Teenage Girls

I have teenage daughters.
I used to be a teenager. I never think of that time as easy or forgettable. I remember. The struggles and emotional world wind that time was to me is brought back to the surface time and again listening to my daughter’s stories. But, I also know with surety that the time we spend in this hormonal hell hole is short. In the big picture it is clear but I understand when you’re in it that it feels like forever. Continue reading

Soccer Lessons

I have had a great privilege coaching for 4 years in soccer. I started out as an assistant and then for 2 years took on head coach. I am one of the few women that coach in the higher age groups. It is challenging to work with 13 and 14 year olds. Most days I’m muttering under my breath about puberty and hormones and one day they’ll be normal. I took on the volunteer roles in order for my own daughters to play the sport they love. The first year coaching was with my oldest and then the last 3 years with my middle daughter. Continue reading

The Honest Truth

I want to be clear. If I ever give off the impression that I got this whole “life” thing figured out. I do not. I’m sorry if it comes across that way. I would say about half my life I wore a heavy veil over my eyes. I had some natural ability to be a counselor to my friends and trusted my gut without explanation. But, I was heavily shrouded with my outside self and less focused on my true self. Continue reading

Mommy Love

So, I hear from my friend who tells me that she thinks I should open up my heart more. I recently related to all of you that I have this feeling of distance in my heart. But, after more contemplation I know there is love in all things. I love my little family. I have said to my children that I wanted to have more connection between all of us. Get off the ipods and computers and talk to one another. They really stepped up. Continue reading

Dear Mom – Smells

When I first heard this one I laughed because my first response was “I hope I don’t have to smell her perfume.” It was always such a strong scent and it disagreed with my nose. My mother liked things in a big way. She wore bright colors and strong scents. I am understated. I like dark colors and hints of scent. She used to always tell me “Where’s the color?” as I walked around in jeans and black shirts. But, I wasn’t privy to those strong scents. What I did get was smelling strange scents that seemed to have no explanation, but I didn’t know who or what it may have ties to. Or, we had more then one rousing conversation about smells. I was laughing as my kids discussed their favorite smells and the worst smells in more then one van trip. Soccer season has started and there was so many convos about sweaty feet. My one child rolled down the window and screamed get it out of here. I laughed ’til I cried. I found my joy in this one. Thank you.

 

Letter From My Future Self

I apologize. Sorry. I never realized your dreams because I was scared. I felt that to go for it was risky. I had the 3 kids and the husband that were counting on me to be safe, reliable and attentive to them. I questioned myself constantly. My brain was riddled with the relentless inquiries, “how are you going to do this?”, “millions of people are talented, why do you think you are special?” or “what if you fail?” I know, I had been at the bottom before, but with everything at stake could I rise up again? I felt safe here. It was comfortable. I eventually tucked away the dreams to be forgotten.

I was a good mom. I raised children who watched me be content with my life. They’d catch me staring into the distance not realizing that my dreams and aspirations were being taken by the wind. They took safe jobs, safe relationships and lived exactly like I did. No risks. I wanted them to believe in themselves. I wanted them to know they could be or do anything that their hearts desired. But, sadly actions speak louder than words. They watched me be safe. So, they chose that for themselves as well. It was good enough for me it was good enough for them.

My dreams were not forgotten. I am at a point in my life that I can see how simple it is to go for it. I don’t care what others think anymore. I have no time for bullshit. I kick myself that I didn’t just throw caution to the wind instead of my dreams into the vastness of nothing. I should have known that it was just me telling myself I couldn’t do it. Why would I want to stop myself from living my best life? Why had I done it for so long? Fear. I have no more fear. It left me when I knew that I had nothing to lose anymore. Death is coming for me. I see it clearly now that I stood in my own way.

If I could change anything, I would ask myself to be brave. Start small and take a little risk. Take a little more. Repeat: My children will learn more from what I do then what I say. And, then believe, even just a small amount that it is all possible. You can do and be bigger and braver then you thought possible. You have a purpose and it is within your grasp. Grab it!!

Where Did I Come From?

My middle daughter has been learning about reproduction and then coming home asking about her birth story. Sexual education is my favourite part of health in school at this age. Because it’s not really about sex but all the inner workings on how things work in and around the sex act. 

