15
Jul

I am the answer

When you were brand new to this world and I was forced to share you
I was the one you needed in the middle of the night.
I was the one you needed to smell.
I was the voice you remembered.
I was the comfort you looked for.
I was your food, your rocker, your changer, the one that knew all the sounds.
I was your answer, I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

When you have a bad dream, you immediately go to his side of the bed.
When you are feeling sick, you call for me.
When you fall, you look for us immediately.
When you are trying something new, you seek our familiar faces.
We are your answer, we always were, we still are, but we will not always be.

So many twists and turns
so many changes
so many different milestones and from the beginning to today I am the answer.
I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

Life will continue to bend.
It will make you feel upside down.
It will also make you feel confident, moments, long moments of feeling like you have this part of life down.
But, there will always be questions, there will always be changes.

For this little window in time, I get to be your answer.
For this minute in our lives, I get to hold it all for you.
I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

Because you will grow and you will go and live the life you are meant to.
You are going to find your circle.
You are going to find and at times create your reason.
You are going to be.
You will become the answer for others.

But, for now, I will allow this window to be wide open.
I will welcome this time of you wanting to be with me.
I will welcome what in the end will feel like a brief moment in life.
I will be the answer.

When you are wondering who in the world you can turn to.
When you are searching so you don't feel terribly alone.
When you are seeking comfort and someone that knows your whole story,
I am the answer.

When you need a hug, one that feels so familiar.
When you need to hear words that make you feel like you belong, remind you that you are home.
I am the answer.

I always was, I still am, but I will not always be.

8
Jul

I am better, with you.

Find your circle
find your family
find your framily
find those that make you better and hold on, never let them go.
Surround yourself with those that make you the best you.

Because mom did and it has been why I am able to do
be
breathe
become
create
do more
ask more of myself
because everywhere I turn I can say...

You make me better,
a better person,
a better mom,
a better bride.
I am better with you.

You make my eyes wake up,
you allow my feet to touch the ground,
even on cold and early days.

You make me a better person.

You make me forgive quickly, you help me come back to reality.
You laugh at my crazy with me
you make me feel not so crazy.
I am better with you

You made me believe in something big.
You made me believe in family.
You made me believe in love at first sight.
You made me believe in happily ever after.
You made me believe people care.

You make me joyful.
You make me seek joy.
You make me smile bigger,
laugh a little harder.
I am better with you.

There are people that will come and go.
There are people that leave on purpose.
There are people you will push out.
There will be people that you love but life gets too busy.
There will be people you wish lived closer.
There will be times you feel lonely.
There will be times you feel whole.
There will always be people that make you feel worse.
There will always be people that try and step on you.
There will always be people that make themselves feel better by making you feel bad.
But, not your circle.
Not the real family you need in your life.
Not the real framily you create.
Not the ones that you decide, this is who I belong with.

So, go and find those you can honestly say...
I am better, with you.

1
Jul

Side by side

It's how the two of us started, side by side, hand in hand.
At times, each one taking the lead.
At times, each one saying let's try this path now.
But, we have always been side by side, hand in hand, a touching toes family.

As planned, we grew.
All I could do was continue to hold hands, they were just smaller now.
All I could do was hold on to them, to us, to family.
The one I finally got to create for me, the one I got to pick for me.

And, as planned, we grew more.
We decided to let our hearts grow even more.
We decided there was so much more love we had to give and we grew more.
And I had another hand to hold, another nose to smooch, another heart to hold.
And there we all were, side by side, hand in hand, a touching toes family.

In this time, we have fought.
We have not seen eye to eye.
We have been stripped, we have been brought to our knees.
But, we have also tried, we have made up, we have all said sorry.

We have taken walks because there were and still are so many walks
Each one hand in hand
side by side.
But now and the entire time, someone new is leading the way.

