Archive for the ‘apron strings’ Category

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Time weighs heavy on my heart.

February 25, 2008

I bent down to pick up my beautiful daughter tonight and I had trouble for the first time ever. I bent at the knees and felt my back give out from the heaviness of her. Her body slacked in my arms and I had to use all of my weight to counter her 47 pound frame and get her into my arms.

When she was a baby, she fit right into that little nook between my hip and my neck and never felt heavy. I could dance around the house with her there, vacuum, talk on the phone…all while she just sat and hung on. All while my right arm was doing something else.

I remember dancing her to sleep in her room during nap times and bed time. As she rested in that nook, we would boogie to tunes like: Ricky Martin, Usher, Guns N’ Roses. We woke up to Z100 and went to bed with Travis and Celine Dion. I would sing and sway and rock to the beat and watch her as she drifted off into that space right before deep sleep. I never put her down right away. I savored her every inch before I put her in her crib. I have always loved the way she smelled of baby powder and sweat. And I have always adored the feel of her soft, feather-like hair tickling my neck and cheek. I never wanted to let go of that innocent joy. Even at my most insecure times as a mother, I always knew the feel of her.

I never grew tired holding her. I never felt like she was too heavy even after after a long while dancing and rocking. And there were days and long nights of dancing and rocking especially during the colicky months. But, I always loved being with her like that. Just me and her. Bonding. Mother and daughter. We still do it, but just for a few songs…Mommy’s back gives out now.

She’s growing so much I can’t keep track of her milestones anymore. She’s active and intelligent and thriving exponentially.

The diary I started for her four years ago remains in my drawer, each page filled with all of the new experiences and milestones we achieved together. I return to it on the hard days, remembering how trying those first few months were. I read her progression of the words she’s learned and I realize that she spoke so early and has mastered language at a phenomenal pace.

I sit and compare the past to the present, wondering which year was the hardest. I still can’t answer that.

All I know is that I love her with a passion I could never believe existed. And as I lifted her up tonight I wept. I wept for the baby I once had and for the girl I now struggled to hold in my arms without getting weary.

Her body is changing, her mind is expanding, her world is growing. She’s harder to hold in more was than one. But I promise her I will never let her go. No matter how old she is, she will always be my baby.

I have her saying it now too. “Mommy, even when I’m 35, I’ll still be your baby.”

And I wonder, can I have that in writing? Because I really need to believe that is true.

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Conversations on a potty.

January 23, 2008

Mind you, Fa doesn’t want me in there when she’s sitting…so this conversation was yelled from the living room to the potty room. (And I still wipe her when she poos. I’m like the Poo Patrol. Poo Programmer. Poo Powerhouse. Hiney Wiper extraordinare…you get the point.

Fa (sitting on the pot): “I’m usually done!”

Me: “What does that mean?”

Fa: “What does usually mean?”

Me: “Most of the time.”

Fa: “I’m done…Usually.”

Me: “Ready?”

Fa: “No, not yet.”

Me: “Are you ready or not?”

Fa: “Not.”

Me: “Please call me when you are ready.”

Fa: “Maaaaaahm!”

Me: “Done?”

Fa: “Give me a few more minutes!”

Me: “Fa, just call me when you are ready to get clean.”

Fa: “I’m done!”

Fa: “Not!”

Fa: “Yup!”

Fa: “Nope, still more to go.”

Fa: “RT, come in here I need you.”

Me: “Fa, leave RT outta this.”

Fa: “I’m really ready now…..”

Fa: “Maaahhhhm?”

Fa: “I’m done, I said.”

Fa: “You know, you’re not moving fast enough…”

The life.

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She has more friends than me and I’m glad.

December 11, 2007

Fa had her 4th birthday party over the past weekend.

18 kids were there. That’s about 17 more friends she has than me.

I am impressed.

Most of her school friends came and showered her with love and affection. My heart swells for her.

She is such a big girl. I look back at the first few days of her life and I was so unsure. Of everything.

Now, in amazement, I watch her interact with her friends and enjoy herself.

