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.
I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t quit, who fights for what I believe in, who doesn’t give up. I think that’s a big reason why I struggle with coming to terms with the divorce. I feel like I quit. I do know it’s much bigger, much more grey than black and white. But when I observe others not fight, not try, not do what they can to move mountains, I admit it bothers me. Particularly when it comes to my oldest son. D does not have a good relationship with his father. In fact, he doesn’t have much of a relationship at all. This is nothing new. Not a result of the divorce. I had actually, naively, hoped their relationship would improve with the separation and divorce. Some feel my ex-husband was/is jealous of D because D took attention away from him. But as long as I can remember, there has been a tension that exists between the two of them. Honestly, I am downright appalled sometimes at the direct attacks at D from his father. To say this rips my heart into tiny pieces is an understatement. Along the way, I have created opportunities for them to bond; I push for them to spend time together; I often act as a middle-man trying to calm situations. But no more. It’s not my relationship to save. And as hard as it is to see their relationship crumble even more, I know it’s the right thing to do – step back. My ex-husband feels as though he is trying and I do believe he feels like he has gone above and beyond. As long as he feels this way, things won’t improve. One first needs to realize the problem in order to fix the situation. And so I am reminded of the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
As a matter of fact, this Prayer will be helpful in other aspects of my life too.
Have there been times in your life when you have had to hesitantly step back?
Oh how I love yummy treats! Yesterday we celebrated my father’s and my birthday with my family. My talented brother handcrafted an Italian versus Irish Cornhole game. A match quickly ensued…but I’m sorry to say my oldest son and I did not win. We did give it a good go however! Turkey burgers, steak, hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, potato salad, chips, fruit salad, and dips. Lacking for food, we were not. The smell of the grill, the cool breeze, the sun peaking around clouds, and the constant laughing of cousins running around was all so peaceful. Yet, it always hits me that I am “alone.” No one to steal a quick kiss from, no one to grab hold of their hand, no one to share a bite of my turkey burger. In these times, I don’t dwell on that thought – it passes through. The moments of being with my family, in that moment, are much too positive to allow any other feelings to bring me down. But it always makes an appearance.
Anyway, back to the yummy treats. My mom, in lieu of cake, purchased the most delicious looking cupcakes. One problem – I am currently following a low FODMAP diet. Ugh. So I happily wrapped up one of these beauties and placed it in the freezer to hopefully be enjoyed at a later date. I should have taken a picture of all of them – there was a variety. But the picture below is of me and my dad’s. The red candle is the one I made a wish upon just before I blew it out.
My wishes tend to be the same from year to year. Intentions they are. Maybe this is the year. Maybe me blowing out a candle on a cupcake I have to patiently wait to eat, is simply a metaphor for my life right now. Be patient. The best is yet to come.
I stumbled upon a blog mumturnedmom.com and was intrigued by the weekly “The Prompt.” Writers use the prompt provided to create – a poem, a story, a blog entry. Love the idea. So here I am participating in my first Prompt – Giving.
As I held my first newborn son over sixteen years ago, I was giving. I was giving all that I had. Energy, love, time, attention. Looking back, I was also learning so much. I was lost trying to find the place where I could feel competent and confident as a new mom. Yes, I struggled. But there is no doubt, I was giving – the best I could.
When I became pregnant with my second son, I remember feeling sorry. I was sorry I had not perfected being a mom to D; that I would take time away from him. I now know and realized soon after T was born that my thoughts were not logical. Amazing how a heart can love so much!
Honestly, though, I have cried myself to sleep many a night feeling as though I had failed as a mom that day. I am starting to realize I may never get it “right.” It will never be perfect. Or exact. Or precise. It’s time to let myself just be – be in the moment, be happy, be grateful, be a mom – in all my imperfections.
I’m so incredibly lucky to be a mom to two boys who give to me all the time.
Two days ago when dropping D off at the bus stop, I wished him a happy day as I often do. Just before the door closed, I heard “I love you.” I suddenly looked to my left and watched this boy, my son, walk away. All I felt in that moment was so loved, so happy. My heart swelled.
Last night when tucking T into bed his final request was to let him know when I was tucked into my bed. As I pulled the covers over me, I did just that. And I heard “OK. Good Night Mom. I love you.” Giving.
I will always give to my boys. My heart, my love, my time, my thoughts. And so it seems, my boys are doing the same for me.
As I reached for my green tea bag, I sensed a routine. For a moment, it felt like that movie Groundhog Day. When the day continues to repeat itself. And then I suddenly felt a sadness. Time is passing by. The days, they go by so very quickly. There was a moment, a moment in time about a week ago. My oldest son was walking out of the kitchen as I was moving about – probably putting dishes away or cleaning off the counter. My head was down, focused on something else other than him. He called to me “Mom,” and I continued to move about but responded “what.” “I love you,” he said. That was a moment. I looked up immediately then and stopped. If only I could bottle that moment. Save it forever.
Isn’t it funny how music, music can just bring you to a place in time? A song can all at once send tears down your face or create a smile or a thought or a memory. A song can change your mood, your direction. This morning it brought me back to my childhood. And suddenly, I just felt sad. Sad because my life is passing by and there is nothing, absolutely nothing I can do to slow it down.
Options are: becoming aware of those “moments,” physically and mentally slowing down, to breathe, and more than anything, living each and every moment completely. Becoming aware.
How can it be that my oldest son is 16 today?? In a blink of an eye. Just like that. Today is a celebration. One for him – after all it is his birthday. And one for me too. For today was the day I became a mom for the first time. In all honesty, I struggled for some time. But on this day, 16 years ago, truth is, my dream came true.
“Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood – finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.” ― Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match
He is all emotions wrapped into one. Often a paradox. Pieces of me. All my love.
Happy, Happy 16th Birthday! May you not only find peace, but create peace as you follow your path.
My oldest son has started High School. I’d be lying if I said he has had a smooth transition. I’ve watched him feel anxious, scared, and hesitant. Actually, I felt it with him. It’s so hard NOT to feel what your own children are feeling, experiencing. They are so much a part of me. These past few months have created such a life long lesson for him, however. He will know he can work through challenges. He will know running away is never the answer. Perseverance is key. Breaking outside your comfort zone is key. He is stronger. It’s important to mention he chose to go to a High School where he knew few kids. The time of the decision was step one in him making a choice that was best for him, despite what his best friends were doing. Reality is he may choose, come the end of the year, to transfer to the main High School. But by then, the lessons, they will have been taught. He will be on the other side.