Love Always, Mom

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A MOTHER’S OPEN AND HONEST LETTER

Happy almost 21st birthday _______. You know I’m staying up to midnight, right? How could a mom miss the minute her ______ turns 21? It’s a milestone and one that you have looked forward to for many years. I know that you can buy alcohol legally now, not really a thing I get excited about. I’m not stupid, gullible yes. I asked you to take a sober picture of  yourself on or before your birthday and I knew you would remember.

That’s the kind of kid you are and that’s probably why I’m crying now (you expected it, I know.) You have always been a tremendously kind person, in fact, when you were little I had to teach you to be assertive. You were so easy-going that at nursery school if another kid grabbed the toy you were playing with you would just let them. You would happily go on to play with something else. I remember this as if it was yesterday, we sat down in your room and played with toys and we practiced. “I’m playing with this now but when I’m done its your turn OR ” want to play with this together.” I believe you liked the second option better.

When you were born, literally born, you didn’t cry at first, why not? You started a few seconds ( which felt like hours) later but your nickname was Buddha Baby. You were always peaceful, serene, happy and the only time you cried was when you didn’t feel well. You took long naps, slept through the night early on and the only time you cried was when you were sick. Sure enough, you would have a double ear infection. You were the sweetest baby ever and yes, a part of you will always be like that.

It’s not to stay that you weren’t an obnoxious teenager sometimes, don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to lie to you. That would never work anyway because you see right through me. You can judge my mood on the “hello?” of the telephone. We have a very strong connection, I hope we always will. I’m grateful for what we have had. And, by the way, the “assertive” thing, I think you learned that too well, maybe I shouldn’t have taught you after all because as a first sibling and as a Scorpio you are a bossy, strong-headed, stubborn person. But, it’s not true, right? Let’s argue about it!! You can be the good person and I can be the bad one person…

I just want to say almost Happy Birthday from a mom who loves you with all her heart. I am proud of you as a ______, as a person and I know you will make a difference in this world. You already have. You are a wonderful _____________and I  couldn’t ask for anyone who is a better_____ than you.  I’ve told you before I not only love you but I like you, everyone likes you.

Thank you for being in my life, you bring me great joy and I will always have a special place in my heart for you.

I love you ____________

Love always, Mom

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Carry on Tuesday: Once Upon A Time

Out of fog Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge a...

Out of fog Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco in fog and crepuscular rays. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a time once, not so long ago, when I was chubby, fat, or just pleasantly plump. In Italy I would have been a goddess. Men would have followed me down the cobble stoned streets, whistling and begging to touch my beautiful breasts and my bountiful behind. Unfortunately, I wasn’t living in Italy, I was here in the United States, where all I really wanted was to be slender. I thought if I was thin, all my problems would dissipate like the mysterious fog in San Francisco. I imagined the fog lifting while I watched, wearing a heavy knit red sweater and sitting peacefully on a huge rock.

A couple of months ago I was very sick, (on top of my chronic illnesses” Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, IBS) I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t leave my house or the bathroom for an entire four weeks. I was pale, gaunt and looked ill. People on the street would ask me guardedly “If I was okay?” Part of me, if I had a sense of humor back then wanted to say “Of course, I’m in the middle-aged super model competition” but I had no sense of humor at the time. The other part of me was scared to speak so I just said “I’m fine” which people accept with relief and don’t follow-up with questions.

All my life there was always something about me that I wanted to change and after I changed it, I thought I would be happy: my weight, my hair, my glasses, wearing make-up, dressing better, nice shoes, tinting my hair to cover the tiny amount of gray that swirled in front of my face. The gray hair that I had been so proud to have, to acknowledge my real place in the world, as someone who had already experienced a great deal of life and had earned them with pride.

Having been married for 24 years with two young adults doing well in college was proof enough and even though I did go through a time feeling sorry for myself that the kids ” didn’t need me anymore” I realized my husband and I had done a very good job of parenting. I admit, I needed to remind myself that loving and needing were two very different things, they would love me as their mom but their lives and our lives would be constantly changing. Yes, sometimes it changes so quickly it was hard to keep up, that’s when I found myself alone, crying into an old, soft, handkerchief and feeling sorry for myself. I learned to accept that too. You have no choice.

Six weeks ago I went from eating and being lively to not eating and not feeling well, I lost over 30 pounds and before you coo and ooh and ahhh and wish it was you I can tell you, you better take that back. I did not enjoy clothes falling from my body, or food flowing through me, and not being able to go outside of my house for four weeks. The doctor scheduled me for every “cancer” test known to humanity and that was not fun. The doctor, not known for his bedside matter, actually told me WHAT he was testing for when we first met him in his office. Thanks, Doc, nice touch.

I will be getting the results later this week, I’m hoping that everything will be fine, I’m ( fairly) certain that they will be. The symptoms stopped a few days after my office visit and while I haven’t gained a lot of weight back, I do get hungry and I feel better. My newest ( little ) problem is this: I went to shop for new jeans and found that there are no jeans for women of my age. They have skinny jeans, under the waist jeans and jeans for teenagers with lithe bodies. Basically, the clothes that I have are four sizes too big for me and the style out there now are for teenagers only. I have nothing to wear, I miss my “Mom jeans.” It is impossible to find them, anywhere. Suggestions?

All that I have accomplished in this quest are the lack of clothes to wear and the acquisition of numerous wrinkles. I sat outside in the sun for a few moments, noticing all the wrinkles on my knees and thighs that were not there before. As I sat, warming my face, was I thinking about the good things in my life in a delighted way? No. I was thinking about the barium test (drinking chalk) that I have to drink tomorrow morning at eight am and where to aim my projectile vomiting. That, at least, is amusing me.

Be happy with what you have and who you are. As my dad used to say “Health is the most important thing.”  It’s the only thing, be grateful.