21 days

How many parents are marking off the days until school starts? 21 days until M starts 1st grade. 21 days for me to have her home and not in school all day for the first time. The other day, M and G were fighting all.day. long.  The fights were over everything.  M counted how many pretzels I gave G and then counted how many I gave her.  I failed. I gave G two more pretzel twists.  In that moment, I thought ” I can not wait until you go back to school. One child will be so much easier for me to deal with”.

Now-I am going to be real. I have thought this before during other incidents and accidents ( and I am human and will think these thoughts again)  Wishing away the child who was causing me the extra stress. Just needing to have a break from the constant ” Momma. MoMMMMMMM”, the screaming and fighting.

During todays early morning run, I was very blessed to run with 5 other ladies ( all moms). Boston Nancy has a daughter who will be a sophomore at college. As we were talking about returning to school, Boston Nancy became sad just thinking about her daughter leaving. 2 of the other moms have junior high aged children and then the rest, grade school and toddlers.

This run almost did not happen for me. I got up at 3am and posted on the group page that I was out and would run 4 miles later.  Sleep seemed to be my focus. As I lay in bed tossing and turning, I prayed and asked God what to do. After 15 minutes, I got up and got ready for the run. Driving to the run, I was regretting my decision. A few more hours of sleep was my focus. Once we started the run and we were all talking about our children and being moms, I had a lightbulb moment.  I little insight, forgiveness and grace.

Its ok that I do not love every moment being a mom. Its ok that I go to the upstairs bathroom  or go to check the mail for the 4th time in a day just to give myself a mom pep talk and to get my GAMEFACE back on. Its ok that I use the back up sitter once a week for a few hours just to have some 1-1 time with M to do things that we can’t do with G (2). Its ok to text my friend when I feel like I can not take one more minute of anything. Its ok that I serve cereal for dinner and have ice cream dates for lunch. Its ok that I nap with G naps. Its ok that I have not bought my single item on the back to school list or filled out any school paperwork.  Its ok if I choose not to join the PTA and get side eyes from all the other “better” moms. It ok that sometimes bedtime is at 7pm or 10pm. Its ok if pjs are worn all day long or I ask them to get dressed as soon as they get up.

I know it will be all ok.  God choose me- ME- out of all the other millions of women to be M and Gs mom. He trusted ME to carry them for 9 months. He trusted me to guide and to love them through this world.  God did not expect me to do this all on my own. He gave me an amazing husband, family ( my mother in law is an angel on earth.), friends, running, yoga and mediation.  God also has given me faith, hope, patience, and love. God also has given me strong coffee, wine and date nights out with my husband. All of these things make me a better mom and human.

21 days ( or the rest of my life) left to start being me- the mom I am supposed to be. Not the mom that looks good in pictures, Pinterest and in Parent magazines.  Me. Not the summer checklist mom (you know the one- the one who does “things”  just so we can say we done things this summer). Me. The mom that God made because he knew what M and G needed.

As Boston Nancy and I finished the run, I realized that before I know it, I will soon be counting down the days until my gremlins come home from school. I will now just start counting down the seconds until the “not so glorious” moments are over.

Today, I encourage you all to give yourself love and grace. We are all in this together.

The Sounds of Summer

{DISCLAIMER: To my dearest hubby and MIL (Grammy)… I love being a SAHM and I adore our little nuggets. The following post is just me using my not so funny/midwest Amy Schumer humor.}

“Moommmmmmmmmmmmm  Grant hit me. When is lunch. Why can’t we go to the pool? I wanna wear my Easter Dress. What can I do next? Can we have ice cream today? I don’t wanna read. Mommmmmmmmm Grant pulled my hair. Why do I have to go to the bathroom? Can I have screen time?  Can we leave the house? Why do I have to clean my room? Mommmmmmmmm Grant threw sand in my eyes…….

Mine. Fruit Snacks. No. Mine. Fruit snacks. No. Mine. Fruit snacks. No

This is my current sound of summer. M (6) is represented in the first paragraph and G (2 years old in 19 days) is the latter.

The day before M ended kindergarten I was on a summer high. I had images of glorious beach trips filled with the perfect amount of sun and breeze not dropped ice cream cones and a bird that attacked my head 3 times. Visions of bike rides with quiet content and nature filled smiles not fights over who gets to have the water bottle.  Dreams of blowing bubbles,  sidewalk chalk and picnics at the park. Instead, I am faced with my very own fight club, a never satisfying breakfast and without any official application or promotion that I am aware of, I am now a cruise director that must have activities planned for every waking second of every day (including back up ideas in case it rains).

