Foundation

I have an old cedar deck on the front of my house, and in one spot, the boards are being pulled a different direction by the house. I know a problem when I see one. Thankfully after 37 years I also know when it’s a problem I am not equipped to repair by myself. It’s a foundation issue.

Such was my life. Being pulled in a million directions results in you neglecting the priorities you really want to prioritize. I was scattered. Flailing. Desperate.

Not at all how anyone would like to be described.

And just like these boards of mine, I started from the top and have worked my way down. Ish.

I had faith in love again and was disappointed when it went sour. It happens. I’m definitely jaded at this point and have happily burned my V card. I intend to live out my life with a houseful of happiness. (and a dozen cats).

I’ve learned to recognize when I’m not good at something and let it go. I realized how much I needed my mom in my life, and we’ve never been closer after realizing that it’s time spent, that counts. She’s given me a million things over the years, but the week she spent with me after my baby was born wove the frayed ends of our bond back together again.

Ripping down the foundation means you have to put it back together brick by brick… and you only use the bricks you know to be the best. You pick your favorites and leave the broken empty bullshit in the pile.

When you only foster and encourage the best parts of you, every day counts. I’m living proof of the power of having faith in yourself and the ability to change your life.

I had a beautiful baby in July and she lights my life in more ways than I can describe …while she grins and poops at the same time. I still pinch myself every time she wakes me from the four hour power naps I survive on. She wakes up with a big smile and we get our routine on with a little Biggie Smalls. She’s my little Muffin.

muffin

My day begins with a diaper to change, diapers to wash. Jammies to hang up. Smiley baby to nurse. Lunch to pack.

Her big sister is a full fledged teenager, fighting me when she spots my weaknesses. I love her to bits and remember what it was like with her big brother and realize it’s just how they are. I’ve had a baby in each stage of my life. My teens (19), my twenties (24) and now my thirties (37). It’s all so different and similar at the same time. I have so much more patience now- and I feel bad for my older kids because they had the drill sergeant asshole mom.  The midlife crisis mom. Muffin gets the best of me. The weathered, hardened and tempered steel strong lady I’ve grown into. The mom who know knows dessert for dinner is healthy sometimes. The everything-can-wait-let’s read-another-book mom. The mom who makes the damn kids help in the garden. I’ve learned through success and failure to focus on what’s important and leave the rest behind.

I miss my coworkers. I miss having something to talk about beyond baby smiles, infant milestones and canning…. but I’m loving my life these days. I’m living in the moment and treasuring each one.

yarden2013

I grew that damn enormous acre of vegetables and it’s downright terrifying how many heirloom tomatoes I have. A thousand pounds, perhaps? More? It’s beyond epic. It’s a biomass.

toms

Gardening while growing a human is not for the faint of heart. I pulled off the impossible. It was spectacular- and froze last week (Thank GAWD) It wasn’t bad while I was pregnant, and actually helped my back feel better. It was soothing while I was nesting and needed more to clean. It’s amazing how many weeds I pulled with a 45 inch waistline. Muffin was born right when it started to produce and things got a little crazy. You can’t take a newborn into the blazing sun and the weeds grew right along with the plants, which I never found time to fertilize.

somanyheirlooms

Thank God, all the angels & saints too… because I would have had to call the gleaners to help take some of it away.

pantry

I’m canning with a newborn, which is intense- to say the least. I dice tomatoes… then sing patty-cake. Nap time for baby means running a few dozen jars of sauce, salsa, tomatoes, etc through the canner. My pantry is beautiful, and I treasure these months I’ve been devoting myself at home, full time. I love having all the laundry done. I smile when I see a fresh tablecloth on the kitchen table. I like cleaning light fixtures. I’m contemplating painting. It feels good to make home feel cozy and beautiful again. Getting rid of the excess and only keeping your favorite things results in a nice tidy home full of everything you love most. All bets are off where my crafty stuff is concerned.

One cannot own too much yarn, fabric or buttons. These are facts.

I’m baking again which is sinfully good and terrible for my ass at the same time. I roasted a baby sugar pumpkin from the garden yesterday and I’m making a few pumpkin rolls today. The house smells like a mom lives here again. I can’t even get a thigh in my old jeans. Damn. Pregnancy at 37 doesn’t go away as fast as it does when you’re younger… but I’ll get there. Right after this pumpkin roll… 🙂 I really don’t care, to be completely honest. I’m focusing on being a great mother, being a better friend and appreciating the people and season. There’s plenty of time for working out when this baby isn’t so tiny and new. If this sweet chubby babylove of mine is any indication, my breast milk is more like heavy cream.

hat

I spent nap time sewing for my baby sister yesterday. Her baby is due any day and they did not find out their baby’s gender. It’s fabulously exciting, but a pain in the ass when you’re buying or making gifts. I hope like crazy it’s a girl because her and Muffin would be so close in age. Either way, it was so nice to fire up the Pfaff again. I padded her presents with baby potatoes and actually managed to get it in the mail in time to make it there for her shower… I hope.

I started running again this week after trading a years worth of garden produce for an awesome jogging stroller. Muffin loves it and I’m happy to resume a healthy habit that makes me feel so much better.

Rebuilding a foundation takes time and patience but having strong footing makes all the difference. Ridding yourself of the junk that holds you back and drowns you out, frees up a lot of time to focus on the things you love.

So I’ve cleaned the house, put away enough food for a damn army and knit 4 hats, a sweater and one bootie.

homegrown

I grew a baby, grew a garden and kept stacking away on my new foundation. I’ve only used the bricks that make me a maternal bad ass with a black belt in organic gardening. I threw out the bullshit, burned the trash and life has never been more peaceful.

One of these days I’m going to get around to fixing that deck.

And then there was Baby.

I watched my due date come and go. It really didn’t matter that I was due on my birthday because I wanted a baby more than anything. Cake was nice… but I’d have given a limb for some bone crushing contractions and a shared birthday.

It wasn’t to be… and the 5th came and went with a nice dinner on my parent’s houseboat on the lake, a pretty sunset and my best friend and lovely Little Red.

I sunk into my overdue status with exasperation. Still perfectly healthy but frustrated by my inability to do as much as I wanted to get done in the garden and battling devastating heartburn. The 6th ticked by without so much as a contraction. The 7th was equally uneventful. I had to relinquish my darling daughter to her dad the afternoon of the 8th and I watched her get out of the car and walk up to the house with a heavy heart and a lump in my throat. I’d gotten to the point that I was feeling awfully lonely waiting impatiently for the baby on my own. I blew her a kiss and wiped my tears… and drove home to resign myself to be the first woman to be pregnant forever.

6:00 PM

My dear Miss Classy, my best friend in the world stopped by on her way home from work after I sent her a “I’M SO BORED” text whining about my eternal gestation and inability to weed the carrots. She hugged me, assured me I would not be pregnant forever and she would indeed come out eventually. We laughed and I realized I was having contractions. They were insignificant, but noticeable. It’d been 13 years since I’d felt one, but I noticed the rhythmic tightening. I laughed and mentioned them offhandedly. She went home to make dinner and relax. I went out to weed the dreaded carrots after a dose of Zantac.

I got three feet into the carrot patch when the mosquitoes began feasting on me. I realized after I started to truly get pissed off about the mosquitoes, that I was having more contractions. I smiled widely and struggled to keep going. After another 2 feet… I gave up and came inside. I fired up the fancy pink iPhone contraction timer my Little Red had loaded on my phone and started timing them.

Twelve minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute. Easy… not painful… and I had some things to get done if it was an indication that the baby might come that night.

8:30 PM

I called Miss Classy.

J- I think I’m in labor. I know I’ve said it forever, but I think tonight’s the night. Seriously. Don’t panic.

