26
Apr

I'm sorry

I sit outside your bedroom door and I can hear your anger.
I can hear the fight still in you.
Our fight.
The one that we just had.
The one that left us cold and disconnected.
The one that left us feeling alone.

And so,
I say it.
I say after I have lost
my temper
my mind
their trust.
I say it on my knees, eye to eye with little scared faces that I created.
I say it, meaning every word.
I didn't mean to yell, I didn't mean to make you angrier.
I didn't want to see you cry.
I didn't want this to escalate out of control.
I should have given more attention,
I should have given you more time,
I should have given more...of me.
But instead, I let life get in the way again.
I let my temper and my tired dictate my words.
I let you down, and I can see it all over your face.
Because I'm suppose to be the one you can always count on to build you up, and instead, I brought you down.
So now, I offer my apology.
My sincere regret of that moment, that day.
I ask if you want to start over but what I really mean is, let's have a do over.
Because I want to start over too.

I make mistakes,
a lot of them.
I make them every day.
Personally, professionally, as a bride, as a mom, as a friend.
I am closer to 40 than I am to 30 and I am still growing up, still figuring this out.
Can you imagine that?
I know you think that by now, I should have it together.
I know that you think that by now, I should know what to do,
but I don't.
We are all making this up as we go along.
And because of that, I am going to fail you a lot.

You see, of all the things you learn about being a parent,
of all the things that they teach you or try to prep you for.
There is too much to share,
or some things are so embarrassing that people think it shouldn't be shared.

Things like the mistakes,
the arguments,
the times you feel like a failure,
what parenthood can do to marriage,
what it can do to a life
a person.

But you two, you weren't a mistake.
You weren't even a surprise.
You were wanted, and you didn't ask to be here.
You found us because we asked for you.
And, it's not your fault that I'm tired.
It is not your fault that exhaustion has made it hard to hold my head up,
difficult to see straight.
It is not your fault that my head pounds,
that I need time.
It's not your fault that work isn't going well, or that dad and I are arguing.
You just got stuck in the cross fire.

Some people, like your dad, they didn't realize that they even had a temper until they had kids.
But, I always knew and was very aware of mine.
I could see it creep up all of the time and the one thing I did know going into parenthood was that
I have to learn to control it or it will break us.
And so my little faces,
I am sorry.
I am sorry for the short temper.
I am sorry for the stubborn gene that I have passed on.
I am sorry for the yelling,
I am sorry for your tears.

I am human and I will fail again.
But I love you both with an intensity that cannot be explained.
Each and every time I let you down, I will always find the strength to say,
I am sorry.

24
Apr

Five Minute Friday - hide

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. 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 hide.
Go.

The introverted mother wants to hide.
She wants the world to leave her be, if even for a minute.
She wants her kids to play a little quieter.
She is drawn to the extrovert, to the life of the party, because she is not.

So many times in my life, I get to a place where it is time to pull the covers over my head.
I can't imagine getting out of bed and being a person and interacting with the world.
I am at that place currently.
I just want it to go away, and I want to hide.

And then I remember what I would be hiding myself from,
their smiles, their childhood.
His jokes, his embrace, his hugs.
Our home, the life we have built together.
I would be hiding from all of us.

It's not always perfect.
It's not always wonderful,
and sometimes life brings me way down.
But, it is up to me to realize it is all going to be okay.
It is up to me to get back up when I am knocked down and it is up to me to tackle challenges.
If not, what message would I be sending them?
Wouldn't I be telling them when times get rough, you hide?
And that's not my message, that's not really my style.
I am too much of a fighter to hide
and that's the message they will walk away with.

Stop.

19
Apr

Running toward or away?

In a couple of weeks, I lace up again.
I hit the road and do another solo half marathon.
I have been training for a few weeks now and I can feel the tired, in my legs, at night in my entire body.
I feel the heavy.
And I keep reminding myself how much I love the hateful long runs.
I hate how much I love it and love how much I hate it.
How I hate how much time is spent out there, counting down the miles,
but how much I love the feeling of getting it done.
It's hard, difficult to climb, it's tiring, and it's all self inflicted.

All my life, I have run.
As long as I can remember.
And as young as 8 years old, I knew I was running to be thinner, to look different.
All my life, I spent my time running away...from myself, the situations I was in, from my figure.
All of my life I have been asked to slow down, asked to stop running so hard.
But those that knew me, knew the reason I had to run.

And then I met you, my person.
And I continued to run.
At every turn, I tried to run away from the family you were creating.
But, you wouldn't let me.
You forced me to plant my feet.

