Stop Being A Mother?

I am a mother.

Mercifully, I still have my own mother in a time when the majority of my friends have lost theirs. My mom and I have most certainly had our differences over the years. Big emphasis on differences. But she’s still my mom, and I know that she has always done the best she could to be a good mother. And no matter what my age, I will always be her child.

Many times, I’ve wanted to yell and scream at her, especially when she tells me what I should and shouldn’t do. But I’ve lived long enough to know that she just wants to help, and what sounds hurtful and critical is not meant that way at all. She wants to be relevant in my life, she wants me to be the best person I can be. So, I must let my interpretations of what I think she is saying fall through my mental sieve, and love her. It’s just the way it works for me. Time and experience, wasted anger and rage, have taught me to be the daughter of the woman who would give her life for me. At the end of the day, it’s all about respect. And the fact that my dad would probably whoop the living hell out of me, even at this late stage of the game, if I treated her with any disrespect.

My two daughters are the two best people I know. We get sideways sometimes. I’ll have an issue with one, and after exhausting the topic and getting nowhere, I’ll talk to the other about what I can do – or not do. Mothers are like that; we want our chicks to thrive in the best possible circumstances. And I’ve made more than my share of mistakes, unwarranted comments and offered advice has been misunderstood as hurtful criticism. This part of the mother job is the hardest. And that is an understatement.

Both of my daughters are adults. They are living adult lives. Yesterday, my youngest daughter and I got into it via text; she lives in another city and is making big decisions about the next few years of her life. I wanted to find out where she was in the decision process. Long story short – it ended badly. My opinions weren’t wanted, and I made it worse by pushing and pushing and pushing. Driving home from work, I felt like my skin was going to fall off, I was boiling inside. She was the one who, as a toddler, would press her face against the window and cry hysterically when I had to leave for work. She was the one who would throw up whenever I left town. But she’s an adult now. I forgot.

I’d invited my eldest daughter over for dinner last night. I was still in a swivet when I got home and the story of the day spilled out. She said, “Mom, you’ve got to let her go.” I’d never thought about it that way, but she’s right. The lessons always come from the most surprising places … and circumstances.

So, no matter what, I will always be here for both of them. For the tearful phone calls, for the requests for advice, to feed them when they are hungry, hug them when they are sad, laugh with them when we are amused, help them whenever necessary. Yes, I have to let them go. Hard but doable. This “freeing” process is going to take much discipline on my part. But I’m going to give it my best. I’m quite clear what letting them go doesn’t mean.

I will never stop being their mother. No matter what. Ever.

Be happy. Your choice.

Later.

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Eleven Things I Know Are True

*Never get to blog anymore so when that one fine moment presents itself, I’m in. Which may explain why my posts are lengthy – want to get all these thoughts down because I don’t know when I’ll get back again. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I miss my friends in blogville. But the bills must be paid.

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  1. Laughing feels so good.
  2. It’s ok to cry.
  3. Author Regina Brett says, “Everyone is important to someone.” I think she’s right.
  4. Sometimes I struggle with my age – even though it is only a number; I’m perpetually 27 but lately my bod had been issuing ugly reminders that I’m not … knees screaming about all the running and aerobics, back screeching about ridiculous yoga positions, arms bitching about carrying heavy stuff. My daughters gave me a Wii for Christmas. They said I couldn’t possibly do the Michael Jackson dance videos. Game on, I did them and got the high scores. No matter that I pulled a calf muscle. The look on their faces when they found out was worth the limp.
  5. It’s fun having hair. Mine is now long enough to put up in a crazy mess on top of my head. I LOVE that. Sort of weird – why grow hair out to put up. Because I can.
  6. Have mentally tossed a lot of people out of my lifeboat this year. Maybe a touch passive-aggressive, but the swimmers have no clue they’ve lost their spots, which is why they are gone in the first place. Duh.
  7. I love surprises! Today, two different adorables left me valentines and treats! Am I lucky or what?
  8. I can live with the fact that my daughters, on some level, will never forgive me for divorcing their dad. It is what it is. And that’s ok. At the risk of beating a very popular dead horse, I have to put on my oxygen mask first in order to help anyone else.
  9. Faith. Faith can be a real bugaboo for me. There are some things I know, and no noise can knock me off course. Other questions seemingly have no answers and comfort doesn’t exist. So I have to find that quiet place and hang there for a while.
  10. Work is good for me. Am so grateful to be working in crazy wonderful environments.
  11. Just finished cooking Valentine’s feast for my choice of best Valentine’s date in a long time … my eldest daughter! It will be great … as long as we don’t discuss politics, religion, money, furniture, or the future. Awesome.

