Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Proud of this girl today.

No, she didn’t win.  She didn’t even place high enough to move her to the next level.  In fact, I would say most races, she is solidly near the back of all the runners. 

But so what?

I’m proud of her because she forges ahead.  I’m proud of her because she does her best.  I’m proud of her because she conquers her fears every race.  I’m proud of her because the first thing I see after she crosses the finish line is a smile.  I’m proud of her because, after not making it last year, she tried out again.  She puts in the work (even racing when she was sick), she’s supportive of her friends on the team (this is the kid who, instead of enjoying a particularly good race for her, felt bad about beating a teammate in the home stretch sprint), and did I mention the smiling?

I’m proud of her, period, every day.  So many social media posts are centered around our children’s achievements – grades, honors, ribbons, touchdowns, goals – successes measurable on paper.  Don’t get me wrong, those are all reasons to be proud.  We as parents WANT to see our children succeed and excel, of course we do.  And we want to share that with family and friends, and yes, sometimes our own competitors (haha, the ugly side of social media). 

I’m guilty too.  And although I’m super proud of my kids in those moments, it’s what my children do to get there that makes me even prouder than any hat trick or touchdown or scholastic award or first place finish ever could.  I want my kids to know I think they’re amazing for the times they excel, but I want them to also know that I think they’re amazing even when, or because, they don’t.  That is something I think we as parents sometimes forget.  Basking in the glory of our children’s achievements is awfully seductive sometimes.  Celebrating the times they fall short is much harder to do, but oh so important.  Today, she crossed the finish line in tears.  But it wasn't for lack of trying and it was her most amazing race, and therein lies her victory. 

So here, little Meems.  I am so proud of you today.  You ran with heart and you gave it your all and you went outside your comfort zone to be amazing.  Who cares where you finished?  You did your best and you’ll never regret that.  I think you are amazing.  And I am so very proud to be your mom.  Keep at it girl.  Keep giving your all and you will do amazing things.  I just know it.

Friday, October 7, 2016

That Ikea Commercial

Last weekend I got to spend the day with this guy. 

Anyone else get little heart flutters when you look at your child?  

As we talked, I became distracted by his little baby face and all the freckles, the little button baby nose, the little baby lips and his green eyes.  I decided I needed to capture the moment with this photo. 

Except when I looked at it, I didn't see a baby at all.  It caught me completely off guard. What I saw was every bit a 10 year old.  

How can this be?

I saw a kid who's almost done with elementary school. A kid that wants to be an animal rescuer and legit rapper/music producer when he grows up, a boy who has had a crush on the same girl for 3 years and made a game saving tackle in last week's game. 

I looked back at him. Baby. 

I looked at the photo again. Sure enough, just as I feared, a tween smirked back at me. 

My kids think I'm crazy with how much I love them. But I am. It's true. They're right. 

That night I saw that IKEA commercial - you know, the one with the mom taking her young son shopping for his first apartment?  Except, he's probably in his early 20s and you realize that you just saw him the way she still does. And always will. 

That's me. I am her. That's how I see them. 

And always will. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Living a Beautiful Life, Vol. 2

My son W is one of those kids who never stops.  Even as a little guy he would go at full speed until he collapsed.

He's always been in search of what's next.  An adrenaline junkie, adventurer, risk taker, try everything, run before you can walk kind of kid.

If he could go to college and major in play, he would.

The kid who will run a 5K, play in a lacrosse tournament, play basketball with his friends and ride bikes for hours, then follow up with a baseball game and declare it "best day ever!"  He has a lot of "best days ever!"  At 14, I don't know, nor have I ever known anyone who can live life more in one day than he can.

Friday, he had an early morning cross country practice.  After running 7 miles, he came home, went to his last gym workout, mowed the neighbor's yard, mowed our yard, took care of the neighbor's dog, went to his friend's house, then rode his bike to the river for the afternoon.  After coming home, took the dog for a walk on the skateboard, threw some lacrosse balls, ate dinner and then played the XBox with a few friends before being forced to read and go to bed.

