Tag Archives: parents

Family Mending

In just a few days, I will experience a one year wedding anniversary for the second time. To look back beyond the last 365 days, the way I saw things going is not exactly how they turned out. For instance, I never quite expected to be celebrating one year of wedded bliss yet again, with a whole new person–my person–I might add. I most definitely never saw our beautifully complicated little family coexisting in legit bliss—give or take a few bumps here and there.

It was never intentional, the family we created. We (the adults) never saw any of this coming. I often tell YG when people make decisions it never affects only them. There is a ripple effect and it disrupts even the most secured. What we do today, no matter how minuscule, can have a profound effect on tomorrow. All of our decisions set the course for this moment, right here, to unfold exactly as it has. It is a little funny to see/hear people’s reactions when they find out who our cast of characters in this odd play is.

The bomb we dropped as adults produced a huge shockwave rippling the earth, reaching the farthest corners of our friends and family. There are always options when shockwaves happen. That which has fallen and been destroyed can be repaired or it can be left for dead. The displaced can turn away in search of something new, better, stronger. Not everything is worth repair. Not all foundations are meant to be examined and restructured. Not all relationships are capable of being better. All it takes is a little assessment. When the damage is assessed, what is left…is it important enough to be fixed? When the rumbling ceases and the ground no longer threatens to split wide open, when the structure has fallen, when the foundation is leveled, who is left? Are they important enough to rebuild? Are they important enough to roll up sleeves and dig in with bare hands? Or is it more beneficial to just turn away in search of newer, better, stronger?

Our foundation, as feeble as it was, needed repair. It needed to be given fresh eyes. Nothing we have done thus far has been for us. No dinners, no parties, no cordial conversations were ever for us. We never intentionally sought out this weird, yet functional family. We sought one thing: stability. That was the entire reason to rebuild what was lost. If the foundation was stable (this time), then all who entered, all who were meant to be sheltered from the cold, wind and rain could rest in comfort and love.

We began with forgiveness, added growth,  sprinkled in the release, and covered it with love. We made it big enough to withstand us all and then some. It took time for it to be completed and it certainly was not easy, but for those who enter it is safe, warm and full of love. Time heals wounds, yes. But love erases the ugly scars.

None of this has gone to plan, but that is okay. Seeing the beautiful outcome of what could have been a disaster, everything abandoned—nothing repaired, is more than enough for me. We all learned a valuable lesson about movement. Nothing can ever be if we don’t first move. The optimal direction is forward, but not all are capable. I am just so grateful to the past and the present we were able to step forward for the future. Alright, Alright.

~SM

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

Best Wishes To My Beloved

Beloved,

Time is moving so quickly, yet to you, it probably feels as though it is moving at a snail’s pace. Life is about to come at us fast as if it hasn’t already. We will look back on this day (and all the others) and wonder where the time had gone. I have loved many, but none like you. We are forever connected, no matter how our roles may change.

You will leave. You will grow. You will find trouble and love and adventure mixed together along the way. You will get your heart broken and have moments of loneliness. Tears will fall, time will fly and life will be electric–buzzing around you with possibility.

I will leave. I will grow toward gray. I have found my trouble and love and adventure all mixed together along this journey. My heart has been broken and I have cried. Tears fell, the time has flown and the electricity of life is still buzzing, just perhaps not as loudly.  What little advice I can offer is to keep your feet on the ground as much as you can. Be humble in the moments when the world calls you to be anything but. Hold your heart open and extend the softer side of yourself during the time when being hardhearted is easiest. Speak after and think it through first. Words, your words, are bond. Mean what you say but hear the other side. Admit when you are wrong and be open to learning, always. Don’t just look ahead, but find some time to broaden your vision to see it all.

I have not been perfect.  But that is the beauty of life, you see. In the imperfection lies the meat of living. Embrace your imperfections and never stop moving. Always push forward, especially when you don’t feel you can. An inch is just as far as a mile. Watch. Listen. Learn.

Life is coming and it is coming fast. Before long you will have loves of your own, bills of your own and hard decisions of your own. Don’t be afraid to look back, to ask, to grow, to cry, to love, to listen, to be silent, to be you. Put all trust in Him and grab onto Him to steady yourself before you stumble. Greet every day with a smile, even when dark clouds are overhead.

I have had the pleasure and the privilege to love you. I will continue to love you from afar as you inch away from home base. Just know, no matter what I have or where I am, I am your home and home is always open.

Enjoy this moment and all of those moments coming. I know I will.

With Love Always,

Me

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

“You Sho Ilz Ugly”

There is no hard, concrete evidence as to why I have found myself on the road to feeling like Who Shot John, but the older I get the closer I get to figure it out. I suppose I could place blame solely on the children.  (Yes, let’s blame them. They can take it) Children tend to suck the life out of you in the early years. Mommy this, throw up in the middle of the night that—it is all very time-consuming. They are certainly the reason why I would look like an entire bag of struggle.

