Tag Archives: children

Thank God for Baseball

Running through the day ahead, I stopped at the thought of the game tonight. My throat tightens, my eyes water and I wave tears away before they fall. For anyone who has children, it is safe to say they save you. There is a moment when the every day becomes too much and, as if they can read your thoughts, they come with a word, a smile or a moment. This act comes far and few between as they enter the space between being a child and putting away childish things, but it still does. And when it does, it means even more.

My children have saved me and they never knew. They have managed to take care of me just by being themselves. Seeing The Girl cross-legged in her bed in the wee hours, hair piled atop her head, laptop open, notebooks and text books strewn everywhere ignites hope. Seeing her see her possibility gives me life. Watching the baby rock back and forth on her tiny knees, raring to take off to nowhere, breathes life into my soul. And then…there is baseball.

Our lives have been lived on highways and byways, our Saturdays and Sundays swallowed whole. Our bank accounts drained for the purpose of investing in purpose. There is something to be said about the end of a long, hot ball game Saturday. Everything is dropped at the door, shoes are tossed in which ever direction they are kicked, everyone sighs with the release of home in their bones. The early 8 AM game and the late 8 PM nail biter have long since rolled off the shoulders and everyone is spent. And it will  happen all over again tomorrow. The long week of rushing from work to kids to drive-thru to practice to home to barely sleeping and repeat is also ahead of you, but you would never trade it for peace and quiet. You need this. You breathe this. You are a part of the dream and by proxy, you dream this.

I sat at work, waving away the tears thinking of him standing on the mound—smile slipping from under the game face and the arrogant walk off before blue even marks his last k with a barked “strike!” Today, he would save me. He would take away thoughts how’s, what’s and why’s. He would temporarily lift the weight. He wouldn’t know it as he leans forward, feet planted in the dusty red of the infield. He would never realize as he stands in the box trying like hell to hit his mark. Nothing about his glance to the bleachers and his wink would tell he knows, but I do. I know. For a few hours, I get to breathe. Baseball and all that comes with it has saved me…

~SM

The Year Two Thousand & Eighteen Notables

“Think through each month, and make a list of all the notable moments, the treasures of 2018.”  (Grit & Virtue)

 

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January – We got to see the baby! For an entire month, I was a nervous wreck! Every ache or pain I felt, I just knew it spelled trouble. We knew there was a little life growing inside but we had no idea if it was okay or if it would stick. In January, we got to have our first glimpse of the newest addition. What a beautiful, amazing sight!

February – I got to meet all of Young Gun’s family and I got to witness how one long, loving life could affect so many people. The unfortunate part was that I was unable to meet the man behind the long, loving life, but the number of people he touched was absolutely unbelievable.

March – We found out the baby was a girl. My husband wanted a little girl and God saw to it. Although, I still believe when my mother-in-law got to heaven that week, her first order of business was to put in a good word and God obliged. March was also when for a brief, sparkling moment, my beautiful friend and I put away everything heart-heavy and became husband and wife.

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April – The Boy’s baseball career started to buzz! He was in the paper, his pitching was amazing and colleges were peeking in to see what he had to offer. It was a blessing to see something blossom right before our eyes. He has been dreaming of playing baseball since before he could read well, and to see it growing before him was amazing.

May – Mommy and I chucked the deuce to an item on our bucket list…JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE!!! We had amazeball seats and the show was a-mazing! We had been waiting years (yes, years) to see him in concert and we finally made it. I still owe her money for my ticket, but the debt is soooo worth it.

June – BABY SHOWER! Oh my goodness what a wonderful, beautiful showing of love. Friends, old and new, the family from out of state, Mommy, the kids, and even The Ex and his person were there. Cookie received so, so much that we barely had room enough to receive it all.

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July – The Mother/Daughter Team was back at it in Atlanta, but this time it was Sam Smith. What a surprisingly wonderful show! We had such a great time. Me and my 8-month pregnant waddling self hung in there. Cookie had a great time too!

