31
Jan

Five Minute Friday - Hero

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on hero.

Go.

They come in all forms, and most times, their capes are invisible.
They come in all sizes because this morning I listened to a small four year old face comfort her 18 month old brother in a way I couldn't.
They are strong. Strong enough to endure long days, and illness, and children at your feet and pulling at your body which leads to pulling at your mind. They are strong because they have to watch you stumble, they have to hold you when you are sick, they have to be strong enough to let. you. go.
Heroes save us from ourselves, when we didn't realize we needed to be saved.
Heroes have built me into this woman, this person, this mother.
You can call them friends, mentors, Bigs, but heroes is what they are. It's just that you never saw their cape.

Stop.

26
Jan

Our cape

Our cape isn't visible.
But, it is somehow made of steel.
Our cape has to be strong enough to take care of little faces when you are on your knees crying from your own illness.

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Our cape has to be strong enough to watch you hurt.
Our cape has to be strong enough to watch you make mistakes.
Our cape, it has to be strong enough to stand in the middle of the kitchen, cleaning morning dishes, getting dinner on, having you both screaming over a toy, still trying to finish up the work day, and all in one breath, realize that they are only little for a little longer.

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Our cape has to be strong enough to admit that we're wrong and apologize for over reacting.
Our cape has to be strong enough to let go of privacy.
Our cape, it has to be strong enough to watch you get sick, and sit in an ambulance with you, and not lose every part of your heart with each and every beating moment.
Our cape, it has to be strong enough to bleed for you, to be opened up on a table to have you taken out of me.
Our cape, it has to be strong enough to struggle with the fact that you will never be done with babies, even if we're done with kids.
Our cape, it has to be strong enough for all of them.

And it gets its strength from you.
It gets strength from watching you finally figure out how to play with each other.
It gets strength from watching you become the dad I always knew you were.
It gets its strength from watching love grow in our home.
It gets it strength from our family, our times together, our love, our arguments, our insane fights, our long hugs, holding hands, stealing kisses.
Our cape, it isn't visible, but you made it out of steel.

24
Jan

Five Minute Friday - Visit

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on visit.

Go.

There was a time in my life when we all lived together. A time we were all huddled in the same building, linked at the hip and constantly in each others lives. We would always be in PJS, or getting ready for a class or going out. We were family, if not by blood, then by experience.

And now, we all have found our person and have our own real families and each time we get together, each visit, awakens that girl in me. Visit seems too formal for who we are and what we mean and where we came from and what we went through together.

Who else would have helped me through break-ups and a bad grade? Who else would have held my hair back from bad choices, who else would have sang on the top of their lungs with me, and held my hand as we shared what happened.

There was a time we were so connected, so intertwined, family.

But now, our kids play together and love on each other. Now, my person adores your person and we have a different relationship, our visits mean the world to me. We were kids and we didn't realize the 35 year old us would be living these lives. Wouldn't it be simpler to just go down the hall, share a drink, a talk, and comfort? Wouldn't it be simpler to have all we needed at our finger tips and have our nights planned out.

Our visits, they mean the world to me because they remind me of a family I created for myself and the love we all shared.

Stop.

19
Jan

Someday

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"One day, I counted your fingers and kissed each one"...

I introduced you to baths, and sleep, and snow and long warm walks.

I introduced you to joyful snuggles, and couch time.

It was the tiniest of families, living in a quiet world.

You, you introduced me to small love that grows deeper with each day. You introduced me to pregnancy hiccups and babies rolling over in my belly and the feeling of baby kicks.

You introduced me to having a moment feel like a lifetime while watching you on a screen, and having two hearts beating in one body.

You introduced me to the feeling of having your finger held by an entire hand. You introduced me to infant cries, and baby skin, and little girl eye lashes and a baby smile.

You introduced me to motherhood, you awoke me from a fog and dove me into love.

"One day, we crossed the street and you held my hand tight"...

I introduced this world to you, and you gave it all back to me by introducing a happy childhood to me.

Then, you were my baby.
Today, you are my child.
But someday...

Someday, I will watch you and your little bag climb onto a big bus.
Someday, I will watch you read your first book, all by yourself.
Someday, you will make friends and someday, they will become so important to you.

Someday, life will hurt and the pain will be so devastating you will feel like you can't go on.
Someday, you will be so terrified that you will feel paralyzed.
Someday, happiness will make you feel so elated, you will think your feet aren't touching the ground.
Someday you will soar and when that day comes, you will go.

"Someday, I will stand on this porch and watch your arms waving to me until I no longer see you...
Someday, you will look at this house and wonder how something that feels so big can look so small..."

Someday, you will go. You will turn and walk out of this house we created together and you will realize that in these walls, there was, there is, love. You will go and build your own life your own world and I hope we have given you the strength and courage to go, and be, and do.

Someday, you will be off. And when that day comes, I will have to let you go. I will have to let tiny fingers and tiny toes and a little girl that reaches for me go. I will have to give up on kissing you good night and tucking you in. I will have to let go of our Friday family movie nights and snuggles on our chair.

