Tuesday, October 27, 2009


having my thirteen year old home with a possibility of swine flu, like the many others in our town. i actually had to pause and enjoy the moments while he was asleep.....not to say i was enjoying discomfort....it just plain stinks to be sick with a fever, exhausted, achy .... and feverish...with a scratchy throat....and snuffly nose.

i looked in on him while he was sleeping peacefully, seeing my sweet, loving boy....cozy and warm, under the covers with a kitty at his feet. i had the same grateful feelings that i have every night when i kiss our children goodnight and say a prayer while they sleep. i treasure those moments.

my mother in law told me, during the toddler years, that she felt God gave us those moments while they're sleeping so that we can handle all of the challenges with them during the day! i think of that every night. no matter what life we live with our kids during the day, at night we can trust that the tough times are only moments.

i know, some moments are longer than others. a family friend told us that when her kids were acting up, while they were with the grandparents, she would tell them that the kids were teething. even in their teens. hey! ya gotta do what ya gotta do. some moments are longer than others!

sitting in my peaceful world, i wondered if i too, had some of the same flu symptoms as my son. i'm exhausted, achy with a headache and scratchy throat. i have felt that way most of the time during this new adolescent period. oh...WAIT.... it's motherhood, not the swine flu. a few pigs don;t scare me!

i remember when we were expecting our babies...friends and strangers would tell us to "enjoy the sleep NOW", before the baby arrived. as though we could store it up, like nursing mothers doing marathon pumping and storing multiple bottles in the fridge!

i remember sitting with friends, weeks before our first baby was born. we had just had a nice dinner with friends, their babies asleep in packnplays and cribs in the adjoining room, and the women began sharing their stories of motherhood. they told little snippets of their new babies...the sleepless nights, the confusion...but mostly, they told the sweet kodak moments.
you know, the stories, pre "club" days...... no other woman alive will break the code to the new and unsuspecting mother to be!

you have to have the baby before you're in the "club" and you know the code. no woman EVER tells the real story of childbirth to another woman...... sometimes, unknowingly, men break the code with other men......but the men haven't birthed the baby....they have only been bystanders during the event. and, i might add, THEY ARE NOT INNOCENT! they had a great deal to do with the childbirth. they just don't live it like we do. it is the unexpecting, expecting mothers that we protect. the code is only broken after someone says, "it's a......".

once you're in the "club", women will tell descriptive stories of the hellish labor they lived through. usually, way more than anyone cares to hear after the fact. no matter how painful the stories get, some woman will always have one better.....you know, the husband fainted, he ate the ice chips....someone screamed, husband or wife or one of the 15 family members in the room videotaping the joyous event. and of course, "club" storytime is never complete until i wait patiently for just the right opening for me to announce that i had our 2nd baby at home with the fire department..... oooooohhhhhhs and aaahhhhhhhhs follow.......some even gasp!

i share one of our best "little mary mix up" stories of our lives together.......i slept through labor....dreaming of my discomfort. i top the story off with the fire engine and the stork with my son's initials and birth date.....

and, just as a little mary mix up tidbit....i did keep asking my doctor if i would really know when i was in labor.....after all, i had back labor with my first baby....she seemed just a bit condescending when she smiled and said,"liz, of course you'll know!"........thank you very much, my wonderful, sweet, harvard educated, medical doctor......if only she had mentioned earlier that she wasn't even in the"CLUB".....i only found that out when she called me in the hospital (not her hospital, as "planned").....she called me in the other hospital after seeing our photo op in the boston globe. i guess i should have mentioned my "little mary mix up" nickname!

depending on the audience, i tell the story in the"club" version or in the sunday night hallmark story style. either way, i, "little mary mix up", love to tell stories. miss murphy, at munsey park kindergarten, was one of the first to point that out. my dad was the first to point out that i was a "chatterbox". any of this ring true? i hope so.....

oh, and i should mention, the "club" keeps changing too.....just cuz you've had the baby, you now think you're an insider in the club. and you are....until the second day of your hospital stay....you know, when the nurses make you walk down the hall to get your own ginger ale.....since they're too busy with the"new moms". and there you are with your "new" baby who has already worn out his stay in the hospital nursery....

just when you think you're in the club, the club members are on to their next special event. your baby is getting a molar and your friend is all worked up over barney at her two year olds birthday party. your baby started walking and their baby left for pre school......your baby is talking or singing the alphabet and your friends baby won the first grade spelling bee.

clubs change and no one ever tells you what you're in for during the next phase of club membership. one thing stays the same......it is all about the moments.....moments....moments. live in the moments. don't waist a moment. enjoy the moments. savor the moments.......they are truly delicious if we take the time to taste them!

i don't like having anyone sick in the house, husband, kids, dogs, cats or fish. by the way, there is not much you can do when a fish is looking a little fishy....we are experts on that.....recently, we were a little concerned about a goldfish named splash, but the cat took care of that. i didn't know that cats believed in euthanasia!

anyway, someone feeling under the weather under our roof, makes me feel a bit germophobic. even now that the kids are older. first, i must take into consideration whether or not they have homework or a test the next day. i know, your children are perfect and would never even dream of missing a day of school. yeah, right. dream on. my kids used to be like that, too.

until middle school. whenever the opportunity arose, i would proudly boast of my stellar students who never even had sick days until 6th grade.....to think, i had to grasp at straws like that... as though it was my mothering skills that had them dodging the bug bullet! they had been sick, just on weekends. i never have been the mom who is the loudest and the proudest.

i love my kids...every little pecadillo...i love the ups and downs of them...not always in the moment of the ups and downs...i also have to admit that i'm the mom who believes the teacher's version of the story first...i know we're all imperfect. after all, that's my claim to fame!.....

when we have a moment to sit back and review what we are doing as parents, how we're doing as parents and why we're doing what we're doing as parents.... that's when biff and i realize the humor in our parenting or our kid dramas....we laugh at ourselves....only because we never could have expected some of the moments of parenthood. NEVER! and, as the kids grow, we grow, they change, we change and we do our best and well, hopefully, they do there best. we have no rule book.....just when we think we have the rules, the game changes.

i wish you peace in the moments...a sense of humor....and sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

1 comment:

DebbieMandel said...

This is so you! Keep it up!