Tag Archives: parenting

Dear Daughter

Dear daughter,

 

With Mother’s day coming up and the state of limbo that I currently find myself in, I thought it best to take a moment to express the frailty that is being a mother.

 

So, here goes…

 

I could start this off by stating the various lengths I’ll go to prove my undying love for you but I’m sure by the smothering overprotection and bear hug kiss attacks that you might get that already… BUT I love you with all of my heart. Albeit, all of my tired, weary, empowered, passionate, and sometimes self loathing heart. Us mothers have this nasty habit of going about our days with this ten-pound sack of emotions and I have to say that mine has gained a bit of weight lately. This is not to say that you have anything to do with the sudden weight gain. This is just an acknowledgment of the confused metabolism that our emotional state seems to have. We get up every day and get things done because they have to be. No one has ever told us that they’ll take care of it because… well… we don’t want to hear it and, therefore, choose to ignore it when said. From the moment we hear about you invading our womb and sucking the life from us (literally) we become this beast of “handling it.” Even if someone was to approach us and force us to sit and relax we will still have to micromanage how you allow us to sit and relax. It is no fault of yours but our own because we get up every day and get things done… they have to be.

 

I like to blame my mother for the way I am just simply because she did not prepare me before she left. I was too young to understand a mother/daughter relationship on a more even playing field by the time she was gone. My teenage years were spent with my father, who taught me how to think. He did not understand this ten-pound sack of emotions. He wasn’t meant to. He was about logic and research and all things opinionated and I love him for that. He taught me to analyze and my ten-pound sack taught me to over analyze and my over analytical self’s favorite topic is me. I have to admit that the past few days I have not been very kind to myself. I woke up one day to find that the person I was looking at in the mirror was distasteful. She was angry, frustrated, obsessive, lazy, sloppy, and weak. She blamed everyone else for not seeing her correctly without even seeing herself. This woman I see has come around before and I have dwelled on her in the past giving her full reign of my actions. I have failed many times before under her care but chose to ignore it. This time, however, there is something different. It’s you and ever since her return I find myself pushing past her to get up every day and do what has to be done… for you.

 

I had you when I, myself, was still a child at heart and I have grown with you along the way. I became a mother not at birth but with every passing moment with you. At times it feels as if you are teaching me how to become a mother fit for your love. As you get ready to turn ten years old later this year, you will be the age I was when I lost my mother and I feel that we will learn a great deal from each other in the coming years. I may falter from time to time. I may lose myself every now and then. I may find myself incapable of handling it but I will never stop trying to give you a beautiful life. I have lived. I have laughed and cried and cursed the world around me. I have kicked and screamed and ranted until ears have bled. I have loved and I have lost. I only wish to give you everything you desire, starting with morning snuggles (my favorite part of the day). One day you will come to realize that I am only human and, while I desperately tried to be your Wonder Woman, I have done and will continue to do the best I can.

 

Just like I told you in the quiet of your room while you slept as a baby…

 

It’s you and me kid.

 

Love,

Mom

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Dear Father

Something amazing happened last month…

 

My dad went to the theater…

 

He hasn’t been in years…

 

Star Wars made it happen…

 

I’ll hold that memory close for years to come.

 

Yes, my dear father, this blog is for you…

 

My dad’s birthday is tomorrow and I decided that the best way that I could commemorate this event is to A) bake him a cake that will resemble a Hostess Ding Dong B) listen to music that makes me think of him (as of this moment the magical tune is Bohemian Rhapsody) and C) spend tomorrow evening eating said Ding Dong cake and watching one of our favorite shows return to television; The X-Files.

 

I have fond memories of The X-Files… I mean, other than my long lasting hopelessly nerdy crush on David Duchovny. My dad, brothers, and I would all gather around the television to watch this (often cheesy… in a good way) science fiction show that we grew to love. Sometimes, it felt as if that was our version of “family time”. We were close at those times without having to say a word. While some people will always have Paris, we will always have the extraterrestrial consumed mind of Mulder.

 

Our connection began there and it only grew over time into the bullshitting beast that it is today. He taught me the inner workings of life. At times, all that required was for him to stand back. He watched, made sure we were okay, and offered guidance when we needed it. We were set in our ways by the time we came to live with him (a hard bargain when it came to our natural stubbornness) but he handled it with a kind of quiet elegance. There were a few bumps along the way but I call myself better for them. He taught me some of the most imperative mannerisms that I have. Although it took me quite a while, his thirst for knowledge has grown inside of me. We talk, debate, and educate each other. I have had many compelling conversations with him, which has blossomed into something philosophically demanding. He taught me to think, not for anyone else but for myself. To have an opinion is to be functional but he gave me lessons in utilizing those opinions with the proper motivations of essential functionality. He turned me into this harsh speaking opinionated woman so, please, take a moment to thank him. Without him, I wouldn’t be able to describe the details of the world’s stupidity and properly examine how I don’t give a fuck. I do carry his simplicity as well. I can appreciate the sound of a piano, a great meal, or the beauty in my surroundings because of him. His mechanisms have fostered my creativity. My dad is the spark of why I am this way and my pride in that fact expands everyday.

 

While my relationship with my dad didn’t start till later in my life, it has grown to become one of the greatest relationships I currently have. He is your typical proud papa with an extra coating of bias but I’m okay with that. I look forward to it. It’s the best hug I receive all day. I find comfort in knowing that even if I didn’t have a single other fan, his fandom makes me the most important person in the world. He is everything that makes up an exceptional father.

 

I love you, dad, with every inch of my heart.


