Tag Archives: Family

Working Woman

23 May

Since the weeks leading up to Bella’s birth I had been a stay at home Mom. My days were filled with housework, errands, kids and lots of little mindless tasks. It was not easy, but it was perfect. I watched them grow and change, I was here for anything they needed, I loved that time.

It’s gone now. Those breezy days of feeling like I might pull my hair out if I didn’t get to speak to at least one grown up. Keeping strangers on the phone when making appointments or ordering stuff. Those poor people, I’m sure I wasn’t the only Mama who told them EVERYTHING she was thinking about just to keep the adult conversation going.

Clearly I have an assortment of feelings about my time at home. I would never change it, if we ever had more (which we are SO NOT) I would do it again.

Now though, now I am a working woman again.

This new life is crazy busy and the things that slip past my attention are growing in numbers. I dove in head first, no floaties. Every day I get them on the bus and head to work, every day I try to find a free second to orchestrate all the things I used to have all the time in the world to manage, every day I suddenly notice the time and pack up and race off to this appointment, then that store, then to the kids before the after school program ends. I now remember why people get excited for Friday, and the weekend. Why stats and holidays are a big deal. How precious my time with my babies is, so much more now that I see them so much less.

The house is always waiting for my attention, always needing to be tidied, swept, scrubbed. It will keep waiting. The time I have at home now is for my kids, my husband, and for me. The dishes really can wait, the laundry is not going anywhere.

The other day Logan asked Scott when he would be able to see him more. His Dad explained to him that the reason we can have our home, stuff, food, activities and everything else is that Daddy works. Logan wondered when we would have enough money that he would get to see his Dad more. This breaks my heart, my boy is missing his Dad, and his Dad misses him, infinitely.  I would love to be able to offer him a date, a time, some idea of when we will all be able to spend more time together. I wish I could, but I can’t. What I can make sure he has is all of the attention I can give him when we are together. What we can offer is fun, laughter, cuddles, LOVE every moment we’re not apart.

I’m working, Scott is working. Our babies are in school. Our lives are busy.

The dishes will wait. We love our wrinkled t-shirts.

We will play and read. Sing and dance. We will love every moment. This woman will work for that.

The Story Of Us

30 May

 

It was a snowy April night, 2004. With her Mother at a Jack & Jill at a neighbors farm, she saw him. Having been ready to leave she was now compelled to stay, who was he? Quietly watching from across the room, summoning the courage to talk tom him, she was about to approach when she suddenly realized he was no longer in view. Scanning the room, it became clear that he had left. Disappointed, she agreed with her mother that it was time to leave. Then, as if by her very will there he was, chatting with people on the other side of the room. He appeared to be turning down dance partners, some young, and some clearly the mothers of his friends, smiling politely each time he’d shake his head and they’d move on. She wasn’t going to miss her chance, this time there was no summoning of courage she walked straight across the room. “I see you’re saying no to everyone that’s asking you to dance.” She noted, convincing herself she was this confident and forward person, “Will you dance with me?” He smiled, they danced. They spun and spun until the room continued to spin though they had stopped dancing. The night came to a close, and she headed home with her mother. The next morning she awoke excited with this new possibility, eager to explore what this new person might bring to her life. After some ‘research’ she learned his name and phone number, “Hi, I don’t know if you remember me, we met last night.”

After some months of spending nearly every day together they parted ways. She cried, but knew that this was not the right time for what she felt. They saw other people, always just slightly in touch with one another. In good times and in bad she thought of him, wondered where he was, if he was happy. The relationship she was in had not been what she was seeking, in her heart the knowledge that the one she met that April night was the one, pulled at her. On one particularly sad day, the tears blurred her vision and she needed someone. Someone to drive her home, someone to ease her broken heart. On that day the number she dialed was not the one of her current ‘someone’, but his. He answered and his voice brought some peace, then it was clear that the one who should be her someone was on the other end of the line. That was the end of the relationship she was in, now in the world a free agent, she waited.

Not so snowy, but April again a year later. Walking across a crowded bar she felt a poke and looked down. Standing there, a step below the platform she was on, was the one she had been waiting for. Without even thinking she fell into his arms, the remainder of the evening spent as close to him as she could get. This time she knew that this was the time for what she felt, she was ready for what he could bring to her life.

