For my mother, whom I love.

Every year I struggle with exactly what to say.

579813_10151075895131439_1330949638_nSometimes I’m sure I’ve disappointed you. My beliefs (or lack of), my foul mouth, my affinity for beer and wine and hard core horror.

But then other times I realize how much I love my kids, and how I would – how I will – no matter.

I think in terms of opposites, like if any of my kids grew up to be churchgoing Evangelical Biblical scholars. I wouldn’t love them any less. I would be happy as long as they were happy and purposeful. I mean, I’m happy with Minecraft and shaggy haircuts even though 207223_4549921913200_2056190641_nthey don’t make sense.

So I know you love me. That you just want me to be happy.

And I am. I am happy with my life. With my accomplishments and my pastimes and my beliefs. I am happy because you taught me to find happiness, to create it, to be grateful and to love for love’s sake.

This Mother’s Day I just want you to know that I’m grateful. I love you, and I love my life because you showed me what it is to be a good person.

Thank you.

Happy Mother’s Day.

To my kids

As a mother, I will never think I’ve done everything right.¬†duo

I will always worry that THIS PARTICULAR choice I’m making is the choice that you will remember in twenty years, facing a nodding voice of reason before you fill prescriptions for Zoloft or Prozac or whatever they have by then.

I will always regret the missed milestones.

I will always fear your next step.

I will forever quake in terror that you have to make your own decisions and live for yourselves.

I will eternally wonder what would have happened if….x,y,z. Fill in whatever scenario, I have wondered about it.

I will always marvel at how smart you are.

photo credit Talley Images

photo credit Addie Talley

I will always want to be your friend.

I will always respond. To letters, to texts, to phone calls.

I will always help you. Even if I’m furious at you.

I will never stop trying to make your world better.smooch

I will never understand your fashion choices.

I will always want you to be happy.

I will do whatever it takes to make your life happy.

I will love you.

Whatever may happen. Whatever you may think.

You are my heart.

Love, Mompark

On mothers, being and having

I'm thirty three years old and I've had a mother all of that time.

Triumphant, yes?

I love my mother. She has waded with me through waters that could have killed a boar. She's outlasted every friend I've ever had and hasn't blinked. I know I disappoint her. I know she wishes that instead of beer, liberalism, gay rights and swears I would devote my time to Jesus, Beth Moore, Billy Graham and being a Proverbs 31 woman.

But it's not me.

She knows that and she loves me anyway. Because that's what a mother does, dammit. She loves. There are lots of ways and reasons for giving up on anything and anyone – but she hasn't. She hasn't and she won't.

 

So all of this to say I lucked out in the mother load.

 

Now I am a mother. It's the hardest thing I've ever – EVER – done. My kids drive me crazy and they make every day into work, but I have no idea who or what I'd be without them. They've each made me into someone new. Every day I'm disappointed in something – I wish that Max wasn't so awkward or that Ava wasn't such an overdramatic queen, or that Lucy wasn't sometimes a brat.

But because I have such an amazing mold to try and fit, I know that somewhere in my DNA is a way to see past what's annoying and what I wish I could change. I know that my kids will know one day – they'll understand that I may be short and I may run from their ENDLESS RECOUNTS OF EPISODES OF GRAVITY FALLS, but that I would step in front of any non-guncontrolled bullet for any of them. I would spend every afternoon for the rest of my life signing permission slips and listening to rhythmic cup-stacking (yes, that's a real thing and Ava has decided that she is totally into it and watches YouTube instructional videos), if that were what I needed to do. Let's hope it's not.

 

So…thanks, Mom. I needed you. And you're awesome. Happy Mother's Day.

 

I suppose it was a noble try

This is probably going to come across in the wrong way, but I am nothing if not honest. I see no need to change that now.

What, I might lose some friends? Line up, everyone. Let me count you so I know who goes missing.

Yesterday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Apparently the whole month of October is appointed as an awareness month for this issue, which is great, but October the 15th is the special day appointed for memorial and acknowledgement for those of us who have lost little ones.

This is delicate. For anyone.

I have not made a secret of the miscarriage I had in 2008. I don’t bring it up often, but it’s there. I acknowledge it. I think about it more than I ever thought I would. I don’t say that in a macabre way, but it’s true. I think about it enough to know that Lucy’s brother (at some point I apparently decided he was a boy) would be about four now. When I remember him I don’t think about the pain and the terror and how certain I was that I was not going to live – I think about how much he might look like his daddy. I think about T-ball and Transformers. I think about how much would be different today.

And then I don’t think about it for a while. It’s how I process.

But yesterday, since it was an appointed day, I thought about him. The him that never really was.

Some local people had put together a vigil/memorial service type thing for the evening. I decided to go, because I wanted Josh to take pictures and I never really go in for stuff like that. I took a sedative in preparation for being around people.

We went.

I didn’t really know what to do initially, but I went to a spot where it looked like stuff was happening. I signed a book on a lovely little table, I got a lapel pin with an angel, I got a piece of paper to write on – which I would later attach to a balloon. The sentiment was lovely, and I could tell that the people in charge were well-intentioned.

For some reason, there was a group of high school students there…community service? Helping? I don’t know, but they were there. Fine, great, not my business, right?

Except they were obnoxious. They were loud and they were oblivious and they totally killed whatever mood there should have been.

Whatever, man. I live and let live.

The chick in charge (who, incidentally, I used to work with at McAlister’s Deli and is now apparently a pediatrician? Good for you, girl. Your pants were awesome.) took a microphone and welcomed everyone. She went over why we were all there and what was going on.

Then people started talking. It was almost like being at youth retreat, where folks would find their way to the front and get all emotional and you could tell they were so sincere and it just pissed you off because people weren’t paying attention to the sincerity. No? Just me?

Well, it was like that. These women were spilling their hearts out – their loss, their mourning, how they still hurt – and Suzy Sweet Sixteen five yards away from me was texting with Johnny No Nads about letting him get to second base (fine – I made that part up, I don’t know what they were talking about).

It made me so angry.

I was there to mourn a loss. To remember a time my life changed forever. To think for just a few minutes about what could have been. And I couldn’t do that.

There were Bible verses and prayers. Whatever makes it easier, I guess. I just wanted to leave before I vomited from everything I felt.

The talking ended.

We let the balloons go. I watched a jillion pink, blue, and white balloons – all with little messages attached – disappear into the night. So many emotions. So much hurt attached to every string.

It was the one moment that was just as I’d expected. Everyone simply stood and watched as the memories flew upward into the sky. It was worth it for that moment.

I appreciate what went into the evening. I am grateful that there are those who know how I feel, even if I’m sorry that has to be true.