What did those kids do to that nice lady?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Ready or Not

It’s almost as if it never happened.

I mean…it DID. I know it did. I was witness to almost each and every second of each and every day. Surely, I could not have imagined all those seconds of all those minutes of all those days. So…it happened. Summer. It was Summer. I know it was. 

And suddenly…it’s not anymore.

I had this strange, unfamiliar feeling come over me the last couple weeks of Summer.  The usual cheery countdown to The First Day of School was feeling more like the countdown to an unwanted event; instead of gleefully marking off all the days and making up songs to sing to The Children about their impending doom while they politely yelled at me to shut up, I…felt…like…I wasn’t ready for that first day. I wasn’t ready to jump back in. And then I had this flashback of myself, many years ago, pushing a double wide stroller with two Toddlers and overhearing a conversation between two Mothers who were clearly much older and wiser in their mothering than I was. They were discussing how great their summer was and how bummed they were that school was going to start. It was like I was hearing their conversation in slow motion…my head turning towards them, my mouth gaping open, my ears disbelieving the very words they were hearing. I looked down at my own two Toddlers and thought of how I only fantasized about school days. How school days seemed like this unreachable goal I was just striving for, minute after minute, day after day. I felt as though I was still years away from these Magical School Days and the thought of a few hours of personal freedom seemed better than a sex dream starring Ben Affleck and I just could not understand what these women were talking about. Not ready? For SCHOOL? What the hell is happening in their world?

And then…it happened to me. I became those women. I didn’t want Summer to end this time.

Don’t worry, it’s not like I became mentally insane over the summer and I wasn’t looking forward to school starting at all. Because of course there was a little skip in my step as we all headed back the first day. I like schedules. I like routine. I like to settle in and write things on my paper calendar. I like to not have to brace myself for THE END OF THE WORLD each time I announce we have to run an errand. Oh GOD! NOOOOOOO!!!!!!! An ERRAND! Not an ERRAND! Anything but an ERRAND!!!!  Help us! Help….us…..we’re meeeellllttting!   MELTING!!!!!  Worst…mom….ever….help….us…………(And…scene.)

Because of course The Children drove me crazy over the summer. They were consistent in continuing their self proclaimed challenge of fighting about literally everything. (One day, they were fighting over a piece of garbage. A PIECE OF FUCKING GARBAGE.) They were once again confused if I was their Mother, or their Cruise Director. When I asked them to do their chores, it was as if I accidentally lit their bodies on fire at the same time. Son upheld his persistence of always being bored but never wanting to do anything. Daughter upheld her persistence in just being…well, a little bit insane. At times I felt suffocated by their ever growing desire to be reallyclosetomeallthesecondsoftheday. I became a short order cook over the lunch hour. I became confused about how they actually survived on seemingly so little food during the school year because every ten minutes someone needed a damn snack. These are all the predicable things that happen to the Mothers of the World during summer. 

But other things happened, too. We had a lot of quiet time together. We didn’t rush around. We watched lots of great movies. We worked on our suntans every week, our toes in the sand. We took advantage of such warm Pacific temperatures and Son and Daughter delighted in their Mother duck diving waves with them. We’d go to the park for 20 minutes, and decide to come home. Then maybe we’d go back for 20 more. They probably had too much screen time, but I stopped giving a damn. They started a car washing business one day, and a lemonade business the next. We got to see our family. We got to go to a Cubs game. And a Dodger game. And play a pick up game. We got to decide each day if we were going to do something, or do nothing. And while some of those days where we found ourselves doing nothing ended with me pacing the house like a caged animal, I tried my very best to remain present and enjoy the fact that The Children still wanted to hang out with their Mama. Even if she does yell sometimes a lot about shoes and why they aren’t in the basket she has so thoughtfully acquired for them. We had way more good days than bad. We really did.

I spent last night looking at the calendar that is full once again. I wrote in all the soccer schedules and the baseball schedules and the dinner schedules and the guitar schedules and the schedules of the schedules and prepare again for Fall weekends being owned by….the schedules. I don’t mind. It can be therapeutic to stay busy. And I know it’s good for The Children to once again have places to be and people to see and Common Core for Mom to cry over.

But….man….I just wasn’t ready. 


