Bloom

What does it mean to bloom? Dictionary.com has 23 definitions for the word bloom, not counting the idioms. I’ll pick my favorite: (v) to flourish or thrive.IMG_1619

I want my children to bloom. My daughters, ages 11 and 7, are in the process of blossoming, becoming themselves, and showing the world their true colors. I worry, as a newly divorced single mother, that I won’t be able to keep their soil fertile, their roots well tended… It seems like a daunting task, doesn’t it, this parenting thing? It is something that I expected to do as a couple and then had those plans ripped away from me suddenly. Why don’t I co-parent, you ask? Well, let’s just say that I’ve had enough crazy to last me a lifetime and I’d just like to move on. I’ll parent my girls the best way I know how and he will, well, hopefully not break them. I know that sounds mean. I hope it gets better. I’ve heard stories from others that it could go either way. But, I digress…

I truly want to watch and help my daughters bloom. I want to see them grow into their personalities that are already so strong. I want to see them build their lives and succeed in all ways possible. But, I also want to bloom. I want to get my color back. I used to feel as if I was flourishing, living a life that I’d dreamed of. When you cut a flower, it dies. That’s just how it is. I’m planting new roots now and turning my face toward the sun. The best way for me to ensure that I help my children bloom is for me to be the example. So it’s almost springtime: a great time for me to focus on ways to flourish and help my girls thrive.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Girls Night Out: Geriatric Style

I admit it. I have a fabulous husband…most of the time. 🙂 We argue, bicker, and nag each other like most every other normal couple I know. One thing he never does is complain when I want to hang out with my friends. Being a mom, this isn’t extremely often, but when it happens, it’s great to have his support.

In the past week I’ve been blessed to have fabulous friends that have encouraged me to just get out of the house and sit with them in a different setting. I’ve been to happy hour with my BFF and her sister, another awesome friend of mine, and had a fantabulous margarita. I’ve also been to my friend, K’s house, where we sat outside on her porch with a bottle of wine playing Rummy-O and chatting for literally hours!

If it weren’t for these friends at this moment in my life, I am pretty sure I would be a hermit. I would do all of my shopping online and “let” my husband get groceries or anything else we needed. (Isn’t it nice of me to be so generous with giving out chores and errands?)

Why don’t I hang out with my girlfriends more often? That’s pretty easy, at least on the surface. One, I’m a mom and I have a responsibility to my two beautiful children. My hubby never minds flying solo with them, but I like to be there for them anyway. Two, I’m currently unemployed (and hoping to remedy that soon). We are trying to subsist on one teacher salary, which is a feat in creative budgeting, to say the least. Not having ANY extra money to play with often precludes me going out to most places my friends want to go to. And three, I’m not as young as I used to be, which may sound like a really lame excuse but it’s true. I don’t go out just to “be seen” anymore (did I really ever do that?!?). I’m not looking for a mate, obviously. I’m perfectly happy sitting at home, watching my children play, crocheting a nice afghan or reading a great book. Yes, at the grand old age of 32 I am an avid crocheter and I’m not afraid to admit it. Maybe that’s a true sign of old age, but I don’t care.

If my friends and I all had more time and money and babysitters, we might possibly hang out every single week or more often! Or, maybe not…because I think we would get tired of each other, as much as we love each other. Since we don’t get to hang out all the time, it is very special when we are able.  I imagine sometimes when all of our children are grown and away at college, that we will plan vacations together to exotic locales where we can dream of lurid affairs with cabana boys half our age. We’ll sit and reminisce about our glory days in college and brag about how successful our children are. I suppose it’s not really the quantity, in this case how often we hang out together, as much as it is the quality of the time we get to spend with each other. If that’s the truth, my friends and I are doing just fine!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Where Would We Be Without Them?

Five and a half years ago, in the midst of a chaotic time for my husband and me, we were blessed with the birth of our first daughter, Daphne. Our lives improved from that moment forward by 1000%. Fast forward three years and eleven months to our next addition: Scarlett. We didn’t think it could get any better, but she happily proved us wrong.

But what if they never were? What would our lives be like now? First, let’s think about all of the things we would be able to do:

  • Go out whenever we want, without worrying about having to find a babysitter
  • Save money instead of hemorrhaging it away on daycare and diapers
  • Sleep late every weekend
  • Watch R-rated movies during the day, if we feel like it
  • Leave small and breakable objects lying, without worry of little fingers grabbing them or choking on them
  • And…well, I can’t really think of anything else
If we didn’t have children, we would be able to do any of those things. It would be wonderful! However, there would also be things that we would miss, like these:
  • See a smile directed our way and know that we are the absolute nucleus of someone else’s universe
  • Hear “mama” and “dada” for the first time…and then, over, and over, and over again for years
  • Sharing childhood toys with our own children, and actually getting to play with them again
  • Sticky hugs and kisses
  • Being woken up by a small being standing right next to the bed, inches from your face, and staring silently
  • Watching our babies sleep
  • Making smiley-face pancakes and feeling like a superhero
  • Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy

  • Going trick-or-treating on Halloween, even with the baby, and getting to sneak some of the loot (they don’t need all that chocolate, anyway!)
  • The first day of school, and the end of the first day of school
  • Family vacations that require a million bathroom breaks, several time-outs, and at least one thousand “Are we there yet?”s
  • Constant laughter and amusement at everything our children say and do
  • Teaching them about the world and watching their eyes light up as they take it all in for the first time
  • Bath time splashing, with lots of bubbles
  • Hearing “I love you,” and knowing that you will remember how freely they told you even when they’re teenagers and are yelling the opposite at you
  • And…about a billion other wonderful things
Basically, our life would be pretty boring without our beautiful babies. Sure, we would get to indulge ourselves sometimes, but it wouldn’t be as fun. It wouldn’t be a treat if we did it all the time, anyway.
We would be going to work, coming home, going through the daily routines only to start over again. There would be fewer surprises and not nearly as many reasons for doing what we do.
Where would we be without them? We would be lost.

