I am back

I am back. Or I think I am back. I do not know for how long. See I like things to be consistent. If I say I am going to be somewhere, I will be there. I do not want you to get your hopes up, in that every-day-there-will-be-a-blog kind of way. For now I think I can deliver. Although, I am not making any promises. But for now, I am back.

And…I feel like myself again. Motherhood is so many things. Some can be expressed so clearly and described, and others have to be experienced firsthand. I am a planner and a list maker. Motherhood has already taught me that I can have all the plans I want, and eventually they may happen, but for now this moment is all that matters. Birthing a baby has turned my world upside down.

The world continues to spin, work happens, life happens, but these moments with a newborn are as though time has stopped. They are so precious, so right-in-the-moment. Often I do not get a real meal in there, instead Chris finds me with a bag of open pretzels (and yes I ate half the bag). Easy wins, right? Nico is now 3.5 months old. I have folks ask me if I am going to continue with my blog and I think yes, no, er. I don’t know.

I will find that an hour has passed and I have sat in the same spot staring down at the baby sleeping on me. The wrap that I am wearing that holds him so close to me is drenched from the heat from both of our bodies. As I write this I am also slightly cold and wet from the amount of spit up that came out as I put him in the wrap. He fell right to sleep, so we both will deal with it.

I am back, but if you do not hear from me, you will know I had one of those days.

Unique and Findable

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. Each year it feels like just another day to me. I think of my mom and grandma and it makes me sad, and then that just feels like a waste of time. Last year and again this year I think about my sister and how much she loves motherhood (well most of the time I think). I love watching her with Charlie. It is like she has settled into herself in a way that feels almost impossible to explain. It suits her. Her admiration for that little bambino is awe-inspiring to watch, and she always has Charlie’s best interest in mind.

Last week I saw the most precious video on motherhood, and wanted to share for all those moms, grandmas, and sisters who mother. It is a video that shows that we are all truly unique, whether it is our smell, skin, or hair. Somehow these little ones know what is important. Even blindfolded they know what home means, they know who their mother is, and watching it unfold is priceless.

Make sure to tell your mom or grandma or sister how much they mean to you this Sunday (or every day). If you are nearby touch their skin and hair, make physical contact and connect with them in a deep way. You might not be three years old, but I am sure they will feel just as honored as these mothers did…


“What My Mother Gave Me”

I wonder what my mom would think of me today. If we could have a conversation, what would she tell me? Would she say she was grateful that I have been given many opportunities, maybe many more than she ever had? I just finished reading “What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-one Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most” Edited by Elizabeth Benedict. It has many short vignettes from different women who are authors and journalists, who share the gift their mother gave them. Some of their mothers are still alive and others have lost their moms. I related to some, and did not have the experience of others. Ann Hood was one author that made me think and ponder about my own mom:

“A mother’s love is like that. I know this now that I’m a mother. We give our children the best of ourselves so that they can find the best of what is in them. The day I rejected the gift of the white suit, I got the best gift of all. My mother let me know that I had finally become that person I’d dreamed of becoming: a girl who spoke her mind, who was independent and opinionated. A girl who knew who she was and what she wanted. A girl who would not wear an all-white pants suit. And by recognizing that, she gave me permission to go into my own mismatched future. What a gift.” Page 59

While my mother never had the opportunity to see and spend time with me once I found my voice, I hope that when I was a kid I was as feisty as I am now. My sister I suppose could attest to that. Or maybe that came later in life. I do know that I now speak my mind, am definitely opinionated, know who I am, and usually know what I want. So after finishing “What My Mother Gave Me” I wanted to figure out what I would say about what my mother gave me.

It is a tough one for me. I really have no material possessions from my mom. The only things that allow me to remember her are what are left of our family photos. She must have been off cleaning and taking care of us, or she was the one taking the photos, because she is in very few of the photos. The gift my mom gave me was taking care of people. I watched her do it. Whether it was the children in her at-home day care, or older women at church, my grandma, us kids, her classroom at school, neighborhood children, she was always taking care of someone. Chris often reminds me that I need to take care of me first before extending myself so much. After reading this book, I realized that was the gift my mom gave me.

What about you? Do you know the gift your mother gave you?

