Category Archives: Life

If It’s Magic

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Photo Courtesy of L.A. Screenwriter

Photo Courtesy of L.A. Screenwriter

“If It’s Magic”

If it’s magic…
Then why can’t it be everlasting
Like the sun that always shines
Like the poets in this rhyme
Like the galaxies in timeIf it’s pleasing…
Then why can’t it be never leaving
Like the day that never fails
Like on seashores there are shells
Like the time that always tells

It holds the key to every heart
Throughout the universe
It fills you up without a bite
And quenches every thirst

So…
If it’s special
Then with it why aren’t we as careful
As making sure we dress in style
Posing pictures with a smile
Keeping danger from a child

It holds the key to every heart
Throughout the universe
It fills you up without a bite
And quenches every thirst

So…
If it’s magic…
Why can’t we make it everlasting
Like the lifetime of the sun
It will leave no heart undone
For there’s enough for everyone

Stevie Wonder

What Does it Mean to Be a Woman?

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Seems like as soon as Thing 2 could talk, she has said that when she grows up she wants to be a mommy.  Not truck driver. Not doctor. Not female body builder.  Mommy.  I must tell you (and no one who knows us personally will disagree with me) that I am her absolute favorite person on the planet.  I am followed closely by Thing 1 and everyone else is on the B List.  On the other hand, Thing 1 has never said she wants to be a mommy.  Well, maybe once, but it was like a distant 25th to dancer and scientist/fashion designer.  I’ve always thought Thing 2’s desire to be a mommy was cute, but I never gave it much thought since she is only 6-years-old and her interests and life goals will morph several hundred times before she reaches adulthood.

Recently, the girls and I were having a conversation about how a woman’s body naturally goes through different seasons: preparing to reproduce, reproduction years and the end of reproduction.  I was explaining that as a woman in my late 40’s, I am at the end of my reproductive years  – hence, no little brother.  Thing 2 looked up at me and said “But, when we grow up we’re going to have babies because that’s what it means to be a woman, right? That’s what girls do, right momma?”  Suddenly, it wasn’t so cute to me anymore.

Obviously, I like kids. I mean, when we married we already had 3 kids between us yet, we had just had to keep going.  Three was for quitters. However, I do recognize that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for raising children.  In fact, I didn’t even realize how much I would enjoy being a mother until I became one.  It doesn’t work that way for everyone.  I looked at my baby girl and said “No, sweetie.  You can be a woman without ever having children and that’s okay.”

She looked a little surprised. Her sister spoke up an said “Auntie,” referring to my sister, “doesn’t have any kids and she’s a woman.”

“True,” I responded “Auntie, is childless by choice, but there are a lot of women who physically can’t have children.  They are still women.”

“Why can’t they have kids?”

“For any number of reasons all too complicated to explain. Regardless of the reason, whether you have children or not does not define you as a person or a woman.”

I felt guilty. Like the life that I have chosen to lead has somehow made my daughters believe that this is the only life to choose.  While I am very happy with the choices that I have made and the life that I live, I know that it isn’t for everyone – including them.  Their lives are only beginning and open to so many exciting possibilities I want them to know that no matter what choices they make about their careers or relationships or decisions to have children or not to have children, I’m there to support them.  And I certainly want them to know that being a woman means so much more than giving birth.

So, I pulled them close and told them that while being a mother is “a very important job that requires a lot of hard work, it is not what makes you a woman. Women are a lot of things.  We are: smart, and strong, and creative, and ambitious, and nurturing, and insightful, and caring and clever, and fast, and agile, and a lot more.  We are: writers, and lawyers, and police officers, and soldiers, and doctors, and teachers, and dancers, and engineers, and, again a lot more. Sometimes we are mommies and something else; and other times we are mommies and nothing else; and sometimes we aren’t mommies at all.  Any combination is fine and that will be your decision when you are older.”

“Yes, much older,” echoed Thing 1.

