Tag: Motherhood

Life Surrounded by Boys

November 10th, 2011 — 10:34pm

“J, c’mere!  Look at this,” says my 7 year old as he walks out of the bathroom with his pants around his ankles and used toilet paper in his hand.

“My poop is green!”

Makes a mother proud.

6 comments » | Brothers, Living with Boys, Motherhood, parenting

Holding the Moments

February 4th, 2011 — 9:34pm

I’m a mom.  I’m a blogger.  I’m a photographer for crying out loud, but have I captured my memories of your childhood?

I know I can’t hold on.  I can’t prevent you from growing up–from becoming an amazing man.

But you’re my beautiful little boy too.  You will always be my beautiful baby.  Even if you won’t cut your hair “until baseball season starts.”

As proud as I am of the incredible person you are becoming, I miss the little baby who disappears with every passing minute.

You are my reserved one.  Never my obvious cuddler, never one to be effusive.

Those giant blue eyes that you hide behind that hair–they take my breath away every time you let me see them.  I’m so grateful you give me a glimpse of them from time to time.  I’m sorry I grab my camera every time that you do, but I don’t want to miss these moments.

Because seven years of them have already gone by.

Happy Birthday my baby.  I am so proud to be your mom and I will love you forever.

3 comments » | birthdays, Motherhood, parenting, photography, Uncategorized

Too Many Mothers

December 9th, 2010 — 12:18am

For about a year after the birth of each of my children I would have occasional panic attacks that left me bereft.  It always happened as I was trying to go to sleep.  I would suddenly be overwhelmed with the idea of dying and leaving my babies without a mother.  My heart would race.  My thoughts would spin out of control.  It was terrifying.

It’s not that I feel that I’m the best mother who ever lived.  I’m sure my sons would survive without me, but no one would love them–every cell of their being–with the blinding love that I have for them.  I grew them (well two out of three of them).    I know every inch of them.

When Elizabeth Edwards died yesterday, I could feel the panic creep around the edges of my heart.

photo credit: NY Daily News

My respect for Ms. Edwards was established long ago–long before I knew she had cancer.  Her brains, grace, love of life, love for her children, self-awareness and seemingly honest self-acceptance were all so admirable.  She’s the very kind of woman I would have loved to have worked for or had as a mentor.

Learning she had cancer was sad.  Realizing she might leave young children behind was much worse.

Hearing of her death yesterday was devastating.

You see Elizabeth Edwards is but one woman, but she represents so many more.  Too many more.

Elizabeth Edwards is the public reminder of the women–the mothers–in my life who are battling breast cancer right now or living with it as a looming shadow in their recent past.  It feels like every month I’m learning of another friend who has been diagnosed–another mother with cancer.

And much like those panic attacks of early motherhood, I’m sitting here today a mix of crazy emotions.  I’m sad for the death of this wonderful woman.  I’m sad for her children.  I am afraid for my friends.  I worry about my own health.  About my children.  I am angry.  I AM SO ANGRY for each child that will be left without a mother this year.

And yet I feel helpless.

We can give money.  We can raise awareness. We can participate in studies.

But I won’t be happy until we don’t ever have to mourn another mother with cancer again.

2 comments » | breast cancer, cancer-sucks, Elizabeth Edwards

A Conversation I Don’t Want to Forget

June 12th, 2010 — 8:30pm

Mom where are all the cardinal birds?

You mean the red birds?

Yeah, the ones with the sharp heads.

And as if the mere suggestion was all it took, I’ve seen three of them in my yard today for the first time this year.

Comment » | Uncategorized

Look!  Shiny Thing!

March 27th, 2010 — 12:32am

No better toy for two young boys than a giant cardboard box.

They were taking turns getting under the box and hopping around like a turtle with bunny feet.  My heart swelled with pride at their ability to share.  They even managed get under the overturned box at the same time to play together.

