On Motherhood

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What do you wish someone had told you before you had kids?

All the planning in the world cannot prepare you for becoming a mother. Even if you received too much advice from other moms while you were pregnant, you only realize this fact after you give birth—not a moment prior.

You will take pictures and videos—lots of them. From hearing the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of your baby’s heartbeat to grasping ultrasound pics in hand to your husband’s photo capture of you with a tear streamed face holding your precious baby in your arms for the first time to waving good-bye at the bus stop while your stomach lurches to your daughter going to her first middle school dance to talking about the birds and bees to waking up one day and your son is grown-up, you will capture every important moment with a snapshot and/or video clip—and then some.

Real parenting is not your friends’ Facebook shares. Facebook is not the real world. Seeing highlights of your friends’ posts, whether it’s viewing pictures of their little ones who are reading novels by the age of 3, potty trained by age 2 using the M&M’s method (it does work sometimes), or playing concertos at age 4, is not reality—even though the photos may be cute. Reality is:  little ones will become preteens, next teens, and then they will go off to live their own lives. Your heart may feel like breaking but you will be proud—so proud. Welcome to the real world.

You will always be a mother. This reality will never change no matter how large your son’s shoes are or how your daughter towers over you in heels or if your kids become chefs, police officers, teachers, or parents themselves or if they adorn their bodies with tattoos or piercings or if they grow their hair out and join rock bands—whatever. After the umbilical cord is cut, you are forever mom. If you are lucky, you will become grandmom at some point. Love will never be in short supply.

You won’t ever be the same—never ever. From the moment you find out that you are carrying a life inside you, the ground will careen under you, you may see stars, and you will free fall into a love that no life alert call could rescue you from. You wouldn’t want to be rescued. You fell hard and thank God every day for it.

You are a mother. Imperfect at best yet filled with love so consuming that its presence is like breathing. You wouldn’t have it any other way.

To my mom, I know now–and I appreciate everything you are to me. You are the best. To my beautiful children, you will always be mine. I adore you.

~Pamela

“In a Relationship” to “It’s Complicated”

It dawned on me today that it’s been a long while since I’ve gone from “in a relationship” to “it’s complicated.” Time for a Facebook update.

Maybe you know what I’m talking about–the frustrating hours and time spent communicating  talking with someone only to realize that he or she just doesn’t get it (apparently, they never will).

Could be that your personal investment in the one sided relationship fling and the cold awareness that the other person doesn’t care as strongly about you as you do for him (or her) becomes your final wake-up call.

Whatever the deciding factor is that tips your relationship to “it’s complicated” and a looming break-up, know that you’re not alone. There are hundreds of thousands of us who know what you’re going through with Comcast and we’re here for you.

Mom

Dear Mom,

I want you to know how much I love and appreciate you. You have shown me so much–how to love, what love is and much more. While life has not always been kind and although the last couple of months have been trying, you have come through it all with a never-ending, deep well of love for all of us.

Today I celebrate more than your existence. I think about your love and what it has meant to everyone who has come into contact with you. I consider your humor that has lightened my life. I reflect on your endurance when life’s shadows have blackened out the sun, moon and stars and you’ve had to navigate in the dark (even after stubbing toes) to find your way into the light.

You are the most inspiring woman I know and I am beyond happy to call you “Mom.” You are so much more than a best friend.

Have a beautiful day.

Love,

Your daughter

Love vs. Abandonment

Life has been interesting of late. Translation:  not much blogging. Fingers crossed, prayers said, waiting and hoping for good news next week regarding a person I love dearly. Grateful the test went smoothly.

In the meantime, I was thinking about a word that is probably one of my most hated— “abandonment.” After dealing with this “word/issue” in my own life and seeing it recently playing out in the lives of people I care about, it became forefront and center. I don’t believe anyone—regardless of gender—ever wants to feel abandoned.

We don’t want to wake up one day and find that our spouses have left. We don’t want to discover that our best friends ditched us. We don’t want our boyfriends or girlfriends to just move on and “forget” to tell us. 

As humanity, we have a universal need to be loved and to feel secure in that loving. To know that despite our shortcomings and idiosyncrasies, we are worthy of unconditional love (I’m not talking about remaining in an abusive relationship—physical and/or emotional).

With love, there’s trust—not blind trust if someone has betrayed and hurt us—but trust that is a safety net. Trust that is reminiscent of the sun—it rises in the morning to brighten our day and sets in the evening. It is dependable, reliable. Even when nighttime comes, we are not left completely in the dark—we have the gift of the moon and the stars.

How many of us know what it feels like to be loved unconditionally? Love that doesn’t have to be romantic, although it can be wonderful. It could be love between best friends, love between a child and parent or even the love for a community who acts like family to us.

 I am grateful to have many people who do love me. I have felt the aftereffects of abandonment—deep hurts that have scarred over yet serve as reminders. While not desirable, they are mine. They are beautiful in a marring sense—they remind me that I have felt pain, loneliness, sadness yet here I am today—alive and more grateful for those who do love me.

So for any of you dealing with abandonment, it hurts—badly. I am sorry for what you are going through (M and J). I think of you every day and feel it, too, knowing what you’re dealing with. It won’t matter much to hear it now, but you’ll make it through today, then tomorrow, then another day and pretty soon a week has gone by. A month, a year and, at some point, it won’t hurt as much. In the meantime, I love you and you’re not alone.

