What I want us all to see

Sammy in his Easter threads

Yesterday I sent a text;

“Sammy before church. I told  him how proud you’d be of him, looking so sharp. Happy Easter to you and your family.”

I included the above picture.

I pictured her and her family at church. It was one of the real reasons we rallied to go too. If he were being raised by his biological mother, I know she would have taken him to church today. I imagine he would have been dressed this well with her too. Of this I have little doubt. Continue reading “What I want us all to see”

Red, red, green and gold, gold

This color makes me happy too Mommy!

On the lighter side, a few images from the week. Highlights include: “birds of paradise” the color I have always wanted in my kitchen, as applied by Shrek, Sam and Marcel while I was presenting another “I can talk about race in the classroom” workshop to educators in Augusta. All time highs in the warm weather department that brought out gliders and long afternoons with sweet friends on the beach. Sam’s parent teacher conference affirmed what we already knew: he’s doing beautifully, is a remarkably strong reader, and all systems are a go go. I even managed to spend a record three hours working on a fiction entry to the NPR short fiction competition that has an 11:59 pm deadline tonight amidst 15 hours of my own parent teacher conference obligations, and workshop prep.  My family, my heart, my work, my voice all feel clear, and empowered. The months ahead feel as if they are poised for something grand in so many tangible and abstract ways. I am feeling truly blessed. Continue reading “Red, red, green and gold, gold”

On workshops, suitcases, and holding on

The workshop that I presented; “I can talk about race in the classroom” was by all accounts a big success today. The post workshop reflections were 95% positive–which says as much about the audience as the presenter really. The educators were open, willing, and very present! I was prepared, passionate, and speaking from a place of truth. That is always a great combination. I’ll try to write more about the experience, and the work, when time allows. But the suitcases are trumping the keyboard here. Continue reading “On workshops, suitcases, and holding on”

things I love about you

Cupid from the archives

Dear Sam,

Here are the first five things that come to my mind that I cherish and adore about you:

1. How you take in so much more than you let on-your depth.

2. How you can complement a friend’s artwork, seconds after they have insulted yours-your generosity.

3. The way every cell in your body works together when a baseball is coming towards you from the mound-your physical intelligence.

4. Your willingness to do something new-your adventuresome spirit.

5. Your forehead under my palm when we cuddle-how you receive love.

Cupid #2-from the archives

Dear Marcel,

Here are the first five things that come to my mind that I cherish and adore about you:

1. How you share whatever is on your mind-your truth.

2. How your hard mood can change so easily with a hug, or an “uppy”-your willingness to let go.

3. The questions. The constant questions-your search for meaning.

4. When you touch me on the nose and say; “I see sunshine right here”-your affection.

5. The way the world revolves around Sam, and then all of your people-your capacity for love.

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I am so ridiculously blessed to share this lifetime with you both.

Always, Mama

Classic Mama C and the Boys from the archives

And to all of my readers–thank you for all the love you share with us–the ways you hold and care for us–and the space you create for all of this to happen. To those of you who are waiting for the love (s) you will soon shower your adoration upon–I wish you ease and a moment of peace, that all is exactly as it is meant to be and it will unfold beautifully as it is meant to.

Painting on the wall, and other ways to feel the love

My little Basquiat in the making

What is your parenting platform? If you were asked to teach a mini lesson to a new parent on best practices in parenting in five minutes or less what would be the center of it? If I could be pinned down to one philosophy on parenting it would probably be modelling. Parents model choices, beliefs, possibility or lack there of to their children. Good teaching and good parenting both begin there. Am I reaching for the fruit or the cookie? Am I planning a day outside in the park (with a zillion layers on) or parking it in from of the tube? Am I reaching out, and bringing the neighbor a dinner, or talking about how annoying it is that they…Am I yelling, or asking in a calm voice for the behavior to stop? Am I reading a book in bed, or playing Words With Friends on my phone? Continue reading “Painting on the wall, and other ways to feel the love”

Mama C and the Boys +1. Single mama dating found her Shrek (in a pink boa)

My very fine fellar with a boa

I am in a relationship with an amazingly generous, gentle, funny, socially conscious, caring, reliable and goofy man. He is pictured above. He wore that mask to meet me on a playground and be able to hug me in public. I said I wouldn’t hug in front of my students. I was being weird. He was being funny.OK, so the mask might seem weird to you. To me it was magic. It was about meeting somewhere in the middle, and laughing along the way. Continue reading “Mama C and the Boys +1. Single mama dating found her Shrek (in a pink boa)”

Love winter style (a relationship post from Mama C?)