That’s the key. Enjoyment. She actually does that now. Without fear or trepidation. A big step in the life of Fa.

And a big step in the growth of her Ma.

We have both entered this world of Mother/Daughter unsure and anxious. Scared and doubtful.

But we are maturing into this uniform being of two hearts growing and learning from each other. Two souls connected by love. Two girls growing up. One into motherhood, the other into childhood…and beyond.

I am in utter and sheer love. Unconditional (yet, annoyed by tantrums) love.

I am proud of her for stepping up and being brave. I am proud of her for trusting herself to totally enjoy the moment without inhibition. She is teaching me to do the same.

I am proud of me for accepting this fate and enveloping my tiny charge into my heart and soul.

I was doubtful in the beginning. Doubtful that I could handle this job. This never-ending job of Motherhood.

But I am more sure now than ever before, that as she grows and teaches me how to love…There is nothing else in this world that I am supposed to do. But be there for her. And help her grow and teach her how to be a strong and independent woman.

Yes, I slip up. I curse at her and I yell when I really shouldn’t. I lose patience and throw things in frustration. But I am human. And I am teaching her that above all else, my love is always there. And no matter what mistakes we make, we will always love.

In her life, I pray that she is overwhelmed with friends and treats them with respect, honesty and love. I pray she guides them when they need her and they return the favor.

In my life, I wish to watch her grow and build the life she wants. I wish to support her decisions and I hope that I have taught her how to make the right ones.

I can only wish she sees how much I truly adore her. My life wouldn’t be complete unless she knew how much she was loved.

My very big girl. Out of all the little girls in the world, how did I get the very best one?

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So, I left!

September 20, 2007

And I sat in the car and cried.

Called The Pro.

Cried.

Went for a cappuccino at a really great coffee bar in the neighborhood and tried to read A Thousand Splendid Suns. So NOT the book to read these days.

Cried some more.

Do you realize, this is the very first time I have ever sat in a public place alone and drank coffee and read something? Alone. And I didn’t care if anyone thought I was alone.

I cried most of the time.

I returned to the school a half hour early and waited in an empty classroom…with say, a dozen mothers who STAYED the whole time…crap.

But I realized something. It’s all coming back to me now.

PPD.

And that awful feeling of “alone”.

I remember many times when Fa was days, weeks old. My in-laws would come to help me out. Thinking they were being helpful, they would literally shoo me out of the house and take care of the baby for as long as I wanted to be gone.

No time limits. No kisses goodbye, just go.

Sounds like heaven to a mother with sleep deprivation and a need for caffeine and a short escape?

Not for me.

All I thought about was how alone in the world I was. How I missed my mother terribly. How no one in the entire world understood.

Where should I go since they kicked me out of my own home?

I stayed down the block in the car, all alone with nowhere to be and my boobs aching because I was a failure at breastfeeding. Crying inconsolably.

This happened at least once a week for the first few months of Fa’s life.

I never want to do that again.

Well, those feelings are back. All except the achy boobs. Well, no, they ache too…but its PMS not breastfeeding failures.

Obviously, I don’t have PPD anymore, but that feeling is creeping its ugly head up into my conscious again.

Strength is depleting. Anxieties are taking over.

I’m feeling melancholy and anxious.

I have to do this every day until June. Give or take some holidays.

I’m not feeling very confident in myself this week.

I need to regroup.

This is for Fa. And me. She will not be my end all and be all. It’s not fair to give her such an unattainable responsibility. No one could fill those shoes.

I need to start letting go.

Starting now.

****

Update! Today I stayed. And talked to some moms and the director.

Fa had a substitute today. Her teacher’s dad passed and won’t be in tomorrow either.

Fa saw her teacher from last year subbing and freaked the fuck out.

It was the whole “out of her element” issue that has been a problem before, but she was doing so well. It was weird for her to see her old teacher in a new surrounding and she literally broke down. Clung to me for a good half hour. Then, I got strong. I threatened. Whatever works, you know.

I told her if she didn’t go play, we were going home. She gathered her courage and played. I stayed in the room for a few more minutes and then said goodbye and left. I waited in the ‘holding room’. She was fine the rest of the time…I vented to some moms and I feel better. For now.

