Monthly Archives: May 2013

Yes. Yes, I did.

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Tonight, I did it.  In a hurried moment, I didn’t even think twice.  I just got in my car and drove to Home Depot wearing socks and Crocs.  That is who I am now.  I am the parent who has so little time some days that all sense of what is right and wrong has gone out the window.  I confess, I did that.

Beyond my obvious fashion failure today (and really, no offense meant if this is part of your daily ensemble), I was aware of how quickly time is passing.  Day to-day, minutes are full of household chores, new discoveries and adventures and squeezing in couple time which usually revolves around Downton Abbey these days.  Week to week and month to month, I lose little pieces of who my son was in those moments, now swallowed by who he is becoming.

My boy said something funny last night as he was falling asleep, “Ima. M needs to talk.  When M is a grown-up, I want to drink beer. That’s ok M do that.”  Beyond just being a funny thing for a 2 1/2 year old to say, it was also poignant.  I pictured my grown son with his facial hair and tattoos (cause if you know him, you know it’s coming), sitting next to me at the bar.  I know that I will blink and we will be there for real.

Today, I am reminded to slow down, to stop and take a second to absorb the seconds, to breathe deeply because this will all pass so quickly.  Maybe, if I take a moment to do these things, I will remember to take my socks off before I leave the house.

-Betsy

Two Mamas

images-4Yesterday at the playground I could tell M was working something out.  He would look at the family next to us, three kids and their dad, then smile a little.  I didn’t think much of it.  He was more than content on the tire swing, so we just kept swinging.  After a few minutes went by, he looked at me, smiled and said, “Their daddy is pushing them.  That’s funny.”
“Why is that funny?”
“Just funny.  M doesn’t have a daddy.  M has two mamas.  A Mama and an Ima,” as he threw back his head and laughed a big open mouth laugh as he continued to spin around while he flew back and forth.

The other day, my mom told me that a friend of hers asked what we are going to tell M about not having a father.  She apparently said it like “that poor thing”.  We have always been honest with M about having two moms and not having a dad.  Of course we will explain what a donor is one day, but M is being raised to know that there are all kinds of families.  His Ima has one dad and no mom.  I have a mom and a dad.  He has friends with one mom, a mom and a dad, two moms, two dads.  We surround ourselves with loving people from a variety of contexts.  So, to my mother’s friend, we tell him he has two moms who love him more than anything.  Seems to me, he’s gotten the message.

-Betsy

If my son is straight…

If my son is straight, his girlfriends can go ahead and thank me for raising such an enlightened man.  (If he is gay, this story might not matter very much.)

So, M is so young that we are only now starting to ask for privacy in the bathroom.  Sometimes, he just walks in even if we ask for said privacy as we have not gotten into the habit of using the lock.  No big deal except that M has two moms and about once a month each, a special visitor comes to town. Got it?

Today, M and I are out and about in the car.  He had just been singing at the top of his lungs.  When the song ended, he grinned at me and said, “Look Mama! A pad!”  He had proudly stuffed a wad of paper between his legs.

I am sure this is one of those stories that he will one day (like when he is 12) want to kill me for sharing, but it kind of made my night.

-Betsy

Tractor Ride

ImageThis evening, we went for a tractor ride around a farm near where we live.  It was the three of us, a man, a woman and the driver (the husband of the woman in the back with us).  We had a lovely tour of the farm, but the whole time I could tell they were trying to figure us out.  S told M to go sit by Mama and I told him to wave to Ima.  We asked all sorts of questions about them on the twenty-minute tour yet they didn’t ask us a single one other than M’s age.

Halfway through the ride, the drive stopped and asked M if he wanted to ride with him on the tractor.  He did and loved it.  Buckled in, he bounced all around and hung on for dear life.  At the end of the ride, I walked over to the tractor to collect M and the driver said to M,”Here is…um…someone you know.”

Fascinating.  And accurate.  My son does know me.  What went through my head was that all of these people were judging us.  They couldn’t figure out how the three of us fit.  They didn’t see that we are cogs from the same wheel. They didn’t see us as a family.

The reality may have been that the driver and the other people in the trailer with us didn’t even think twice about our family.  The reality may have been that the drive stumbled over his words because he is in his seventies and was handing me a heavy toddler from above.  The reality may be different from my reality.

Obviously, I can’t get into someone else’s head to know what they are thinking.  Sometimes, I would just really like to get out of mine.

-Betsy

Thanks, Mom

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Yesterday, my mother gave my son a kazoo.  (I could just end there, huh?)

So, yesterday what really happened is that my son fell in love with a kazoo.  We have had at least 3 hours of kazoo time in the last two days.  Loud.  Obnoxious.  Kazoo.  It has been grating on my nerves like crazy.  I have had visions of watching the kazoo tumble off a cliff or accidentally get run over by a very large car.  My ears burned and I felt a little like vomiting until…

M is really into the song Some Nights by Fun.  So, I turned it on fairly loud in the car hoping he would start singing like he usually does.  Today, however, the song came on and he played his kazoo right along.  It was maybe the funniest thing I have ever seen.  His head was bobbing and his feet were flopping all around as he played his little heart out.  I fell halfway in love with the kazoo in that moment.

The other half (making me also fully in love with that super annoying little piece of metal) came when we pulled up to the grocery store to grab a little lunch and this really cool guy was playing a kazoo he had rigged up right next to his harmonica.  He was playing guitar and the kazoo at the same time.  M was in rapture.  We had to go get his kazoo from the car to show this guy.  He thought M was pretty neat and told him all about being a musician.  That episode sealed the deal for me and the kazoo.  Who knew?

So, my kind-of-shitty day was turned around by a little boy and his terrible kazoo playing that made me laugh out loud despite myself.  Thanks, Mom.

-Betsy

 

 

Bravery

There is a video that has been floating around the internet for the past little while.  It is a video of a young man who is dying of cancer singing a goodbye song he wrote to all the people he loved.  I watched it this morning and have felt a strange mix of sadness and amazement all day.

I was going to write a lot more, but I think you will get more of an impact from watching his videos:  

-Betsy

Graduation Day

I live on a college campus, which has been abuzz with the energy that can only precede graduation.  I Love ceremony like this.  I always cry, no use trying to hold back.  People look at me during some rite of passage, tears streaming down my face from behind my sunglasses, wondering what is wrong.  My sheer inability to control my emotions is something I have come to love about who I am.  It is just part of me.

Graduation is tomorrow morning.  It is expected to be a glorious morning, sunny skies and mild temperatures (to make up for the polyester bags the graduates must wear).  I will take my son and another little friend to hear the pomp and circumstance of it all.  And…I will cry.  I will watch all the parents and elderly grandparents file in, knowing that for some it was a challenge to get here: financial, physical, emotional.  I will cry when students walk by with their dogs or their new babies.  I will cry when a younger brother or sister runs up to hold the hand of their graduate.  I will cry in anticipation of the day when my child experiences such an achievement.  I will cry for the letting go I know I will have to do one day.  I will cry for how hard life will be for my boy some days and for all the joy I know he will taste.  I may even be crying now.

Tomorrow, I will arrive with pockets full of tissues and cheese sticks to keep to boys distracted from my waterworks.  But if they see me, I will tell them that sometimes, my heart is so full of love that it spills out my eyes.

-Betsy

PS.  My mom sent me a link to part of a graduation speech by David Foster Wallace.  Thought you might find it interesting: http://www.upworthy.com/the-earth-shatteringly-amazing-speech-that-ll-change-the-way-you-think-about-adulthood-4?g=3&c=upw10