To the one who made it all possible…

Happy Mother’s Day Mom.

DSC02174

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.

IMG_0906

Advertisements

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