Thursday, July 20, 2017

We Will Hold On

It’s almost that time. The time that seemed so far away when you were born. The time we would laugh about as we said “He will only be in third grade when big brother leaves for college”. The time that I’ve tried to prepare you for. The time that I knew would be so exciting yet still so hard not only for me but for you the little brother, the one who will be left behind by the person you look up to the most. The time is among us, I feel it every day and I see it in you almost every day. I see it in your behavior, in your tears, the way you worry and in your jealousy. I make a conscious effort to always remember that you are only 7 years old and you process things differently. You’re hanging on just like us to the only life that you’ve ever known; a life that includes your brother every day and not just occasionally.

The little brother role is hard sometimes and you are more of a little brother than most. Everything will change soon and I am so aware. I am so aware of you. As I watch and help your brother prepare to leave for college I find myself holding on tighter to you. I find myself living each day with you a little differently and it’s because I am so much more aware now of how time truly does fly by. Your brother has proven that and you get to reap the rewards of it by being my second, my last child and my baby. Everything we do together, accomplish and milestone achieved with you is my last as Mom. I am aware, so aware. Every day I have with you amazes me. Everyday I’m aware of your little face full of freckles and every day your voice lingers in my mind as we go our separate ways. I want to embrace and captivate you with everything we do. I want to capture the moments and live each day with you to the fullest because there is no time to waste. Each day with you is another day towards your big exciting adventure that your brother is embarking on now. 

Our time is limited; we have the proof right before us and as we watch him go we will hold on, we will hold on to each other because that’s what we do best you and your Momma.

Monday, June 26, 2017

No Tears on Graduation

Graduation came and went. The weekend was full of people and it was everything I had thought it would be except for one thing; my tears. I did not cry. I did not cry until today.

Our house was so quiet. I spent time putting it back together and cleaning up the remains of your Graduation Party. I spent time looking through the rest of the pictures I had taken of this wonderful time in our lives. I watched the video your father took at the ceremony of you receiving the highest honor you could receive at Graduation. I watched through tears as they called your name and it all finally hit me. As I sat here all alone the emotions flooded in. The remnants are sparse of what happened here this weekend but my heart is just so full.

I started thinking about all you have done. All you have accomplished already in just 18 years and you my son are incredible. There will never be enough words to explain what you mean to me. Everything you have worked so hard for has prepared you to take this next journey. We have prepared you but no one has prepared me. There will never be a day that I want you to leave yet you will leave in just 57 short days and yes I counted them out today. 

I cannot imagine you not being here every day with me, with us. I cannot imagine not looking at those big brown eyes every day and not seeing your face. I cannot imagine falling asleep when you’re not home. I wonder how I will be able to comfort your brother when he is missing you so much because my heart will feel the exact same way. The house will never be the same and our family dynamic of 4 will change so much. We will all miss you so very much. It’s been 18 years of you every day and I really don’t know how to function any other way. I really don’t know how to not feel this way.

The next journey will be amazing. It will also be harder for all of us. As sad as I am; I am also just as happy. I am so happy and excited for you and also a little worried that you won’t need me anymore. Everything I ever done since I was 22 years old has been for you (and then your brother too). Every choice and decision was always made with the best of intentions to help you become who you are today. I hope you will always love and appreciate that about me. I hope when you look back on the last 18 years of your life I’m vivid and abundant in your happiest memories. I hope I was and continue to be the Best Mom Ever and I hope you never stop needing me.

I love you is such an understatement but I will never stop telling you.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Choices of My Two Fathers

Father’s Day is a tough one. It’s a tough one to explain for me because it doesn’t necessarily flood my head with overwhelming childhood memories. The true meaning of what being a Father means runs deep in my brain. The true meaning of a Father and who your Father truly is isn’t always found in your DNA.

When I was 4 years old my DNA walked out the door. I have vivid memories standing there at our front door screaming and crying as he carried large green garbage bags out and didn’t come back. This is my oldest memory that I can recall on my own and I am guessing it's because it was so traumatic as a 4 year-old little girl.

I am a mother of 2 beautiful boys. As a parent, I have never understood and probably never will comprehend just how someone can walk out on their child. A child they’ve raised and loved for 4 years. I’ve been told over the years that he loved me. I have the pictures to prove that I look nothing like my Mom and every trait I carry is from his side. I have the pictures to prove that he was there as a young loving father of a curly haired little girl who has his brown eyes. I have the pictures and that’s all I have ever really had.

