February 16th, 2012 | No Comments »

It’s a wondrous thing, how music can capture and convey so much heart.  I hear music, and I want to be a part of it.  I want it in me.  I want to be in it.  I want it to come out from me.  I want to be it.  Barry Manilow (laugh if you will) said it.  “I am music…”

Sometimes I feel as though I nearly am.  I feel that way with language and other things too.  Somebody once told me that is called intuition.  But I don’t know.  I just know that it feels as though I’m standing at a doorway.  I know what’s beyond that door; I can see it as clear as day.  And if only I could or would walk through that door, it would all become a part of me, and I’d be in it, and it would be in me.  I would speak forth in foreign languages.  I would play any sound on any instrument.  I would be one with music and language.

Alas.  What keeps me from stepping through that doorway?  I wish I knew.  Is it fear? Fear of failure?  Maybe.  Probably.  I don’t know.  I just continue on in my mediocrity.

There is a song that has been touching my heart lately.  It’s called “Rise“, by Shawn McDonald.

In a way, it captures some of the essence of me, and the things I’ve been going through for the past couple of years.  Me, Phoenix Rising.  I love the melody and the octave changes.

“Rise”
[Chorus]
Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

Sometimes my heart is on the ground
And hope is nowhere to be found
Love is a figment I once knew
And yet I hold on to what I know is true

[Chorus]
Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

Well I keep on coming to this place
That I don’t know quite how to face
So I lay down my life in hopes to die
That somehow I might rise

[Chorus]
Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

I have few answers. There isn’t much that I really know. I’m not necessarily that smart. I’m a little bit book smart, but life-smart? Not so much. I just live every day trying to be my best. One thing I do know. I know who I am. I am kind. I am gentle. I am good. I am patient. I am steady. I am faithful. I am peaceful. I am loving. I am upright. I seek to do no harm. I am [mostly] responsible. I avoid conflict. I am compassionate. I love everyone.

Am I a doormat? Maybe. I don’t know. I’m hyper-sensitive, yes.   It’s a character flaw, and I’m working on it.  I saw a bumper sticker today that said, “Jesus was a pacifist.” I’m a pacifist. For sure.

And all I want, which is all I’ve ever wanted, which is pretty much the same thing that almost anybody ever wants or has ever wanted from the dawn of time, is to love and be loved. Simply put.

I have children. They are my life’s dream come true. They need to come first, so I don’t even know what ‘me time’ is any more. I have to be strong and steady and firm and loving for them. I have to be everything they need. Because I don’t want them to ever feel, for even a moment, that they don’t belong or that they don’t matter or that they’re not important, or that they’re not wanted. I want them to be secure in who they are and how they fit into this big, chaotic world in which we live. It’s so hard, being a parent.

What can I do, besides what I’m doing?  I just go on loving.  I go on breathing.  I go on trying.  I go on being.  I go on praying.  I go on.

December 1st, 2010 | 3 Comments »

my precious

My two year old seems to be regressing from his staunch independence, lately, or else he is just honing his manipulation skills.  He’s been sick, off and on, for months.  Cold  upon cold upon cold.  They morph together.  Once in a while his temperature is elevated and he becomes quiet or fussy.  Mostly he goes on about his normal two year old business, full of energy, bouncing off the walls, following me around like a velcro shadow.

He’s become addicted to his binky.  Where it used to be a convenient plug to keep his mouth otherwise engaged, hence safe from all manner of frightening and not- meant- for- ingestion foreign objects that lurk about my household, it is now a full blown addiction.  He has a specific one that he wants, and the collection is stored on a particular shelf in the kitchen.  I encourage him to put it away on the shelf, so that he knows where it is when next  he wants it.  So far, this works well; he understands and complies!  Alas, and not surprisingly, the favorite binky didn’t return from  his last visit with his father, so after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, he resorted to the next favorite.  He calls it his ‘cody’ and throws a holy fit if I don’t have it with me when I pick him up from daycare.  I usually don’t give it to him, though.  I’m so stubborn, and I don’t like him having an addiction.  Such a mean mama, me.

Along with the binky, he is also suddenly attached to a certain (few) blanket(s).  Generally, there is a specific red one that he likes, but occasionally he alternates with a tan one.  Luckily, I have two tan and two red blankies with the same texture, so if/when one gets misplaced or put through the wash, there are others standing by to avert meltdowns and things of that nature.

If I attempt to use my phone or laptop, he physically slaps my hands away from the keys.  My child is yearning for more of my attention, clearly.  Such a controlling little one, my Tiger Beat.

