A Mover and A Shaker…

Lying in bed a few nights ago, chatting with my girl about her day, she confided that recess was sometimes tough, because lots of the kids were playing kickball and it wasn’t like how it’s played in gym.  They change the rules as they go, there’s yelling and so on.  You guessed it, the typical playground pick up game.  It changes dynamic when you don’t have a gym teacher as director.  B mentioned that she likes kickball in gym, but she’s too afraid to play in the recess games, because if she screws up, she’ll be embarassed and yelled at.  We talked about possible solutions, my contribution being that we would work on practicing in our yard that next day, so she could feel more confident.  I also told her my neat little trick of laughing at myself first, when I screw up, so that it doesn’t really feel all that painful if anyone else laughs.  We also talked about the possiblity of pulling in a few other “new” to kickball kids, so that she wouldn’t be the only fresh face.  All this wrapped up with, the closing statement that she didn’t have to play, but now she had the tools to participate if she felt inclined.  She mentioned that she’d started to a few times, but always backed down.  My girly is not ultra-competitive about team sports-she does NOT like yelling on any level.  It’s something she’s not really familiar with, thank God.

Driving home a couple days later, I asked how recess went and she casually said, “Oh I played kickball today”.  The look on my face must have been priceless.  “What?  Already???”.  “Well Mom, N was on the swings and he looked really bored, so I said hey, do you want to play kickball with me? And he did, so we took a ball and started playing and these other kids came over and I said that we could have a group that plays and is learning the rules and stuff.  Then the Coach that helps N out during recess time came over and gave us some instructions and tips!  We all had lots of fun and N was so happy that knows how to play kickball now!”.  I can’t help it.  I cried.  N is a little boy who has had a rough year and a tough time fitting in and B always tries to include him with the group. How wonderful it must have been for him to be part of this new fun kickball team!

My girl one-upped me.  I never thought of starting her OWN kickball group.  This is what she does.  She sees social injustice and she acts on it.  She sees a need and she feels it.  This girl is a do-er.  And I’m so very proud she’s mine.

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Let’s see how far we’ve come…

I used to be all about drama.  I mean ALL about drama.

Any girl that went near my ex-husband was bait.  I didn’t want him, but I sure as hell did not want him to be with someone else.  I could…but he could not.  Selfish, yes.  Ridiculous, yes.  Irrational, yes.  Keep in mind, he was the reason our marriage ended-I was forced to make the choice I did..click here to start reading our story.

Fast forward to the present day, I recently loaned his live-in girlfriend my set of Twilight books.  This is no small prize friends.  I love those books.  They might be the only fiction, non classic literature books I truly do love.  But she’s enjoying them.  And it opened up a door to us texting casually.  Both about my daughters love of Pandora charms and about some more personal issues going on in her life.  My daughter loves that we’re chatting a bit more.  I love that I know this person who is present in my daughters life, if only a little bit better.  And I’m starting to wonder what on earth this girl is doing with my ex-husband?  We’ve come a long way baby, when I start feeling bad for the girlfriend.

To the one who made it all possible…

Happy Mother’s Day Mom.

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I’ve spent my entire 35 years trying to please my very intense, Marine father.  However, I have not once felt the need to “try” to make my mother proud.  She just always is proud of me and has always made me feel very secure in her love.

I call her every day, with no particular topic or question at hand-just because I enjoy hearing her voice.  We are very different people.  My daughter is much more like her than I was, am, or ever can aspire to be.  They are both people-pleasers, always concerned about others, always trying to make people happy.  They have a genuine empathy that is instilled in their hearts and could not be faked.  They can both be very affected by things people say or do, albeit unintentional or just an offhand comment.  I am much more nonchalant and things roll off my back much more quickly and I am definitely not all sweetness and goodness as those two are.

My mother has set the bar so high for parenting it is almost impossible to attain.  She worked full time my entire childhood, cooked meals every single day, packed lunches, did all the laundry, sewed, quilted, gardened, painted and built…she is more Martha Stewart than Martha Stewart.  To this day, I ask her to hem pants or fix a pillow or any other chore that to her is routine, but to me a major undertaking.  Just recently, she revamped a too-large tablecloth into the right size, making the excess material into matching napkins and pillows for my sun porch.  Over the past 15 years she has taken care of her two elderly parents, her aging mother-in-law and helped all of them to die with dignity.  She has watched her children have children and has become the role model my daughter so desperately emulates.  She is the “fun” Nana who takes B hiking and playing outside and yes, shopping too!  She is a fitness fanatic and has instilled that love of the outdoors and exercise in both me and my daughter.

We are so different I sometimes have trouble understanding her reasons and her upsets.  When she is stressed out, I have a hard time being compassionate, as that’s not something I “get”.  I often say that I won’t allow stress in my life…I feel it is a choice and drama that I don’t have time to allow in.  She doesn’t understand the bittersweet feelings of remarriage and divorce and single parenting.  She’s been with the same man since she was 19.  (She conceived ME on her wedding night)!

Yet, sometimes, she still surprises me with a bout of open-mindedness.  Recently I told her the Twilight books were incredibly good and since I don’t usually love fiction and especially not popular fiction, she listened.  She’s now on the third book and surprisingly completely addicted!  My daughter and I adore movie nights at her house, where we snuggle up and eat junk food.