MC- I’m not panicking. Do you want me to come now?

J- Nooooo. I’m going to mop and maybe go back out to weed the carrots some more. I need to bleach the sinks again and I’d really love to shave my legs.

MC- Ok, well call me and keep me updated. I love you. Hooray!!!

I got off the phone and turned the music on to dance with my unborn baby girl one more time. The dogs barked excitedly. The cat meowed at me for more cat food. I decided to take a shower.

I called the midwife first.

J- I’m in labor!!! I’m the happiest person in pain, ever!

M- Should I come check you?

J- No, I’m going to mop and make something to eat, I’ll call you when it gets intense.

M- Hooray! We are so excited! We’ve been looking forward to this birth so much! I’ll call the other midwife!

J- No rush, I’m just enjoying it finally being the day!

I hung up and texted to see if my Little Red could come on over.

J- I think it’s the night… can LR come over soon?

X- Sure! They just went to the store, is 45 minutes ok?

J- Absolutely! See you soon!

I called my mama.

J- I’m in labor!!!!

M- OH! I’ll come now!

J- No I’m fine, I’m just excited! I’ll call you when it gets serious. Love you!

M- I love you baby. Congratulations!

As much as I try to deny it…I’m a closet high maintenance girl. I shave… everything. Now that said, there are certain things that are more difficult during pregnancy and shaving is at the top of that list. So I took my time, got a new blade out and shaved. I put my favorite lotion on. Slipped into my favorite clothes and smiled at every contraction… now coming every 5 minutes according to the fancy timer.

9:30 PM

I decided to change my sheets, and was too out of breath. I was hot and my back hurt. I called my dear Miss Classy.
As soon as I heard her voice I started to cry.

J- I think I need you.

MC- I’m on my way. I’ll be there soon.

I called my mom next.

J- Mommy.

M- I’m turning the water off and getting out of my garden clothes. I’ll be there in 10 minutes.

J- I don’t think I can do this.

M- Don’t be silly, of course you can. I love you. I’ll see you soon.

I sent a text to my ex-hubby.

J- Coming soon?

and they arrived in minutes.

I called the midwife.

J- Hi… I don’t know if I’m being wimpy or if I just forgot after 13 years… but this is worse than I remember it and I think you should come check me. I’m sorry if it’s a false alarm.

MW- I’ll come right now. Don’t apologize, I’m happy to see you. Are you out of breath?

J- … … …

MW- Are you having a contraction?

J- Mmmhmmm.

In three minutes, she was walking up to my front door, little midwife bag in hand. I was overjoyed to see her. She was smiling and looked happy and serene.

I was hit by a contraction as soon as she stepped inside the door and I leaned against the edge of my bed and counted backwards from 70. Not sure why… but anything to focus and relax. I smiled at her and she looked a little more concerned. She checked my blood pressure, my pulse and baby Quinn’s heart rate. Then she actually checked me and I saw the surprise flash across her face.

MW- Oh. Honey. You’re already dilated to an 8… closer to an 8 1/2. You don’t have time to fill the birth tub.

J- I’m having her in the bath tub then.

I didn’t wait for an answer, just walked to my sparkling bleach-y clean bathroom and started the water. Another monster contraction, and I saw my Little Red walk in, smiling proudly. I knew in my heart of hearts that the most important thing in my life was to show this young lady love of mine that birth is natural, that women can handle pain effectively, and that birth can be peaceful and on your own terms. She sat down on the toilet seat and I sunk into the water, giggling.

J- Are you worried? Are you afraid? Is it too much? Are you ok?

LR- Don’t be silly. I’m fine. Are you ok? Is it bad? I’m sorry it hurts.

J- It’s the most rewarding pain in the world. I learned that with you and your brother. This pain has the biggest payoff imaginable. I”m sorry if it gets scary. I’m probably going to scream. Hitting a certain tone in your throat helps ease the pain of the contraction. I’m sorry if it scares you.

