Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Always Grateful for My Journey

To say it has been a long time since I sat down to write would be an understatement. To say everything has been normal, and okay during this time would be a lie.

The year had already gotten off to a difficult start, so when the opportunity came to go to my niece’s wedding in BC, it was a welcome change of pace that was well looked forward to. We would be seeing family that we hadn’t seen in years, most of whom had yet to meet Makiya, a great-nephew and great-niece that I hadn't seen since birth and the other just a baby, and two great-nieces that I hadn’t yet met; I was excited to see and have some fun with them all.

The wedding was beautiful, I cried, baby girl danced her heart out, and the time we shared with family was wonderful; it was so great to see Makiya play with her second cousins and have so much fun. The end of the weekend came, and as we are the “on a whim” type of couple/family, we decided to head off to visit with more family, and joined the entourage on a road trip.

What ended up happening changed our lives.

I’ve spoken often of transition and change, forward motion, movement… This was like nothing I expected. All hopes, dreams, wishes, future thoughts, all came crashing down upon me at once. I don’t mean that in a negative way at all, ever since I was a kid, I just knew, and said often, “be careful what you wish for, you WILL get it, you just never know WHEN.”

It was hard to see it all at the time, there was so much to be afraid of, worried and concerned about, and as it happens in these situations, time just seems to disintegrate before you, becoming more and more of an illusion than a reality.

Slowly, after it was accepted that MAJOR change was happening in our lives, I realized that things were, as they do, happening for a reason. As difficult as it was, I said “OK!”, and hung on, trusting in my journey.

I had fun, real fun, for the first time since my baby girl was born, ( a different kind of fun than that which comes with being "Mommy"; I got to be myself in other ways) maybe longer, and met some AMAZING new friends, but at the same time, I began to lose precious time and opportunity with my girl; heart breaking, heart wrenching, and partially unavoidable. Routines were unavoidably disrupted, dismantled really, and that may not necessarily have been a bad thing in all areas, but I do have my work cut out for me in getting things back under some sort of control.

As I come out from beneath part of the fog, I can appreciate certain things for what they have been, necessary pieces of my journey. I still struggle with parts of it all, but I know that I have to go back to the trust, the knowledge, that it is all unfolding exactly as it should, perfectly on time.

There is a reason for everything, lessons to be learned and shared.

I am excited, grateful, and thankful for it all.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Differences That Don't Belong or The Truth Behind Our Differences

Makiya was racing around the play area, trying to find someone to play with, deciding which piece of equipment to tackle next, pleasantly occupied, so I wandered back over to my mom and her husband, who was intently watching a group of kids playing on the spinner. He quickly filled me in on what he had just witnessed; a little boy, only six or seven years old, nastily, physically, and roughly pushed two girls to the side as he forced his way onto the spinner, proclaiming that “the man goes first!”

I sputtered, coughed, choked as he relayed the story, and my attention returned to the boy. What I continued to see stunned me; I felt sickened.

He seemed to zero in on one little girl in particular, who was only around the age of three. He would literally charge towards her, like a bull having spotted a red flag; the cartoon image of smoke streaming from his ears and flared nostrils flitted through my mind. He pulled her back towards the spinner, yelling something at her as he shoved her forward, and then tossed her aside as he again hopped onto the spinner. There was another, older girl, who tried to intervene, telling him to stop and reminding him of how little this other child was, but he had no qualms about showering aggression back upon her. I stood there, doing a little tippy-toe dance as I felt drawn in, needing to intervene, but then more parents would slide in front, blocking me, only to move again, giving me access to the situation once again; back and forth, back and forth, should I say something, should I not… He paced back and forth, between the two identical spinners, huffing and puffing, “Grrr… the girls get this one too?!” Finally, there was a threat to tell, and an interest in the location of his mom, and the boy raced off.

It took a few moments to locate the mother, sitting, hidden behind the climbing bars and slide, chatting away with another mother. It didn’t take long to realize she wasn’t paying attention to the actions of her son, and even less time to consider that, even at the young age of six or seven, it was very possible this little boy left his mother feeling intimidated, perhaps even scared.

