I wish I had a word of automatic comfort but I don’t. I wish I could say that it will be alright on a certain or specific day but I can’t. I wish that all of the pain that I have endured could possibly ease some of yours but it won’t. What I can do for you is what has been…
“I tell my 6-year-old son that the only time the ice cream truck plays music is when it’s sold out.”—(via parentingconfessional)…. I submitted this never thinking it would get posted. This is real life friends!!!!
My son is like many other kids at this age. Sadly, it’s epidemic. I see kids everywhere doing it. It’s the age—I know. They touch ‘em. They rub ‘em. They even wiggle ‘em. It’s those darn loose teeth. And now, my little man has rubbed, massaged, and pulled on ‘em to pull them out! He is toothless! Well, only in the front on the top! My snaggle—I love him!!!
Scenario: We read for about 30 minutes every night. We have been reading the Ramona series and as we wrap it up, we have gotten to the part where Mrs. Quimby is pregnant and Beazus and Ramona are thinking of names for the baby. Once Beazus found out what her name means, there is a illustration of her dancing in their living room.
K: Mama, what is she doing?
Me: I think she’s dancing.
K: Actually, I think she’s Ballareen-ing.
K: Yeah, you know, as in being a beautiful ballerina!
Me: You just created that word, didn’t you?
K: Of course I did—that’s how smart I am now that I’m in kindergarten…You can read now.
I am not your typical 40something Mama. People who know me, know this to be true. While I pride myself on striving to be a pretty good Mama, I know I’m not perfect and don’t look at other Mom’s in comparison! We are all just trying to do the best we can with what we’ve got. However, some of the “seasoned” (AKA, more-than-one-kid) Mama’s at K’s school have opinions/comments/thoughts about my parenting techniques and me. And, for those of you who have a drop off routine, you know that you see the same group of families around the same time every day. Our life is no different.
Here are a few examples:
Some of the rules at K’s school are just strait “stupid”, in my opinion. I get it—some of them are about safety. I completely understand! Still doesn’t make me think they are any less stupid! When he gets in trouble for breaking them, I want to laugh out loud and stare at them like, “Really?!” My poker face isn’t very good when it comes to things like this. While I make him obey them, in my head, I am thinking, “When he can understand this better, I will explain to him that he can’t do it at school, but at home—go for it homie!” A few Moms’, in particular, have seen my facial expressions and have commented to me that I need to just embrace the rules. I smile and keep walking but in my head, the thoughts are basically, “Um… no thanks lady. That’s not how I get down, but thanks for your opinion!”
I wear heels ALL the time. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall—this Mama is in heels. I like them, I feel good in them and they make me feel fabulous! I feel elongated and slimmer (even when I’m really not). I feel tall and pretty! Also, I pay a lot of money to keep my toes nice-looking, so I like to show them. I like to see them. Hell, there were a lot of years that I was so fat that I couldn’t even see my feet, so now that I can, I’m just happy to see them! Some of the Mom’s have something to say about this. EVERY! DANG! DAY!
My hair and makeup, even when I’m sick, is on point. Some days I don’t have eye shadow on, but I ALWAYS have mascara and even just some lip-gloss! A few of the morning mom’s have commented something to the effect of, “WOW, you always get done up!” I just smile and say thank you, but you know I’m thinking, “Uh, aren’t we on our way to work? Aren’t we about to start our day? Your boss/co-workers/husband/significant other may thank you if you used a comb!”
Music. Music seems to be the one that gets a lot of these Mamas in a huff. K and I have a routine on the way to school (all ¼ of a mile that it is!). We listen to music LOUD. It gets us pumped up! We sing along loudly. We like it! It starts our day out on a high note. My kid loves music and so do I! This morning, one of the regulars (who always has something to say about my clothes, shoes, makeup and music choice) said this morning, “I heard the song you were listening to this morning! I’m surprised you let him listen to that kind of music!” I wasn’t gonna say anything, but it was her tone that got me. “What kind of music?” “Well, it sounds like you let him listen to rap and stuff! I mean, does it have cuss words in it?” “I actually don’t let him listen to rap, we listen to hip hop and yes, I do let him listen to that. I try to eliminate cuss words, but I’m not always successful. Just like I’m sure most parents aren’t totally successful in NEVER using potty talk around their kids!” Her response was something to the effect of, “Oh. WOW. Well, I guess you guys like stuff like that!”
Oh, sweet, conservative, younger than me mom. Thank you for the compliment! Yes, we do like our music loud. Yes we do listen to hip-hop. Yes, we do sing along. And yes, we will continue to be fabulous! It’s all good!
It’s our son’s 6th birthday today and I can’t help but think about you today. You are always at the forefront of my mind, but on days like today, more so. I want you to know that today, as we celebrate his birth, you are missed. Your presence to see our son grow and mature and smile and laugh and rip open his gifts is missed. I know that sounds corny since I’ve never met you, but the funny thing is, I have. In every facial expression, or mannerism that our son does that I don’t recognize as something taught or learned, I think, “is that from Z?” or “Does Z do that too?” You are forever intertwined into who he is; into our family.
