dogs, motherhood

This Guy

My voice rang clear as we zipped along the street towards home.  Seconds earlier I had declared, “This song is my jam.”

There is nothing more cringe-worthy than a parent stating that any song is their jam.

It’s kind of why I had to say it.  It’s kind of true that saying songs are my jam is kind of my jam because my boys think it’s weird.

But, on this day, I didn’t let that stop me.  On this day, I really did wanna dance with somebody.

Maybe even somebody who loves me.

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You know who loves me?  This guy.

 

grief, motherhood

Decade (Without You)

Dear Mom,

This Mother’s Day 2019 is my tenth one without you.

I miss you.

Since you died I have to be honest, Mother’s Day has not felt right to me.  Without you, I don’t know how to be on this day.  For thirty-four years I knew, and then for the last ten, I don’t.

It isn’t for lack of having awesome kids of my own.  How I wish you could know them as they are now.  I imagine the scope of sports stats you would discuss with Full Speed would know no bounds.  T.Puzzle would crack you up.  A lot.

I didn’t exactly follow your parenting paradigm, but my boys were paradigm busters. They were/are firecrackers.  I made it up as we went along.  I had to.  I didn’t have you to ask for advice.

I made mistakes.  A lot of mistakes.  So many mistakes.  What I didn’t account for was the natural resilience of both my boys.

There really isn’t much I can do to mess that up.  My best course of action is no action at all.  

I’d like to think that some of your best qualities are reflected in both of them.  Full Speed has your practical logic locked down.  He has an uncanny ability to throw reason at me when I am hooked into an emotional arc of uncertainty.  T.Puzzle’s quick wit often reminds me of you.

You always made me laugh.

I miss laughing with you.

If I could talk to you I’d like you to know that Mad Dog loves me for exactly who I am.  You and I suspected he did, but time and living a life together has proven this as fact.

I’d want you to know that the Cubs finally won the World Series.  My heart still aches that I couldn’t share that experience with you.

I was at game three and game five at Wrigley.

For real.

Not too shabby for a girl growing up in the cornfields of Illinois.

Sometimes I wonder who your current favorite player would be.  My guess changes from season to season.  I know you would love Javy but he’s a bit of a loose cannon.  Maybe Schwarber for his gritty comeback?  Maybe Zo with his MVP World Series run and his cool demeanor on the field and at the plate?

I wish I could talk baseball with you.

I wish I could tell you that I am a writer now.  I have always been but now I sometimes get published.  And sometimes the letters I configure on a page help others remember they are loved and moves them towards healing.

To me, that is grace.

To me, that is everything.

I would tell you that I love you.  That you shaped me into the woman that I am.  That because of you I love birds, baseball and the color blue.

I know that you sometimes couldn’t understand why I wore my heart on my sleeve but it’s okay, you are not alone in this.  Now that I am older I realize my emotionality isn’t a choice, it is a way of being.  It hurts me more to hide it, so I hide it less and less.

Either way, you’d love me.  Either way, you loved me.

I still carry your voice in my heart and your love in my soul.

In many ways, you never left me.

I wish I could take you to the mountains.  I wish I could sit next to you on a porch and listen to the birds calling each other home.  I wish I could take your hand in mine, look you in your clear blue eyes and tell you what is true.

I love you, Mom.

Always have, always will.

Happy Mother’s Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

motherhood

Life Instructions

The evening was not starting out well.

All I wanted was to walk to dinner in peace.  My boys weren’t having it.  T.Puzzle’s needling of Full Speed spiked to a dangerous level.  So did my exasperation.

I took note that my expectations for the evening were not matching the reality of it.  Quiet strolls, tranquil camaraderie and basic normalcy are elusive on most days of motherhood.

When we arrived at our destination, it took me a few moments to process through my frustration.  I ended up giving one of my aren’t-we-fortunate-we-can-be-together-and-enjoy-awesome-dinners-out speeches.

Once I said my piece, the edges of discord smoothed away.  We shifted back to our default which happens to be a family that is loved.

I took a moment to drink it all in.  The breeze that brushed through our faces held the perfect depth of warmth.  The trees rustled nearby ushering us to dusk.

Dreams may lack perfection, but I am doing my best to recognize them in all their shapes and forms.

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humor, motherhood

The Lady of the House

I have always loved Mad Dog’s athleticism.  When we were dating, I would take great pride watching him from the sidelines as he crashed his way to the end zone for his touch football team.

Lately, he has been playing more and more basketball with the boys in our backyard.  These games consist of trash talk, spin moves and flagrant(!) fouling.

Yesterday’s game was no exception.  It was 1 v 1, Mad Dog against T.Puzzle.  I sat on our back porch and watched the glory unfold.  Full Speed was next to me spouting off the official referee calls as Mad Dog muscled his way towards victory.   One shot shy of the win, he dropped back deep on the pavement and launched a beauty.  It banked off the backboard slamming home the win.

Something about the whole thing reminded me of those good ol’ days of dating.  I’m not gonna lie, my stomach did some flips.

Mad Dog’s still got game.

At dinner in our post-game analysis, Mad Dog recounted that winning shot.

“I did it for my woman,” he said.

Both T.Puzzle and Full Speed asked, “Yeah, but was she watching?”

As in was Miss Lady watching?  As in, Miss Lady is clearly THE lady Mad Dog was showing off for and I was just a random spectator.

No doubt I can’t compete ….

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Miss Lady sprawls herself across Mad Dog’s lap in devoted adoration.
family, humor, kids, motherhood

I Would Walk 500 Miles (T.Puzzle Out)

Where we live, while awesomely close to downtown, having a yard is unusual.  Giant houses that take up every square inch of their lot are the norm.

I treasure my small backyard.  With so many statuesque trees flanking our streets, songbirds abound.  If I am really lucky, I might see a deer:

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Just kidding.  Our alley is being reworked so the only deer(e) I see cause quite a ruckus.

Besides the mild annoyance of construction noise, where we live is very fun.  We are a few blocks away from excellent restaurants.  We try to walk to meals out as much as we can.

Most of our family loves this.

T.Puzzle hates this.

He hates to walk anywhere.  To him it is slow, boring and ultimately pointless.

Seated at lunch last weekend, the four of us had walked to a new taco joint.  The food was great and the weather perfect for our outside table.

We debated if we would walk to get ice cream before hitting Target (yes! we can walk to Target!).  We didn’t want to push T.Puzzle’s attitude because we know better, and he is only a mild fan of ice cream, weird, I know.

“You up for walking for ice cream?” said Mad Dog.

Silence.

Then, slowly, T.Puzzle formed a response as his shoulders lifted in a slight shrug.

“I guess so.”

I read the meaning behind his words.

“Basically, T.Puzzle is willing to walk with us but he will be super depressed about it the whole time,” I said.  “Did I guess that right?”

“Yep,” said T.Puzzle.

This boy sugar coats nothing.

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