She is passionate and strong and hopelessly in love with my father.  She’s curious and loyal and always there.  Getting angry with her can upset me like nothing else can.  She’s ridiculously wrapped around my 9 year-olds finger and it both makes me envious and warm inside, all at the same time.  I can’t begin to imagine a day when she is not there.  I’m not sure I would be able to go on, without her in this world.  It gives me hope that my daughter too, might feel I am necessary, needed…long after she actually needs my physical presence every day.

Thank you Mom…I love you.  You have done the most exceptional job of mothering I have ever seen.  Thank you for giving me everything and then some.  For traveling to stores far away so I could have those Guess jeans back in 10th grade.  For allowing me all the sports and clubs and activites that kept you running for all my teenage years.  For hunting down a Cabbage Patch kid when I was crying each night because I wanted one so badly. For making every Christmas, Easter and even St. Patrick’s Day magical.  For gifting me with the most idyllic childhood imaginable.  For lying in bed with me, spooning behind me and holding me as I cried myself to sleep, the night my first husband left our home and I drove to your house, 7 months pregnant.  For supporting me as I stubbornly held onto my home for three years after leaving my husband.  For helping me when I bought a house in a more convenient location.  For being so happy when I remarried and built a new family.  For….just being.  I love you more than you can ever know.  And I appreciate it.  Every last thing…every day of the last 35 years, and 4 months.  There is no other you.  How lucky am I?

Happy 35th Mother’s Day Mom.

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Breastfeeding-At Least Please Try…

Ok, so I know this is going to generate some serious controversy, but that is not at all what I’m trying to do.  I’m just genuinely confused by something, and have been confused by it in the past, so I’m thinking my online blogger support team might be able to help me understand the rationale behind something.

Look at the photo contained in the link below and think for a moment, I mean really reflect, on the feelings it evokes. (I can’t link in or post the actual picture here right now, because of the ridiculous blocks this place has on my Internet-good thing I only have 26 days left here).

Anyway, for now, just click on it-the article is interesting too:

The reason this comes to mind yet again, is because someone I know just had their second child.  This person did not breastfeed the first daughter.  Now that in my mind is fine, it is one’s OWN choice after all, I’m not about requiring it to be mandatory.  But my question is about the fact that this person chose this option before ever even trying it ONCE.  As both an immunologist and a mother, I can’t understand it.  Maybe you can.  And you’ll help me to get it too.

First of all, I would not have been able to withstand the unending curiosity of what the whole process would BE like.  Second of all, in this era of all the moms who try to “one up” each other with all the advantages they give their child, it’s hard to believe that one would not at least give a little attempt…even a couple days of trying…  Trust me, it wasn’t a breeze for me.  Not by a long shot.  I had a hearty little eater in Miss B.  She latched on very easily, and she had an easy time of it.  However, I went through several rounds of infections, a few rounds of really embarrassing moments and one really, really gross incident that my ex-husband recalls all too well, where he came home from work to find me pumping bloody milk into a bottle while our daughter slept.  He asked me what I was doing and I said through clenched teeth “This little girl WILL be breast-fed for AT LEAST ONE  YEAR!”.  I threw out that milk by the way-I just wanted to keep pumping until I healed so that my milk would not dry up.  Ok, so even the ex will attest to my stubborn streak-which is even stronger when it comes to my little girl.  But it wasn’t just my obstinance that made me keep going this time.  I could not, in my right mind, give her that nasty tasting formula.  I tasted it out of that unending curiosity that I am made of and I nearly vomited.  For real  It.  Was.  Disgusting.  And yeppers, I tasted my milk and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t some really good stuff.  And I don’t even like milk!  It tasted like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of Lucky Charms!

And also, as mentioned before, I’m a scientist who once planned on going to med school.  All those hours spent poring over medical books and studying MCAT study guides affected me in many ways and I’m just a tiny bit passionate about the health and well-being of our children.  I get why women stop after awhile.  It’s not convenient I know.  I leaked all over my best friends bachelorette party when B was just days old.  I then proceeded to bust out of the dress for her wedding a few days later and wound up pumping in a janitors closet.  Yes. I leaked all over that dress too.  (Laughing as I type this).  There were times I wanted to quit and it was certainly bittersweet when B was done and started to walk up to me to get her milk (happy to be “free” of that, but sad to be “free” of that)-but I couldn’t have imagined it any other way.  I want the best for her.  Always.  And that won’t always be convenient for me.  So when you have a baby, don’t you feel that you should TRY to breastfeed, unless it’s medically not possible or there is some substantial reason not to?  I guess I just can’t understand why you wouldn’t even try it ONCE?  I’m going to censor myself now and cut this post off…because I’m sure someone will be offended.  But I just really want to know a legitimate reason that will make me understand why a mother wouldn’t just try it.  Once.  That’s all.

For me

Engraved on My Heart

So I’m currently reading “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. (WHY can I not get pictures to upload to my blog?  They show up in the gallery and after insert post, they don’t appear here…it could be because I’m at work and so many things are blocked”.

And I love it.  So far.  But one quote contained this line, “each the other’s world entire”.  And it moved me.  I mean REALLY moved me.  Now for those of you who know me, words in general move me.  I love words.  My first blog was called “sesquipedalianist at heart”  I love that long word which means “characterized by the use of long words”.  I still love words, big and small and I adore how people put them together.  Cormac McCarthy tapped my maternal instinct when he wrote that line.  It was meant for B and I.  Which is why I believe that for her 10th birthday, I need to have silver bracelets engraved with that very phrase.  I think it would look best wrapped around a bangle style bracelet, but I’m not sure yet.  What do you think?