It was a great summer. 











Monday, June 19, 2017

...and the living is easy....

Last night was a pretty quiet night here in the Gelato House. With the school year winding down, The Children didn’t have homework to fight over (and if they did, all three of us follow a ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy this time of year), we had no after school practices or lessons to run off too; I mean we basically had….nothing…to do besides bug each other and complain about dinner and watch American Ninja Warrior. Evenings like that always sort of throw me off balance; while it’s nice to have a chill night, it makes me feel a little antsy; like I’m not being a productive enough human because I’m not yelling GET YOUR SHOES ON IT’S TIME TO GO 37 times in five minutes. (And really, how productive am I being if I have to repeat something 37 times?) I had already declared it was Clean Out The Fridge week, so dinner was leftovers; the laundry was done; the house was clean. Daughter was playing in her room quietly. Son, after my repeated efforts to quell his proclamations of boredom by offering to play catch or go to the park or play cards or Yahtzee, rejected my ideas and instead sat on the sofa and read his book. So…with nothing pressing to do….I turned on my favorite Pandora station, grabbed my Vanity Fair, and read right alongside him. And as we sat there, side by side, with our chosen reading material, I realized how productive I actually was being. This moment of silent solitude; this quiet, yet effective time spent with my Oldest while my Youngest was happily occupying herself with nary a device in sight…it was so much more productive than running around and feeling overwhelmed; this notion of being busy for busyness sakes always trying to smother the beauty that lies in a book and a sofa and a Son. 

As The Children grow older, these years I have with them seem so much more valuable and precious because of Time’s stubborn defiance to slowing down. And as Summer once again approaches as another school year becomes a thing of the past, I am desperate to find a way to enjoy all the minutes, all the hours, all the days. It’s almost as if a Ghost of Gelato Mama Future is hovering above me, whispering in my ear to slow down and look around. She’s telling me to hug them tighter, laugh with them longer, listen to them more intently, be gentle with my words to them and to be graceful in my actions. I’m doing my very best to honor the murmurs gracing my ears. Because while I love that My Children get to play baseball and take swim lessons and go to soccer and try football and play with their friends and always have another idea, another thing they want to try, I also want them to be able to sit in silence and appreciate how very valuable it is to be present in a moment that most would not even stop to notice. I want them to believe in the magic of normalcy; to relish in it’s mundane beauty.  I want them to grow older and remember a Mama who sat on the sofa and listened to their stories while tickling their backs. 

I clearly don’t always succeed at this ideal image I have of the Mother I want to be.  I obviously get frustrated and impatient and yell and feel defeated as My Children can drive me absolutely mad and they are experts with all the buttons on all the parts they can push. But I am determined to keep trying to diminish my faults with my strengths. And I can be called a lot of things and I’m certain I have but the most important name I get called each day is Mama and the most important thing I can do is just keep trying, each day, to be better.

So here we are, at the edge of Summer, peering over the cliff. It somehow feels cute to be excited about all the long days that loom ahead, knowing full well The Children will be bored within two hours of waking on their first day of freedom. But after we jump in and climb up the other side to the early fall days of another school year beginning, we’ll be staring wistfully back at Summer, wondering how it all went by so quickly. And while I know the next eleven weeks or so will be full of laughter and fighting and yelling and fighting and adventures and fighting and boredom and fighting, I’m going to do my best to…enjoy?…survive?…soak up?…no. I’m going to do my best to just be present. To believe in the magic of normalcy.

I think there might be a book or two in our future this summer.

Happy Summer.
May the force be with you.
We’re in it together.
Send wine.




Thursday, May 18, 2017

Traveling Light

I was on a flight recently….by myself.

The End. 

Seriously, this could be the whole post. Because if you’ve ever had the distinct pleasure of flying with Young Children, you know that your shit is GAME ON the second you set foot inside that airport. And having dozens upon dozens of flights under my 10 year old Parent Belt with The Children, I can tell you I’ve done quite a few things that are more fun than flying alone with babies and toddlers. It’s hard work. Just sitting here typing this I have dozens of images flooding my brain from flights past. Here's a cute little sample.

That one time I nursed a three month old Son while sitting next to a 27 year old Australian man who’s eyes pretty much looked STRAIGHT FORWARD for 4 continuous hours. 