And I did, we did.
We settled into couple-hood,
into parenthood,
into us.

And I still run,
I still race,
I still go too hard.
But now I feel like I am trying to run toward something, not away.

I am running toward health, physical and mental health.
I am running toward proving to my body that we still can do this.
I am running to give MS the middle finger, high and proud.
I am running to prove to our kids that health, and your body, they matter.
I am running toward my own strength, my own determination.
I am running for Anna, to show her that #StrongIsTheNewPretty.
I am running toward our family, the one we waited and wished for.
The one we fight for.

And in less than two weeks, the race, the solo race, it starts early.
It's just me and the road, in our neighborhood.
No music, no chatter, no one to chase, just me.
Finally not running away, but toward our home.

17
Apr

Five Minute Friday - tomorrow

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 tomorrow.
Go.

It's not a guarantee,
it's not a known.
In fact, it's something we take for granted because we just expect it will be there.
Going to bed angry because we will fix it tomorrow.
Putting your child to bed in a tantrum because they just need to sleep off the crazy and we will talk about it tomorrow.
And it's not that we aren't reminded how fleeting time is.
It's not that we aren't told that tomorrow may never come, we are bombarded with images and stories of someone's tomorrow that did not come.
We are told to love today, in the moment, to believe and live like each day is our last.
We are told to say the I love yous and pick up the phone to check on someone, to not let anger wash over us, to forgive and love.
Because tomorrow is never a have to, always another gift.
But, we get busy, and life takes us in a million directions and before you realize what is happening, you find yourself saying, there's always tomorrow. It can wait.
Or when we ourselves are in a fit of rage, we are not thinking, what if I don't see their face tomorrow, what will be remembered? What will their take away be? What memory will we all have?
All you think about is the fit of rage, the anger, you're stuck in the moment.
But, with the little faces I created, I have gotten harder and softer.
My temper is shorter, but my love is greater, my heart, larger.
And when I fly off, when all control is lost, I have to try and remember how many mothers didn't get their tomorrow.
And how many lose the fight.
Tomorrow is not a guarantee, love and hug today.
And remember that life is happening today.

Stop.

12
Apr

The introverted mother

We wake up early, our bucket really full for the day.
We try and spend as many hours alone, in the dark, getting things crossed off our lists.
We like the dark, and the rain, we just like the feeling of hiding.

And before we know it, the rest of the world is awake and we start to give and give, until,
like all parents,
like all people,
we are empty.
Introverted parents feel a little harder,
loud is a little louder and
tired feels like exhaustion.
We get our energy in the quiet, in the silence.
We find it late at night, when the world is starting to close its eyes.
We find it here

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We find it as we whisper our good-nights.
We find it in their love, their quiet, calm love.
We find it alone, on our drives in.
We find it on the couch, with a glass of wine.
We find it holding hands, in an embrace.
We find it here

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We get lost in snuggles, and clouds that threaten rain.
We find snow storms another reason to hide and hibernate.
We love cozy, and warm.
We long for silence.

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Our friends are family, we are fiercely loyal.
Change is difficult, milestones mean loss and loss is heartbreaking.
Love is too strong, sometimes it breaks us, most times it fixes us.
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We notice the details, we are always focused on time.
We realize how fleeting life is, how change happens everyday.
We are quiet, but not silent.
We process and act later.
We love with all we have.
We create family, get lost in it.

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I want to thank Toni Hammer for commenting on how introverted mothers mother.

10
Apr

Five Minute Friday - Relief

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 relief.
Go.

I spent so many days/weeks/months and years in anger.
I was wrapped in resentment and hostility.
I blamed them for everything, every struggle, every difficult decision.
I had an enemy, and I could clearly see their face.
The ones who were suppose to protect me, became those I was fighting against.
And I fought on.
I battled, all day everyday.
But that battle got me to where and who I am today.
I fought to prove myself, and came out stronger on the other side.
I fought to prove my strength, my ability, I am capable!
And then, slowly, with many helping hands, I let the anger go.
I started just living my life instead of proving my worth.
I allowed them back in, realizing they did the best they could, with what they had.
I just live now.
I just am now.
I know my worth, I know my courage, I know my ability.
I am just me, living my life, with the family I have created around me mixed with the family I was born into.
And the amount of weight that I stopped carrying, the amount of burden that is lifted, the amount of life I now get to live is the relief I feel.

Stop.

