it’s complicated

Mother’s Day.

Who doesn’t think Mother’s Day is complicated…even just a little bit? I know it is with my Mommy Dearest and myself; but I like to imagine with my kids and me it’s okay…more than okay as they shower me with love via FaceTime, texts, cards, bath bombs, wine, chocolate, licorice, Hamilton lyrics and flowers.

It’s good to be Mom, y’all.

Then my beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy gifted me with a dozen roses delivered to The Big Top with a note expressing how he sees me as nicest, prettiest, smartest mom in the world, and I am done y’all. Done. Oh. My. Gawd. Yes. I cried.

He’s growing up. My baby boy. My fifth and final and youngest child. Grown up gifts, grown up cards with grown up sentiments and I…I am overwhelmed.

Then he comes to me to me at the end of the day overwhelmed in tears as he gives me the handmade gift he crafted at school.

I wanted you to have the most perfect day, Mom. I’m sorry that this can’t be perfect for you.

And, yes, I am a puddle of tears again.

It’s been a grueling, emotional time for this one…testing for his red-black belt in Tae Kwon Do, graduating from Middle School next week…so much more because, people, we are fifteen years old with angst and feelings and hormones.

I pause for a moment, snickering to myself remembering each and every mom in the whole, wide world who told me how much EASIER it is to raise up teen-aged boys, then I hugged my son as tightly as he would let me; whispering fiercely that this Mother’s Day was perfect – it was absolutely perfect.

After the flowers die, I have this, on my my bedside table to remind me. PS He reminded me again in this that I am the nicest, prettiest, smartest mom in the world

Mother’s Day, it’s complicated y’all. I have the BEST kids! Yes, sometimes I am certain that I don’t deserve them either.

Blessed.

I am.

 

 

for Mother’s Day

Have you seen what mothers want for Mother’s Day on Facebook?

Every year my children ask me the same question. After thinking about it, I decided I’d give them my real answer:
What do I want for Mother’s Day? I want you. I want you to keep coming around, I want you to bring your kids around, I want you to ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for my opinion, ask for my help. I want you to come over and rant about your problems, rant about life, whatever. Tell me about your job, your worries, your kids, your fur babies. I want you to continue sharing your life with me. Come over and laugh with me, or laugh at me, I don’t care. Hearing you laugh is music to me.
I spent the better part of my life raising you the best way I knew how. Now, give me time to sit back and admire my work.
Raid my refrigerator, help yourself, I really don’t mind. In fact, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I want you to spend your money making a better life for you and your family, I have the things I need. I want to see you happy and healthy. When you ask me what I want for Mother’s Day, I say “nothing” because you’ve already been giving me my gift all year. I want you.

At first read, I sighed a little “Awww” because it’s such a sweet sentiment. Yes, this is exactly what I wish for Mother’s Day, and every day with my kids, now that four of them are grown. I will always be your mother; but now I kind of want your friendship. Except for the fact that I remember when I was your age.

Yeah, I know how that sounds and I also know that you’re rolling your eyes just a little – perhaps a lot if you are that one kid of mine.

But I do, kids. I do recall what it was like to be your age trying to figure out this adult life thing along with love and sex and relationships, balancing budgets, saving – or not saving, school, career, marriage, having babies, having more babies, and everything else that is adulting. I know that nothing filled me more with self-doubt and self-loathing as an adult than the advice that I never really asked for – and there was a lot of it – whether I asked for it or not – usually I did not ask for it.

And so, kids, I bite my tongue – A LOT.

I want to talk to you about your life, your loves, your friends, your school, your career. I definitely wonder if marriage is for you – and children. I want to know about who was that one guy on your Instagram and Snapchat. I am curious about your plans for school, your job, your career. I even want to see what your friends are sharing about you on that birthday tribute page.  I do, kids. I really do.

But I can still remember when I was your age.

Some things are private – for you – for me. As mom, I am not a fan. As a person who values the trust we have built together, you know, as friends, I do my best to respect you.

Yeah, I bite my tongue a lot.

But, my dear kids, I know that I raised up some pretty awesome people – because of, or perhaps in spite of my parenting. And that is why I am privileged to enjoy our conversations – when you ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for my opinion, ask for my help. When you to come over and rant about your problems, rant about life, whatever. When you tell me about your job, your worries, your kids, your fur babies. I love when you laugh with me and, occasionally, when you laugh at me. I love when you are here, raiding my refrigerator and pantry too. Most of all, I love just hanging out with you – all of you. That time together reminds me what amazing people my children are and, yeah, I am going to take some credit for that.

I love you kids! Thank you for making me a mom. More than anything, that is the best Mother’s Day gift; all of you.

lunchtime

There is much too much for me to tell you that I am thankful for as a grandmother, excuse me, as a Mima. One thing that I find myself giving thanks for often is just being there. Being mom means mastering the art of juggling because mom literally must be all of it and do it all and look good all the while. I can’t even begin to list all the times I failed all of this as mom. If only I could have called up “Mom” for the times when I could not juggle it all. So these moments when Hollie calls upon me, I am filled with so much gratitude and joy that I can be there.

Hazel calls me to invite me to a Mother’s/Family lunch at her school and my day is planned!

Yes, I give thanks for the fact that I can set aside the afternoon for her – and that my darling husband is able to take the afternoon off to pick up our own son from school because while Hazel’s school is hosting a Mother’s/Family lunch, Daniel’s school is dismissed at noon for Teachers’ Inservice.

Welcome to our adventures in juggling; which I guess goes on even after most of the kids have grown and left The Big Top.

It means so much to know that Hollie will call me and say, Mom,can you do this for Hazel or Fallon; and I know it means just as much to her because if only I could have called up “Mom” for the times when I could not juggle it all.

And this. OMG, this! Lunch with the one who named me Mima,…I will absolutely put on my prettiest springtime dress, curl my hair and sit in the school courtyard with the Delta winds whipping up all the dust and pollen and my hair while sharing Lunchables with this girl; the one who corrected me when I met her best friend’s mother and introduced myself as Hollie’s Mom and Hazel’s grandmother – you are not a Grandmother, you are a Mima!

Lunch time is the best time!

a day when even my lucky underpants don’t help

Was it a bad day for you too?

I mean, it’s not every day the Mother Of All Bombs gets dropped…RIGHT???!!! What else could happen? Two thin-skinned, narcissistic despots with nuclear weapons poised for a pissing contest – okay!

Was it a bad day for you too?

It couldn’t get any harder except for just navigating the day in pain. Yes, still. It couldn’t possibly get any harder, any more stressful.

Heh!

Not a stellar day in the life of parenting a neuro-diverse kid.

Gonna try harder. Gonna do better. Tomorrow. It’s all that I can do.

You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants don’t help.”
~ Bill Watterson

homework helper

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, known as West Allegheny Junior High School, I found myself drawing a lot of maps. At least it seemed that way because Mr. Campbell, the geography teacher, always assigned a drawing of each and every country we studied in our classroom tour of Europe. For me, map assignments were easy. I aced maps. I was so good, as a junior high aged kid, that I imagined that I would grow up to be a cartographer – a great cartographer. It would have been really cool, except for the math part. Dammit math!

But forty some years later, my map drawing skills come in handy as I assist my eight grader with his research project.

Just the map, Mom.

Best part was saying Phuket and snickering like a junior high boy.

That’s not how you say it, Mom!