Messages

I once wrote about wishing I could go forward in time to see my boys okay – as a way of giving me peace today. Having a knowledge that in the end, it will all be okay. Lately, I have been having discussions with T, in response to his observations about his father, about life really and people. Truthfully, I have found it somewhat difficult walking a fine line between speaking negatively about his father’s actions/words and providing some clarification and lessons. As T gets older and starts to understand more I’d like to be able to offer positive words to ignite a knowingness in T that he does not have to follow his father’s path. And I speak specifically of T simply because of his recent conversations with me, but hope D hears me as well. At the moment D is muddled in between being a 17 year old, stubborn, on-the-verge-of-fleeing-the-nest-but-keeping-one-foot-cautiously-in-the-door, defiant, and yet loving and happy young man. He knows his father, but he so desperately wants his father – on the surface I don’t think D is even aware of this feeling – consciously anyway. I, as his mom, am left in a challenging corner that I have been arduously working to maneuver. Which leads me to the purpose of this post. There have been so many messages I have hoped my boys receive from me and understand and keep with them as they grow.

  1. Always hold the door open for others – not just women, but everyone. A small gesture of kindness truly can spark a light of hope in someone’s day.
  2. Be unselfish in your life. The world is bigger than you and I. Know when you do for others, you actually benefit just as much.
  3. But..remember to take care of your self. When you grow your being in a positive light, when you feed your own soul, when you treat your mind, body, and spirit as the temple it is, you will evoke happy energy.
  4. Your past does not define your future. Every single day you have a choice.
  5. Exercise. It not only strengthens your muscles, it strengthens your mind.
  6. Volunteer. Give to charity. Make a difference. And don’t forget the Starfish Story.
  7. Respect your partner. Take a deep breath and please think before you speak. Words can’t be taken back. YOU own your actions and your words.
  8. Family. Don’t ever give up on family.
  9. Truth. In your life, be truth. Speak it, show it, and model it.
  10. Be kind. Remember you have no idea what someone has gone through, what they have endured or experienced.
  11. Don’t forget to respect others and yourself. We are all human beings existing in a shared space.
  12. Don’t get caught up in the small details so much so that you lose sight of the bigger picture.
  13. Someday if you have you own children, relish in each moment, every stage of their life, plant seeds of confidence, and self-worth, and love in their hearts with your words and your actions.
  14. Go to bed every night saying “Good Night, I love You” to at least one person.

I am sure I could add more to this list and maybe someday I will. But know my beautiful boys, I love you with all my heart. Everything I am and everything I do, is because of both of you. You are my heart. You are my soul. You are my breath. Please forgive me for the mistakes I have made as your mom, but know I have tried and will always try to do and be my best for you. You are my reason.

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Be

I’m trying, trying to demonstrate how I want my own boys to be

How I hope they will treat others…

But I am pushed back, not by them

I am not allowed to provide them the example I wish for them to witness

I have done all I feel I can, and then I try more

And my heart starts to ache, my breathing increases, but shallow

Don’t they deserve more?

Who are their role models?

How will they be better fathers and husbands if they haven’t witnessed a better example?

My purpose in my life was without a doubt to be a mom

And I will always work to be better at my purpose

 

Be kind, be considerate, be unselfish, be giving

Be love, be happiness, be compassionate, be alive

Be nurturing, be supportive, be forgiving, be strong

Be a hero in your future children’s eyes

….and do not allow a moment to slip by when you can be everything to them

 

Epiphany

Just got back from a run. No longer running with headphones listening to music, I listen to the sound of my breath, my sneakers hitting the ground, and the vibrations of my thoughts. Suddenly during this run, it hit me. My ex-husband is a version of my mother. Their personalities are plagued with anger and manipulation. I suppose there was no irony in the fact that during the time of my separation I was also creating distance with my mom.  The need to free myself of this world I had lived in my whole life was great. It all makes sense. It makes sense that I do not want my sons’ worlds to be contaminated with these harsh emotions. Although it is a reality, a space needed to be created to allow for a healthier life. For all. I had been continuing a life when I got married that I had lived as a child. And as a result, providing that life to my children. No longer. They deserve better. And I think I do too.

It’s all coming together. Piece by piece.

Serendipity

Just last weekend I had the good fortune of being invited to a house party to watch the movie “Bad Moms.” Because it was a friend of a friend, I was in a way the “odd man out.” It was a group of women who all lived in a particular neighborhood…except for me. While the movie is definitely well worth watching – and let me just say I picked up more of the sentimental excerpts the second time around more than likely because the first time I was just laughing so much I simply missed them – it was the conversation prior to starting the movie that cements in my mind. Let me share….

