Tuesday, May 20, 2014

High School Graduation -

Summertime is upon us, the sun is shining the trees are green, hell even the birds are out. It is a new season here is Missouri. And so a new season starts for the life of my oldest niece. She will graduate high school and begin her journey to become an adult.

As I sit here at almost 40, I am not even sure where my journey started and how I have made it from A to B. I remember being 18 and thinking I ‘knew’ everything – and for that brief moment, I probably did. Making little to no money was really enough, living at home was not such a bad gig, my body looked its best, my skin looked its best and I knew that the world had a lot to offer and I was sure I was gonna get a piece of it. Out there on a wing and a prayer. Because at this age you really need nothing else, and the glory of that is, you don’t have enough years or experience to have anything hold you back. You really can go big. So girl, I beg you GO BIG! Every dream and idea you have, go for it.
I heard ‘No’ a lot at that age, especially from mom and dad – and, well, needless to say. I did walk to the beat of my own drum. For me the ‘no’ only made me try harder. No always a good thing, but something I know was hardwired in me. If you tell me I cannot, I will damn sure die trying to show you that I can.

Something about being 18 and graduating makes you fearless. Hell up until this point other than going to school my biggest accomplishment was learning how to drive at 16. Not returning to high school can be blessing, I pray you embrace it. You now have the opportunity to go out there and just be you! The best version of you, you can make up. The things you did in grade school, high school and who your parents are really don’t matter once you leave that place. You get to be you. Not someone’s older sister, niece, daughter or friend. You no longer have to stand in the shadow of someone else expectations. At this point, grab the pen and paper and begin to write your chapters.

Some will be wild n crazy. Some chapters will be filled with sadness and emotions you have never had before. It is okay to feel them, just don’t stay there. Some chapters will be filled with old friends you never talk to again and news ones that show up and start to fill the space. Some chapters will be filled with long nights of homework and struggle. All of them worth writing and experiencing.

As I ventured out and attempted my best version of being fearless I can assure its scary! I have learned that anything worth doing should at some point ‘scare the shit’ out you. Walk through it anyway. On the other side of the wall is a great sense of accomplishment. On the nights you are lonely and afraid – pick up the fone and call a family member. Hell, we take drunk phone calls too…. We are not above that one either.

Never be afraid to fail! Some of the best lessons are in failure. Trust your gut. Trust your gut when you first meet people, and if they feel wrong, they are. But by the same token meet as many people as you can. As you get older it will not be what you know, but who you know. And these people you start to meet now, will last you a lifetime.

Be kind to yourself and your skin. At 18 I never thought about wrinkles, flab or gray hair. Now almost 40, I should have been nicer to my 18 yr old self. Things really were not that bad on this ol’ body. And now, well hell – we just go with it.
I was there the day you were born, chubby little girl of nonsense right from the beginning. Screaming and carrying on like a hot mess. You were a fighter from the word go, so I expect nothing less as you venture out with your adult hall pass.

Watch movies, travel, meet new people, take classes you think you might hate –they might surprise you. Don’t go close minded, be willing to take anything the universe wants to throw at you and catch it and run. I am so excited for you and this new stage of life. I am so proud of the girl you were and the women you are going to become.
We ventured out last week, just you, me and Misty. We had the best time. Memories of a lifetime girl, were made for us. We laughed until we cried, we did things that were unexpected, and all along we did it together. I promise you this, we are always here for you….the good, the bad, the ugly, the fabulous and the freakn daily bump n grind. We are here. There is comfort in knowing you have someone there, this I can assure. No thought too small, no dream to big, no emotion is wrong.
They are all you and we will always love you despite any failure or success. Because you see, you are not smiled upon by us because of the big moments, you are loved by us because of every small insignificant moment that leads to the big is worth noting. We have noted your depth, your love, your soul and your character. Your blue eyes help too, the fact that you have them means, well you are stuck with us for life!

