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.

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.

play it again: just like that

I know I say it all the time but I can’t believe how blessed I am to say that I am this boy’s mom.

Originally published March 16, 2013

Watching Juno together here under the Big Top. A favorite movie here for so many reasons…the music, the humor, the family, the story and so much more. So yeah, we watched Juno here under the Big Top for the umpteenth time tonight.  Then comes that scene…

that scene where Vanessa holds her baby boy for the very first time.

:::sniff:::

I KNOW!

Daniel looks over at me. I look back at him and smile trying to blink back tears and quickly look back at the television.

Daniel: Was that what it was like, Mom? You know, when you held me when I was a baby?

:::sniff-sniff:::

Mom: That is exactly how it was, son. It was just like that.

I KNOW!!

I can’t believe how blessed I am to say that I am this boy’s mom.

play it again: give-aways

In case you haven’t noticed, I am re-posting old posts this month. There are so many reasons why including holidays craziness, busy-ness and stress as well as the fact that I have been blogging since December 2004 so I have a lot of posts to choose from…a little less than 3,500 posts to choose from. So starting yesterday (actually starting December 11), I am posting some of my favorites and some of the more popular posts of 2013. This year started off a little rough with some drama/trauma and it seems that it is concluding with a little more that is oddly the same stuff that started the year; still 2013 has been a pretty good year for my circus act. Considering the previous few years with so many challenges and loss thrown our way, I’ll take the good and ignore the bad…like I have been the last few weeks because ain’t nobody got time for that!

Originally published February 28, 2013

If you find your way here by Googling “give-aways” I must apologize right now. I’m not giving away anything.

Helping a friend of mine out with a project about micropreemies and their families, I found myself taking a trip down memory lane with Daniel along for the ride.

Sorting through the stack of Polaroid photos from when Daniel was at his tiniest brought back so many memories…good ones, scary ones, bad ones and the ones that continue to this day to make my heart swell with overwhelming love for this beautiful boy of mine. Daniel and I together reminisce over how we met, his Daddy, him and me, and we all fell in love with each other because we were a family. His understanding of his foster-adoption is simple, he HAD to be born 16 weeks early because he was ready to meet his Daddy and Mommy…Bill and me. He carefully thumbed through the pictures and memory book his nurses, my co-workers, made for him and then proudly exclaims, “I am so, so happy that you adopted me!” Then he hugs me oh so tightly.

I am so, so happy that we adopted you too!“, I answer back.

Improbable circumstances brought us together and completed our family circus act…for good.

Not a family out there who was created and completed by adoption ever takes lightly that which brought them all together. Regardless of the relationships we may or may not have with the biological parents of our children, or the circumstances that led to their relinquishing their children, not a moment goes by where we don’t reflect on them with gratitude for this beautiful child that is now our beautiful son or daughter. None of us can ever to presume what they might have been thinking or feeling…unless we too have birthed a baby only to soon after relinquish our baby. But we can certainly be grateful and, from time to time, say a quiet little prayer for them. It is never ours to understand the hows and whys; it is just for us to be thankful and to do our very best to love and nurture the child that is now ours forever.

Even on those days where, as the old saying goes, it is a good thing that God made them so cute. We all have days like these with our darling children and yes, oh dear glob, it is a good thing that they are damn cute on days like those.

  • Tell your kids that.
  • Put them to bed for the night even if it is only 5 o’clock in the afternoon.
  • Pour yourself a very tall and very strong drink.
  • Vent away to your husband, wife, parents, sister, brother, best friend or the lady ringing up your purchases at Target..

Go ahead…

Scream it to the universe…

THIS KID AND HIS/HER ___whatever they are doing or not doing___ IS DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!

But please, oh please don’t tell your kids, friends, family, strangers that you’re going give away your kid and put them up for adoption because they ___whatever they are doing or not doing___ and you are so done being their parents.

Just don’t.

Think about what you are saying…what your child is hearing you say…what my child just heard you say.

For what it’s worth that’s not how adoption works. Bad children, broken children, children who drive us crazy are not just given away…given away to just anyone. Adoption is our choosing to accept another person’s child as our very own, to become our child, a part of our family forever. The circumstances that bring a child together with their adoptive parents are as diverse as the children and all the parents are but they all are beautiful and miraculous.

I can’t think of a way to sum up this blog post of mine into a pretty, pretty wrapped gift with a shiny bow for you to enjoy except to say such talk, no matter how frivolous it might be, bugs me. It bugs the hell out of me.

Adoption is not that.

Not that at all.