We have piled on the couch and gather, all smushed in.
Everyone touching someone else, everyone holding hands, everyone with legs draped over everyone else.
We have piled in beds to read, head to head and laughing and filling ourselves full.

They are now the guide of how hard we hold on
how much we have to let go
when we have to let go
when we need to pull back in.
They are our guide letting us know when we have to regroup, when we have to go back to basics.
They are the ones deciding when we need to go back to side by side, hand in hand, a touching toes family.

It's not always easy to follow, it's not always easy to listen, it's not always easy to be lead.

24
Jun

Rose colored glasses

Standing on the last day of school, I watched your little legs once again struggle to get on the bus.
I saw the driver smile wide as you both climbed on, high-fives given.
I saw your smile, your fingers form the sign for I love you, and I chocked back tears.
This beautiful moment is lost when I am not feeling love.
This moment of childhood and genuine togetherness and no ties love is lost on a mom that is dying on a vine.

Heading out to our traditional ice cream for dinner, I held your hand.
The one I couldn't stop looking at as a baby.
The one that once had to wrap only around a single finger but now is large enough to go hand in hand.
And I hear you whisper how much you love this, how much you look forward to these moments that I make special.
But this beautiful moment is lost on me.
Because I am slugging along feeling lost and quite alone right now.
This moment of childhood and genuine togetherness and no ties love is lost on a mom that is dying on a vine.

What if I owned rose-colored glasses?
Would I see it all as a beautiful mess?
What if I change how I see this world I get to live in?
What if I remember that I get to live in it, not have to?

I forgot that I too own rose colored glasses and I forgot that this is my year of different.
I forgot that there isn't anything pressing right now.
I forgot about joy when all I feel is empty and alone.
The moments full of vibrant color but all I see is blue.
Because I forgot that I need to always have my rose-colored glasses with me.

I have been here before.
I have stood in this place of worry.
I have stood in this place of concern and glum and glume.
I have stood alone before, forgetting how surrounded I am.

I have to find a way to remove the foot standing on my chest.
I have to find my laugh, the one I love.
I have to find their childhood, the one I protect.
I have to find me and whisper in her ear...

I have your rose-colored glasses right here. I am holding them in my hand. You misplaced them but all you need to do is take them and put them on. Don't worry about the schedules and all there is to do. Don't worry if the fun stuff doesn't happen because all of summer is fun. Don't worry if we don't get to everything because the worrying is making you forget all we can do. Don't worry about who you are, because you are good and kind and decent. Don't worry about the kids because they are good and kind and decent. Don't worry about mistakes because we all make them, even grownups so give the kids a break. Please forgive yourself for being too much of everything, please forgive them for being little and having to teach them, please forgive him because he is trying too.

Here, I have them right here, just take them and put them on.

3
Jun

Everything changes

The heartbeat I once saw on the screen is a school-aged girl wonder.
The baby I nursed is a six-year-old lover of love boy.
The bottles I once washed are now family dinners arguing over what we like to eat this week.
The diapers are gone and replaced with sports equipment everywhere.
The daycare I once needed is replaced with after school everything.
The house with just a little pile of toys right here is now stuff, just more and more stuff on every surface in every corner.
Everything changes.

As a seasoned mother reminded me this week
the things that make me anxious and tired and wanting an out
are all of the things I will look back and realize how much I miss.
Everything changes.

The toddler holding my hand, learning to talk still needs to talk things out with me, for now anyway.
The chubby fingers and face are now growing into who you were always meant to be.
The little is being replaced with personality.
The laughter and patience I once had are becoming more tired and faded.
The baby love that made me whole is scared of the children I need to raise
the adults they will be tomorrow.
Everything changes.

So, as I go around the house and wipe down counters,
as I pick up and put away
as I clean on top of clean on top of clean
as I tidy and the frustration builds in my chest
I have to remember
everything changes.

The day will come when they are either no longer in need of all this stuff
no longer in want.
The day will come when the house will be so quiet that "noise" will split me in two.
The day will come when I will long with my whole body for signs of life in my home.
Everything changes.

