Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Happy Birthday to My Mother

So today was my mother’s birthday and it’s interesting to me that over time the one and only thing we want for OUR day is time alone. Time in our own skin and our own space. Time to be with our prayers, our tears and our laughter and our words.
Growing up my mother could be seen reading her bible daily. To this day I have visions of her reading her tattered bible daily. We had quite the religious upbringing - my mother was raised Catholic, my father Baptist - to some degree. We were the holiday Catholics. We attended every major mass; however my mother saw and stayed in touch with the father by the duck pond on a regular basis. However as kids we went to the Pentecostal church, the Jehovah witnesses would sit at our table and study and our prayers remained steadfast every night. It was the same prayers every night and it continues to be the same prayers I say with my kids to this day.....
My mother has a way with words and people. People LUV her. She connects with everyone, from the person next to her on the plan, the bar, down the grocery isle, in the dentist office, hell in the women's restroom. As a child it is to be understood, as an adult it is exhausting and to the point now of pure entertainment.

The older I get the more I want to stop time and soak her up. My childhood was one of a colorful, fierce and family oriented woman. She loved a good conversation, a good outfit, good food and being from out east originally she never really had any fear of adventure.
My mother is a person that gathers souls. She would bring home anything from a baby dog, goat, raccoon, and homeless person to an actual baby. Yes, once while working her tax office she came home with a baby, and was convinced we needed to adopt it. And perhaps we did, but god in his good graces found that sweet boy a home with a family that had prayed for him.
Anyone who meets me and wonders "what in the hell” I always laugh and say you should meet my mom. As a grown ass women totally winging it, I find that I am the best parts of her. As I fell down and learned life lessons should would be in my ear, but still be kind to my heart. If her opinion changed over time she would say so - but don't get me wrong a Guertin opinion in the moment and space always seems to be right!
As I pick up the pieces to my 41 year old life I call my mother on a regular basis. Actually I call her weekly if not more. I am not sure if it is her therapy or mine. Either way it works. The older I get the more our relationship changes. I no longer need her to brush my hair or tie my shoes, rather now I need to hear her voice, feel her hug and her tell me she loves me. The center of her has always been about love. Sometimes to the point of total destruction.
Either way she chooses love, when she is hurt she chooses love - I am trying to learn that lesson. How to choose love and still protect yourself.
Being the daughter to her has been a pleasure - parts of it will make you laugh, make you cry but most of all you will feel the love. She has taught me to trust my gut, put faith over fear and one foot in front of the other every damn day. If the door closes, bang on it, if it doesn't open either burn the bitch or knock on the neighbors door make friends. haha.....okay, I kid. But she never encountered a door that she could not open either by slightly twisting the knob, finding the key or by simply pushing it.
To say that I love her seems so small. I would be lost without having the opportunity to speak with her weekly. To drive to see her monthly. When the kids and I went to Chicago we called her. And we all boarded a train and we were Chicago bound. She had a great sense of adventure and created a memory with us that we will never forget. As a side note, if you ever travel from STL to Chicago and you want a fun easy ride, take the train and get the city go pass.

This week our small town was rocked by the death of one of my high school friends. She was bigger than life, her smile would like up the darkest day and her laughter would touch your soul. So as my mother and I spoke on Mothers Day we had a sad moment in an attempt to honor Angie and a small prayer for her kids, her fiance and her mother. In that moment you realize how short life really is, how you must make the time, have no regrets, drink the wine, eat the cake and take every adventure. Angie reminds us that our days are limited and time is precious. I am blessed beyond words to have my kids and my parents and my siblings. I pray god embraces Angies kids, fiance and mother during this time.

As I try to write about my mother I want you to know that growing up she was the prettiest women in town, she wore the same perfume for years -Ciara, she wore liquid blush every day, she loves Elvis, she loves music, dancing, family and in this stage her grandkids. She has clear Irish/Italian roots - so if you make her mad stand the hell back! Her words will cut you and her arms will be in 40 million directions. By the same toke if you make her happy she will cry, heck blubber like a child. If you need her she is there, if you ask for her she will come, and when you need her she will show up with open arms.
So with a smile and a foundation of love, prayer and hope I want to thank god for making you my mother. Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Birthday. I love you continues to seem so small, but sometimes the smallest things are the best. I pray you find your next adventure and it feeds your soul and your smile. That is my prayer for you. Love Always - Beenie

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Stand back the tall one is 16!!!!!

