Just a Moment Longer


My daughter loves to sing. Not the soft, beautiful singing that soothes your soul but rather hard on the ears, top of your lungs, screeching with passion kind of singing. My ears actually hurt as she belted out her favorite Frozen tune. Let it Go she bellowed through the house. Immediately I softened. I realized, in that moment, that soon my house would grow eerily quiet. Not the kind of silence I would welcome but one that would remind me how empty the house will be. Next year during this time she will be off to college and I will be longing for her to return for Christmas break. It’s easy to lose track of time and what’s important. There are days my life flashes in front of my eyes and I ache for the certainty of what once was. I picture her chubby little face, messy pigtails and sweet little Barney songs. I miss her crawling in my lap or in the tub everytime I would take a bath. I miss her big, brown, sparkly eyes and the wonder each time she would discover something new. Her eyes are more serious now but I am grateful for her playful spirit. She has fallen down a few times but is still brave enough to run full speed ahead. She is unafraid and confident and fully engaged in every moment. I pray that never changes.

Today, look around you and really see your blessings. Enjoy every person and every moment and remember that we can never know what tomorrow may bring. I know this holiday season is bitter sweet. This is the last year that the only normal I have ever known will only exist for a few months more. Today I will look a little longer, love a whole lot deeper and feel the gratitude in my heart. Today I will not take anything for granted. I long to hold onto her just a moment longer.

Land Ho!


This week we hit a major landmark. It’s been a really tough, stressful school year in this house but we are officially halfway through the school year once we get to Friday. This is a reminder that everything does eventually pass. The important thing is not to get swept up in the tumultuous current and let it carry you so deep that you cannot escape. Believe me, I know because I am standing here soaking wet, barely able to catch my breath. The experience, this stress has changed me in ways I am not proud of. It has stirred up an ugly place that I don’t care to revisit anymore. New year. Fresh start and time to put the ugliness behind me now. Nothing is worth your sanity, your health or your peace of mind. The toughest part about being a mother is the inability to separate from our children. I don’t necessarily mean physically but rather mentally and emotionally. I take this job very seriously and how they turn out, what they become is a direct result of the kind of job I do. I know that is not entirely true but it’s hard to convince myself otherwise.

Happy Monday! Find something to be happy about and focus on that. It feels so much better to be happy and our thoughts do make a difference. Choose good ones.

What Really Matters


While some parents are focused on how smart their kids are, how many A’s they have, if they are ahead of the curve when it comes to sports and just about anything else, I came to a realization tonight. As I stood on the side of the road watching my daughter on the float in the homecoming parade, I saw something that made every fiber in my body smile. As she stood there waving back at me, she had the most beautiful, genuine smile on her face. If I wish for my kids to excel at anything, I pray they excel at happiness. That is the only thing that really matters.

Fast Forward


Down the rabbit hole. I could feel myself falling the other day. Slowly at first, feeing a little tired.  Motivation slowly slipping away as my desire to do anything but lay in bed is all that is left. The truth about depression is that it sneaks up on you when you aren’t expecting it. Everything seems to be going fine and then wham! It taps you on the shoulder and screams, I’m back! And so it is.

What I have learned is that I have to be patient. What swings one direction will eventually swing the other way. I dont know when or how but I do know it will happen and I take comfort in that knowledge. Inside I am dying, knowing time is slipping further and further away. Its like trying to hold water in my hands, it stays there for a little while then starts to seep away. There are some things you cannot hold onto no matter how hard you try.  All you can do is watch it fall away.

As my kids venture into 8th and 11th grade, I grieve for the young children who are lost somewhere back on the timeline that defines my life. I allow myself to be sad for the years that are gone and at the same time, remind myself there is still so much to look forward to. It’s just so difficult to understand how they grow up so fast, in the blink of an eye. That’s how time seems anyway, like there is some point in a lifetime where the years seem to be stuck in fast forward and the pause button doesn’t work anymore. That is where I am right now, on fast forward, banging and screaming on life to slow down but it just keeps going. And so it is like so many other things just are. What can I do but try and breathe and be grateful for each day as it comes? I need to remind myself not to take a single second for granted. I can’t hold onto it but I don’t have to miss it because I’m so preoccupied with the past or apprehensive about the future. Be in the moment the best you can and don’t grasp for something that is impossible to hold. Live, love and then love even more.

A poem For My Mother


Dear Mom,

From the time I was born, you never fled
Changed my diaper, kept me fed
You rocked and loved me, kissed my head
You’d lay me gently, shared your bed.