Thing 2 was looking kind of dazed, so I asked her if she understood what I had said.  She assured me that she did, saying “Yes, being a grown up woman is more than just being a mommy.”

I smiled, “Exactly!”

“And, I get to pick what kind of woman I want to be.”

“You got, sister!”

#girlpower

A PSA from My So Called Glamorous Life: The Airport Edition

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Photo Courtesy of Pixababy

Photo Courtesy of Pixababy

 

I’m baaaack!  You may not have even realized I was gone, but I returned home last night from a last-minute trip back to Illinois.  I felt like it was time to go see my mom (83-years-old and still beautiful) and just step away from things for a few days.  A side note here: While I purposely didn’t post to my blog, I had lots of brilliant ideas for blog topics.  Of course, I forgot my blog notebook so none of them were actually written.  Now, I am drawing a complete blank.

Anyway, me and my “road dawgs” (Thing 1 and Thing 2) left for our adventure while Big Poppa and the older sibs stayed at home.  This was one of the few times that it was just me traveling alone with the girls and they were awesome. They were loud, glamorous, entertaining, curious and obedient. Of course they were still kids, but over all they were well-behaved which was good because we had an 8:00 a.m. flight and well, I’m not exactly a morning person.  I may have mentioned that before, but it bares repeating – just so you understand.

As we made our way through the airport, we attracted some attention from some of our fellow travelers, also braving the early morning hours. Most of it was benign, but some of it, considering my fragile state (see paragraph above re: not a morning person) was mildly aggravating. Therefore, as a public service to humanity I decided to compile a few tips to avoid when encountering a mom traveling alone with her children.  No need to thank me because it’s the least I could do to apologize to all of those people that received a sideways glance, also known as the “stank eye” from me.

Tip #1: Before approaching or commenting, look at the mom’s facial expression.  Ignore the kids because they are oblivious.  If momma isn’t smiling or at the very least looking relaxed, just keep moving. Small talk makes things worse.

Tip #2: Kind sir, when you see mom and her kids quickly approaching with their breakfast in hand, looking for a place to sit so that they may eat while waiting to board their flight, please move your things out of the 3 seats next to you.  I realize that you think that your expensive briefcase, suit coat and bag from the news stand need their own space, but they really don’t.  They will be fine on the floor.  Also, when momma looks at you like you have lost your ever-loving mind, don’t look offended.  Just move.

Tip #3:  Keep in mind that by the time you encounter momma and her kids boarding the plane, she has probably been at this for a couple of hours (you know, getting the kids up early to get to the airport in the first place?).  So, when you hear her child asking question, after question, after question these are probably questions number 398, 399 and 400.  Not questions 1, 2 and 3.  When mom seems a bit impatient, do not pipe up with “She’s just curious,” or “Maybe she’s forgotten.”  Just don’t.  Particularly if you’re traveling alone.  Think your thinks silently.  Because you are going to get the chance to read your book, or take a nap or have deep thoughts without anyone looking out the airplane window and asking “Where are we right now?” As if you’re some sort of atlas.  *I actually tried to fake my way through that question only to be met with “But why would be traveling in that direction?  Shouldn’t we be going northeast?” That’s when I gave her the stank eye.

Tip #4: Finally,  fellow passengers, when flying on the carrier that has first come first serve seating, be aware that generally when a mom is traveling with her young kids, it’s probably best for everyone if they all sit together or at least near each other, if possible.  So, when she starts down the aisle looking for at least 2 seats near one single seat, do not avert your eyes as you sit in the aisle blocking the way to two empty seats.   She sees you and believe me when I say that if she doesn’t find 3 seats together, she is going make her way back down that aisle and deposit her kids next to you. You can answer the “Where are we now?” question while she takes a nap.  *By the way, when that flight attendant motioned to me to come to the very last row where there were 3 seats, you should have jumped up and hugged her because I was making my way back to you, babe. 

There.  I’ve done my part. You’re welcome.