This little boy carried himself with a look upon his face unlike anything I have seen in a child, or maybe I have, in a horror movie. Evil came to mind afterwards, harsh, but true. He looked more like an adult male, a man who had been tortured and tormented, left in a state of rage.

Glad that he hadn’t attempted to unleash any of his hostility on my own daughter, I tried to distract myself from it, and we soon left the play area. As we left, we came upon the boy again. He had removed his shoes and had his feet in the fish ponds; we were in an indoor natural area. He quickly pulled out of the water as he shouted threats at another, older boy and went running after him.

The whole situation left me feeling very agitated and angry, and a little judgemental. I spewed off a few things, including that he would likely spend a lot of time in jail, at an early age.

What it was in truth, was, and is a very sad situation; that a child so young could have been shown, taught and lived through enough horror to leave him in such a state.

(While there are some details that I have purposely left out, in an attempt not to offend anyone, the roots of this little boys actions and words are buried in his family, their lifestyle and beliefs... While I respect all of our insights, beliefs, ways of life, and the right to them, there are differences that are sometimes shown to be just plain offensive and inappropriate.)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Life Lessons in Our "Less Than Perfect-Mom" Moments"

I was having one of “those” nights last night. Again.

There are just so many things not going smoothly in my life, and aside from feeling worn out from the stress and worry, I am tired of battling with Ms. Magoo, which in turn makes me question myself, worrying that I am not doing it all “right” with her.

By the time we got to her bedroom at bedtime I felt ready to crack. Tears spilled over, and I couldn’t seem to get myself under control for over half an hour.

Then, as these things happen, I sat down to check out Facebook and some blogs that I follow. Great timing.
First up was a great read, shared by Pamela Price, and Marnie Craycroft, called “Yeah. I’m THAT mom.” by Amanda Morgan of Not Just Cute. I almost continued to cry as I read, but realized I was feeling comforted by Amanda’s words. She reminded me that we are not alone. While we can try to tell ourselves over again that we are not the only one who makes mistakes, sometimes we need to actually hear it from another mother to really get it: we can’t be perfect, do it all and get it right every time.

Next, I popped over to a blog I recently discovered, Winds of Lindy, man this girl has a way with words! I read through some of her posts from the week that I had missed, and again, found myself feeling soothed by Lindy’s words as she too spoke of this illusion of perfection that we, as mothers, seem to strive for.

We can only do the best that we can, and each and every one of us makes mistakes. That is part of learning and growing.

Which is one of the most important things that we can teach our children: to get up, try again and learn from their mistakes.

So instead of beating ourselves up when we have a rough day, perhaps we should be patting ourselves on the back for a job well done.

Keeping our chin up, doing the best we can and making the most of it all; those are not really bad things to be teaching our kids are they?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Be the Monkey

My thoughts are often dominated by my daughter, pondering what I want her to know, feel, experience and what I don’t. In my mind, for some of the most important things to stick, to become part of her thoughts and beliefs, they need to be instilled early on.

It is important to me that she never feels embarrassed or afraid to be herself, and that she feels free to express her thoughts and feelings, no matter what. I don’t want her to worry about being judged by anyone for any reason.

In order for her to learn that, I believe that she has to see it.

In the most sacred of moments, perfectly timed chances, my daughter catch me by surprise, as we walk down a busy street, stand on a crowded train platform or in line at the store, and she invites me into her magical fantasy world.

 In these situations, I could become trapped by thoughts of what people will think, but instead, my concern is only with what will go through her mind, what she will take away from the moment.

I joyfully dive in, full of pride and a sense of freedom; I become the monkey swinging from trees, the wolf howling at the moon, the performer belting out some wacky song, with moves to go along with it, whatever creature or character I am directed to be, I become. I join her in that wondrous place between imagination and reality, where anything and everything is possible.

When the moment calls for monster that chases and captures children for dinner, or a hungry, roaring lion to feed its hissing snake baby, or a twinkly, spinning dance across the sidewalk, count me in.

When I see her face light up with delight and admiration, I am satisfied on so many levels, knowing that in that one moment, she received a lifetime of positive lessons and memories.

And so did I.
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