Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hot mess

Have you seen this video? It made me laugh.

I would probably be the mom who made the muffins, to be honest. I freaking love to bake things. I wouldn't make any other moms feel bad though. That's not my style.

I was reminded of this video this morning as I drove my daughter to an appointment (two kids sharing one car is usually awesome, but sometimes painful) and I said to her, and I swear this is true, "What time does school start anyway?"

She's a Senior. She's been at this school for four years now. I literally have no idea what time school starts. Unless you count the general "early" (which I don't count that. At all).

She laughed when she told me. She's used to my crap by now.

I told her I was sorry. That was probably something I should actually know. That I try really hard to be a decent parent, but certain things just sort of escape me.

She laughed again and said, and I might not forget this for the rest of my life,

"Good thing you get the things that actually matter."

It may just be her Senioritis talking, but man that made me feel awesome.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

For all the broken moms out there.

I see you.

I get you.

I officially became a mother on 3/21/1998. Really I became a mother months before that, the first time I felt a little flutter in my stomach that I soon learned was actually two babies. Every day of my life since then I've worried that I'm not good enough. That I'm failing.

My husband left me when I was pregnant. I couldn't manage to keep a husband. Somehow, by default maybe, I figured it should be easier to keep a husband than to keep two small children alive. Naturally I was quite worried about my abilities.

I couldn't stay pregnant for nine months.

I couldn't give birth naturally.

I couldn't breast feed.

For months I drove around with two little carseats in the back of my car feeling an inordinate amount of fear that someone, somewhere was going to stop me and take them away because I clearly had no business being their mother. I didn't deserve them. I didn't know what I was doing. I wasn't doing anything right.

I am one of the broken moms. One of those women who just want to do better. Who don't want their anxiety and failings and depression and stress and worry to translate into pain for their children. Who want a better life for their babies. Who want to right all the wrongs of the past.

I was twenty-two. My daughter is now eighteen and I look at her like the helplessly trying beautiful creature she absolutely is. She has no idea. I cannot imagine her having a child in four years, much less two children at the same time. Dogs? Certainly. Not people. Not human beings.

I didn't know what I was doing at twenty-two.

I'm forty now. I still don't know.

I've managed to keep them alive and that's a positive. They are smart and funny and wise beyond their years. I am the first call they make with good news or bad. We discuss politics and religion (loudly) and we laugh. Oh, how we laugh.

I still don't feel like I deserve them. I still feel like I'm going to be found out. I still feel broken.

They aren't broken though. They aren't. That's where things are different.

I think every mom, every single one of us, has at some point felt like we were getting it all wrong. Some of us have it harder than others, and I think while it's important to respect that, at the end of the day? We're all just moms. We're all just doing our best.

If you are broken, like me, I want to tell you something.

I think you're amazing.

I think the fact that you get up every morning and try again is amazing. I think that even if you are suffering and you are working really hard to ensure your child or children doesn't suffer the same way, you are amazing.If your experience in life was less than stellar and you want to do whatever you can to ensure your child doesn't go down the same road, you are amazing.

It's okay to say you are broken. That doesn't mean you are bad or wrong or anything else. It just means you got punched in the boob a few times kept going.

I salute you, broken moms. Someday your unbroken children will salute you too.

Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

My husband, talking to my son about a girl my son maybe likes

"So! Did you get them digits?"


Saturday, April 23, 2016


"You can't let your children become your whole life."

That's what people used to say to me.

They meant well, I'm sure. What they meant was "you are young" and "you should get an education" and "you need to work" and probably a million other things. I listened. I understood.

I tried.

I worked. I got my education. I dated. I fell in love. I got married. I did all the things to ensure that I would continue to have a life one day when these two small people grew up and went away and had their own lives.

What I didn't get is...all those things didn't really matter.

I mean, they did. They do. Working and getting a degree and being in love are all good things in my life. It's just they all pale in comparison to who I really am.

Their mom.

If I am ever asked to talk about myself, the first thing out of my mouth is always "I have this son and daughter..." They are, by far, the most interesting thing about me. The most important thing about me. They are literally the only people I feel I could not survive without.

I guess it's no wonder that the thought of them turning eighteen, being grown-ups, filled me with a quiet dread. For the last several years.

Then? They turned eighteen and nothing happened.

I mean, okay, we had a nice dinner and my daughter and I went on our first ever girls weekend together and we laughed and talked about when they were babies and it was nice. Then the next day I went back to work and they went back to school and...