Some months passed. One sunny afternoon as they said goodbye in her mothers driveway she asked, “Should I cut and paste some pictures of rings that I like for you?” He smiled, “Yeah”. Together they looked and found the perfect one. July 2005, at dinner on a weekend away she asked for the dessert menu. When the waitress returned, she was carrying a platter with a little box in the center. As she processed what that might mean she looked down to find him on his knee at her side, “Will you be my wife?” Tears filled her eyes, her hands shook, “Yes!” She was reminded that they were in a crowded restaurant by the applause that filled the room around them.

Little more than a year went by and she was standing at the back of the church, clutching her Grandfather’s arm. As she watched the flower girls and ring bearer make their way down the aisle she began to shiver. “I’m scared” her feet froze, pulling gently on her arm, her Grandpa brought her down the aisle. Tears streaming down her face she was surprised by the emotion that overtook her. There he stood, just as he had that snowy April night, smiling and his presence alone putting at ease any fear she had felt.

Time went by, doing what it does. They drifted apart and came together as couples sometimes do. In the midst of one of their drifted periods he came home from work to find her crying. She gave no explanation, shutting the door to his attempt at understanding her tears. Wanting to tell him but not knowing how she searched online. On a page, on the table, she had printed off he came home to find a section circled. “At five weeks the heart beats for the first time” He looked at her, question and amazement on his face. She smiled with tears in her eyes and nodded, they were together again, now more than ever before.

Thirty-six weeks later the doctor handed him a tiny, perfect boy. His boy, this was a new love. A love they shared with each other and for this new and most important person in their lives. The baby boy grew and changed and they learned. About him, about themselves, and about each other. Her love for him grew. More than the night he put a ring on her finger, more than the day she said I do, her love for him and for what they had created together multiplied.

Soon she knew there was something else. Something pulling at her, she yearned for something, though she didn’t yet know what. Twenty-three months and two weeks after that tiny boy was laid in his arms, a precious girl was brought to him. When the nurse brought her into the recovery room and she beheld her new family for the first time she was sure that this was what she had been seeking. All was as it should be and there was nothing more to search for.

Time went by, doing what it does. They no longer drifted apart.

There were times when she would sit and think. A smile would come across her face as she realized how blessed she was. She had him, the one for her. And as days and weeks passed by she learned more and more that he was exactly what she needed, more than she knew she wanted. She had known of his kind heart and generous nature. Of his quick wit and dry humor. She learned how tender his heart was when his babies had tears in their eyes, and she saw his heart break for them. How patient his temperament was at trying times, when he hugged her to calm her frenzied state. How considerate he was when, after a long and hot days work, he searched their yard for an escaped pet turtle. How thoughtful he was when he told her to go and see her friends and not worry about the time. How playful he was as he rolled on the floor with the kids and their dog, laughing and playing until it was the children who were tired. How affectionate he was as he snuggled his babies to sleep. How strong he was as his world suffered unexpected losses and breaks.

She saw all of this. She saw him. She learned that on the day they exchanged their vows her love for him was just beginning. That years after she had pledged her heart to him she would find herself wanting to give it to him all over again. Finding new reasons to love him more all the time. With him she had a family she loved more than words could express. There was no more seeking, no yearning after what the world might hold. All that she needed and wanted was with him and the story they were writing together.

Twenty Four Months

30 May

They say time flies when you’re having fun. I say time soars when your life is full of love. These past twenty four months have gone past so quickly it feels like a blur. This is a very quick recap, in pictures, of the girl who made these months so magical.

May 25th 2010 – My heart broke, melted and exploded all at once, so full of love for this new being in my life.

The months that followed…

A very proud big brother

Daddy’s girl

Happy Halloween my little honey bee of love!

Full of smiles

Big beautiful eyes

Yum!

Fun in the tub

I don’t think I like what Daddy has done to me

Sleeping angel

And then, before I knew it, she was one. It had been a full year since my little love bug had come into the world. She was walking and laughing, asserting herself and full of hugs.

Happy Birthday Momma!

The squishy “cheese” face

Daddy’s Princess

Hey Mom, what are you doing on the floor?

