May 07, 2010


Last night as I was zipping down the street in my husband's loaner fancy, bells and whistles car, I was halted by a voice of authority.
She, who used to by my baby and is a rule follower and breaker with the best of them, was on me.
"Really Mommie, with your shoulder, I think you should be more careful. After all, this is a brand new car and not even ours. Daddy says you're supposed to have your hands and 9 and 3. I'll feel much safer too.
Can we listen to Radio Disney now?"
Yikes. When we finally got to a stop light I looked at her and began to rethink the Tuesday afternoon visits to grandma's she lives for.  I also wondered why my daughter was bossing me around. Then it occurred to me, that she sounded like a control freak of sorts. Kinda. Sorta.
Or was it concern about her mom?
I gently reminded her of my excellent driving record and mentioned I don't want her to be too concerned for me. She's free to be a happy little/big girl who can be free as a bird because her mom is really good at the mom stuff.
She laughed and relaxed her shoulders.

When we got home she donned her pjs and came into my room where I had the TV to myself (a yearly event) and was watching some grown up show. When she toodled in too say g'night she climbed in next to me for a kiss and a cuddle. Then looked at the TV and authoritatively informed me she's not supposed to watch this program. (Which I don't even need to tell you, I was never going to allow anyway!)
Oh, my.
Did I sound defensive there?
Maybe it's because it seems I'm moving to power struggle battle stations.
Time for a visit  to the bookshelf for: THE  EVERYTHING TWEEN BOOK, SHEPHERDING A CHILD'S HEART and maybe to the store for Dr. Dobson's book on raising girls.
Looks like we're coming to a crossroads.
I'll go, scratching my head. Really, already?

When they say a woman's work is never done, they are referencing moments like these.
A mom doesn't really rest too much when her kids are the subject. There's something important coming around the bend. More to be learned. More to the path.
And even with the somewhat bossy miss currently at my side, I wouldn't wish to (sleep in and then) wake up to any other occupation.
I do love the mom journey.

May 06, 2010

The Other Moms ~ Michelle ~ The Name is Mom

The mom journey for me has been lightly dusted with great girlfriends. Could we live without them? Oh no, we could not, nor would we want to.

So, let's talk about Michelle today, shall we? Michelle came with my first child. She and her darling husband were in our Lamaze class. They were expecting their numero uno and so were we. Somehow in the two classes I attended (read: bed rest) they decided my dear and I might make good friends. And she was right.

We both ended up having boys, eleven days apart. They boys consider the hospital visit to see our new baby the first real play date.

Mich and I were invited to join a mothers group when the boys were a couple of months old and the treasured friendships solidified.

Many, many years later, this gal, her husband and two boys are practically family. When my daughter celebrated her birthday a while ago, she expected to meet the G's for dinner. We did. My girlie is the only daughter in the bunch, so she's well celebrated and loves it. Michelle "passed on" beautiful 14K gold ladybug earrings. Practically family.

What's in the friendship? Well, fun frankly. And strength and courage and capacity to do things beyond anything I've ever been called to do or continue doing.

In the time we've been friends we've shared many unexpected experiences. Together we have laughed hard (at Michelle's urgings) over the ridiculous ways people complicate parenting, cried over marriage issues, lost her precious mom way, way to soon, learned to let things go, moved (us to a city 30 miles away).watched our men changing jobs, learned that her youngest had a brain tumor, walked through the what and how and surgery of it, giggled in restaurants, changed careers, played at the beach, played in parks, watched tons of movies, walked through the loss of my dad, celebrated a Bar Mitzvah, wondered how we got here and remain grateful for the grace of a friendship made of very strong fibers.

She is absolutely remarkable. When her youngest was diagnosed, I was on a business trip in Washington. She called me and I sat in the airport millions of miles away unable to do anything but listen and love. The words were incomprehensible. But Michelle knew that we'd walk through it, me praying fiercely while holding her hand and her doing what she had to do. We did just that. Her little dude is fabulous. Riding bikes, telling (bad) jokes. Seeking the start of his acting career. He celebrated his sixth surgiversary and stares doctors in the face, like obstacles in his path.

His mom has shown him how to size a situation up for what it is. To laugh at the impracticalities and complexities and to keep moving.

She's good at it. The night I had surgery for my broken shoulder, Michelle was there with my husband. She was the friend with her hand on my forehead when I came out of surgery. Gently stroking my, oh so very out of it, head.

Really, could we live without the mom's in our lives? Not this one. She's grace and humor and dignity and joy. Oh Happy Mom's Day to the friend who is Michelle.

May 05, 2010

I enjoy being a girl ~ The Name is Mom

A couple of weeks ago my girlie and I had a some time to visit a wonderful craft fair.
We spent the morning looking at beautiful paper crafts, hand thrown ceramics, beautiful baby outfits, chai tea powder, hand painted jewelry, crochet baby headbands, purses, blankets and even cute, cute aprons. We bought a couple of gifts for our new baby cousin. And the two of us went "halfsies" on a beautifully painted necklace of a monkey playing a violin (something like this).  We left around lunchtime, happy with our purchases and glad to have seen some friends we enjoy in the process.

