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Me and Him

I happened on a blogger’s post about her son empty nesting her. Off to college he went. And she couldn’t believe how quickly the time had gone by. When I had my son, so many people wanted to warn me about the speediness of it all. A bit like the youth is wasted on the young speech at that point. There’s no perspective until it’s earned.

I offered her reference to the Kahlil Gibran poem about children and mothers being like arrows and bows. The bow can not go with the arrow. Never could. Great piece about the nature of the letting go  from the get go of parenting. Embodies everything I aspire to remember as a mother.

I had my child because I wanted a child with the man I loved. Some women may have children because they need purpose. Some women are such natural mothers, it is their purpose. Some feel they should want it and there’s something there they’ll discover. Insert your reasons here.

All of us mothers will comprehend on some level that we must let them go at some point, whether we want to or not. Recently, my child has begun making his circles wider. I know when I call him and he does not answer, he actually is close by. But it’s this hide and seek I can feel coming on as he seeks to find himself away from me. And there’s a similar search going on for me as well.

I have spent the past couple years finally giving myself over to my passions. Tentatively, at first, and now with more and more gusto. Writing and playing and the blog is a means to show myself and talents finally. Proof I exist separately. These are my life’s gifts and my life’s goals. And my beautiful smart son is definitely a gift and a goal too but not my sole purpose.

When I am satisfied enough with my “soul” amusement, I can spend quality time with my son and be mostly present. I notice the difference and so does he. So making myself a priority pays off for everyone.

Yes, our circles overlap. And when I take care of my separate part of the circle, our overlap has more meaning. That also means that he’s got a part of his circle that I will not be a part of. As it should be. Like when time comes for high school locker talk, I want no part of it anyway. Any and all talk of nightly geysers or base running with girls, I told the husband that’s all his. Unless my son wants to talk while I’m getting a pedicure, then I’m all ears.

Ready or not, Here’s Mommy

And so, on the eve the extravaganza that is Mommy’s Day, I felt the need to speak. (Which is the same as every day but here we are enjoying this post together). Spent the day with my Mom and son. Did my laundry, dishes, waffle making, gardening, and mothering the boy through whatever attitude he’d mustered for me today with his father missing from the boundriatic equation. I’ve been told I make it all look easy and that’s why I get taken advantage of by all the members of the household. The son, the father, and the stunt surrogate daughter.

So I got to thinking, what does it mean to me to be a Mom? Because, as much as I wanted this, I never really knew what it meant or why it was as good as it ended up being. And then I remembered the following post from last summer

“Hi, I’m Julie my son’s cruise director for the summer’s Love Boat. As my son’s summer scheduler, I made sure that he had the kick ass summer he should have before first grade. Legendary? Yes. He got to experience all the ego boosting activities kids are supposed to experience.

Recap. We spent a week at the beach making sand castles and daring waves to dump us. He learned to swim and put his head under water in the last hour there. He went fishin’ and watched two fireworks displays. He has a front tooth with an official wiggle. The boy learned to ride a bike well. He’s begun to read because he’s compelled by his curiosity. He mastered Foosball and all sorts of stuff on Wee Sport Resort. He kissed a girl at Y camp. He performed onstage, rode a pony, and spent a week programming computer characters. And he had his own special day in the middle of August. Come on. If that doesn’t sound like the best summer for a six-year-old, then someone’s an overachiever besides me.

We are their mirrors and the masters of their destinies in many ways. I couldn’t have done any better by him. And I don’t need him to be anything more than happy. Happiness is a gift you give yourself…through your child’s esteem.”

I celebrate myself and my child growing me up and keeping me honest  If I’m not at my best, he knows. He can sense my wobbly esteem and he adopts it as his own. So I just signed him up for the two-day camps for the summer of ’12. But Super Mama needs time for herself too. R and R my way, taking care of my needs, and staying present for my life and health and happiness will guarantee a “we all live happily ever after mother’s day” ending.

PS. I lost my surrogate child yesterday to her boyfriend’s abode. When she turned 21, she was already gone .We’ll see you soon dear girl. I’ve got empty nest , sandwich generation , 7-year-old boy syndrome, and temporary single parenthood cooking at once. Buy me a drink sailor?

Mommy Thought Thoughts

I really wanted to just get on with some normality yesterday and today. After all the drama, I wanted some same old. No “thought thought” I told the husband.

So yesterday, I made granola, pita chips, and brown rice. I ironed mainly long sleeve shirts Mark just put into the deep storage closet today. I labeled and sorted my clothing to help make me feel more ready for the unknown days and weather to come.

Unfortunately, I also balanced the checkbook. I discovered, as if I didn’t know, we’re still in a financial sink hole after the taxes got paid. I feel sick to not be contributing monetarily. Except I keep our heads above water and our credit scores clean. I had put aside the school pictures order for the next check to come in.  But then I realized yesterday was picture day. I began to curse and had to run a check up to the school. The son got pulled out of class to get his picture taken and then go to recess. It better be a good picture.

