Sunday, May 31, 2009

Congratulations Hope!

My little girl's on her way to high school. That gorgeous smile is indicative of the spirit Hope possesses. Her momma's glad she's got four more years to get used to graduations and growing up. We love you, baby girl!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My kids, my moms

The greatest and scariest day of my entire life was when I found out I was pregnant with my son. It might sound a little peculiar, but it was the moment I finally felt useful. Another life depended on mine and everything I did or didn't do had enormous consequence. My political, mental, social, individual frames of thought were suddenly under strict review. For the first time in my life, I cared who became President, I worried about the driver in front and behind me on the freeway; for the first time in my life, tomorrow didn't affect just me. My son was the first and greatest gift, my greatest contribution to this world. He was always my little boy, my greatest ally and I'm proud to have been a small part of the man he is becoming. My son has seen me through many challenges in my life, he's taken the keys from me and shown me that I am stronger than I think I am.

Since then, Hope came screaming into my world with her fierce and unwavering beauty. She was always braver than me which gave me the courage to push myself. She is most like me in her questioning of life and the world around her, always seeking to understand and never willing to settle for less. I hate to admit sometimes that I wish I'd taught her to be a little more tolerant of things, a lesson I am learning through time and experience. Hope, my lioness.

Oh my Peyton Ha'ani, the professor of the bunch. She is smart as a whip and wise in her youth. Peyton was a born leader. She is fair and honest and seeks approval and love from everyone she meets. In 20 years she will be a formidable force, a diplomat who rules with an iron fist and a heart of gold. For now, she's busy running the affairs of her little sister and reporting on household abuses.

Ai my Sommer, my little firecracker of a girl. Sommer is 4 and has no social filter yet so whatever's on her mind is quickly dispersed verbally. There are many times in life that I wish I had her tenacity to tell it like it is. She is a lover of plants and animals, mud and dirt, and leaps tall buildings in a single bound!

In the past year, I became a mother to four more wonderful children. The world might call them step children, but having been loved by many mothers myself, I only hope to build our own memories. When Wayne came into my life, Donny, Jay, Nannie and Wade came bustling in with their vivacious personalities, adding flavor to our home. They are a smiley bunch, always ready with a quick joke and loads of never ending energy.

My life is full. My heart is full. So, today I would like to thank my mothers, all of them, for giving me life, giving me love. Because I had so many mommies, the only thing I ever wanted to be was one of them.

Thank you mom Lucy, my ready-made-mom, the one who taught me that love had no barriers, the one who showed me that blood is not thicker than love. My mother Sue who gave me life and reminds me often that I need to dance and laugh. My mom Glenna, who never wavers in her support and most especially her presence in my life; the one who opened her life unselfishly to ours. My momma Doll who had the hardest job of mothering me when I refused to be mothered, the one who loved me during my unlovable teenage years, the one who gave of herself with no expectation in return. +Nang, who raised ten kids of her own, and then me. Because of you, I am not a perfect, but I am the one thing I always wanted to be, a mom.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ~Rajneesh
Happy Mother's Day to everyone!
  • "Mothers ofteenagers know why animals eat their young." - Author Unknown
  • "I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them." - Phyllis Diller
  • "The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found." - Calvin Trillin
  • "A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." - Tenneva Jordan
  • "There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it." - Chinese Proverb
  • "You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back." - William D. Tammeus.
  • "My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it." - Buddy Hackett
  • "Any mother could perform the jobs of several air-traffic controllers with ease." - LisaAlther
  • "My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it." - Mark Twain

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


The warnings are everywhere so why don't people ever heed them? Every time I walk into a Ross Dress for Less I am painfully aware of the reality that "young children should never be left unattended". This message is repeated over the intercom every few minutes for a reason folks. Sometimes I get it confused with the airport warning and wonder if I leave my child unattended will Ross security confiscate and destroy her? For this reason, I never bring my children shopping with me unless it is for something I can't avoid and then I begin my spiritual cleansing days in advance by praying the rosary nightly, imploring the divine mercies of Our Lady of What The Hell Were You Thinking Bringing Your Kid To a Crowded Department Store?