An adorable opportunist, too.  He likes to play with the rice cooker, opening and closing the lid, over and over and over again.  He purposefully pretends to get his fingers caught then comes to me with fingers outstretched, earnest look on his face, begging for make- me- all- better kisses.

my little super man

Since he’s been sick, he’s been waking in the night and coming to find me.  Granted, he’s had some justifiably bad nights with fever and vomiting on one occasion in particular.  But it seems to be dragging on and becoming a nightly pattern that I’d very much like to nip in the bud (even though a part of me would love to snuggle my children close — the same part of me who would very much like to be cuddled close, made to feel safe, loved and protected, all the night long).  If my door is closed, he kneels outside it and cries, or he knocks and cries.  If my door is open, he wants to climb into bed with me.  I take him back to his room to try and settle him, but it seems like he tries to keep himself awake, watching me to make sure I don’t leave.  Last night (early this morning) he came to my room, crying, at 2:38 am.  I took him to his room, changed his diaper, and lay down with him to settle him.  I would rest for a while, then open my eyes to look at him, and there he’d be, his little eyes open, shining in the dark, peering at me.  He was still awake at 4:30 am, looking at me.  Around 5 am I went to my room, and put on my cpap mask.  Pitter patter, the sound of little feet.  I watched him look for me, first in the bathroom, then in the other bedroom, then in my room.  He climbed onto my bed (I let him) then complained about the mask and wouldn’t settle.  I removed the mask and tried to make him cozy and comfortable and he finally fell asleep around 5:30 am.  Of course, 6:30 am rolled around and I had to get up.  He followed.  He’s in surprisingly good spirits for a little guy who got very little sleep.  Me, not so much.  I went to bed around midnight, so two and a half hours plus one more just doesn’t cut it well for me.

What to do, what to do.

the loves of my life

Posted in children
September 14th, 2010 | 3 Comments »

twilight

Tonight I wrote ‘Dear John’ letters to all my men, releasing them from my snare.  This meeting and dating business is too overwhelming for me.  I am a sequential person, when it comes to men, and this juggling of men is just exhausting.  I can’t do it.  I need to focus and re-focus then re-focus again on my little men, so that I can keep their interests front and center.

front and center

Front and center. They are my world. As they should be.

May 2nd, 2010 | 2 Comments »

Sometimes I feel as though I’m spread too thin and I just don’t know how to hold it all together.

I want to be able to give my kids the kind of attention that they need without being manipulated by them.  I want to give them love and support, and I want to nurture them, but I also want to give them direction and I want them to learn to respect others and to be obedient.  I so want them to grow up to be good, upstanding people in this world.

I also want to be able to give due attention to my new found love, and to nurture this relationship so that it can grow and flourish.  I so want it to work.

And I’d also like to give myself some attention, in which I can somehow recharge my weary self so that I have something to even give to the people in my life.

I’m recognizing that when Skills is here, my boys behave badly; there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Clearly, they are competing for attention, and choosing the path of least resistance, which has the most immediate attention-winning potential, albeit negative attention.  I have to be swift and immediate when administering correction.  Everything is disrupted, and in the end, nobody is happy.  It’s exhausting, especially to my gentle, harmony-seeking soul.

Today I had some time alone with BB, and it was nice.  He behaved well, for the most part.  We painted some of the living room while LB napped.

I love his drawings

I love his drawings

He was so worried about getting into trouble, he didn’t want to tell me if he spilled a drop of paint, or got some paint on his fingers.  Bless his precious little heart.  The boy is constantly in trouble for not listening or helping himself without asking or not sharing or complaining about what’s for dinner.  He loves to draw, and I’m thrilled to see his confidence and ability grow as he draws and draws and draws.  He’s got great imagination, and I try to let him know how much I like his drawings.  I save almost all of them.  Some day when he’s older I will show him, and he will know that even though he may remember me barking at him constantly, I was always loving and appreciating him.

the artist at work

the artist at work

He doesn’t know that I watch him when he draws.  I see him, intent on his work, and my heart swells with a mixture of emotions — some joy, some wistfulness, much love.  My little boy, alone, entertaining himself.  I need to be more interactive with him, somehow.  Somehow.

Later, BB was tired and LB was wide awake, so I brought LB downstairs with me, snuggled him next to me on the sofa under a soft blanket and we nibbled on crackers together.  He was so happy, there in my arms.  It was sweet to have some one-on-one time with him.  I got to fill up on toddler sweetness, as he’d raise his beautiful little face to look at me and giggle as we ‘talked’ about how yummy the crackers were.

It’s amazing how small moments as these can be so energizing and healing.  To share positive attention with my children, to hug them, tell them I love them, smile into their eyes –these things are so fulfilling.  And yet, somehow, moments like these seem so few and far between.

How I wish I could figure out how to balance it all, how to see and assess the moments and deflect or divert situations before they escalate or explode.  It’s like I’m a bomb squad of one, under constant pressure to figure out whether to cut the red wire or the blue wire.  Or maybe the white one.  Unless there’s a green one.  Or it could be the black one.  It’s exhausting.

