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Inside the Cocoon For Now

It’s my girl’s birthday.  Commence the partying!

A week or so ago, I asked her what she wanted for her birthday.

(well, within reason, you know)

I batted around a couple of things that she’s enjoyed before.  Magazine subscription.  Shoes.  Clothes.

Nothing was resonating with her.

She just shrugged.

Well okay, technically the shrug was in my mind because we were texting and on the phone, but yeah, pretty sure she shrugged.  I have known her for nineteen years now.

“I don’t know.  I don’t have a clue.”

I told her that was okay.

“No. It’s not.  I don’t like that I don’t know myself.”

The words that came to me came instantly.

“It’s hard to pin down a moving target.”

I don’t know where those words came from but they just made sense.

After all, in the past two, four years my girl has grown by leaps and bounds.  She’s been forced to by life and death, and she’s made choices on her own that required a level of maturity that I can hardly fathom.

And then there are moments that I realize she’s still my girl.  When we laugh together over a memory or something that just happened.  When she complains about my helicopter parenting or I turn my head so I don’t have to look in her room.  When we sit and talk for hours or volley messages back and forth.  She’s still my girl, and yet she’s so much more.

It makes sense that she has a hard time figuring out her likes and dislikes and preferences and favorite things right now.  She’s growing and changing, and it absolutely makes sense that as she changes, so might all of those things.

A sweet friend shared a quote tonight from Maya Angelou.

IMG_4702

 

That right there.  My sweet girl, it’s okay that you don’t know what you want.  That’s absolutely wonderful.  You are growing, changing, transforming.  From one beautiful creature to another.  I am sure if you asked the caterpillar what she wants and then asked the butterfly, they would be quite different.  The butterfly doesn’t need several pairs of shoes at one time and the caterpillar doesn’t need wing cleaner.  But they are one and the same.

And, I’m just guessing here, when the precious creature is at her innermost changing tucked inside her cocoon, if someone asked her what she wanted, she’d very likely say, “I don’t know. It’s like I don’t even know who I am.”

Tonight I’m thankful for words that come into my head and show up on my Facebook feed just when I need them most.  I’m thankful for growing and changing and beauty all around, as scary and hard as it might be to see when we’re in the middle of it.

Here’s to my girl and all of those like her, those who are in the midst of transforming.  I cannot wait to see what all of you beautiful people become next.

Love to all.

 

#19love

Nineteen years ago at 3:32 a.m. a new life came into this world.  She is amazing and beautiful and funny and generous, and she makes this Mama thankful and honored that I am the one who gets to call her mine.  She’s smart as a whip and tough as nails and as fragile as a China cup, and she makes me mad as fire and proud as a peacock.  (You know, the male ones that are way too pretty who strut around like they are really, really proud.)  I am in awe of the person she’s becoming and delighted by all the good things and people who have come into my life….all because of her.  

Happy birthday, baby girl, keep smiling and having fun and being YOU.  You are the best you there will ever be, and I give thanks for you every single day.  From the first day I knew you were going to join this crazy world to this one right here and now.  I love you.  Always.  

 

for my baby girl

 

when I first learned

you were in there

under my heart

growing and changing

faster than I could ever

imagine

I was amazed there was room

for you

my heart was so full

 

I imagined I could feel your

movements

though of course that was silly

so soon

 

those first precious days

after I knew you were there

I would touch where I thought

you were

in wonder and awe

and I whispered

“hang in there, baby,

it’s going to be okay

I love you”

 

those words

the same words

I’ve had reason to say

far too many times

over the years since

while rubbing your back

and drying your tears

 

hang in there, baby,

it’s going to be okay

I love you

 

as I watch you now

growing and changing faster

than I could ever imagine

I still carry you in my heart

you ARE my heart

 

and I will always give thanks for

the gift of You

 

My boo, oh so many years ago.  Happy Everyday, baby girl!

My boo, oh so many years ago. Happy Everyday, baby girl!

 

typing with thumbs

Today this happened. And so tonight is a haiku kind of night, because I can only type so much with my thumbs before they get plenty tired. Which is pretty amazing if you really think about it–typing with one’s thumbs. Ah, the world we live in today. Amazing.

my computer died
tap the keys but no words come
writer with no tool

Apple brand or not
everyone knows which one
to choose except me

Y’all take care. Advice welcome.

Love to all.

Bad Guys and Hurting People

We had a house full of fun little folks today.  They played and ran and talked and got to know each other in such a way that I am convinced the littles in this world should be in charge of peace negotiations.

They know what’s most important.