Of course my daughter asked questions with the other 2 kids with me plus my daughters friend. This was our conversation:

Honey: Mom was I born casarean? 

Me: No you were born through the vajayjay.

Her friend laughs. 

Honey: What?

Me: The vagina

Her friend: My moms friend calls it a vaj. 

They talk about the different names. There is giggles. My oldest daughter tries to turn up the music. 

My son, Bubby: How did I come out?

Me: The vagina. 

Shock and awe insue. Giggles and more chatter. 

Bubby: What about Bee? 

Me: The vagina

Bee, oldest daughter: Stop talking about this. 

Bubby, pats her on the shoulder: It’s ok. We all went through it. 

I laughed so hard.  

Me, turning to Bee: I can’t wait until you have kids and then this will be even funnier. 

Bee rolls eyes and music gets turned up. 

Love being their mom!! 

Mother’s Reinvent Mother’s Day

Motherless Mother’s Day. I know, it sounds gross. It is true. I have no mother here to celebrate with.  The truth is that I am ok. I became a mother. I have 3 kids that have all made me something and will surprise me with their gift of love tomorrow. I am grateful for that. It is cute and sweet even if it is forced on them by their teacher. Kidding, they are truly excited and have been talking about it all week.

I tried for many years to continue to honor my mother and myself on the “special” day. But, it started to feel like a task. My mother is gone. I can speak to her in prayer and anytime I truly think of her she is here with me. I feel her with me now. She presses her energy against me that I call it a spiritual hug. I cannot feel the same way if I visit her grave. I feel cold there now kind of like it only marks the death and not the life. I used to take myself out on Mother’s Day. I’d go out with my friends and celebrate it, but that started to feel odd too. Was it really a Mother’s Day, or just another day hanging out with friends?

I find that Mother’s Day seems to represent this day that should be extra special and it has the same 24 hours just like the day before and after. It comes with these expectations such as the commercials of bouquets of flowers and huge brunches. The dad’s barbeque while mom’s sip on mimosa’s. The kids and dad give mom diamonds because they care so much. How else do you cap off a spa day but with a diamond? I have never had that day. Nor did my mother.

But, I do remember a Mother’s Day where I made my mom some breakfast in bed. I gave her my gift I had made at school. I think I was about 10. I sat on the side of her bed and was so excited. I can only imagine my mom was showing any signs of happiness because I had tried so hard. If I had realized how hard motherhood was I would have put a shot of vodka in her orange juice and gave her a pedicure. I would have helped more whined less. I would have looked at her with wonder and not the fun spoiler I later believed she was and then couldn’t rectify that lack of closeness by her death.

I don’t think I ever told my mother all the good things. I do recall one of the best last conversations with her that I had. It was months before her death. It was as honest as I could have ever mustered the courage to talk to her about. I spoke to her plainly about her dying but I know I focused on how it would affect me the one that would be living. I was 18 and was selfish. But, my mom said, you have never ever talked like this before to me. I think she was glad I brought it up. It sounds crazy now, but with all the two years of illness and then death did not bring out a constant conversation about it. Cancer was like a whisper. It stayed in our home like an elephant in the corner of every room. The point is that I didn’t get that in that conversation I should have told my mom more plainly that I was going to miss her, I loved her and that it was unfair for her and me. She was a good mom. She took care of us, fed and clothed us. She worked hard. She was funny. She was a good friend and wife. All I can do is tell her now.

If I could plan that special day with her I would. I’d spike the punch. I’d take her out for a spa day. I’d go for a lovely meal. I’d make mimosa’s until we giggled and couldn’t stop. I’d present you with diamond earrings. I’d ask you if this was the best day ever. You’d say yes and tell me that you loved me more then my brothers, but don’t tell them so their feelings weren’t hurt. I’d beam and then we’d laugh. You’d really have loved it. I’d really would have beamed.

So, the point is that I’m ok. She knows. So, for this Mother’s Day I will truly feed off my kids excitement . I will not be depressed  or think they should know mom needs a splash of vodka in the juice or coffee or whatever they make me. I will treasure them in their moment. I will breathe a sigh of relief that I am with them and they are with me. The day is completely what I make of it!

Happy Mother’s Day for the mother’s out there or to the one that had you!