LR- Mama you can do this and it’s ok if you scream. I would too. I believe in you.

I had another contraction and my dear midwife sat on the edge of the bathtub and checked me, telling me to warn her when I felt pressure… a pressure I was already feeling.

MW- You’re full term so you’re going to be pushing longer than you did before.

J- I pushed for 2 1/2 hours with my son, and 3 times with my daughter.

MW- I’m just preparing you.

And then the vortex opened and sucked me in.

I turned the other way and put my hands on the cool porcelain. I closed my eyes and thought of my dear Grandma Afton, who my baby daughter was going to be named after. She was fearless and feisty. She was the first red haired green eyed woman in my life who told me from infancy that the rules didn’t apply to me. She was the first person to push me to be better than I thought I wanted to be. Waves of excruciating pain tore through me and I forced my hands into relaxed open palms and pictured her sitting next to me, laughing at my doubting myself.

MW- Sink into the water. Breathe. Relax. Believe. You’ve got this.

I heard my grandma laugh.

I squeezed my eyes shut hoping she’d say something to help me survive the impending crash of another contraction.

I heard my dear friend Vera threaten me.

V- Don’t you dare name that baby after me. I hate my name.

I laughed and smiled at my Little Red, who was laughing back at me and shaking her head. The next contraction hit me and my eyes closed again for the last time and I began to push.

I listened only for the voice of my midwife. The woman captain of my lost and tortured ship fighting its way through the biggest storm on record. I heard her guide me. I asked for my dear friend, who put a towel under my head and a cold washcloth on my forehead.

MW- Push right here. Good. Ok, now blow… don’t push… breath… her head is almost out.

J- OUCH OUCH OUCH

MW- Breathe… now push. Now wait. Her head is out, you have to wait for the next contraction.

J- I can’t. I don’t want to have another contraction. I’ll push her out without it.

MW- NO. Wait. Ok, you’re having another one, PUSH.

I felt her leave me. I was momentarily sad. She was like a mermaid in the water and my midwife guided her deftly onto my chest… where I opened my eyes.

10:50 PM  8 lbs 4 ounces, 20″ long

Sweet baby girl ❤️

QVA

There she was. My little beauty. All wide eyes and alert with her tiny hand extended and her fingers curling around the center of my sports bra.

I smiled at the beautiful women I’d chosen to support and love me through the hardest battle us women fight, and they were all beaming and cooing at the bubble gum pink newborn resting on my chest under my favorite towels.

Looking up at me with dusky blue newborn eyes and the promise of more love than I ever dared to hope for.

There she was. At last.

happybirthdayQNaturally made and delivered, at home ♥

Dear Dad…

Smiling to my toes and happy… I got ready for work with the music blasting, dancing through the house between the bathroom and my bedroom looking for something to wear. High on love and anticipation.

Make-up done, hair in pigtails… and my phone rings. My little brother!!! I love him the best and we connect even though we didn’t grow up together. I answer and he’s quiet.

B- I have bad news. Dad died.

Time stops for a second when you hear this sort of news. Everything seems too loud….and I have 20 minutes to get to work. Totally and completely in shock and facing a busy night with the BCS Championship game on.

I was on autopilot all night. Coasting through a packed restaurant and somehow ending up with all the little tables. Thank God too, because I’m definitely not very chipper. Everybody was happy and watching the game, so it was easily managed chaos all night. My last table was my favorite Ms. Sassypants- who I’ve missed. I swear she tipped me more than the total of her tab, lol… I sat down at the bar with a beer and sunk into it finally. Grief… such an overwhelming feeling.

I met my Dad for the first time when I was 8 years old. I’d asked my mom if I could meet him and we were visiting family in Utah. He agreed and we had lunch at Wendy’s. First time I ever had a chocolate frosty and a cheeseburger. He didn’t know we were vegetarians and didn’t ask what I wanted. My only clear memory beyond the food was that nobody said anything. Super awkward… and we parted with a wave. He sued my mom for custody a month later, and won holiday visitation with me every year. Spring break, summer vacation & Christmas.

