Sunday, January 24, 2016

I am the Mother of Three Humans...

I am the mother of three humans... 
each one of them are in their own stage of life... 
all of them are on the cusp of change... 
J-Bird will be 18 in just two months, she is staring adulthood in the face, determined not to let anyone see her fear or apprehension about becoming an adult.  
D-Fox is 14 and in the throws of puberty, with all the social and emotional strains that come with being a teenager, he wears his teenage boy badge with pride and has the attitude to prove it.  
T-Dog is 10 and staring teenagehood in the face with all the fears and excitement that she should have about moving out of childhood.

As amazing as it is to see my children moving through life, growing and changing, evolving into the mature forms of themselves... 
it is also exhausting... and overwhelming and downright scary. I have never felt so unprepared as I do as a mom to teenagers.

I have to be the same parent to all three of them, yet a different parent to all three at the same time.
They are of course different people, who require different attention and what worked for J-Bird as a young budding teenage girl, with shopping trips, and talks over coffee does not work for D-Fox as he navigates the muddy waters of being a teenage boy, needing a mom who will just give him his space and T-Dog, stuck in that no-mans-land that is tweendome, still needs and wants me to parent her as the child she is, while watching and learning how I parent her teen siblings... 
I am in an ever shifting gears kind of mode and it wears me down from time to time.
I falter... I falter A LOT... I was not ready for this...

These transition years are harder than I ever thought they would be, I somehow was fooled into believing that the older my children got, the easier parenting would become... I have sadly come into the "teen zone" lacking any real knowledge of what I am doing and how I am going to survive. Someone will point out that I have (obviously) been at the parenting a teen thing for awhile since I do have one child on the verge of adulthood... and that is true, although because of J-Bird remaining in Colorado to finish school, parenting her during her teen years has been different. My day to day interaction with her has been different and honestly, I was sheltered from a lot of the craziness that is adolescents because of the separation. She has also been my only teen until this last year, and one teen is much different than 2 teens. Then there is the reality that my kids are all VERY different from each other, and what they require from me as a parent is very different.
I am completely overwhelmed when it comes to navigating my son through adolescents thus far, as my only real experience with teen boys comes from being a teen girl once... and that is not the perspective he needs me to have. Juggling the needs of three personalities at any stage of life can be a chore, but it feels like a daunting task as they don't quiet understand who they are yet and what they need from me.

I did not expect to feel so unprepared, so caught off-guard as my kids blossom into the next stages of their lives. I did not expect to still be sleep deprived, anxious when they are away from me and distracted by worry that I am doing something wrong.
When I thought about my kids becoming teenagers, I did not see temper tantrums still apart of our daily routine, or their belongings still strewn out all over the house. I did not see continuous battles about personal hygiene and personal responsibility.
My vision of teenage years were of friends hanging out, bare cupboards and talking about social issues. I saw the teen years as a time of telling them to turn down their music, making sure they were home by curfew and teaching them how to do their laundry. Maybe I choose not to think about the ugly side of teenagers... Maybe I choose not to think about how difficult any of it would be.
Of course back when they were brand new to me and I thought about these things, I only had my own warped perception of what normal teenagers were like. I had not been an average teen, I had not had average teen years. I fought addiction and mental health issues as a teen, I ran away from home and fought with my mom and had sex... there was no way I was going to use my own teenage years as a guide to how my kids teenage years would go... Looking back though, I probably should have... Not because my kids are doing drugs, running away from home or having sex like I did, but as dysfunctional and non-typical as I thought my teenage years were... turns out that they were closer to normal than I thought. I have a child who suffers from depression and anxiety that leads to intense panic attacks, same as me. I have a child who acts out (although admittedly no where near as bad as I did) and talks back and fights authority, same as I did. I have a child who is stubborn and inquisitive and does not seem to be leery of the world, same as I was.
Even if I would have used my own experiences as a guide, I think I would still feel as lost in this stage of the game as I currently do.

There are these three humans that I have known as children for what feels like an eternity and now I have to get to known them as teenagers and they are not the same as they were as children. I loved everything about their personalities as children, now I have to deal with not liking parts of personalities as teenagers. Now I have to learn how to stop molding them into their future selves and learn how to encourage those selves to continue to grow and mature. My job is no longer to clean up after them, teach them basic skills like eating, talking and wiping their butts and being the go-between, between the and the world. No my job now is to let them experience life more, let them learn how to fend for themselves a little, teach them how to refine their finer skills like self respect, communicating with others and being responsible for themselves and their actions. I am no longer the teacher, more like their coach... as their teacher, I taught them the skills... that is what childhood is for after all right... now as their coach I must show them how to use those skills in the game that is life... and I don't feel very prepared for this new role.

