seems like a mighty long time

This week in Epic Mom Fails, I sent my kid to school sick. Me, trying not to feed and encourage the Man-Cold Beast, assures him the occasional, dry cough over the holiday weekend is just allergies and he is fine…and he believes me! So off to school he goes Monday morning and the only thing I feel guilty about at the drop-off is the fact that it is 48° and he is wearing basketball shorts. That cough is just allergies.

Monday afternoon pick-up he is flushed, feverish and that cough is wheezy and rattly and, he reports, has been bugging him ALL DAY.

Why didn’t you come to the office and ask to go home?

You told me that it was allergies.

I did.

Epic. Mom. Fail.

And as I beat myself up with all the mom-guilt while we wait to see the pediatrician, he takes my hand and tells me that he hasn’t been this sick since he was in third grade. Actually the last time he was this sick, he was in sixth grade. But looking at that face I don’t have the heart to correct him. Plus I am trying to not to feed the Man-Cold Beast.

Those allergies are actually a raging sinus infection and bronchitis. My I-Am-A-Healthcare-Professional took a serious hit this afternoon.

It’s colds and flu season, y’all. get your flu shots and wash your hands early and often.

photo dump: the “momsoon” edition

No autocorrect, it is not monsoon, it is MOMsoon. Just accept it, okay?

Family weekend at ASU with Jodie.

Aside from the massive thunderstorm that soaked me upon arrival, Tempe weather was glorious with a high only up to 90 degrees. We won’t discuss the humidity that created the ball of frizz that was my hair…the low humidity they tell me. My hair vehemently disagreed.

Oh well. I was spending the weekend with my 4th darling daughter.

At the movies.

And the obligatory Costco re-stocking run followed by lots of eating together.

Plus a little politics too including this discussion which I wholeheartedly support.

Followed by bowling.

Bowling with the roommate and her family.

Twins versus DG Twins.

The DG Twins win…the right twins they tell me.

The next day brings football and the call to wear maroon for the Maroon Monsoon which is what we do. But first, tailgating.

Tailgating Greek-life style, a first for me and where I become acquainted with the Maroon MOMsoon and that the Greek guys love the moms.

We shall imagine that it was the MOMsoon that brought it for ASU’s victory over Cal and not their now 4-0 season.

And as the MOMsoon recedes, it is back to the books and studies and work and bringing back out all the stuff hidden from the parents for the kids. Thanks, kids! This mom had fun!

everything I might have ever learned about parenting I learned while potty training

Is that even possible? There is, after all, so much more to raising these humans we call our children so that they will be successful adults…with jobs…responsibilities…the ability to hang their own pictures in their own first apartment. Of course there is so much more that we learn as we grow and these babies of our grow but a social media conversation today struck me that there is much to learn while potty training each of our children…and observing others…observing, comparing, contrasting and maybe judging as we do because, for some, parenting is a competitive sport…maybe an Olympic event worthy competitive sport.

No not really.

Still we often do compare and contrast…and pat ourselves on the back because we are doing a great job…or wallow in self-doubt and lots of mommy-guilt.

One thing I might have learned or appreciated potty training five unique individuals is that they were uniquely five very different individuals…and I was no more an expert in how to potty train a human after the first, second, third, fourth or fifth. I did learn was to appreciate the big picture in that when physically ready, the kids are capably continent and there is much, much, much more that is a better measure of their success years and years later…like when they are parents themselves.

And then I come back to the conversation today. Watching our own children as parents we must recognize and acknowledge our successes (and definitely major fails) as parents. Watching them, as we do in every major event and milestone of their lives, we must trust that we did good…and that they are doing even better because of,  or perhaps in spite of us. Our children will not be the mothers and fathers that we are; and for some of us that is a very good thing. They are not us  even if they came out from our own bodies. They are uniquely their own selves just as their own children, our grandchildren are too.

For me, for my daughter, I recognize that we are so different as mothers…even if I joke that she is raising herself times two because my curses are that good. Lucky for her daughters too. Literally one of the joys of being a grandparent, a Mima, is witnessing and celebrating what a great job my child is doing as a mommy…because of me, or more likely, in spite of me. She might do things differently than I did or would as a mother but she is her own mother making this motherhood gig her own bitch. I could critique, whether privately or for all on Facebook-land to see under the guise of well-meaning advice…or I could just enjoy the adventure…her adventure…her adventure as my grand babies’ Mommy.

And of course I continue to enjoy the sweetness that is my grand babies, her children.

And, in my daughter’s own words, I get to enjoy the truth that she is (today) winning at the mom-game, because she is.

Dear friend, when it comes to crowdsourcing for parenting wisdom and critique to pass on to our grand babies’ parents…don’t, just don’t. They’ll potty train your grand baby when your grand baby is truly ready. Just enjoy your grand baby buying all the big kid underpants and practicing going potty with them when they are at your house because what happens at Mima’s house stays at Mima’s house. And when your adult child picks up THEIR child from your house, tell them how glad that you are that they are your grand baby’s parent.

Yeah, I learned so much of this and more in the adventure that is potty training my five children with all the well-meaning wisdom, observations and advice.

 

one last time

First day of school here under The Big Top, y’all. It’s just Daniel here under The Big Top but it’s still a big deal.

Dude…he grew TWO INCHES over summer vacation!!!

Meanwhile, here we are starting 8th grade and for me, mom of an 8th grader one last time. Lots of emotions and eye rolls under The Big Top this morning as we prepped for first day of school. Family and friends only encourage me to be that insufferable 8th grad mom as I shared the prerequisite First Day of School picture on social media. If I do become that mom, I make little apology because this is 8th grade, one last time.

:::eye roll:::

Mom, it’s time for school.

If you have been following this adventure since his very first day of school, you may join me feeling all the feels right now because here we are, eighth grade life, one last time.

I promise for him to try and restrain myself.

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