Me, My Family

Joy and Sadness; a Partnership

The other night the girls and I watched the Disney movie Inside Out.  We had seen it in the movies and enjoyed it, and we enjoyed it just as much the second time.   If you have not seen it the premise is a young girl forced to move due to her fathers new job and the five emotions that lead her, joy, sadness, disgust, anger, and fear.

Multiple times throughout the movie I told my oldest daughter that the “sadness” character was my favorite.  When asked why (other than how cute the character is,) I explained that throughout life you can only enjoy true joy because of real sadness.  Life is full of highs and lows, many stormy moments that in my mind are all there to remind you that when you have the happy moments, true joy, you should wrap your arms around it and cherish the moments.   How much of our lives are just a bunch of mixed moments, sadness, anger and fear leading to moments of great joy.The moment I was rushed down the hallway of a hospital for and emergency C-section because Madison’s heart rate had dropped.  So scared, tears streaming down my face.  Hours later the wonderful joy of holding my beautiful, healthy baby.  So many moments before my BPM surgery and during the healing process all leading to a sense of peace and health allowing me to focus on what is important in life.

Sadness, an emotion that surrounded so much of my life growing up has once again been able to creep into my life.  It started as a sadness of the loss of a few once important relationships.  This sadness has now turned more to one of lamenting  that you can not control others actions no matter how much you bend.  Some are not happy unless they make everyone miserable around them. Joy for some is seeing sadness in others.

Clearly you should not surround yourself with people who make you feel bad.  Of course, life is never that easy.  A decision that seems so clear and easy has ripple effects often creating a whirlwind of confusion, hurt feelings and the ever so popular, politically correct, “I don’t want to get involved.”  Sometimes you have to bite your lip and sometimes, well you just have to cut ties and move on.  I guess the most important thing is knowing which is which.

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Me, My Family

I am not ready, but here we go!

I am not ready! The other night I attended the middle school orientation for the parents of incoming sixth graders at one of the local middle schools.  The school itself is beautiful and huge.  It was a bit intimidating to me.  The high school I attended was tiny in comparison. It scares me a little to think of my baby walking the halls in September.  In my mind, she is still the little baby who loved to be held and cuddled.  Of course she is no longer that baby, she is a beautiful, intelligent, strong and confident young girl who is not only ready for the next stage but excited for it to come.

keep-calm-i-m-not-ready-yet-1The process of our 6 elementary schools folding into 3 middle schools is actually a very well planned out chain of events that started a few weeks ago.  A counselor visited the elementary school and talked to the kids followed a week later by the kids boarding a bus for a tour of their soon to be new school.  Last week, the parents met with the Principal and in August there is a several day program in which the kids get used to the school, lockers and all of the wonderfully High School like world that our Middle school will provide.

When I went to school (way back when) I went to the same building for 8 years.  There are more kids in the elementary school that Meg attends that were in my entire school and the middle school has almost 200 more kids that.  I am finding myself a bit overwhelmed but like I stated earlier Megan is so excited.  She has already been studying the list of clubs and is putting thought into how to decorate her locker.  I am not ready!

Every night before I go to bed, I look in on the girls and stand for a minute and watch them sleep.  Often I kiss a cheek or the top of a head and smile.  I think of just how proud of them I am.  I can not imagine a life without my girls, my family.  Lately, when looking at Megan I wonder when it happened.  When did that shy, timid little girl become the young lady who is about to become a middle schooler and test for her black belt in karate.  It all happens too fast.

lunchbox noteSo here we sit ready to embark on another first, another new adventure.  I will be there to celebrate the wins and to dry the tears.  I will hide my unease because this is part of life, the necessary part where mommy can not control everything, the part where my little girl must take steps to build her future.  I may not be ready but my wonderful, brilliant beautiful daughter is so I will kick and scream,(quietly behind a door)  and probably shed a tear or two but away we go. Ready or not, I will be with you every step of the way!

Me, My Family

Striking the perfect balance, hopefully at least sometimes!?

When I was younger I swore I would never have children.  They were dirty, needy and would just get in the way.  I had visions of being the CEO of IBM.  As with most of us, the visions of a young person grow and change as we do.

Newborn Megan 8/11/2004
Newborn Megan 8/11/2004

I did well in my career but something was missing. I remember when I held my Megan for the first time, her wide open bright eyes looking up at me, I swear she actually waved.  That was it. That was all I needed to know that there was no job in the world that could ever be as fulfilling as staying with my baby.  I have been fortunate enough to be a part of every aspect of my girls development.  Financially it has not always been easy but it has been the most rewarding job ever!

Being a Mother has been an adventure, figuring it out day by day.  Frank and I don’t have any parental guidance and I never had the perfect role model.  My relationship with my mother was not perfect, whose is?  At the time it was all I knew.  Some will say she was a difficult person and I would agree.  She was a functioning alcoholic and in those days this was acceptable.  She had a temper and was not what anyone would call “warm and fuzzy”.  There were not many hugs or “I love you’s” in our house.   With that said, she raised three children alone, kept a nice home for us against all odds and ensured that we had the best education possible to enable all three of us to improve our own lives.  I am blessed to have had such a strong woman as a mother.

IMGAs I raise my own children I struggle to find the right balance.  Many of their friends are handed everything with no understanding of the value attached to the items.  Too many parents would rather be a friend than parent.  I never want to have the heavy hand I was raised with yet I want to ensure there is structure and discipline, but discipline filled with love.  Yes there is such a thing.  The ability to say “no” to your children, to realize that they may get mad at you and life will go on.

Being a parent is not always easy, as a matter of fact uneasy is how I feel much of the time.  So many firsts in life that need to be explained.  Hurt feelings, confusion and the unknown are all a part of everyday life and I love it!  Each day is an adventure and I look forward to  every one of them!