Maybe it is all because I am sad they are all growing up faster than I want them too...
Maybe it is all because I feel there was so much more I should have taught them...
Maybe it is all because I still want more time with them...

I don't have answers right now...
all I know is that I have three teenagers, all in different stages of life... all needing something different from me, yet all still needing me to be the mother they have had their whole lives... and I just hope I have what I need to get them through all this.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Back in the Saddle

I know... I have been away for a long while...
I've been writing, just not here...
I started another blog, The Cave and that has been where I have been spending most of my time as of late.  
But I am back and I am going to be working on writing here a little more, about more current event topics, and family stuff and leave the The Cave for some of my more emotional stuff, more of my more crafty (writing is a craft) stuff and more of my more dark, difficult stuff. 

It is what the intention always was when starting The Cave, but then I found myself there, writing more than I thought I was going to.  
Right now I am doing my 30 Days of Thankful over at the Cave... they for the most part short pieces, but full of some real thoughtfulness on my part about the things I really am thankful for in this life.

I feel like I am really coming into my own as a writer.  Sure, I still have a lot of growing to do, but I have a new found confidence in the idea that I can actually write, and this new confidence is really motivating me and driving me to put together pieces full of my voice, full of me!

I really am looking forward to sharing more with all of you and building up The Nest (as it will be known going forward) and The Cave and really sharing who I am and the kind of writer I am with everyone!!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Today We Remember

There are moments you never forget.
There are days that remain in your memory long after others begin to fade.

Today is one of those days... for me... for the multitude of others that were touched by the events of this day, a day that seems like another life time ago.

It's been 16 years now... since the peace and innocence of what I thought my home state had was shattered by the sounds of shots being fired in a school.

April 20 1999 has meaning to so many of us.  As a native of Colorado, this is a day that haunts me.
I remember everything about this day.  I remember where I was when I first heard the news that there was a shooting happening... in a school.  I remember the panic and fear I felt that I could know someone in harms way.  I remember feeling a sadness I had never felt before, as a first time mom who had to face the cruelty of the world while holding my precious little girl.

I had never known what it meant to feel the world stand still until April 20 1999.  As I watched those children, not much younger than myself flee a place that was suppose to be safe, it felt as though life had just stopped in place.  It felt impossible to take myself away from the news coverage as the story was unfolding.  I found myself crying along with the parents of the children still missing, still unaccounted for. It  felt impossible that any of what I was seeing, what I was feeling could possibly be real.

I was not naive to the reality of the world before Columbine... but the reality of the world had never been in my back yard.  There I was watching swat teams swarm a school I had actually visited once, clearing children from halls that were suppose to hold promise and security.  It was impossible for me to not hate the world in those moments.  It was impossible for me to not wish I could deny what was happening and feel safe again.

In the years since that tragic day of course I've learned harder lessons and seen greater evil then anyone could have imagine possible.  No one could have ever thought 16 years ago as two trench coat clad, gun carrying teens struck fear in the hearts of so many that events like 9/11, Sandy Hook and even the Aurora Theater Shootings and The Boston Marathon Bombing where actually in our futures.  Columbine was only second to the Oklahoma City bombing for tragedies to occur in my short adult life.  I had known peace as a child.  Things happened in other countries, in other states, in other towns.  My world, my state... it was safe.  It was a place where kids went to school without fear.

Today I send my children to school... one to high school, one to middle school and one to elementary school and I know as I send them off that at any given moment the safety I pretend is there, for my own piece of mind could be shattered.  16 years ago, as I held my little girl, just a little over a year old in my lap and cried as I watched parents fear the worst about their children's fate... I had never feared the idea of sending her to school.  I had never feared that school would not be anything but joyful and adventures for her.  That was taken from me, of course, by two boys, who knew nothing of what damage they really inflicted on the world with their actions.

Today so many of us remember, like it was yesterday... and feel the emotions of this day, like it was yesterday.  Today families grieve for the children taken far to soon, for the innocence lost, for the paths that were altered and the memories stolen.
Today I vow, as I do every year to not forget, to never forget.  Today I vow to teach my children about this tragedy and how their actions effect others. Today I vow to do my part to do what it takes so that this nation never has to feel the pain felt 16 years ago when the world stood still.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Let's just call this what it is... a baby step

I have not written in months... 
Not from a lack of trying... 
Because I have started over a dozen pieces... 
And they are all still just sitting there, half written carcasses of emotions and thoughts.
I can blame life for the lack of time to write, it is my normal excuse. 
I would not be putting blame in the right place though.  
I am writing, I am just not completing... 
For all kinds of reasons really...
My fear
My anxiety
My unwillingness to feel exposed and vulnerable.  
I need to get over it... 
I need to stop holding myself back as a writer.
I need to fight through my fear and self-doubt and let the world see what I am actually capable of.
I need to get over myself and allow my words to speak for themselves
I need to let go of the judgment and criticism I have created in my head and let my audience form their own opinions.