 

An Open Letter to American Girl: An Update

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Just over a month ago I posted an open letter to American Girl following the company’s decision to retire several of their historical dolls, including Cecile, one of two African – American dolls, and Ivy, the only Asian doll.  My letter was seen by thousands of people and I received numerous comments across all social media platforms.  Most of the comments were very supportive and even those of you that disagreed with me did so respectfully (for the most part) and I thank you for that.   A lot of you asked me to provide an update should I actually hear from American Girl (“AG”).  Well, I have heard from AG and I have some thoughts.

American Girl reached out to me personally to discuss my concerns about the inclusion/marketing of ethnic dolls within their product offerings and I sincerely appreciate their efforts.  Clearly they do understand how important it is to respond to their customers; keeping in mind that thousands of their current and potential shoppers read the letter.  Was there anything revealed that made me see things differently? No. Was there anything in our discussions that made me feel better about the situation?  Not really.  Ultimately, AG defended the diversity of their dolls across all products lines and assured me that with the release of the new historical line this fall, there would be a more ethnically balanced representation of different eras in our country’s history.

In regard to the Girl of the Year doll, I’m not sure that the company understands the importance of getting this right.  While I was not told “no,” they would not ever produce another Girl of the Year of color;  I was also not told “yes,” that they would. While I understand that they can’t accommodate every customer by producing a doll in every ethnicity, I also understand that this is a process.  You have to start somewhere.  Everyone knows that Girl of the Year is the face of American Girl and their most buzzed about product.  Sure, they offer ethnic dolls in other lines, but to not offer an ethnically diverse line of Girl of the Year dolls is kind of like saying “Yes, you can come to my party and I will accommodate you, but I’m not going to actually invite you.”   AG has to let brown girls be the star of the show sometimes if it wants to maintain and grow its customer base.

Probably, the best result of this whole thing is that the company is using my letter to start internal conversations about the issue of diversity.  This, to me, is major because absolutely nothing can ever be accomplished without constructive dialogue.  Obviously, I want that dialogue to lead somewhere and the only way to judge if there has been any progress is to see movement on the part of the company.  Therefore, I will still be keeping my eye on AG, but this time with my credit card held firmly in my pocket. No more teas, excursions or shopping sprees.  At least for now. I am using this opportunity to teach my girls how to be smart consumers. I want them to understand that they don’t need these dolls. They are a luxury that they can definitely do without.  Children are never too young to learn about their spending power and that companies really only pay attention to one thing…money.

Thank you all, again for reading, sharing and commenting (including those of you who disagreed with me – a healthy, respectful debate is a good thing). Also, thank you again American Girl for taking the time to respond.  Hopefully, I will be able to dine in that pink, black and silver dining room on Michigan Avenue again in the future.  I really want you to do right by all of these beautiful, brown American girls.

 

We Must be Super Sciency

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Audra and science

Today we started a new science module for the summer.  My girls love science, but I was planning to keep it simple. We began by going over some basic terms (observe, analyze, infer, etc.) then we reviewed the scientific method.  They had been asking (every. single. day.) when we were going to get started on the science workbooks that I bought for them, but, if I’m going to keep it really real here, science required more input from me than I was willing to give.  I just wasn’t ready, but eventually I got there and we are easing into it.

A little ways into the lesson Thing 1 excitedly asks “Do we get to take a science test?” Her face looked like she had just asked me if we get to go Disney World.

“Uumm, no, ” I replied, slightly taken aback.  “You want to take a test over science?”  I looked at Thing 2, who was animatedly nodding in agreement and I was suddenly sure that I was being set up for something because this was unnatural.

“YES! I LOVE ANSWERING QUESTIONS ABOUT STUFF I LIKE!” Thing 2 yelled. She yells when she is excited.

Just then her sister, Thing 2, chimed in, laughing and grinning while waving her arms in the air, and said “Well, not a test, but a experiment! YES! YES!”

By now they both were on their feet jumping around dancing and skipping.  I tell you it was straight out of some weird sci-fi movie and I was s-c-a-r-e-d.

