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.

Atypical

I am in tears right now seeing a meeting between a mother and her autistic young adult son’s therapist in ‘Atypical’ on Netflix. I have never seen THIS kind of real-MYlife played out from so many angles. The things a mother of a child on the spectrum only wrestles with. The empathetic advocacy Ive seen behind closed doors … portrayed ?

Im not sure how I feel about it yet, but for now I guess it’s just nice to have a representation in any form of media.

Ive told Pickle about it and am curious to hear his feedback.

Today was a good day

Today was the day Bean and I took a giant leap into a future together, with kids in tow.  He brought his boys, BB (8) and Max(6), over to my house for the first time to have a early 4th of July shindig, with my Pickle(21), Jedi (16) and Diva(14). It reminded me of high school chemistry. We put all kinds of different stuff together and waited for the reaction. 

My Dad went out of his way to make Bean’s boys feel like a regular members of our clan and I love him so much for it. He got all 5 of them super soaker water guns and thus, allegiances were made to water war. My kids acted like kids. None of them batted an eye or balked at the idea of child’s play. The big kids helped the little kids with strategy and ammunitions, while Bean and I prepared food. Then we all ate together, kept casual conversation going that entertained all parties, followed by a bonfire, smores and fireworks. 

It was a much needed good day for all parties involved and I am grateful for it. 

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 👏 *

Somedays

I heard someone say, “Somedays you eat salad and exercise, somedays you order pizza and binge on Netflix, its all about balance.”

That stuck with me. 

Like…somedays you feel top notch and sincerely dont give a shit what anyone says or thinks about you, somedays the wrong glance brings you to your knees. 

Somedays youre certain your dog is the best dog that ever existed, somedays your dog takes a shit on the floor right after you take him outside because he’s a prick. 

Somedays you believe that marriage is a beautiful, sacred bond that will last forever, somedays you finalize your second divorce and feel like you dont have enough middle fingers to shove in love’s direction. 

Somedays you leap into the dating pool while throwing caution to the wind and are optimistically surprised when you meet a nice guy, somedays youre left questioning your sanity after finding the “nice guy”‘s multiple dating site profiles. 

Somedays you think family is a precious gift to be cherished above all other relationships, somedays youd like to pack your shit and move into a vast wilderness…forever alone. 

Somedays you are in awe of your children growing older and wish you could slow time down, somedays youre certain there is no way you will survive your spawn’s teenaged years and wish death would find you. 

Yes, balance. 
Whatever.