I remember it being a strange feeling to see someone that I looked so much like, and didn’t know. I was never comfortable with him, ever. He just never really was my dad. My dad was the one who drove me to school and baked my birthday cake.

He blessed me with a brother and two sisters that I love more than anything. He gave me another mom in my siblings mother. Then he divorced her and never took care of any of us ever again. No child support, no call on your birthday. Nada. King Deadbeat.

There’s really no other way to put it. These are facts…

I bought myself a ticket to go see him when I was sixteen. It was Christmas, and I missed my siblings and knew he’d have them for the holiday. He spent the entire time with his girlfriend and I left and went to stay with my Aunt instead. He never forgave me for it.

I tried to mend things with him after my son was born, about 4 years later. We stopped by my grandparents house for a visit and he spent a half hour calling himself Grandpa to a two year old that clung to my thigh and eyed him warily. For good reason, considering it was the only time he ever saw him.

He never met my daughter. I sent pictures when she was born, and we sent him a Christmas package. I sewed him a quilt, and tried one last time to salvage some sort of relationship with him. Something about the birth of my own children made me want to fix everything. He said he never got it… but the confirmation came through that he had. I’m not sure why he’d lie about it… but he did… and it was the last straw.

I wrote him one last letter, and never spoke to or saw him again. I told him about all the holes his absence left in my childhood, and about the dad I made up to tell people because he was so unmentionable. I gave all the hurt and the pain and disappointment every kid with a deadbeat dad can empathize with- back to him. I told him how much I hated him for what he made my mother go through & thanked him for my promiscuity and early entry into parenthood.

Not necessarily what every dad wants to read, and certainly not entirely his fault on every level… but I went above and beyond to hurt him in return.

I never heard from him again…. so those angry hurtful words are the last thing my dad heard from me. He was 56, and died alone, when he had four of the most loving people in the world as his children. Talk about the definition of tragic.

I’m too happy and too much in love to be angry or hurt by him anymore. I feel sorry for him more than anything, and I wish I’d left him with nice words in his heart instead of the rant he got. He deserved it- for sure- but on a personal level it’s hard to fathom that there’s not time to fix it anymore. He’s gone, never having been my dad… or my children’s grandfather.

I can’t mourn him like I should because I don’t have any way of knowing what a loss it is.

So I’m tossing words on up to heaven… or down to hell if that’s where he ended up. I’m on the fence about either place but if the rumors are true and you have to be virtuous to get in? He’s heading south. Sorry, but it’s true.

Dearest Dad,

Whoa… time ran out, huh? I didn’t see that coming, and I’m sorry that you died alone like I told you I hoped you would. It could have been so different, and I’m sorry you died with so many things left undone and so many apologies left unsaid.

You missed all of your children’s weddings. All three of your daughters were given away by someone else. You didn’t know any of your seven grandchildren, many of whom look like you. I am so sorry for you that you missed so much.

Thank you for our beautiful smiles- that look just like yours. Thank you for the strength you taught all of us in not being reliable. Thank you for the fine examples of women you gave us by forcing our mothers to raise us alone. You had amazing taste in women, truly.

You fed me steak and crawdads for the first time. Thank you- I love both ♥  You taught me how to fish in the summer and spent days in the sun chasing lizards with us at Flaming Gorge. You were a pretty awesome Disneyland dad when you wanted to be. You bought me my first designer jeans… bright red even. You spoiled me rotten when I was in front of you, and you always told me you loved me.

More than anything though… you get out of life what you put into it. You taught me to love out loud and sincerely, and to follow up my words with actions because integrity is rare.

Though you didn’t help much in the shaping of who I’ve become, you gave me life and the tools I needed to make mine a happy one. I love you- and I hope your soul is at peace.