“We could do something splatuous and all explodey!!!” Thing 2, continued.

Huh???

“YES, IT DEFINITELY MUST EXPLODE!!!”  Thing 1 was yelling again.

“Then there will be all of this smoke and dust around.” Thing 2 was lost in this wistful gaze that I can only describe as , well, weird.

As they continued creating their science experiment fantasy, I sat there with my cup of iced coffee wondering if anyone else’s kids are as freaking crazy as my own.  No, probably not.  Obviously, somehow I was straddling the line between reality and an alternate universe.  One where kids like science, vegetables, clean bedrooms and brushing their teeth.  I don’t even know what “splatuous” means.  I googled it and even Google hasn’t heard of it. She’s using words that even Google doesn’t know.  I was dazed and confused for a bit, but when I heard mention of pink lab coats with their names embroidered in silver stitching, I knew that I had to regain control of the situation.

“Girls. Girls! GIRLS!”

They stopped twirling and looked at me. I think that I must have looked stupid, not sharing in the merriment, and all.

“I really just want the two of you to complete the first page in the workbook.”

They sat down, opened the books and stared.  Then Thing 2 turned to me and said “This is it?  This is soooo easy.”

They were disappointed, but they finished the page, excused themselves and left me there to wallow in my inadequacies.

Never in my life did I think that I would be judged  so harshly for my ability (or lack thereof) to provide a stimulating and entertaining science experience over summer vacation.  And what kind of comeback was there for me to use? “Do you ungrateful brats know how lucky you are to have a mother that even buys you science workbooks for the summer?”  Doesn’t work does it?

However, I am determined to rebound from this temporary setback.  This Mom Fail, if you will.  I will dig deep to create a summer science module that will satisfy even these two crazy girls in their quest to be “super sciency” – sans pink lab coats with silvery embroidery, of course. Yes, I will include an experiment or two, although I seriously doubt that it will be “splatuous” and “explodey”.  But first, I’m going to go to bed and then I’m going to get up and drink coffee…and then I’m going to pray.

That Voice You Hear is My Conscience

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Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

 

 

 

What if others could hear your struggles with your conscience?  That tug of war between what you think you should do and what your really want to do. Or, sorting out words that shouldn’t even be roaming around your head let alone said out loud.  What if people could hear you thinking “Can I say this?  That’s probably inappropriate no matter how true.”  I have recently decided that I need to keep a thesaurus handy for those moments when my appropriate words fail me and my conscience is on mute.

I was sitting next to Thing 2 while she practiced her piano and she was being particularly goofy.  She was complaining about having to repeatedly  play each song so many times; stopping and starting and stopping and starting.   Usually this is not the case and she willingly practices without much urging, but this particular night was not that easy.  I reminded her that if she would just sit down and focus, she could get it over with in no time.  Still she dilly – dallied.  Suddenly she stopped, looked at me and said “You hear that voice?  That’s my conscienence.”

“Your conscienence?  Do you mean your conscience?” I asked.

“Yes, my conscience.”

For a minute I wondered if she really thought that her conscience is supposed to be heard outside of her head.  I also wondered if she might be hearing voices and losing her mind.  Then she said “It says focus! focus! and then I focus on my piano playing.”  That was about the time that I realized that I heard it, too and looked up to see her sister, Thing 1, standing on the stairs whispering “Focus! Focus!”  Not your conscience at all, girlie.  Just a sister who wants you to get done with piano practice because she desperately wants to play mermaids with you.

Lately, I have been pretty much consumed by a few situations where what I want to do is vastly different from what I believe I should do.  I have always been one to be governed by doing the right thing.  Rise above it all and take the high road. Yep, that’s me in a nut shell. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to question my motives and if, in fact, what appears to be right is really right.  Here’s the thing – sometimes when you do something just because you think it’s the right thing to do, you end up sacrificing so much of yourself that it doesn’t benefit anyone.  You feel drained, unappreciated, bitter and angry. Often no one even notices how it’s affecting you, including you.  It’s after you step out of the situation that you feel relief from pressure that you don’t even realize that you’re under.

