In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.















Thursday, May 14, 2009

On Becoming A Mommy

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

36 comments:

SciFi Dad said...

Happy Anniversary!

(And, for what it's worth, I don't think you're too old to be parents.)

Jan said...

Happy Anniversary, you sweet woman.

Congratulations on still being smoke-free!

No need for apologies - we know how busy you are these days, and what you're going through. You just take care of Lori, okay?

queenofphrump said...

Your post touches my heart intensely today.

My last couple of days have been days of questioning. Your words encourage me and while I know the same things you know about "doing it again in a heart beat" I sometimes have doubts in my ability to actually accomplish this task again. Where is the strength I wonder. Your resiliency gives me strength because somehow your blog influences my stamina. Soon I am going to pack up and move next door to you so we can physically help each other. Love to you Lori. Enjoy your anniversary and celebrate it well!

Tricia said...

This is beautiful, all of it. Sometimes the roads we never thought or expected to walk are paved with emotional gold.

Lori, my husband will be 64-years-old in a few weeks and we have a 5-year-old. He's been raising children since he was 27-years-old and even with four adult children, the sweetest thing in his life, and the most unexpected, most fulfilling thing he's ever done is to be a parent once again, but later in his life. I know it's exhausting and crazy and toll taking, but as you so beautifully pointed out...it's all so worth it, in those tiny moments when children make everything so clear. I hope you find some time for you, to nurture yourself, and all of us out here are routing for you and we know what a wonderful journey you are on.

Busy Bee Suz said...

You always make me smile. You are doing a great job with those little people..I am sure it is hard to see from the inside like you said. Just think of the wonderful adults that they will be one day because of all your hard work!!! We need more good adults in this world to make a difference...
take care and congrats on not smoking. I have been sending you good mojo!!!
Hugs, Suz

Jeannie said...

I think what you are doing is amazing and while I wouldn't ask for it to happen, I would choose the same as you have. I doubt I would have anywhere near the grace you have in doing so.

Bina said...

Yea for you still not smoking!!!

I think all of you are exactly where you are meant to be. You have basically saved two lives from turning out God knows how, and you are doing an excellent job at it.

I can't imagine how hard it must be, and the things you must think. I'm 44 and my youngest is 6. I WANTED another baby, but sometimes I daydream of my 13 year old being my youngest and thinking "5 years and it would be over". Now I'm going to be 56 when she graduates! But you know what else? It wouldn't matter, cause I am so very blessed to have her in my life, and I strongly believe that she chose me to be her mommy. I don't know why, but I am thankful every single day that she did.

Maybe the universe knew these were supposed to be your children. There is a plan there. I believe that. Just think how very special it must be to know that the divine spirit, God, Universe, whatever you believe in, decided to give these children to YOU to raise.


To me, that's a big statement.

Laura said...

I don't have little people in the house, but I have students who I try to teach. While my rough edges have barely gotten smoother, I can feel the rough spots and know that more work is to be done. They have no problem either showing you the rough spots or letting you feel them for yourselves. I have nothing but respect for you and the path you let your life take.

Good for you on the non-smoking.

♥ Braja said...

I have missed you, and have felt so bad at not being able to get to everyone's blogs. Time is slow and I don't get the chance to move thru blog world much like I used to; consequently I miss a lot. And I'm so sorry I missed a lot of your life....you're going thru so much and I feel like I wish I could have been there for you. I am now; trust me, I am here for you....any time, you dear thing....bless you for looking after those kids...
xx

Bogey said...

You are an amazing Lady and now two youngsters have an increased chance of obtaining some much needed nurturing and guidance. And I think you are right; you could write a book on your life experiences but I guess you are doing that here. I read all of your comments earlier on my blog and responded to each of them. And now this post makes so much more sense to me than if I had read it without finding your comments. Parents are such an integral part of a childs being that without them they become lost souls. Thank you so much for posting this and letting me catch a glimpse of your journey. Amazing, just simply amazing.

SSG said...

Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary and still learning the second time round. You are really someone to take inspiration from, you must have so much knowledge and experience but are still willing to learn and be flexible. Don't bother coming reading my blog- have time to yourself! Treat yourself to something nice, to reward you reaching this milestone and with no cigarettes! lori you rock!

bernthis said...

you are an incredible woman. To do all this and to not smoke,amazing. Please give yourself a pat on the back and a the gift of a massage. No one deserves it more.