6
Apr

Six

I remember every moment of this day.
It all started 24 long hours before you arrived,
and my memory is so strong that I remember every contraction, every moment.
I remember my water breaking, shouting up the stairs to dad.
I remember how annoyed his voice sounded because I was shouting.
I remember not wanting to leave for the hospital after I hung up the phone with the doctor.
I remember finishing up our last minute packing and going outside with Mia.
I remember brushing her and tears spilling from my face and dad coming out, sitting down next to me and asking "so, what's going on? Are we going to leave soon?"
I remember the drive in, watching all the houses go by and realizing how different our drive home would be.
I remember getting there, dad going to park and me walking in alone, telling them I was in labor.
I remember calling nonna and nonno, and your grandparents, telling them it was getting started but they all think it's going to take a very long time so no rush.
I remember every epidural, there were three.
I remember every fight dad and I had, there were also three (and no, they didn't correlate with me needing another epidural).
I remember how much I loved our first nurse and how much I hated the one I ended up with.
Hated.
I remember throwing up, on dad, and secretly feeling satisfied about it because he told me I was being dramatic (one of the three fights!)
I remember zia there, coming in and out, wanting to fight for me.
I remember how much pain there was.
I remember my body finally giving out and passing out after the second epidural.
I remember every push, every mean word the nurse said.
I remember dad counting and her telling him to slow down and me telling him not to.
I remember the pain coming from my hips, the inability to rest between pushes.
I remember them telling me it was time to give up, time to take you.
I remember the cold and the shaking as my mom walked in to kiss me.
I remember her fear, she was terrified and I couldn't talk, the shaking took over.
I remember being alone, dad getting scrubbed up and me waiting, for surgery.
I remember being brought into the O.R.
I remember them lifting my lifeless body onto the sterile table, I remember not being able to help.
I remember dad coming in, his face mask soaked with tears.
I remember how scared he was, how many kisses he gave me.
I remember thinking in all of our years together, I have never seen him so like this and for the very first time, it was my turn to be there for him.
I am always the one falling apart and now it was my turn to be the strong and confident one.
I remember telling him that they are going to do this right, that you will be here and when that happens,
there's only her now, you concentrate on her when she gets here, I have a team on me, you worry about her.
I remember your cry...
and then it all went black.

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It's been six years, and I remember it all.
But with that crazy Anna comes a mom that remembers all of you.
All of your wonder.
All of your amazing.
All of your milestones.
All of your firsts.
All of your lasts.
All of your noises.
All of our snuggles.

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I remember falling madly deeply in love with you, I remember the moment, I remember where we were, I remember what you were wearing.

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I remember all the company you got.
I remember each gift, who gave it to you.
I remember each outfit.
I remember when you became a big sister and how well you handled that!
I can't say that we did a good job in prepping you, it was you, your personality, your desire to be the big sister and love him from the moment he came.

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I remember vacations, and all the holidays.
I remember summers at the track.
I remember your summers with dad.
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I remember your first day of preschool, and kindergarten.
I remember how much more emotional I always am, than you.
You, you just burst with excitement and happy.
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I remember.
I am your past, your history, your keeper of all memories.
I hold your entire story.
So anytime you have a question about what you did when, or how old were you when,
I remember your whole existence.

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I remember you Anna.
I always and forever will.
Time will not take away my memories, they will not fade.
I am wrapped up in you, because you started my book of motherhood and
you are a part of my story.

So happy sixth birthday.
Six years of memories, six years of family, six years of stubborn, six years of wanting to please, six years of you.
And we thank you, for finding us, for keeping us, for your heart.
Thank you for making us parents, thank you for your love.
Thank you for six years of you.
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3
Apr

Five minute Friday - good

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 good.
Go.

There is so much good in you.
There is so much good in you that it brings out the good in me.
There is so much good in you that it shows me how much good there is in the world.
There is good in you.

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And when your choices take you away from the good you have in you, I am shaken.
When your behavior doesn't match your heart, mine breaks.
When I become THAT mom, screaming, yelling, losing my mind, I have to remember not to kill the good in you.

When our days are tough, when we are never on the same page,
I have to remember the good in you,
I have to remember I am the nurturer of that good,
and I have to remember not to squelch it.

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And when the good in your soul matches your words, your actions,
you fill my bucket so full, it spills.
And you shine.

I teach behavior, proper and appropriate.
I teach words, and manners.
I teach consequences for actions.
But the good in you, that's always been there.
That is all you.
Learn that the good in you is a light and make sure to shine it on yourself, and your family and others.

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There is so much good in you that it brings out the good in me.

Stop.

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