~Pamela

You are Still Loved

I am devastated to hear about the loss of a friend today. This person touched many lives with comments of hope and love. This post is to let her know that she was loved–her soul is now loved–along with her daughter and family.

In blogging, many of us write as catharsis–we celebrate joys, hold hands through sorrows and laugh in between. We form connections–at best, we make friendships and, at the least, try to bare honest souls on computer screens. We try to communicate that, while despair sometimes flirts, there is always hope . . . .

Then there are these unexplained tragedies we can’t wrap our heads around and leave large holes in their wake. These tragedies make us look at our own lives, our relationships, our selves. We hope that, despite misunderstandings, the people we hold within our hearts know how much we love them. That way, if the unforseeable happens, our loved ones who remain have our love to hold onto.

Sancheeta, you are missed. I hope this post honors a fraction of what you meant to those of us blessed to know you. Safe, peaceful travels.

With love,

Pamela

For those of you who need to hear this, don’t ever g i v e up.

Life

Dear Friends,

You know when life keeps coming at you like an AKA-47? Well, that’s what it’s been like here. I’ve missed writing for “fun” and with my blogoversary coming up in a couple days I’m feeling the pressure to write–something–anything from my heart. Any of you going through some trying moments, days, months, years–I feel you.

Good thing there’s this little thing that Emily Dickinson writes about:  “Hope is the thing with feathers/That perches in the soul . . . .”

So for anyone else waiting for “news” for a loved one (or yourself) and praying, wishing, believing for the best–know you’re not alone. We’re all out here in cyber space together–holding virtual hands.

Life can be a series of “whys” with only a “because” for an answer. We do our best to live in the now and appreciate everything and everyone good in our lives.

I’ll leave you with a quote that has spoken to me and I’ll be seeing you all soon.

The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. 
But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now 
mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.”
~J. R. R. Tolkien

Sincerely,

Pamela

Why? Because.

“There is much asked and only so much I think I can or should answer, and so, in this post I would like to give a few thoughts on what seemed to be the overwhelming question: “WHY?”
And here is the best answer I can give: Because.
Because sometimes, life is damned unfair.
Because sometimes, we lose people we love and it hurts deeply.
Because sometimes, as the writer, you have to put your characters in harm’s way and be willing to go there if it is the right thing for your book, even if it grieves you to do it.
Because sometimes there aren’t really answers to our questions except for what we discover, the meaning we assign them over time.
Because acceptance is yet another of life’s “here’s a side of hurt” lessons and it is never truly acceptance unless it has cost us something to arrive there.
Why, you ask? Because, I answer.
Inadequate yet true.”
~Libba Bray

What Women Want 2

In talking with a couple of female friends recently, the subject of what a woman wants in a man came up again. I know I already blogged about it but there was something so basic, so fundamental, that I overlooked it at the time. I was more focused on what women want (and don’t want) in terms of character and communication. This trait of expressing, while it may be deemed part of a man’s character, is subtle, yet, a bonus for men who fulfill this need for their female, loved ones. It’s part of being a “protector.”

While I’m not sure (for all women) this male role is important, for enough women I know (myself included), it’s up there in our top three.  This does fly in the face of many women who like to think they (okay, we) are self-sufficient and not as needy as other females but, the reality is, it is a huge way to have love expressed by a man.

I’m not talking just in a physical sense (although that aspect can be a part of it). It’s a bonus, if the man we fall in love with, is taller than us, stronger than us, makes us “feel” safe just by being near him. If we were walking down a dark street and someone tried to jump us, we’d like to know that the man we were with would protect us to the best of his ability.

Some of us, ladies, have been on the flip side like when a man possesses physical characteristics we label as “protective,” and he doesn’t make us feel secure. Some of us have been in a relationship where a man may have knowledge of martial arts or is muscular, yet, we have not felt the least bit safe.

We just want to know, if a situation arises in which we find ourselves vulnerable to danger, that our “protector” is looking out for us. Of course, this is not to say that women shouldn’t learn self-defense and other methods of protecting themselves. It’s just that we adore men who make us feel as if we are a priority and precious to them!

Women take this even further and apply the idea of “protector” to emotions, too. Many of us have a core desire to feel intimately “protected” in a relationship (i.e. to be able to express emotions like anger, sadness, or disappointment) and not experience rejection by a man. We need to know, even though we have strong feelings (and, at times, they might be passionately displayed,) that we will not be abandoned, disregarded, or shut out.

I will not speak for men (since I am convinced I know little about them and their emotional wants or needs) but I suspect that many would like the same in their relationships with their female counterparts. So, long-winded story short, just another blurb into what women want.  Women might be from Venus and men from Mars (or some other planet yet to be identified) but we all have the ability (if we  choose) to find out what’s important to the other sex (it goes both ways, ladies).

Dad

You were the one to catch me when I fell. You kissed my scraped knees and told me it would be okay. While I have long outgrown the nickname “Sweat Pea,”  you show me I am still your girl and always will be. We’ve been through some tough times together. You made my couch your bed for nights after I was left alone. You have carried my children in your arms by never walking away, only towards them. You nearly left us once only to survive and come out of it stronger. In the upcoming months, we may have a challenge to overcome again but we will do it together. I will be there for you just as your presence has meant more than the world to me.   Thank-you for showing me, by your actions, how a man should love his children. How a dad’s character is worth more than any expensive gift or worldly possession. I haven’t needed anything but your love. Happy Father’s day, dad. I love you.