Velveteen mothers know all too well that the years feel like days.
They find themselves staring at the people they once held on to so tightly and thinking over and over
once upon a time not so long ago
you were an extension of me.
I was your world and you were my stars.
Everything changes.

Which is why I love that I am the collector of stories
I love how much I can play back each and every memory.
But it is also at times quite painful to feel as though I can still reach out and touch that little that I got the privilege to mother.
Everything changes.

Here is what I know to be true and need you both to understand.
I have zero regrets about how I spent my time...
carefully examining you and breathing you in.
Watching each day with love.
Hearing myself in old videos
seeing old pictures
I am reminded how much I enjoyed mothering you.
How much fun I had and how much I relished in the days.
I was slow with you.
I enjoyed you.
Everything changes.

And as the parenting gets more delicate and heavy.
As I feel this need to guide more and this worry hanging over me
I hope to return to the me I was and still am.
Everything changes, even this velveteen mother.

27
May

Six!

There is so much small and little in all of you.
There is so much good and kind and sweet.
There is so much love and love of love.
There is so much boy.

Six sweet love of mine,
you are six and I have been holding on to each and every single day with you.

My five-year-old started school and continued with the kind and friendly and loving little boy.
Children are drawn to you
adults adore you
you make others feel good about themselves
you help
you care
you show empathy
you are just one good soul.

There is something about you that still looks all toddler to me.
Maybe it is because you are so short.
Maybe it is because you have such strong emotions.
Maybe it is because you are so brand new.
Maybe it is because you are my last and I am unwilling to let you grow.
Except that, of course, I am because you are making it so.

And so sweet boy, you took my hand once again and you led me to six.
You still love story time with me.
You still beg for little guy kisses.
You still tell me I am beautiful.
You still hold my hand.
You still love all things Star Wars.
You still love all things dad.
You are still an all eating goat.
You are still a climbing monkey.
You are still the one that believed in childhood the most
and reminds me that I have every right to hold on to that too.
You still cling to little while leading me to big boy.

You are just sweet loving Cole.
The one that completed a family even though I didn't realize we were missing a piece,
until I met you.

So welcome to six.
Welcome to more active sports
welcome to your first summer after school
welcome to the start of 1st grade
welcome to the next round of teachers that will also love you.
And a mom and dad that always have.

I eat you up I love you so...
mom's sweet and low.

13
May

Everything I need

It's not about the gift, the handmaid one you were so excited to give me.
The picture you couldn't wait to show me, the one you painted.
The card you made, all the things you kept from me all week long.
It's about the look on your face, this joyful, smiling from ear to ear, this bursting with love you have, just to see me .

But for now, I listen to your excitement, your glee for making the day special, for me.
I love how you make me breakfast
I love how you sit in anticipation of the gift
I love how you talk about it
I love how you tell me, you can't wait for Sunday
I love how much bringing me joy means to you.

As you grow, the day will mean less and less.
Because the years will pass and you will grow up and away from me.
But all I have ever needed, you already gave.
And we didn't even know it because I fought it for so long.
Because you are all that I need.

When you grow, I don't need you to call me this day, I don't need you to send flowers,
I am not a collector of things, but of memories.
And the ones you have given, they are all I need.

Did you know that you were my second chance?
Did you know you placed it so carefully in my hand and you asked me to take care of childhood this time around?
Did you know that you made me believe in happily ever after?
Did you know you were my one and only love at first sight?
Did you know that I believe in family because I met your dad?
Did you know that I believe in the power and energy of joy because of him?
Did you know that is where you get it from?
Did you know that you give me a warm heart?
Did you know that when you gave me my title of mother, you gave me a world a life I didn't know was waiting for me?
Did you know that all of these gifts, they will keep me warm and fill me full?
They always have, they make me remember so much of our good.
All I ever needed was this amazing time with you.