I was still their mom. They still asked me what was for dinner that night, still wanted my advice on how much of their part-time job earnings should be set aside that week, still had to be reminded to take the recycling to the recycling center. Nothing was any different.

Will it be different? No doubt and sooner than I wish. From the day they were born we've been evolving. We are constantly different. We have to adapt. I laughed so hard the other night when my husband grumpily asked me why our daughter was not in bed and I had to say, kindly, "Jason. It's nine-thirty. She's eighteen." He forgets sometimes. I try to.

They'll need to talk to mom about relationships, about children, about careers, about where life is taking them. They'll need someone to laugh with and talk to. They'll always love my killer lasagna, my chocolate chip cookies, and my hugs.

Different yes, but different isn't bad. It's just different.

There is a terrible lack of resources for moms of older kids. There are so many mommy blogs that talk about the terrible twos and first steps and kindergarten, but so few that talk about empty nests and how it feels the first time your baby drives away in a car without you in it, and applying for financial aid, and praying that someday your precious child will meet someone worthy of them. We are still moms though, and that will never change. We still want what is best. One day you look at your son and realize he's a man, you look at your daughter and she's the woman you hope to grow into someday. One day we wake up and they are old enough to vote, to get married, to fight in a war, but our hearts? Oh our hearts feel the same as the day their little squishy bodies were placed in our arms for the first time. The love, the all-encompassing, over-powering love we feel never changes. Never, ever.

I'll always be mom.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

That Twin Thing

It's been eighteen years and I still don't understand it.

They have this...thing. This bond. It's different than friends, different than brothers and sisters. It's kind of a combination of both, but not exactly that either. I can't describe it. I can't explain it. I've never felt it.

For them, it's undeniable.

I'm honest enough to admit I've been jealous of this thing they share. I guess sharing a womb bonds you in ways I can't understand. I've always longed for that kind of closeness with someone. I wish I could find that comfort. That peace.

It keeps surprising me. Even after all these years.

My daughter recently withheld information from her brother about dating and at first I was completely baffled by this. He wants to date and despite how absolutely hilarious, intelligent, and charming he is he's also very shy.

Well that's not it completely..he's also somewhat clueless. So many girls flirt with him all the time (right in front of me so I can't imagine what they are doing when I'm not around!) and he's oblivious. Completely. It's kind of hilarious.

His sister mentioned some of her friends think he's cute (because of course he is). Then she wouldn't tell him which ones think that.

At first she denied she even said it, even though we all totally heard her. My daughter is generally very honest and never one to balk at conversation.  I couldn't figure this out until she said, "Well, he doesn't need to date!" With every bit of  angry self-righteousness that an eighteen year-old can muster.

See...she doesn't want to date right now. She wants to focus on school and herself and writing and acting and all the other stuff she interested in (which mainly seems to be Pinterest, Harry Potter, and third-wave feminism). Which is totally fine, of course. I have literally no problem with who she is and in fact like most everything about her quite fine. Too many episodes of 16 and Pregnant are probably influencing my feelings, but I'd rather her be exactly the way she is because it makes me worry a lot less about a lot of things.

It's all good. Except...she somehow thinks they are just half of the same person. So if she doesn't want to date then clearly he doesn't either. And if he does, by God he shouldn't. Okay, and she's bossy she will be an excellent manager someday.

With quickness, I explained that um...NO. That is not the way it's going to be. She then decided that okay fine, he can date someone. As long as she likes them.

I told her it doesn't work that way. That dad's sister doesn't think much of me (and I'm putting that kindly) and dad thinks I'm the hotness and whose opinion did she think I gave a crap about? She said she'd never thought of that.


She's been thinking about the future though, about them not living in the same house and them having their own lives. It's been producing a lot of anxiety for her. Probably for him too, as he keeps talking about them getting an apartment together as though it's a obvious conclusion.

Maybe it is. Maybe it's a Twin Thing.

And God help anyone they do decide to date because...yeah. I am seeing more and more every day this will be challenging, to say the least. I've been hopeful for years that they can find another set of boy/girl twins to date. It would just be so much easier.

They would get it, I think. They would understand the bond. There wouldn't be any jealousy or weirdness. There would only be one set of in-laws. Everyone would totally get it.

Okay, maybe they would get it.

God, I hope someone gets it someday. Or at least is able to tolerate it.