Having to get creative for diaper changes when for some godforsaken reason, the luxurious airplane bathroom isn’t equipped with a changing table. (Don’t.Get.Me.Started.) 

That one time I left Baby Crack, aka Puffs, in the bottom of the stroller that was checked at the gate and my only thought was-Kill me now. I’m not strong enough without the Baby Crack. 

Being cramped into one seat with a 1 year old on my lap and a 3 year old trying to climb on my lap because I’m not paying for that damn seat until I have too. 

Finding myself frozen in some sort of strange, cirque du soleil position for hours so THE BABY KEEPS SLEEPING.

Apologizing for my ass being in your face while I stand in the thin aisle trying to rock a restless, irritated, really-over-it Baby Girl to sleep. (Nevertheless, she persisted. In crying. The entire flight.) 

Having to wake Children who decide, without fail, to ONLY fall asleep upon descent to destination. 

Convincing The Children that yes, they can indeed HOLD THEIR POOP while we stand in the endless security line, taking the time to remind Son that one time, he held his poop FOR 6 DAYS, so 20 more minutes shouldn’t be a problem.

Realizing that someone is about to barf on the bouncy bus shuttle, and they’ll have to do it in their sippy cup. And also my hand. 

The one time I said, Fuck It, and handed my 6 month old Daughter to the woman behind me in the security line so I could break the stroller down with two hands instead of my usual chin, pinky and foot maneuver. (I mean, to be fair, she DID ask if she could help me and come on-even though it was obvious she had never held a tiny, live human in her life, I figured it was easier than trying to explain to her how to break down the stroller.) 

When I finally learned how to always say yes when someone asked me if they could help. Or buy me a drink. And I can happily say that the side-eye from the bitchy flight attendants when I order my double Tito’s and soda doesn’t bother me anymore because for every old, bitchy attendant, there is

the one that gives you your drink, a wink, and carries on without asking for payment. 

So, yeah, getting on a plane by yourself…it’s pretty exciting. Just walking through the airport without having to make the inevitable bathroom stop with all The Kids  and all The Stuff and not negotiating which $26 bag of candy they have to share and then there’s not even a wrestling match to break up while we sit at the gate and wait to board in Group 18….it’s…nice.

Except…….

I miss them. 

That’s the fucked up thing about being a mom. 

There you are, sitting at an airport bar, having a pre-flight cocktail and reading a book, and whizzing by you is a busy mom with her unruly crew and you….okay, you kind of laugh at her a little because you know she hates you sitting all smug at the bar by yourself, but then you also….start to have this funny feeling….that you wish…The Children were with you. And even as you try to shoo that feeling away with another glass of wine and another chapter of your book...nevertheless...it persists....and you want your buddies with you.

The Children are 10 and 8 now. I’ve learned that as kids get older, many things get much harder, but other things get much easier. Like flying alone with them. They carry their own stuff, we play cards, we all settle in and watch our own movies. We still fight about who gets to sit next to me, but I’ll happily listen to that fight anytime because I think it means they like me as much as I like them. And if I’ve learned anything while going through Divorce, it’s that I am addicted to my Children. I gave them life, but they are the life that beats inside of me. And every second that I have gotten to be with them and get to be with them, is one better second of my life. 

Even the seconds they spent puking in my hand on a shuttle bus. 

Happy trails to you and yours. 

Here's a picture of us surviving another security line while holding our poop.




Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wanted: Roommate. Must Like Dance Parties

For a full decade, I have lived directly next door to a duplex that houses small, one bedroom apartments. Two things here: when I say directly next door, I mean that if you open my front door and just sort of… stick your arm out and lean forward, you can touch the front unit’s door. Also-when I say small-I mean, they are very small, outdated little hotboxes that do not benefit at all from our cool ocean breezes and mostly sunny skies. But what is truly amazing is that in the last ten years with the seemingly revolving door of new tenants entering our lives-I can honestly say there was ONE bad tenant. One. It turned out she really valued her privacy, didn’t like children or people in general so it’s no surprise she hated every second of her year as my neighbor. The TWO locks she had secured to her front door when she moved in did tip me off that maaaaaybe we wouldn't be sloshing sav blanc together on the front stoop like MOST of my neighbors like to do, but her pure disdain for her living situation was apparent to even The Children who would run and hide every time her car pulled up. (To be fair, they were just taking my lead.)