Happy Halloween 2011!

Giggles

Look what Santa brought!

The merbaby

Wild and crazy hair, always in her face.

Super cool baby

I’m ready for Spring!

Twenty four months before this last picture was taken I spent the night pacing and crying. Terrified of the unknown, what would a new baby mean to my little family of three?

And now after two years of love and joy I know that my life, and my family, were not yet complete. We needed this girl to make us who we are today and to grace each of the days to come with her big heart and adventurous spirit.

I love you Bella.

Chit Chat

10 Dec

On the days when I need to make some calls, once I have gotten the kids fed and dressed and off playing somewhere I like to sit down and get my calls done.
My children have an extra sensory perception which allows them to instantaneously detect when my attention is needed elsewhere, even if it wasn’t focused on them to begin with.
I begin dialing and Logan’s radar starts beeping. He is immediately before me, “Mom? Mom? Mommy? MOM!?” I like to respond to this approach with maturity and a real mothers touch so I reply, “Logan? Logan? Logan? Logan?” He squints and rubs his eyes, a move he makes when he is embarrassed or trying to hold back a smile, the smile breaks through. He recognizes that I am mimicking him, he thinks it’s funny and sees why I am doing it. He thinks for a moment and then says… “Mom?”
Bella, never one to be left out, has been climbing onto my lap while the momming has been taking place. She perches on my stomach. Sticks her finger in my mouth while I try to talk to whomever it is on the phone, then jabs a finger in my eye. She then gets really close to my face, looks me right in the eye, smiles her biggest eight-toothiest smile, and in her sweetest, softest little girl voice says, “Hiiiii”
*sigh* How can I really be mad at any of this? They are too sweet, I just shouldn’t be trying to communicate with the outside world…obviously.
If you are ever interested in witnessing this phenomenon you should try Skyping us, they go bananas when they can see the person I am talking to, and more importantly when they realize that the person can see them.

20111210-085703.jpg

Yes I know I can’t draw.

The Family We Get

9 Dec

All this planning to get together with family members, thinking about them, trying to decide on just the right gift, got me thinking. About family, about the clan we are born into and the expectations and rules that come with that.
There are a lot of assumptions built into family structures. For some reason somebody somewhere made some rules and most of us just follow them, unquestioning, because “it’s family”. I considered going on a rant here about all the stupid things I was and sometimes still am just expected to do in the name of family but I decided against this because my goal here is a touch more specific.
Right at this moment I want to talk about attachment. Something I feel I understand very clearly in one direction because of how much I love my kids. How I would go to the ends of the earth for them and never ever give them up for any reason. I don’t do it on purpose, I don’t feel this way because a parent is supposed to. These feelings came on their own. Bam! I had babies and my heart grew and emotions went into overdrive.
All these feelings of love and connection I have for them really makes me wonder. Is it different for other people? Obviously. Is it even more different for men. I think so. If you don’t know the child for as long, or don’t carry them within you is it easier to walk away? I expect so. If someone else you love and yearn to stay close too proposes that you can only be with them if you abandon your child, does that make it a decision you don’t even need to consider? Maybe. I suppose it depends on a whole host of factors.
These are some of the things that run through my mind when I go to the place in my mind that wonders about my dad.
I don’t think about it, or him, very much. I wasn’t that young girl pining for the father that was never there. I didn’t look at other girls with their fathers, the princess, daddy’s little girl, and envy them. If he had have been around for long enough for me to know him and then was gone I imagine I would have a harder time with it, but the reality is I just don’t know any different. I’ve never experienced that relationship so I simply don’t know what I’m missing, if anything.
When I see Scott with the babies. When I see him light up at the end of the day when they run squealing to him as he walks in the door. When I miss them while I’m getting groceries. When they get to a new milestone, or show little kid kindness, which is extra sweet. When I look back at how much they have changed in just a few short years. When I see how much being their father has changed Scott for the better. In observance of all of this I really struggle to comprehend how a father can know that his daughter is out there, growing and changing, and do nothing. Not call or visit. Does he wonder? That was a question I asked myself a lot. Does he even think about the one he left behind? How could he not? How do you have a child, meet them, know them for something like two years then vanish?
The conclusion I usually come to is that he is clearly not someone worth knowing anyway. If he can be so inconsiderate and detached why would I even bother caring? He chose not to know me, he didn’t give me a chance. What reason do I have to give him even a second thought? Dammit! Because now I have kids, and I love them and I cannot wrap my head around life without them.
This is where I go through that pro and con list in my head and try to weigh out how I should feel and perhaps even what I should do. On one hand he has never been a part of my life and going on with my life without any trace of him would really be no different. And what if I do reach out, put myself out there, maybe even meet him. What if he is wildly disappointing? What if meeting him is worse than the not knowing? What if he’s mean, what if he tells me he never wanted anything to do with me and is annoyed with me for wasting his time? Sounds pretty evil, but he’s kinda been doing just that for the past twenty some years. But wait! What if some day when he dies I think oh crap now I’ll never have my chance, more importantly, I never tried to make that chance happen for my kidlets. He is their grandfather, at some point they are going to be like hey daddy has a mommy and a daddy, why does mommy only have a mommy. They are going to ask me about him, and I am ok with being open and honest and explaining that sometimes not all of the character roles in our lives are filled. I want them to have it all though. I say that then I think wtf self?! How is a man who leaves his offspring a part of having it all? He is not. I don’t know how he doesn’t die inside when he realizes what amazing things he is missing out on. My kids are freaking awesome, and he’s not seeing that. The man is a Grandpa and he’s just like whatever. Well at this precise moment in time I say whatever guy who contributed half of my DNA. I would respect you more if all you were was a sperm donor.
I go back and forth on this a lot. I don’t know what will happen or where it will go.
I think when it comes down to it I do want to know him, but the him I want to know might not be the him he is. No matter what I expect to be disappointed to some extent and maybe once I can settle that with myself I will be able to make a choice. A choice that may be futile as all I can do is contact him, whether or not he agrees to talk to or see me is another disappointment trap all in itself.

