Mother Roar

Last week I had a data dump about how people treat my oldest child. My family always flips out when I post these kind of updates. They worry someone has hurt the Old Soul or his mother. It is never one incident or person that pushes me over the edge, pushing me to put my thoughts to paper (or blog). Sometimes I just need to get it out of my head so I can sleep, so I can move on, so I can verbalize my frustration and give my heart a break from the burden.

As mothers we carry every heartache of our children. We carry their frustration and fears. As a Mother there are days that I want to roar, pull out those gnashing teeth and razor sharp claws and make everything better for them. Of course this is unrealistic and I am not doing them any favors if I pick them up every time they fall. I have struggled with this since my first child was a toddler. When he was still not walking at 18 months (well not walking “well” anyway) our Doctor sat me down and sweetly told me I had to stop carrying him around. My doctor looked me in the eye and told me it was time to put him down and let him fall. I have been going against every instinct since then and letting my children fall and learn and grow. Inside my head I am roaring through the process, fighting my urge to be that mother bear and protect them.  There are days I wonder – “Am I doing my job right?”- because as we all know making human beings is damn hard.


The Reason I Roar

Last week a friend commented that I should Roar On! So I will. I am adding a Mother Roar segment each week where I (and hopefully all of you) will share the struggles and joys of being a parent. It’s a place where we can share what is roaring around in our heads and know there are others here to understand. I am a mother to three very different people so the topics here will be random, maybe sad, probably crazy and once in a while hopefully pretty damn funny.

So I’ll see you here next Thursday for our first Mother Roar.

Roar On!

Do Not

Do not try and tell me what my child will be, how long he will be with us.  Do not tell me how I should feel or pretend you know more than I do about his struggles.  Do not downplay his condition or ignore his amazing strength to overcome.  Do not treat my child with less respect or kindness than he deserves.  Do not judge him for his imperfection. Do not cause my child unhappiness in order to put yourself forward in this world.  Do not mess with this Mama Bear, I have claws and gnashing teeth and most importantly I have a love you will never understand. Do not underestimate him, or me.  Live your life full of love and compassion. Live a life of doing rather than do not. Live your life like my child and you will be happier.  Do not let your life pass you by without appreciating beautiful imperfection.

The Homesick Mommy

Sunday, I dropped off the Little Mother at sleep-away camp.  She will be gone for two weeks, TWO WEEKS! Yes I realize I am yelling at you in internet, but dear Lord – TWO WEEKS!  This hot mess of a plan was not mine. Oh no, remember?  I do not “do” sleep-away camp?  Have we forgotten about this little post? So no, I do not believe in the benefits of sleep-away camp, I still have nightmares.

This is all because of my rotten appendix and my inability to stop this train wreck, oh and The General.  Ultimately this is all because of the damn General and his field trip to the Camp Open-House.  While I was doped out and talking to Unicorns in February, the husband absconded with my children and took them to a “Won’t it be cool to go to sleep-away camp and leave us” open house.  They came home with armfuls of folders, DVD’s and bribery material about camp – where you go and stay – FOR TWO WEEKS!

I fought it, but was weak.  I was not up to the challenge of The General’s pied piper dance, and DVD’s with cool music, and bribes.  The only thing I was able to change was duration.  So instead of a full month away from their darling mother, The Old Soul and Little Mother are each gone this summer for TWO WEEKS!  The Old Soul is up in Massachusetts going to a Geek Tech Day camp and staying at the Hotel Grandparents.  Last nigh he was served Lobstah – I am not worried about The Old Soul.  That kid has everyone wrapped around his finger and last I heard my mother was baking him home-made chocolate chip cookies.  I’m a little jealous.

The Little Mother is at sleep-away camp in the woods of New Hampshire.  I am pretty sure there are bears and beasties in the woods. I am pretty sure I am regretting my lack of anti-anxiety medication.

Last week we packed her up:

Her closet on my living room floor

I was stressed.  I was worried.  I was probably bitchy Mommy.  I found this on my bed one night:

The Letter
Chill Out Lady

The Little Mother knows exactly who she is and has never really cared what anyone else was doing. Did she want to go to camp with friends?  Nope. She went to camp not knowing a soul.  Not one other camper.  Did she need phone access to her Mommy while away?  Nope.  Her only requirements were archery, horse-back riding and as few boys to deal with as possible (sick of her brothers I guess).  Well, the camp is co-ed but those smelly boys are on the other side of the woods.  Fingers crossed she will have an estrogen-filled two weeks.

She and I were both nervous on Sunday.  We brought her to her room.  Visited the nurse (lice free – rock on).  Took the swim test (passed with flying colors).  Then we left her.  We left her with strangers, in the woods of New Hampshire, where they will let her go out on boats, with motors, with college students.

