An Angel on Earth

Her smile lights up a room

Her wide smile pierces my soul every time

How can this perfect of a being

be standing right in front of me?

How lucky I am to be blessed

with such grace in the form of kin

She’s more than the barefoot child

running down the sidewalk,

wind blowing through her blonde curls

She’s the warmth you feel in your blood

as she wraps her arms around your neck

She’s the sun and the moon and the sea

and a mixture of everything that shines and glows

She’s the rain that cleanses

and the trees that dance in the breeze

How can I not sit and admire her?

She radiates purity and

embodies a free spirit

A true angel on earth

Eight Hours

It feels like along time when you’ve got to work that long each day to make a living.

But today has gone so fast, and all I’ve done is lie on the couch.

I woke up this morning feeling fine. I showered, got Della ready for daycare, and as I was standing at the mirror doing my makeup I felt something come over me. I became light-headed and felt faint. I immediately went to my bed and called Dylan. He is so good at talking to me and calming me. He walked me through some slow breathing and I started to feel a bit better.

I took Della to daycare and as I was getting her out of the car I realized that I had forgotten her diaper bag. Mom fail. I had to drive back home, grab her bag, and take it back to daycare. My hands were shaky and I was feeling so weak, so I decided it best to take a sick day and stay home and relax.

So here I’ve been. Sitting on the couch because I feel too weak to even walk across the house. Not sure what it is, but I’m playing it safe.

Crazy to think that a work day’s length is much shorter when you aren’t at work.

The Independence Curve

My daughter is getting so intelligent that it’s beginning to pain me. She is no longer the small infant that we goo’ed over not so long ago. I remember when we first brought her home, I would put her swing right next to the couch and just watch her sleep all day long. I held those little fingers and toes in my hands and marveled over the idea that my body made hers.

“Sleep when the baby sleeps.” Yeah, right. Have you seen this perfect babe? And your advice is quite literally the advice that all parents get and CHOOSE to ignore.

I now enjoy the old pictures of how small and fragile she used to be, because it reminds me of how strong, capable, and smart she has become. We have so many wishes for our children, but they always somehow turn out better than we could have ever imagined. Where my daughter once cried for the things she needed, she is now belting out requests with confidence. Her vocabulary has expanded and I’m often wondering, ‘How did she learn that word? I didn’t teach her that word!’ It’s hard to grasp that she is learning from the world around her, and the world around her isn’t always with me.

Another thing about this time period, is that she is becoming less of something we own or have responsibility of, and more of her own little human with her own little human beliefs, wants, and interests. When you first have a baby, it feels almost like an object you own. You feed it and bathe it and take it with you wherever you go. It doesn’t do much, doesn’t say much. But then… Before your eyes, this little gift you lugged around with you is no longer helpless. It’s getting bigger and smarter and needing you less.

I have talked to my fiancée about this, because it’s probably one of the coolest things to witness firsthand. One day you are meeting them for the first time, and the next day you realize that they have developed favorite TV shows and favorite foods, they’ve met and loved people that you don’t know as well they do, and they even know what they do and don’t want to do! The amount of things that they are doing and feeling and learning that don’t rely on you teaching them is getting smaller and smaller. It’s scary and beautiful and amazing.

I’m on a learning curve. I am aware that her independence is going to make some things harder for me. I have learned that if she won’t put on her shoes when I ask, that all I need to do is grab another pair of shoes and let her choose which ones she wants to wear. All of a sudden, the decision to put on her shoes was completely her idea and I get to play along with my own wisdom. I did this with a shirt the other day too, and it worked. I’m learning – it may take awhile before I learn all of the cheats, but hey! Progress is progress, right?

EOD Thoughts: 02.09.2021

Motherhood tested me tonight.

I had really an overall okay day at work. The day seemed to go by fast, but I was in meetings from 10am to 1230, so days always seem to fly when I have a lot of meetings.

Everyday I get off of work and go pick up my daughter from daycare. This morning was rough when I dropped her off because she just screamed MOMMMYY when I tried to walk out the door. I hate mornings like that because I feel so guilty leaving her behind when she’s screaming for me, but sometimes that’s just what you’ve go to do.

