Mama Lessons

My little girl brought me a top portion of the purple irises. I said thank you but then told her to please not pull the flowers.

Her face when stoic and I saw her tears swell.

I failed. I felt it immediately.

See, to her she saw the flower and wanted her mama to hold the beauty. She knows how much I love purple. She saw me take the photos yesterday while I told her that the flower always makes me so happy.

So I kneeled to meet her eyes and I cried … along with her. I held her tightly. I apologized. I placed the flower on my ear and she smiled. I thanked her for thinking of me. I told her I appreciated that she brought the flower to me. I asked her how it looked with my grey hair and she said I looked delicious.

I then explained that my reaction was absolutely horrible. It was wrong of me to tell her not to cut the flower. She’s seen me bring flowers from the garden in the past.

And such is the fluidity of being human with so many imperfections. We came inside and I put the flower in water. I held her as we talked about the baby groundhogs and how the mama was protecting them. I told her I would always protect her as well. She was happy. For a few minutes I was broken because I hurt a little girl’s feelings. Cause you guess it… this mama is tired.

My children don’t sleep. Ever. They get a few hours and then they are up running around. My husband and I are living on fumes. In the middle of the day I am beyond cranky at times. But I will never ever again disregard a present from either of them. They are here safe today. All my children are on this planet alongside even from afar.

A friend lost her child last week. And when I saw her disappointment I immediately thought of her and how she will never get to hear from him or receive any kind of gifts.

I fail at this being human thingy a lot and lately it feels like it’s often. We are all on edge. But that iris today stopped me. Kali’s face taught me to take a moment and receive every single thing that she presents to me. It’s in those moments we recognize the human connection.

I honor her. The soul in me recognizes her soul. And that connection extends to every single one of us like a ripple in a lake moving outward. We feel it all. The hurt in me feels the hurt in others.

May you recognize when you make a mistake and take accountability. It is the only way we heal each other and ourselves.

Love. That’s all we got.

Sacredness of Time

Sacredness of Time

That’s what we are experiencing on a new conscious level. We are having to live this moment while letting go of what and can happen tomorrow.

Last week, when I went hiking, I took this photo of the trail coming down the mountain. The rough edges and greenery stopped me. I stood there for some time witnessing the landscape all around me. I was there…. In that moment. I was all into the smells, scenery, consistency of the wet ground and the unsettled terrain. It all embraced me.

That’s how I’m feeling today: ever present with all of me. I miss the rest of my children who are scattered in different places of the country. But, I’ve never been much into this commercialized holiday. I honor motherhood daily. I don’t need to be reminded of it on one Sunday a year.

This past week kinda hit me hard. The hate that arrives from many is toxic and if I am not careful I fall into a deep ditch on the side of the journey. Next week may not be so rough.

When I look at the beauty of this picture and the roughness embracing the softness I think of our lives. We evolve through seasons changing. We sprout through rough terrains. We weather the storms. We exist within the greatest space in history. We are surviving. We are growing and expanding while trekking onward. We are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends and a hundred other ways to label our place here. We are the ALL of everything that’s happening right now.

May you recognize how important you are for shifting the collective at this time. Show up through love. Be the love you want in the world. It’s not easy. Sometimes it takes your breath away just like hiking up a mountain. I am a heart shaped rock tucked away by two lovely ferns in a trail. I am mindful of the sacredness of time by allowing and being. I fail and fall a lot. But when I rise from my down time I return to my center.

I love you. Thank you all for being in my trail and playing your role in the journey ahead. Happy Mama Day to all you beautiful souls. I honor you daily.

Love is What Saves Us

My son and I were working outside in the yard yesterday evening. He’s axing away at a tree. I’m clearing a heavily dense area into what will be a secret garden. I’m tired and sweaty.

The silence breaks with him, “Mom, you are doing an amazing job with my sister’s kids. You are raising them to be loving and healthy children.”

“Baby, where is this coming from?” I asked because it took me by surprise.

“You have to wait for them to go to bed in order to come out here and work on what you love to do which is nature. You sacrifice a little bit of you to help them survive. They are constant. They don’t give you a chance to breathe during the day (he giggles). I know this is not what you had in mind at this time of your life when we were all gone….”