Mom, you can go now. Please, GO NOW!

I didn’t cry.  She didn’t cry.  The General drove me straight to an establishment and ordered champagne. You can read all about it on Twitter if you like crazy Mom tweets.

At least it's pretty at camp

So, my baby is at camp.  Only ten more days to go, or in Homesick Mommy time, 3,724 views of the camp webcam trying to find my kid.  Wish me luck, I am feeling very homesick.

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Tween Mean Girl

Today was “field day” at the Little Mother’s school.  It’s basically a day where parents sweat and suffer for the credit of showing up and cheering on their offspring. I donned my fanciest pair of flip flops, grabbed my eco-friendly iced coffee and walked to school.  I watched the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade kids shot put their hearts out.  These little titans of sport did the 50 yard dash as if their pants were on fire.  I have to say I was impressed at how these young ladies and men cheered each other on and gave it their best. Well, most of them, but we’ll get to that.

I was pleasantly surprised at how supportive each of these kids were to each other.  Cheering on the last kid, picking each other up when they fell, making sure each child was given a turn or a position to play.  I think the goal of the school was honorable.  A little blurb had been sent home and it described Field Day as “…a chance for your child to show you the skills they have learned all year long in their Phys. Ed. classes.  Winning is not the goal… SPORTSMANSHIP is the focus!”  Which is my town I find ironic if not comical.  In my little town winning is everything – to the parents.  So I ate crow and thought, maybe I was wrong.  Maybe this little town of suburban cliches was going to surprise me and make some amazing young people.

The big finale arrived and all the 4th grade girls were lining up for tug-o-war.  Teams moved up for each win until we reached the playoff round for the girls.  The Little Mother’s team was lining up and I watched one girl was trying to work her way into the anchor position for a second go round when a teacher stepped in and gave the position to another girl.  It was a hard fight and The Little Mother’s team lost on the last big pull.  The girls lined up to congratulate the winning team when it happened.  The 4th grade mean girl turned to the anchor girl and screamed “We lost because of you, YOU made us lose!”.  There were tears and mothers consoling the poor little thing.  I watched as my daughter’s teammates rallied around their teary friend offering words of comfort and support.  The Tween Mean Girl?  She literally walked by with her nose in the air and not one teacher or parent called her out.  NOT ONE.

When my daughter arrived home today I asked after her teammate and was informed she was much better by lunchtime.  My daughter asked, “Mom, why would “Tween Mean Girl” say it was her fault?  We all lost the match, not just one girl?”  I explained that there are children who do not understand what being a good sport or teammate means.  I also told her to stay away from the Tween Mean Girl.  The last thing we need is my little lady on Tween Mean’s radar.  My wise daughter just nodded her head and moved along.

So the Tween Girl Mean is out there and I fear more are coming.  Actually I know more are out there, just not as brazen as today’s little diva.  I worry for my sweet middle child because she is so shy and well, sweet.  Is it wrong that I wanted to get nose to nose with the 10 year old Mean Tween Girl today?  I wanted to get in her face and tell her how wrong she was for being unkind and ungracious.  I wanted to find her parents and well, I won’t share what I wanted to say to the parents.

Thankfully the crowd took care of the issue.  These young ladies rallied around their friend and knew right from wrong.  I hope it lasts.  I hope these girls understand Tween Mean is not the way to go, but I am pretty sure things will change.  I just hope I have enough liquor in the cabinet to keep me calm.

The Dog Spa

I miss this face...

This little girl is coming home today.  She’s been at the spa for two weeks.  It’s a pretty fancy place.  She has been walked twice a day.  She was brushed daily and slept in a plush doggie bed each night.  There are treats and lots of love at the spa.  What fabulous spa you ask?  Oh, my parents.  You see my parents (read Father) do not trust anyone to take care of her but them.  When we moved coast to coast my parents took care of The Pampered Poochie from June until October.  She is actually their dog, I just keep her most of the time.  If my father is at my house she drops me like a bad habit.  He walks her, gives her snacks off his dinner plate, loves her and treats her like a princess.  With us she is just one of many, part of the crazy.  With them she is princess poochie.  I don’t blame the girl, honestly, I would dump me too.

At my parent’s house she sleeps on the FLOOR in a dog bed, like a…REAL DOG.  Here, she sleeps on my bed and if possible on the General’s head.  She will come home perfectly trained and well behaved.  I will bet you cold hard cash she will be doing this by the time my parents pull out of the driveway….

A dog bed is for commoners...

And Lord help me I’ll jump on my bed and snuggle up with this darn Prima Donna because I missed her.  I need help and possibly a back bone.

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