The Family We Choose

6 Dec

I have a truly great group of girlfriends. They are beautiful, smart and funny women. They each possess characteristics I strive for and they inspire me to be better. There are four in particular who I consider my closest friends. I can talk to all of them about anything. I trust them completely. My relationship with each of them is such that I know they will always be there for me and I am always here for them. I wasn’t always in a place in my life when I knew for sure where I stood with people. I am so happy that I have friends whom I love and who I know love me back, it’s a great thing to have.
My oldest and closest friend truly is my rock. She has been there through all of the biggest moments in my life. When I’m feeling panicked or uncertain about something she is always my first call, and each time she gets me back to sanity and calms me. She always knows just what to say to help me gain much needed perspective. She is smart and caring and never asks for anything. The distance and time that keep us apart seem to grow every year yet each time we speak or get together our relationship remains the same, I’m very lucky to have her in my life.
The next I always first think of as the fun one. The one who I can always call when what I need is a night on the town with drinks and dancing. But she is much more than this. She is quick witted and has a fantastic sense of humor. She’s strong and always fights for what she believes in. No matter what we do together I know we will have fun, just having her there makes anything a great time. Whether it be a girls night out or sitting and talking for hours, I love having her in my life.
Now for the one who my relationship with started out very differently than it has ended up. When we met we were perhaps too similar to really become close. On the outside she is tough, she knows what needs to be done and she takes care of it. She’s very organized and her home is always perfect. I wish I was that woman, the one who’s home is spotless even if you stop by unannounced. I don’t know how she does it. But the part of her I love the most is the part that took time for me to get to know. Considerate and sweet she never lets me feel bad when I screw up. When I’m kicking myself and loosing sleep over something, particularly in my mothering role, she knows exactly what to tell me to get me out of it. She is wise and thoughtful, I honestly do not know what I would do without her.
Finally the one who has inspired me to be more appreciative and kind. She always sees the good in people. Full of energy she lights up any room she walks into. Always thinking of others and going out of her way to brighten up someone’s day. The newest addition to those I hold dearest I am so thankful to have found a great friend in her.