It is hard for me to believe that this small screaming girl that raised such hell is now graduating high school. I am proud of you and the niece you have become. You have 8 younger kids that look up to you and you take it all in stride. It is nothing for you to be seen driving 3 or 4 of your cousins around dropping them off, picking them up. You can be seen doing hair, tying shoes, hell at one time wiping noses and asses, taking them fishing, 4 wheeling, a taco bell drive through, swimming and even providing comfort when one cries – all done at one time or another in lipstick n high heels. You have a sense of humor that is quircky and weird – which is genetic. The only one that really does not get us is Mom. It just is what it is….

You have a smile that is stunning and a laugh that will light up a room. The snorting thing may get you a few sideways glances, but hey. Own it. You have a sense of style that is all you own and you own it well. So girl step out and go get your piece of this world!! Your cheering section is big and sends you all the love you can hold. Love you, Aunt Beenie.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Teenager in the house....

A teenager in the house!! The big 13, you are no longer in single digits, no longer the lonely 12 you are now officially 13. What comes with a being a 13 year old boy in my household. He continues to be my soft, gentle soul with a radiant smile and soft eyes that speak to your soul if you allow them too. He is gonna have these killer eyes that even make me half ass afraid for him. They are this green color off set by long brown lashes that drive your attention to look right at them. As a baby he had a big head, as 13 approaches he has grown into his head and carries it well on his long, lanky athletic body. He maybe 1 inch shorter than I am, and remind me every day that he as tall as I am.

I get daily reminders that he is a teenage boy, by the arm pit hairs that have suddenly sprouted and taken over his body. And that weird shadow of hair that is suddenly covering his top lip. The stinky feet that take over my house when the football shoes are removed and Oder eaters that are suddenly necessary. Where did my baby, toddler go?? There were days when my home smelled like baby lotion, formula and diaper genie. And now it is covered with book bags, homework, Xbox games, laughter at YouTube videos, and girlfriends.

Time seems to stand still everyday as we go through the daily bump and grind of sports and home work, and yet it runs so fast like sand just slipping through my fingertips. 13 years this child has blessed my daily routine. This has not escaped me as I sit and wonder where the time went. He still takes his time to find me in the kitchen and just give me a hug. We take our time to say our prayers every night, remain grateful even for the hard times. He still kisses me goodbye every morning and tells me he loves me before he leaves to go catch the bus. All of these normal routine things seem so small in the daily bump and grind, but for me they are my golden moments of a child that is slowly becoming a man. His teenage years are just as important to me as his childhood years were, rather than teaching him to learn his ABC’s, and to count to 10. I am now teaching him to maintain a standard of living and life skills that need to last him a life time.
Trying to instill in him kindness, gratitude and integrity as he attends middle school and plays team sports is not hard with this child. It all seems to come natural to him. He had what I would perceive to be difficult years in his life, several surgeries even before he turned 1. All the time this child smiled and taught me to live in the moment and to let things go. They were not difficult for him, nor do I feel he would ever feel like he was different than his other 13 year old counter parts. His nature and personality carried him through like a rock star.

As we sit and have dinner I pay attention to his daily activities. He apparently is the class clown, a lively vibrant soul among the presence of his teachers and classmates. That makes my heart soar. He is kind to all kids; he is witty, funny and comfortable in his own skin. He is not running a race with the fastest kid in school, he is not playing football to be the quarter back he living his life at 13 as hope he will continue to live it well into adulthood. He is living it for him. He has joy, fun and laughter at the normal silly boy stuff.
The other day he was in the living room and started singing ‘cheeseburger in paradise’. I looked over at him and asked ‘where did you learn that?’ He just shrugged and laughed, he didn’t really know but he thought it was funny so he just goes with it, and apparently was singing it in class that day as well. I asked if he got in trouble and he said ‘naw, the teacher just laughed.’ The neighbor girl, who is in his grade, talks about what a class clown Ry is and about how the teachers and classmates enjoy his company.
I am a bit shocked at this, at home he seems reserved at times and witty but the funny does not seem to come out on a regular basis. I am glad he is funny, I am glad he has laughter that seeps from his core and touches others.