August – Both of my girls had birthdays. Earlier in the month, we welcomed Cookie into the world and two weeks later we celebrated a beautiful young lady and her Sweet 16. School started too and we had a Class of 2019 man in the house and a fresh Junior (Class of 2020). What a year of extremes…

September – Young Gun and I went on our first date post-baby and we chose to celebrate with a Childish Gambino concert. I surprised him with floor seats. He was so stoked. We almost got within touching distance of Gambino, but security blocked us (booo). It was an amazing show. To top it all off, big Bro and Sis got some baby watching action in.

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October – Me and my girls went out for brunch one morning. The Girl and I were awake and Cookie woke up too and I just said: “Let’s go to brunch.” We left the boys snoring in the bed and had a wonderful mid-morning. I didn’t have a ton of cash, but the little I had, we used on yummy pancakes, waffles, hot chocolate, and tea. Time (and money) well spent.

November – Cookie went to daycare for the first time. At first, it was bitter, but seeing her progress in such a short time helped to turn the bitter sweet. Seeing just how well cared for she is and the fun she has is wonderful. And (as much as I complained about it), it was actually nice to get back to a semblance of a routine.

December – I found my voice (and breath)…again *swoon*

~SM

Feeling Replaceable

The biggest problem with loss is the feeling of being replaceable. Sure, it is nice to be the dumper or the two-week-noticer, but when you are not, it doesn’t feel so good. I got a taste of that when I was unexpectadely reminded that even though I am the mother, there is always room for one more.

It is something you think about when you have an ex anything and there are kids involved. You forget there is the potential for your off spring to bond with another adult. You ex has bonded, but you could give two shits about that particular bond (matter of fact you have often wished they got stuck together like humping dogs in the street). No. What worries you most is her (or him) glopping themselves onto your kids with fun stuff like shopping and outings and your kids sticking. After all, you are the rule setter, the drill sergeant, the taxi, the bill payer, the yeller, the spanker, the bad guy and on the tired days the ‘i don’t care’ guy. You don’t get the luxury of every other weekend fun in the sun spoil time with your children. Your spoil time and your mom time is intermingled together and it can be hard to tell the difference. To them…you are just mom…and to you…well…maybe you are not entirely replaceable but you certainly aren’t alone and it hurts.

It hurts somewhere way deep down, in a place no one can quite touch, when you think about being replaced. When your boss lays you off to replace you with someone younger and cheaper–it hurts. When your significant other breaks it off to replace you with whomever–it hurts. When your kids replace you with a girl/boyfriend, or just activities and friends in general–it hurts. But I suppose it doesn’t have to.

Looking at it behind mature lenses, we are truly irreplaceable. Someone can fill our seat momentarily, sure, but we are marvelously, wonderfully made uniquely enough so that no one person can step comfortably in our footsteps. There is only one you. There is only one me. Of course…I prefer to seethe and throw a tantrum about the potential of the Replacement, but that’s only because that feels better than being all yogi-om and mature. Realistically (here’s the mature crap again), I should know my worth and I should know my place within this world and in the hearts of those who truly love me. Why…I am smwart. I am kand. I am impowtant. Can’t take that away, no matter how much glitter and gold is thrown in the air.

~SM

Tick Tock On The Bio-Clock???

Let me preface this post by saying that I have no intention, I repeat, no intention of having a kid. That being said…

My aunt told me there would come a time when the clock would tick–the bio-clock that is–and it would start small and then get louder and louder until….baby or naugh. I am not sure if it happens after a woman’s children are grown or half way to grown or in her 30’s or mid-30’s, but I am pretty sure mine is ticking just a little bit. On the other hand, it could just be the fact that I am getting older, things are changing and I actually sorta can tolerate children (gasp!).

Quite honestly, I never wanted kids. They are time consuming, body damaging, money hogging, time consuming (not a typo), food gobbling, crudely honest little people. When you have children, you are in charge of a whole person for the rest of your life. Every decision they make essentially comes from how they were raised (this statement excludes people like Hannibal Lecter). You have to worry about them when they are babies and then when they are in grade school and then as teenagers and oh, God, driving and then in college and then after college. It is maddening to think of the responsibility of caring for a tiny person. I never wanted any part in that responsibility. But then….