I interrupt and stop pulling at the earth. Breathing heavily, I sit on the ground next to him feeling defeated. “Nelson, I truly don’t think I’m doing the best job for them or for me. Your sister was hard because of all her mental issues. They have so much of her running through their blood. I’m not the same woman I was then or have the same amount of energy….”

“You are better.” He stops clearing the tree and sits next to me, “You are giving them life. They would be dead with her. You and Matt have created a foundation and loving home. And you always say that love is all we need. They are a LOT. I admit that it’s overwhelming at times but they truly love you so much. They are smart and they are constantly challenging you and the world around them.”

He hugs me. I shed a few tears. Mostly of gratitude for recognition.

That was the pause needed to just finish for the day. It was getting dark. My body ached but I felt great to have done so much with his help in a couple of hours.

This second act at mothering children is different. It’s conscious parenting. It’s a lot harder than before. It’s also a lot easier than before. These children are thriving and I have zero expectations for them except that they feel loved. I’m trusting they continue to find the magic in the world and give love to it.

And that they are.

When my 31 year old recognizes the journey it does make it special. He’s been here five weeks…the longest time he’s spent with them. We spoke a bit more. He was kind and loving and full of insight. The adult in him acknowledges the adult in me.

Walking back to the house the earth seemed to sink us into it with gratitude for tending to her on Earth Day. At that moment I thanked the greatest mother of all…Gaia…and all the lessons she teaches me.

On Being a Mother

My sons came home for the holidays. They always do regardless of where they are. I’m grateful for this. They are amazing men. They gave me the reason to mother them and so many others.

I was told from early on that the likelihood of me bearing children was minimal. The older I got the less the chances. So I showed the doctors that I don’t take no for an answer. I had Nelson at 20. Patrick at 22. Several miscarriages and lots of health issues didn’t stop me from bringing these two souls into this world.

We grew up together. I was a single mom for a long while with them. When I left their father he ran the opposite direction and never saw them again. We nurtured each other. We grew up learning the ins and outs of parenting.

These boys taught me unconditional love, patience, letting go, humor, and how to be a conscious soul through a very human experience. Their love for me and each other has been magical.

When I began adopting children they never complained. They opened up their hearts and shared their home with little strangers. My sons, not once, asked me to please stop. They never felt jealous or pushed aside. And even now with two little ones at home all I witness is unconditional love and tenderness. They are my heroes.

They go back home today. This mama heart is tender this morning. I will miss their pure intelligence and intellectual conversations. Their laughter. Their own banter that’s hysterical most of the time. I will miss their inspirational and motivational pep talks to me about how I need to be sharing more stories and creating a forum for the world to learn from One another. They are techie. I’m not and they show me this and that…sending loving thoughts while challenging me to think outside of my comfort zone.

My head starts to feel overwhelmed but they truly are looking out for my best interest.

You know when you recognize your job as a good parent? When your grown children want to come home and just be with you. I’ve done my best and they’ve exceeded any kind of desire I’ve had for them as adults. Happiness comes out in every laughter and tear. Every touch and hug reminds me that I’ve been so deeply blessed with love. True love without ever judging or criticizing my choices. And I have done the same for them.

Be gentle with your children. Allow them to do whatever they need to do in order to learn and evolve. It’s not our jobs to get in their way. Our only job is to be there to love. And love is all there is….

Monsters

Car conversation with a 4 year-old early in the morning…
Kali: do monsters have bellies?
Me: monsters don’t exist.
Kali: do they have eyes?
Me: they don’t exist so they don’t have anything.
Kali: do they have mouths?
Me: Kali, monsters aren’t real. It’s a made up thing for television and entertainment.
Kali: They do exist. Do they have necks?
Me: Monsters aren’t real.
Kali: YEESSSSS they are.
Me: In a philosophical way… yes. They are real. There are bad people out there. But they didn’t start bad. They started with love. They came into this world with light and someone blew it out.
Kali: Why people create monsters then?
Me: (sighing….and then a mini rant longer than I can remember) Baby girl, monsters do exist. I’m sorry. They exist in anger and hatred. They exist in mental disorders and they are there to corrupt our world. They are fabricated in religions and stories to fill doubt in others. They instill fear and oppression but it’s mostly there for a lot of growth and balance. Where there is light there is also darkness. So, they do exist in a metaphoric term but not in a way you are thinking of when you watch television. That’s also there to create anxiety and despair. We live in a society that uses control mechanism through fear based subjects…and “monsters” are one of those ways. They don’t have giant heads and distorted bodies.
She then asked about Kali the Destroyer. Her daddy told her about Kali, the Hindu Goddess, and how she has the same name. He went on to tell her about her history the other day. She recited bits and pieces of what daddy told her. I was surprised she got a lot of it spot on. She wanted to know if she was a monster since she’s depicted with her tongue sticking out at times. I answered to the best of my ability.
Kali: so you see, they do exist, Mama!  Do they have tongues? Not Kali…she’s not a monster, right? But the rest of the monsters, do they have tongues?
Me: ugggghhhhh… silence.