This is lame and random. I am tired. Will return with ridiculous stories of real life adventures, sooner than later.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Be happy. Your choice.

Good Reads, Phrases Translated, BS Intervention and Questions!

Good Morning, All! For some reason, my interior clock has been going off at 5 am, no matter how late I’ve gone to bed. It’s my theory that our “interiors” change every seven years – guess this is one of those. But I digress…..

Reading

  • Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller (read this one first)
  • Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller
  • Stupid and Contagious by Caprice Crane
  • Be The Miracle by Regina Brett
  • Duty Free by Moni Mohsin – hilarious

Listening

  • I wish I could play the piano like Gavin DeGraw does in his song, “Not Over You”. Beautiful. Even for people like me who are not even in that place (missing an ex), it still is mighty fine. Would also like to play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix beginning with “All Along the Watchtower”.

Not Watching  – one of my jobs allows me to work from home which allows me to watch tv and/or dance while I work. Am giving up tv because of these shows:

    • Extreme Cheapskates – watched this once time for 15 minutes; REPULSIVE and two of my former relationship men DID some of this stuff – told you I was a bad picker. Ewwwwwwwwwwwww.
    • Dance Moms – some of the stage moms on this show make any and all Housewives of Who Cares look like church ladies. Instructor Abby Lee Miller scares me more than Ron Paul + Nick Sabin + Rick Perry but she does get results out of her child dancers. One mother, the embodiment of self-control and a perfect role model, aimed her mouth at Abby Lee screamed “Whore” several times, in front of the children. I mean, her daughter didn’t get the part Momma thought she should. NOTHING. RIGHT. ABOUT. THIS.
Watching
  • Downton Abbey on PBS – Amazing period piece with costumes I am drooling over. Plus, these people behave properly.

Translations English to English

  • cool kicks – nice shoes
  • throwing bo’s – place is so crowded, elbows needed to make way through

BS Intervention and Man Stuff

  • Help, SOS maybe – ok, this is where your input is requested; do know that if you say something I don’t like, you will have 17 years of … something. I THINK I NEED A BS INTERVENTION. Specifically when speaking with Possible Possibility Guy. Back story: have been running into him for years but paid no attention for whatever reason. Plus, when he saw my youngest daughter, he was rendered fairly speechless and he is too old for her. It has been recorded here time and again, I am a geriatric magnet. I am not a geriatric nor am I interested in men older than my dad. Possible is about my age, has hair, and is one cool customer. When I talk to him, my bs reeks. The most inane information flies out of my mouth, truly horrifying. This is uncommon. Maybe it’s the seven-year change thing. If I don’t get my bs in line, I will be forced into a world where I’m pushing wheelchairs, cleaning dentures, and changing catheters with a mortal beloved (short-term, of course). Help. Why does this happen?
  • While walking my dog last night, I noticed one of my neighbors (he is my eldest daughter’s age) emptying his saucepan in the bushes outside his front door. Good grief – someone needs to tell him about disposals, non? His neighbor, an elderly man, puts peanuts out for the squirrels. The white styrofoam kind. Lots of dead squirrels.

ENOUGH! Must go back to creating big pink spheres for event. Am getting real $ for this. Something new and different.

If you have ideas about good bs with Possibility, do share – keep in mind, I have delete button.

Be happy. Or fake it. Or not. Your choice.
Over and out. Later.

The Love Letter

My Grandfather

This wonderful man wrote me a letter when I was four days old.