I kept thinking, what would I be doing to make money that wouldn’t take me away too much?  I used to be a valuable money-making member of society. Now, recently, I had to prove to the powers that be and decide, I was actually a real member of America’s in-crowd.

Back to normal. Today, I went for a run. I haven’t done that in a couple of weeks. I did all the laundry and folded it and put it away. I went out in the backyard with my kid and made an effort to boost his esteem by having him prove to himself he could hit a tennis ball with his bat. He got a hold of a couple. The unloaded dishes and made the dinner. My exhaustion says I contributed.

We stay at home moms have a hard time valuing our contributions. We feel powerless to make the money but we manage it. We provide all comforts and services that make the home not just a house. I thought that if we all actually carried as much weight of the world as we think we do, the world would then weigh nearly nothing.

I want to blame myself somehow for not having healthcare or savings. For not being a financial wizard. But that’s ridiculous. So I have requested some research into folding some business debt into larger loans and hopefully empowering me to feel less like a loser mommy and more like a winner Mommy. When I feel good, the boy feels good. I got a little of myself and my confidence back today. But I feel I’ve a ways to go.

 

 

In the Christmas Mood

I do not get automatically in the mood for Christmas at Thanksgiving. When did that start, the tradition of having all the decorations done by the end of Black Friday? My Christmas spirit is temperamental. It needs coaxing from it’s year’s slumber. Like horniness, it needs foreplay. I decorated a fifteen foot tree at church and that didn’t do it. Maybe my mood doesn’t come until a week into December or when it gets cold.

It seems  that spirit crept up on me while I wasn’t looking. I spun the garland and lights and red mesh around my doorway like a Christmas spider on the last of the warm days in December. And my husband said it looked really good. Ego boost as incentive.

We’ve planned our family outing to fetch our live tree on Sunday. It’s a thang. And today, I began to fiddle with the paper houses that are typically on the mantel in our parlor. But this year, the neighborhood is moving front and center to the living room. I found the designs in an article in Country Living in 2007. Four years later, I finally embellished my buildings completely.

My ever-changing mood and satisfaction with my tree decorations is the unknown element in the Christmas decorating season. Typically, I just strive to impress myself with something. Two years ago, the red branch chandelier was pretty fabulous. This year, I’m thinking of going somewhat minimalistic on myself and seeing if I can stand it. Brown paper flowers with red pine cones. And maybe white paper chain garlands. We’ll see how it goes. Especially when my little boy wants to help. Eeyikes Wish me luck.

Too Many Things That I Want To Do

 

“There are too many things that I want to do,” I say to my husband outside the shower he’s taking. He says, “Don’t you mean, need to do?” I think and I say, “No, I do mean ‘want to do’ ”. Sort out my conflicted feelings about my family. Or organize all of my kid’s kindergarten papers before first grade takes off at breakneck speed. Then my husband begins to offer up his suggestions for my time management.

They mean well, those men in our lives. They hear there’s a problem and they want to fix it. I cut him off before he suggests I should be more like his mother and schedule Fridays for grocery shopping. I say, “Why do you suppose my feet hurt all the time?” “I dunno”, he says and throws in the one- upper about his arthritic toes always hurting. I say, “Because I am always on my feet. I never sit down.” I am cleaning the kitchen, exercising, playing soccer with the kid, cleaning, doing laundry, or cooking yet another meal that makes more dishes. He actually wants to start accounting for my hours in a day and if I was making it all up when I said I’m free after one o’clock in the afternoon even though my kid gets one the bus at 8:30 AM. I raised my voice at this point.

His other aching toed foot went in his mouth when he said I might reclaim the “me time” I keep hoping for in 20 years from now. But by then I’ll probably have grandchildren to preoccupy my time. For real? And no fair. Being a caretaker doesn’t mean sacrificing your wanting soul on the pyre of eternity. Additionally, he admitted he thought writers spontaneously write when they feel the urge. I said no, the real writers block out the time to sit their rumps down and act like it’s a real job. Oh, he says.

Needless to say, I was mad at him today. Not snorting and stomping mad, but aggravated. Yet he is only echoing the asininities of generations of ignorants whose blanket statements I may be buying sometimes too. I could feel the lady wanting to protest. We hover, yet, when we take a night off, we get indignant that we’re met with such resistance and incompetence. No fair either.
I want to figure out what my wants are. These are aside and separate from what I have to or need to do. I might include in my list of wants that I want learn to type. Or devoid of the worry of what I’m giving up to do so, I might want to be able to work up to a 5 mile run or spend an afternoon writing or even watching movies. I might want to play in my house all day, decorating to my heart’s content, and then go to get my nails done, grabbing a mochaccino frappe latte from DD, and, on my return home, mess my nails up on a whim by digging in my garden. Impetuously moving plants around until my kid gets off the bus out in front of the house. And then I might want to hear about his day and feed him a snack. And I want peace in knowing that whatever I chose to do today was exactly what I needed to do.

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