Note to myself 16 years ago, you were dumb for being so scared! You wasted so much time an energy being frightened and fearful of the unknown! If you could have seen the future you would know that this child ROCKS!! You would have even seen his clefting as a blessing. Dumb, dumb girl. Ohh the lessons this tall one was going to teach you.
Then god gave you a second child and a girl, just to make sure he covered all of the necessary hardships of raising kids.
Then he sprinkled a little bit of your stubbornness, sense of adventure, and their fathers fearlessness.
Yeah, you are WELCOME world.
YEP, here you go dumb girl - wing this one!!

I sit back and I feel like this time has FLOWN by!!! I know people say it all the time, blah, blah. There are days where I have cursed, driving to work, turning around to drop lunch money, only to leave by 3:30 to make a practice or a game. Or getting up at 3 am because they are sick, getting to bed at 5 (maybe) to be up by 6 for a full day - and cursing the day. Wondering will they ever GROW UP? Because honestly there are days when it feels like it takes forever.
Well damn, not today.
Today, I feel old and my son - this tiny little one that walks around with my heart on his sleeve, towers over me, shaves his face and drives. Did you hear me people, he drives!!
We are looking at colleges, we are making future plans, he has less than two years in my house. No, the house I have built around his growth and spirit.
It was just yesterday he had to have a step stool to brush his teeth, he would fit in the crook of my arm, and I would just beg for one more hour of sleep.
UGH. I am becoming my mother...yes people, just roll me in the pasture n shoot me. I use to make fun of my mom for this crap, hell I still do. Damn, damn, damn. If I start crying, I am serious, just shoot me. All these feels are NOT normal....

Ry makes being his mom easy. He is a pretty easy going kid. You can see his soul in his eyes. You can see his soft, you can feel his lion heart. Dont mess with the people in his space, he has strength in there he has yet to discover. As with the midget we share just about everything from - Frustrations, tears, joy, fears and even an occasional dislike for each other on a day or two. And perhaps being a single mom I expect a bit more out of him. I try not to make him take on the "men" roles in my house - but there are things you ARE going to do..you are going to mow the lawn, you are going to change the light bulbs, learn how to ignite the water heater, clean the gutters, take out the trash and light a damn grill. No girl wants to date a guy that does not have any man skills. And on the days when I have stumbled and the world has been way to much, he has always been there to just tell me its okay and hug me - and right then and there I believe it.

Recently we had a few issues with the midget, we are working through them. We needed to go see family, we hopped in the car and began our adventure. An hour into our adventure my car quit working!! Trasmission quit - car shut down. Car has been in shop 3 times over this, it had a warranty less than 1,000 miles ago and now it is out!! I had a moment of falling from grace. Wanting to just crawl on the floor in the fetal position and cry. I have two scared kids in the car, I don't want to adult any more and I honestly have no idea what to do next. And for a split second, I don't want to figure it out, I want to CRY, I want to be mad at the world and talk about how god has a terrible sense of humor right now. We make it to a safe spot, I still don't want to parent. And in my stubborness I don't want to ask for help. I don't want to ask anyone. I call my sister, I cry. I call my mom and dad, I cry. They rally and of course we are okay. I have a village as much as I don't want to lean on them- I have a great village. As we wait for my sister to come get us, I sit in disbelief that THIS has become my life and what in the hell am I going to do???? Ry walks over and just huggs me. And THERE in that moment I am reminded that it is all okay. I don't know how or where or why - but as with everything we are going to be okay. We are going to re-group and get through this. I see the fear in his eyes and I let him know "we are going to do this! we are going to figure it out and keep moving on. its what we do, its who we are. so I am going to have my melt down moment and then i will be fierce."
I don't share every hardship with my kids - they don't need that type of pressure. But by the same token, I am dead set on not raising entitled assholes. If we don't have the money to do something I say so. I am all about adventures and pretty game for any good road trip, so if we can take off and go we do. We will go more now that Ry can help drive....hehe.

Being 16 this child is gone more than he is home. He is going 5am football training, afterschool volleyball and well just hanging with kids.
I went to drop him the other night at the high school. 4 boys in a red jeep, they all get out, say hi mom to me and away they go. Only it is my worst nightmare, they are driving like nut heads out of the parking lot. In that moment I wanted to call him tell him to get his butt back to the lot, he was coming home and I was going to put him in a bubble in his room. Ohh dear gawd, I just sent him out in this world, on purpose. What in the hell am i doing !@!!
The next morning we sort of joke about it, he mentioned his head hurt, he hit it on the side of the jeep sloshing side to side. PUKE!! I mention that I saw them driving like NUTS, he laughed and said one of the kids said "WE should have waited until Ry's mom was at least out of the parking lot!!"
But I know....I did this. I wonder at times how in the hell did I survive? I have to let him go, but who knew it would stabb me right in the FEELS every darn time.

