Waging war in the urban jungle

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Meaning and signifigance

It's an odd thing when a day only really means something to one person.  Many of our milestones and special days are shared if not by the larger culture or society that we live in at least by our family.  Holidays and birthdays are shared events.  They mean something, not always the same thing, to a number of different people.  There is a sense of commonality in that, it's comforting, at least to me.

Today is different.  Today is a day that really only means something significant to me with very few exceptions.  Today is the 5th anniversary of my Mother's death.  Today is a day that is shared with my sister.  This is the day we became Motherless Mothers.  Today is a day I share with my Dad, this is the day he became a widower.  It's such an odd sensation, to have a day mean so much to you but to see the world going on around you as if nothing is different but inside your heart and mind, so much changed on this day 5 years ago. 

So today I remember my Mother, Sharon.  I remember the good; she was an amazing baker and she alone inspired my love of books by reading Little Golden Books to me until I was finally satisfied that the Poky Little Puppy did make it home.  I remember the bad; she was a complicated, often sad, soul that had a lot of growing up to do but never had the chance to do it.  And I remember the ugly; she had a wicked temper. 

I mourn the loss of what was but also, perhaps more profoundly, I mourn the loss of what should have been.  My Mother struggled while raising us, I can look back at my childhood now with the eyes of an adult woman and a Mother myself and find sympathy for her, I can see her, with the passage of time, as the flawed but lovable woman that she was.  But where she really shined was later on in life when she was finally blessed with Grandchildren.  She loved being a Grandma and she spoiled those girls rotten.  I was pregnant with Paulo when her dementia really took hold and we started seeing the early signs.  And it was immediately following his birth that her behavior took a dramatic change.  My Mother, who had to be put on a visitation schedule with my nieces, held my son twice.  Once the day he was born and one other time when she came for a visit and I gave him to her so I could eat.  That second, and last, time lasted about 30 seconds before she declared him too heavy and handed him back to me.  I remember being so confused.  Her visits to my sister had to be scheduled but with me she was ready to leave after five minutes and didn't want to hold my son.  I didn't know at the time that her dementia had robbed her of her ability to feel and express empathy and love.  I would not find that out until my son was 9 months old.  She never held him again, just those two times, and for that I will always feel that my sweet boy missed out.

I suppose with every passing year it gets easier, the pain less sharp, but it's still hard and every year come June I am struck with how much I miss having a Mother of my own.  My Mother was my cheerleader, whatever I decided to do she would support, and boy could I use some of that Momma love these days. 

RIP Mom, I hope you finally found the peace that eluded you during your time on Earth.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Paulo's surprise

On Saturday I cashed in my babysitting surprise.  Way back in February Paulo's teacher offered himself up for babysitting at our school auction.  Paulo loves his teacher.   I knew I had to get it for him.  I loitered around that sheet throughout the evening vying for the privilege of having my son's favorite teacher spend an evening with him one on one and I won.  Cost me $70.00 but it was worth every penny.

Paulo knew he had a babysitter coming and it was driving him nuts that I wouldn't tell him who.  He asked if he could guess and if he guessed right I'd tell him, sure...no problem, guess away!  I knew there was not a chance he would say his teacher's name and I was right, he never did.  5:00 came and he arrived, quite promptly.  I hung back in the hall with the camera and let Paulo rip open the door.  He was stunned!  He started laughing, he had the biggest smile on his face and then he promptly tried to push ME out the door!  We did the responsible parent thing and gave him the low down, left the check for the pizza and took off for our sushi dinner. 

We didn't stay out too long, we left around 5:00 and we were back a little after 8:00.  As we were driving down our hill we saw them, walking back from the park carrying a football, a soccer ball and a frisbee.  Paulo was in heaven.  He had the undivided attention of a man that matters almost as much to him as I do and frankly he wasn't ready to let go.  So his teacher ever so patiently stayed.  Paulo taught him the finer points of different Pokemon characters, he climbed all over him and we all talked.  I finally told him it was time for bed, time to say goodbye only to hear him ask his teacher to read him a bedtime story, which he did-way to make a Momma melt.  It was such a sweet moment for my baby boy and one neither of us will forget.  Paulo told me how lucky we were that we'd won his teacher for the evening and asked if we have to win him again to have him come back. 

It's not every child that can say he truly loves his teacher, it's not every teacher that is lucky enough to be adored by their students and I feel so grateful that he was Paulo's teacher this year.  I know that having this wonderful man, this positive role model, in his classroom day in and day out is one of the reasons my son loves school as much as he does and for that I am forever grateful.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Looking for inspiration

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. " - Nelson Mandela