The Cost Of Motherhood

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I feel the need to write about motherhood. Or, at least, the side that no one seems to want to discuss on a regular basis. This is the part every mother fears explaining for the shame that soon follows. The part that seems to haunt us.

 

There are the things that are domesticating in a mother’s life. I’m talking about the laundry, dishes, cooking, bedtime stories, teeth brushing, and many more that often get credited on Mother’s Day. Thanks for always taking care of me, mom. You wiped my ass when I needed it most. Sure, I will cook for my daughter. I will make sure she showers. I will even buy her that movie that she is dying to have. This is the forefront, the obvious, and the celebrated side. If you are a truly lucky mother, the children may even remember the times you kissed their boo boos and wiped their tears away. We are their superheroes and we will fight for them no matter what the cost to ourselves. This is the part that I am getting at though, the cost.

 

What no one ever seems to want to discuss is the completely terrifying moments that come from being a mother. Those moments when your child tears you down to nothing but the pile of shit they just threw on the floor. They scream at you, hate you, call you a liar, wrong, terrible… the worst mother in the entire world. The fits they throw with all the crying and nail-biting screams. There are moments when they do not listen to you. They completely ignore that you are even there. They make fun of you in front of their friends. They hit you, scratch you, and even bite you. Worst of all, they reject you…

 

There is a moment when all of this comes to a point. I like to call it the “lost space.” That moment when your child is lying face down on the floor, screaming and crying, and will not let you near them. The only thing that you can do is to just sit and watch them. There is not a single thing that will stop this from happening. Everything else in the world stops. Call the school. Forget your job. Turn off your phone. This is a personal day. An important family matter has come up. At this point in time you are lost. You cannot control your child. You are left in a standstill without a single solution to what is happening. This is not simply a moment of sanity loss but an intolerably heavy moment of severe depression and blinding rage rolled up in a nice blanket of paralyzing fear. You are no longer a mother but a soul from damnation that has brought forth the fires of Hell and then forgot the leash. Everything that has made you into who you are melts away and there is nothing left but an empty crumbling shell. You know that you should act like a mother but you forgot how.

 

Most children will not remember these moments but a mother will. Whether it was multiple times or just one big one, this is something that no one talks about. As mothers, it is our job to hide it but it’s there. It lives in a memory under our skin. It itches on occasion and calls out to us. It reminds us of the terrible possibility that we have failed. Maybe we will still fail. Maybe our child will grow up to become a terrorist or serial killer while the world looks to us and asks why. We do not have the answers. All we know is that the moment passed. We made it to the other side. It is finished and confused relief sets in.

 

Parenthood, in general, tears you down as a human being. I used to think that being a line cook was the most grueling and harshest job that there is but I was so incredibly wrong. Being a parent is a soul-crushing and murderous way to live. From the moment they are born, beyond the tedious domesticating responsibilities, you are filled with anxiety, frustration, exhaustion, and a looming sense of complete failure. This will never go away but those moments of “lost space” will. Eventually, when you reach the other side, you remember that this is your child. The real test of being a mother comes from the after effects of these moments when you can give your child a hug and tell them that it will be okay. What separates a mother from anyone else is her ability to look past those desires to watch the world burn down and still love her child without resentment. They come from our blood and whether we understand them or not, a world without our children is useless.

 

Mother’s Day is not about celebrating the endless piles of laundry that get done but remembering the sacrifices given without hesitation. When your mother looks at you with loving eyes and tells you that there was a time when she was unsure about your future, please, take her seriously. If it weren’t for her ability to see beyond moments of purely agonizing rage, you would not be here.

 

Remember that and go kiss your mother.


There’s Never A Good Time (But there’s a better time than that)

If there’s one thing I’m really terrible at in life it’s sleeping. It’s not that I don’t want to. I really truly long for my bedtime. It’s a state of peace. The moment when all else fades away and you can finally rest your body and soul. If I had enough time to dream, I would dream about sleeping.

My lovely daughter has discovered this about me… and she uses it… and I’m beginning to believe it’s on purpose. Like a sly manipulative pint sized ninja, she waits until the very last moment to bring up some terrible day-shattering event that just causes her to be completely unable to lay the hell down and go to sleep. She wants to talk about it, snuggle, anything but stay in her own bed and she’s good at sleeping. She must’ve learned that from someone else. Snuck out at night and found a monk in a faraway land to teach her not only to sleep better than a rock but to take away any little pathetic ability that I had to get even the tiniest amount of sleep. She’s devious that one. I’m beginning to think she’s plotting against me.

After much time last night of telling me ridiculous excuses of why she can’t sleep, then lying to me, and severely abusing her tear ducts I finally convinced her to lay down quietly. We will talk about it in the morning. I’m grouchy enough as it is… she’s not helping at one o’clock in the morning. That dream of my bedtime gets more and more fuzzy everyday.

Of course, by the time we wake up and sit down to breakfast I’m already over last night’s events. She came into my room sporting a hairdo that could frighten babies down to their bones this morning. It’s a little hard to remember the state of mind I was in the night before after seeing that. That hairdo is enough punishment, I think. I’m too tired to pick up where we left off. Go figure. Sometimes I think the only reason for parenting troubles is karma getting us back for being little shits to our parents. The cycle of sanity loss.

I’m submitting my dues to the karma gods. If we measure a fulfilled life by the level of sanity left over I think I’ve paid in full. Stamp it, process it, I’m done…

I guess at least until her teenage years… She’s lucky I find her unfailingly adorable. I hope that thought carries me to the big sleep. My final bedtime… I should be good at sleeping by then. I hope.