We talk about drugs, sex, fighting, things I know nothing about- snapchat, some football website where all of his games are, people I've never heard of, drugs I've never heard of and random stupid boy stuff. Because believe me with boys you can expect the random and soo darn stupid!!!

The other night watching some show, he was in his room, the midget asleep and I was watching a show where the ladies kids changed her Siri to call her "butt licker". I sear I laughed so hard, I cried. I called Ry into the living room. This poor lady was lost and Siri responds "Im sorry butt licker but I do not know." "Butt Licker you are lost". And here is how clever those kids were, they changed licker to LIQUOR. I mean really, like it or not, darn clever! And being the mom of a 16 yr old, this I found totally entertaining!!! Like belly laugh, call him in the room and watch it 3 times.

16 years turn parents brains to mush....terrible music, never ending snapchat, dumb, dumb jokes, but the best group of darn kids I have been around. These boys care about each other, like for real care. They've got each others back. They are solid. These are kids that will be around for a lifetime in some capacity with each other. It is so very cool to watch.
He is creating his own village and so far I am impressed. Do I think they are doing dumb boy things - YES. Dumb 16 yr old things and perhaps some grown up things - YES. But I think this group of kids has a great support system in parents, siblings and others.
I have been VERY clear to Ry- if your at a party and drinking and need a ride call me. He has asked me a few times'are you serious?' More than you ever know.
Will I be happy that your drinking? NO. Are you going to drink - yeah, prob. Do I need you or anyone else driving - NO. Call me.

This child makes me smile, he freaking makes me laugh like no other. He can get under my skin n pinch a nerve like no other, but darn if he doesn't just make me smile. Daily we say our prayers, we list the items we are grateful for, never gets off the phone without telling me he loves me, he never leaves the house without hugging and kissing me - actually he never gets out of the car without a hug and a kiss. At 16 I value that....

At every game he does an eye scan to see if I am in the bleachers. I do my best to make most of the games. Now I have been known to be a bit loud, vocal per say....but that moment of eye contact is small, safe, and ours. On the football field he may even head nodd just a bit. I am super proud of this kid. To this day I have no idea what position(s) he plays of football, I have no idea what the rules are, you can hear me asking "what, what, what the heck did that mean?" I am the mom that may stand up and yell "GO RY, GO RY - TURN N BURN!!" Yes, I am that mom. I hold my breath, stand up, sit down, stand up....yell at Lance behind me, hit whomever maybe next to me - yeah, it can be a bit much. But it is ours, and right now this is our chapter of life and I am your biggest fan.

I have no idea where you are headed on this road of life, but I can assure that it is a pleasure being your mom. I have enjoyed every stage of this darn journey and cannot wait to see what you do with this big bad world. It is yours, take it and make it your B*%#H. We have talked you want to go to a D1 school, and I really have no idea what that means. But I have told you and other kids this.....AIM BIG. Have plan A,B,C - but go after A. The work is yours to do. If you want it, go after it. We can road trip to as many schools as it takes, the road ahead is yours - sports, grades, manners, and now DRIVING. I will follow you anywhere....well im not moving and all that jazz, but I will be your mom and cheer for you regardless of your path. Unless you fall into drugs, then Im just gonna beat your arse and send you to the country (try me!!). As life hands you your lessons, take them. Embrace them. If you world tells you no, feel free to say YES. If there looks like there is no way through or around, then go up and over my son.....just like you did here.

This is life is yours, and I cannot wait to see what it has in store for you. Love you always and forever - your mom.
Happy 16th Birthday, thank you for letting me be part of your journey, it has been an honor my son.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Midget is 11 and counting....

This one right here was born today around 11 am in the afternoon. Right from the start she came out hair crazy, eyes wide to the world and smiling. Not much has changed in her little 11 years. Her hair is always crazy - she has so darn much of it. Her eyes are wide to the world and she takes it all in with such joy and passion. And her smile, well that will light up a room filled with darkness. Just the other night she asked me at dinner 'Mom, are you glad you had kids?' Perhaps is was one of those 'stressed' nights where I was acting like nut job and not taking the time to remind my kids that I love them and needed the world to slow down a bit. I stopped mid sentence, looked across the table and smiled at her - took the time to look her in the eyes and said "having kids is the best thing me and your father could have ever done. You and your brother are the best parts of us. God took the good the parts of us, put them in you and then you just made them better." She sat back took it in and smiled. You know the smile where you feel like you had a moment - a fleeting moment, but a moment none the less.