MGM said...

Congrats on the not smoking. And on the beautiful family. And I totally understand the no time to read blogs thing. I'm right there with you on that!

Garnetrose said...

Wonderful post. Kudos for not smoking yet. I quit many years ago and it is not easy. You have a lovely family. Gorgeous kids. *s* Happy anniversary!!!

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Happy Anniversary! The children are so blessed to have you.

Hang in there, my friend. And congrats on the no smoking.
Don't worry about getting around to blogs. We'll be here. No worries.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Happy two year anniversary Lori. There is a special place for you in my heart. You are an amazing woman who gives so much.

Jocelyn said...

Goodness. What an appropriate post for me to read my first time here. I now, *cough cough*, have a good overview of who you are and what you're about.

Amazement. That's what you're all about.

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

Happy Anniversary girl!!!! I'm popping a bottle of champange to celebrate (yes, I know it's early but I'll add a little orange juice).
I think you are so special. I believe that I told you my grandmother raised us and we would have been lost without her. You are just a blessing for those lovely kiddos nice lady.
Oh, and very good about the smoke-free..........I still can't manage not to sneak a couple. It's hard........(whiny right??)

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Debbie said...

No apologies needed on not commenting. Look how long it took me to get to this post!
This was such a compelling post. Very touching and loving. And congrats on not smoking!!

Shangrila said...

Happy Famiversery! Some days, this mommy wants to tear her hair out-bless you for showing that acceptance leads to love and grace! All 7 of your kids are lucky to have such a great woman as their mom!

P.S. Go, you! I bet the non-smoking you is even MORE beautiful than the smoking you!

Shangrila said...

Hey, stop by my blog to pick up the Honest Blog Award I gave you!

Jason, as himself said...

So exhausting. Hang in there!

Life with Kaishon said...

I am so glad you love them as your own. They are blessed to have you! Sorry about that horrible experience in the restaurant!

midlifeslices said...

Happy Anniversary and I hope you get over the dreaded Slug flu soon. I'm still battling it and have yet to find the cure. MUAH!

Bogey said...

Well if and when you do Lori, you may want to pick up the Honest Scrap Award I left there for you. Congrats!

♥ Braja said...

Happy anniversary, Lori...and congratulations on the STILL no smoking :))
xxx

Bogey said...

Hi Lori,

I know you are busy, busy, busy but I have awarded you yet another award. If you so choose to accept and post you can pick it up anytime you have a second. I will keep it polished for ya though!

The Incredible Woody said...

Hooray for still being on the no-smoking wagon!!

Your children are so very lucky to have someone as special as you in their lives. I cannot imagine the road their lives would have gone down had you not made this decision. You are an amazing woman!

LPC said...

Hope you are doing OK. Still rooting for you.

Lover of Life said...

Hi stopping by via Bogey's blog and I can certainly understand why he nominated you for an award. This was a beautiful and soulful post. Thank you, and bless you for being the person you are.

gram said...

where have you been lori? hope all is going well for you....
take care and have a good weekend.
~cheryl~

steppinthru said...

Again you amaze me my friend! You put into words your thoughts and feelings and you show us just a glimpse of the wonderful woman you are. Your little people are very lucky to have you for their Mommy but as I tell my children who have adopted someone elses children "Those kids may never acknowledge what you have done for them because they won't know anything but the wonderful life they have had with you."
I think there are a lot of us bloggies who are struggling with our addiction to this computer. I have been off for a week or so and soon will be too busy to post much again. Summer is a time for being outside and not inside glued to this machine. Hang in there!

Fragrant Liar said...

Where you be? I hope you are well and that you are just taking a breather.

KJ

Jason, as himself said...

Oh Looo-riiiii, where are youuuuuuu? Come out and playyyy-ayyyyyyy...

Life with Kaishon said...

Just wanted to stop by and let you know I was thinking about you!

nothingfancy1 said...

Just wanted to say that no, you are not too old to be a Mommy. And to also let you know that you are missed. Hope to hear from you soon. ((Hugs))