There’s been brief contact a few times. I met him twice. I’ve written him letters and sent Christmas cards several times. I’ve even spoken to his wife. I have never really found closure only more of what feels like rejection. The type of rejection that again as a parent I cannot wrap my head around. Who does this? I’m 41 years old and at this point I repeatedly tell myself to “get over it”. I’ve come to realize that maybe I never will. I know I could get a call one day and be told of his passing, life has proven to me more than once just how short it can be. This is actually one of my biggest fears because then, then it’s over the time will have run out and the answer to my lifelong question of “Why he didn’t want me anymore” will forever go answered.

Now this may just seem like a sad story and maybe it is but luckily for me there was someone who did want me. There was someone who chose to love me. He had a choice and he chose me. He decided to love, provide, guide, discipline, teach and to be my Dad. He didn’t have to but he did. He’s my Dad. He’s been my Dad since I was 5 years old. Looking back I don’t really remember how it exactly came to be but awhile into it, I do remember the first time I ever called him “Dad”. He was getting home from an overnight and I ran out to his truck. He was a truck driver. As he was stepping down from the truck I was standing there looking up waiting to give him a hug saying “Daddy, Daddy”. He didn’t correct me and from that day on he was my “Daddy”. 

He was always there for me and even more so as an adult. He was a far better father as I got older and as I had children.  He changed a lot from the person he was when I was growing up to who he was when he passed and we were actually closer as I became an adult. He was a protector, a problem solver and a bossy giver of all the advice. He didn’t always have all the mushy words of love and praise but he loved me like a father should. He was proud of me. He loved me and the family I created.  I was his girl, his Meathead and the grown woman that he’d still tickle the knees of in the car when we were together. This is a Father. I never referred to him as my step-father. Some people won’t even know he was until they read this. He was my Dad, there was never a question and we didn’t need DNA or the same name to prove it.

Being a Father is a privilege. Being a Father and Being a Father have two totally separate definitions. It comes with great responsibility and it’s not just biological. It comes when someone is present. It comes with someone who is there for his children even if they aren’t “his”.  It comes with LOVE and it's a CHOICE.  

There's truth in the choices you make. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The End

So the time has come. The time is out and you’ve watched this boy play with a basketball his entire life. The word “Basketball” in this house runs just as fluently as our last name. It has been a constant part of our lives since the second grade and it’s hard to believe it’s time to say goodbye.

I look at these kids and I am so proud. I am proud of all they have accomplished with the sport and how far they’ve taken it. I’m proud of them for sticking with the sport, even when it wasn’t always their time to shine. I’m proud of their sportsmanship and for always committing and living up to the programs high expectations.  I’m proud of the sacrifices they’ve made for all those Friday Nights on the court and for the few who gave up all other sports to focus solely on basketball. It’s been a pleasure to watch them grow from the little boys who once couldn’t even dribble a basketball to young men who now are not only teammates but forever friends.

 I watch with such pride every game as they step out on the court wearing those school colors. It’s more than just a game, it’s a feeling, a connection and a commitment to each other and their school that is beyond the sound of  squeaky sneakers on the shiny gym floor.

I don’t even know if I can capture the feeling of realizing last night was the last time he’d enter that gym and be known to all who came. The last time I’d hear his name as they announce the starting lineup.  The last time I’d pick up a program and see his name in it. The last time I’ll open the paper on a Saturday morning and see his name in the headlines of the sports section. As I write I can feel that lump forming in my throat and it’s hitting me that this is it.  As a parent you also give so much and sacrifice so many things for their love of the game, for them to do what they love and to be successful in their sport. I will never regret the time or money spent as he pursued and succeeded in the sport he loves the most. I’ve watched him grow not only physically but as person through this sport. Basketball along with all his teams, teammates and Coaches over the years have taught him certain life skills that you just can’t learn from a book or in a classroom and for that I will always be grateful.

Although I am sad to see it end I am not saying I don’t want it to end. I want to see what this kid does outside of those  high-school walls because I know he’s going to do amazing things.  I want to see what the future holds for him even without basketball. I’m not nervous about the future. I know he’ll be prepared.  I guess I was the one who wasn't quite prepared for the final “curtain call” just yet.