I have reached out to my squad- other mommas, really at this point, the mail lady and I are BFFs ( just to talk to another person over the age of .. just anyone) to plan at least “one a day” playdates to get us out of the house. Just getting out to the house is a task that requires a to-do list. Water bottles. Sunblock. Snacks. Lunch. Snacks. Diapers. Wipes. Fruit Snacks. Coffee for me. Change of outfits. Legos. Coloring books. Crayons. Cell phone. Keys. Snacks. Beach toys. Ball. Beach towels. Money for daily ice cream trip because I am weak. More coffee. More water. More fruit snacks.

Today  I have 3- yep you read that correctly- 3 playdates planned. During one of them, G is going to the drop in sitters for 2 hrs. M is going to a friends house to play.

My to do list for these glorious 2 hours looks like this: grocery store, go get new running shoes, clean the entire house, read a book, go get nail out of the tire, fix an amazing lunch to enjoy outside with lemon water because you are fancy, watch 1 episode of Scandal, nap, take the dog for a walk, laundry, bake some banana bread, perhaps a bike ride….

I will probably be able to do two things from this list- get nail out of the tire and grocery store. Woooohooooo. But- I have already thought of how to make both of these tasks mo betta.

The place I go for all car stuff has this amazing waiting room with FREE  keurig coffee. I will take my book and make myself a cup or 3 while the nail gets removed. At Aldi, I will take my headphones and listen to a new podcast while sipping lemon water because I deserve it and I am fancy.

Oh gawd- I think they are awake. Time to take a 2 minute shower and brew another cup of heaven.  God speed to all the humans that are home with the kiddos for summer break. I am with you in spirit and sending you all the good juju.

 

The first person to ever love me.

One day I won’t have her on this earth with me. I can not even wrap my brain around this concept.

My grandmother, 81 years young, left to head back home today.  We call her GG ( for Great Grandma).  GG came to stay with us the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  Now that spring is attempting to break through here in Ohio, GG declared her departure a few weeks ago.  Although GG was with us for a little over 3 months, the time feels like it was  just not enough. As we said our finally goodbyes this morning, my heart felt heavy and my eyes filled with tears.

My grandmother was THE only solid foundation of love and trust that I had growing up.  If I got sick at school, I begged the secretary to call my grandmother. Chances are, I would have ended up with her anyways, pending my mothers mood or ability to process having a sick child.  My grandma was one of the first people to know of my first serious boyfriend, my college decision, my engagement and my first pregnancy.  She stayed up with me during school to assist with homework, science fair projects and to let me practice my speeches for class. Grandma brought me 2 chocolate iced donuts and chocolate milk the first day of school kindergarten through senior year. Every year, she would make sure that I had a new winter coat and new tennis shoes for school. When I didn’t have money in college for groceries or to pay my phone bill, money appeared in my mailbox. She was at the hospital the day that both of my children were born. GG knows all.  Even when I don’t know, Grandma does.

When my Grandpa got diagnosed with cancer in 1999, Grandma and I started writing letters instead of just phone calls.  The letters enabled her to voice the reality of what was occurring without my grandfather hearing her.  Some weeks we would write daily and sometimes it would only happen a few times a month.  We still continue this pen pal relationship.  In fact, last night I wrote her a letter and slipped in her suitcase.

Grandma grew up with 3 sisters.  All of the girls have names that start with “C” and the middle names rhyme.  My grandma is Constance Day.  ( she HATES this name… and goes by Connie). ( Her sisters are Carmen Kay, Cherita May and Charlotte Fay )My daughters middle name is Day after GG.   Grandma has always been an introvert.  Observer.  Not one to speak up or speak out.  Grandma married my grandfather at an early age and only had a few ” real jobs” prior to becoming a mother. My grandfather was not a stand up guy.  The physical and emotional abuse started soon after they were married and occurred much throughout there marriage. He was a raging alcoholic.  Grandma still is struggling with finding her footing and her voice since my grandfathers passing to cancer in 2001 ( He died on my 21st birthday). How she could be so strong for me when she was made to feel so weak, I will never know.

GG came to stay with us just in case this winter was bad.  I would often worry myself into a frenzy when the temperatures were low or the snow kept falling in winters past.  GG does not like to be out in the snow or cold.  We invited her up to stay the winter with us last summer and she agreed. She said she was just bored looking at her walls anyways.  (No way she was bored here with these gremlins running around!)  GG and the kiddos  have developed an even closer relationship.  They have there own routines and activities they like to do with one another.  I also had the privilege of spending some one on one time with her out to breakfast, lunch, movies, talking or just playing Scrabble while drinking tea. She would tell me stories of the days of being a mother to two kids herself or a funny story involving her sisters.

This time was precious.  It doesn’t seem like it was enough.  When we pulled out of the driveway today, my heart stopped.  One day I won’t have her on this earth with me.  I can not even wrap my brain around this concept.  Until then, I will embrace these memories with the strongest grip I can muster, while counting down the days until I see her again.

gg and i