Mean, Privacy-Loving, Person-Hating Lady aside, the relationships that I have formed with my Roommates, as I like to call my Duplex Neighbors, have been some of the richest in my life. Not because we all become the best of friends, although that has certainly happened, but because of how intertwined our lives become. When you live thisclose to people, you have two choices: get two locks on your door and pretend it’s not happening or fling your door open and let the life around you come in. And considering that pretty much my entire neighborhood knows the code to both my garage AND my front door, I think you know where I stand. Our door is always wide, wide open. I try to close it when it’s Time To Yell, but even then, fuck….that’s just the way it is so get used to it. (And do you know what a good Roommate does when Mama is losing her shit? They bring her alcohol.)

But all good Roommates do come to an end. As it is about to again. Back Unit Roommates have decided that Sunlight and Grass seem like a good idea and hence…they are moving out. When I was told by Roommate  that they were moving out he said-Don’t worry; we’re telling everyone who comes to check it out that they aren’t just moving into an apartment, they’re moving into a family. And I had little tears in my eyes and I said that’s so sweet. And so true. And after a tender moment shared I looked him squarely in the eye and asked: But you are warning them about Daughter, aren’t you? He laughed because he knows he can’t explain what it’s like living next door to an invasive, somewhat inappropriate 7 year old girl, he can only warn any new potential tenant that the second you start moving your shit in, Daughter will be all over your ass like white on rice. The best advice I can give with regards to Daughter? Don’t resist. Lean into the crazy. She’ll break you down eventually so it’s better to just get on her good side right away. 

A few tips if you happen to find yourself our new Roommate in the Back Unit;

One: Have a few interesting books for Daughter to look at when she wanders into your place unannounced; this way she won’t talk as much and you can continue whatever it is you were doing before she invaded. (Where’s Waldo has been very popular over the years.) Also, if you plan on handing her your device to get her to be quiet, please make sure there are some age appropriate educational games on it. And a basket of some art supplies within easy reach is not a bad idea either. 

Two: She likes dance parties. A lot. It’s probably easiest for you to have some sort of streaming service so every song is at your fingertips for her aggressive demands. Turn it up loud and give her some space because she’ll probably bust out some splits. And it’s not a bad idea to make sure you’re working out so you can do the lifts and the twirling she has lined up for you. 

Three: Be prepared for some completely invasive questions. Are you married? Why? Why not? Are you having a baby? Do you want a baby? Why don’t you have a baby? Where were you? What time are you coming back? Why don’t you have a job? Do you like your job? How old are you? 

Four: If your door is open, it means, Come on in! (This also goes for our door, and once you’ve been properly vetted by Daughter, you, too, can have the code to the garage and the front door.) Although there are clearly some boundary issues with Daughter, she’s pretty respectful of the Closed Door. She’ll pepper you with questions about it later, but you can have peace if you so desire it with the Closed Door Policy I’ve been forced to implement.  

Five: Don’t be afraid to put her to work! Need help walking your dog? She’s your girl. Locked yourself out of the house and need a Small Person to climb through your window? Look no further. Need a hand with a little light house cleaning?Give that girl a dust rag and tell her to get on it! Somewhere in there she knows she needs to earn her keep with you and will happily oblige. 

Each new Roommate that has entered our lives has left an impression on me and My Children. Some impressions have stood the test of time and others slip away silently as they tend to do. But every now and again, I think of each of them, having come and gone in our lives and I wonder if they ever stop and think of The Gelato Family. I hope they do. I hope they are as grateful for the year or two they watched Son and Daughter grow as I was for their random acts of kindness towards them; the Christmas and birthday gifts bestowed upon them, the games of catch in the street, the sheer willingness to let Crazy enter your apartment at free will and actually enjoy the company of Small Children. I cannot imagine a life without knowing my neighbors. I cannot imagine emptiness beside me. I mean, sometimes I can, but 87% of the time, I am forever grateful for the lives that are lived beside me.