Like favorite colors, how to ask for what they really want, favorite Star Wars characters, how to share dressup clothes and stickers, and how to use their imaginations.  They are kind and even when it’s hard, they acquiesce and take turns when they are reminded that’s how we roll.

Yes.

At one point Cooter, all decked out in his shield and body armor and sword (thank you GW Boutique), came up behind me and announced in his “announcing” voice:  “I’m a bad guy.  I hurt people.”

And then he ran off.  To wreak havoc and make superheroes cry, I guess.

He’s a cute little guy, but he’s so much more–sometimes the words that come out of his mouth really make me think.

Like in this instance.

Because what has weighed on my heart today is that it’s not always the bad guys who hurt people.  Their feelings and emotions and sense of being okay.  In many cases, it’s the people we hold near and dear who really hurt us the most.  Or whom we hurt.  Without even thinking.

It’s sad.

The hurt that is caused by “bad” guys is bad, but the hurt that is caused by someone whom we think loves us–whether intentional or not–that pain goes much, much deeper.

And it takes a lot longer to heal.

I am glad that my seven-year old son sees the world in black and white right now.  It hasn’t been long since I realized there are all these shades of gray out there.  I have often heard and even quoted, “Hurting people hurt people.”  And while I think that’s true, I think it’s important to realize that not all hurting people are bad.  In fact many are good–they’re just going through something that is causing them heartbreak and pain, and that gets passed along.

Tonight I’m thankful for the words of my little guy that have me looking at my heart and thinking about the pain I’ve caused, some inadvertently and some, I’m ashamed to say, not.  I wonder how much longer before his world gets rocked and he figures out all who hurt others are not bad.

It’s a lesson I needed reminding of today.

Love to all.

 

 

 

Checking it at the Gate

One evening last week I took Cooter to swim lessons.  It was a quiet night since there had been no swim team practice earlier.  It was just the children taking lessons, and…..

a group of ladies about to get in the pool.

Our children taking lessons were in two of the three far lanes.  These ladies walked over and started getting in the first four lanes.  They spread out and all faced the one woman in the fourth lane.  That’s when it hit me–water aerobics.

They were all shapes and sizes and ages.  Some with hats and some without.  Some with bathing suits on and others with shirts and shorts covering up their suits.  Out of the eight or so women taking the class, it was obvious that for a couple of them it was their first time.

The lady leading the class was delightful.  Really.  She was full of energy and a joy for life.  She laughed as she talked and had her students change positions and movements.  She was so interesting and fascinating to watch that I found myself watching her and almost forgetting to watch Cooter as he swam and bobbed and floated on his back.  (Almost–I did keep track of what he was doing and watch each time it was his turn.)

The women in their rows talked amongst themselves.  As the teacher lifted her arms up, she laughed.  She pointed to her arms and the way they flapped a little more than maybe she’d like them to.  “Oh we don’t worry about any of that.  Just do it.  We all check our ego at the gate over there.  Don’t worry.  No one notices anyone else’s arms or anything.”

The gate.  A place to lay it all down and see where you can get without that heavy weight.

The gate. A place to lay it all down and see where you can get without that heavy weight of ego.

Wow.

I love this woman, you know?

Today I thought back to her and her class, hoping to catch a bit of her pep talk tonight during Cooter’s swim lesson.  Then I remembered she told the other ladies there wouldn’t be class tonight.  It’s her anniversary.  I hope she’s having a blast.  From what I saw of her passion for laughter and life, I am sure she is.

What would I do if I checked my ego at the gate?  If I wasn’t worried about failing?  About what others thought?  What would I venture out and try?  What would I say I could not live another moment without knowing about?  And would I go after that knowledge, that adventure…..if my ego wasn’t in the way?

Tonight I’m thankful for the water aerobics teacher who challenged me to step outside the box.  It’s not a comfortable place to be, but it is fascinating and mesmerizing.  I’m dreaming a little bit today just because of those words–no worries, egos are checked at the gate.  Yes.  That’s really good stuff right there.  What if?

I hope you all take a moment today and ask yourself that same question–what if you checked your ego at the gate?–and then dream big and start to work making that happen.  Imagine the adventures we all could be having.  All the things we could be doing…..

Love and wishes for big chase-able dreams to all.

Mama Instincts At Work

Tonight this Mama is thankful to be home.

With some answers.

Our day started out with our Princess coughing.  She can go from sniffles in the morning to full-blown asthma by nightfall, bless her.  She’s been doing a lot better with these times occurring less and less often.