The woman hosting made reference to her “soon-to-be-ex-in-laws.” This is a mom of three, full time mom and full time social worker, a woman of great humor, what sounds like a very trying past, and one I met through a mutual friend on a ski trip about three years ago. After that ski trip I honestly didn’t even remember her name. I had seen her maybe twice in passing usually at the school. But we ended up at yet another mutual friend’s home just a month ago and I became part of a conversation that included getting together to watch the movie “Bad Moms.” So here I was a bit of an outsider at a gathering with women I mostly did not know, but I knew the laughter for me would be medicine. However, the night presented me with another surprise.

This woman told me during the ski trip about three years ago she remembered starting her car to warm it up before making the three hour drive home. (She had only stayed one night so we didn’t share much conversation up until this point). When she came back in to gather the last of her belongings, our mutual friend and I had been discussing my separation. At this time, my husband and I were sharing two homes – which we continued for a year and a half. I remember the woman telling me I should travel and give presentations on how to separate in a healthy manner. I took this comment with a grain of salt. She was a social worker and I knew she was trained to be a good listener. And she was…she was listening. Before we all knew it a solid hour had passed and she suddenly remembered her car had been running this whole time.

Fast forward to the present, and she told me that conversation was life changing for her. Little did I know, her marriage had been struggling. She had been desperately trying to determine a healthy transition to separate but had only believed that was in theory and could not actually be executed. My story…my experience!….actually gave her hope. It gave her the courage to move forward slowly, but positively. And at the heart of all this are her three young children. The unfortunate part is that her marriage is dissolving. But the wonderful part is that it’s amicable. And knowing that that is occurring as a result of me and I actually gave someone hope, in return, gave me hope. Hope! Serendipity…it was all serendipity.

Once Upon a Time

I remember

running off the bus, talking – or rather yelling – to my mom as I ran down the street, excitedly telling her the “gossip” of the day.

I was 6 maybe

I remember

racing my bmx bike down the street with my next door neighbor Bobby. I saved up to buy that teal blue Mongoose bike. And I remember the day I walked into the bike store with my Dad.

I was probably about 12

I remember

laughing, giggling, doing crazy, stupid things in High School. I remember late nights, heartbreaks, crying, being scared, feeling mature, and dreaming about my future.

I was 16 and planned my whole life.

I remember

feeling a bit lost in college. Finally finding my way and discovering happiness.

I was 20

I remember

my life unfolding as I began a marriage, started a career, became a mom, and a mom again.

I was in my 20’s

I remember

a life I have lived thus far that I do not regret. For all the memories, good and bad, brought me here. Where I should be. It brought me two amazing children. Somewhere, somehow, I did something so true that I was blessed with the both of them.

And so I will not forget. I will remember.

 

Trying

Trying equals effort. Some days, it feels too much.

I received an article in my inbox today referencing a study that linked a father’s mood to his children’s development. The article peeked my interest as it was titled “Dad’s Bad Mood Affects Kids, Big Time.” (To read the article click here) I immediately felt validated in some way. Sounds silly I am sure. But I firmly believe our moods, stress, outlook, our state of being, all have energy that is shared.

The energy in our house was like a tornado. Intense, thrashing, silently destructive. It was picking up speed and strength. The only way to stop it, was to somehow get out of the center. The force so strong, it seemed impossible. Until there was a clearing one day, a small opening. And so to save my family, I reached through that opening.

But what lay on the other side was not simplicity nor pure bliss. Struggles remain – this is life after all. The energy however has balanced. Sadness lingers just the same.

But I am trying. With all that I have, I am trying.

To Keep Safe….

And yet another post inspired by “The Prompt.” This week was “care.

Is it okay if this post is a bit selfish? Did you know a synonym for care is “to keep safe.” Let me begin by saying, I truly care about many things. The first of which, of course, are my boys. I care about the whole of them. Their being, their soul. I care about my dog, my family, my friends. I care about the children I work with and try so hard to create a special place in their hearts that is solely positive energy, however small that may be. As a human being, I care. As I drive by a homeless person on the streets, read stories of those less fortunate, listen to truly heart-wrenching life experiences, I care. But it’s overwhelming. Because I want it all to be better. I do the obvious – donate clothes or food or toys. I’ve adopted families at Christmas time. And I have chosen to persevere at a job that emotionally takes it toll – because I told myself if I could make a difference in just one child’s life, then it will be worth it. Who am I to say I can’t handle the emotionality of the job, when these children have lived it. They carry it with them everyday. And so yes, I care.

Here comes the selfish part…..

But is it okay to want someone to care about me? To think of me. To have a space in the corner of their minds and their hearts, for me. To always remember, never forget. To keep safe.