Sleep?

Oh sleep where have you gone? I’ve missed you terribly. I am reminded of the days when I had newborns and not-so-graciously stumbled through my days. Seemingly awake but eyes half closed.

Between my new course, my extra work hours, and my 18 year old son who has made this whole college decision torture, I am sleep deprived. Angst, worry, frustration, and pure busy-ness have consumed me much to my own dismay. Deep breaths are welcomed when I remind them to present themselves.

Even my running has slowed incredibly. By a minute per mile. And those of you runners know that is significant. Whether it’s the side effect of my current life or an iron deficiency or maybe both, I am definitely feeling run down.

…and not-so-patiently waiting for sleep!

Advertisements

A Daughter, A Mom

First a daughter. Needing her to rub my head. The smell of her finger tips, cigarette smoke residue lingers to this day in my mind. The yellowing of her finger nails. Yet, the comfort they provided, the simple act of rubbing my head is not like any other. Resting on the floor or rather restless on the floor beside her bed full of panic and anxiety, her voice would soothe me. She would make it all okay. Running off the bus on school days, impatiently telling her about my day’s events. She was my go-to for it all. Sharing the excitement when I kissed a boy for the first time. Crying uncontrollably when I drank too much and forgot much of the night. She sat in the chair next to my bed and made me feel okay. My dependence on her became more of an enmeshment that I did not realize until my late thirties. And the hindsight I suddenly watched in high definition became uncomfortable. Facing the negativity, the toxic-ness of our relationship. Anger and sadness filled spaces that once held attachment. But…this is not the whole picture. She carried me when I would call incessantly from college crying, depressed, full of angst. With all her downfalls, like us all, she is my mom.

As a mom with a son about to embark on his college journey, I am faced with the challenges she must have faced with me. D and I share many qualities, some which include anxiety, stubbornness, and an underlying fear. Today, anxiety has all but left my being. But that was not always the case. In fact, when I was D’s age, my panic and anxiety was at its peak.  I am steadily preparing myself on many levels for what the near future is about to bring for D, for me. I’ve found openly talking about some of these college “struggles” has enlightened me in ways never expected.

A message from D the other night thanking me “for being one of the best parents” carried a weight, a much needed weight of hope. Being a Mom was, is, and always will be my dream job. My purpose. But oh so so very hard. At all stages. So I am grateful this Mother’s Day Weekend for my mom for doing the best she knew how to do for me and my brother. And I am grateful for the moments I have to be a mom myself. Everyday I work on being the best I know how to be.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!

Countdown

My head spins with emotion. D must make his college decision by this Monday. We had a rich conversation the other night. And oh how this filled me. In ways I tiptoed around the words, the engagement, for fear it would end sooner than I wished.

Bright and stronger than he realizes, D is on the verge of his next life journey. He has no time for me, or rather desires no time with me. This hurts me to my core. I know logically this is healthy. His friends are his world. And he is consciously trying to separate and prepare himself for this incredible change that is waiting to unfold. But it still hurts.

My first born son who I sang to every night and rubbed his head is grown. He now awkwardly gives me a hug as though it’s foreign to him. When all I want to do is squeeze him so tightly. Even now as I right this, I can’t help but cry. How I love this boy so very much. How proud I am of him. How worried, how I hold my breath for him, how I am in shock at how fast this time has come.

As much as I tried to teach him and parent him and help him grow, he taught me as well. This boy helped me grow as a person.

The countdown begins. These next few months will be filled with so much emotion. He’s ready, hesitantly I know. But it is I that I am not sure will ever be truly ready.

Struggling With….

I love D, my 18 year old son, with all of my heart. But I am struggling. Actions he has made, comments he has stated, points of view he has expressed, and small mannerisms he has made are in direct conflict with how I felt I raised him. Is this because I faltered more than I thought? Is it his Dad in him? Is it immaturity? Is it him simply figuring himself out too?

It’s probably all of the above. When I see his Dad in him, the parts of his Dad that I, dare I say, despise, well I struggle with that the most. Because I just don’t respect it. At all. And with this, D has turned to his father a bit more these days. Ironically, this is what I have always wanted. However, it’s become a bit of opposing sides if that makes sense. His father has become the one who just makes things easy for D. No thought, no push back, no parenting really. And so I have become the bad cop. The one to avoid. The one who is left in the dark.

