motherhood

From Here on Out

The worst part about having teenagers isn’t the unpredictable moods (mainly my own), its the damaged self-esteem having become the shortest member of my household.

I hate being the shortest.

However, this was what I prepared for, this moment in time when I could no longer intimidate them by being bigger.  I did all I could to earn their respect.  I carved rules into stone and quashed revolt to the best of my ability.  It’s all led to this…I genuinely enjoy them as humans.  

This has pushed me into a new precipice of parenting. While I am still a quiet, constant support in their lives, what they do with them is no longer up to me. I will serve them best if I keep my opinions to myself.  I’ve had my shot at being a teenager. I gave it my all and it’s not up to my boys to fulfill any of my unlived dreams.  And, anyway, I feel like I’m just getting started. 

I plan to appreciate wherever my one, wild, and precious life takes me.

The point of all this, and yes, there is actually a point, is that I want to declare that my boys are in charge of their destiny from here on out.

I want Full Speed to choose his college (if college suits him) and career path based on his own criteria.

No limits.

From what I can see, he is thoughtful in his musings about his future. I trust him and I trust life to take him wherever he needs to go. As long as he is following his curiosity, the answers will come.

As for T. Puzzle, who at this stage remains committed to verbalizing the least amount of words possible on any given day, I support this endeavor. Who I am I to know what he needs? Maybe my penchant for feeling-based talks aren’t the answer to everyone’s problems. What works for me may not work for him. I did recently ask him to at least alter the inflection when he says “good” or “ok” just to give me some auditory variance.  If he decides not to, that’s fine by me, too.

The greatest superpower a parent has is their ability to witness the incredible, pure essence of what makes each of their children awesome. This will help see you through the conflict particular to raising teenagers.  

And remember, the best way to get them to listen to you is to say as little as possible.

I think T. Puzzle is really on to something there.

marriage, motherhood

This Is The Way (of a Courageous Heart)

December 6, 2003

Within each family are the stories of shared memory. For example, ask T.Puzzle how the boys earned a day of ‘Unlimited Video Games But with Limits’ and you will hear a little bit about what makes our family tick. It’s a whole lot of teasing and humor with a generous dose of love.

Another such story that lives on as family legend is how Mad Dog broke up with me not once, but twice.

Twice.

I can find the humor in it now, but living through it at the time was anything but funny.

Not surprisingly, my boys find this fact to be hilarious.

As today marks the anniversary of our 17th year of marriage, I realized something. Following one’s heart is not without fear, but following it at all is enough to sustain you through life’s uncertainty.

While we were dating, Mad Dog was always honest with me that forever may not be in the cards for us. Through the course of our relationship I learned I was worthy of commitment and decided I would not settle for less.

Mad Dog clearly disagreed.

Not once. But twice.

Twice.

Then at some point, he had a change of heart and I was faced with a dilemma. Do I follow my heart or do I let this guy go once and for all?

I followed my heart.

My heart knew better than all the naysayers and it knew better when my head spouted fear and worry. I chose to live from the heart because I figured if it all blew up in my face, at least I wouldn’t have regrets.

I would never have to wonder ‘what if?’.

This is a life lesson I have carried with me. It has helped me leap forward when my head is adamant I stay still. It helped me know it was time to return to Florida. Moving during a pandemic in the middle of a school year is not the circumstance one dreams of when contemplating major life decisions. While all signs pointed to stay, my heart knew without question it was time to go.

This knowing, one might assume, would make life immune to hardship as if our gut instincts will shield us from adversity. Yet it has been quite the opposite. I can’t even begin to describe the stress and challenges we have faced in these past few months. We have fought, I have cried, there were quiet moments of genuine despair, and yet, we have not broken. We seem to weather each day as it comes, storms and all, and keep going. It’s as if these hurdles when woven together bind us closer as a family.

Through every up and down I continue to listen to the knowing within. Whatever happens, my hope is to never let a ‘what if’ define me or my life.

I would marry Mad Dog all over again.

No regrets.

Our anniversary sunrise. Worth every bit of the journey.

dogs, motherhood

Writing Obstacles: The Struggle is Real

I have no plans to bore you with the details of why keeping current on this blog has not been easy.

Life happens.

What I do know is when I finally sit down to type, it helps if I can be left alone.

Emphasis on alone.

Miss Lady has other ideas:

My goal for the remainder of this month is my upcoming holiday wrap-up which also happens to be my 800th post!

WFAM looks pretty good for being nearly 800, don’t you think?

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Fingers-crossed.

inspiration, motherhood

I Remember You

IMG_0999My phone was switched to silent.  As I clacked away at my computer, I happened to glance in its direction right when a call came in.

I answered immediately and heard the phrase every moms dreads:

“Hello, this is the Clinic….”

Turns out, T.Puzzle had chills, a fever and a headache.

I grabbed my keys and was out the door.

Normally, in this situation, my life freezes in place.  Any plans are immediately tossed aside.

This is no longer true.

Even though T.Puzzle came home early AND missed the next day of school, I attended my creative writing class (held at night), did yoga and went to a hair appointment.

It was as if I was a real human being living an actual life.

If you are a mom and feel complete overwhelm at the loss of your freedom, I am here to tell you it does return.

Until then, be kind to yourself and please, ask for help.

I haven’t forgotten that you were a person before you had children.

Do your best to hold on to her.

She’s worth the wait.

ShortQuotesYouMatterQuotesAmigo

Chicago Cubs, motherhood

I’m Game

For some reason, turning 44 this week feels auspicious.

Maybe it’s because it’s my favorite baseball player’s number.

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Whatever the reason, I am ready for the new year and feel like whatever comes my way will change me for the better.

I thought getting older would mean I would relax on a plateau of wisdom.  As if each birthday was a step closer to the truth about life.

Quite the opposite actually.

I have more questions than ever before.

Through the uncertainty, a few things remain constant.

The first being is once you have something figured out, guaranteed, it will shift until you no longer recognize it.

The second being the unconditional love I have for my boys.  Trust me, this love gets tested more as they grow older (I’m looking at you, Full Speed!), but I am always grateful it is right below the surface.

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The third and final constant is how comfortable you are with the unknown is proportional to how content you are with life overall.  I certainly do not have this mastered.  I prefer patterns and certainty.

Sometimes boring feels like a balm to the soul.

I hope my 44th year brings new friends, new adventures and lots of predictable days ahead.

Either way I’m game.

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