“My Dearest Little One –

Please forgive a fond Grandfather for the delay in welcoming you into our family and accept this letter as a small token of my love and affection for you.

First of all, let me congratulate you on your excellent choice of parents, and always be assured that they are rare people indeed. I have known your dear Mother since she drew her first breath of life and in all the passing years, the love I hold for her has mellowed and increased with the passage of time. Your Father is the newest member of the family, but he has earned a place in our hearts by just being himself and loving your Mother with all his heart. As for your Grandmother and me, well, we are just plain run-of-the-mill Grandparents, and we solemnly promise to spoil you and jump at your every beck and call.

I haven’t had the opportunity to be with you yet, but you can bet your Sunday boots that I am looking forward to that time with the greatest anticipation. I shall probably cause you some discomfort with all my foolishness, but just don’t be too harsh on me as all Grandfathers are just a bit silly at times. My chest has increased at least 10 inches since you were born and I’m sure it will continue to do so as I compare you with all the other inferior grandbabies of my friends. You must not feel any conceit, but I am sure there is no other little girl in the world quite like you, and you must always accept this position with charming grace.

Once again, let me tell you how welcome you are and how much I love you even though we haven’t met. I am counting the hours until I can hold you in my arms. The name I sign at the conclusion of this letter is a first for me, and it brings an overwhelming feeling of pride to do so. Give my best to your Mother and Daddy and save a little bit of your love for your –

Granddad -“

Hilarious Kids on Hores and History

Teacher/Daughter entertained us the other evening with an email she’d received. It was a third-grader’s “essay”titled, “I Like Hores“. Sharing ….

“I like hores. Hores have other hores friends. Hores like carots. You wouldn’t think they coud but they can put their legs strait up. Hores make you feel good. My dad wants a hores but my mom says no. When I am 16 or 20 I Will buy my own hores.”

This reminded me of something I read 15 years ago. Richard Lederer put together a compilation of history essays written by kids. The entire piece was/is wet-your-pants material. In an effort to keep you high and dry, I’ll just repeat my favorites:

  • “The Greeks had myths. A myth is a female moth.”
  • Regarding the Olympic Games – “….Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java.”
  • “Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.”
  • “Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak.”
  • “Martin Luther … died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull.”
  • “Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee.”
  • “Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years.”
  • “Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.”
  • “… George Washington had big balls and everyone enjoyed them.”
  • “Abraham Lincoln became America’s greatest Precedent. His mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin he built with his own hands.”
  • “Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backwards…Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.”

Ha Ha Ha! Have a great day!

Later.

Milestone Playlist in Three-Part Harmony

This is a story in three-part harmony.

Drove to Austin listening to my current favorite playlist.  My youngest, McPaddie, was graduating from UT. My solo road trip was extra fun because I could sing at the top of my lungs. SWEET. This morning, I jumped in the car, turned on the tunes, and headed home. SWEET and SALTY. What a difference 24 hours make.

One: BeforeWoke up yesterday morning at Austin Ann‘s peace haven. Something is off – oh, haven’t had coffee yet. Drink my body weight in java, read Nora Ephron‘s, “I Feel Bad About My Neck” from cover to cover. Jump in shower to wash off oompa loompa tan and get all gussied up for the Big Event. The second I see Ann, I tear up. Her baby just graduated from UGA, my baby will have a diploma in a couple of hours. It was a mom moment. Lots of deep breathing.  Fairy Godmother, Poob, arrived, we put our high hoofs on and off we went.

Two: During –  Met up with Miss Peach (eldest daughter) and her dad at the venue. Each school has a commencement ceremony; we were in an enormous venue for The School of Communications.

