Pamper me everyday

I know Mother’s Day was over 2 weeks ago, so I guess you could say I am a bit late with a Mother’s Day post. It is funny, when I was pregnant with Nico during Mother’s Day 2015 people sent me notes to say Happy Mother’s Day. It felt a bit odd to me, as we had not yet met this little baby boy. This year also felt a bit strange — as he is still so young.

My mom passed away when I was 16, and even then she was not really present in my life going back to the age of 12. Those four years in between were filled with doctors appointments, hospitals, nurses, at-home health equipment, food stamps, depression, and so much more. I do not remember much about middle school and the beginning of high school, but I remember the bed pans, the pain, the fear of not being there for her. What kid should go through that? I also do not remember much about how we spent our Mother’s Day each year.

So why do I sound like the scrooge of Mother’s Day? I strongly believe that we do not need these hallmark holidays. Those that know Chris and I will know that my response to someone who says, “Chris, pamper Tami on Mother’s Day.” I would say to that, “pamper me everyday.” Why not, right? We should love, cherish, and take care of each other each and every day. Why find one day out of the year to share appreciation? Why not do it every day? I feel the same way about Valentine’s Day and a plethora of other hallmark holidays.

So since I have spent more Mother’s Day without my mom than I spent with her it maybe takes a bit of the pizazz out of the day for me. Since Nico is so small, why celebrate? When he is old enough to care I would rather he decide how he would like to approach the day. Some kids get really into it. At the end of the day, though, I would rather teach and model to him that we cherish each other every day. Why not, right? Life is short.

Happy Birthday, Penelope

My sister is having a big birthday today. It is funny when you think back to when you were a kid, milestone birthdays really mattered. When you turned 16, 18, 21, 30, 40. They do matter, and maybe they always will, but sometimes life just happens and a birthday is just another day. Maybe I feel that way because growing up birthdays and holidays were often a non-event in my life. Real life shit was happening and was often way more important than getting one year older. Due to that fact, I do not put much stock in Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and many other holidays. Often I think we wait for these Hallmark holidays and take those moments to spend time with our family, buy them gifts, or even to pay attention to them. Rather than wait for those dates on the calendar, why not make them important all the rest of the days of the year?

I digress. It is my sister’s birthday. I told you all that back story to say that while she might have too much happening in her life to worry about her birthday I want to share what she means to me.

We have been through a lot together. I will not go into detail, but we had to grow up early and fast, and that does something to a person. My sister spent her teens taking care of me and my mother, and holding my father up in life. She spent a good part of high school never sleeping through the night because my mother needed her (and I was too heavy a sleeper to know otherwise). In so many ways she was a mother before she left high school without ever giving birth. There were times during that period when we fought horribly with each other. Each trying to find our own place in a world where the adults in our life were dropping like flies. Both badly just wanting to be loved, to be held, and to know that somehow everything would turn out okay. That we would be okay. No one was there to tell us that, we only had each other.

As each adult we took care of passed away and our own adult lives began to take shape, I watched my sister become a child again (in a good way). She adventured down many different life courses learning and charting her way. Sometimes creative, others financial, and others to find the stability we did not have for many years. She continues down that path, always curious for a new and engaging endeavor, never willing to stay in something that did not nourish her soul. In addition to all her travels and professional explorations, she has explored writing personally and professionally, taught herself how to cook (we did not learn from our mother, and I still have not learned), and now she has paved the way into motherhood.

I have loved watching her this past year as a new mother. I see that she wants 100 times more for Charlie than she ever had (and I want that for Charlie too). While she is a quiet, gentle mother she is also a rock for her. In some ways I see my mom’s quiet strength come through, always wanting to teach us and understand the context behind something. I know that she will always encourage Charlie to try new adventures, be okay with her being as Punky Brewster as she wants, while also being sure she knows she is loved. As our lives have ebbed and flowed from childhood through college to adulthood, Charlie has helped to bring my sister and I even closer and make our sisterhood even stronger. Wanting to protect a little one makes love fierce and strong, and reminds you of all you already have in life.

Happy Birthday, Penelope.  You are loved, everything will be okay, and I am always here.

Valentine’s Day: Every Damn Day

Roses are red, violets are blue, I have something to say, yes, I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Aw hell I am not a poet, I cannot write poetry, and…

…I have never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. It probably started back in younger years when our schools would do a Valentine’s Gram delivery of roses + candy, and you always wondered whether or not you would receive one, whether it was from a friend, or a boy. I have high expectations, just ask Chris. On our first Valentine’s Day (I cannot remember if it was while dating or our first married Valentine’s Day), Chris was traveling and sent me flowers. They were tulips and when I opened the box, the flowers were dead. It was not Chris’ fault, but I was livid. I remember being quite clear that he never “send” me flowers again. He has honored my request.

Why does it make me happy to not receive flowers on Valentine’s Day by my amazing husband? On that very first Valentine’s Day together, I very clearly remember discussing it with him and telling him how much I detest Hallmark holidays. I just am not a fan. Why should corporate America tell us when we should shop, spend money, and love on our loved ones? It is bullshit. EVERYDAY should be a day that we love and pamper our loved ones. It does not mean that we have to give gifts, in fact I am actually not interested in gifts. I care more about how we treat, care, and love each other every single day of the year.

So, Chris and I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day. Yes, we might make a fun dinner together, and spend time together, but we do that every night that we possibly can. Yes, call us sappy, but see I still feel like I am in my honeymoon phase. I get excited to see my husband at the end of the day, and can text him near the end of the day to ask “when can we leave so I can see you, and oh, what is for dinner.” We might not have a relationship that is like many others, and we do not yet have kids, but we are close, tight, and well-connected. There are days that I worry about what bringing kids into the mix will do to our marriage, and I know it will be different, tough, precious, and make us grow in different ways. I digress, I still completely dislike Valentine’s Day. Who wants to fight over a table at a restaurant and pay double the price for a meal just so you can say you took out your loved one on Valentine’s Day? Why not do that once a month, or week? Why not find different ways to keep that love alive regardless of it being February 14?

So I veto Valentine’s Day, instead I think every damn day is Valentine’s Day. Every day should be about doting, loving, and finding ways to make the world better for your loved one. Love them so damn much. Hug them hard, cuddle with them, and do not, I repeat, DO NOT forget to tell how them how much you love them EVERY DAMN DAY.