Wednesday, December 9, 2015

And you?

If I were a real writer, I would certainly consider my absence writer's block. It's not as if nothing has happened. Geez, since last you heard from me we're down 2 IPads  1 mini, 2 IPhones and countless toys that just can't handle "water weight". And the tales were long and funny and not always Johnny in his constant pursuit of destruction (I washed an IPAD mini in a dirty sheets load), but I was thinking that maybe it was too much for me and for others and maybe It was self-serving and maybe it was just attention seeking. And probably it was both of those things, I'm not sure.  And then I started pursuing a passion and that has flourished, but my need to connect and want friends and readers to "get us"  is still a fire inside me, so today I'm back and I'll tackle this post as a sign of hope and optimism in an otherwise dark world.  
And this is a funny one for me because (see above and previous posts) much of what I write is drenched in-maybe wine sweat-probably in sarcasm. So I don't always come across as the eternal optimist, but rather the consummate worrier.  Case in point- last night, waiting for my 11 year-old to take my spot in bed at 4 am, I started to do that thing where every single thing in your life becomes uber important. From forgetting paper towels at Target to the list of questions for the Neurologist you never wrote down to the forever of caring for these kids and how, how, how and who, who, who and the always, how much, much much? 
And didn't I blink and my once 4 year-old in my bed is now 11 year-old in my bed and will probably be my 22 year-old in my bed and the then will Elizabeth want to be in my bed??? And how and when and how long? And will Jake spend time with them, look after them, make sure they are unharmed, safe, loved-will it be too much? 
And my breathing sped and my attractive back sweat kicked in (I sleep in basically a snow suit so that could've contributed) and then I can't stop thinking of how long 
they'll need me and my mom and my dad and thank goodness Adam doesn't drink and eats right so he'll live forever but what if his next wife doesn't love our kids as much and on and on and on. 
But then I'll breathe and calm my brain, sometimes I'll sleep for another hour-many other times I won't.  But of course, I so get it, there are so many other Mothers in is world that have so much more to worry about (hunger, illness, disease, war, exclusion). So I'll scold myself for my selfishness. Then I will do some breathing exercises, get a huge glass of water and vow to be better at this tomorrow. And by better I mean, more accepting, more tolerant, more loving, more positive, more patient, more forgiving, more sober-just a little more. I do know this, I will never stop trying.

Anyway, how have you been ;)? 

Facebook reminded me this was 7 years ago! Wow, and probably the last time they were photographed together!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Look at Her

I have a little exercise I want to try and I hope you will join me.  Sit or stand in front of a mirror and read this post on your smart phone or computer.

Look at her with compassion not animosity
Look at with her love not indifference
Look at her with trust not skepticism
Look at her with empathy not criticism
Look at her with acceptance not judgment
Look at her with confidence not doubt
Look at her with humanity not cruelty
Look at her with kindness not contempt
Look at her with gratitude not obligation
Look at her with respect not envy
Look at her with pride not shame
Look at her as capable not broken
Look at her as strong not shattered
Look at her as graceful not clumsy
Look at her as good not inept
Look at her as full not hollow

Look at her as everything she is and is striving to be.

Now, look at her (you).

If we can do these things while looking at ourselves, maybe we can begin to do them when we look at others.

She's the gift I was given to start really looking at myself
 and also to start loving myself.  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Just give me a minute to think about it!

Humans of New York
“My wife and I are divided about whether it was inevitable, or if something caused it, but we do have video of Jackson at 18 months, coming up to the camera and talking. But soon afterward his language stopped developing, and eventually he lost the language skills he already had. He stopped responding to his name. You could even bang pots and pans behind him, and he wouldn’t respond. But when we tested his hearing, it was fine. People would say: ‘Boys develop later.’ Or ‘Don’t worry, my daughter didn’t begin talking until she was three.” But we knew it was something more. This was twenty years ago, so the doctors didn’t even know what to tell us. The head of pediatrics at Columbia met with us, and said: ‘Let me do some research on autism and I’ll get back to you.’ We started to worry that Jackson might never progress. Around this time, I overheard some acquaintances worrying that their four-year-old son might be gay. It made me so mad. I thought: ‘Give me a fucking break. You know that your child can grow to be happy, independent, and fall in love. I’d trade anything for that knowledge, and you’re freaking out that your son might be gay.’”

