I was feeling a little overwhelmed and this is when I’m the hardest on myself. It’s when I begin remembering all the times I lost patience and got more upset than I wanted to. Remembering how easily I got upset this morning while I was trying to get the kids fed, cleaned, and ready to head out the door. I was making breakfast and then lunch and the time was passing and the kids were moving so SLOWLY and I knew I still had so much more to do. At that point, I should’ve pulled away from the situation and just taken a moment to let whatever was boiling inside me disappear but I didn’t. I raised my voice and began to rush the kids and myself. I didn’t like that feeling but didn’t realize it until I dropped them off. Once we got out of the house everything seemed fine. We were talking nicely. There was giggling and everything was as if my temper was not raised or my patience not short. This only made me feel worse.
I decided I needed to go somewhere I would be surrounded by small children and their moms, dads and family. I needed to take myself away from the abuse I was mentally giving myself. Basically remove myself from my harsh thoughts of the mistake I made this morning.
I went to the park. I sat on a bench alone and listened to the children play and the conversations that were taking place. I heard moms yelling at their kids. I heard moms loving their children but also heard the frustration in their voices. I heard some losing their cool and yelling. This is when my clinched tight body began to loosen. It was a reminder that not everyone is perfect and sometimes we just lose our patience. It helped bring me down to a place of comfort, appreciation and love. I was able to let the abuse rest and remember all the amazing times that I didn’t get upset. I remembered all the giggles and laughter I shared with G and I. I remembered all the sweet times and even the not so sweet times but they were our times and we made it work together.
The kids woke up so excited this morning. It was fairytale day at summer camp and they were ready to celebrate with their friends. The laughter and the silly giggles between G & I had me smiling all the way to camp. It wasn’t until we got to the corner and a lady walked up the stairs at the subway station that my smile sadly turned in to a bit of anger and sadness. As my giggling holding hands twins were walking by this lady, she looked directly at them with this horrible disapproving expression while mustering the words “it’s not a good time for him to be wearing that costume.” Shaking her head disapprovingly while continuing her rant. It took all that I had in me not to lose my temper. I immediately looked at my children still walking ahead of me but now slowly to try and make out what she was saying to me but at the same time still trying to continue the happiness they had been enjoying all morning. I stared at them to make sure they turned away from us and I looked at this lady and as much as I wanted to protect my kids by saying something I would regret or could possibly turn into something that I did not want to teach my kids, I swallowed and said I am so proud of my kids and the costumes they selected to wear. I followed that by saying, it’s with a pure heart of love and kindness for my children that I will continue walking along without letting your ugliness affect my day. She said something about mother’s like me…at that point I could no longer hear her because all I could see in front of me was a beautiful tinker bell and a handsome sweet police officer who said he would protect all the fairies at camp and that is why he chose that costume for today’s event.
We finally got to the front of the school when G stopped us and asked me why I looked sad. He then said was it because the lady was sad? I smiled realizing that he was just worried that maybe she was unhappy and couldn’t see how mean she was being. Instead he chose to believe maybe she wasn’t happy and that was why she was saying things to me. At that moment, I realized how kind and innocent their hearts truly are. How much love they are surrounded by and how we strive to teach them every day what love is and how to treat others with that same love and respect. We walked into the camp and were surrounded by different religions; different race, different colors and all they saw were friends. They greeted each counselor Black, White, Spanish, Italian with smiles and hugs. It was then that I realized this is how we should be. Why can’t we just see this? Why can’t we lift each other with happiness?
With all the sadness going on in this world why do you want to take away children’s happiness?
Before I left the camp I looked back one more time to see how everyone despite the color of skin were getting along, smiling and just appreciating all the costumes and the bonds they were making. My smile came back and I walked out knowing that today was going to be a good day!
No matter where you are when you start walking thoughts come to mind. Your walk is filled with family, sadness, love and just emotions. The more you walk the more your feelings are present. Weeks and weeks of heaviness falling down on you, on your chest, shoulders, and head knocking you to your knees and keeping you down. The weight feels unbearable. At times I feel like I can’t breathe and at other times I’m so scared.