So if you find yourself in that back unit, remember those two choices: close up real tight and pretend we’re not happening, or fling that door open and let us in. And considering I’ve had to help my Roommates break into both of those units before….just go ahead and let us in.

Daughter is waiting for you. 

(She actually is.) 


((I think she’s back there right now….))

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New Year, New...Rules....

Welcome, 2017.

I’ve been waiting for you. 2016 be like Bye, Felicia, and I would just like to say that although the state of many things in our world terrifies the shit out of me, I welcome you, 2017, with open arms and an open mind. I am aware of the many…many ways in which i could use vast improvements, but instead of boring you with my said imperfections, let’s talk about Everyone Else’s. And by Everyone Else’s, I mean, America's.

I know what you’re thinking. Yeah yeah yeah, teenagers drinking coffee is annoying but get over it already, Lady. Look, I’ve lost that battle, and I am reminded of my defeat each time I listen to a 13 year old order something she can’t even spell, but I’m moving on. Barely.

And a recent visit to the bathroom in Target is where I’d like to begin. 

Number One: Use A Public Restroom Thoughtfully 

Okay, America. This one. THIS one. I cannot fucking believe I still have to read a Please Do Not Flush Feminine Products sign when I use the ladies room. Or, even more unbelievable-Don’t Forget to Flush. That’s a SIGN. In BATHROOMS. In PLACES. I’m sorry, but unless you’re under the age of 5, you don’t get to FORGET to FLUSH the TOILET you just WENT in. Sadly, I think we need to add another sign to the bathroom wall: I See You’ve Protected Your Little Tush From Scary Scary Germs By Putting This Toilet Seat Cover Down. I Can See That You Used One Because IT’S STILL ON THE DAMN SEAT. Please, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, FLUSH YOUR USED TOILET SEAT COVER. This basically proves my theory that germaphobes are probably the most disgusting people on the planet because they only care about their personal hygiene, not anyone else’s. (Except for all my friends who are germaphobes-you guys are the best. And so clean.)  Listen, I don’t want to use the Target restroom anymore than you do, but think how much more tolerable it would be if people didn’t turn into little piglets as soon as they walked in there. Mull that around. See how it feels. 

Number Two: Be A More Patient Driver

I know it’s really frustrating when someone has the audacity to turn their blinker on and try to get into your lane, which clearly you own, but maybe just chill for a second and let them over. Who knows-maybe they’re lost…maybe they’ve never been on this road before, maybe they really are just dicks, but I know I am personally trying to be a more patient driver and have come to realize that the one second I lose by letting someone over is surely worth the several more seconds I would lose by playing cat and mouse with a car to try and teach them who the boss really is. And also- when someone does let you over, let’s not forget the Thank You Wave. The Thank You Wave goes a surprisingly long way in convincing people that you are not Satan. Also, sometimes I like to smile a Sorry Smile and give that face like, oh my God, I’m such an idiot. This does two things: it makes that person feel better about themselves that they really are superior to you, and also forces them to realize that perhaps they were acting a little too aggressively and they give you that awkward Oh, No Problem Face, as if they weren’t just ready road rage your ass. 

Also, I understand that asking people to come to a COMPLETE stop at a stop sign is, like, kha-razy, but maybe we can find a compromise? Perhaps something between a Yield and a Stop? I mean, unless you’re Really Important and Have Somewhere To Be-disregard everything that’s happening right now obviously. Buuuttttttt…..I assure you, as that Lady Who Did Lots of Stuff To Her Face and Drives A Car I Cannot Pronounce found out, when you run a stop sign that happens to be a crosswalk to a park where KIDS play, *some people* have no problem running down the street, knocking on your window and investigating why it is you seem to be in such a hurry that the running over of a child seems to be an option. (Fun fact: when you’re willing to look and act a liiiittttllleee bit like a crazy person, all kinds of things become an option. Like chasing Plastic People in Expensive Cars.)

Number Three: Pick Up Your Dog’s Shit

This one is specifically written for that mysterious person who lets their dog shit on my lawn every morning and then just…leaves it there, but, sadly,  I know I’m not alone in this problem. Like, you have a dog. It pooped. As living things tend to do. Pick it up. And throw it in your OWN trash can. I didn’t throw my kids’ diapers in your trash can. Poop should stay in the family, you know what I’m saying? Don’t make me get one of those cutesy little dog signs in my yard asking your dog to not do what your dog does in my yard. I mean, that’s the equivalent of the mini-van family stickers. 