Someday, I will let your entire hand go.

"Sometimes when you sleep, I watch you dream and I dream too..."

Someday, you will feel the heavy weight of a tiny body and the heavy weight of a loving family.
Someday, you will feel hands reaching for you.
Someday, you will feel love from somewhere inside, love you have been waiting for.
Someday, you too will have wrinkles on your face that are full of happy memories.
Someday, you too will sit and watch your life unfold.

"And when that day comes love, you will remember me".

You will remember us, 100_7261
and how we got started. IMG_5996

17
Jan

Five minute Friday - encouragement

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on encouragement.

Go.

Please, it's what I need most this day, this week this month. My job has taken me to my knees, my kids have unraveled me and allowed me to come undone. I am failing in every way and I am sinking, finding it hard to breathe even.

My 12 hour work days have become 15, my kids feel my exhaustion and decide to come apart at every possible minute. There is no quiet, there is no climbing out, the month just has to end.

And then, this morning, he looked at me. He smiled at me and said "hi mom". He looked at me and without prompting he said "love you". This morning, she helped him brush his teeth, she asked me if I was happy because she wanted me to be proud of her. She put her blocks up for her chart and said, you didn't have to yell mom, I just did it.

This morning, they gave me the encouragement and courage to go on. They made the past two weeks melt away and they gave me some more strength for the next two weeks. Love, it moves me forward and reminds me of my choices and how and why I chose them and why I continue to feel overwhelmed that they chose me too.

Love will always take care of tomorrow.

Stop.

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12
Jan

She's come undone

It's late.

I have worked 14 straight hours and am trying to just make the day stop.

They're exhausted and since I am already in my state of hell, the patience has run out and I quickly come undone.

It always starts the same. Me telling myself that I have the situation under control and I realize in my mind that they react to me and my short temper but at a certain point, it always ends the same too. I start by saying three or four times in a row to do something, or put something away, or stop making each other cry, or stop touching that, or it's time to go, or to pick up, clean up, or answering the same "mom" question over and over. And to stop fighting, stop throwing, stop stop stop!

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And then my temper takes over and my reaction is always something I regret, almost immediately. Here's the thing, of course I realize it's going to make things worse. Of course I realize she is only going to dig her heals in farther. Of course I realize that he's going to cry louder, she's going to start throwing a tantrum, of course I realize my out of control feeling is going to get worse. Of course I realize all of it. But the day has been long, the week has been longer and I am done.

I am done being rational and trying to negotiate our day, I am done talking and being pulled at, and climbed on, and breaking them up.

This is mother, this is parenting, this is what they do to us, to all of us. They bring us to our knees and put us in a state of mind that we didn't think was possible. They push, they know the buttons, they make us into people we don't recognize.

The unraveling is tearing me apart. It pulls at me and makes me feel like I am coming undone, at every stitch. And the guilt is so heavy. They are so small, tomorrow they are one day older, I will never have this moment again, I will never have this day again, it's all slipping out of my hands...they are growing up.

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But, the exhaustion, it washes over you. It takes control and you realize they remove joy, make you feel unloving, unwanted, irrational, crazy and the exhaustion just continues to wash over you.

And the noise, there is so much noise, so much constant noise. Our house is a new kind of loud, a new kind of remarkably loud.

And it feels lonely.

It feels lonely because people keep telling you they understand, they have been there too, but they still make you feel judged and wrong. Flat out wrong in how you parent. It feels lonely because they tell you that if they could go back in time, they would give anything to have them and it to do all over again and it makes you feel guilty for wishing it away. It feels lonely because they forget that when they had little ones, it didn't look like a Pampers commercial, it looked just like this, just like the messy this that we have created. It feels lonely because you and your partner are trying to figure it out, each and every single day. You are changing and molding, you are fighting and yelling, you are tired and unsure of yourself, of them, you are scared, you are living in constant messy change.

And it is messy because it's mixed with love and frustration and such overwhelming joy that it makes you cry but such incredible pain that it makes you want to give it all up, even for just five minutes.

And it feels exhausting. A kind of exhausted that makes you so aware of every part of your body. Your hair, your teeth, your eyes, you are completely aware of your body. It feels exhausting because you are draining me, you are making me old, you are aging me in a way that I didn't realize would happen.

But, through all of the pain, and tired, and cries, and timeouts and tantrums, and tears, and sibling crazy, we find our way back to love.

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Quiet and content love. Love that keeps us warm, and allows us to feel whole again. Love that allows us to close our eyes and know we have come back.

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Because, the day has come to an end. And our nighttime routine is here and the peace and comfort we know and have defined as us, it makes its way back. We share books and special messages. We tell each other how much we love, how much we will miss one another when the lights are out. We kiss and squeeze and run fingers through soft sweet hair. We hold hands and talk about tomorrow and all we have to do, how we are going to start over, how we're all going to try our hardest. How love will take care of tomorrow.