When I picked her up today, her babysitter said she had been in and out of timeout all day because she was hitting and pushing down some of the other kids.

My daughter is definitely an alpha female. I can already tell she is a leader instead of a follower, but I’m beginning to wonder how in the world we are going to teach her the limit not to cross with her personality type.

Tonight putting her to bed was awful. She did not want to lay down so we had to just leave the room and let her soothe herself. It took her probably less than five minutes to quiet down, but the guilt of leaving her to cry always eats at me.

Parenting is hard. And the fact that it’s never going to get easier is exhausting to think about.

Regardless, I’m soaking in every moment we have together now- even if she almost pushes me to my breaking point sometimes. She makes my life better even on her worst days and I wouldn’t trade it for a second.

………………………

Tonight’s Reflection Quote:

Two Years

My daughter turned TWO on January 5th. It’s seems hardly imaginable that that much time has passed since we met her.

She’s smart

Strong

Sassy

She’s the funniest kid I know.

She wants what she wants when she wants it.

She’s beautiful, but her beauty is more than just her long lashes and captive smile.

She is gentle and when her arms are wrapped around my neck, I feel like there is nothing wrong in the world. She cries when she sees me cry and murmurs, “Mama” when she first wakes up.

She has changed our lives in the best way possible and I’m thankful for her every day.

She makes me patient and kind and responsible and joyous.

Happy 2nd birthday, sweet girl!

A Vulnerable Heart

I held you in my arms

Minutes after you were born

I looked into your perfect, sweet face

And felt something in my heart

That has yet to be recreated

There is no love like a Mother’s

We feel your pain deeper than you do

Our hearts swell with pride

Even when you don’t notice the value of your success

We do our best trying to find the balance

Between your protection and your learning experiences

You never know how vulnerable your heart can be

Until you understand that you’ll never know the limits of the infinite

You never know how vulnerable your heart can be

Until you feel every worry held tightly in the grasp of your brow

You never know how vulnerable your heart can be

Until your deepest exhales are only released after your safety has been confirmed

You never know how vulnerable your heart can be

Until you have to be content with feeling completely exposed

You never know how vulnerable your heart can be

Until you become a Mother

The Soul-Awakening Power of Motherhood

Let’s talk about

milestones.

Watching your child grow and explore their environment has always had such a hold on me. I can’t help but feel such a disconnection between the child I was once pregnant with and the child I’m now watching run, talk, and grow. The milestones of pregnancy are amazing,too. One month they’re the size of a peanut and before you know it, you can’t tie your own shoes.

But that’s different.

You don’t get to see the amazing growth happen right in front of you. I often sit on our couch and watch Della play with toys. She will sit there and study the doll, turning her around in her hands over and over. Then realize that there is an odd part of the doll’s shirt where the pieces of fabric are fastened together. She pull and tug on that odd contraption until she wiggles it just right that the shirt comes undone. Now I can tell by the look on her face that she is interested.

What does this do?

Why is this like this?

I continue to watch her as she learns the process of undressing and dressing dolls without saying a word. And without help! I am literally Della’s best cheerleader…

I fell into this amazed and wondrous state after every. single. milestone. Sometimes that happened every day, which is why motherhood is single-handedly the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever experienced.

And I never want to take that for granted.

So, yeah, sometimes I sit and watch my child play in admiration. Life is happening all around us. It’s easy to not pay attention to. We fall into spells where life feels so mundane and routine that we forget that everything is changing. All around us! In our children, in our homes, in our communities… I’d make the argument that nothing is the same.