As we drove home, we passed a little storefront I'd never seen before, but my doll was aware of - Elise's Tea Room. Apparently, she almost had tea there with a former favorite babysitter. So we stopped. It is amazing what a Tea Room can do to a 'tween. In braces, jeans and a sweatshirt, my girl was transformed into a little lady. Off came the sweatshirt and she asked to wear my scarf which she threw over her shoulder. We poured from our tea pots, ate lovely sandwiches, shared a salad and talked about tea in England. We noticed just how lovely it is to be lovely. We noticed the dress of those around us, the flavor of the blueberry in her tea and the currant in mine. We watched as the shop owner stopped at every table.
We're planning to go back. Perhaps with a couple of friends. Or maybe we'll just go back and enjoy being who we are. We've decided that we should make a point of stopping at home, sometime in the afternoon to have a cup of tea.
I know what I loved the most. Being the mom of a sweet girl who leaned into the loveliness in the air of a tea room.

May 04, 2010

Guest Blogger, New Blogger, Meghan ~ The Name is Mom

There's a new blogging gal on the block and this musing on motherhood is her inaugural post.
I hope you'll stop by and visit Meghan at The Brain Frame:

My little Ella is 9 months old. She's lived as long outside as she did inside. I've heard a comedic statistic: "90% of the population was unplanned." Ella is one of those 90%. My husband and I were in the crucible of life: differentiating ourselves from each other, moving through personal past pains and how they were affecting our married life. We had divorce pounding at all doors around us: my husband's brother as well as his mother were in the midst of divorce proceedings. The terror and guilt (yes, guilt) I felt at discovering I was pregnant still leaves me jealous of those moms from whom I hear jubilant and tear-filled excitement over their announcements. I look forward to the day when I am that expectant mother.

A close friend jokingly suggested that we name our daughter-to-be Phoenix, a beauty rising out of the ashes of life around us. We decided (not only do we live in Arizona, and felt that it would have just been too cliche) that it was a bit too 'out there' for our little one. While we chose a more traditional name, I still see the image of the mythical Phoenix as a picture of her. She is strong, independent, fiery, full of life and of a spirit that absolutely amazes me. As she moves into life--which is destined to be full of her own pains and struggles--she will come to a place where she will build her own pyre, step into it, and emerge reborn, stronger, more beautiful, and more determined than she ever imagined she was capable of being. She is my hero.

Although the anticipation was full of fear, stepping into the roll of mother was just perfect. Having Ella has changed me in so many ways--ways that I didn't even know I needed to change, needed to discover, or had the capacity to do. For many years I have hung onto Psalm 27:13 as a life promise: "I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Years ago I found this and wondered what it actually might look like for me. And with Ella, every moment of my days is that promise, fulfilled to the fullest extent that I couldn't have even imagined. She is the goodness of the Lord in this land of the living, and at times I can't even bear the joy that fills my heart. She is the beauty grown from the ashes of my life.

My Phoenix, my Goodness, My Ella.

May 03, 2010

You not gonna tell me what a do! ~ The Name is Mom

I have volumes to share about Mother Daughter Camp with my girl this weekend, and will, but I have to stop here first. When my eldest was three, and this is dipping back into history about ten years, dynamics in my mommie life had changed. Baby sister was here and I had gone from smooth as silk, easy breezy, mom to harried, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO SERVE TWO? Mom, without even a breath. I was the definition of overwhelmed and decided I probably never was a very good mom. Just as I began to let the idea that perhaps this was just a phase and that I'd grow into this new job, my son changed too.
He went from, smooth as silk, easy breezy, two to YIKES MY WORLD HAS CHANGED AND SO HAVE I, three.
Hopelessly, I was removing him from the kitchen swing previously referred to as the refrigerator door and scolding him out of the kitchen and through the living room and down the long hallway to the bedroom when he turned on his heals and stopped and stood squarely at me saying, "You not gonna tell me what a do!"
Oh my, that was The End.
No more perfection.
Not in me and not in him.
(Poor Sissy-doll never had a chance.)
Today, as I think about it, I remember someone in my head loudly screaming something while I laughed at the absurdity of the transaction.
I took a long, deep breath.
The I'VE GOT THIS PARENTING THING DOWN mom left our house in the instant and the WELL, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH THIS mom arrived.
I like the illusion of that perfect mom. She was cute and sweet and fairly easy going.
Or was she me, enjoying the ride and never really getting it all that right?
I think the latter.
And I believe that the real answer in all of this is I'm best at being a Wisdom-for-the-moment Mom. That's the mom I chose to be, The Wisdom-for-the-moment mom.
The title is the job description, and it suits me well.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Follow by Email

Blog Archive


Original text and images sole property of BirdandSeashells. If you wish to use something, please ask or quote me.