I am BEing

I was dropping Kali at school this morning when she began to run towards the door, “Mama, I’m gonna win you!”

I watched her little body running against the morning wind, her curls being pushed back, the dark skin against the hot-pink tank top…oh my gosh…she was lovely. My heart reached my throat and I thought: “how precious! She’s beautiful. She’s magnificent. Look at her soul so carefree. She’s mine.”

How did I get here? At this age? I was done having children. I was going to travel and explore the world. Here I am not just with a four year old but on the ledge of getting a one-and-a-half by the time he gets here. But, that’s how we show up to life. We stop planning. We just go with the ebb and flow. We push through the unknown.

Kali waited for me to get to the door, “You are so slow, Mama!”

Indeed I am…I am slow in arriving. I am slower than any other time in my life because I want to savor every minute of these moments. I want to feel them. I want to honor them. I want to keep remembering why I am all the things that make me compassionate and loving. Because of these children…mine and others’. This is how I’m arriving into almost everything in my life. I’m slowly falling into my roles as a mother, a wife, a woman and a human. My time here is slowly revealing my most intimate purpose. I’m no longer running from (or towards) anything. I am simply BEing.

**photo from a few weeks ago as she played on the beach talking to the seashells. She kept saying it was “my favorite day with you, Mama!”

Open Heart

And there…in the school parking lot I broke. The flood gates opened. I sobbed. I was overcome by grief and anger like I hadn’t in a long time. Frustration hit my core and I felt my heart being pulled in every direction. For hours, since early morning, I had been fighting a migraine. I rarely get them. I had taken plenty of Tylenol but it had been nagging and I knew there was an underlined monster coming to visit. There, in an empty church lot, about to drop my kiddo at daycare, I allowed it all to come undone. 

Her silence broke eventually. “What’s wrong, Mama?”

“I’m sad and angry!” I said softly in between deep inhales and exhales.

“For my baby brother?”

“Part of it. Other parts too!” I kept seeing flashes of my daughter, Kali’s mother, doing what she’s not suppose to do. The anger kept pushing through and I stopped myself from it all until I could get Kali in school and I could leave. 

“I’m sorry, Mama. It’s gonna be okay!” She said from her car seat.  I got out, unbuckled her, and she gave me a giant tight hug. I stood there, her legs wrapped around my torso, holding my daughter’s daughter. Holding a precious gift she gave me and another one about to arrive into our arms. There, I stood holding my lifeline and hers while she kissed my cheeks. My heart grew wider. This parenting business is not easy…ever. 

“I’m gonna be okay, Kali Bug. I am having a bad morning. That’s all.” I looked at her. Her own eyes filled with tears. She feels hard. She knows beyond her years. But, she doesn’t really know the sorrow of her past, or how her birth mother is mentally ill and has intellectual disabilities; how I adopted her mother from a Romanian orphanage at the age of 9; how her mother won’t rationalize or understand the trail of damage she keeps leaving behind. She gives birth to a third child this week. She turns 28 on Friday. Kali doesn’t know of any other mama. She only sees me. She only understands our love…and that she has a new baby brother arriving soon. She doesn’t ask where he’s from. She doesn’t care. 

She only knows love. Her life is fully integrated with it. We make sure of it…every single day.

“I know, Mama. You always okay.” She gave me a thumb’s up. I dropped her and she waited by the glass door until I threw kisses before getting in the car. We do this every single morning. She counts to see how fast I am until I get out to the car and then I throw kisses with my hands and she catches them from inside. Today I threw my heart at her…and she caught in for safe landing. And, that’s all I needed her to do.