He is a natural athlete, which I could have never predicted. I figured once his bone graph had taken place, he not be able to play sports ever again. Shows you how shallow and how much I did not know. 3 weeks after his bone graph, where they graphed bone from his hip to his mouth he was back on the football field. That my friends was my life lesson. Even when he begged to go back out and play, I fought him on it, I said no. I am glad that is one fight I lost. I would have held him back due to my own fears, and what I ‘thought’ was best. I would have been wrong. He falls into football like a natural and this year we are trying baseball. He seems to have fallen into this sport like the rest; he seems to be a natural. I felt it was too late for him and that all the other boys would have been playing for years and that he just needed to stick to football. He and his dad thought otherwise, and as he continues to go to practice he continues to thrive. I was once again wrong. I need to learn to let it go, and to follow his lead. So we are playing baseball and this was first year he has even picked up a bat. His batting coach says he does great. He willing to listen and learn, which makes him teachable. He has a great eye and understanding which makes helps him to thrive. So here we go, football and baseball for a child I thought would have trouble and pain when the weather changed. Football and baseball for a child that I thought would never play sports and would hate to run because it would hurt. I was wrong and I am glad I was, it is a joy to watch him be a part of a team. It is a joy to watch him grow.
So to my funny, witty teenager I wish you a happy birthday. Thank you for my life lessons. Thank you for your warm radiant smile that touches my soul. Thank you for the hugs and kisses daily. There are days when I want to strangle you and make you smell your own socks. There are days when you are as stubborn as a damn mule. When we argue over things you ‘think’ you can stomp away and slam doors. I think we are finding out that is not gonna be the case. The years are racing by fast, your childhood should be the best time of your life and I hope you can reach back and find memories that make you smile, make you feel loved and maybe even make you laugh.

As we sit at dinner and you tell me about your day, I want you to know that I am always listening. As we sit at breakfast and you text me from across the table, so you don’t have to talk in front of your sister, I want you to know that I am here. As we stay up later than you sister so we can talk about what to get your girlfriend for her birthday, I want you to know that I understand there are things your sister does not need to know. Although as times change, she will be the one you tell things to and you and her will keep them from me. As you share your day, your heart break and your frustrations, I want you to know that no situation is too big for you to handle.
As enter the world of texting, snapchat, Instagram – because facebook is lame; just know I am trying to keep up. As you enter a world of advance math and other studies I fear I may not be able to help you with, just know that I am proud of you.

Ode to my teenager, wash your feet, brush your teeth and face daily. Wear deodorant, clean underwear and wash your bed sheets once a week. As this stage basketball shorts and t-shirts are not acceptable to catch the bus when it is 20 degrees and yes, you need to wear a jacket. And yes I know that even though I make you put on jeans during the cold weather, I know you have shorts in backpack which you change into once you get to school. And the things I don’t know, but will creep up, we will get through together.
Love you to the moon and back kiddo. Your mother – aka work in progress

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The midget & me...

Tomorrow the midget will turn 8! Wow, can you believe it - 8!
It took me 5 years to have the courage to have the child, given our son's clefting and 50/50 chance we ran to have another 'genetic mishap.' Yeah thats the term they use to describe our son's clefting. Jerk faces!
I held my breath the entire time I was prego with this child. We didn't find out the sex until she was born and my mother was so angry at me she could have spit bullets.

She called me one day and had this to say...."Beenie I know its hard to hear, but I hope you don't have girl. I just cannot see a prety girl if you and lance have kids." haha!! Gawd love her!
I must admit, it is difficut to determine what our children would look like and a girl was a total curve ball.
Luck for us, she got some of our best features. How in the hell did she not get blue eyes? She has all depew attributes, thru and thru.