10
Jan

Five Minute Friday - see

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on see.

Go.

I see you, I see the real you. I see how gorgeous you are because you are kind, with a soul, and words and stories. I see you are smart, and that your body is healthy. I see the real you.

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But you, you see the real me too. You never looked at my scar from giving you and your brother life and told me how ugly it is. You never looked at my body with disappointment. You look at me and you see beauty, you see motherhood and what being a grown up looks like you and you see me...you see your mom and you define that as beauty.

And what this does for me, is it helps me to see the real me too. Not what I should look like, not what this world tells me to look like, not what I have seen for the past 35 years and not the shame and hurt I have felt looking at me all those years. I see myself in your eyes, I see what I mean to you and I see the beauty we have created.

I see what you see in me.

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Stop.

5
Jan

The book of love

"The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing...
"

Our book is long, our story is old, our lives are filled with the perfect kind of boring.
And as we celebrate each and every single year of us and together, I want you to know that I have found a comforting peace with our story.
I adore our story, I love how perfectly imperfect it is.
I feel our ups and downs.
I adore our story, and I am proud to be writing it with you.

Our boring is filled with schedules and routines and "have tos".
Our days do not look like a romantic movie, nor are they filled with wild romantic gestures.
They are simple but crazy,
they are long but passing by too quickly,
they are the perfectly imperfect and yes, boring.

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"...It's full of charts and facts, some figures and instructions for dancing..."

And so, our dance continues because our music isn't going to stop.
The two kids who grew into the us of today, their music and their dance, it goes on and on.
So, dance with me. We don't need the instructions anymore.
We know how to hold each other, how we fit, how to move together.
Hold me in your arms, kiss the top of my head and tell me, like only you know how, that everything will be okay. That our love is strong, and can outlast all pain, all diseases, all heartaches.
It can outlast days with the kids that make our heads pound and our tempers take over.
It can outlast the long work days and long work weeks that quickly turn into long work months.
Because I love it when you dance with me.

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"The book of love has music in it,
In fact that's where music comes from.
Some of it is just transcendental,
Some of it is just really dumb."
"But I,
I love it when you sing to me.
And you,
You can sing me anything.
"

There is music in this life that we created, this life that we decided to create.
And our story is filled with songs and memories of all of us.
There is music in our memories, in our wrinkles, in the hair that is starting to gray, our bodies that don't look like ours.

"The book of love is long and boring,
And written very long ago.
It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes,
And things we're all too young to know
."

Our story begins when we were young...young and starting our lives.
We found each other at the end of one period in time and the start of forever.
The start of adulthood, the start of real life.
Our journey, our story, our book started. Growing up, growing together.
Never could we have imagined that one night that the two 21 year old kids would be here, today, living this life, this remarkable and overwhelming life.
Never could we know the weight of family would feel this full?
Never could I know that you would take away my pain, my anger, my lifetime of fighting and pushing away?
Never could we know that we would find peace, but in the oddest of places, like through our own fights, our own molding and changing, our own reflection of how we want things different and how we will never let each other go. Things we're all too young to know.

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Did we know we would create this, create them, create home and family and this overwhelming love?

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Did we know how little they would be and how fleeting time would become?
Did we realize that we need to work even harder on us while parenting them?
Did we know that the words "I take you to be mine" would weigh this much? It would be this heavy, it would carry with it joy and fear and peace and frustration and anger and laughter and tantrums, and woes and happiness and sadness.
Did we know that it would make my crazy even crazier and at times kill the joy that lives so naturally in you?
Did we know I would find my second chance through them, that we would protect them but realize that we have to let them go, each day a little more.
Or, were these all things we were too young to know?

And here is the best part...
our story isn't done.
We are still writing, we are still editing and rearranging the pages, writing a long and painful and joyful and remarkable chapter each and every year.
We will make sure we all have a happy ending.

"And I,
I love it when you give me things.
And you,
You ought to give me wedding rings.
You ought to give me wedding rings.
"

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3
Jan

Five Minute Friday - Fight

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on fight.
Go

Fighting, it's what I have been doing my whole life. I have fought to be where I stand today, I fought my family, my parents, my friends, my relationships, myself. I took the fight on when I was too young and left a childhood behind to become an "adult" even though my age screamed kid. I fought my way through high school, college and fought for my career, my grades, my work, my money, my health. I fought against my family, against my "you should be" against my MS, against my traditions.

So now, as an adult, I am reliving some of those important childhood years. I am creating the all important happy childhood but I will teach my kids to fight too, for their futures, for their lives.

In the end, there is no blame, there are no regrets, because that fighter got me to where I am today. A proud and peaceful person. Someone that still has fight in her, but doesn't feel the need to have it be "me against the world", instead it's me fighting for a better world.

There is a fighter in all of us. Find what drives you to fight, what drives you to push and want more, better. It's there, don't forget your former self, even if you have changed and molded. There is a fight in us all.

STOP.

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