even more quiet uptown

Big happening changes here under The Big Top.

These two, who literally did not want to pause for even one moment to let me get a picture of them because, eww, Mom, it’s too hot and I am literally too gross and sweaty right now! Until I played the Mom-card where you two are literally breaking my heart with your stupid milestones just like you did when you were babies so you will pause and let me get a picture or two or more, god-dammit! So they did because I am their mom and I can get a bit crazed when I am hot in triple digit temps and over the top in emotions right now as they both are leaving this family circus…on the same day.

One is back to her studies and adventures in Arizona at ASU and the other is unlocking yet another adulting badge as she has a little place of her own that she, and her best friend call home.

As their mother, with their father, I am patting myself on the back because, YAY, in spite of us we have managed to do pretty good bringing these two babies up to be functioning adults doing pretty okay all on their own…still with some help from mom and dad. But also as their mom I am feeling pangs in my heart because it was LITERALLY just yesterday when they were babies and toddlers and I could never, ever manage but one moment all to myself with total, complete silence.

Yet here I am…right now.

And, left to my own devices, all alone in this incredibly quiet and empty Big Top, I am making some plans…

Does this make me a bad mom that I have plans for at least one empty bedroom because too soon?

Seriously, my darling third and fourth daughters, I miss your presence here already but I am so, so proud of you both for the remarkable women that you have become in spite of my mothering.

Never make a home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.

~ Tad Williams

 

motherhood changes you.

No kidding, says every mother ever. I could state the obvious changes…your body, your sleep, your privacy. Instead let me share with you one way that motherhood changes you that one never really considers before motherhood.

It’s the middle of the night and you are startled by a blood curdling scream. You’re not asleep yet, of course; still you’re not expecting to hear screaming in the middle of the night. Your 22 year old, 20 year old and 14 year old children are thankfully beyond the middle of the night crying and screaming phase in their lives…at least you thought so…until you heard screaming coming from your daughter’s room. And while your darling husband softly snores in his slumber because of course he doesn’t hear your child screaming in the night, you quickly get up to see what is the matter.

There she is, your darling daughter in the kitchen pointing in the direction of her bedroom.

Oh my god! A giant bug jumped out at me!

You might have rolled your eyes. Still, you’re mom, so you step into her bedroom and…

OH MY GOD!!!

Literally.

On her nightstand was a giant bug, slightly bigger than my thumbnail. Don’t ask me what kind of bug. It was BIG and had lots of legs and antennae and brown and BIG. OMG, it was big. I was not about to get any closer to investigate.

Can you get rid of it, Mom? Please.

Standing outside her bedroom she pleads with me.

Rolling my eyes again, thinking to myself, Are you kidding me??!!

But I am a mom and my darling husband continues to snuffle deep in his slumber. Neither Abby or I will be getting any sleep as long as that giant bug is in her room. But how because grabbing it with a tissue is not going to work.

It might touch me!

Mom that I am, I deal with it.

And there the bug remained until my darling husband came home from work at the end of the day because rescue my daughter from the scary, big, ugly bug I will do but I wasn’t about to get any closer. In the light of day, Bill could dispose of that bug…far, far, far away from The Big Top.

 

 

forever in their eyes

Thirty years ago, I was called “Mom” for the very first time. Sitting at a family Mother’s Day brunch, feeling so beyond tired and a little nauseous (and jealous) while most everyone else around me was enjoying bottomless mimosas, someone wished a “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom” to me for the very first time. So it began while I was only about twelve weeks pregnant with my first born. I was Mom…and I would go on to always be Mom…my kids, the teachers, the doctors, the nurses, my darling husband, my kids’ friends and even my kids’ friends’ moms. There is so much more to the me that I am than me being Mom but Mom I shall forever be because of the people who made me Mom…Hollie, Zoë, Abigael, Jodie and Daniel. For them that is always first how they shall see me and think of me as…I am Mom; affectionately, Mommy Dearest.