I am a bit sad today I drag my butt into work, knowing that I wont get to see her today and wait for tomorrow to come. However as a working mom, I just could not make it work. Plus I have a meeting tonight, which means I will be here past 8pm. It is also her dads night, so she won't home. So as we speak last night, and she is at her dads, I ask her to understand in her little 11 year old heart, that I know it your birthday and im sorry I won't see you, but I love you. As we were on facetime I asked her if she wanted me to bring her presents to her dads in the morning or save them until Friday. Friday I can take off, but thursday I cannot. As kids of divorced parents, as hard as we try, there are times when we feel like we fail, and this I can assure you is one of them. So as i beg for understanding and receive it, I am grateful. She prefers that I hold on to her stuff until tomorrow when we can celebrate in person.
Mind you her father and Katy his gf are great! The perks to being part of a divorced family is that this birthday gig never seems to end! Today she is shopping with Katy, Tuesday I took her to get her hair done and to dinner. Later this month she will have a bowling party and perhaps a sleep over. She took cookie to cake to school to share with her friends on Wed, mind you because they do not have school today or tomorrow.
So lets do the math, two cookie cakes, cake at her dads, cupcakes from me and later this month another cake. Perhaps this is not a bad gig if you like cake!

Either way as much as I try to comfort my heart with all lovely people stepping in and loving her today, the core of me hurts. She understands, but deep down I am sure she hurts just a tad bit as well. Perhaps on my drive home I will do a quick swing by for a quick hug n snug before I end my long day and crawl into bed. And by tomorrow all of our emotions will be fleeting and I will attempt to over compensate for my failure.

Back to the midget and this days of hers.....as we enter 11 we enter boys, makeup, shaving, talks of periods and the never ending snapchat. We encounter bullying, body shaming and conversations even about suicide. We are real, we live real lives and yes we talk about everything. Things that make us cringe, things that make us cry, things that perhaps keep me up at night. But they are not as frequent as we talk about silly stuff, laugh, take a road trip, say our prayers and thank god for the things we are grateful for -these things we do daily.
In my house it is understood that life is going to be hard, but it is going to be worth it. Life is not always easy, that is why it is life.....and we are going to fight, cry, struggle, and love. But we will remain in grace and love - even when we move a bit away from it all, we always try to come back to it.

She is in the in between stage of such a child and becoming a teenager. We walk and find pokemon, yet want to wear blush and gloss on our walk. Why for the love of PETE do we need blush or gloss. She tells me she wants to sleep alone, yet gets in my bed at 3 am every night. She eats ice cream and still licks the bowl. Hell after dinner, if it is good I will have to remind to not lick her plate. I have to tell her time and time again to not use her fingers to eat. You cannot go on a date and use your fingers (unless your Rachel!!); you must know how to use a knife and fork. She won't put her shoes on all way, the back of her sneakers are pushed in - drives me NUTS. Yet, she walked out of the house the other day in a pair of my boots.
All knobby knees, floppy feet and half ass ackward - but darn cute. Then it dawned on me HOLY HELL those are MY SHOES. She is big enough to wear my shoes, my shirts and my pants. It is happening she is 11 going on 20.

She has a laugh that will light up a room. She still sings in the shower at the top of her lungs, has earbuds and music on always. While in church she will stand, clap and sing. She is loving, and has mama instincts that I never owned. I am loving and loyal, but i missed the ticket when they were passing out motherly instincts. I go the reject ticket that said " you will WING it, good luck! Please don't kill anyone." I kill everything but my kids and currently my dog. They are beyond the point of me checking for a pulse in the middle of the night or putting the glass mirror under their nose, but I am filled with joy everyday I get to be their mom. Daily I question why in heck god gave me kids - hell Lance and I kids for that matter. I mean really!! The conversation about boys makes me wanna puke, the conversation about mean girls makes me want to hurt other girls, the lazy kids in my house makes me want to scream, and then it happens. I find myself totally entertained with the stories, facial expressions, music, travel plans, family talks and I am grounded by the i love you's and hugs each and every time they leave the house or we get off the phone.
So dear world, please be kind to my 11 year old midget, this age is odd, stressful and a little girl coming into her own can be tough. Don't harden her heart, take the moments to soak her in, listen to her laugh, see her eyes smile and correct her if she is wearing too much brow! Dear gawd this eyebrow phase - make it stop!! I got sidetracked...let her take her blanket to a sleep over if it makes her feel better and for the love of PETE, eat the cake, and sing in the shower! Enjoy your Birthday my princess, have the best day with your dad, Katie, your brother and jamie. The village has your back, walk down the road with your head held high, in the wonky boots and make up eyebrows and wave, sing and smile at everyone you know.
Everyone should have a little midget in your life, you make it brighter. Much love your mom


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