This is a typical day for this child.

It's exhausting.  For me.  Not for him.  I like to say he squeezes the juice out of every single day.  All the juice.

He doesn't do anything small -- everything he does is full tilt.  And he's not afraid of much, which is both a blessing and a curse.  How many times as a little boy did I hear other moms ask "you're letting him do that?"  Truthfully, for some reason I just knew he could.  Or he would at least try.  As long as it was within reason and he wasn't hurting himself or anyone else, it would be considered.  That's not to say he hasn't hurt himself on occasion along the way.  This is the kid who broke his thumb playing trampoline soccer, and who created the game "big wheel slingshot" and plays basketball on skates.  At 6 months, he figured out he could roll across the room to get where he wanted to go.  He would roll all over the place, and he was fast, and once he reached his destination he always gave me the biggest smile and would kick a little.  He was the Mario Andretti of crawling, and had barely mastered walking before he looked at me, pointed his finger and said "wun."  When I left him alone for 2 minutes at 13 months to retrieve laundry and discovered he had climbed up on the dining room table and was trying to swing from the chandelier, I just knew.  This kid could be the death of me.

Or, he could teach me a few things.  And he has.

Say what you will, he lives life.  I mean, really lives.  And always has.  And he has taught me to let him (within reason).

And isn't that the point?  None of us know how much time we have.  Isn't it a shame NOT to squeeze the juice - every beautiful, delicious ounce of it - out of every single day?

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Confessions of a Camp Mom

Sunday, I dropped off my sweet T at sleepaway camp. He's never been, and after 2 years of wanting it, it finally happened.

And it's about to kill me.

He hadn't even been gone 12 hours and already I felt like I might not survive.

This is new to me.  Not because I don't miss my kids when they're away, I do, but it's hitting me hard this time.

I mean, I didn't see my oldest for two weeks last summer because of camp and visits to his cousins' house, and I didn't feel like this.

My daughter went to her grandparents' for a week last year and I didn't miss her at all (but that was because she didn't give me a chance -- girlfriend sent me 176 texts over the course of 5 days, not to mention 2-3 phone calls a day).   

T went to his gradparents' for a week earlier this summer, and I was fine.  So what's up?

I can't talk to him.  And he surprised me when he got homesick at his grandparents' house.  And he hasn't been away really at all since he was tiny and now this is twice in one summer. 

And he hugged me so hard and for so long on Sunday that I thought he might have cracked my phone.  And said "I love you Mom...sooooo much."  And then hugged me some more.

And I don't know what that means.  Was he feeling nervous?  Was it just a love gush?  Was he trying to keep it together?  Did he think I was trying to?  Was he so, so happy?  Was he thanking me for sending him?  Or was he just being a love bug?

To be honest, he's been pulling away from me lately.  Totally normal, he is 10 after all.  But he's my baby and I'm not ready.  Little Meems has always been immensely, securely, in the fold.  Seriously, she may never leave.  She still says that when she grows up she wants to get married, have babies and move back home.  Lord help us.  And W, well, he's been been walking away from me since he could walk at all.  Those two are total opposites.  T is to gray what the other two are to black and white.

He's going to have so much fun.  He told me he was looking forward to a sense of freedom the most.  I want him to experience that too. I'm so excited for him.

Maybe it was I love you and I'll miss you and I'm excited and I'm nervous and I'm feeling a little insecure and also secure right here and goodbye and thank you.  All the feels, all at once.

Maybe it was just a mirror of my own feelings.  All the complex, confusing, overwhelming, make-you-crazy mom feels. 

All at once.

I'm counting down the days until I pick him up, but I am enjoying my time with the other two.  My biggies.  Life with them is so different when there's no little around.

And I have a new crack in my phone to prove it.