Admitting all of this to a friend or a loved one who has grown to expect a certain response from you isn’t always easy.  In fact, it might even feel a bit like you’re failing someone who has come to depend on you.  You’re not.  I’m not.   I’ve had to learn this for myself.  Of course, there are times when doing the right thing is absolutely necessary, regardless of how you or I might feel about it.  However, I’ve had to learn that at times, what I’m listening to isn’t my conscience at all, but some crazy notion that I have to be more than I really am.  I don’t. There will be times when what I say and do may seem to be selfish or self-serving and it might actually be true.  I’m okay with that because for the first time in my adult life, I’m okay with not needing to be everything to everyone in my life. I have absolutely nothing to prove.  I’m 47-years-old and I’d say that it’s about time.

 

Why Are You Having Another Child at Your Age?

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So, have you breathed a sigh of relied since the end of the school year has finally come?  Or are you one of the parents that dread the end of school because you will soon have to deal with what to do with the kids over summer break?  Over the past two weeks I have been crazy busy with end of school activities and preparing for Thing 1’s ballet recital (non-stop rehearsals), which are both now over.  Thank heavens for tender mercies.  Next comes a few days of relaxing before the “Mom, I’m bored!” kicks in.   Personally, I think a little boredom can be good for you because it encourages creativity.  We’ll just see how creative we all become over the next few months.

Last night, while catching up on email that I neglected over that past few days, I came across a note from a reader looking for my perspective on having children later in life and the negativity from others that can often come with it.  While I am not an advice column/blog, this is a topic that I can definitely relate to, seeing as I had my last child at the age of 41.  While the reader wants to remain anonymous, she asked that I respond publicly because “I am sure that I am not the only person who has dealt with this.”  No, you’re not.  Here is an excerpt of her e-mail:

“Lisa, I am a 43-year-old mother of 3, expecting my 4th child this August.  Both my husband (also 43) and I are over joyed, but it seems like we are the only ones.  Family and friends are always reminding us how old we will be when these kids are teenagers implying that we are selfish and should stop.  Doctors are constantly warning us of the dangers [birth defects] of having children later in life. Money isn’t always plentiful, but somehow we make it without asking for anyone’s help. My family thinks we are thoughtless. ”

“…I just don’t understand why so many people have so many opinions on our choice to have more children!”

First of all, let me say congratulations on the impending birth of your new son or daughter!  As my husband always says “There’s nothing like new life.”  When we told everyone that we were expecting our fifth and last child, I’d say that shock was the most common response we received. This was followed closely by the question “Why are you having another child at your age?”  Then there was the comment “You guys need a new hobby.” Or, “Can’t you just watch t.v.?”   Oh, wait!  Let’s not forget “Have you ever heard of birth control?” People would say to my husband “Man, you’re going to have to work until you’re 80 – years – old!”  While this may not be too far from the truth, it’s not exactly the thing to say to a man expecting another child.  Finally, the straw that broke the camel’s back was when a friend asked my husband what type medicinal assistance he was using to be able to…ahem…produce these children in his late forties (after all, she was our second in 18 months).  To say that Big Poppa was offended would be an understatement. It was then that we stopped socializing.

I’m sorry that what should be such a happy time for you and your husband is turning out to be stressful. However, the thing to remember is most people who ask these questions genuinely mean well.  They are just thoughtless.   In all honesty, we did not intentionally get pregnant with our last child.  She was a glorious and wonderful surprise which meant that we had to readjust our thinking, also.  Could we have used more supportive commentary from others?  Definitely, but all of the negativity made us draw closer to one another.  We were like-minded and that was all that mattered.

