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

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

La famiglia è la patria del cuore

photo by dreamstime

Last night, I heard an often repeated Italian expression that, because of recent circumstances, means even more to me than it did four days ago. La famiglia è la patria del cuore or your family is the homeland of your heart. 

We, Americans, are familiar with the expression home is where the heart is. Basically, the same sentiment. No matter where we go or how many miles (or emotions) separate us or how long we are away or whether we nag, smile, bicker, or hug, la famiglia è la patria del cuore. Simple. 

I know how lucky I am to be a thread in this handcrafted fabric.  I am grateful beyond words that I have a dad and mom who have always loved me, protected me, wanted the best for me. That I have a brother who, no matter how little time we get to spend alone together, will always be my best friend. That, even when my children and I are apart, their hearts are safe within my heart. La famiglia è la patria del cuore. 

It’s how my ancestors lived, breathed, prayed, loved, ate, drank, slept. It’s the fundamental stitches my grandparents sewed that now entwine my heart with each of my family members’ hearts. La famiglia è la patria del cuore. It’s the sometimes imperfect loops that still include everything and everyone I am tied to. It’s my roots, my core, my center. La famiglia è la patria del cuore.

Monday Memories

Since my friend, Mary, over at Living with Food Allergies and Celiac Disease, started Monday Memory (which takes place the last Monday of the month), I thought it was the perfect day to reminisce (of course, it’s not the last Monday of the month but, hey, you should know me by now)

Nearly all my best, childhood memories include my family. Sun soaked, water logged days spent swimming in Non and Pop’s pool with my brother, mom, and dad, inhaling the Intercoastal with its pungent, sulphur smell that smacked my sinuses, stalking the brown water, dockside, hoping to see a silver eel streak by.

Memories that also involve the Atlantic Ocean which was just a short walk across A1A from their condo, the mysterious body of water that housed millions of varieties of life.  Whose beaches I lay upon under moonlight, motionless, transfixed, watching as the dark, shadowy sea turtles came ashore to dig nests and lay their eggs. The buoyant salty waves that lapped at my soul. Tides which pulled life’s negativity, ugliness, harshness out to sea till they became little specks on the horizon.  

Just some of the magical powers of memory–like a small town revival with its hallelujahs and deception entangled under one tent.   Fortunately for me (and something most kids take for granted), I only experienced the Messiahs during childhood–the joys and carefree days which blurred into years that formed me like wet sand in the hands of a master sculptor. 

My being, my core, my inner child is grainy, sun streaked, and dampened by salt spray. My remembrances which I keep dusted and lovingly displayed in my heart are happy and messy. They leave sandy footprints behind as they traipse through the years to find me where I am now. They slip into my dreams and cover me in beach sunflowers. They resurrect my beloved Nonnie and Pop-Pop whose wrinkled hands stroke my sun bleached hair, whose dark, Italian eyes speak love, whose lips utter “mange” and “I love you.”

My memories are my buried treasure, coin upon golden coin, hidden from the surface, yet, shallow enough to dive for whenever life becomes overwhelming or hateful or unforgiving. They are my secret to survival. They are. . .and I am.

 

 

 

To Mom with Love

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
~Maya Angelou
 
Mom,
You have shown me by your words, love, and life that we only become butterflies when we have spent time patiently waiting to emerge from the chrysallis.  Then our wings must straighten and dry.  They are delicate and can tear easily, yet, strong enough for flight.  I love you more than words.
Love,
Pamela
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                            

    

                      

                                                         

                                                                

                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                       

                                                                

            

                                                         

                               

Top O’ the Morn

Top o’ the morn (afternoon) to you! Although I am mostly Italian, the leprechauns visit us nearly every year. We forget to leave something green for them the night before and they punish our negligence by wreaking a wee bit of havoc. TPing our Christmas palms out front, strewing undergarments about, turning chairs upside down, leaving cabinet doors open, and, yes, even green pee in the toilet. A note usually accompanies the madness. This morning, however, was different from other St. Patty Day’s. My coffee pot was MIA along with my favorite mug. The little stinkers! I finally found my necessary items of addiction and was able to percolate a good, strong brew. Whether you are Irish or not, may you enjoy the mischievous teeny ones today and try to avoid their wiles!

 

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

~Irish Blessing

 


This Friday Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  Life inspired by the Wee Man which I then kidnapped from Almost there by Sarah-Jane.

 

Feel free to leave a link to your Friday Moment in the comment section!!!

Friday Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  Life inspired by the Wee Man which I then kidnapped from Almost there by Sarah-Jane.
If you have a Moment just leave your link in the comments section so we can all have a peek!

Dear Children,

Dear Children,

You are precious to me. I loved you before you were born. I prayed and asked God for you. From the time the little blue lines matched on the pregnancy tests, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to begin the journey of motherhood.

It’s been quite a trip. From feeling you both kick inside of me, to laboring to bring you into this world, to holding you for the first time, to  knowing that you were a physical extension of me, I have appreciated every moment. I have watched you grow into a young man and a young woman who have made me proud over and over again. I am fully aware what a blessing it is to call you son and daughter. The best vocation I have had (and ever will have) is being “Mom.”

Please listen carefully–I love you (up to heaven and back). I will always love you. No matter where life sends us, or how quickly time passes, I will treasure you. I will never give up on you. You will always be my children. I will always be your mom. Your fingerprints are permanently imprinted on my heart.

Love,

Mom