Saturday, May 26, 2012

And So It Goes.

Yesterday The Queen said some truly terrible things to me. Things that I would never say to my children, no matter what the circumstance. She accused me of things I've not done... and even if I had, they weren't particularly egregious errors (not responding to a particular email in a timely enough manner, for example). She told me who I am as a daughter, a mother, and a person, and where my motivations lie, none of which was positive, and I'd have to say that her assessment of me is so far from the truth that it only served to illuminate the fact that she has no clue about who I am at my core.

She then decided to say some decidedly horrible things about my father. It was a blame game. She doesn't want to own anything or imagine that she could be the root of any problems she has faced, and so projected her feelings about herself and her situation onto me and my father, who, incidentally, died 22 years ago.

I listened empathically, with growing concern, eventually asking, "what is this REALLY about?" which only made her more agitated. It did come out that my brother was diagnosed with something fairly unpleasant, and between that and the fact that he's not been kind to his body for much of his life, the picture is bleak. I understand that I was an easy target, but this came completely out of left field, was so hurtful and uncalled for, and her assessment so tragically inaccurate. I'm not angry with her... I simply told her that I was sad for her because it was clear to me she was under a lot of stress and that it was manifesting itself in a way that wasn't serving anyone. I reminded her that life is short and precious and there's no room to allow anger and fear to eat at our souls.

Her parting words to me were that it looks like I have a good life ahead of me and she wishes me well. I thanked her. As I hung up the phone I thought about karma and put out into the universe my wish for her to find some inner peace.

Shortly after my conversation with her, I saw a postcard that read:

I choose...

- to live by choice, not by chance
- to be motivated, not manipulated
- to be useful, not used
- to make changes, not excuses
- to excel, not compete

I choose self-esteem, not self pity.

I choose to listen to my inner voice, not the random opinions of others.

And so it goes.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mothers' Day To Me

Dear Exhibits A, B and C,

This Mothers' Day, I wanted to take a moment to tell you how lucky I feel to be your mother.

You are the most important people in my world, and being there for each of you, providing you with everything you need, is the best job I can ever imagine. Saying "I'm the Exhibits' Mom" brings me more happiness and pride than any other title ever could.

Being your mother has taught me about unconditional love. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about how to be the best mom I can be. You three are my first thought upon waking and my last thought when I close my eyes at night. I hope you know that you are my shining stars, understand how very much you are loved, and realize that I will always be here for you to listen, to help, to admire the amazing people that you are. There is nothing you can't talk to me about, no problem too big, no happiness too small to share.

Exhibit A: you were my very first wish come true, and ever since the day you were born, you have helped me define who I am at my core. You have taught me about passion and commitment. I remember the very first time you put on a pair of ballet shoes at three years old... how when you would kick your foot into the air your shoe would fly across the floor. I never imagined that all these years later, you would still love dance just as much as you did that day. I smile to myself when I watch you cross a room, never just walking, but, rather, leaping, pirouetting, floating. Seeing your dedication to dance, despite the injuries and obstacles you've recently faced, has reminded me that when we commit to something, we follow through. I hope that you have learned this by example, but somehow, even if it weren't for me constantly harping on its importance, I think it's just part of who you are, and it's a part of you I greatly admire. Today and every day, I celebrate your light, your love, and your laughter.

Exhibit B: I will never forget finding out I was expecting and deciding to make the news a Christmas surprise for your father. I was bursting with excitement but trying to keep my cool... no easy task. While I miss the hugs and kisses you used to dole out freely as a little boy, being able to talk with the more grown up you and hear your amazing thoughts, ideas and stories makes my heart sing. One of my favorite things about you is that you never, ever leave the house or hang up the phone without telling me you love me, even if we've only talked for a short time, and even if we were together just moments before. You have no idea how many smiles that brings my way. I love that you already understand the importance of telling the people you care about how you feel at every opportunity. Today, and always, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to celebrate your intelligence, your steady determination, your quiet strength and your sense of humor.

Exhibit C: From the moment I first saw you with those big, beautiful eyes and long eyelashes looking back at me, I knew you were special. Seeing you in the NICU was incredibly hard, but watching you fight your way back to good health then and through your first few years made me realize from moment one just how strong you are. You make me smile and laugh each day with your stories, your jokes and your sweet snuggles. You are so smart and always come up with new and interesting things to share with me. One of my greatest pleasures is hearing you problem solve and understanding exactly how that amazing little mind works. Your unadulterated excitement about anything and everything, no matter how big or small, reminds me daily that in little things, there is happiness. Your love of learning and enthusiasm for life inspire me today and every day.

There would be no Mothers' Day for me without you three... and I thank you for trusting me and loving me and reminding me of what's truly important in life.

Thank you for you.
~ Mom