So I shared this post a few days ago on FB from Humans of New York and now I feel anxious and weird about it.  First I should know better than to share a post if my heart is racing or I've had too much wine, can't remember at this point which was the case. Anyway, I wish I hadn't shared it, not because I haven't felt exactly the way this father has, but because, I felt like I was shaming other parents for the way they feel.  Its hard to explain but I will try. All of my friends have "typical" children, seriously you probably couldn't find even a speech impediment in the lot of them.  So, of course, they worry about "typical" children things, ie walking by 15 months, potty training, test scores, sports teams, etc. And these are all things I worry/worried about with Jacob so I totally get it.  I think what resonated with me is the anger that sometimes builds up if someone goes on and on about a seemingly ridiculous worry (pooping on the toilet or site words) and I am baffled. Listen people, if anyone needs to worry about kids pooping on the toilet, it's this girl. And I should be over it, how many years have I had disabled kids? But I still get all fired up inside. Again, that's what parents with typical kids worry about, so move on Mary (sorry, that was me talking to myself). But a son being gay worry is different. Maybe the couple was worried about how their son would be treated or ostracized or left out if he were gay. Maybe they worried he wouldn't be able to marry or have a family or do what most of us take for granted if he were gay.  I hope those were their concerns rather than just the thought of him being gay, and since I don't know, I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Because I feel the above concerns are legitimate and because at the end of the day we all want our children to be accepted. And, news flash, our society has not accepted homosexuality yet. Hopefully by the time our children are grown (or by tomorrow), being gay will be a non-issue and no one will even blink an eye and love will be love and that will be that.
I am not sure if this even made sense, but I needed to write it and now it is done. No more heart racing and no wine because it's morning.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Mother's Hope

Recently I was shocked and humbled when my minister asked me to write something for Easter Sunday (imagine!). We talked through some ideas and scripture he was planning on using for the service.  I didn't tell anyone (even Adam) that I wrote something in case it was terrible and he didn't use it (still working on confidence issues).  Anyway, he did use it (thanks Terry :))  I hope the congregation felt what I was feeling when I wrote it.  Feeling thankful on this Easter Sunday.

She lay in deafening silence. Her heart was empty, broken. Her mind raced-the thoughts came without warning. He was bad, wrong, evil. He didn't deserve to be here in the first place, he's wasn't good enough. These were the words of others, but they were infiltrating her brain as if they were her own. She shook her head to rid herself of the doubt. It had been months, but the uncertainty still crept in.
What she knew, what she reached for was what he meant to her. But not just her-what he meant to countless others-those he touched, those he came close to, those he loved without condition, those he healed, those who believed. Her will started to come back and she lifted herself to her knees. It was still too much. The sobs came like a flood and she let them come so she could release the doubt, the fear. She embraced the condemnation of others so she could then send it away, it wasn't hers to keep. She decided right then she would love like he loved, forgive like he forgave, stand like he stood-with the weak, the poor, the broken, the sick. All as one, all as equal. How could she start? How could she heal? She reached deep within her soul or what she felt was left of it and decided bringing people together would be the only way. For the people who loved, doubted, even hated Him to come to eat and drink surrounded by his spirit, brought together by love. Love would be the only way for so many to sit down as one. She hadn't sunk so deep that she had forgotten that love was the only thing that outlives us all, the only thing that really mattered. And so she decided, people would come together for communion to remember and celebrate his sacrifice. His life for each of theirs-his life, his death, and ultimately his resurrection. And in this decision she was able to stand and raise her arms wide open to allow herself to be filled back up again. Filled with all of the things that her son was to her-belief, honor, love, forgiveness.  She would replace grief with determination. Determined he'd be remembered through her eyes. Who she knew him to be. Her heart became full. For once again when she was totally lost, she was able to pick herself back up and open her heart. And she became filled with something she thought she had lost when she lost him. She was filled with hope. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Don't be sad!!!

I am not kidding. No part of this blog should make you sad-about me or my kids! We are "fine"! Don't you love that word? Fine. Fine means nothing. It is a dumb word. So let's replace it with crazed, stressed, out of our minds -those seem about right.  But even then we really are-fine. Better than fine most days. Worse others-just like everyone else. Where is this coming from-well my mom is super worried that I am not "happy". After every blog she comes over with that worried "mom look". She is afraid that things get too hard,  that things are too overwhelming, that I will run away from home (that would actually be a possibility, but it seems like too much work). And if in reading this, sometimes you are worried too, please don't. It's supposed to be funny and make you, the reader, take a minute to reflect on your own life, it's complications, ups and downs, and know that somebody else is going through something. We all are!  Mine is not better or worse than yours, we all have stuff. So don't be sad! Really, I'm fine 😉!
Take this morning for instance-it's pouring down rain, cold rain that seeps into your skin and makes it impossible to get warm, and of course, it's time to leave for school. Elizabeth is already in the car watching a video-one down. Johnny has coat on ready to go-everything seems eerily fine but because the dog is deathly afraid of the rain, he freaks and bolts passed us, knocking hot coffee out of my hand and all over me, pain shoots through me but I figure since I'm already wet, what's a little rain, maybe it'll take the sting out. To recap, the dog has taken off straight to the car. Now, you are thinking, just let him ride with you, and I have in the past-a lot.  EXCEPT, he barks at literally everything. And it is so loud and ominous that it leaves Elizabeth in a pool of her own tears every single time. So I get the leash to get the dog, grab John's hand to take him out, put John in the car, bring/drag the dog in, take the leash off, breathe, open the door, and simultaneously the dog almost takes me off my feet and runs back to the car where John no longer resides-he is headed for the neighbors-probably to get some peace. Rage building, I run after John, the dog has jumped in the car (of course John didn't shut the door behind him, it's only raining sideways!) Elizabeth sits quietly watching Bruno Mars, I think, "yeah I'm gonna uptown funk somebody up. Don't believe me just watch." 
The dog and I are now wet and disgusting and he is leaving clumps of hair everywhere and now I don't know how I'll get him out (he's large-we both put on the winter 10, only to work the lbs. off in the Spring just in time for the the Sam Adams summer ale to hit the shelves and on again it goes!) So, I get the leash again, get John back in the car, pick up the 80 lb. dog to get him out of the passenger seat (the rage has set in, so I have Hulk strength) and once again pull him inside and almost take my own hand off trying to shut the door behind me. I run burnt and soaked to the car (because I don't want another escape by Johnny and because being late is not an option), only looking up for a second for the cameras. Because surely candid camera was following me this morning and that was some good footage! They will be able to edit out the curse words (and possibly and more importantly the butt shot of me picking up the dog from the car) for primetime TV. They'll have to, I'll be a rich reality star so I'll demand it! 
Not sad!!! 
I want you to think about it and smile, because (hopefully) this blog is for every mom! The mom of multiples who can't imagine getting through another bedtime routine, the mom who just had to go back to work and leave her child at daycare for the first time, the mom whose child was just diagnosed and they are crippled with the whys, hows, and what's next questions, the mom who has had it pretty good so she pays it forward, the moms who will never let go of wanting happiness for their kids no matter how old they are, the dad's who have either done the above or love and support the moms who do! So please don't be sad-celebrate your life, celebrate your kids (exactly how they are), and most importantly, celebrate you! 
BTW-anybody want a dog?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Bitter - 1 Mary - 0

