like this. I am definitely not one of those people and I was clearly in the majority of the writers and bloggers of SV Moms Group who struggled with the shock, surprise and disappointment of the news.

Still I couldn’t help but think that as women who better to accept and embrace this change? We are genetically wired to handle nothing but change, major change practically our entire lives. As little girls our bodies morph, sometimes painfully, while the hormones rage and our emotions twist and turn and we become women. It isn’t too long when we find our bodies stretching and growing in impossible ways as we house life that we help to create. What pregnant woman hasn’t looked at her hugely pregnant belly and wondered if it will burst open because it sure as hell isn’t going to get any bigger…is it? It does get bigger and bigger. Then our bodies continue the major upheaval as we birth those babies. During all this crazy-assed physical changing our minds change too. I swear nothing changes our thinking, our beliefs, our values more than when we give and sustain a life with our bodies. It’s insane, I tell you. And while we go a little bit insane thanks to sleep deprivations, morphing post-partum bodies and those crazy, stupid hormones again, we somehow to manage and to many watching on the outside, make it all look so damn easy. Then just when we come to a place where we enjoy this life being a girl, or at least grudgingly accept it, our bodies freak out again, the hormones rage a little then rage a lot then flame out and we find ourselves looking around a little dazed and wondering WTF was that? Puberty is just a whiny toddler compared to that Menopause bitch. Again, we survive and although we may know the truth, we manage to look graceful…yeah a little sweaty thanks to hot flashes, but we still look lovely and graceful. At least I have been told that while I am weathering through this stage. We women are all about change whether we like it or not…and we seem to do it well…so say the men in our lives, and, well, they are right.

As the days have quickly passed this month, we have vented, mourned, offered virtual hugs and well wishes and have begun to figure out ways to keep in touch and keep this venture going or at least something that resembles it whether it is at new sites or our own personal blogs. SV Moms Group was abundantly endowed with talented, amazing writers so it is good to see some beginning to accept the change and go on to the next writing/blogging opportunity and adventure. My time was all too brief having only had the honor to write for them for five months but it was a great time. I loved the challenge and I can only hope that my writing has continued to grow and develop all the more because of it. To the founders and partners of the Silicon Valley Moms Blog and Silicon Valley Moms Group, I offer my best wishes for wherever the road takes you and I thank you for allowing me to be a small part of great group of witty, wise, talented, opinionated blogging women and men. I’m ready to look to the next adventure and I am sure that I will be sharing it here at Adventures In Juggling.

Original post to 50-Something Moms blog.

Sharing her first time

8487517 When she was just six years old, she came to me and solemnly announced her intention to run for President of the United States. When I asked her when so I would be certain to vote for her, she told me that she would run when she was 20. It was then I had to explain the constitutional law on the minimum age for the office of President. After careful consideration that took all of twenty seconds, she declared that she would run for President when she was 40 years old in 2032. So there it was decided.

When she was just seven years old, she secretly wrote to the current President as well as the Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates for the upcoming election asking them for advice on not only how to achieve her goal but whether or not she should run for office using her given name. She received an answer from only President Clinton who agreed that her resume qualified her to aspire to the office. He advised her to continue to serve her community and do well in her studies and also suggested that “Zoë” would be the perfect first name for a candidate like her running for office.

The next year she faithfully followed the election. She quizzed her parents on their choices in the Primary elections and she tuned in, without fail, every Sunday morning to all the political round table discussions. For her, the 2000 Presidential election had all the promise and excitement that a little girl with big political dreams could ever imagine. She read through all the election material her parents received as though they were sacred scriptures and often engaged us in thoughtful discussions after the Presidential debates. The night of the election she begged me to allow her to stay up and watch the results. Of course we all know how that all played out back in 2000. For our daughter, at the tender age of 8, it was devastating. Every day she stressed and worried and fretted over the fact that we had no President-elect. As the drama of the hanging and dimpled chads in Florida played out for weeks, she, like many of us came to realize that our votes do indeed count.

Ten years later and at last she now has a voice in the process. Although it was a Primary election with limited and rather frustrating choices, she took this election as seriously as she did back in 2000. She poured over the election material that stuffed our mailbox as well as the general election guide sent to our home. She was the only one who patiently would take Meg Whitman’s robo-calls and listen to them entirety. Never mind that she wasn’t even a member of the same party, to my daughter it was important to review all material presented because it would ultimately help her make the right decision come November.

Finally the day came. Early Tuesday morning,before she was to head off to work, she got up dressed and declared that she was ready when I was to head to the polls. How exciting it was to walk with her to the polling place in our neighborhood.knowing that for the very first time she was able to exercise her right to vote. This was a day she dreamed of just ten years prior and, at last, it was here. This isn’t the first time that I walked to the polls with one of my children who was voting for the first time. It certainly won’t be the last time. Still it remains for me an exciting time as I witness my own child be the change and the voice (no matter how small) that they imagine we need.

