Raising a boy is like a never ending tug-of-war between the pride of watching him grow into a young man and longing for him to be little once again.
Somewhere along the way, across all those blurry days, his fresh new baby smell was replaced with the scent of BOY—that wild concoction of sweat, dirt, and some third ingredient you can’t name but would recognize a thousand miles away.
Just as soon as you find yourself yearning to carry him close to your heart once again, you watch him run toward you with a wide grin, holding out a flower he’s picked just for you...and you can’t think of what else you could possibly wish for.
And the only words that make your heart burst as much as that very first “mama” is the wild “love you Mom!” shouted between monkey bar reaches from the playground.
rowdy and raucous
sweet, sensitive, soulful
perhaps the only thing more lovely than the memories of yesterday are the ones we’re making today. Those days, these days, & the ones in between have been the pleasure of my life.
I recently watched the biopic Jackie about the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. What I hadn't realized before watching the film was that she had actually been the mother of five children, not two. She miscarried her first child, had a stillborn daughter her next pregnancy, went on to have Caroline and John, Jr., and then gave birth to a boy that only lived for two days. What's even more remarkable was that she lost her husband only three months after her son's death.
Some may wonder why she put herself through conceiving again and again after experiencing such loss. I believe this is the power and strength of the love that comes with being a mother. We lay our hearts out there (sometimes again and again) for our babies, despite knowing the pain that could come.
When did it become "mean" or "bad" to enforce rules, limits, boundaries, or consequences of any kind? When did setting restrictions become synonymous with lacking empathy?
I suppose some would say I'm pretty liberal when it comes to discipline with kids in the sense that I see misbehavior not as something to squash, but as a call for help--a plea for the adults in their life to dig deeper and give them the tools they need. They don't know what they don't know, so a child's behavior is the language they speak when they can't articulate their needs. I suppose this is true with adults, too. However, pain or ignorance is not a free pass--personal responsibility plays a role
I was grabbing a smoothie one morning when a familiar face walked into the store, a former coworker of mine from public school. We greeted each other and she asked where I was currently teaching. I told her I had recently taken a position at a private Montessori school. Her mouth formed into a pained expression and she leaned in close, “ooh, how is that? Ya know, working with those kinda kids?”
My heart started to race & the Mama Bear in me started to stir. Because I knew exactly what she meant by that question--I got different forms of it all the time. The implication behind the questions is usually that they are incapable of doing things on their own or are entitled.
I’d been through this before so I took a deep breath to tame the bear and calmly told her the truth. “Honestly... ‘those kids’ are no different than the kids I taught in public school. Some are entitled, others are not. Some are gifted, others have significant learning disabilities. Some come from wealthy families, some don’t. We have a mix of different kids, just like anywhere else.”
I know the holidays are coming up and it's to be expected, but does anyone else feel like they’ve been tossed into a blender and set on high speed lately?
Or, maybe more accurately, like you're trying to put out all these little fires but they're those trick candle kind of flames where, when you blow one out, another relights?
Our past few weeks have included a 13-hour road trip (well worth it but still exhausting with a 5 year-old), a broken washing machine, a heart attack in the family, an inaccurate & hefty bill we get to spend time disputing, and a leaky roof. (I’ll spare you the “when it rains it pours” pun, but it’s there.)
Add to that the usual stress of the holiday season...
I’m just waiting for my one-year membership to the Jelly of the Month Club to arrive so I feel justified in screaming “Hallelujah! Holy s**t! Where’s the Tylenol? “
My 25 year-old self never would’ve guessed I’d say this as I approach 40 and the highest weight I’ve ever been (pregnancy excluded), but I've truly never felt more comfortable in my own skin. I’m not technically overweight, I just have the kind of not-so-perfect body you might expect a busy teacher & mom to have: a decent set of love handles, thighs that rub together a bit, underarms that wave a little when I do, and, when I look down toward my stomach while in a plank, well…
it’s just not good.
Yet that extra "me" somehow still feels lighter to carry than the mental load I lugged around back when keeping it off was my biggest priority--fixating over calories and a certain number on the scale, imposing consequences on myself if I ate "too much" or skipped a workout. I couldn't keep up with that today if I tried, and I don’t care to. These days, if my cholesterol's good, my blood pressure's in check, & I can keep up with my five year-old and share an ice cream with him, too--then we're all good.
I was jogging (ok, walking & every now and then jogging for like two seconds so I can say I went jogging) & the song "7 Rings" by Ariana Grande came on. Catchy little tune, although I think the credit for that part mostly goes to the OG Julie Andrews. The lyrics, though...
Could we get more unrelatable? (wondered the middle class, middle-aged working mom).
I can relate to her mention of ATM's, although for me it usually involves a balance transfer so I don't overdraw at Publix.
I'm not sure what a "flossy neck" means exactly, although I can relate to noticing the first stages of "turkey neck" emerging.
And, yes, my receipts do "be lookin' like phone numbers" every time I go to Target even though I came in to only get paper towels. Unfortunately my income be lookin' more like a zip code.
I'm Krissy & I'm so thankful you're here. Teacher-Mom life is rewarding but it's tough--we need fuel (& each other) to keep going. I hope this is a place you can go that feels like caffeine for the soul--uplifting & highly addictive ;) Check out the categories below and, if you like what you read, subscribe to make sure you always have good Sunday morning reading to go with your coffee :)