Thursday, February 23, 2012

an open ended thank you

This is an open ended thank you to the village that helps me make these two boys men.

Thank you to the old man in the line behind me at the post office who makes my little one giggle as we wait. Thank you to the police men, fire men, ambulance drivers, and real life GI Joes that keep my children safe and remind them that superheros are, in fact, real. Thank you to the bank for the suckers, Kroger for the stickers, and to Earth Fare for not minding when we take (a few) extra samples. Thank you to the anonymous entity that keeps the sand at our park litter free. Thank you to all my mom friends who, without being asked, have loaned us a diaper, a snack, a crayon, and loved me despite my lack of preparedness. Thank you to every single driver of a cement truck, tractor trailer, garbage truck, and school bus for beeping your horn, waving, and teaching my children about community. Thank you to every seasoned mom who has ever looked my way with understanding (read: nonjudgmental) eyes when my boys were acting like boys. Thank you to everyone who has commented on their behavior and not their looks. Thank you to every doctor's office that has a toy box and not a television. Thank you to the kind neighbors who hold open the door for me and teach them how to be gentlemen. Thank you to every single person who remembered to make a big deal of the big brother when they were making a big deal about the new baby. Thank you to our mail lady and our female pediatrician for helping me make sure that they know that gender stereotypes are not applicable. Thank you to the members of our farmer's market who offer them ripe tomatoes and juicy berries for reminding me that the mess is worth it. Thank you to every store with no public restroom that has understood and let us leave our mark. Speaking of potty thank yous, thank you for turning your head when they were peeing behind a tree at the park or having their diaper changed in a far too public spot. Thank you to anyone who has ever bumped into one of them, stepped on their toes, or ran into them for teaching them politeness and forgiveness. Thank you to everyone who has smiled at them as they frowned, laughed at one of their jokes, or really listened when they talked.

From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely hope that you understand how deeply you shape who they are. For without each of you, I am one barely together mom trying to make men out of boys. But with each of your contributions, they are being shaped into the people that we all want them to become. So thank you again. For helping me plant seeds that will last.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Let them matter

Yesterday, we had our annual Valentine's party.

This isn't an extravagant affair. Just us, some construction paper decorations, and a heart shaped pizza. I love this moment with my boys. Just the excitement on their faces that comes from the expectation and the planning and the pure joy of that still baby-like happiness.
And the real truth is, I love our little party because I feel like an awesome mom. I love being responsible for the thrill. I love how decorating cookies and making a mess with a million cut-out hearts helps me focus on creating joy within them. I have so many sweet memories of how my mom did things for us, and I want those memories for the boys.

So we are sitting around the table, and I am gloating in all my parenting perfection. I am loving the way they are thrilled with the hearts tapped to their chairs and the pink paper cups and asking for second helpings of strawberries and not Doritos. And I love how they are genuinely appreciative of all my effort. Thye notice the details; I can see them storing the memory.

Then Bodhi,"Is there something you guys are forgetting to say to me? Is there something anyone would like to tell me?"

Uh. Happy Valentine's Day. I love you. "I don't know, Bodhi, what are you looking for."

"Thank you for picking out the Sprite Zero that everyone is enjoying for the Valentine's Party."

And there you have it. His desperation to be noticed. His real desire to be appreciated.

I had given him some responsibilities at the grocery store, some choices to make for the party. And when it came time to pick the drink, he agonized. Should he go with pink lemonade or fruit punch because those are Valentine's colors? The opportunity to pick a soft drink in our house is rare though so he so carefully weighing root beer and Sprite also. And I remembering thinking, "Really, kid?" when he picked the Sprite Zero. What kid, when allowed to pick any drink chooses a calorie free option. Bodhi.

But back at the table with him, I am saying thank you. And even though I am laughing a little, because really, he just told me to mind my manners, I am floored with how important it is to make him (and his brother) feel like he matters. Because I realize that if I don't make sure that he knows it now - knows that he matters to me, knows that he is an important part of his family, a contributor - then when he is older, and trying to find his own self worth, he will look elsewhere.

Parenting 101 - make them matter.

Friday, January 1, 2010

365 Days of Thanksgiving

2010 resolution 1: be more grateful.

So grateful I will be.

I am grateful for beginnings, the chance to change, the blank etch-a-sketch that is my life. I am resolved to face this year with intention. And positivity. I am thankful for a new year.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

And just as things will be repeated in the future, all things now happening happened a million times before. -Alan Lightman

I am feeling a bit suspended right now. The process of waiting is one I so desperatly try to embrace, but for reasons my mangled personality cannot explain, here I sit rushing through this period, desperate for the next.