But this is just something I constantly feel because the power of motherhood hits me so strongly sometimes. Yesterday I took Della’s crib out of her bedroom and now in it’s place is a toddler bed. I know some won’t understand my emotions about getting a new bed, and I also know that some can feel a tinge in their heart because they know exactly where I’m going with this. I had to let go of that bed. Once your child is past a milestone, all you have left is the memory of the excitement you felt while celebrating those moments. Making the transition from crib to toddler bed is no small task for a mother consumed in parenthood. Della has been in that crib since she was six months old. Now she is nearly two. I’ve said farewell to the tiny child Della was not so long ago, and I am now welcoming the new, more experienced Della that is to come. Letting go is hard. Celebrating milestones are fun. Every day is different if you pay close enough attention.

Nothing is the same.

That’s why we should enjoy every second we can as it’s happening.

You never know the true, raw power of motherhood until it reaches you so deeply it awakens your soul.

There is nothing else in this world that can give you that kind of power.

I’m not always the best mom

I’m not always the best mom

Sometimes I raise my voice

Sometimes I just want to be left alone

Sometimes at 3am I mutter that I’m tired of being a mom

Sometimes I don’t pay enough attention

Sometimes I would rather go to a restaurant and not have to deal with a child that can’t still quiet and still for an hour

Sometimes I just want to sleep in

Sometimes I feel like there are others doing far better than me

But I’m trying

I’m human

I thank God every night that I’ve got a healthy, beautiful child that lights up my life

But it’s not always easy

Sometimes I’m easy to get hot headed

And sometimes I say things I don’t mean

But I hope she knows that she is absolutely the best thing about my life

I’m learning and I’m growing

I’m not always the best, but I do try my hardest to help you learn how to navigate this world that is full of emotion, heartbreak, lessons to be learned, and constant change

Summer popsicles ☀️

Like an Angel

The curls frame her face as if God himself placed them perfectly

Oh, how her hair has changed so much since the day she was born

Where her entire hand once wrapped around one of my fingers,

She now holds my hand as we cross the street

She looks up at me and smiles, a mouth full of teeth

Her sweet innocence tugging at my heart

How could I ever live without her?

Her laugh can fill the room

And her kisses bring tears to my eyes

Being her mother has changed me in all of the best ways

Patience

Comfort

Understanding

Bravery

Compassion

My sweet Della Rae,

You are my saving grace

Della21

 

Letting Go of Anger

I have a hard time talking about my mom.

Sometimes when I’m with friends I just want to sit and talk and talk about all of the good, the bad, and in-between.

Tonight I found myself spewing random memories and feelings at some of the friends in my unit and I noticed when I said something that I hadn’t ever before found the right words to describe how I feel.

You know, sometimes you just word vomit and as you’re explaining something, the words just fall into the right pattern. I was explaining how the relationship with my mom is really hard and I found myself saying

“It’s not that I’m actively angry at her. I don’t put any energy into my feelings toward her. It’s more that I’m passive aggressively angry at her.”

I don’t even know if that really makes sense to people that haven’t ever experienced what I have when it comes to having an estranged relationship with their mom.

But what I mainly mean is that… I’m really, truly not actively angry anymore. I’m no longer looking for reasons to be upset and I don’t spend much time thinking about what I could have done differently. I understand that addiction has underlying explanations and I understand that none of those reasons are a result of something that a child does. I was seven years old when DCFS took my sister and I from our mother, and though it felt like it was my fault at that time, I now understand that there are multitudes of reasons why it happened.

And none of those reasons were because of something I did.

I know that I was innocent in the matter and I’ve accepted that it’s part of my past that I can’t change, even though I so desperately wish things were different. Of course part of me wishes I could have done anything to make matters different, but that is just simply not the case.

So I guess the best way to describe my feelings is that I’m not actively putting any energy into being angry. Of course I still feel sad and upset, but I’m more passive aggressive towards the situation than I ever have been in my entire life. There were days in my junior high years when I punched walls with anger and cried myself to sleep – and I’m not saying I still don’t have hard days accepting what my life is – I’m just no longer wasting any energy on hating my mom for everything that she wasn’t. I’m no longer wishing I could have been better for her. I’m no longer feeling like the reality of our relationship was at the mercy of my own hands.

I was a child and she was wrapped up in addiction.

And that’s all there is to it. No more. No less.

quote-anger-aristotle