I always seem to find motivation when I ramp myself up... so I will let this be what it needs to be, a baby step in the process.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A personal look at being Open... Another Sunday Confession

Another Sunday is upon us and once again I am linking up with More than Cheese and Beer for Sunday Confession.  This week the prompt: Open... 

Opening up is not always that easy.  Opening up is not always the better option.  There are times when keeping things tucked deep down inside is really the only way.

I would like to open up more, to share more of my thoughts, my feeling and my opinions...
But doing so exposes me in a way I have not found a way to be completely comfortable with yet.

Opening up exposes flaws, weaknesses, faults, secrets... cracks in an armor thought to be strong and secure.

When emotions and feelings are more enemy than friend, opening up about the battles that rage in the nooks and crannies of ones soul is not that easy.

Although I crave to share what goes on in my heart, my head, my soul... to let those around me see all of me and not just the parts I am okay exposing... I know that more times than not it is better to keep most of what I feel, what I think, what I want tucked away

There may come a day when I find the confidence to share in a truly open way.  To not fear exposure and the rawness that will come with it, until then though, the most personal of my feelings, thoughts, desires and secrets will be safe in the Pandora's box deep in my heart.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Pulled me in... A Sunday Confession

It's Sunday and I am linking up with More than Cheese and Beer for Sunday Confession.  This weeks prompt is Pull and in honor of Valentines Day I wrote something for the man I have loved for the last 15 years and plan to continue to love for the rest of my life.

 He pulled me to him, engulfing me in his embrace, pulling me from my world, shattering my reality, rewriting my destiny. 
I knew at that moment, as he pulled my heart to his that I would never again not have love in my life.  He was my future, my partner, my belonging.  As the years have passed, I have never once thought of pulling away.  He is my heart.  He is my light.  He is my life.  Every time he pulls me to him, engulfing me in his love, I remember our first embrace, that first pull, that moment that changed everything, that instant that sealed our fate.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Teeter-Totter Lesson

Remember when you were a kid and you and your friends would try to get the teeter-totter to balance perfectly even by putting even amounts of weight on each side?  Who knew that seeming innocent playground activity was actually teaching all of us the difficulty in finding balance in our lives.

You would think that at this point in my life I would have a better grasp of how to balance it all… yet I struggle – every day – with finding balance in my life.  It is not just the balance between work and family either.  There is this ever present struggle to find a balance between all aspects of my world.  To find balance between the needs of those I find myself charged with and my own personal needs.  To find balance between my obligations as a mother and my obligations as a wife.  There is a regular struggle to find a balance between doing what it is I need to do for my family and doing what it is I want to do to achieve dreams and personal goals.

My life is a teeter-totter and I am continuously struggling to prioritize in such a way, in all aspects of my world, to get that perfect even balance.

When I was a much younger woman, I figured by the time I had reached this stage in my life, I would be a pro at the balancing act.  I was of course naive enough to believe it all got easier as you went along.  
Now as the sun is setting on my 30’s, I often find myself completely out of balance and wondering what, if anything would balance actually achieve.  Is finding balance really a resolution to the constant chaos I feel my world is in?  Will balance bring me peace?  Will balance give me more time? Will balance bring with it a sense of completeness? 

Instinct tells me balance is important, that it will indeed bring me peace and give me more time and will allow me to enjoy a completeness about my life… but I can’t know that for certain.

I have no personal reference to draw from when it comes to finding balance.  I don’t know anyone who has got the whole balance act down.  
To me, balance in life is as elusive as Big Foot or the Lock nest Monster.  People talk about it, people spend their whole lives searching for it… but does anyone ever achieve it?  Sure, some claim too, but people also claim to have found Big Foot or seen the Lost City of Atlantis.

I have had glimpses of balance of course… moments where I was sure I had managed to put equal weight on each side of the teeter-totter… those moments unfortunately where just that – moments – never lasting long enough to gain any real experience from, and never encompassing all aspects of my life, just portions of my world I was sure I had gained some control of.

There is some hope that as I move into my 40’s, I will continue to gain knowledge and perspective and slowly even the scales, slowly place the right pieces on each side of the teeter-totter and discover the elusive balance I search for.  I would like balance in my life and I think my life would like having balance.