Is it my ego that wants so desperately to impart wisdom with my words creating a change in D’s actions that I perceive as positive? Is it my own insecurities of not being a “good enough” mom fueling disappointment? Or is just life? Just life playing out as it does. Guilty is how I feel. For having any disappointment. For wanting him to be better. Guilty.

Struggling with…it all.

Looking for Advice

Ah, the trials and tribulations of being a mother to a senior in high school. No one warned me that this time would be just as hard if not harder than those toddler years. But then again, if they had, I probably would not have been able to fully grasp what “hard” was until I experienced it myself. Here I am. Experiencing it for myself.

Frequent reminders to apply for scholarships, renew his expired license, provide me the schedule for his after school EMT course, etc, etc, etc. And all the while sitting with a constant worry as my son refuses to eat adequately. I’ve watched my son lose weight, skips meals, and even refuse to take a vitamin. My concerns are obviously warranted. And his pediatrician certainly validated this for me. Ironically though, my ex-husband has not. His feeling is “He’s fine. I see him eat. You are trying to control him.” I probably should mention here that my ex-husband has it in his head that I control everything. Despite my actions proving quite the opposite. It doesn’t matter. To him, I am controlling, and any time I try to “argue” this point, well, that just simply proves all the more I am controlling. Right?

So I’m stuck or so that’s how I feel. It has become quite impossible to co-parent with this man. I feel as though I am watching my son develop habits, learn ways to manage his feelings, and how to treat others by mimicking a man that struggles on all these fronts. And I am left to just watch, as though my hands are tied behind my back.

My brother, as always, has helped me, supported me, even opened my eyes when they were unknowingly closed shut. His advice in this case is to lay it all on the table, take no shit, don’t allow for the table to be turned, stay on the bus so to speak and drive off whether they choose to get on it or not. He recognized that this will be hard for me. And he recognized that my ex-husband will most likely respond in the same way he always does because it’s just hearing my voice that sets him off.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So…I am going to quit the bullshit and change it up. I don’t need to accept any disrespect from my 18 year old son or my ex-husband. I don’t deserve it. And honestly, accepting it will only teach my son that treating anyone that way is acceptable.

So here we go…I’m ready.

13 Years Ago

It was just a short 13 years ago I was washing the kitchen floor, my belly uncomfortably big as it stretched to hold you, keeping you safe and warm and nestled. The phone rang. It was the doctor. “How do you feel about having the baby tomorrow morning?” You were a scheduled C-Section planned for October 10th. It would only be two days sooner, but it instantly became an overwhelming thought “No, I am not ready.” Having two days to finish cleaning, preparing mentally and physically seemed like a necessity. But, in the end the pros outweighed the cons. A few phone calls later, making plans for someone to watch your big brother, and the decision was made. I would be the first scheduled C-Section of the day. October 8, 2004.

I will admit when I learned I was pregnant for a second time, I was not overjoyed. I was scared. I felt guilty. Feeling as though I did not perfect being a mom to your big brother, I wondered how I could become a mom to two. I remember even apologizing to your big brother – he had no clue why – but in a weird, distorted way I felt like I was betraying him. I didn’t want to fail this mom gig.

You were here. And suddenly, I was a mom to two boys. You screamed as they quite literally opened up your world. I can imagine the bright lights of the operating room pierced your snug home. A beautiful, perfect baby boy. And how you looked so much like your dad. You had so many visitors, so many people who could not wait to hold you. A big brother who wore a baseball cap that proudly stated such looked at you admiringly. We brought you home a day early, ready to begin yet another chapter. I recovered much quicker and certainly much easier than with your brother. There were still challenging days and difficult moments, but it all fell into place.

You have been a miracle. A soul that is so full of love and kindness. A remarkable human being. I once thought how could my heart possibly have room for the love of another child. And yet, my heart does not remember how it felt without you in it. You and your brother together filled up my heart to completeness. You were given to me despite me not feeling ready or worthy. Someone or something obviously knew better than I. Thank you for being my son. Thank you for letting me be your mom. My world is so much brighter because of you. I love you my sweetest.

Laugh

I can’t think of a more beautiful way to complete my day. The laugh of my 17 year old son. With me. It might just be one of the best, most honest-to-goodness happiest things. Ever.