Time moves on and you too will have a family, however you define it.
But, if you decide to be parents, I will remind you to love this day for them.
They will make it special and active parenting is tough so allow them to.
All of the handmaid everything will mean so much to you too, but not as much as this time you get together.
Because you gave me all I ever needed, when I was given the gift of being yours.

29
Apr

You taught me

To believe in second chances.
To trust me.
To find my soft side.
To redefine family.

You taught me to laugh
and giggle
and believe in happily ever after
and love at first sight.

You taught me to take long walks
and listen, really listen.
You taught me to hug away cries.

You taught me to pay attention but to the important stuff.
You taught me how big little is.
You taught me to always pay attention to what seems to be little, because it is always big to you.

You taught me to believe that I am pretty
you taught me to look at myself so differently
you taught me to say things about myself differently
you taught me to say, good job mom.

You taught me that I have an important role
but you also taught me that you have one too.

You taught me to dance around the kitchen
you taught me to be silly
you taught me how important silly is.

You taught me that unconditional love is hard
you taught me that sometimes you run away and back towards love
you taught me that parenting is hard
but you taught me that it's all somehow worth it.

You taught me how important reading dates are
you taught me to fall madly deeply back in love with reading
you taught me that night time snuggles and ending a long day on a note of love is always and forever how we say goodnight.

You taught me not to care if it matches
you taught me how adorable words can be
you taught me how to love in such a different way.

So, I am here, eyes heart and ears wide open, ready and willing for all the teaching.

22
Apr

Rich

I want your memories to be rich.
I want them to keep you warm.
I want smells to bring you back to your home, the one you started in.
I want sounds to take you back.
I want your memories to be rich.

I want our time together to be remembered the right way.
I want you to look back and realize how hard we all tried.
I want you to think back on each tradition, the ones I created, the ones you love
and I want you to know how much those were meant to stop time.
How much those were meant to slow us down, slow everything down.
How much those were meant to hit pause.
How much those were meant to create what became so special, so meaningful, so gorgeous.

I want you to go to the beach and not be able to not think of our summers at the Cape.
I want you to go to the track and not be able to not think of your dad.
I want you to sit on Christmas Eve and miss Nonna's food, the gifts, the family.
I want you to spend your first Thursday away from Framily and realize how amazing it was when...

When we were all together
when time stood still
when only love mattered
when it was this simple.

I want you to look back on your childhood and remember the smell of dad's sauce
and mom's perfume
and Nonna's gnocchi.
I want you to remember Easter and all of the cooking, all of the wine, all of the kids.
I want you to remember all the pools and all the Sunday family swims.
I want you to smell pancakes and immediately be transported to a Sunday around the island.
I want you to set the table on Sunday night and remember how much mom wanted it to be a little more special.
I want you to think how important it was to her that we focus on the good and show what we are grateful for.

I want you to remember your childhood as that, a childhood.
I want and I need to know that you had one
that you can remember being a kid.
I want and need to know that you had fun
you laughed
we played games, I need you to remember all the games we play, all the movies we fell in love with.

I need you to remember sand in your hair
and sun on your skin
and Pearl and Mia at our feet
I need you to remember puppy smooches
and mom cuddles
and dad's arms.

I want you to know that we were stable, even when we felt shakey.
I want you to remember that home is here.

I want you to remember the mother I was when we first started out.
The one you have zero memories of, but I hold on to.
The one that wrote a chapter she never thought she would, the one that held you, smelled you, fell madly deeply and forever in love with you.

I want you to remember the mother I was when I was running toward and away from love and you.
The one that struggled, the one that panicked.

I want you to remember the mother I am now, the one that listens to you, that turns everyone off to put all eyes on you.
The one that drops everything to play a game or read a story.
The one that will never say no when you ask for attention from me.
I want you to remember the mother I am now.
The one that makes mistake after mistake after mistake and comes to you on bended knee to ask for forgiveness, the one that demands the same from you.
I want you to remember the mother I am now, the one that laughs with you, teaches you, expects lots from you.
I want you to remember the mother I am now, the one that wants you to have a happy childhood.