April 13th, 2010 | 2 Comments »

20100411_16orchidsOh, if only I had the presence of mind and discipline of emotion to hold on and ride the wave of effervescent new love, never to let go. If only. It’s so glorious, to be distracted from the confines of everyday life and whisked away to new levels of thrill. Such a fantastic high.

I wish I knew how to hold on to that, and not let the other things take root. The nits, the picks, the responsibilities, the obligations, the necessities. Not to mention the blind sided attacks of emotion, mood swings, embittered exes. The small things that turn into monumental things, like missed communications and mis-communications. Assumptions here and there. Careless! Taking things for granted. How deftly these things can creep in and take hold! One must remain vigilant, in order to keep the home fires burning strong.

Picture a potter at the wheel. The wheel spins, and the artist has the clay under control, taking shape, a beautiful form. Such a fine, fine balance, because if the artist falters for even a moment, what was a work of beauty, exquisite in form, is suddenly ruined. Ruined, in the blink of an eye. Thank God my life isn’t necessarily that extreme, and nothing is truly ruined. Oh, but there is often much damage control to be run, and the running thereof is nothing short of exhausting.

These are the four agreements. Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best. These are the things I try to remind myself, to keep myself in check.

I’m trying to be a good parent, a good role model, a good example, a good friend, a good partner, a good person. I don’t make everybody happy all of the time. I wish I could. It makes me happy, for those in my sphere to be happy, and to know that I contribute to their happiness.

Happiness should be easy. It’s all about love.

But sometimes it doesn’t seem easy at all.

Sometimes.

Maybe it’s because I am just. so. tired.

Orchids

Orchids - Commissioned for my birthday by one sister and lovingly arranged and delivered by the other. Exquisite.

August 30th, 2009 | 3 Comments »

I remember being four.  Summer.  West Orion Drive.  A dark cool basement.  Daddy longlegs on the screen door at night.  Walking barefoot, carefully, through the thistles in the grass.  The sound of my mother whistling from behind a door — peekaboo.  My dad, reading a newspaper, sitting in a brown recliner.  Being asked if I want to go to school.  Preschool.  A blue plastic sleeping mat.  I don’t want to take a nap.  I’m not tired and I don’t understand why everybody has to take a nap.  I lie there and don’t sleep.  Small stools painted like ladybugs.  I’m wearing red tights and I wet myself.  Crying.  Ashamed.  Scolded by the teacher.  A metal bathroom stall.  Sobbing.  Trying to take care of things.  I only remember that one day of preschool.  I wonder if I kept going?  Or do I only remember the first traumatic day?

I wonder what my son will remember about being four.  Will he only remember an exasperated mother, yelling at him every day?  Don’t hit your brother.  [Deer in the headlights gaze.]  Why did you hit your brother?  “Because I like to.” Why did you do that“Because.” Why did you do this“Because.” Be careful.  [Deer in the headlights gaze.]  Pay attention.  [Deer in the headlights gaze.] Try not to spill.  [Deer in the headlights gaze; invariably spills.] Hurry, get a towel.  [Covers ears with hands and cowers.]  Why didn’t you hold on to it?  [Deer in the headlights gaze.] Eat your dinner.  “I done wike it.” Go to the bathroom.  “I don’t want to.” Wash your hands.  “I don’t want to.” Don’t throw things.    [Deer in the headlights gaze.]  Why are you whining?    [Deer in the headlights gaze.]  Please stop whining.    [Deer in the headlights gaze.]  Stop whining NOW.    [Deer in the headlights gaze.]  Close the gate.    [Deer in the headlights gaze.]  Pick that up.  “It’s too hard for me.” I TOLD YOU NOT TO HIT YOUR BROTHER.    [Deer in the headlights gaze.]  Time out.  “I done wanna go to time out.” Time for bed.  “I done wanna go to bed.” Do you want a spanking?  “I pwomise I won’t do it never never again.” Time to get up.  “I’m ti-wed.  I done wanna get up.” Get dressed.  “I done wanna get up.” Hurry up.    [Deer in the headlights gaze.]  Where are your shoes?  “I unno.” That’s not a toy.    [Deer in the headlights gaze.]  What did you just do?  “Nuffing”

I long to be laughing and giggling and hugging him, showering him with love and kindness, but I find myself frazzled and frayed, cross and at the end of my rope.  I give him options.  I tell him the reward — do this and you’ll get that.   The power of now is too much for him, though.  He almost always forgoes the reward, so that he can continue in the now.  How I want to give him the reward.  How I want him to learn to make good choices.  But it’s too much for him.  I can see him struggle and give in to the power of now.

In his eyes, he must wonder why I am so nice to the baby and why I am so mean to him.  And that breaks my heart.  I want  him to grow up happy and secure, knowing that he is wanted and treasured.  Only after a long, trying day, does he finally yield, rest his head on my shoulder, and fall asleep in my arms.

And sometimes, I hold him close, and let the tears roll down.20090826_29bb

Posted in children, motherhood