Oh, To Be Young

When you’re a child, arguments can be validated by making noises with your mouth…

Image from Dreamstime

Image from Dreamstime

“Motorcycles are cool. They go brooooom-broom-broom-braaaaaaaah!”

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Get Dirty

For those with their heads in the gutter, that is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the great outdoors. I’m talking about how easy it is for kids to forget about the beautiful world outside. I won’t sit here and say I’m not guilty of it. I grew up during an age when video games consoles were first born and it was exciting. I also knew what it was like to leave the house with my little friend and explore the neighborhood, as long as I was home by dinner time. And when my brother and I were at our father’s, we were free to wander the trails of the woods, so long as we checked for ticks before we came back in the house. I do my best to make sure my son gets a healthy mix, considering he’ll need to know the basics of a computer or tablet when he starts school. But I’d rather he create rather than relish in the creativity of others all the time.

For Father’s Day, we packed up the car and went to visit a friend of my husband’s. He lives, quite literally, in the middle of nowhere. It was fantastic! The dogs roamed the property with the chickens, the kids caught frogs and chased each other, and we had a casual cook out with new friends. When we got home, it was way too late for a bath, so I stripped the boy down to his Ninja Turtle Underoos and scrubbed him down right there in the kitchen.

“Did you have fun?” I asked.

“Yes!” he said quite confidently.

“What was your favorite part?”

He thought for a moment, tapping his little finger to his chin. “All of it!” he said, “But I really like the duck.”

Being out there made me miss my days of adventure as a child. We grow up and work so hard, sometimes we’re just too tired to do anything else afterwards. So today, the boy and I grabbed his butterfly net and a bucket and walked down to the stream behind our neighbor’s house. I wanted to catch him a polliwog, to show him how frogs look before they become frogs. But I suppose I’m a bit out of practice. Silly me didn’t wear my boots, so my Converse sneakers slipped on the banking and into the mud I went.

“What’d you do that for, Momma?”

Yep – he’s definitely my kid.

Until next time, polliwogs.

Mother’s Day Realism

Happy Mother's Day

Today is Mother’s Day. Growing up, it meant creating a homemade card out of construction paper and stopping by the local greenhouse for a new flowery plant for the garden. These days, it’s a little different. I’m a mother as well as a daughter. It’s funny actually. I don’t really want things – I just want quiet. I just want a day of laziness and nothing. I want peace.

This must’ve been how my mother felt. She has three kids, along with a strenuous job as an intensive care nurse for 50 or more hours a week. I can’t even begin to imagine. She’s so strong. How can I live up to that? How could I possibly compare? She and I talk a lot more now that I’m older, now that I’m also a mother. The more we talk, the more I admire and appreciate everything she’s ever done for us – the sacrifices are literally never ending, even now. Because motherhood does not end when the kids turn eighteen and leave the nest. Now, she’s a grandmother too. I know it’s a role she loves, though the title makes her feel old. I think it makes her all the more distinguished. And the little ones sure do love their Onie.

I just wanted to stop by here today and let you all know there are different ways to show your appreciation to the mother or mother-like figures in your life. She doesn’t want things, (unless she specifically asks for something.) She wants to hear you say how much you love and appreciate her, then she wants you to leave her alone. She wants you to cook and clean and chase the kids around, preferably where she can’t hear them. She wants a true day off from the day-t0-day, because being a Super Mom is tough work.

And to those out there who have lost their mother, know that she loves you and still watches over you, because a mother is always a mother. Something as silly as death cannot stop her from watching over her babies, who will always be her babies even if they themselves are old and gray.

To all the moms out there, to my mother, my stepmother, my mother-in-law… thank you. And Happy Mother’s Day.

xoxo

 

My Apologies

I feel like I need to apologize. I’ve been less than active lately. But family comes first.

Our family has faced a number of tribulations over this past year, ones we are facing together, ones we refuse to let overwhelm us. Honestly, I wake up some days and wonder how the hell we keep going. But we do. My husband gives me strength. I hope I give him some in return. But our son, aside from the fact that he is well immersed in his terrible 3’s, is probably the one empowering us both to stay strong. He is, after all, our little miracle. I’ve tried to tell you his tale a number of times, but always end up deleting it. Someday, you’ll hear our story. For now, I’ll give you the gist of what’s going.

My amazing mother-in-law, who watches our son while we work, is ill. She’s having surgery on Monday and will probably be laid up for about a month or more. It all depends on how it goes. My husband and I were each at work when we got the news and we both freaked out in our own way. He kept stepping outside to clear his head, only to realize there wasn’t anything he could but wait. I jumped in my car and went straight to her house. She had to meet with her doctor to arrange the surgery and needed someone to watch the kids, as our son is not the only child she cares for. I was used to one kid, not the multiple children under her care. Luckily, my husband’s cousin came over to help. I honestly have no idea how my mother-in-law does it. But she has a system and it works for her. When she was going through who eats what for lunch, she turned to see this look of lost of my face and laughed. “Just feed them,” she said. I could handle that.

A diagnosis of uterine cancer is never a good one. But they caught hers early. Stage One could most likely be treated with surgery alone. We certainly hope so. My son is with her just about everyday. He loves and needs his Grammy. We love and need her too. I’m proud to say I have three mothers – my momma, my stepmother, and my mother-in-law. They have each raised me in their own way, each taught me something about myself, and each have made me stronger just for knowing them. I need all my mommies. And husband needs his too. But the last thing we want is to see our son lose someone so close to him. That’s why we’re so hopeful of the prognosis. That’s why we’re doing all we can to stay strong – for him.

So, I’ll be getting in plenty of Mommy and Me time while we wait for her to recover. My boss is incredibly understanding, especially since he lost his own mother to cancer six years ago. I thought he was going to cry when I told him what was going on. But we arranged for me to work on my husband’s days off and my mother is setting things up to take him a couple days here and there so I can still bring in some sort of income. Luckily, she’s a nurse – an awesome one. She can explain things we don’t really understand and knows how to lift our spirits as we all face this from different perspectives.

I will pop in during nap times, maybe with a poem or some pretty pictures or just some small anecdote. So all I ask is that you bear with me while we get through this. And even though I don’t actually know any of you in real life, I gain strength from you too. And for that, I thank you.

Until next time, take care of yourselves and each other. 😉

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