children, grief, kids, life in pictures, loss of parent, marriage, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery

Love & Birthdays


Happy 6th birthday, Full Speed!


I am having many mixed feelings about Full Speed’s sixth birthday today.  I am excited for him and happy his remarkable growth and change are being marked in such a celebratory way.  The challenge is not having my Mom here to help me celebrate or to share in all the wonderful milestones Full Speed has achieved in the past year.

It was hard enough that she wasn’t here to offer support and guidance when he started kindergarten.  Now, with each passing year, Full Speed is growing into who he is meant to be and she won’t be able to see it.   I wish she could because this kid is only getting better with age.

As the distance grows from the last point in which my Mom was in my life, it is ever more shocking to my system that she really isn’t coming back.

I’d also like to apologize to Mad Dog for my extra crazy, unpredictible moods as of late.  I am in the last stages of processing my Mom’s absence and while I will never fully let her go, I will move forward in a more even-handed manner.  I promise.

All I can do is my absolute best.  I will celebrate the good times in my present and honor the sadness as it floats up from my past.

I am grateful for the time that I had with my Mom.  I believe the joy I have managed to create in my own little corner of the world is possible through her choices and example.   I watched and I learned.  I made some different choices of my own.  Most importantly, I was loved.

Thanks, Mom.

children, happiness, humor, kindergarten, life in pictures, mommyhood

Buckle-up for Kindergarten

Kindergarten D-day has arrived. There was so much traffic, confusion and general chaos that I forgot to be sad (mostly). I became single-minded in my focus to get Full Speed safely to his classroom.

It helped tremendously that Full Speed kept chanting, ‘this is gonna be the best year!’. If my kid was that excited about his new kindergarten adventure, who was I to argue?

Once I had us successfully navigated to Full Speed’s room, I felt slightly less overwhelmed. Again, I was thankful for my boys’ and their gregarious natures. Full Speed promptly found his cubby, deposited his Spider-man backpack and set to work coloring a picture at his desk. T.Puzzle pulled up a chair and sat down at the front of the class. Apparently he thought he’d like to start kindergarten, too.

Overall, a winning experience. There is still the labyrinthian system of elementary school drop-off and pick-up to overcome. Each day will get better I suppose. Either that or I am seriously considering giving Full Speed the keys to my truck and wishing him all the best. All I ask is that he keep the tank full and always, always wear his seatbelt.

children, kindergarten, marriage, mommyhood

Full Speed Ahead

It was Sunday morning. The next day Full Speed will start kindergarten. I stared at the wobbly whir of our bedroom ceiling fan while in my chest sat a complicated and pained heart. I turned to Mad Dog and said, “I’m really freaking out about Full Speed’s first day.”

He said, “Why? The kid has been in school for years. I don’t understand all the stress. It’s not like he’s never been in a classroom.”

I tried my best not to reach over and smack him on the head. All I said in response was, “Thanks, that was extremely comforting.” I laced it with as much sarcasm as I could muster. Trust me, I have loads.

A couple hours later I was stressing myself out over attempting to pre-pay on-line Full Speed’s first, official school cafeteria lunch. However, I needed his student ID# and I have yet to receive that. It was really stressing me. I know it’s not rational. I know it has more to do with my firstborn starting kindergarten and all the change that comes with that. I’m not great with change.

My shoulders inched up towards my ears and my brow twisted up in irritation.

Mad Dog, sensing my frustration, came over and said, “I get that it’s different for you. When Full Speed came into this world he was attached to you in a way I don’t get. I know it will be hard for you to separate from him tomorrow. Me? You know, I’d just throw him in the deep end (see post yin and yang) and be done with it.”

I was so grateful that Mad Dog acknowledged how different this process would be for the two of us. That brought my anxiety down by about 1 percent. The rest of the 99 percent I plan to deal with by consuming lots of chocolate.

As for Full Speed, he is ready to conquer kindergarten. This is one instance where having a child who is the complete opposite of me (thrives on change, extroverted, and monstrously assertive) is a huge blessing. It almost makes up for all his stubborn-filled, tantrum-ridden, openly defiant toddler through age four years.


Full Speed tests out his desk at kindergarten orientation.

Go get ’em, Full Speed!