You watched me laugh, you watched me grow
You taught me things I’d need to know
You gently pushed me from the nest
You wanted me to learn the rest

Our roles are reversed, now I need you to learn
To pick up that ipad and stand on your own
Now it’s your turn, to remember your passwords
Sometimes to move forward, you’ll take a step backwards

I know you can do this, I’ve taugh you enough
Now you find the confidence, come on, toughen up
I need you to fly from our safe little nest
I don’t want to shove you but you won’t leave my breast

I know you can do this, you are brave, you are stable
Please don’t call and ask me what to click when I’m putting dinner on the table
Just push the button, not much could go wrong
It will not explode, told you THAT all along

It’s only an ipad, so don’t be scared
Just click the damn button, don’t sit there and stare
So Facebook away and go play your games
And if something happens, it is dad you can blame

A Letter To My Daughter


16 years I have watched you grow. I remember the very first night the nurse wheeled you into my room. Dad was asleep in the chair but I stayed up all night long and watched you breathe. You were the most beautiful little baby I had ever seen. You were mine, all mine. The beat of my heart, that’s what you became. The smile on my face, the words to my song.

Before I knew it you were crawling, walking, running, flipping. Your feet were never planted firmly on the floor. You loved to push limits and take risks. You would crawl in the cubby of the entertainment system and hang out there, you would pile books as high as you could and stand on them. You always set your sights higher than most kids your age. Do you remember how you would climb the basketball post during cheerleading practice and sit at the top the entire time refusing to come down? You were only 5 and I was the coach and still you knew the cheers better than anyone else. You nearly scared the mothers at the pool to death when your tiny two year old self would jump in the pool without me there and you would actually swim all by yourself.

Dad and I were talking the other day. We were wondering how to properly answer the question WHO AM I? I dont exactly have the words but I cant even remember who I was before you. Even through the most difficult times, my best memories were watching you turn into this young woman who is becoming more independent every day. Those days are the best, every single one. They are just moving way too fast. To be honest, in a few days, you will be driving on your own and my heart will break as you pull down the drive. No matter how old you get, you will always be my little girl, my little buddy, the little girl I would pull in the wagon everyday on the way to the park. The girl I would push on the swing for hours and who would only let me hold her when she was finally exhausted at the end of the day. The little girl who slept in my bed until she was 8 with her little arm shoved firmly underneath my body to make sure I was never too far away.

You are beautiful and grown in so many ways. I am proud that you have the confidence to think for yourself. You are never afraid to speak your own words. You know who you are and you never waste a single minute trying to be anyone else.

For 16 years I have watched you grow and I had no idea the time would go by so fast. It seems like just yesterday you were holding my hand, pigtails in your hair, staring at me with your big brown eyes singing Barney over and over until I was sure that silly tape would break.

Happy sixteenth birthday. No matter how old you get or how far away you go, you will always be right here in my heart. I am slowly learning to give you wings and although its hard to let you fly, I know we will both be okay.Maybe okay will be our always, isnt that what you often playfully say? Maybe there is more truth in that than even we know. There is not one relationship any stronger than the one between a mother and daughter. That is the one relationship that will never let you down. Sure the teenage years will bring a special set of challenges but at the end of the day, we will always have each other and a safe place to land at the end of even the hardest day. Whether you believe it or not, someday you will think of me as your very best friend. I love you more than words, maybe I dont say it enough because love is something that is felt but is not always easily spoken. My love goes beyond the comprehension of words. I will always love you and I will forever be standing on the sidelines cheering you on with each and every step you take on this journey of life. My wish is that you will live a happy life and live in a way you will have few regrets. You only get one life sweet girl so make this one count. Be the best version of yourself and always do the best you can. That will always be enough. Success should be measured by the love you feel in your heart and the happiness that rocks you gently to sleep at night. May you always love and be loved and may you discover your own little island of happy where you will always be washed in the waves of peace and gratitude. Count your blessings each and every day and dont forget to play. Life is serious but you dont have to be. Live, laugh, smile and be silly. Dont grow old, just continue to grow. May this day, your sixteenth birthday always be a memory that brings a smile to your face. You are so very special, unique in your own beautiful way. I am so proud to be your mom.

Experiment Mom


As a parent and adult, we are forced to wear many hats. Our many rolls often cross and it hard to keep our mind in the right one in the middle of running the marathon of our fast paced lives. I just had a conversation with a woman who seems to have wonderful advice. Every time we speak, I hang on every word. She gave me a fantastic idea. When dealing with my teenage daughter, instead of wearing my mother cap, I am going to, for one full week, wear my counselor cap. I am going to restrain myself from reacting to her words, and instead I am going to try and repeat them back to her so that maybe she feels that 1) she is important, 2) I am listening, 3) what she says matters and hopefully she will feel more loved and validated.

It is so easy to see someone else’s situation clearly. It even allows us the gift of offering the exact advice someone needs at just the right moment. However, when we are the ones personally involved in our own situation, it is easy to miss a point all together because our feelings, our emotions, and that great big ego of ours is busy reacting to the person or situation standing there looking us back in the face. So, I am going to remove the personal by stopping myself from reacting like mom, and improve our relationship and communication by responding like the counselor. I really think it’s worth an honest try. I will let you know how it goes. At least until I learn how and when to productively change those hats without having to give it so much thought.