I don’t pretend to imagine that I am the best mom ever. The mistakes made along the way are certainly proof of that. But I am confident that I tried my very best always with all the baths, the books read, the meals made, the homework checked, the car rides, the concerts and games and recitals and shows attended, the doctors’ visits and occasional trips to the ERs and hospital bedside vigils and the endless sleepless nights well beyond the promised post newborn baby period. Hollie, Zoë, Abigael, Jodie and Daniel perhaps might not think of all of these when they think of me, but I trust, hope and pray that when they do think of me they will know Mom, in one small way or another is always there when they need me the most because I am…even if it is just that voice in their heads.

To my darling children who right now are looking at this six year old family portrait thinking, “Really, Mom! You had to chose THIS picture of us to share?”, I will remind you of what your Dad and I do want this year for Mother’s Day, your parents’ wedding anniversary and Father’s Day…love you kids!…get on it!…make those family pictures happen!

Thank you, my children, for transforming me, turning me in to forever Mom. May you always see the good, the fun, the silly and every time that I was and am there for you and, perhaps a lot like this.

Well, except for the hair styling because, kids, we all know that is certainly not true about me thanks to so much photographic evidence…and whatever is chewy chicken to you.

Hazel’s Mother’s Day tribute to her mama brought back so many memories. I am certain I have at least five very similar tributes tucked away somewhere. It’s things like these that make a Mom laugh, cry and reassure them just a little that they really are all right…and the kids will be too.  Hazel’s Mother’s Day tribute also provides further proof that Hollie is indeed raising someone so much like herself…and, that she is, in all the good ways, a lot like me. That will be one of the good things about Mother’s Day 2016.

doves cry today

I was dreaming’ when I wrote this, forgive me if I go astray. Today started out so good in spite of the massive allergies induced headache that has lasted for days because of all the pollen and dust in Manteca triggering all the histamines in my body, and then the skies felt like they were all purple and…

and…then the moment where more of the music that has been a part of my heart, my mind, my soul and shaped the thinking, feeling, loving, living person I am today, more of that music has died suddenly, without warning today along with Lemmy and Bowie and Mic Gillette and Glenn Frey and Paul Kantner and Maurice White and Dan Hicks and it’s only April and suddenly I want someone to check on Bruce Springsteen and Bono and Madonna and so many other icons, who I never really known, but dammit, they helped me to know myself so much better and I want to make sure that they are okay. Someone, please check on all the music icons of the 70s and 80s and 90s please! Doves are crying right now y’all and I make no apology for the massive run-on sentence that I just now wrote. No apologies because life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant 2 lastDearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life…without Prince.

Where exactly do we start?

And just as the day began to wind down…

This.

Greg was a dear, sweet friend. An old friend. A friend who shared so much music…so much amazing music filled with all the life and love and passion and joy that is part of life.

Yes, more tears. So honored, so blessed to say that I got to sing with this guy on stage sometimes. Remembering most of Solid Rock’s (the group of talented musicians, vocalists and me) rehearsals like that one time he created an amazing song about my moody three year old, Abigael and the time where he shared his excitement that my seven year old Hollie declared how much she hated jazz because she recognized jazz when she heard it as he was vamping jazz chords on the piano.

And you know what? I think I just want today to be over…over right now because I just can’t bear to hear the sound when doves cry.

Hug the ones you love y’all. Play all the music that touches the deepest parts of your soul for them too.

music, discovery, unexpected and adulting stuff

Coachella is underway and…

I am enjoying vicariously while running errands and waiting in the school pickup queue…parents and students you are very welcome for the awesome that is Mavis Staples.

The music turned up with the Central Valley April winds whipping up all the dust and sandy soil not held down makes it seem like we have almost been taken there.At least the drinks are cheaper here.

A couple of my girls were supposed to be there right now. Were. Sadly, life, bills, responsibilities got in the way because grown-up life is a lot like that. I’m going to imagine that credit for their making the hard adult decisions like selling one’s Coachella tickets and responsibly adulting is mine…awesome mom that I am.

Work…school…bills…major purchases…

Adulting problems, you know.

Then again…

Missing Kanye’s surprise appearance and the desert winds is, I am certain, disappointing. But sometimes hard work and responsible, adult choices can be fun.