From last year’s trip to Europe.
It’s been almost 17 years since I became a parent. Impossible. When my water broke 5+ weeks before my due date, I remember feeling more excited than nervous, confident that my baby would be healthy and hearty. The unusually warm temperature (a record, it turned out) seemed a positive beacon and I went to the hospital with an easy heart and only a light sweater for warmth on a late February day.
My son’s early arrival was my first lesson in parenting and it was a bit of a challenge for me. After conceiving in my first month’s attempt and enjoying a very easy pregnancy, I was shocked to be completely lacking in control when it came to when (now!) and how (c-section) he would make his entrance. My world shifted and I scrambled to hold on.
I don’t think it is possible to predict how, or how much, having a child will change a person. Finding the balance between placing child(ren) in the center of our universe, while remembering the importance of retaining our own identities and independence demands grace and poise, not necessarily my strengths. It’s a strange thing sometimes. While I love being recognized as so-and-so’s mother, I often find myself hesitating when I sign my name on a note I’ve written to my children. Identifying myself as “Mom” still feels remarkably new, even after 17 years in the role.
Prior to becoming a parent, I had imagined all of the things I would teach my child – how to walk, speak, read, swim, travel… What I hadn’t really considered were all the things I would learn about myself from my children. I now know I can be incredibly patient, fiercely protective and relentlessly organized. On the less positive side, I’m critical, inclined to blunt sarcasm and often guilty of doing too many of the household tasks myself without demanding some effort from the boys. It’s probably a control thing.
Ultimately, though, what I find most fascinating about being a mom, is witnessing my children learn who they are as individuals. It is absolutely amazing to see the unique creatures that have been created by using the same genetic contributions. Seeing my oldest son evolve from a premature, critically ill infant into a strong and healthy young man has been remarkable. As he marks his 17th birthday, I recognize that we both began a new life that February afternoon in 1997.
If I think back on music from my childhood, The Beatles immediately come to mind. They were definitely the soundtrack of many car rides in my memory.
Freshman year of high school, I remember the painful decision of which album to pick – the Red One or the Blue One. I don’t remember which I ultimately chose. I know I loved it.
When my oldest son was born, 5+ weeks early, I didn’t have a pediatrician, nor did I know a single lullaby or nursery song. Or so I thought. Doing the new baby rock and walk, I found myself humming Beatles’ songs, sometimes even murmuring the lyrics.
My first digital camera had a memory stick that held about 8 images or a seconds long video. There was a mini movie of the oldest 2 Lilly boys singing their hearts out to Hey, Jude, including all the Judy, Judys and a perfectly timed and heartfelt “Ow.” I have no idea where that memory stick is and it doesn’t matter. I’ll never forget that moment.
My youngest child turned nine today on the very same day that marks 50 years since The Beatles invaded America. Perfect synchronicity. Quinn’s love for The Beatles is pure and relentless, just like him. He hasn’t yet tired of discussing the tragedy of George’s cancer or John’s assassination. He knows the words to countless songs and when he doesn’t, he enthusiastically makes up his own.
What remains inside of us is a wonder only second to what, in fact, comes out.
Here’s a summary of what I’ve been talking about over at my other home on the web…
I can’t believe another month has flown by! Here’s some of what I’ve been up to over at the timesunion.com.
First, there was the politics of pasta.
Then, I fell in love!
Alas, my ship sailed.
I put some pieces together.
And recognized that I couldn’t always do it myself.
But, I can drive a standard shift. Lefthanded, too.
Which is a good thing because sometimes, I want to get away from my picky-eating children.
It wasn’t my knickers that got bunched up – it was my breasts which got squeezed!
Soccer season wrapped up leaving lessons on the field that should last a lifetime.
We got more treats than tricks.
Filed under Albany, beauty, Boys, cancer, Cooking, Events, family, holidays, house, Moms@Work, politics
Here’s what was going on over at Moms@Work…
Thanks for reading. Always.
It’s been one of those weeks.* I’m sure you’ve had them yourself – an event Monday night, 3 consecutive Tuesday meetings, a late night at work Wednesday, a soccer game…you’ve been there.
I’ve been longingly anticipating Sunday, the only day on this week’s calendar which is completely open. Of course, when I say “completely open” I’m being a little disingenuous. There is the Harvest Fest in the early afternoon and a planned long run in the latter part of the day. Relatively speaking, though, I am unscheduled and I couldn’t be happier.
Speaking of happy, my day was absolutely made today when my son texted me to tell me that Open House was next Thursday rather than this Thursday. Suddenly, I had been given the gift of two unencumbered hours. Sort of.
My first thought was that I should cook dinner instead of picking up pizza as I had planned. I quickly rejected that impulse because it seemed to be an unnecessary complication on a night which had suddenly been simplified. I considered whether I could fit in a run, but decided that the hour-long Tabata-style class I had squeezed in would satisfy my need for an aerobic workout.
So, instead, I made it to the second half of my son’s soccer game and enjoyed the warmth of an early October afternoon. We picked up our pizza after the game and enjoyed an easy supper before I needed to head out and drive my soccer player to the Varsity game, arriving back home to help my youngest with his math homework. With which, incidentally, I find myself struggling. What are “arrays” and why don’t kids learn their multiplication tables anymore?
Is it Sunday yet?
*I shouldn’t use the past tense. I still have a couple of bonus hours at the Wine Bar & Bistro on Lark tonight and a few hours of helping out down at Oktoberfest Saturday.
Let’s forgive me for not getting to this until what is essentially the second week of September, ok? Seeing that the school year is beginning so late, I’ve kind of been pretending that this past weekend was Labor Day. But, without further ado…
For the third year in a row, I completed the Warrior Dash down at Windham Mountain. Kind of pleased with this year’s results: 62nd of 779 in my age group, 1463 of 7300.
I became obsessed with Orange is the New Black. Have you watched it yet? When does season two start??
My Quinnie became sick while we were on vacation and I reflected on how stressful sick children, far from our pediatrician, can be.
I had a meltdown about needing bangs – STAT!
The movie theater became the perfect babysitter so I could take a run.
Finding the “perfect” Cape Cod house can be a real test of patience and acceptance.
And there are a few things you don’t want to find in your temporary beach home.
There was a little bit of panic as the days of August started growing shorter.
And a lot of discussion about twerking and expressing oneself.
Finally, my piece from the Sept/Oct issue of Women@Work talked about how not to Fear the Fall.
What have you been up to??
Filed under aging, Boys, Cape Cod, Events, Exercise, family, favorites, Martha's Vineyard, Moms@Work, Observations, running, sick, Summer, travel, vacation