Small Fry: Hey I’ll get under there too and you be the front lights and I’ll be the back lights (suddenly they were no longer a turbit but rather some sort of vehicle I’m guessing).

Medium Fry: Sure get under.

Small Fry: Okay let’s go.

(One poorly executed lurch forward.  Laughter erupts.  Out pop two boys.)

Small Fry: (grabbing his face) Ow!  My nose!

(Medium Fry continues laughing)

Small Fry: (standing up and looking down at the floor)  Oooh!  Stickers!!

Attention spans are so over-rated.

Comment » | Brothers, Living with Boys, Motherhood, parenting

If Not NOW, When?

March 12th, 2010 — 12:15pm

I know my MOM loves me.  Of course, SHE does, but she’s my mom and she’s supposed to love her child.

That’s the excuse I used forever to beat myself up.

I convinced myself–and attempted to convince the world–for more than half of my life that I had it all together.  I was strong.  I was unphased.  I was smart.  I could do it all without fear.  The larger events happening around me?  That’s just life.  Why cry over spilled milk?

But I could only wear that smile and bright red dress for so long before they became too restrictive and heavy and eventually impossible to put on every morning.

It turns out that being adopted, having my father just leave one day, gaining a new step-father (and distraction for my mother), having a sister who was battling addiction and failed loves did affect me no matter how much I wanted to pretend they didn’t.

The effect?  I became convinced that I deserved this all.  Clearly I wasn’t enough.  I mean I was the common denominator.  I wasn’t ever enough to make people stay–to keep them from leaving me.  Yep, this was just life.  Some people live in golden sunshine and others don’t.  I was one of the “others.”  Identifying it almost felt like a relief.  Now that I understood the ways of the world I could move forward with the knowledge that this was the way life was going to be.  Make some adjustments to your expectations girl and hope to have to opportunity warm up in the reflected glow of the ones you know who are on the golden path.

That got me through the next few years.

Then some really big shit happened:  Marriage, the arrival of a child with 48 hours notice, the loss of a tremendously important loved one, pregnancy and birth.

I discovered real, true love.

Real love.  True love.  It wasn’t waning.  It wasn’t perfect.  But, it endured.

And slowly, over time, I’ve been discovering that my mom didn’t just love me because it was her job.  I didn’t have to keep spinning for the happiness of others to be worthy of their love.  There might even be a chance that I could love myself.  Not too much right away–let’s not get ahead of ourselves–but a little bit here and there just to see how it feels.

The unconditional love of my children* has been one of the best lessons on this path, but so too have the words of fellow bloggers and authors like Brene Brown who remind me I do deserve love–most importantly from myself TODAY.

Brene is celebrating a week of worthiness on her blog to commemorate the release of her DVD The Hustle of Worthiness.  I have a copy of the DVD to give away.  Please leave a comment below–maybe share a tip on how you discovered your worthiness–to be entered to win.  The winner will be chosen at random on Monday.


*Two of my three children are still rather young.  There is some divine power that builds up the tank of the love you get from your children when they’re young to leave you with enough reserves to survive their teen years.

4 comments » | Uncategorized

Oh the Things that I Think

March 9th, 2010 — 8:46pm

Words race through my head.  Oh to let them spill out here on the page would lift such a weight from my shoulders.

But I have a teenager.

I would never share his stories in the first place, that isn’t my place, but what we are struggling with is my story too.

Today I asked for help.

I realized that there was no more I could do to solve the situation by myself–it was time to call in reinforcements.  Years of living with an addict sibling and years pretending depression didn’t exist actually paid off.

Asking for help doesn’t signify failure it signifies sanity (or at least a moment of clarity).

Nothing changes immediately, but the simple act of admitting you can’t do it alone (or even within your own family) certainly lightens the load enough to take a few more steps.

No one is in danger here.  The world will continue to spin. Raising children though?

Tough work sometimes.  Tough work.

5 comments » | Motherhood, parenting

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