There is no perserverance in my soul.
I long to hear the words in Bodhi's head.
I am anxious to see the face of this baby inside.
I need Luke to finish school. I need to graduate.
I am desperate for times when sleep comes easy, my body is not cumbersome, and my mind is not filled. I wonder where the person I used to be went; I don't recognize the person I am becoming, but this is who I am.
This waiting is so lonely, for the desires I am expecting are mine alone. Even the wonder of this time is lonely, for the kicks of my inside son cannot be shared; the perfection of the almost-two-year-old kiss cannot be described.
It is at these lonely, graceless times, that I find myself discovering how timeless I in fact am. These moments of desperation and beauty are not mine. They belong not to me, but to us. This world, this forward time passage has not my interests at heart, but the interests of itself. This wasteful time of wading through moments that cannot pass fast enough were shared by many before me. And the beauty that I grasp to belongs to everyone, excluding anyone boasting in their singularity. I want this waiting to dissipate. I am just passing the time until he speaks, September arrives, we receive our diplomas, we move out of this house. But the time will not pass any faster because of my desires. These are moments that are recreated. So many have been here. So many yet to join me.

So I rush forth, less lonely, remembering all those who proceeded me, and those yet to come.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Things of Me

As I have not posted in sometime, I felt I would use a little facebook inspiration for a new post. 25 things about me. Let's see.

1. In recent months I have become an addict to couponing. It is not unusual for me to stop at a drug store, purchase 15 items, and spend $0.52.

2. I am the middle child and a libra. Life is one great big balancing act.

3. My husband was my brothers best friend in high school. I had a huge crush on him my sophmore year. The time was never right then, but it is fun to joke about what could have been now.

4. Unintentionally, I gave birth naturally. It was the single most empowering and enlightening experience of my life. Strength, like most other traits, comes from within.

5. As a family, we make an effort to be green.

6. After high school, academically my life took a detour that I can not really explain. What I learned during those years is of greater use to me than anything I did or could've learned in a class room.

7. In 2006-2007 I got engaged, got married, changed jobs, got pregnant, bought a house, moved from Knoxville, gave birth. Then I decided to slow down.

8. The meaning of my son's name was more important to me than the sound.

9. My husband was late to our wedding and no one would tell me.

10. I never realized or considered the fact that I would be part of a bi-racial marriage until the last session of our pre-marriage counseling. Race is of no issue to me.

11. Both of my siblings are getting married this year. Bodhi is the ring bearer in both weddings.

12. My engagement ring is a triangle, and I don't know anyone else who has one like that.

13. Jack Johnson wrote the soundtrack for my life.

14. I meet L on the 27 of January. He was wearing a shirt that had the number 27 on the back.

15. My favorite book of all time is The Fountianhead. I did not have to read it for school. Reading is my only hobby.

16. I have never had many friends. This is a fact that does not bother me.

17. I don't like to shower.

18. When it comes to toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, cleaning supplies, it looks like I am prepared for Y2K. I have no fear of stockpiling.

19. My parents have been married for more than 25 years. That type of love is exactly what I was looking for and found.

20. My son thinks I am the funniest person on this earth. I can make him laugh harder than anyone else.

21. When I was pregnant and something funny happened, I would completely loose control of my laughter. I simply could not stop. This was a wonderful experience, but somewhat embarrassing.

22. The social standard of shoe wearing is not in tune with who I am.

23. The Lesson of the Moth is my favorite poem of all time. Up next is Homage to my Hips.

24. Jr. High was my favorite part of school. Those three years are horrifically and beautifully etched in my mind.

25. There is nothing more important to me than family. Nothing.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I was a senior in high school when I read, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Somewhere in the pages of that perfect book, Charlie says, "I feel infinite". Since then, since I was given the words to describe the most delicate and wonderful moments of my life, I have been thankful for human infinity.
Infinite is the only way to describe the moment I was first handed B. Every mother/father knows that feeling. That moment when "Finally!" meets please-don't-let-this-moment-end. I filled those first hours of the family of three with B at my chest trimming tiny fingernails and counting perfect eyelashes, and understanding for the first time in my life that I am granted grace and redemption is an exponential and infinite way. I understood that I was maybe just a lost soul in a fishbowl, but it didn't matter. Because the precious things, the infinite things are just as lost as me, and I was paired with all that was infinite in a network of timelessness that was beyond my control.
I felt rooted and connected not only in my womanhood but in my faith and personality. I become who I had always wanted to be. Not only did I deliver my son without the courtesy of modern pain relievers like my mother, but like so many before her. Like my greatest-great-grandmother. Like Mary. Like Eve. I was one of many. And in the disconnected society in which we live, belonging to something, even through the burden of pain is transcending.
The story of the birth of my first son. My only son so far. Is the story of my awakening. The comical and tragic and infinite story of who I was, who I delivered, and who I came to be. Those first moments of fogginess and clarity define me and describe me and root me more than any other moments of my life. I became a mother. And for this, I am forever thankful.
Because this is a moment of thankfulness that didn't end in the delivery room. Every moment of loving and teaching and shaping and becoming is exactly the infinity my life had been screaming for for the previous twenty two years. And the love and patience, and kindness that I have learned has been essential for my existence. The frugality, self-control, and responsibility. I have become a mother in those simple and exquisite moments. Thank you. For allowing me this grace.