Let me tell you a few things about our boy on his 6th birthday:
He’s a hugger. More times than not, I have to remind him about personal space or asking people if he can give them a hug. He just loves to be near people and show affection.
He’s smart. This kid says some of the funniest things. He is witty and sarcastic—almost to a fault. His vocabulary is out of this world and he loves using big words. Ironically enough, he uses them correctly.
He’s a firecracker. He has more energy than I know what to do with sometimes. While it can get him in to trouble, he just wants to run free all the time!
He loves being barefoot. He could wear flip flops or sandals all year round. But he’d much rather be footloose and fancy free.
He’s a horrible sharer. He really dislikes sharing. Some of that is just being an only child and some of it, I think, stems from worrying that he may never get that toy back.
He loves chili cheese fries from Del Taco. He can’t get enough of them.
He’s a magnet sleeper/cuddler. He has to have his feet wedged up under you if he’s sitting or sleeping next to you. It can be sweet or annoying, depending on what mood you are in.
He’s a charmer. He works his magic with the ladies and loves every second of it. It’s those big eyes and that sweet smile that gets ‘em every time.
He loves to dance. He isn’t great at it, but loves to do it all the same.
He is easily frustrated when things don’t go his way. He’s quick to say, “That’s not fair!” and I gently remind him that life isn’t fair.
He loves to read. We read at night in bed for about 30 minutes and is truly disappointed when he can’t get in as much reading time as he would like.
He’s happy. Truly, truly a happy boy. He smiles more than should be considered legal and just enjoys life in general.
Z, there is so much more that makes up who our son is, but this is just a glimpse. Know that I love you; we love you. Without you, there is no us and I don’t take that lightly. I never will. I pray that our paths will cross and that I can reach out to you and hug you and thank you. I pray that I can share these stories with you in person one day and let you know that you are forever a part of the amazing fabric that makes up our family. I pray that one day, you two will be able to find each other and give each other a hug—he gives great hugs; I promise, you won’t be disappointed. I am sure that you are thinking about our son on this day, his 6th birthday, from 8,840 miles away; there isn’t a doubt in my mind.
Scenario: K-man was talking to Mr. JC on the phone (on speaker) and was asking him about how much he loves him. They were “arguing” about whether or not Mr. JC loves me more or K-man. After several, “no you love me more than Mama!” statements, Mr. JC finally conceded, and stated something to the effect of, “You sure are loved a lot, aren’t you?!”
JC: So Man Man, what are you gonna do with all that love?
K: Give it away!
JC: Wow! That’s right Man Man. With a lot of love, we give some away! That’s a grown up answer right there boy!!!
*It’s so true! When we get love, we give love!!! So proud of my two men!!!
Scenario: Getting out of the bath on a random Monday
K: Mama, how much do you love me?
Me: You are the most important thing in life to me.
K: So you love me more than anyone?
Me: I love lots of people so very much. But I love you so so so much and a lot more than some people! Like this much (with my arms open wide to the side, then vertically, then wrapped around myself in a big hug)!!!
K: But do you love me more than Nana?
K: More than Grandpa?
K: More than Mr. JC?
K: You know Mama, he told me that he loves me more than he loves you, so…
Me: Is that right? Well, we can ask him when he calls tonight.
K: No, just trust me. That’s what he said!
Me: Hmmmm!!! I don’t know about that!!!
K: It’s true. Seriously! Now, come here you! Gimme some sugar!!!
This weekend, James and I had a huge setback. We have been waiting on some news that basically determines our future and the verdict was like a blow to the chest—the wind was literally knocked out of us. We had waited 10 months for this information and had really thought that the timing was in our favor; we both truly didn’t have a shred of doubt that we would come out on top—life threw us a curve ball! Now, I am sure you are thinking that this is cryptic, but that’s basically because I don’t put all of my business out there, but trust me—this sucked! And it sucked big time. Tears flowed. Concerns rose up. Fears tried to creep in. It shook me to the core. It irritated me beyond belief. It scared the heck outta me.
After the tears stopped and I got outta my head with all kinds of scary and frustrating and intimidating scenarios, my type A personality kicked in, and I was able to assess the situation with a semi-clear head. Many times, a set back is just a set up for a comeback. I really had to rest on and rely in the comfort I received from friends and family. I really had to seek God and pray to get a peace about what to do next. I really have to trust James and what he has promised me. And James really has to trust me and what I have promised him. We had plans for 2014 and they didn’t include these shenanigans.
So… what if we have to wait another year to be married? No biggie! We get to spend forever together, so why not take this time to really dig into deeper issues and get to know one another better. So what if we have to wait another year live in the same area code? That’s ok. We will have the rest of our lives to live happily ever after, right?!