Number Four: Please Please Pretty Please Can We Not Use Our Cell Phones When Other People Can Hear Everything?

Sometimes I know that I am on the complete opposite end of something and have to understand that just because I have a super low tolerance for…I guess…um….everything, the fact that I am completely mortified to answer a phone call while standing in line somewhere simply to tell that caller that I will call them right back when I’m alone…. this is not normal. But this morning as I was in the gym locker room minding my own business at an appropriate level of nudity, the naked ass woman beside me answered her phone, put it on speaker and then when the few other people and I looked are her like-what the fuck-she looked at US like what the fuck-and we were all, wait, no, what the FUCK….well, she clearly saw no problem being butt ass naked having a full on conversation while on speaker phone. And while I make it a point to actually never answer the phone because I have that weird phone phobia that makes you afraid to talk to people, I think the only time I would ever answer it butt naked in a room with other people was if it was The Children’s School calling. And even then…I mean, I know they’re going to leave a message and the fact that now you can READ your voicemails….I mean…that’s the single greatest thing that has ever happened to me in my life. 

This explains a lot about me. 
Anyway.

Number Five: Combine All The TV Stuff

This is less a resolution as it is a personal request that I just feel like sharing. Can we make all the TV Stuff like…One Happy Thing? Netlix, Amazon Prime, cable, Hulu, other ones I can’t think of right now…People-I am CONFUSED and I want to WATCH IT ALL and I don’t want to have to subscribe to all these things because good God, I can’t remember all those passwords. I mean, when someone comes to me with a glow surrounding them and asks me-Oh my God, have you seen <insert show> I want to say YES! Oh my God-YES! Because so often I have to say No. Oh my God, no. I haven’t seen it. And the complete disgust in that person’s eyes reminds me that I am the lowest of the low and I deserve the shame they’ve thrust upon me because I have not yet watched <insert show.>  I know that disgust because it’s the same thing I feel for all people who have not yet experienced Friday Night Lights because that really IS the Best.Show.Ever and all men should aspire to be Coach Taylor. 

Just thinking off the cuff here…but maybe unity in television is the key to unity in humanity…..?

I should seriously run for office. Or run for something. Or just run away. 



Number Six: Be Coach Taylor

Truuussstttt me…..NOBODY will be disappointed.  

I’m gonna wrap this up. I need to go use the bathroom here at Barnes and Noble like a clean, normal person, then get in my car and smile at everyone, make a voodoo doll for that dude who lets his dog shit in my yard, not answer my phone if you call and I look forward to watching The Mick tonight, which is on FOX by the way, and you should definitely be watching it, all while daydreaming of Coach Taylor and believing that Clear Eyes and Full Hearts Can’t Lose. 

Happy New Year.

Let’s do this. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What the Elf?

I’m going to skip the mushy love stuff this time and get right get the point: I, Gelato Mama, hereby do declare we come together as a community and rid our lives of The Elf on a Shelf. When did Santa stop being enough for our Children? Here you will find my persuasive argument:

Santa has been around for centuries. This is true because I read it on the internet when I googled “How Long Has Santa Been Around?” How long has Elf been around? Barely a decade. A decade of middle of the night panic attacks, creepy, competitive hiding spots and countless four letter words directed toward That Lady Who Did This To Us. 

Santa was a Saint. He gave to people less fortunate than he. He was a kind man who liked Mothers; he didn’t have this weird, twisted need to make Mothers feel badly about themselves if they hate a weird little doll with creepy eyes. Santa’s eyes are crinkly and happy, not all judgey and disapproving like Elf’s.

Elf is seriously over-doing it. Every night, Elf? Every.Damn.Night you need to go and tattle to Santa about what went down in the Gelato House? That’s aggressive. You should totally chill, Elf. Nobody likes a tattletale. Santa simply has sporadic visits here and there, checking in occasionally like a Normal Person because Santa is a forgiving, rational man who knows that Little Children can be assholes sometimes and it’s not always their fault. You were tooootttally teacher’s pet, weren’t you, Elf? Smirking up there in the front of the class.  Pretty sure Santa was voted Most Likely To Succeed.