Likewise with how we handled the physicians.  Keep in mind that doctors are trying to cover their own behind, so to speak.  Should anything go wrong during your pregnancy and birth of your child they want to be sure that they have told you every possible scenario at least twice so that you don’t blame them for the outcome.  While we understood why the doctors were so insistent on getting this information across to us, we got tired of hearing it.  As you know, us Moms of Advanced Age (or MAA, as I like to refer to it)  have special doctors and ramped up schedules all designed to remind us just how old we really are. I’m only kidding a bit here.  Somewhere  at the end of my second trimester, Big Poppa made it clear to my high risk specialist that we indeed knew of all the risk associated with having children at our age and requested that he cease with this line of conversation.  It took a couple of reminders, but he finally got the message.

The truth is that you can’t stop people from talking.  However, you can put distance between you and the talkers.  You need to build your support group with people who are providing positive feedback, while not getting caught up in the negativity yourself.  Soon your new son or daughter will be here and this will all be a distant memory.  Looking back, I recognize that most of what was being said was out of concern for our well-being.  I believe that the same is probably true for you.  So, try to relax and enjoy these next few months before your new little one arrives.  Avoid the naysayers and give a lot of people the benefit of the doubt because soon they will be celebrating with you.  I hope this helped and thank you for stopping by. 🙂

 

Lisa

 

Sticks and Stones

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supermom

 

If you could have any one superpower what would it be?  That was the question that I put to my Rising Bloggers group for the link up that I’m hosting this week (click on the link at the end of this post to read more from my fellow bloggers).  At the time that this came to me, I was in the middle of laundry, cooking, cleaning, counting box tops, etc.  I would have given anything to be able to do it all with the wave of a hand like Samantha on Bewitched.  However, it was not to be and the laundry is still not completed; there are still box tops left to be counted; and dinner was less than Pinterest worthy.

As the week went on, my desired superpower changed several times depending on the circumstances.  At one point I wanted to be Wonder Woman with that cool, invisible jet because I do nothing besides cart my kids around after school from one activity to another.  I figured the jet would be more fun and much cuter.  Then there was the moment that I wanted to be Dr. Bruce Banner.  Not because I wanted to be some super smart physicist, but because I seriously wanted to bust out some Hulk moves (minus the turning green part, of course) on the woman in the grocery store who was holding up the line arguing about the validity of her expired coupon.   Then for a while I wanted to be Jean Grey.  You know, Phoenix…X-Men…Cyclops’ wife and Wolverine’s obsession?  She is a level five mutant with the powers of telepathy and the ability to not only know the thoughts of others, but also to impose her thoughts upon others. She can initiate astral travel (out-of-body experiences), and can mentally stun her opponents with psionic force.  Additionally she possesses telekinesis, allowing her to levitate; manipulate objects and other people, generate force fields, fly…and some other stuff.  In a word, she is BAD!  I’m aware that she can’t control her powers and eventually loses her mind, but I’m not really focusing on that part.  Just the total control part.    By the way, the only reason that I know absolutely anything about Jean Grey, or any mutant, or any superhero is thanks to my son and my husband – the lovable nerds that they are.  I know that you’re relieved now.

However, during a conversation with my youngest daughter, I started to think about things a bit differently.  She was relaying to me an exchange that she had with a certain friend of hers when she said “You know what Tracy says when someone says something mean to her?”

“What does she say?”  I asked.

“She says: Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”

“Ah, yes. I’ve heard that before. What do you think about that?”

She thought for a minute then said “Momma, that’s not true because when people say mean things it does hurt.  Sometimes it hurts really, really bad and for a long time.”

“Yes, I agree with you,” I told her. “That’s why I want you to think about the words that come out of your mouth toward others.  You don’t want to cause hurt feelings or be unkind.”

I have often thought that there are too many people walking around who are hurting.  Their pain goes deep and for the most part, no one pays any attention to them until something drastic happens.  Those people need a hero.  The superpower that I really want is the power to heal, but not in the way that you might think.  I don’t necessarily mean to heal the physical body, although that would be great, but the power to heal the heart and soul.  All of us are the walking wounded and the world is a big, loud, noisy place with a lot of hateful words being shouted at us.   We all carry scars – some brought on by well intending, but misguided parents.  Some injured by abusive relationships and others carrying the weight of depression brought on by guilt and shame.  Those are the people that I wish that I could touch in some way and remove their pain.  Somehow let them know that we are all one in our imperfections.

What started out as a light-hearted topic for a fun writing exercise has evolved in a real search to find how I can touch someone’s life in a meaningful and intentional way.  It’s no longer about figuring out which superpower I’d like to posses, but more about helping someone else find their inner super hero.

Sometimes, It’s Just This

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Bouquet of plumeria flowers

 

 

Reach out to someone this week and just listen to them…you never know what they may be going through.  Sending you all love and peace,

 

Lisa

 

Hold On

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Hold on for the ride.

Hold on for the ride.

 

Eminem the philosopher.  I think he got it right. Life is really unpredictable, isn’t it?  That may qualify as an understatement, at least for me. Growing up I took so much for granted and I did not give much attention to the “how’s,” “what’s” and “why’s” of life. I see this in my grown children and it really drives me crazy.  I often have to remind myself that they are no different than I was, so don’t judge too harshly.  However, that’s the thing – I want them to be better than I was.  I want their pathways to be smoother and their tough pills to swallow, a little more palatable than mine were.  I’m a mom, that’s what I do.

I give advice and sometimes they take it and sometimes (usually) they don’t.  They have to make their own decisions and live with the results – good or bad.  Now, looking back, I can appreciate that, but then, not so much.  I see them struggling.  They prefer the security of home, but are itching to be on their own.  They are hesitant and yes, a bit scared.  I totally get it because I was once in their shoes. Headstrong, adventurous, curious and hopelessly optimistic…that was me then.  I’m still headstrong and curious, but a bit less adventurous and optimistic.  I think the word that I would now choose instead is “realistic”.  I’ve learned a lot from my past and I wouldn’t trade my life for anything even with the bumps and bruises.

Recently I’ve seen this meme on Facebook:

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest

 

Hold on.  Those would be the two words that I would have written in that note to myself.  They are also the two words that I tell to my older children.

When the world is your playground and your opportunities are plentiful, hold on;

When the lights seem to dim and your options are few, hold on;

When you can’t sleep at night because the butterflies of young love flutter in your heart, hold on;

When you can’t sleep because you are heart-broken and alone, hold on;

When the blessings are bountiful be grateful and hold on;

When your blessings are few and you are sure that God has forgotten you, hold on;

When you want to high-five yourself because you scored a great deal on a used car, hold on;

When you realize that there’s not enough money to go around and maybe you should have stuck with public transportation instead of buying that used car, hold on;

When you find “The One”  – that perfect person that you want to spend your life with, hold on;

When the inevitable ups and downs of marriage cause you to question your sanity, hold on;

When your first child is born – the most perfect baby in the world –  and you are consumed with a love that is greater than anything that you have ever known, hold on;

When only two years later that perfect baby is a not so perfect child that tearfully screams “I HATE YOU!”, hold on

When you finally save enough money to purchase a new house, hold on;

When your new house becomes an old, drafty, worn down money pit, hold on; and

When life takes you on this wonderful, heart stopping, amazing and even sometimes terrifying ride, hold on.

Admittedly, not every moment of this life, my life, has been good.  In fact, some of it has been downright horrible.  I think most of us can agree with that to some degree.  There have been moments when I’ve been tempted to let go, throw in the towel and be done with it all.  Those were my lowest points and thankfully it wasn’t the norm.  However, I had no idea those days would come and if given the chance, I would alert my younger self to that fact. I would tell her that there are going to be a lot more sweet spots than dark days and sometimes you are going to have to look for them.  Just. Hold. On.

 

*This post was written in response to a blog prompt “If you could write a note to your younger self…” given by Cynthia at Centering Down.  If you would like to read other posts by my fellow bloggers, please click here.