What I Thought I Knew, And Still Don’t Really Know

17 May

The years we spend caring about what others think of us start pretty young right? I think they do. I recall those years. Being worried about how I looked, what I said, how smart I was, or was not. Stressful. Most of those years I spent walking around assuming I was the only one with the thoughts I had. Feeling different and weird, and like I was always being singled out, in a negative way. Self conscious? Um yes. Shy? Also yes. I felt like no one in the world could possibly feel or think the way I did and so no one could understand me. And if they could not understand me they could not care about me, not completely. Pretty sad little thought process but it was there. Looking back now I see I was very self absorbed. I really believed that anyone who looked at me would form some kind of judgement in their mind.

I eventually realized that people weren’t really that concerned about everyone around them. They weren’t walking around looking for people to criticize. I remember very clearly driving down the road, probably with my Mom, and looking out the window. We drove past a house around dinner time and there were lights on inside. I don’t know what was different about that moment but just then it hit me. There was a family (or some people, or one person) in there having dinner and likely conversation about stuff. They had their own lives, their own concerns and I had nothing to do with it. On some level up until that point I had been assuming everyone else on the planet was essentially an extra on the set of my life. There most often to make me feel bad about myself and every now and then to befriend me. I wouldn’t say I consciously felt this way but looking back it sounds about right. I have to give myself some slack here and point out that most tween and teens have this perception of the world, at least I believe they do.

Somewhere in the course of my social development I came to a new conclusion, and started basing my assumptions and interactions on this new thought. That everyone was just like me. That people more or less go through the same thought process that I do and would mostly come to the same conclusions as I did if faced with the same decisions. That there was a logic, a way of seeing things that was universal. This method of understanding the people around me quickly showed it’s flaws, not that I let go of it or anything. When someone expressed an opinion different from my own I was confused. I tried to put their words and actions into my predetermined formula and they didn’t fit. It was frustrating. Why didn’t they have the same thoughts that I did? Aren’t we all governed by the same basic rules of how things work? What is right and wrong, good and bad? I still struggle with this. I”m stubborn and hard headed and when someone disagrees with me and I don’t understand why I get annoyed.

I have this innate need to understand. To get to the bottom of whatever it is I am thinking about or dealing with. To say it irritates the people around me would be an understatement. Scott gets the worst of it, and to him, a man who has truly mastered the art of the one word answer, my repetitious why’s  drive him up the wall.  More recently I have learned that my need to understand may be more of a need to control than to truly comprehend. Using the word understand makes it sound passive and interested. Really though I think my constant question asking is seeking out an answer I can change or manipulate. When things don’t go the way I want or expect them to I search for a way to change them. I have a hard time accepting that I can’t get my way.

Presently I have been able to recognize my selfish and manipulative traits and try to change them. And my most recent conclusion about humanity is that I was wrong. I am not especially different with everyone around me serving as background noise. And I am not just like everyone around me. Everyone is especially different. Not only physically and in opinion, but in thought process and decision making. We all have a different sense of the world and the people in it. I perceive the world in my own unique way, as does everyone else. It sounds obvious I know. Yet somehow I spent the majority of my thinking life believing otherwise. Perhaps it was my youth, naivety or narcissism.  I don’t know. What I know is that my children, like all others, will likely go through similar phases where their perception of their surroundings will not be accurate.  And that will be difficult for me, as their Mother. To try to guide them through their lives in a way that will lead them to a more complete picture of their world. If I just tell them they probably won’t really believe me. But I can’t leave them in the dark either. Breadcrumbs here and there containing what I have learned in my time is likely the best I will be able to do. They won’t hear most of it, I didn’t. What they do hear they may think is foolish coming from someone who could not possibly have ever experienced youth, that’s how I saw grown-ups when I was younger. If I wanted to let myself go there I could get really worked up about how scary what lays before me really is. How many ways I could ruin my kids. Send them down the wrong path or lead with the wrong example. It’s to big to wrap my head around completely I think. I’m not going to try, or even let myself start to panic the way I normally do when I see a situation ahead of me I will not be able to control. I am consciously choosing not to map out every option and detail. To deal with what comes as I see it and use the very best judgement I can at the time. I will make mistakes and sometimes maybe wish I could change things, but I promise to myself that I will always remember that I did the best I could.

That’s what we are all doing isn’t it? The best we can with what we have? I think so. And I think that’s a pretty great way to be. Always try your best. You can never look back with regret if you know you tried your best at every turn.

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