May 23, 2013

gym jam

Miss Petite's Christmas present was gymnastic lessons believe it or not. She had been begging for gym time for months. Apparently, every other kid in our surrounding area also wanted gymnastic lessons. So on Christmas morning we told Miss Petite "yay, you are going to get lessons!!" "Butttttt, you are on a waiting list and we have to wait for a spot to open." Luckily, that didn't phase her. Just knowing she was going to get lessons was enough for her.

Then the call came through one day three months after the holiday. Miss Petite got a spot. So every Wednesday she puts on a leotard and heads for the gym. And the girl loves it!! Thrives in the noisy, chaotic atmosphere.

The gym is huge and there are bodies flipping and swinging around everywhere. The whole thing makes my ears plug up and gives me hives. But not this kid. This kid shines as soon as she steps on the floor.

Last night was Miss Petite's scheduled Gym Jam....sort of like a recital for gymnastics. The kids show off what they've learned and the parents watch samples of what their kids could be like....if we empty our wallets and drain our bank accounts. But it's impressive none the less.

For now, I'm just happy my sparkly child is having fun and enjoys her time flipping around.

And she does.

May 22, 2013

times three

For all intents and purposes, I am an only child. I grew up in a house of one. I never shared a bedroom, had a sibling wear my out-grown clothes, or fought over too much time spent in a bathroom. So, being a parent of three children is like an out of body experience for me every, single, day. I'm constantly questioning "is this normal?" I wage war against noise, dirty laundry and hormones regularly. I toggle roles between playmate, tutor, chore master, chef, party planner, maid, comedian, life coach, muse, taxi driver, authoritarian and game warden to name a few. And, it is exhausting!

Some days I feel plagued by un-flushed toilets, a sink full of dirty dishes and laundry baskets filled with unfolded clothes. And clutter, lots and lots of clutter. The words “what the hell?!?!” is on a constant loop in my head. Unidentified, greenish in color, petrified something or other smeared on the wall? “What the hell?!” Food wrappers shoved in-between the couch cushions?“What the hell?!” Rocks and crayons in coat pockets only discovered after said coat went through the washer. AND the dryer! “What the hell?!” And, every time the loop is played it comes out with a different feeling or meaning. This simple, multi-purpose, three-word phrase can sound fast and mad like, “WHATTHEHELL!!” Or, slow and questioning like, “wwwwhhhhhaaaaa tthee hheelllll????” Seriously, books on how to raise kids should be titled, that’s right, What the Hell?!

Television shows often try to portray the overworked, overly frazzled stay-at-home mom type, but you know what, they never, ever get it right. The sets are just too perfect. The actor’s hair is just too coifed. The clothing is just too high-end. And, the children’s behavior is just too fake and annoying. My real-life is uncensored and messy, filled to the brim of mostly terrible and stress, sprinkled with dabs of magical.

Noise and chaos is what it really boils down to. Just noise and chaos. But when you least expect it, in the middle of all that noise and chaos are small glimpses of fantastical awesome-ness. Little, prescious, sometimes unexplainable, moments that, if you are quick enough and you let it, fill your heart to the brim and make all that horrible noise and chaos worth the trip.

Example! My youngest daughter is a major pain to put to bed. She pretty much always has been. Bedtime is not her thang. She beats to her own, sparkly drum and takes her sweet, excruciatingly painful time with everything. It drives me absolutely insane. Like drive me to drink copious amounts of liquor insane. Instead of brushing her teeth, she stands staring into the mirror while humming and examining her facial expressions for twenty minutes. Putting pajamas on takes another fifteen minutes because she can’t find that one tank top she wore two nights ago and nothing else (not even the cutest, brand-new pjs plus twenty bucks) will do. Then it takes another five to ten minutes to pick out the longest bedtime stories in the history of bedtime stories. Before you know it, that seven o’clock bedtime has turned into almost eight thirty, and, you know that show you've been waiting to watch already started. Exhausted and frazzled, the lights go off almost two hours after you’ve started putting the child to bed. But, just before you close the door all the way, that child, that same child that wore you down and chiseled away every patient nerve in your body will squeak out some over the top adorable sweetness like “I love you more than anything Mommy!” in the cutest, most sincere voice and with every fiber of your being, you know she means it. THEN! Then, your heart explodes.

That’s what raising kids is exactly like. Just when you think you can’t take anymore and you are about to push your own self off the cliff and die a most horrible death….your life saver comes in the form of teeny, tiny beautiful moments that are so pure and so amazing they're hard to explain with words.

May 13, 2013


It is true what they say, you know. Time heals all wounds. Although, Rose Kennedy disagreed and was quoted saying: “It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”

In my slightly bitter, younger days I would whole heatedly agree with her somewhat half-filled glass sentiment. I understand her point of view. I do. Once the negative feelings eventually erode away, you are left with scars. Sometimes they are physical but mostly they are invisible, and the carrier of these scabbed-over wounds are left to figure out how to deal with them.

For lack of a better explanation, my biological father abandoned me when I was small. He made choices and decisions for himself that negatively impacted my life. And, for a long time, I walked around the world with a giant, gaping wound no one could see. I felt an obligation to love him because he was my dad but yet I felt so hurt and angered and ashamed of his behavior at the same time.

Long story short, my father met another woman soon after my mother changed her life (and mine). One thing led to another, yadda-yadda-yadda, I was the brand-new owner of a step-mother and a baby sister. After a few false starts as a blended/every other weekend family, I rarely saw the three of them. Mom and I went on living. And, that was that. 

Time passed.

As I grew older I did struggle with feelings of being replaced. Heard rumors of untruths. Had my feelings crushed. Wondered why. But, all along, I understood there was really nothing I could do about it. The less I saw of him, the less hurt I became. The wound healed and the pain subsided.

Time passed.

Jump ahead to my adult life, I made a conscience decision to NOT make any more attempts at maintaining a relationship with him. I was pregnant for the first time and I wanted this start at my family life to be simple and unscathed. I wanted my unborn son to have two parents, two sets of grandparents and one family. (Something I secretly always longed for.)

Time passed.

I moved away from my home town. Had two more babies. And, filled my life with diapers, preschool, sports, pets and Facebook. Little by little, I opened my heart up to the people around my father and allowed them to get little glimpses of my world through the magic of the interwebs. My half sister is a married adult with babes of her own. My step-mother divorced my father and is remarried.

More time passed.

Currently I do not, nor do I wish to, maintain any communication with him. That is one small piece of my heart I protect. I don't harbor ill will against him. I just don't wish to rip that scab off. And, maybe, if I'm being honest with myself, it is one small way I punish him for his betrayal. WOW! Get out of my head Dr. Phil!!

My kids have grown older. My life has become crazy busy and full. And another Mother's Day was yesterday. My family and I celebrated with a couple meals and some major downtime. And, per my normal routine, I logged into facebook to check out the goings on.

But something was different yesterday. Something a little bit miraculous. A quiet and a rather simple gesture between two women that shared my life in some capacity throughout the years. My mom and my step-mom became facebook friends. Time had healed wounds for these two women. These two mothers. Which in turn healed my wounds as well. And I felt happy.

Time. Its pace often not what we appreciate. Sometimes too slow, mostly too fast. It sneaks up on us and disappears in an instant. But one thing I know for sure, if we are patient and allow it. Time does heal all wounds.

Happy Mother's Day and every day, my friends.