Thursday, May 27, 2010

Love letter to my son

I don't know if any of you readers follow the mommy blogging movement. But the more I read and hear, the more it seems like people are cashing in on their children by bemoaning parenthood, by talking about the extreme measures of oblivion required to stay sane throughout a child's life. I know that Kellen is only a year and a half, but I can also assure you that he is a challenge at this age (two year molars combined with a child who wants and doesn't understand that we don't always get what we want- F.U.N.!). Anyhow, I thought it would be nice to start a weekly series of love letters to my son because I want to focus on what I love, and I want him to read my writing one day and know how much I cared for him. I thought about doing this on my mom blog, but I'm busy being irreverent and comparing trucks to promiscuous women.
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Dear Kellen-

You are twenty months today, just over a year and a half. (Mommy is going to stop counting in months now because twenty months is becoming a little difficult to convert to years, Calculus be damned.)

It is almost two years since the fire, which I can hardly believe. You were safe, kicking away in my womb, unsure of what was going on outside your protected world though I'm certain you weren't oblivious to the stress. When you were born I was told by well meaning people that you should take away the pain from the fire, that I had joy and you were all that mattered. You didn't take away my sorrow. And I'm glad. I don't ever want you to feel like your role in life is to save me from myself, to protect ME, to bring me joy. I am your mom. That's my job. And even in that, I'm certain I will fail, but it will be ok.
I have watched in wonderment as you have grown, waiting for you to take on a personality all your own, hoping that maybe you would absorb some of your dad's easy-going nature and leave behind the intensity of my family. My genes are strong, apparently, as is your will. I know from my own life that your strength of opinion will carry you though. Don't be ashamed of your intensity.


I am amazed by your willingness to explore and be adventurous. You got that from your dad. I sometimes wish you would have more fear when it comes to leaping off the top stairs, secure in your belief that I will, in fact, catch you. I might not always be there, and I don't want you to hurt too badly when you learn what it's like to fall.


You are an amazing child. Your blue eyes captivate nearly everyone. You may not love your hair as you get older (I don't love mine- I get it!), but it is beautiful. When people compliment your hair, learn to say, "Thank you" instead of making excuses as to why it sucks.

Kellen, know that you are loved. I have loved you from the day I learned that I was pregnant. And I will continue loving you long after my soul has left this body. You are my son.

Love,
Mommy

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thankful

I came across this blog one day, and I think you should all go check it out. It's called the Thank You Project, and she writes a post about one thing she's thankful about everyday.

Today I am thankful for daycare, so that my son can be entertained while I lie in bed and sleep. (On the other hand, it's daycare that gave him the cold!!) I'm also very thankful for Netflix on Demand. Seriously, have you checked this out? Awesome.

What are you thankful for today?

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I am working on a major blog project to merge all of my writing onto one site. I'm hoping it will be complete in the next couple of weeks, but I'm just warning you now. The blog address is likely going to change though, and you might have to update your reader if you get my blog through email or on a reader. I'll let you know as I get closer.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

I've always been a mother in my heart. As a child, I nurtured my collection of Cabbage Patch dolls, always ensuring they were well fed, well dressed, and mostly well loved. I had a slew of imaginary friends and though I was always a bit bossy, I also cared very much for them and was saddened when I told them they had to go away, that I was too old for imaginary friends.

In college I became an RA, in charge of a flock of freshman girls who needed reining in after being turned loose by their nervous parents. (Being a motherly type takes a little bit of bossiness and a sense that you might just know better than these other people what's best for them!)

I loved children, babysitting at the early age of twelve up through college. I was well-educated, but I just wanted to hang out with little preschoolers all day, soaking in their naive wisdom.

When Dan and I decided to get married, it took extreme restraint not to get pregnant immediately. I wanted babies. But I also wanted to be comfortable in our marriage. So we waited six months (which seems laughable now!). We got pregnant within a couple of months, and I couldn't wait until Mother's Day (which was a couple weeks away) to share our incredible joy with our families (who I knew would be a little less than enthused - my dad thought waiting until my late 30s was the appropriate time to have kids). Unfortunately, soon after learning I was pregnant, I miscarried. I was devastated, in a way that only someone who has lost a pregnancy can understand. From the minute that you learn you are pregnant, your entire mentality switches, your mind creating hopes and dreams for a child who is just a small bundle of cells.

We started trying again, and I thought we would get pregnant easily. We didn't. The maternal side of my being felt like it was being choked, and I was unable to understand why so many people could get pregnant accidentally when I so longed for a baby of my own.

Nine months later I was pregnant again. Scared, but pregnant. I tried to refrain from creating expectations of this child before I knew that he was ok. Every fall scared me, sure that I had forever harmed this child. I just wanted to protect him.

I spent hours researching baby stuff. I wanted the best, the safest. We spent hours working on his nursery, painting the walls, painting my old dresser, organizing his clothes.

And then we came home to all of it flattened, burned, ash.

The sense of security I had tried so hard to create and protect was gone. And if I couldn't protect him, what could I give him? So I give him love.
I know how fast life can change. I know that the winds can come up over the hill bringing with them destruction. I know that none of us can be sure of tomorrow. So I do my best to show Kellen as much love as I can today, to ensure that I've taught him everything he needs to know for this moment. That's what we celebrate today. Appreciating today, knowing that we are all doing our best for this moment.


Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fess Up Friday

I run a blog confessional on my mom blog on Fridays, and I thought maybe I would bring it to this blog too. It's a lot of writing keeping up with both blogs and then trying to write for money. But I don't want to neglect this blog either!

There are certain things I hate about this house.

I'm sure that everyone has things in their house that drive them crazy. In the old house it was the kitchen light fixture (which I fixed the first week we moved in). And then it was the paint (which we took care of a year later). And then the rose bushes (not a big rose person- thorns, or something). But we were buying a twenty year old house, and we kind of expected that feeling of wanting to make the house ours. And I was ok with taking the time to make it our home.

There's a whole story of how bummed I was to have spent the amount of time we did on the house only to have it burn down. But that's not the point I'm making now.

WE built this house. For us. We helped draw up the plans. I expected to love it. I didn't expect to walk downstairs every morning cussing the microwave because it is fritzing out (seriously, the thing is possessed). I am irritated that we didn't vault the ceilings in our master bedroom. I am annoyed by some of the placements of light switches. I HATE that our grass is dead in the back after we told the landscapers about the river rock and that we needed a solid layer of topsoil. I already did the landscaping at this house once. I don't really want to lay sod again TYVM.

I feel really guilty for feeling this way. I should love everything about this house. I should be so glad that we have a home, that we aren't living in a haunted craphole rental (there was some weird, freaky stuff that happened there, I'm not kidding). Our house is big. It's beautiful even. I should be grateful, not to say that I'm not for the most part. But I still wish we had done things a bit differently.

The possessed microwave: