Tornado

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Ignore the hard toothpaste covering the bathroom sink. Ignore the dirt and sand and crumbs on the kitchen floor. Ignore the message your kid wrote in the dust on his dresser.

Do a load of laundry, get it folded and put where it needs to go. Feel incredibly productive.

Ignore the empty milk jug in the fridge. Scribble a few more things on the grocery list. Wonder when there will be time to go grocery shopping. Wonder what’s for supper tomorrow. Or the next day.

Push off your kid who wants to kiss you for the millionth time because your cheek feels raw. Remember you have to leave again soon and haven’t spent any time with him. Colour a picture with him and snuggle.

Fly out the door. Come home late. Supper, lunches, homework, showers. Wonder when the little one will have a bath. Decide he looks so cute it doesn’t matter.

Play a game of checkers. Sing a song. Kiss a cheek. Pour a glass of wine.

Say probably no to coming to a school choir thing. Say yes to more important matters. Feel terrible. Tell yourself some moms miss all the school choir things. Tell yourself to shut up.

Stick your head out the back door and breathe in the rain and remember why you love your life. Watch your husband tuck the kids in and make sure the basement isn’t leaking and know he’s always there and remember why you love him.

Do dishes. Write. Finish wine.

Think about the granola, the applesauce muffins, the chocolate pudding, the granola bars, the roasted veggies, the meatloaf. All the recipes in your head this week that you can’t wait to cover your kitchen with. Promise tomorrow to bake, to cook, to laugh.

Go to bed happy, tired, a little anxious, a little guilty. Tell yourself tomorrow is a new day. A tornado. Chaos. But a new day. Even if there are hot dogs for supper and mud on the floor.

Fake it till you make it. Or at least till they move out.

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I love being a mom. It’s what I was made to do. It’s all I’ve ever pictured myself doing. This is what I was supposed to do. It’s amazing and wonderful and everything I wanted.

Except when it isn’t.

The pressure, the never-ending neediness, the cooking, the cleaning.

The bedtime tummy aches, the morning meltdowns.

The doctor appointments, the dentist appointments, the eye appointments, the hair appointments.

Always having to make the same appointments for myself last. If at all.

The worrying, the yelling, the crying.

The looks we try to ignore when we go to the store with one child who forgot shoes and decided to lay down on a bag of rice and wouldn’t get up plus two more who fist fight in the checkout line. True story.

The constant noise of people saying we need to treasure Every. Single. Minute.

I don’t want to. And I don’t think we should. I think we should own the fact that sometimes this job sucks and we want to hand in our resignation.

It’s fucking hard.

Why shouldn’t we hate it once in a while without feeling like maybe we aren’t cut out for the whole reproducing thing and probably just should have had fish?

Why can’t we say sometimes that it sucks and not be judged?

This is the hardest damn job EVER and we are supposed to cherish every single minute of it?

I call bullshit.

Every waking moment is wrapped up in the people we love. Every decision we make shapes the lives and the futures of these little people.

And at least half the time, we have no idea what the hell is going on. We didn’t go to college for this.  There was no test.

WHY ISN’T THERE A TEST?!

We’re just making shit up as we go along.

Any reputable boss would totally have fired me years ago. There are days when I’m just keeping them alive and counting down the hours.

And yet, these small people look up at us as if we can do anything. Fix anything. Be anything. Know anything.

Suckers.

But I guess that’s why, when there are holes in the walls, syrup on the floor, homework to be done, hair to be washed, blueberry applesauce on the white rug, sports practices to get to, dentist appointments to make, and toilets to clean….we can take a deep breath and say  “Yes, I can help you. Yes I can fix that. Yes I understand”

Even when we have no damn idea.

 

 

 

I Have…

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Today I want you to know….

I have a five year old boy who loves to make potions.

He grabs spices, water, food colouring and a bowl. He pours and mixes and tastes and had a great time.

I stand back and praise myself on my great parenting by letting him experiment and watch him lovingly while I imagine him becoming a great chef or possibly a brilliant scientist!

He’ll win the Nobel Prize and stand up and thank me, his mother for all times I allowed his imagination to soar!

And then I have a five year old boy with cayenne pepper on his tongue and possibly up his nose and shit gets real really fast.

A day in the life

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5am alarm.  Wake up.

Drink coffee in the lovely quiet darkness of my bedroom, preparing myself for the day ahead.

Shower, eat, wake up pretty girl and Brett.

Whisper goodbye to my mom waking up on the couch and head out the door at 6.30am.

Brett fights traffic down to Whyte Ave while I alternate between reading a book, closing my eyes and breathing and quietly telling Rachel it will all work out.

Walk in to the same clinic we’ve been walking into for the past 10 years 15 minutes late. Rachel is nauseous. So am I but I’m not telling.

Height, weight, lung test, skin check, reassuring words. Ready to go.

Swipe of peanut butter on the tongue. She doesn’t like it. We wait.

15 minutes later, 1/4 of a Ritz cracker smeared with a little PB. Watch her chew. Watch her swallow. Remind myself to breathe. Hope I don’t look scared.

Her mouth is itchy. She’s freaking out a little. My stomach plummets. I offer God a little F-U and wonder why the hell this can’t go the way we want it to.

15 minutes later. Her mouth is fine. She feels fine. Another 1/4. It’s all fine. I offer God a little apology.

15 minutes later. A whole cracker with PB. Her mouth is itchy. Her throat feels tight. Her stomach hurts. We wait. I breathe. She rages. I whisper and Brett distracts.

Dr says no more for right now. We wait.

Much later her mouth feels fine, throat still tight. Dr wants to continue. It’s Pretty Girl’s call. She says no. Dr gives her Reactine. We wait.

4 hours after walking into the office we leave. Pretty Girl is fine. Must still avoid peanuts but can eat things that say “may contain”.

We’ll try again in another few years. But until then….

She’s smiling. I’m breathing.

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to You

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Today is your birthday.

As I write this I am wrapped in a blanket with a box of Kleenex beside me while you make supper.

Your foot is so sore it hurts you to walk because you have been working non-stop on our house.

You fell 13 feet into a trench trying to move a bridge so our kids would be safe.

You have put your heart and soul into fixing our home and turning it into our dream.

I have bandaged your scrapes, rubbed your sore hands and told you countless times late at night to stop and get some sleep.

I can’t wait to see your face when you can stand back and see the finished product of all your hard work.

You are the hardest working, most dedicated man I know.

Happy Birthday to you Brett.

I love you.

 

 

 

Oh Wow..

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Tonight I left Brett home with pretty girl and bendaboo to work on the electrical in the house while I took spreeny to football. I came home late and tired, thinking about all things I still had to do to find that pretty girl had gotten Ben ready for bed and made all three lunches for school tomorrow.

And then she told me about the girl who had left school for a year and came back. This girl wasn’t very nice to R and she was really worried about her coming back. My heart was breaking for her the night before school, trying to find the right words to make her feel ok. Trying to make her feel safe and excited about going back to school.

Tonight pretty girl told me how she felt bad for this girl.

How she noticed she didn’t have anyone to talk to.

So she talked to her and sat with her.

She told me she wanted to give her another chance.

And then she hugged me and asked me if I was mad that she did that.

That she decided to forget that someone made her feel bad and do the right thing.

That she noticed someone was lonely and tried to fix that.

I hugged her tight and reassured her I wasn’t mad. I didn’t voice my fear that it wouldn’t work out. I always want her to try to do the right thing. Even if it’s a little scary. Even if no one else is doing it. Even if it might not last.

I want her to always feel empathy over anger.

I want her to care.

And tonight I realized that shining through the screaming, the tantrums, the door slamming and the crying that is a 10 year old girl….is a child with more heart and love than I could ever hope for.

And I’ve never been prouder.

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to you

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Today is a very special birthday.

A day does not go by when I don’t feel grateful for having you in my life.

You are the most amazing woman I have ever met. You are strong, loving and brave.

For as long as I can remember you have been a constant in my life. There whenever I need you. And it seems the older I get the more I need you.

Your words of wisdom.  The way you back off when I don’t want advice, just to vent. The way my children light up when they see you and hearing Ben call you his best friend.

Watching you teach your daughters and grandchildren how to make lefse.

Your brown sugar in the old peanut butter container just like grandma Alice had.

Hot chocolate and marshmallows for the kids in the morning when we have sleeepovers.

Shopping, pedicures and wine.

Love.

So much love.

Happy 70th birthday to you Mom.