Bring it 2019

Note to reader: a glossary of terms appears at the end of the post for the reader not fluent in current adolescent vernacular.

I am so grateful for the subtle shift that a new year allows me to orient around. This was evident to me as I was fastidiously vacuuming up pine needles yesterday afternoon. It was as if I thought with each one that got sucked up into that vacuum another tear that I had shed this year went with it.

On the home front and the world stage there was just so much hard to hold in the last twelve months. Losing my identity as a “married” person was the most disorienting event of the year. Although my marriage was only four years old-my expectations about who I should and would become in that role was lifelong. I sense that like many I’d unconsciously internalized messaging that one must do this “I do” dance in order to cross over a threshold into societal acceptability. As you might have guessed that did not happen for me. This has nothing to do with the person I married. It has everything to do with who I am and how I roll.

Until I determine that I am acceptable in how I do this life nothing else can give that to me. There is no human or event powerful enough to tell me that I have arrived at any threshold.

I am blessed with a few very deep friendships. The greatest ah-ha moment of 2018? I now realize that I do not treat myself with the same kindness, compassion, and admiration that flows effortlessly towards them. If they came over feeling anxious or grieving would I berate them with questions about how come it didn’t work out, or ply them with alcohol to deaden their feelings? Would I mock or discourage them from following their dreams? Or if they called to share a hard earned accomplishment would I diminish it and take away the credit as something that probably was not deserving of so much attention?

Bruh.

So when my 14 year old son asked me to go to the YMCA with him for a ping pong rematch I sent myself a little internal text that went something like this; “πŸ’₯πŸ’ƒπŸš€β­ You know you’re crushing it when you’re 14 year old requests time alone with you on his turf, because you are that good at ping πŸ“pong”.

Yes he won 3 out of 5 games but I held my own. And at that moment absolutely everything in my world was without lack of any kind, and I knew that I was a lowkey acceptable mom.

2019 it is so good to finally meet you.

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Glossary (since not all my readers have familiarity with current adolescent vernacular)

Bruh: (noun) male friend greeting, or (more commonly used in our home thus way, from the urbandictionary.com:) 1. word you say when someone says something stupid. 2. Word that means seriously?

Example: Me: Yes you can eat them. They are edible flowers. Sam: Bruh.

Lowkey: (adverb) this new non hyphenated version very common in our house (from urban dictionary.com) means
1: moderately: of low emotional intensity
2: secretly

Example: Sam posted a picture of the bear claw slippers I got him for Christmas with this sentence My lowkey lit new slippers. (“Lit” means very cool.)

Finding Our Jingle & Jam Again

Divorce has not been a fa-la-la- friendly event in Mama C ville. To be honest I was sort of hoping we could just quietly tip toe past most of December without anyone noticing.

That box of ornaments in the attic that I hastily separated into ours and no longer ours last summer felt like it belonged to Pandora’s past and not mine. I was overcome with grief. Alexa was banned from all holiday music, and just get to January was my mantra.

And the boys?

Right.

Mama C and the boys.

Having survived my own parents’ painful divorce as an adolescent I knew the treacherous potential of this terrain. It can be confusing and lonely to hold your own sadness, anger, or loss if you see your parent struggling. How do you get your own needs met?

So as is often the case with my chaos with consistency life- action is the only way through; “Alexa play holiday music, damn it!”

And she did.

I brought the boys together over a breakfast fit for the magi and laid it out; “Before I met Shrek this time of year was so spectacular for the three of us. I took so much pleasure in creating magic with you both. This season is about celebrating family, welcoming winter, making our own traditions while honoring the ways those around us celebrate too.” I paused. I could feel relief creeping in with caution.

“Does that mean we are getting a tree?”

The hope and trepidation in my son’s voice was everything I feared and needed to hear.

I showed them pictures from holidays past. Talked about the things we used to love to do when we were little like dancing in the kitchen to holiday music, playing holiday hide and seek, making ornaments and crafts, and being surrounded by family and friends. The rest is history.

Of course took I took great delight in reminding them that in a few weeks when Sammy turns 14 it is the anniversary of me becoming a mother, the greatest gift of all.

So the tree is up, and new ornaments have been added to the old ones. We are holding what we have lost with care, while reminding ourselves together that at this moment we are OK. “Life is full of heart break boys,” I told them as eyes rolled, and the can you not looks kicked in, “and how I love you two is all that I ever need to trust that love always wins!”

My audience was fully over it.

“Can we eat the cookies now?”

“I get the biggest one!”

Alexa play; “Little Drummer Boy.”

Sending love and ease to all of you, with particular grace and compassion to those of you for whom the season holds a heavy heart at times. Sammy suggests finding something to drum on if you want to feel better quickly. It has always worked for him.

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Forward and then some

Things are looking up!

A new perspective is often the outcome of a painful situation. I am learning that I need to slow down and take in new and often uncomfortable information about myself before I will be able to move “forward”. Only then can I do so with ferocity and care.

Forward does not mean “move on”. Forward means movement towards the future. If I’m not happy with how I do things (parent, love, nourish, connect, create, agitate) I get clear about why and what to do with that moving forward.

Recently a judge granted my husband and I an uncontested divorce. For months I grieved for all that would be lost in saying goodbye to the relationship I was wholy invested in. At the same time I was holding my two sons in their own unique ongoing grieving process. We are all figuring it out and adjusting. This has been such a difficult and painful time.

I have not moved on from loving as fully as I knew how. I remind myself that I did the best I knew how at the time, and have grown from every choice I had to make for me, and for the well being of my family. I wish Shrek a healing and meaningful journey towards happiness in the future as well.

The boys and I are good. We have arrived as only we know how in this moment, together. I trust that we will do so with compassion and integrity and a fearless desire to be guided by both. I watch as my children question what love and commitment can look like and trust their own hearts in the process.

In the next few weeks I will be sharing several new directions Mama C and the Boys are going. There are some really big changes afoot and some that I will look to your guidance and feedback in bringing to life. I look forward to including you on the journey.