Elf’s magic only exists if you don’t touch his precious little Elf Self. Oh here, Kids. Here’s a magical little Elf who is friends with Santa! DON’T TOUCH HIM! HE’LL BURN IN ELF HELL!Santa’s Magic knows no bounds. The man can pay a visit to every house in the land in one night, leave gifts and stuff stockings without waking anyone, eat endless amounts of cookies without getting full; I mean….he rolls in a sleigh driven by flying reindeer for God's sake. How can we even compare this? It’s getting embarrassing that Elf is even a thing at all. 

I don’t meant to sound harsh, I just want the simplicity of the belief in Santa to be enough for Our Children. 

It still is for me.
Happiest of holidays to you and yours.




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

And then He was Ten....

Dear Son,

You’re ten years old now. 10. However you say it, type it, write it…you’re a whole decade old. Wow. That’s really hard to believe. Each new year is hard to believe because to me…as the saying goes…you are still my first baby, my newborn, my toddler, my kindergartner. I have to start accepting that you are also my boy growing into a Young Man. It’s not always easy with you, I’ll have you know. You and I…we… clash more than me and Sister. You challenge me in ways I didn’t know were possible. But you also love me in ways I didn’t know were possible. You still have a desire to pretty much be as close to me as possible, and while sometimes a Mama just wants her space…I take a breath…and try to soak in the moments with your breath in my ear, your weight on my belly, my hand tickling your back. One day you will reject my arms, I know, and retreat to your room and then I’ll go into my room and cry….but I can only hope somehow that these moments will be instilled into your being, as I can still hear the gurgling of my mother’s stomach as I laid my head in her lap and felt her tears fall on my neck as she read us Where The Red Fern Grows. 

You and me, Son….we’re more alike than maybe what’s first suspected by the outside. So often it’s Your Sister who gets the ‘just like Mom’ references…and while that’s true…you and me, we clash because we both pretty much know we’re always right. And when someone DARE suggest otherwise, we both fight till the end to prove our point. You’re much more pointed and less emotional than I; you’re just relentless in your absolute defiance to accept otherwise.(Use these powers for good as you get older, please.)  I get too heated, too teary, I feel it too much and usually take personal offense when I feel alone on my own island. (Which is most of the time.) But that’s okay, Son. You do you. I’ll do me. Because each time the heat starts to rise and the tempers may flare, we always come back to one another. We always come back to that sofa, with your breath in my ear, your weight on my belly, my hand tickling your back. We always come back.

We’ve had a hard year here in the Gelato House. Our hearts have all been hurting. But you keep me going, Son. You keep ready to face the day; you keep a smile on my face, gratitude in my heart, peace in my soul. Sometimes, Life forces us to grow up a little faster than seems fair, but you have handled it all so well while continuing to grow into a Fine Young Man. And while I certainly wish that you could brush your teeth without somehow managing to get toothpaste….pretty much everywhere (how?)….and I could do without the daily reminders to please eat over your plate….and you know where the damn glasses are, get your own water….and for GOD’S SAKE PLEASE STOP FIGHTING WITH YOUR SISTER….you are pretty solid for usually putting your laundry away, taking a shower without first engaging in an epic battle, doing your homework with little complaint and giving me a break on the math because you know I’m just a lost little puppy dog. I have to say thanks for always being respectful to your teachers, kind to your friends, and…only when it really counts…a good buddy to Sister. Because one day, and I know this sounds CRAZY-the two of you really will be good buddies. One day, I hope you both have bustling households filled with love. And, it must be said-may you have one hell of a stubborn Offspring, Son, so Grandma can sit back and smile. And probably laugh. Okay, smirk. I’ll be smirking.

You’re pretty much the greatest thing that every happened to me, Son, because you made me a Mama. (Don’t let that go to your head, though.) And while you were laying on my belly last night giving me an extremely detailed and surprisingly lengthy play by play of a football game that happened 3 years ago, I still saw that baby face looking back up at me. 

I just bet I’ll see it forever.

I love you to the moon and back. And back again. (And again.)

Happy 10th birthday.

Love, 
Mama