This is a 50-something Moms Blog original post. Laura Scarborough writes about her juggling adventures with her circus act over at Adventures In Juggling that includes her darling daughter, Zoë, who will NOT be running for President in 2032 but does intend to pursue her dreams that include making her voice heard through, among other thing, voting.

sharing another first time

Just like I did with her sister Holly, I hovered over Zoë as she exercised her right to vote for the very first time. Just like it was for her sister, it was a big, fat, hairy deal worthy of my hovering…at least in my mind it was. But even more so for Zo-Zo because she once had big dreams…big, serious dreams that even President Clinton advised her on. Her dreams have since changed a little as dreams do but she still is determined to be the change that we all desperately need these days. Over at 50-Sometiming Moms Blog I am writing about my hovering as Zoë experiences voting for the very first time.

Note to Meg Whitman: she is going away to college so please send all your robo-calls to her phone. Although you are not currently her candidate, she is the only one here under the Big Top who wouldn’t hang up on you. Consider how much money you have been spending…I’m just saying…

worth working for

I love this man of mine, the man that I married 27 years ago. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. For both of us, it takes work…hard work…work that may be hard but is so worth it. After all, we have been together through better and worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health for a pretty damn long haul. I can’t imagine anyone else I would rather go through all of that with.

In the news this week many were surprised to hear the announcement that Al and Tipper Gore were separating after 40 years of marriage. Over at 50 Something Moms Blog today I am sharing my perspective on this surprising and sad news…yes, it’s sad. It’s sad anytime I see the end of a marriage, particularly one  that has endured so much longer than my own.

A Mother’s Day Retrospective

129-365For Mother’s Day this year I celebrated in a much different way than I have celebrated my own Mother’s Days past. I slept. I slept pretty much the day away.  Now don’t judge me. I worked the twelve hour night shift the night before. I earned that day’s sleep taking care of other people’s babies in the NICU through the night. Normally I don’t sign on to work Mother’s Day Eve or Mother’s Day because I want to be home with my own family but this year I signed on so that perhaps one of my “brand new mommy” co-workers could enjoy her own first Mother’s Day cuddling and kissing her own sweet baby. Colleagues of mine had stepped up for me in years past so I am just paying it forward. Besides, I knew that some of my babies would not be around that day as one would be swimming with dolphins in celebration of her own Mother’s Day and another would be nanny for a day for her dolphin-swimming big sister and another would be at work making delicious macchiatos and frappuccinos for other people’s mothers…I do hope that people tipped her!

No, my Mother’s Day was a perfect day for me. I slept peacefully grateful for the blustery, wet day because it is the perfect kind of weather to sleep in when one works the night shift. I lounged around the house in my favorite sweats the rest of the day with total command of the remote and I enjoyed a delicious brunch, er, dinner of grilled rib-eye steak with bleu cheese crumbles and tossed baby green salad at lovely table decorated with Mother’s Day bouquets and cards from my circus act. I also wore, for the first time, my Mother’s ring. No, not a mother’s ring. I wore the ring that once belonged to my Mother. For the first Mother’s Day in a very long time my own Mother was a part of the day for me as she gave me her birthstone ring that she received for her 30th birthday.

Our relationship has always been a very stormy, very painful one. It would take forever really to explain the hows and whys and yet it would likely not be a new story for some to hear. There just came a point in my life as an adult, as a mother, where I could not have my mother in my life. Not if I wanted to be the mother I wanted to be…the mother my children needed me to be. Surprisingly, my mother accepted this with nary a fight or a whimper. She just quietly shut that door and walked away. I remember part of me feeling so disappointed, so sad that she didn’t fight harder for us. But shutting that door was the right thing to do for me. Sometimes, it seems, even the worst of mothers make the best choices and willingly sacrifice for the sake of their children.

But now, years later, faced with the mortality of her own mother and their twisted, toxic relationship, my Mother made the first tentative overture in my direction to make amends. I have to say that at first, for days and then a few weeks, I kept my mother’s timid advances at arms’ length. Truth be told, I did not know what to do with this side of my own mother that I never knew.

She wanted to make amends?
She wanted me to try and forgive her?
She wanted to try and rebuild and restore our broken bond?Who was this woman and what did she do with my mother, I wondered?

But then I began to see her in a different light, a lot like when I saw my grandmother, her mother, in the ICU after a debilitating stroke. Suddenly she wasn’t something to be feared. She wasn’t someone with the power to hurt me or break me. Suddenly I saw my mother. No, not the mommy of my childhood and adult fantasies. She wasn’t the perfect combo of all the tender-hearted, long-suffering moms of my favorite childhood television shows of the 70s. She was just my mother. My mother who now was vulnerable and full of contrition.

I reached out my hand in her direction and accepted her reparations.

Today our relationship is not completely restored. It will take a lot of time, understanding and forgiveness from us both to build that bridge but we have started. As an act of her good faith as we begin this restoration process she gave me the opal ring she has worn every day since her 30th birthday.She took it off and gave it to me and on Mother’s Day I wore it and wished her a happy Mother’s Day and I truly meant it.

This is a 50-something Moms Blog original post. Laura Scarborough writes about her juggling adventures with her five wonderful children over at Adventures In Juggling.