Yep, we were going to be there for hours. Poob‘s daughter graduated from Stanford; Oprah gave the commencement speech. We were anxious to find out who we would be listening to. Opened the program and OMG. The address was being given by a guy who dated one of our friends in high school and was engaged to another friend after college. I immediately sent a text to both women: Craig Dubow is the SPEAKER!” Furious texts flew back and forth between Austin, Houston, and Fredericksburg. I mean, he does have cred – Chairman and CEO of Gannet Co., Inc. Whatev. We had most excellent seats and McPaddie was front row. She walked, we screamed, and two-and-1/2 hours later we hooked our horns,  sang, “The Eyes of Texas”, and piled out into the Texas heat. Pictures taken all around amidst a throng of other picture takers. My graduate was one happy camper. Another mom moment – proud. Off we went for drinks at the W, very cool. Then Skywalker, the graduate’s fab love muffin, met us at Eddie V‘s for dinner. All great fun, saw the world, including friends we’d gone to UT with. Poob and I left the younger ones at that point; we’d been in graduation mode for 12 hours and it was closing time – for us. This morning, we left Ann with smooches, had a bite with the grad, hugs and smooches all around, and we headed in three different directions.

Three: After – Driving out of Austin for the umpteenth time, I turned up the tunes and pressed the pedal to the metal. But this time, it was different. My oldest has a big life in our home town. The youngest isn’t coming home. They are both amazing. We’ve all experienced a milestone. Listening to the music, tears started falling out of my eyes. Happy, proud, sweet tears mixed with some salty, sentimental mom water. Deep breathing. Nothing is impossible. Life is good. Mysterious, but good.

The Playlist, in no particular order

  • “Raise Your Glass” – Pink
  • “Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey
  • “Gimme Shelter”– The Rolling Stones
  • “Stronger” – Glee Cast
  • “Sweet Child O’ Mine” – Guns N’Roses
  • “Heads Will Roll” – Yeah Yeah Yeah’s
  • “Born This Way”– Lady GaGa
  • Dueling Guitars” – August Rush movie
  • Defying Gravity” – Idina Menzel and Lea Michele
  • On The Floor”Jennifer Lopez with Pitbull
  • Someone Like You” – Adele
  • “Learn To Fly” – Foo Fighters
  • “Sweet Home Alabama” – Lynyrd Skynrd
  • “Shout It Out Loud” – KISS
  • “Daughter” – Loudon Wainwright III
  • Mercy” – Duffy
  • “I Was Made To Love Her” – Stevie Wonder
  • “Hallelujah” – Jeff Buckley

As for the three-part harmony ……..

Peach, McPaddie, Cita/iz

 “A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart.”

Blessed two times over, I am.

Later.

Joy … in the morning?

Joy.

That’s the word on the candle I pulled out today. So far, the vibe is very good … laughter, imagination, JOY!

I thought about my recent conversation with a homeless man. He said, “Every day you wake up on this side of the dirt is a good day“. Joy, in various forms, is everywhere; we just can’t see it or feel it sometimes.

So I decided to be joyous about unloading the dishwasher that does not clean the dishes. Piped up the iPod and danced while unloading the unclean dishes into a sink full of soapy water. Dancing makes me happy. My dog thinks I am strange. Feh!

The happy, happy, joy, joy situation lasted right up to the minute after my youngest walked in the door from Austin. She’s home just long enough to pack and head out to California. She is a runner with a bad muscle pull and two half-marathons scheduled for this month. She has not been able to run in two weeks. She is not joyous. But I was happy to see her. She verbally stuck a pin in my joy bubble. “I’m so worried about you. How can candles support you? What is your business plan? Don’t you think you need to go out and get a job and have some income? “

I was speechless – and that’s a first. When I found my words, I’m afraid they were NOT VERY NICE. Am not used to being grilled, especially by my daughter. Apologies were issued all around. When I had a moment to think about it, it occurred to me that her worries for the future fueled her inquisition. Been there, felt that. But what was hardest on her was the fact that I was NOT tearing my hair out and biting my nails down to the quick, gnashing my teeth and wandering about in a state of torment. As if. That would have been my MO in the olden days, but that was then and this is now.

Next time anyone peppers me with a rapid fire of personal questions, family or otherwise, I will pull out my current favorite snark response: “I’m busy now. Can I ignore you some other time?”

Off to focus on JOY, damn it!

Later.