Life sure has a way of grabbing a hold of us, so that all of our attention is on these things that stand before us…sucking out all of our energy and leaving us to do little else. For these last weeks, all my focus has been on facing giants, vomiting up the shit sandwiches that are way past their expiration dates, and researching and learning how to apply the new found wisdom to my life, all while trying to hang on to whatever sanity there is left in this brain of mine.
Yet, life goes on just the same…food has to be cooked(and you damn well better believe it’s healthy food and I am continually amazed by the great recipes I am finding, trying & loving)…clothes have to be washed…the house has to be cleaned…a garden(much bigger this year) has to be planted(thank God for husbands)…of course there is exercise to be had(Jillian Michaels is kicking my ass daily and I am now going to a yoga class 2 times a week and doing it on my own)…and of course there is actual work to go to so that we can have things like food and shelter…and more importantly, children that need to be loved and tended to, which means “time“…children that don’t care that I might be in the middle of a hot flash, they just want a hug and to be held right now…children that are completely crazy for me even though I have been acting completely crazy …these children that make my life so much sweeter in spite of how many moments we have, that cause me to question how the hell I became a parent again.
This past week, in the middle of “one of those” moments…you know, one of those moments when your child(who is suppose to be completely potty trained)completely shits out of her clothes, in the middle of a packed restaurant? And you are totally not prepared because they are potty trained? And your all by yourself to deal with this on your own? After figuring out how to get out of there, without getting the ice cream that was promised to 2 little people for eating all their food, without raising attention to ourselves and getting her in our van, without getting shit everywhere, and getting her home and into the bath tub, I was exasperated to say the least.
In my mind, I was screaming, “I am too old for this. I am suppose to be the fun grandma not the mommy.” As I tearfully knelt there next to the tub, cleaning her up, she grabbed my face, kissed my cheek and said, “I love you mommy.” In that moment, she melted my exasperation and any anger that I felt. She broke up my pity party with her sweet smile and her innocent expectation of my unconditional love. In reality, it doesn’t matter to her how old I am, it just matters that I am here. Of course she sensed my frustration, but regardless she knew that no matter how I am feeling, I will still take care of her and love her. What matters to her is that she can count on me.
Today, May 14th is the 2 year anniversary of us officially getting our little people. Regardless of the fact that we had them 90 % of the time leading up to this day, it is the day that their mother, my step daughter, handed them over to us. Ironically, it was the day after Mothers Day and came on the day we had reached the “enough bridge” with her. What started out to be a temporary situation and her getting her life together, has become a long battle of fighting for the best interests of 2 little people. Each month that passes by that she doesn’t get her life together, cements their place in our home.
It wasn’t suppose to be this way and this most certainly, was not what we intended, when we started down this road. As reality set in, about a year ago, that this was no longer a temporary situation, I started this blog to record my journey of becoming an unexpected mommy once again. My life was interrupted to fit in 2 little people that had already captured my heart.
You would think that the second time around would be so much easier. It’s not. Granted I loved being a mommy the first time around. Granted I have the wisdom I gained from having walked this mommy road with my 5 children. Granted I learned a trick or two through out those years, that have come in handy in the present. Granted I have learned to pick my battles and because of previous experiences, I have the ability to see more of the bigger picture, than just what is at hand. I know what comes next. I know what I am aiming for. I know what works and what doesn’t. I know that you can’t parent each of your children in exactly the same way and get the same results.
So yeah, I’ve learned a few things along the way. Regardless, these 2 little people are their own unique persons and come with their own set of challenges. It’s just that this time, I am older and come with my own set of challenges. The one thing that remains the same, is that once again, I am watching a piece of my heart, walk outside of myself and grow up before my eyes.
Raising someone else’s children, and loving them like they were your own, comes with it’s own set of challenges. When I agreed to do this, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but since I had never walked this road before, I had no idea what I had signed up for. I still don’t really know what the “right” way is suppose to look like but I do know that I would do it all over again in a heart beat. Even with all the heart ache and the life we have given up in order to do “this“, I would not think twice about it…even though I am sure we are not doing “this” perfectly, by any means, we would still choose “this” road.
Because I am so enmeshed in the “parenting” from day to day, I can’t always see how far the little people have come over these past 2 years. When I hear the insights of people that are on the outside looking in…from those that have been witness of our transformation into a family, I am reassured that we are in fact doing the right thing. People see the happy, loved, well behaved, and secure children that they are and remind us of the sad fate that would have been theirs, had we not chosen this road.
This journey of becoming a mommy again, while in my mid 40’s has changed me. I have always said that my five children, raised me up to be the woman I am today. Now, I say, these two little people, have come in to my life to work out all the quirks and rough edges…to teach me those things I didn’t learn the first time around. I think back to those first days of embarking on uncharted waters and not having a clue to what we were going to do. We didn’t plan for them to still be here but here we are 2 years later…living, loving, growing and learning how to be an unconventional family.
Today our family is 2 years old...Maybe I am too old to be a mommy…maybe there are moments that I wish I was the fun grandma and not the mean mommy that say’s “no”…but just maybe, we are all right where we are suppose to be?
P.S. I'm still not smoking.
P.S.S. I apologize for not commenting on your blogs recently. Even though I get to read occasionally, there has been no time for my computor addiction. I do plan to take some time for myself in the near future so I promise to stop by soon! Hugs and love, Lori