I can’t wait to see what this year unfolds. A no now doesn’t mean a no for forever. Get ready for the comeback—cause I can assure you, this was one hell of a set back!
Scenario: At the Doctor’s office and K’s doctor is trying to make small talk.
Dr.: So, K, what is your favorite animal?
K: Well, that’s too tough to answer because I like so many animals.
Dr.: (Surprised look with a smirk) Is that right?
K: Well, uh, yeah. I like cheetahs because they are fast. Do you know that they are the fastest land animal? They also live in Africa and that’s where I’m from. But I like porcupines because they have an adaptation to defend against enemies. Their quills are sharp and they are herbivores. I like T-Rex’s because he’s the meanest dinosaur ever. They’re carnivores so that means they eat meat. They have short arms though which is funny. But I like the Harris Hawk. It’s a raptor and raptors are living dinosaurs. Yeah, I have a lot of favorite animals.
Dr.: (turning to me) Well, ok then! Guess I need to brush up on my knowledge of various animals.
*Me just smiling and shaking my head. Thinking: Yeah, lady, welcome to my life! And thanks PBS for Wild Krats!
And no, I’m not being dramatic. On our drive home from San Francisco this past weekend, we were driving home and moving along in the fast lane. As I noticed that the carpool lane was slowing down, I immediately slowed down—I never trust the people in the carpool lane to stay there when the traffic slows. Thank goodness I did! I was sailing along at about 65 when this car just cut in front of me. I slammed on my breaks and looked to the right to see if I could move over, but I couldn’t. There was another SUV there. I quickly looked behind me to see how close the car behind me was, and they were close. However, all of the sudden, the car next to me was gone and I was able to move over to avoid side swiping this little coupe who was clearly trapped when he realized I was about to hit him.
I was completely shaken up and my son, knowing me, said, “Mama. I’m ok. You don’t have to be scared anymore!” His little sweet voice made me immediately cry. I pulled off the freeway to compose myself and catch my breathe. I got out, gave him a hug and then climbed back in to get us the 13 miles home. In the 4 years since becoming his Mama, this is the first time something like this has happened. It freaked me out. I wasn’t scared for me, but for my baby, my only child. The “coulda’s” freaked me out. James called me right after and I was able to talk it through with him as well, but I was still shaken up.
After we pulled into our driveway, K said, “Mama, do you think that guy that tried to crash us knows I’m a superhero? Do you think he’s a villain trying to destroy us before I could destroy his evil plans?” My boy! Always thinking with his superpowers!
For the past 3 years, I have started off the new year with my OneWord commitment. As I have repeatedly stated, I do not like New Years resolutions. All they do, for me, is set me up for failure. I also don’t like to have “specific” goals. Again, that just let’s me know what I have or haven’t done off of a checklist. Yet, for the past 3 years, I have really been successful with focusing on my one word. In 2013, I “connect”ed in ways that I didn’t think were possible. In 2012, I “embraced” the year. In 2011, I “committed” my year to a refocus. This year, it’s my desire to say “yes”.
This past year, I read a book called “Love Does” by Bob Goff. He has a chapter talking about saying “yes”. He says, “I used to think you had to be special to have God use you, but now I think you simply need to say yes.” Since I am certainly not a “yes” person, you might wonder what this means. Even having said that, this is what this year is going to be about. I want more for my family, from my career, for my community, and for myself. I want more of what God has for me. For me to have more, I have to say yes to more things. Now this doesn’t mean that I agree to chauffer every friend I know to the airport or be in every single wedding that I’m asked to be in or agree to do every single thing that presents itself—that’s just wack-a-doodle and completely impossible. But, it does require that I step out in faith on some things.
So, this year, as I set my mind, heart, and eyes on 2014, here is my game plan. I want to:
Say YES to God. I want Him to know that no matter what He asks me to do, I will do it—without hesitation, without fail and full of faith.
Say YES to my family, friends and loved ones. I want to be the best Mom, daughter, fiancée, friend, co-worker, stranger and person I can be. I want to be someone people can rely on—not just for a favor, but for a hug, a smile, a friend, a gut check, a prayer, and love!
Say YES to staying healthy. This year I stayed about the same weight all year and I feel good. Let’s say yes to long walks, 15 minute break walk, making better eating choices most of the time and keeping my healthy lifestyle that includes mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.
Say YES to my community and the people and causes I am passionate about. My fiancée and I are passionate about helping young people. This year opened new doors for us in that arena. I want to continue be an agent of change for those who enter my life. I want to impact and not necessarily impress. By saying “yes”, I will continue to make a difference in my community and for my neighbor.
This year is going to be amazing. I just know it. I am looking forward to what it has in store and as the days turn into week, and weeks turn into months—I will continue to say YES!
What do you want to accomplish this year? What is your goal? What are your dreams for this year?