Then I hear something in the distance. Life is happening all around me. Laughter is filling the air with giggles that sound so familiar. It’s hard to smile when you have sadness, confusion and are in some form of shock but then you do because those giggles are coming from your children. Two amazingly sweet little people that are living with love in their hearts and that see kindness all around.
You want to be angry because you feel the loss so great. You see the pain so expressed on the face of family and it makes you even sadder. You want to take it all in. Somehow take it away but you know you can’t and that upsets you more. You begin to question why? Why do we have to be reminded of how horrible it can be to truly appreciate all that is good? We appreciate it all already. Why take that away from us? So many questions but never enough answers. It seems as though the answers are never present when you need them most only in time will the answers be present. In time, we will understand.
One step at a time, one breath, one heartbeat, just faith. Life doesn’t stop living because you are sad. It keeps moving at the same pace all we can do is move along with it. Create our own pace until we are able to catch up.
Hearts are breaking and tears are flowing. The loss is present and we are surrounded by sadness of family and friends who left this life too soon. These past couple of months seems to have many I love in pain. From my families loss to friends who continue to lose someone truly close. I want to extend my deepest sympathies to all those who are suffering. Who continue to try and understand why they are gone. There’s never a good answer or time but all we can do is believe that God is doing what he needs to do.
We can hold on to the memories that we so beautifully shared with those lost. Each day gets better or so they say. All we can do is live each day surrounded by love of family and friends and live each day helping each other. Stay safe and remember there is always someone who loves your smile so even though it’s hard be sure to show it.
When there’s so much sadness, heartache and confusion in the world sometimes all that’s needed is a dance to bring you back to a place of happiness and love.
Seeing the kids excitement as they danced to freestyle in the living room brought me to a place of calm and joy. I just stared as they giggled, moved and wiggled with these smiles that would light up any moment. They were having too much fun and with all that’s surrounding us, I decided to get up and join them. Feeling the music and letting my body go while giggling with the two miracles dancing before me was just what I needed. It wasn’t long until we pulled my sister Mary and mother to their feet so they too could enjoy the music and life that was taking place in our home.
The laughter, dance moves and constant giggles continued for what felt like a lifetime. It’s been way too long since this happened last and I couldn’t understand why.
In the middle of all the death, hatred and sadness, we lived, laughed and loved. We just enjoyed being here. I couldn’t stop laughing watching my mom and sister keep up with Giovanni and Isannah. There was no holding back. We were dancing like we were at the biggest club party. It was a great feeling and it was being felt all around.
It’s times like these you remember what’s important in life and how grateful we are to be surrounded by family.
Remember there is always a dance in your heart.
Today is a day of many emotions. A year ago today I lost a beautiful friend. A kind, full of life, gracious, strong, amazingly special in all ways to a continuous on and off battle of cancer. She brought so much love and joy to all those who knew her and every day she is thought about and missed. I know she is a beautiful angel care and pain free watching us and smiling that amazing smile. I can still hear that wondrous laugh. It truly was one of a kind. Today as I remember her and smile through sadness for a loss so great. I remember the amazing times we shared together. I am also reminded that life continues no matter the pain, the loss and the confusion.
This morning as I was helping Giovanni and Isannah with their character day costumes for school I saw the beauty that is life in their smiles and the innocence that shines from these two little bodies. Seeing that was able to lift me and give me the smile I needed to continue my day. I watched them in class as they each got ready to begin their school day. I saw and heard the smiles and laughter filling their classrooms. This was life. This was light and the start of new beginnings.
Before leaving I peaked once more in each classroom to remind myself that life is always continuing. May today remind you that you are alive no matter your situation and that you have another day to enjoy all that you can. We are surrounded by beauty even in the tiniest of views.