At 8 she is kind, she is gentel at times, and stubborn as hell! She is loud, she is funny, she loves music to her core and on any given day you can find her singing Timber at the top of her lungs in the shower.
She loves food, any kind. There are times when I have packed her the 'stinky girl lunch' - hard boiled eggs, saurkraut, and tuna fish. haha!!

The other day a girl at school called her 'fat'. As a child, my sister and I both were both on the chuncky side - it happens folks. I told her that day she was beautiful. I tell her everyday she is beautiful.
Her feelings were hurt by the girl at school, and rightfully so. I told her kids can be mean and there are gonna be times that you have to know better and find the grace to move on. At the same time, my son, her older brother told her that she should have punched the girl in the nose. God love older brothers. His advice made me smile. Even thought I told her she could not punch over name calling.

Every morning I take her to school and see my son on the bus, every morning and every night I tell them I love them. I kiss them and I hug them. That is my daily saving grace. They are my greatest accomplishment.
She has a sparkel in her eye that will pierce you with a degree of sunshine and happiness. Every morning we dance, as I get dressed we turn on youtube and we dance to at least 3 songs.
We say the same prayer that my mother said with us. We give reasons to be greatful everyday.
My children must do chores. I am a single mom trying to keep a household together and they can pull a few of the pieces together. They each clean their room, vacume their floors and each one must do something downstairs.
She is my cuddler, in her sleep she likes to be close, she likes to wrap her sausage fingers around your hair until it reaches your scalp. She likes to hugg you tight and kiss you kindly.

She dresses like punky brewster on any given day of the week, and it makes me smile. My mother always encouraged us to be individuals in every area of our life and dressing was always interesting and it continues to be. I would never change that in my midget, her origial outfits make me smile and make wanna bottle up her joy for a rainy day.
Right now at this very moment, she we are dancing to September...dancing the night away. All smiles.
She knows Patsey Cline, Elvis, Clutch, Daughtry, Pharell, Kesha, Randy Travis, Adam Levine...I like the fact that she loves all music. She is not very athletic. Even as i type it, it makes me laugh.

She is my midget. Loving, kind, stubborn, funny, loud, curious, joyful, beautiful and my daughter.
Its funny, I'm not like most girls. I never wanted the white picket fence - if I ever pictured it, I'm sure it was on fire. I'm not a cinderalla kinda girl and there are days im not sure why god gave me kids. Am I REALLY suppose to mold the minds of tomorrow? There are days I can barely get dressed on my own. If I hear my kids breathing and smiling, I consider that a WIN. I am not sure from day to day who is teaching who here, but I thank god I get the opportunity to learn from her. She teaches me to relax, to sing loud and off key. She will let me know each morning if I look 'ok'. She does not care what I do all day, when I get home, she just needs me to be mom. A person with a smile, a hugg, a kiss, some kind words and someone to help with homework. My daily stresses are not hers to own or to be thrown on her like emotional vomit for the day. We cook together, even thought I sux.
Since my seperation two years ago I have had to learn how to cook. She has let me know when I have been successful or when I have failed. haha. The burnt pizza - major fail! The pork chops are getting better. So as she reaches 8, I can assure I still feel like there are days I am crawling. I'm not sure who is running the show, but it is always worth the price of admission.
Here is what I know. When you get - GIVE. When you learn - Teach. If you did something wrong- say you are sorry.

So to my beautiful midget, i love you. I thank for you choosing me and making me smile everyday. I look at you and I see hope, I see joy and I feel the laughter. Even in my darkest days, I feel the hope. As we watch movies, shop in the mall, dance every morning and paint nails every sunday. I have hope. The hope of always improving and the hope that you always keep your smile. I am learning that life is not suppose to be easy, it just suppose to be worth it....and you my child teach me something everyday. As you begin to embark on 8, I pray you keep your smile, your laughter and your grace. May god bless you midget! Happy Birthday luv.

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