And if I have to hear the Sports Center loop one more time about the younger than I am Peyton Manning being old, someone or something, likely the tv, is going to get hurt
And just when I am going to be mom of the year by making pizza, curly fries and fish sticks for prelunch (because minutes are decades on snow days, so prelunch starts anytime between 9:00-11:30 am) my twelve year-old asks for apples and peanut butter, I hate him and his discipline. And I hate his father who instilled all of those good habits. Where is his father anyway?  Oh, yeah, work. Whatever.
And if that same twelve year-old bounces the basketball on my already warped and failing floors one more time, things are going to get bad-especially for him. 
And when that exact same twelve year-old says he's glad it's a snow day because school is just a bunch of old people talking and you don't learn anything anyway, I shouldn't respond, "well it's a good thing you're going straight to the NBA from high school then," when it's probably the only conversation I've had with him this week and sarcasm is lost on him anyway
And if my 10 year-old son sits on my lap when I am on the toilet one more time to read Curious George-I may cry (check that box) 
And if that same son slams the doors over and over again in frustration from the mere sound of his sister's voice one more time my head might explode
And if that same son crushes one more piece of fruit in my bed or in my hair, I am going to scream
And if that exact same son doesn't get off the bed while I am trying to make it, ha-that was to see if you were still reading, of course I wasn't making the bed.  Silly. 
And if my daughter cries when I leave the room just to tend to the aforementioned slamming and fruit debacle, I might lose my shit (she doesn't really even like me that much, I'm just the only option at the moment)
And if that same daughter pulls everything out of the junk drawers (yes, they are all junk drawers) and chews up paper one more time, I might let her choke on it (oh come on-just kidding!) 
And if that exact same daughter puts one more Lego, binty, small object in my coffee cup one more time, I'll probably do nothing-just make another new cup. 

I swear I am never making it to real  lunch. (Anytime after 11:30 am) 

I did, in fact, make it to "real"'s the proof

I don't know why she puts items in open containers,
I think she thinks she is cleaning up :)
And if that moment arrives, as it always does-that I realize that I get to have these moments-because I am alive and capable and healthy. And that I need to embrace these moments. Not because they are fleeting, because in my world they are likely forever. But because I can experience them. It shouldn't be that one of my dearest friend's sister is lying in a  hospital bed fighting for her life to force me to get to the point where I appreciate what I have right now, today. I want to have a grateful heart all the time. (Add that to the long list of to-dos). Deep sigh and breath. 
I need to take a step back, get out of my own head. I need to play when I want to collapse, sing when I want to scream, read when I want to rest, breathe when I want to suffocate, drink when I want to drink (you knew that was coming) and repeat because today I can-and for no other reason than that.

****Please pray for Darcy Patton Nayler, she is my friend Laura Patton's sister.  She needs positive thoughts and prayers!!  She is literally fighting for her life, makes everything else seem ridiculous, doesn't it?

Monday, March 2, 2015


Please pray

Even if you haven't prayed before
Even if you don't believe in its power
Even if you don't have the time

Please pray

Because children need a Mother 
Because Mothers shouldn't get cancer or life threatening illnesses
Because it is the right thing to do
Because it causes no harm, and could do a world of good
Because it's about someone else
Because it is positive
Because it is for a Mother, sister, daughter, and friend

If you took a moment to read this, take the next to pray for Darcy Patton Nayler's strength, her healing, her family, her life. 

Thank you.