But today the sound of her coughing was the first thing I heard this morning.  I checked her temperature around 10:30 and again at noon.  Both times it was doing what I expected.  Low grade and slowly rising.  When I checked it again mid-afternoon though, I felt like I’d won “Worst Mama of the Year” award.  It was high.  Higher than I ever remember it being.

And that was not okay.

I took her robe off of her in hopes of cooling her down some, and I called the number I’m supposed to call to get permission to take her to the doctor.  Imagine my surprise when the trained professional on the other end told me to wait it out.  She gave suggestions for home care, but bottom line was, “If it gets worse, call us back.”

This did not set well with me.  I once had a pediatrician tell me to trust my “Mama instincts.”  I really appreciated that, the fact that he valued my perceptions and concerns as an integral part of his taking care of my children.  So today, when I called thinking someTHING needed to be done to help my sick baby, and I was told to “wait it out,”  Mama’s instincts flew out the window and Anxiety Girl showed up.  She has quite the imagination, that one.  And she’s really good at making me panic.

I held it together though.  With the help of those who love us listening and reaffirming my concerns, I kicked Anxiety Girl to the curb, and me and my instincts made the decision to take our Princess in to be seen by a doctor. (Especially when the fever hadn’t broken four hours after taking medicine.) I made a call to the Med Stop to confirm they were still open. When talking with the nurse there, I explained what had been going on.  “Oh yes,” she said.  “Y’all need to come on now.”

They arm "banded" my sweet girl and sent us back very quickly tonight.  She was so worn out, she curled up on the table and went to sleep.  Bless her.

They arm “banded” my sweet girl and sent us back very quickly tonight. She was so worn out, she curled up on the table and went to sleep. Bless her.

And I’m glad we did.  I have a sick Princess, who did need medicine prescribed to get better.

I was worried and wanted her to get the help she needed to feel better so we went "as you are"--pajamas and all.

I was worried and wanted her to get the help she needed to feel better in a hurry so we went “as you are”–pajamas and all.

Poor girl.  I hurried her out the door so quickly, she grabbed my shoes to wear to the Med Stop.

Poor girl. I hurried her out the door so quickly, she grabbed my shoes to wear to the Med Stop.  Today was one of those “do what you gotta do” days.  (No, seriously, you should see all the dishes in my sink.  Ah well, they won’t grow legs and leave before the morning.  Unfortunately…..)

 

Tonight I’m thankful for folks who empower me and my “Mama instincts.”  I give thanks for a good doctor and kind staff who made my girl feel special, even when they had to do what she feared most–stick that swab down her throat.  I am thankful that I went with what I thought instead of waiting for a person to give me permission to be concerned.  And I’m grateful that what my baby has found the most comfort in today has been cuddling with me.  Even though she’s almost 10 and nearly as tall as I am, she still wants her Mama when she doesn’t feel good.  Tonight as we curl up on the couch, where apparently we’re sleeping tonight at her request, and watch late night programming on a channel where the shows are Mama-approved, I will smell her hair and kiss her forehead, and be grateful that we are here together.  And we are okay.  Or will be as soon as the medicine kicks in.

It’s time for this tired Mama to call it a night.  There is little that makes one feel as vulnerable as seeing his or her baby sick and miserable.  But first I want to make sure all you folks loving on your children hear this:  trust yourselves.  Ask questions.  You know your littles and big ones better than anyone.  Trust that.

Love to all.

 

before

for my friend whose Now and today is very hard…..

 

before

 

I’d be twelve, she said

Oooh, me too, twelve was great

I’d go back there in a heartbeat

to before

before

such magic in that word

marking two sides centered around that

one

event

one moment…..

one heartbreak

or joy

one celebration

or sorrow

one chipping away at a soul

or filling a heart to bustin’

one moment, two sides

before

and

Now

forever different, forever changed.

For the nows that aren’t so good,

for the sorrows and the pain and the tears

that are a part of this day

the before is a dream, a moment in time

our hearts yearn for–

a moment when all was whole

not broken

and hearts were beating in time

not against all odds

so different from this Now

with the tears and questions and longing

for

how it was

before,

not this fragmented and cracked

reality

with tears

and sadness

and worry

and all but a tiny flicker of hope

gone

Before

when our feet could carry us everywhere we wanted to go,

and our dreams were only as far away as the branches in the trees we climbed

or inside the pages of the book

tucked away under our pillows with the flashlight

for after lights out

and Now

that it is dark

in this moment

I long for the comfort of that cherished book

and old white flashlight that Santa brought,

when my only worry in life was my

sister

on the bottom bunk

threatening to tell Mama and Daddy

that I’m staying up late

reading

under the covers

 

 

 

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