I want you to remember the mother I will someday become.
The one that is scared of the future and letting go.

I want you to remember how much you loved each other.
How important having a sibling was.
I want you to remember your summers.
Your time with dad,
the track
the adventure days
the sun
the warmth
our town.
I want you to remember our little house at the Cape
how close we were to the beach
the framily that crammed themselves in.

I want you to remember your family.
That you always have a place
that you always belong
that you have a home to go back to.
I want you to remember that your family is strong, we are present, we are neverending.

I want you to remember the good, the bad and the ugly and we gave you plenty of all three.
I want to you remember times you were disappointed and times you were heartbroken and I want you to remember how you were still able to get up, go on.
I want you to remember times you, we were happy and times you, we weren't.
I want you to remember that families are alive and with life comes grace and love and imperfections and fog.
I want you to remember that we always loved,
we always tried.

I want your memories to be rich.

25
Mar

My hardest step

I set goals
and deadlines
I like to think about my future and where I am headed
where I want to be
what I want to focus on.

Since I was little, I had a goal.
I focused all my effort and attention on one thing.
And at 21, I made it.
Goal...game set match, I was done.
Somehow, I had forgotten to plan for the next thing.
I had forgotten to go past 21 and so I didn't know where to go or what to do next.
I was lost and confused and searching for me and a purpose.

So I did what I always do and I got to work.
Planning and planning
working harder and harder
keeping my future in my sights so I would never lose it again.

Until I met you and well you changed everything.
You happened at the exact time I was lost and getting myself back on track and you took me off the rails.
You made me take my hardest step,
the one in which I believe in me in a completely different way.
I no longer had to just believe in my determination
or in only my commitment
or in me being able to do everything alone.
It was now time to believe in myself as a part of a family.
It was time to believe I mattered as part of something.
It was time for me to believe in me, fear or no fear.
And so, I fell, for you, for us and as I took my hardest step, I believed.

And I started plugging away.
Happy, content, very comfortable.
Until I met you and well, you changed everything.
All over again.
You made me take my hardest step,
the one in which I believe in me in a completely different way.
Not only in my love but my ability to love in a way that no one dreams possible.
It was time to believe in me as a mother
and motherhood
and parenting
and it was now time to believe in me as part of a new family.
One that included a child
and sacrifice
and an outpouring of every emotion.
It was time to come to life as a mother.
It was time for me to believe in me, fear or no fear.
And so, I fell, for you, for us and as I took my hardest step, I believed.

And there I was, happy and content again.
Having this whole thing under control, because control matters to me and realizing that I kicked ass at motherhood mattered to me.
I was once again happy, content, very comfortable and filled with this overwhelming joy.
Until I met you and well, you changed everything.
All over again.
You made me take my hardest step,
the one in which our family is complete.
The one in which I have to say goodbye to little
goodbye to the last firsts
the one in which I become a velveteen mother.
It was time for me to believe in all that I had.
It was time for me to believe in myself, my ability to mother you, my experience and inexperience because you were determined to be different.
It was time to push through my wanting to run towards and away and back towards love.
It was time for me to believe in me, fear or no fear.
And so, I fell, for you, for us and as I took my hardest step, I believed.

I fell for each of you in a very real way.
I fell for your smile, the one that told me all would be ok.
I fell for your connection, the one that told me you were mine.
I fell for your love, the only love at first sight that I have ever felt.

You each made me take a step you didn't even realize I was taking,
my hardest step that had nothing to do with grit and determination.
This step had me believing in a different part of me.
A part that was all mush, all love, all warmth.

It was time for me to believe in me, fear or no fear.
And so, I fell, for you, for us and as I took my hardest step, I believed.

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