Yummy

What’s a self respecting sun worshiper to do? I’m FREEZING to death. Ok so perhaps that’s a tad bit dramatic, but still… it’s ridiculously cold and I hate it.

Thankfully I have the answer… and it comes in a glorious 9X13 Pyrex pan of coconutty goodness. Behold!

My very own toasted coconut marshmallows… and because I love you all so much, the recipe.

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

Soften 4 envelopes of gelatin in 3/4 cup cold water in your mixer. Give it a half hour or so before you start with the cooked mixture.

(If you don’t have a mixer, you can’t have marshmallows, sorry.)

In a saucepan, combine:

3/4 cup water

3 cups granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4 cup corn syrup

Bust out your handy dandy candy thermometer (again… not optional) and clip it securely on the side of the pan. I’m not messing around when I say securely- I melted my flip flops to my foot once because I was being careless and the sugary molten lava spilled. Ouch and a half… oh and weeks wearing the same melted shoes because anything else bothered the blisters. Do not be careless making these, you will suffer as a result if you do.

Cook the combined ingredients to 244*. Pay attention. Too low a temp will result with you having a ridiculous amount of marshmallow cream. Too long and they’ll be tough and chewy. Eww. Do not walk away and leave them, although it will feel like forever while you stand there, it happens in seconds when you’re not paying attention.

Pour the lava into your mixing bowl and start slow, then build up (without a lava shower) to the highest speed on your mixer. Let it whip for 8-10 minutes.

Add (slowly)

1 tsp vanilla (and don’t buy the cheap stuff, sheesh!)

1 tsp coconut flavor.

Oil a 9X13 Pyrex pan while you wait for them to blend (you can color them too if you want at this point).

Dump the heavenly sticky goo into your pan and top with toasted coconut. Then wait.

Overnight. 😦

My daughter came home while I was making them yesterday and said

I- I wish I had two mouths right now so the mouth explosion was doubled. I wish everything could taste this good.

She’s not exaggerating, they’re THAT good.

Dust your entire life in powdered sugar and cut them with an oiled pizza wheel, being sure to dust each marshmallow on all sides or else your hard work will result in a giant disastrous marshmallow snake. Bag them up and enjoy.

The smell of coconut wafting through the house is almost as good as smelling it on your skin after a day in the sun with tanning lotion. The taste is enough to transport you back in time to your favorite pina colada. They are divine.

Make some, enjoy… and don’t forget to toast one. If you think you’ve had smores before? You haven’t until you’ve made them with a toasted coconut marshmallow.

Mmmm. Yummy…. and let’s all look on the bright side, Punxsutawney Phil says an early spring is on the way!

God love that strange little animal for not seeing his shadow.

30 Days of Truth, Day 28

Day 28 – What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?

Aside from shoot myself in the face?

All joking aside, I’m only half kidding. Don’t get me wrong, I love my babies. Love them with my whole soul. I’m one of those old fashioned die-hard breastfeeding, cloth diapering super moms. I cross my t’s and dot my i’s when it comes to being a mom.

But…

I’m in the home stretch. I gave my twenties to being a mommy. I gave my perfect body to my adorable son at 18. He took it and destroyed it a little… Ouch.

24 hours of natural childbirth and a million stretch marks guarantee me a merit badge somewhere…. and he was completely worth every single painful second.

But….

I’ve worked my ass off to reclaim it and although the tummy tuck eludes me… I have amazing kids and a wonderful life to show for it. I have no regrets…

But…

If I peed on a stick tomorrow and it turned pink or blue? I’d really regret being a non-gun-toting mama.

Because I’d want a 12 gauge to the face.

30 Days of Truth, Day 21

30 Days of Truth, Day 21 – (scenario) Your best friend is in an accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?

This is one of those days I’ve had to avoid for a while. It hit a little too close to home and I didn’t want to write about it. One more reason to blog… my blog= my universe. I’ve gotten 3 emails asking me to continue… ok ok ok.