Another school year begins and that means the nerves, the tension and the hope that your kids will transition painlessly. It also means letting go. It is another year where you need to trust your blessings to someone else for several hours a day. No matter if it’s preschool, elementary or higher all the feelings are the same.
It is also the time that moms feel most judged. Whether it’s by the looks you receive at drop off or pick up or just the quiet whispers as you pass. It’s felt immediately.
We should lift each other up and remember at that moment we are all going through the same thing, instead of that look of comparison and judgment.
It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing or what my kids are wearing that needs to be the focus. What matters is that we are all here encouraging our children to be happy, polite, courteous, respectful and empathetic. To walk in to the classroom (that can be scary) confidently knowing they can be whatever they want to be and know that we are here supporting and loving them dearly. Then as the door closes and you know your children are safely in class that is when you just drop your shoulders turn slowly and walk away. At that moment, some of us walk away with our heads down and begin to second-guess every decision we made from the time we woke up. That weight is too heavy and continues to drag us down. We need to try and focus on the job we did getting our children fed, dressed and in school on time rather than reflect on the in between that may not have gone so well.
This is a problem that I struggle with daily and I know I’m not alone.
I’m learning as each day passes that I need to concentrate on the good things that we do throughout the day to better our children and that will better ourselves.
This mother thing is not easy and takes many falls but with falls comes a greater climb. Because when you get that one good feeling tug at your heart with a happiness feeling that tickles your toes and runs up your nose, you have to sit back smile and say, this is what it’s all about. It can be something as small as your kid’s smile that changes that very moment for you. It can be the unexpected trip that causes you to go flying smashing your knee but when you look down to curse yourself you see a tiny baby clip from when your daughter was a newborn laying right in front of you that little thing changes your reaction from horribly upset to releasing all the tension and just putting it out through a smile. It’s little things that sometimes we overlook in anger and frustration that we should try to see.
This year I wish all the mothers (parents) strength in knowing you are doing the best that you can. It may not seem like it while you are in the moment but it is. Instead of focusing on the yelling you did and hating yourself for it, focus on what made your kids laugh and laugh right along with them. We are all learning together, parents and children.
Remember you are never alone. There is always someone trying to figure it out right along with you.
You know your a tad bit emotional when you are at a pre k meet and greet and one of the teachers comes up to you to ask you the question you mentally prepared for and you can’t talk. You can’t get the words out, “yes, please separate them.” Instead you look silently at her and immediately search the room for your husband. He comes over looks at me and knows what’s going on. With tears filling my eyes he tells her “we” feel it is best to separate them. I lost it. When a teacher feels the need to give you two hugs in a 30 minute period you know it’s going to be an emotional day.
I was thinking about it all day and then finally it was time to get ready. I wanted to take my time so that Asher didn’t catch me in my dress before heading down the stairs. I had butterflies fluttering in my belly and this dorky smile that made my cheek ache but I couldn’t help it. It was date night but not just any date night. It was our 7 year anniversary. What an amazing journey. Now we were hand in hand at our favorite restaurant in the city Bouley. The champagne poured and I was already drunk in love. I kept sneaking stares at him and sheepishly smiling. I just couldn’t believe we were here. I was here. The silly laughter, gentle touches and warm love that surrounded us was undeniable. The meal was amazing. The night was filled with twinkle and my heart was filled with him. May you feel love that embraces you gently but tightly that you don’t ever want to let go. Laughter that gives cheek aches but you just don’t want it to stop. And light that will always show you the way. Spreading my heartfelt love to all of you.
Sun was setting and the darkness was making an appearance as my family and I were listening to the music in the park. The night was hitting the kids and things on our blanket became more relaxed. As Giovanni crawled on to my lap Isannah stood behind me and began playing with my hair. While I was cradling Giovanni in my arms and feeling Isannah’s little hands run through my hair I looked over at my husband who was staring directly at us. My heart just melted and I knew I was right where I needed to be.
Jason Isbell was lighting up the stage and the sounds of his guitar was filling the night air. It was that kind of night.