Sam's snow pants with heart shaped duct taped patches.

There is a whole lot of wintery love happening over in Mama C ville. We love snow days. We love pancakes with lots of maple syrup. We love making music. We love each other. We’re in a sweet place. It’s moments like these in all their rare splendor that I am most inclined to ask–so what is working? What am I doing differently? Or more of? Or less of? How do I keep it going?

I owe a lot of this moment to an interaction I had recently with my dear friend Samantha that helped me to have a rather significant breakthrough in my relational life: Being critical is so easy. Loving someone with an open heart-in spite of them being human, full of faults & so imperfect for us-that is the real work of life. The real opening and realization of mature love. Not easy. So worth it. And the true nature in all of us.

For any number of reasons that quote allowed me to experience this dramatic shift in my relational practice recently. It is practice isn’t it? Periods of gentle ease and balance were almost always being followed by extreme periods dominated by a hyper critical voice that kept going into dissect mode.  Nothing was good enough for me, the apparent Queen of the World. Once in this mode, it is VERY hard for me to interrupt it on my own. The way the other person tilts their head can send me. Yes, it’s that bad.

This is a practice I don’t fall into with my friends. Why is it my fall back in relationship I wonder. (No, I am not asking for analysis here. My therapist is paid for that thanks.) I am just doing what I do best–sharing with you the process. Somehow that little quote gave me permission to step WAY BACK and STOP. To believe in the divine kindness and caring in front of me, and embrace it, tilted head and all. Talk about a shift.

Another ah-ha for me was the extent that  I am also hyper critical with my kids in certain scenarios-like when I think their behavior is somehow a reflection of me? Maybe I’m reaching here–but when I just look at their behavior as a reflection of who they are–I find I have 50,000 times more patience. She also reminded me how true this is about how we are with ourselves. That seems like another blog post entirely!

Did you like how I just jumped right over the relationship paragraph and went right back into parenting? Slick huh? Is Mama C dating? How long has that been going on? Who? What about the kids? How does that all factor in? All great questions, that I have no intention of addressing here at this time. (Was the emphasis on the here, or the at this time in that sentence?) Stay tuned. That’s all I choose to  say right now. OK, I will tell you that I did not have to dig my car out of the driveway the other morning, and my kids were off tubing so that I could have uninterrupted time to write this post, and then go run some errands and work out. Beginning to see why some of  you partnered folks seem to have a little more time on your hands to blog on occasion?

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My workshop-I can talk about race (in the classroom)-was postponed until next month–due to snow. I was so disappointed. But apparently the universe wanted more time to get the word out on this one? As if 75 folks wasn’t enough! I was feeling so pumped up and ready for it too. (That’ll teach me to be on top of things! ) Then last night, I was contacted by a national organization, and asked if I would present the workshop in March to members in Maine. Apparently word travels fast. I woke up this morning thinking it might be time to begin a new blog. One devoted to my professional work on it’s own?

Seven years ago today…

The first thing you do when you are 7...

Seven years ago today at 2:45am I woke up.

I didn’t know why I was suddenly jarred awake.

A few hours later, the call came.

Sammy was born at 2:43 that morning.

At 4:45 the agency called. His first mom had decided that she did want to meet me. Our closed adoption was now going to open right up.

She was waiting to hear from me.

She was what?  Welcome to parenthood: make no assumptions or plans.

Sam’s favorite part of the story is when I ran all around the house screaming; “He’s born. My son is born. Oh my God. He’s born. He’s here. Oh my God. My son.” Or something like that.

I was the only one there.

But, not for much longer.

His Tia spent the night here last night to help celebrate #1 this morning. She is the one who joined me in our 36 hour (due to weather , not distance) traveling adventure to Sam.  The first time I held him was at early on the morning of December 24th.To read an  account of that day, you can go to my essay called; “Taking Care of the Sad Part.”

Right now Sam is playing “In the jungle, the mighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight..” on the keyboard.

at his first piano lesson...

Sam’s goals for the coming year:

Drop in at the big bowl (skateboard park lingo).

Play all the songs I want on the piano.

Go to the bounce house.

Go to the roller rink.

Snow board better than anyone.

Read a chapter book.

Talk to my birth father.

Eat candy whenever I want.

++++

Happy Birthday Baby. This is the anniversary of one of the two happiest days of my life.   And, it always will be.

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post script: This is my 400th post, on the 7th anniversary of Sam’s birth. Dag gone cool.