May 27, 2010

The Name is Mom ~ I love the name

Many times over my journey as a mom I've considered, deeply, the way the first days of motherhood changed me. I didn't care about anything except: the baby. Was he awake? Was he asleep? Was he hungry? What does he look like now? Is he really mine? Should I change his outfit? Will he be cold if I take him out? Does he like the Baby Bjorn? Is he hungry? Where did he come from? How did I get to be this person?

My interior world had many rooms. Believer. Wife. Advertising Gal. Shopper. Traveler. Granddaughter. Daughter. Sister. But a week or two after the little stranger moved into my life, I figured it out. I loved this room best. The mom room. The one with the daddy, and the delicious little boy. Most of life came fairly easy. I had a good eater and sleeper. A couple of months into motherhood, I was introduced to a group of fabulous friends, seven other moms with their firstborns too. The days were mostly lovely and simple and full of magical discovery.

I struggled a bit when, after a long, long leave of absence, I went back to work. It lasted a month and I knew I had to leave. The tug on my heart was too heavy. Somehow, my boss, the owner of the firm, made a compelling argument for a three day work week. My little guy and I worked out a way. He spent those days with a mom from my group, a wonderful woman with a girl two days older than my guy. She was hoping to care for one other child.

It worked for a while. Three days of work and four days being a staying mostly at home mommie.
We wandered the neighborhoods near our apartment on the beach. Spent time at the park, the beach, and home. Contentment reigned. Time moved on and we moved into a house, had baby sister join us, changed jobs, started school, etc.

The Mom Room became bigger, not quite as simple, but remains my favorite. Here is where I learn the most, feel the most, change the most. I see parts of my own mom, my sister, my Mother's Group gals, my neighbors, grandmas and the like in the shape of my parenting. Maybe it's that motherhood demands such action and reaction that you grow here or else. And, this isn't to say my life isn't full of growing and learning and changing in all the other dimensions. My life is full. But being a mom effects everything I am and everything I do and for that I am and will be eternally grateful.

Thanks to all who participated in celebrating Mom.

May 25, 2010

A fabulous Mom moment occurred last Saturday afternoon. I looked out onto the front porch to see my girlie and her pal Sophia in their bathing suits with a big brown bucket.
They were bobbing for apples.
After a giggle, my heart was so warmed watching my sweet bird sharing one of her favorite childhood days with her friend. Bobbing for apples happened first in fall when she was very little, probably two and then became a silly and high demand summer activity a few of years ago.
How darling that some seasonal fun in our backyard became the inventing spring afternoon affair! Who knew?

Photo from a great blog, Dishin'. http://dishin.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/halloween-memories-fall-spinach-salad-friday-favs/

May 24, 2010

The Early Influencers ~ The Name is Mom

For some reason, I originally bristled at the language, "It takes a village to raise a child." I'm sure the bristling came out of my loyalty to my mom who did just fine raising us on her own, thank you very much. But that loyalty and the bristling are misplaced. I had the benefit of community. There were women and men in the neighborhood and at church who really filled in gaps with love, time and training that made my world bigger, more interesting. They contributed by enjoying my time with them and gave dimension with gifts of thought and experience. I just needed to look a bit, to see the dimension.
I remember the first time I slept overnight at a friend's house. Lonnie,  Lisa's mom, made this magical mystery, French Toast. And she sprinkled powdered sugar on it right on my plate! My Aunt Nicki kept me for two weeks when my mom had my sister. It was a favorite vacation. I lived with cats, studied my teenaged cousin girls, sat in the back seat of her Riviera and learned the value of short summer naps. Nancy Ramocco noticed that I needed braces and offered to drive me to and from appointments during my tin grin years, while Mom was at work. We had the best conversations on the way. Gwenny's mom, Cindy Pitman knew how much I liked to swim and invited us to her pool on many, many hot summer Sundays. My grandmother Edith moved in to live with us when I was a sixth grader and taught me how to keep a home; cooking, cleaning, straightening, along with sewing, singing and stories of her youth. Evelyn Christiansen noted a leadership quality in me and suggested I become youth group president at church. When I did, she continued the encouragement by making sure I was one of the church's delegates to the diocesan convention of the Episcopal Church when I was in college. Bob Attebery took me to Dodger Games. Freddie Fosco reminded me how much better the Cubs were than the Dodgers and suggested I change the oil in my first car.
I realize, this is just a smattering of the influencers. They are many. Adding their own color to my personal tapestry. When I think about them in this way, I'm filled with joy as I see their rich gifts. I also warm greatly to the thought of what the villagers here are offering my own kiddos.
Who forms your village?

May 23, 2010

Quotable Sunday ~ The Name is Mom

"The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."
- Thomas More

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