A Letter From Your Little Bug

For those of you that have been following my blog for a bit know that I have been thinking about motherhood. I recently found this great letter on The Huffington Post website. It is from their “Honest Toddler” section with the tag: “Not potty trained. Not trying.” It is a letter from a little one to their mother. It is cleverly written, honest, and direct. I wonder if I could birth a child with such an eloquent way of writing while so young (wink. wink). I am not going to copy the letter in its entirety, but will share this excerpt:

“You seem tired and short-tempered this morning which is why I felt more comfortable writing this than having a face-to-face. Can I get you anything? A cup of coffee? While you’re up please bring me a sippy cup of juice and some unbroken crackers. Oh that’s right. We don’t have crackers… I recall you saying that around 1:15. That’s OK. Why keep the house stocked with my favorite foods? I’m sure we have two kinds of wine though. But that’s fine.”

Intrigued? You will have to click the above link to read the entire letter.

I also wanted to share a good reminder from David Kanigan’s blog, which I have featured before on my blog. He posts the quote:

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.”  -Peggy O’Mara (www.silverpen.com)

Oh how true that is. How many times do I go to do things and think about how my reasoning has to do with something my mom or dad said to me when I was young. It is even a good reminder for all of us in how we talk to others.

Cuddles, kisses, tickles, and hugs…

Sunday is Mother’s Day. I always have a hard time thinking about Mother’s Day. Often I try to think about it like it was just another day. Other times I get more emotional. My mom passed on 18 years ago. It is hard for me to imagine what it would be like to talk to her now, and to spend Mother’s Day with her.

Recently I finished a novel called: “How to Eat a Cupcake” by Meg Donohue. Yes, it is what I call book porn or chick lit. I have to read it here and there between the intense memoirs and the business books. A book with cupcakes in the title, well yes I am curious. It was a good quick read, nothing too exciting and nothing to really write about, but this quote resonated with me:

“She was a wonderful mother. Of course, I never got a chance to know her as an adult, so my memory of her is probably kind of sentimental.”

I can relate. My mother died 2 months after my sixteenth birthday. It was a rough summer. I got my driver’s license that summer. Yes, I was one of those kids that got it after I turned 16. I remember the day I got my driver’s license and went to the hospital to visit my mom. She did not know who I was. There were times that summer when she was lucid, but they were few and far between. That was like a heavy boulder on my spirit. I wanted my mom to be proud of me — to be excited that I had met this milestone in my life. I did not know on that day that she would not be around to see other future milestones. My high school and college graduations. My wedding. Well, to be fair, no one saw my wedding…Chris and I got married just the two of us on a beach in Hawaii.

I wonder what she would have been like as a mother to my adult self. It is hard to imagine. My memory is as Meg says: sentimental. I often can only remember the 4 + years when she was sick before she died. I remember times here and there when I was younger. Like the cabbage patch doll she made for me and how horrible I was that Christmas morning when I told her it was not a cabbage patch doll because it did not have a plastic head! The horror she must have felt for such an ungrateful daughter. I grew up in the 80’s when brand names mattered. So did cabbage patch dolls, garbage pail kids, and the brand name on the butt of your jeans. We could not afford those name brand toys and clothes and my mother did her best to make them herself. While they, for the most part, did not look like their brand name counterparts, the hours and hours of late, late nights she stayed up to try to give us those things pierce my heart. Would I do the same today if I had kids? Maybe.

We were not a cuddly family (although the below picture may look cuddly). Sometimes I think my mom was so busy keeping our family together and food on the table that she did not see that sometimes we just needed to be held or told we were loved. That is something I will do differently with my kids. I want to spend time making sure they are loved, disregarding the wants and whims of fitting into the rest of life. I want to remember times when she would stop and dance with me, or play, or tickle me. But sadly…I do not. I remember how hard she worked for my family. That is the love I know she had for us. I believe it was her way of showing it, and her way of coping.

So thank you, mom, for working so hard for your family. I know l will cuddle, hug, kiss, and tickle my kids. Most likely to the point where they cannot stand me anymore. I will do this because I do not want them to ever feel like they were not loved in that deep, physical way.

Tami + Mom (May 1980)

Love you, Mom.