Geez this is long!

Forget all that jazz yesterday about cinnamon muffins. I looked in the freezer later and realized my mom had left this raspberry pastry thingy here. The kind that you just leave out over night and then throw in the oven. So that's what I did. I guess the "mommy brain" trip to the grocery store yesterday was completely for not. No, I take that back, I did get conversation hearts out of the deal, and those little hearts happen to be one of my favorite things about Valentine's Day. Okay, maybe they are my favorite part of V-Day, but only because I'm one of "those" party poopers who doesn't really like the forced nature of Valentine's Day. I think it's nice and all that my hubby comes home with flowers, but it is kind of silly if you think about it real hard. And I think about everything way too hard, so I've ruined Valentine's Day for myself. I do love the memory I have of Ryan and I and our budding new relationship years ago. We were mostly "just friends" spending time together, but it was totally platonic. Then he went to New York and Valentine's Day happened to be when he was gone. He called me and said, while hailing a taxi, "So, will you be my valentine?" And I said yes, while it hit me that we weren't joking. I was on my way to Mackenzie and Caleb's house when he called. When I arrived, Mackenzie was making dinner and I stood in the kitchen and told her about the phone call. She started jumping up and down with this huge knife in her hand, shouting "YOU HAVE A BOYFRIEND!!!" To which I just laughed and got all red in the face because of the realization that she was right. And I liked it. Anyway, I digress... (Do I say that a lot or what?)
Today I'm feeling a lot of sympathy for single parents. I am only sort of one part-time, since Ryan travels for work. But it sure is hard. It makes me really appreciate the time when Ryan is in town, and comes home from work in the evening (or even stays home and "works in the home office"). It's a good feeling when another grown-up walks in the door. I love being with Miles and Asher. I get really lonesome for them when I'm not with them. But we all need breaks. Even if they're short. It's a strange and sometimes helpless feeling to know that you cannot leave your house alone. Especially in the evening when the kids have gone to bed (or at least Miles has gone to bed). You can't run to the store, go see a friend, or even go for a walk. It simply isn't an option for you to leave. And since it isn't an option, it can feel pretty imprisoning sometimes. These are the things I never used to realize about single parents. I'd think "yeah, that must be hard," but I didn't really stop and think about the details of it.
An old friend of mine married a woman about a year ago that had four kids from a previous marriage. She had lost her first husband in a car accident. I had the opportunity to sit and talk with her when we went home to Spicer for Christmas. She struck me as one of the strongest people I've ever met, even though she didn't need to say anything that made her seem that way. There was just a way about her. I cannot imagine the grief she has carried, and still carries, or how hard it must have been to parent alone. To bundle up the small ones to bring the older ones to school or activities. To make all the meals and do all the baths. To get everyone ready every morning and every night, alone. Child care is so physically exhausting, not to mention mentally, emotionally, etc. So how does a person do it alone without end? I have a great respect for those that do. Many days there truly are no breaks, even small ones, during the day. When kids are small they always need something. That's not their fault, it's just the way it is. That's why this job was never meant to be done alone. But life happens, accidents happen, divorce happens. There's really no escaping that. I sometimes think it would be best for all of us to go back to the "old days" when extended families lived all together, or at least nearby. And someone was always around, every day, to help or just to talk. Why isn't it like that anymore? I think we lost something in our culture when we became so independent. We're so motivated by pride to handle things on our own. We so often say "no thanks, I got it." But the truth is, it does "take a village." At least if it's going to be done well. No one person has the strength or super powers to be what they need to be perfectly, all the time. But I've noticed that when someone else is there, I'm a much better mom and wife. Not because I'm showing off and trying to "perform," at least I hope that's not it. But because it eases some of the pressure. It's a comfort to simply know there's someone available if you need them. When Ryan is out of town and I'm thinking like this, I realize that the hugest blessings really are the small things. Like someone doing the dishes while you do the baths. Or someone playing with your two year old while you feed your six month old.
This brings me to givin' some props for some of my peeps. (Mom, Dad, and Grandma, this means "thanking my friends."):
Kate, my dear friend Kate. She is my sanity these days. Every Wednesday when we spend the day together, she leaves and I think I can't wait another week. She is so hands-on with my kids and I love it. She is also good in the kitchen and very good at folding clothes. We talk each other's ears off the whole time and we still have so much more to say when it's time to go. Hanging out with Katie is the energy drink I need for 24/7 parenting.
Kelly and Sabrina! These girls don't even have kids (yet) and they just know how to lend a hand with meals and refreshing visits. Like my friend Carrie said, "where do you find these people?" I KNOW, I'm so lucky! I love it. I love how Sabrina and Kelly can pull me out of feeling sorry for myself some days just by reading their blogs. You two are the bomb diggity, for shizzo.
Carrie also deserves some props, even though she's not going to think so. She is the type of person that continually offers to clean your toilet or go grocery shopping for you. Who does that? Not many folk, especially not those with twins! Despite her busy life with two busy girls, she's always thinking of what I might need.
Okay, now that I got started I know it may never stop and I'm realizing how truly blessed I am. Auntie Kay, Mackenzie, Mom and Dad, Shelly........ it goes on. There are so many supportive people in my life. I really do wish ya'll lived with me. It would be so great. Like one big party. Sure we'd want to kill each other sometimes, but it would be such a beautiful mess. Okay, maybe we should all just live on the same block. THAT would be a dream come true. For now, I think I'll just try to make sure I'm "paying it forward." Bring a meal here, do some cleaning there, get a harried mommy out for coffee, send a note.....
Today my train of thought just kept going... and going.... I've come back to this about eight different times due to many interruptions, so hopefully it makes some semblance of sense. Good night.

5 clicked right here to comment:

Anonymous said...

Is this your sweet and subtle way of reminding this particular Mommy-fog-brained friend o' yours that I said I was going to call you Monday and didn't?

'Cuz commenting is definitely MY way of informing you that I honestly, JUST NOW realized it was Wednesday. . .

As my precious Eden would retort: "Oh Heavenly Days, Mommy! What WERE you thinking?"To that, I will say, I have no clue. but here we are. at mid-week.

Anywho... Wanna pencil me in for baby-duty next Monday evening? Lemmeno. :)

Later, my rock-star Mommy friend~~

Sabrina said...

I like to babysit too... I mean i won't litteraly sit on your kids... but I'd like to hang out with your children if you ever need a break.

The Kings of Lauderdale said...

Oh geez, I made everyone feel like I was asking for them to watch my kids! That was not my point! CROCK, I didn't even remember myself, lady, no worries! I'll have to call you now and make sure you know I wasn't hinting at you!

Sabrina said...

No truly i have been meaning to tell you that... Really. I Promise. :)

that or you just dug yourself into a gaping hole, as to which I would have to say, "That is one doodle that can't be undid home skillet."

k & k said...

what if we lived together? we did! 6 of us in one house with one shower! oh it was a blast, but now there would be 14 more if you add up husbands and kids of ours. YIKES! now i can't sleep next to a shower for 20--i call the top floor! thanks for the shout out. funny thing is i marvel at you and feel like its a friendship with a bonus of an amazing mom-mentor in you!

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