Mama Kat’s Weekly Writing Prompts:
Mama’s Losin’ It

What Haunts You?

“One need not be a Chamber — to be Haunted
One need not be a House —
The Brain has Corridors — surpassing
material place –”
-Emily Dickinson

Every night when I close my eyes hoping to drift off peacefully to sleep, the thoughts start rolling through my mind as if on a giant marquee: what if…WHAT IF…what if…WHAT IF…

I wonder how my life would be different if I had made one single decision differently. What if I had said, “No.” Two letters. One simple word. One syllable. It would have taken one second to say it. So why didn’t I?

I can probably come up with one thousand reasons why I didn’t say no. I was young. I was too trusting. I needed a job. I – I – I. The fact is, I didn’t say no. There really was no reason for me to at the time. It all seemed very legitimate. And I can’t go back now. I’m truly haunted by this decision every night, but I think as I’ve gotten older it has become less and less scary. The decision that I made ten years ago has very obviously impacted my life in negative ways, but I’d like to think that I’ve built up enough positives to at least break even. I am confident that I will never, ever, ever make a mistake of the same magnitude again. Of course, another consequence is that I am much more wary of trusting people. When making friends, this can be cumbersome, but when making life decisions I think it has become invaluable.

My mind, though, will continue to be at least a little haunted by that one stupid decision. Yes, it was stupid, even though there was absolutely no way I could have known that at the time. I realize I’m being extremely vague here, but I’m sure some of you can relate. My haunted house isn’t open to the public, but it is there for me every night when I close my eyes.

Writer’s Workshop Writing Prompt, courtesy of the Amazing Mama Kat.
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Mama’s Losin’ It

Top Ten Don’ts for Summer 2011

10. Aviator glasses. DON’T. You think you look something like this: 

But in reality, you look more like this: 

9. Yes, most of you have to mow your lawns. Of course you don’t want to mow at 3:00 PM when it’s 107 degrees outside in the shade. The alternatives you have chosen? Mow early in the morning or in the evening. Those are great alternatives. However, DON’T mow your lawn after 8:00 PM on a weekday. Please be considerate of your neighbors who work early or have children in bed. I don’t want you to suffer heat stroke by mowing mid-day, but that’s what weekends are for. People are more flexible and well-rested on weekends.

8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. You think I’m going to say something disparaging about it now, don’t you? Well, I’m not. So what’s the don’t? DON’T make fun of people who go see it, even if they’re dressed up like a bunch of lunatics. Why? Because I’M going to go see it and if you make fun of me I’ll punch you in the face.

7. If you’re my neighbor, and you look something like this:

             please feel FREE to mow your lawn shirtless!! Pretty please!!

If, however, you live within a 30 mile radius of my house and look anything like this (you know who you are):

 we are ALL begging you – DON’T mow shirtless!! At the very least, have the decency to get some manscaping before even cosidering baring those pecs!

6. DON’T drive like a bat out of hell down neighborhood streets. Remember that kids are out of school and many will be playing outside. I would hope they’re all being supervised by their indefatigable, omnipresent, responsible parents…but I’m a realist, so I know that most of these little heathens are home alone for the summer, running around the neighborhood looking for trouble. As much as you might want to, running over them with your car is NOT an option. Try to be safe and use good judgment.

5. If you love yourself at all, please DON’T wear an adult onesie, aka a jumpsuit. They are not cute past the age of 7. These ladies are models, and even THEY look silly. What do you think you’re going to look like?

4. You might be tempted to, but DON’T keep your A/C set at 65 degrees all summer, forcing you to wear a scarf and mittens inside. I plan on being comfortable, but I’m going to avoid the meat-locker-esque environment this summer. I’m not trying to preserve myself, for crying out loud! Your energy bill will be much more tolerable if you keep temps reasonable.

3. DON’T continue telling everyone that you’re going to take a STAYcation! We all get it. The economy sucks right now. I can’t take a vacation either, but when someone asks me if I’m going anywhere, I’m just going to tell them,  “No.” It’s really simple. Saying that you’re having a staycation does not make you sound cool. I think the word was trendy for about a week. We’re over it.

2. For the love of all things good in the world, DON’T wear UGGs in the summertime…especially when you’re wearing shorts.

1. DON’T forget the sunscreen, especially for your children. Building up a little vitamin D is definitely a good thing, but getting blistered skin or melanoma – not so much. It only takes a minute to put some on yourself or your kiddos and everyone will be happier and healthier if you do!

Thanks to Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop for the topic inspiration!
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Mama’s Losin’ It

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