My best friend died in 2002.She was 68 and incredibly important to me.

I met her in 1995… 18 years old , pregnant and living with my high school sweetheart. She became like a best friend, teacher & Grandmother all in one. She lived in the trailer next to ours and I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with our son (@ 18 years old) and mowing the lawn. I thought she was going to have a heart attack when she looked out the window and saw how pregnant I was. She came running out with lemonade and an offer to finish it for me and we were best friends from then on. She was a grandmother to our son, and our daughter 5 years later. Vera was … words fail me actually- sometimes it’s impossible to describe how important some people are in your life.

Losing her made me reconsider everything in my life.

She always worried I wasn’t happy. She always said I was doing/giving/being someone I wasn’t… too much. She was right. Her death marked the beginning of my marriage’s unraveling. I’d been planning on having lunch with her the next day- and she’d gotten mad at me the last time we talked.

V- I hate your house. I want you to sell it and move back here.

J- I know you do. I miss you too. But you don’t mean that. How about we put your trailer here?

V- I’m sorry. I love you.

J- I love you too.

She died that night.  The neighbor called me the next day. Absolutely the saddest day of my life. A day that will make me appreciate and be kind to my ex-husband forever. He came home and took care of everything that day. He helped remind me that everything would be ok. He drove me to pick out her clothes. He was there for me in the hardest moment of my life when I felt like the world had come to a screeching halt. I couldn’t understand why people still drove around and the evening news was still on. It really devastated me.

and if I hadn’t called and talked to her, she would have died being angry at me…. and I don’t know how anyone could live with that. I’ve learned a great lesson in losing Vera.

I say “I Love You” too much. I smile at everybody (ok, not all the time, but most) I give people extra change if they need it. I buy the shitty over-priced cookies from the school cookie dough fundraiser because it’s important to my daughter (even though mine are much better and an 1/8th of the cost). Because I’d rather go out on good terms with everyone and I’d rather lose someone who knows in their soul that I love them. I’d rather err on the side of loving too much, too easily and out loud.

Thanks to Vera Lou- who used to sing “My Buddy” to me on my answering machine when she missed me.

🙂

30 Days of Truth, Day 12

30 Days of Truth, Day 12 – Something you never get compliments on.

Hmm. My laundry skills? Ok seriously.

I never get complimented on my methods of parenting my teenager. Everyone thinks I”m too strict, too rigid and inflexible. I expect a lot. He has to have A’s & B’s to have a cell phone, he is expected to call- every time- and I force him to wear a bike helmet. He keeps his room clean, he’s pleasant and agreeable, and I would not accept any less.

Consequently? He’s wonderful. Truly. He says “I love you” every time he gets off the phone with me- even if he’s with his friends- and even since I told him he didn’t have to.

J- You know, you don’t have to say it if you don’t want- I know you love me- and I hope you know how much I love you.

A- It’s not a big deal, Mom.

I worry endlessly- I ask him constantly if he’s going to be getting into trouble with his friends. He laughs and guarantees me they’ll be playing video games. I know I’m overprotective- I know it’s not necessary- but when I look back at my life?

I wish someone had been that way for me. After all- he’s here because I was doing things I shouldn’t be 🙂 He is the best thing I will ever have done with my life. He is my greatest accomplishment- in a nutshell. I knew from the moment I saw the line turn pink that he was meant to be. I knew that day that I would guard his little life and his big future with every fiber of my being. Knowing full well that teenage pregnancy turns into a family legacy if you’re not careful.

Nobody would ever compliment me for being an easygoing understanding mother.

I’m a dictator. I’m the law. I double check your story. I call other parents. I read your messages- I check your coat pockets.

I’m the queen of overprotective mothers.

As a result, I have a wonderful teenager that tells me about his life, whose friends feel comfortable hanging out here but who also know to be respectful. He’s responsible (usually) and has a really kind heart. He’s a good friend, and a good brother…but he’s truly the very best son, any mom could ask for.