I am a parent. I would say (aside from their sloppy rooms) I done good. Partially due to the village surrounding The Kids, partially due to values I (ok and The He) were instilled with, and greatly due to God. I (ugh, we) managed to make them okay little people despite my womb’s objections. I should dust off my hands and be done…but…something….tick tick tick….

Babies are popping up everywhere! They are on television. Family members are having them left and right. They are coming into the office. Babies are everywhere and everywhere they are the more I want one to squeeze one and pet one and feed one and name her/him George (yes…Looney Tune ref). I can’t say for certain that is my clock beginning to tick. Perhaps it is. Or perhaps my mind is adjusting to different views of new life. No matter the case for the bio-clock making it’s presence known, it needs to settle down and fast. I can see the finish line. It is right there, just a few miles away…I can’t possibly introduce a new little person into that glorious vision of freedom, clean house, and dinners for one….besides I have no baby daddy potentials. The next baby daddy needs to be pretty freaking awesome both in looks and in bank account. Yea. I said it. And you agreed…a little.   😛

~SM

The (Parental) Hair Debate

I have always been against people telling me what to do with my hair. It’s. Just. Hair. It’s hair! Cut it and it will grow back. Color it and it will grow out. Shave it and it will come back. Braid it and they can come out. Hair is hair is hair. It’s hair. So when the Ex and I had a debate about the Girl’s hair last night, I could not help but to get a little pissed.

First things first, I have never been a parent before. Second things second, I have never been a divorced parent before. I am flying by the seat of my pants and have been doing so for the last 14 years. So far, the children are not (a) thieves, (b) murderers, (c) gangsters (d) whores (e) rapists and/or (f) on Maury with any of the above. Of course they lack more to be desired, but they are teenagers. Spoiled teenagers with a large side of attitude and ungratefulness, but that can be easily fixed (ask the Boy who I wrestle to the ground and show who’s boss when it is needed). All of that being said, there is something to this parenting game I have learned over this 14 year stint: allow expression.

I am a free spirit and I parent sorta accordingly. You want to wear stripes and polka dots with monkey slippers? Go for it. You want to paint your room and draw on the walls? Have at it. I. Don’t. Care. Express yourself in the safest, most benign manner, and it can save the world from frustrated angry individuals (imo). Of course there are somethings I fight: sagging pants, odd body piercings, skank wear, certain music, R-rated movies, and personal bubble popping. Other than that, life is a coloring book with blank pictures–I encourage coloring outside the lines. The Ex obviously feels differently.

The Girl wanted to get her hair done, and I obliged. I preferred her in an afro, but she preferred herself in some sort of relaxed style. Fine. Your hair. Not mine. This time she asked if she could get it colored. I obliged. The Girl ended up with beautiful burgundy red highlights. Instead of him gushing over her hair, boosting her self-esteem, he proceeded to debate with me over her hair being colored. “She’s 12!” He says. “She doesn’t need color in her hair. I am her father and I have a say in something that big. Blah blah blah.” Is it that big of a deal, really?

Hair, clothes, nail polish, art work, tattoos even–is all an extension of the person and their need for expression. Everything has a limit and maturity date. The Girl has suffered quite a bit at the hands of adults and mother nature. She has had her home sold, her family changed, major surgery, and puberty knocking at her door in a 12 month span. The least I can do, as her mother/supporter/cheerleader, is allow her to test life and move outside of the lines…just a little bit. He had a point. She is 12. Which, for me, is all the more reason to allow her to express herself safely. She is an artist at heart–always has been–why not allow her to move within that? If you made it to the end of this long post, riddle me this: Was I wrong for allowing her to do it? Was I wrong for not telling him? Should her hair be a joint adult decision? I am curious to know.

~SM