But I was proud of myself for not taking her out of the situation and forcing her to be strong.

I praised her when I picked her up and told her how proud I was of her for doing something that was difficult. It was difficult and she did it anyway. Whatta kid!

This is very hard.

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Ok, so I cried.

September 19, 2007

And I was doing so well too.

Fa has been having a ball. I have been waiting alongside the other mommies for two days to see our little babies go off to class.

The waiting was the easy part.

The camaraderie of the other ‘mothers in waiting’ got me through my own anxieties.

Today I am supposed to just leave.

Leave her there.

All ‘alone’.

Now, I know she’s not all alone, and the staff there is more than qualified and competent for sure. She loves the kids and she already has favorite things to do in class.

But I am all alone. What do I do with myself?

I am finally feeling the tug at my apron strings. And I never even owned an apron.

My baby goes off to enjoy her time in school. My head is reeling with “what if’s”.

What if she needs me and I’m not there fast enough?
What if she thinks I’m right downstairs and it takes me too long to get to her?
What if she gets hurt?
What if she feels scared and they don’t know it?
What if they can’t ‘read her’ like I can? (I know when a meltdown is happening way before it actually happens)
What if they can’t reach me on my cell phone?
What if I get into an accident while she’s in school?

Gah. All these “what if’s” are driving me crazy.

So, last night during my DVR’d marathon of The Pick up Artist and Rock of Love. I bawled.

I bawled until she woke up at 2:15am saying that she wasn’t tired and she needed company.

I dried off, schnuggled with her ‘for a song’ and returned to my room, scared. For myself.

She woke up two more times after that and The Pro took over.

He got her talking all about school and how much fun she has and all of the things she does there and my mind eased a little.

He told her it’s late and she needs to get some sleep for school tomorrow and we didn’t hear from her again.

But I am still here wondering. Should I stay or should I go?

When I give her that hug and smooch before she runs off to her classroom, do I plan to stay there for ‘just one more day, just in case’ or do I bite the big one and go home?

You see friends, I am the one with separation anxiety.

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Our First Day

September 17, 2007

Fa will forever be a world class champion in my book.

She went through that classroom today like she owned it. She shot straight through to the water table and didn’t flinch when I said I’d come back for her after snack. See ya.

She rocked!

I waited in the lobby with all the other moms to pick her up and when I got to her room, she was sitting at the table with her teachers and her new friends snacking away! She saw me and yelled, “Hey Mom, I’m almost finished with my snack!”

Like she’s been doing this her entire life!

Her greatest pleasures today:

  • Pouring her own juice
  • Shoveling her own snack onto her napkin
  • Playing trains with a friend

My greatest pleasures today:

  • Not crying (at all~shocker, I know)
  • Making some mommy friends
  • Comforting a crying Mommy that I knew from last year
  • Seeing the pride emanating from my little girls aura after her day was complete

All in all, I have to say, today was fantastic.

She had fun and can’t wait to go back tomorrow. She says she played very hard today and she’s very tired…

I can’t wait to see how she does after she realizes this is an EVERY-day thing…

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Hi Coo Fri Day

September 14, 2007

Here we go again.

Haiku Friday

I seemed to get a good response with last week’s installment so I was inspired to do more…

This week is dedicated to my girl and the fact that she’s starting school on Monday.

School is starting soon
Where the hell is that baby?
Flew out the window?

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I’m a momma to
a preschooler with feelings
How did that happen?

***

Occasionally
being a mom is easy
but not when she’s three

***

Many fears come through
you are a strong little girl
The fears are all mine

***

If only I could
keep you this age forever
time passes quickly

***
Never has a week
gone by so quickly, now you’re
seven days older

***

Like a teenager
I don’t have the heart to say
you are only three

***

Your classroom is set
Your artwork is hanging up
My heart is aching

***

Teachers can be cool
Classmates can be so much fun
Mothers are catty

***

It’s not about me
It’s about you becoming
A little lady

***

I’ll always be there
I may not be in the room
I’ll be in your heart