In a conversation with Young Gun, I pointed out that we are a mess collectively. He hasn’t had a haircut in almost a month and I just shaved my armpits, which was about five months overdue. I forgot to get in the shower until the clock struck twelve and collapsed in bed. At that point, a ho bath was more appealing. He forgot to hang his wet clothes and had to wear damp pants this morning. We. Are. A. Mess.

If no one else comes in to slap us around and tell us what messes we are, we must do it ourselves.  Although I must say, The Kids do a fantastic job at letting me know how–err–out of pocket I am. I mean, what is wrong with wearing red sweats, pink tennis shoes, and a green shirt? It’s clothing, right? It works for someone somewhere, why not me? I should not be comfortable with looking like a homeless elf, and he should not be subjected to wearing damp clothes in the middle of November, that’s why not.

Exhaustion plays a roll (Cookie kept us up until ohhh, say, 2 a.m.), but what about the Beyonce’s of the world looking fabulous and parenting? Plenty of people have children, manage to take showers and put on lotion. A friend got pregnant twice and ended up with 2 sets of twins—4 kids all under the age of 7. She runs her own company, cooks stuff, travels and stays pretty put together. She literally wears normal clothing and combs her hair. By those standards, she is already well above my current level. Alas, YG and I have no excuse for overgrown heads and armpits.

I used to have a schedule for self care. I read books, meditated, worked out and did a little something with my face. I dunno what happened. I cleaned up the house on Friday mornings. I got my nails done once a month and my eyebrows too. I wore heels and didn’t leave the house without at least a smack of gloss. This morning I barely managed to put lotion on my face and Chapstick on my lips (after I found it under the couch cushion)…that was the extent of the extra.

I won’t say what his issue is (cuz noneya), but before we end up with meth-face, I put in a call to my aggressive Twin. She kicks ass first and doesn’t even bother taking names. With her in charge, we will definitely get it together. This Twin, this softer, lazier side of myself, can’t get the job done. So, it is time to kick my own ass…and Young Gun’s too. At this rate we’ll end up on a special addition of My 600lb Life: Chaplipped Hairy Hoarders Edition and we can’t have that. We know better so therefore we should do better.

~SM

The Job

Over dinner with the children (and the He…He stayed to hang with the kids I guess), the subject of me working on my day off came up.

“Enjoy your day off,” He said. “I know I would.”

I pointed to the children playfully and said “Even when I’m off I’m never really off…I have another job to tend to.”

“That’s what parents do,” the He said very matter of factly, as if I was wrong to have the audacity to want space…a real day off. If looks could kill he would have been dead.

I am very aware of what parents do. I’ve been doing it for quite sometime. No, not as good as others and most likely better than some. But my children (I do hope dearly) aren’t violent or mean or rude or hateful. They aren’t just floating through life with no goals or ambitions. Sure they have a problem with not leaving their shoes in the middle of the floor or not walking empty water bottles to the trash, but that’s not out of the ordinary.

I suppose my statement at dinner came from the unspoken realization that I’m on 24/7. At least when I was sharing a household with their father, I could sneak away and have a stolen moment to myself, but those days are long gone. Now it’s a constant barrage of teenage attitudes and the sibling push and pull. The constant reminders to do homework & change socks & take a shower fall on me to deliver to half-deaf ears. The daily tiffs over front seat privileges and pouting over things I don’t get the privilege to pout over (like new shoes and allowance) all fall on me to sift through.

This isn’t to say the He doesn’t do what’s in his job description. He does what fits him and his life. I, however, don’t get the luxury. Someone has to make trips to practice and manage to cook dinner in one fail swoop.

This weekend was suppose to be not my weekend, however, it is (previous approved plans). A music festival is in town, Young Gun finally has a free Saturday, & Trinidad is itching to go dancing. I wanted desperately to enjoy some company of someone over the age of 13 who could appreciate a stiff drink or an R rated movie. But…Someone has to keep watch right?

Instead of wishing I could be a carefree adult for 48hrs at least…coming home in the wee hours of the morning, girl chatting at a restaurant, or talking under the stars about everything and nothing at all, I grabbed some pizza and a couple of movies. We sat in the living room stretched out and carb wasted, safe…sound…happy. On my way to bed, I looked into The Boy’s room only to find him curled up still in his school clothes, mouth open, lightly snoring. His sister curled up in her bed, in her room, only hair peeking from beneath the covers. As I closed their doors one by one, I smiled. The He was right…this is what parents do. This is what parents get to see. This is what parents get to experience. I couldn’t ask for a better paying job. It’s rough and tumble. It’s nerve wracking at times, but in those moments of ease and simplicity it all seems worth it.

My hat tips to those men and women who take it on alone…who get the daily load of raising children–whether divorced, widowed, military spouse, business spouse, accidental parent, and everything in between. You do a great job and you are doing exactly what God intended…giving yourself in service out of love. That’s the Job. That’s the real job, isn’t it?

~SM