Still, other women are not so smart and they pack their little babies in shopping carts intended only for that really awesome $7.95 BCBG shirt that looked fantastic from every angle of the horrid three way mirror. Why would you ever violate that holy space with a squiggly 4 year old? Children have no place mixed up with fashion clothing on sale. Ugh, these women are either ignorant to these truths or they have banded together in an effort to collectively sabotage the shopping experiences of those of us who value tranquility.

There they were, tastefully dressed women with perfect hair, maneuvering their carts through crowded aisles of textile treasures. And, there they were, their innocent, lovable children, before the dressing room transformations. I meander through the same aisles and finally, to the women's fitting area. The nice lady gives me the 6 garment tag and I bravely make my way into the corridor. "So far, so good" I think while I slip my blue Roxy blouse over my head. Then the chorus begins...

"Carter. Carter? Carter, where are you? Where's my baby Carter? Oh, there you are Carter. No Carter, no. No, no, no. Sit down neni. Sit down Carter please. Carter, mommy wants you to sit down, neni. Carter...CARTER!"
(Lesson #1: Sometimes less is more. No, for real.)

"Move, move, move. OMG, what's wrong with you? Look, you fell down cause you can't keep still. Gee-suss"
(Lesson #2: Messages, unlike vegetables, should not be mixed up)

"Pulan! Get out of there, Pulan! Just wait! I'm gonna tell daddy you don't wanna keep still. Do you want me to tell daddy? Daddy's gonna spank you. Do you wanna get spanking? That's it! Look daddy...oh, there's daddy!! DADDY! "
(Lesson #3: Sticks and stones can break their bones, but daddy rarely scares them. Plus, he's probably sitting on the bench hiding too )

"Stop crying, I already told you that if you didn't keep still I'm taking your PSP. So, why you crying now, you wern crying when you were jumping around like a monkey. I don't care. No. No more PSP. THEN KEEEEP STILL THEN DAMMET!!"
(Lesson #4: Mean what you say and say it without being so dang mean)

"Ok, let mama try this on then I buy you ice cream. Good girl. Mommy loves you"
(Lesson #5: If you bribe 'em now, you'll end up paying later)
Ten minutes in a cramped stall is all I can take. I want to choke Carter and Carter's pretty mommy and I want Pulan's daddy to come quickly so he can make his mama stop it too. STOP IT RIGHT NOW!

Monday, May 4, 2009

No scorpions to fear

I've spent the majority of the day thinking about equity, fairness, justice and peace. I could probably spent all night consumed with these thoughts, but it would only be a waste of time and energy, both of which I have little to spare save for my wonderful family. It is a necessary lesson in life that evil will prevail. Not all the time, but it will, I know this all too well to try and dispute it. Evil, deceit, greed, they feed on victory, no matter how superficial, no matter how temporary. Truth lies motionless, unable to defend itself against the Goliath of malice. What's left to do but throw your hands up in the air and succumb to defeat? This was the question in my mind all day.

Then I took inventory of what was "lost" and "won" and found that what I wanted could never be decreed, wait, let me rephrase... What I treasured most in this world could first of all, never be taken from me, so there could never really be defeat. Evil prospers because it can. Evil prospers because it eats, breathes and sleeps conquest. Evil prospers because the only thing evil desires more is more. There comes a time when the chains of verbal abuse, mental hi-jacking and learned helplessness slip off your ankles and wrists and there's no power in heaven or on earth that can put them back on. When that time comes it feels like new rain, and the best place to be when it rains is the valley, because that's the place that gets filled up first.

I used to spend a lot of time thinking about why things were so bad and how people I thought I knew could be so venomous, so loathsome, and then I remembered what one person shared with me a long time ago. In the fable of the Scorpion and the Frog, it's best to remember what's in each of their natures. I'm thankful for that lesson, no matter how precarious the journey across the lake was, because it's taught me to neither hate nor fear the scorpion. It isn't much use to even pity the poor creature for it only sees what it has to in order to survive, it knows nothing less than what comes naturally.

At the end of the day, especially a long day like today, what matters most is hearing my husband's voice on the other line and knowing just by the sound of it that he's smiling because I'm on the other line. It's enough, to be assured that our home is filled with laughter, that our children are happy and that even though the lake still needs crossing, there's no treacherous ride, no scorpions to fear.