Tag Archives: parenting

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’ exaggerated 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, isn’t necessarily 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 and celebrate every moment.

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 fall 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

Dear Daughter

Years ago, you made your entrance as my tiny princess sitting Indian style.  I prayed I would have a baby girl to love.  I was granted my wish.  It nearly killed me I could not hold you immediately upon seeing your little face but your dad held you near to me so I could gaze upon you (making sure you were swaddled and safe).  As soon as the doctors allowed me to cradle you, into my arms you went.  I can’t believe how fast the years have passed since that first meeting.  I loved you before you were born and knew that I was given a gift straight from heaven.  While it is difficult not being with you to celebrate your birthday (today), please know I am thinking about and loving you right where you are. When we are together, I am astounded that I must glance upwards to look into your eyes.  I see a tall, hard-working, intelligent, young woman who has dreams and goes after them.  You will achieve your goals because you are tenacious (even when life is rough).  You are beautiful inside and out and I am proud to call you my daughter.  No one could ever replace you!  I love you up to heaven and back.  Happy birthday, honey!

Love,

Mom

How to Survive a Bombing

Bombs get dropped daily.  Some affect small surface areas, some impact large areas, some hit very near cores.

How to survive a bombing:

  1. Remain calm (easier said than done)
  2. Take cover under a sturdy object (like a neutral expression)
  3. Be prepared to evacuate (if the situation escalates)
  4. Remember there are still people who could want to do you harm (there are also people who don’t intentionally want to do you harm but harm you anyway)
  5. Stay away from anything that could implode on you (impossible when emotions are involved)
  6. Deal with the aftermath (whether you want to or not)

Remember that bombings often occur when you are least prepared and don’t expect them.  No matter what preparations you made beforehand, they will present with the element of surprise.  Don’t blame yourself.  There was nothing you could do to prevent them. Pick up the bloodied pieces and stitch yourself back together.  You will survive.

The Empty Grave

Dear friends:

 Easter morning is a special one.  Not just because it is a beautiful soflo day.  Not because of the Easter basket with my name on it filled with dark chocolate (and yes, I do love chocolate).  It’s more than this.  Goes a little deeper.  For the last few years, there have been many, many days where I have struggled to maintain belief in God.There have been temper tantrums and angry comments directed heavenward.  Numerous questions gone unanswered and instead of replies, silence.  This whole experience has been a new one for me.  Years of faith, grace, and belief preceded these last difficult years…and for those of you yet to experience them, dark nights can stretch into weeks, weeks can stretch into months, and months can stretched into years.  However, I’m not one to lie down and quietly take it for the team.  So, while despair has tried repeatedly to shove its way into heart, I boot it out.  When depression hovers threatening to engulf me, I reach out and grab hold of dear, strong hands that have helped me tread water and won’t let me drown.

In the midst of all this, I have wondered where God is.  If He is omniscient, all powerful, and all loving, how can he allow innocent children to be abused and neglected?  How can He watch as families splinter and fall apart?  How can He permit hundreds of thousands of people to die from lack of food and access to clean water?  Anyone who has known me well is aware of my tendency from early childhood to ask, “why.”  These “whys” have persisted into adulthood and hardly a day passes in which I do not utter that interrogative at least once.  What I do know, with great certainty, is that there are often no good answers.  Life can be a hell of a lot of climbing with very few “reaching the summit” experiences.  In fact, some of us have been camping out in the valley for years.  But, on a morning such as this one, centuries ago, something either incredibly disturbing or astoundingly amazing happened.  There is no gray area.  If Christ isn’t God and He did not rise from the dead as attested to in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, then what a morbid hoax.  If Jesus Christ IS the son of God and He was crucified, died, and rose, then it’s truly mind blowing.  As for me, I’m still in a “dark night era.”  I’ll continue to have days, possibly weeks, maybe even months or years where I do not see the hand of God at work in my life or around me.  Yet, Blaise Pascal is a philosophy friend who spoke a lot of wisdom.

“God is, or He is not.” But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played at the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails will turn up… Which will you choose then? Let us see. Since you must choose, let us see which interests you least. You have two things to lose, the true and the good; and two things to stake, your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to shun, error and misery. Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose… But your happiness? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is… If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.

So, I’m wagering He exists.  That Christ rose from the dead, left the tomb, and revealed his resurrected self to a bunch of women.  Sound crazy?  On some level, yes.  Plausible?  I think so.  Again, what do I have to lose?  Life?  We’re all going to die anyway.  My sanity?  Some people would argue it’s questionable all ready.  So, here’s to celebrating an empty grave.  This is my Easter.  There will be bunnies, baskets, and breaking bread with people I love.  But there’s also contemplation, meditation, and inspiration when I “virtually” peer into that deserted tomb with the women.  And there’s hope.  Lots and lots of it.  So much that it that it couldn’t remain wrapped up in linens.  It had to leave and head out into the world .

Happy Easter to my Christian friends.  And for those of you who are close to my heart and think today is incredibly disturbing, shalom.  And for you who are teetering on the tightrope between belief and disbelief, reach out.  You’ll be surprised at the strength of the hands that will help you.

Sincerely,

Pamela