THE Note to Self, an epiphany.

Sometimes, when I’m recovering medically, being alone let’s my mind wonder to dark corners. I get really hard on myself. 

My Dad called tonight and he wasn’t having any of it. 

As I cried to him about all the things that keep a middle-aged, single mother up at night, all the things I put away from everyone else, but Dad, he stopped me in my tracks. He told me that HE. ADMIRED. ME. That I was was one of the strongest women he knew because I have survived multiple wounds and sufferings beyond what most people would be crushed beneath singularly. 

I said, “Dad, I just feel like I’m always trying to do the right thing and I keep on coming up short.”

He replied, “You have an adopted special-needs son who would likely be dead if not for you and who you treat just like your own biological children, because he is to you and anyone else who knows you. You advocated for him through everything. You might not have much but you always get what your kids need. You raised some incredibly resilient kiddos. You have life long friends because you’re a wonderful friend. That’s incredibly rare, Stephie. C’mon, give yourself some credit.”

Just as I was going to bed, I started thinking that I had not accomplished as many things as I had wanted to today, when my dog, Zeke, walked into my room. I just looked down at him and smiled, realizing that even on my worst days, I’ve rescued five animals. Things may not be the way we want, but yet, still we have what we need; and no matter what ANYONE else may think or say…my kids still say “I love you, Mommy” and that’s all the things. 

The smallest act of kindness outweighs the grandest intentions.

Things my kids say:

Jedi:  I want a vape pen so my room smells nice like yours. 

Diva: Her room smells ah-mazing. It smells good because she cares about it and keeps it clean. Im obsessed with your bed, Momma.  Do you know I laid down and fell asleep in Mom’s bed for like an hour and when I woke up my skin was softer. 

Me: How is that even possible?

Diva: I DONT KNOW! But it’s totally true. Your bed is magic. 

Mothers Eve

This is the first time in … well, a really long time, that I haven’t been absolutely dreading Mothers Day. 

I could write about the whys and hows that caused this stretch, but I regress. I feel ransomed. Instead, I have decided to write about why I go forward tomorrow.

I go forward because I am a mother. I go forward for my children, because while they may only need me to lead for a little while longer, I will continue to be their mother without their need. Being a mother is seared into every fiber of my being. It’s what I do. Not just for my own children, but with all children whose lives cross my path. I’ve been called into this unknown for as long as I can remember. Every dream I had as a child was to have a child. Sure, I’ve dreamt of traveling to new places and meeting new people, collecting adventures, but the only adventure I was ever certain I could not leave this planet without having stepped into has always been motherhood. 

The most profound moment of my entire life was the one which held the sound of my child’s heart beating from within my womb. That was the moment I became a mother. While most things I’ve once held dear have now been counted as loss, come hell or high water, that moment will always be mine. No one can take it from me. That love and wonder remains the same.

My children are everything to me. I see them. They are too smart for their own good, and ignorant beyond belief all at once. They see me. A God in their wonder, yet another inherently flawed human  wrapped in their unconditional love. I am their greatest teacher, they are mine. That’s the way it goes. We live, we love, we learn. We become. 

From now on, I will celebrate BECOMING a mother. 

That’s my moment. That’s my thing. 

That’s Mothers Eve to me. 

Things my kids say

My two teenagers have taken to singing “I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts (or the Friends theme song) everytime something goes wrong and Im at wit’s end. 

Grocery bag splits open, spilling groceries across just cleaned floor:

Kids: 🎼”so no one told you life was gonna be this way”🎵 *clap clap clap 👏 *

Things my kids say

Me: Im pretty sure Im gaining weight. Ugh… I feel like a fatty.

Diva: You know today I put this shirt on and it was more form fitting and I looked at myself and thought “Oh. You look good, girl. You’re not overweight. ” Then I got to school and sat in a desk was like:

“Nope. Well, that was nice while it lasted.”

Me, laughing: You are so MY daughter.