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momHappy Mother’s Day, Y’all.  It’s that day where you all get together at your Gramma’s house.  Or your Sister’s or your Aunt’s.  Or Buddies.    And eat.  Everybody brings a dish!  I made a lemon bundt cake and three French Toast Casseroles!  I LOVE EATING FOODS!!!

Oh.  AND celebrate moms. Yes, yes.

My mom was great.  Everybody loved her.  Everybody misses her.  Everyone is going to say really nice things about her in the comments on this post.  And, that’s super nice.  It’s nice to hear nice things about my mom.

She was funny and pretty and driven.

There are a lot of things I learned from my mom.  But they aren’t the things you’d think.  She really taught me more in her dying than she did in her living.

My mom was 16 when she gave birth to me.  That’s young.  She wasn’t great at being a mom then, because how could you possibly?  She and I grew up together.  With my Gramma raising the both of us.

And, my mom made some really shitty decisions on my behalf when I was little.  Because, when you are learning how to do a thing, sometimes you screw it up a little before you get better at it.

And she got better at it.  She wasn’t perfect.  I was so ready to leave home when I graduated, like most kids.  But, man was I ready to GO home after college.

As I got older, she became my friend.

And, then cancer.

My mom was 50 when she died.   I think we had it pretty good with her dying.  She was up and talking until just about the end.  It was so hard to see her like that in that bed, but I’m so glad we were able to talk to her and laugh. You don’t appreciate that until it’s something that is happening to you.  And then you become keenly aware of what other people might miss or what other people got in a Dying.

As I’m sitting in my bed writing this, and crying, I remember why I don’t like to do this kind of thing.  allofthesadness.

I love this picture up top.  It is hilarious to me.  I have another really good picture of me and my mom, but we are being Sweet in it and we are Posing so it’s not as fun.  But this picture?  This picture is a hoot!  We are cracking up because of all the hilarity.

That night my mother was drinking EVERYBODY’s drink and was stealing all of the lighters and she thought she was incredibly funny.  So did I apparently!  I love this picture because we are just SO. Damn. Happy.

When she died, I took her Bible. It’s mine.  Everyday I see something she underlined.  Something she thought was important to remember.  Her loopy cursive is all over the place.  And I notice the passages that she was reading when she was sick.  The handwriting is a little scrawl-ey.  I love that Bible.  It’s a part of what she has taught me.

I learned from my mom to be a better mom.  To make time for life.  To commit.  To be strong.  Tolerant.  NICE.  To be faithful.

I carry her heart in my heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ness

Many of you reading yesterday were probably all like, Jen.  You have TWO kids.  I know.  You do not have to remind me.

There are 13.5 years between my firstborn and my lastborn.  I never thought I would have another kid.  Then, I met my husband and we just felt like we needed to really just never sleep again. So we had a baby.  Go us!

I really never wanted another child because, honestly, I didn’t think I had enough room in my heart to love another one.  I love my son so much – I was convinced that he filled that space.  Luckily, he was able to be gracious and make a little room for his sister.

This kid is exhausting though.  From get she has been trying to wear me down.  She nursed for five hours straight one day.  She’s trying to Alpha Female me.

She’s a story teller.  She likes to run my sister’s long driveway up to their house.  So, if it’s a nice day, I’ll let her run.  One day we got into the house and she immediately tells her aunt that I made her run and that I kicked her.  Preschool’s gonna be fun.

I have found that she is better behaved if she is wearing a dress.  She loves to play Princess, but hates when the crowns always get caught in her hair.  She loves to play Superhero and jump on the couch.

When she says “I love you” and then I say “I love you, too” She thinks I’m starting an argument and follows it up with “NO.  IIIII Love YOU.”  But not in that fun way.  She says it in that TERSE way.

She plays dead.  A lot.  I mean, laying on the floor, arms splayed, tongue out of her mouth: dead.  And then your job is to pump her chest and say “wake up Ness!!!”  And, she giggles because she is so hilariously not dead, after all.

Her favorite word is Dammit.  She uses it often, and correctly.

She has the most beautiful hair which turns into a constant battle of wills to brush.  She wins a lot of the time.  I’m old, guys.  I don’t have the energy to chase her.  Thank God messy buns are a thing.

She’s my snuggle bug.  My little artist.  My beautiful singer.  My crazy dancer.  My climber of everything.  My tickle monster.  She’s my best girl. She’s teaching me patience.  And perseverance.

I hope that as she grows we can become buddies.  I hope she confides in me and thinks I’m funny.  I hope she always wants to bake cookies with me.

I want to teach her to be strong and confident and loving and caring.  I want her to be faithful and joyous for all of her life.

But most of all?  I just want her to sit still so I can braid her hair straight.

 

 

 

me n hg

Mother’s Day is coming up.  It’s generally another one of those holidays that, to me, amounts to:  Eating.

And, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts recently about how heartbreaking Mother’s Day is for some of my friends who have become motherless.  And, that’s something I know a little about.  Being motherless sucks, and I miss my mom.  But, I don’t experience the hollow feeling so many others have.  I don’t feel like something is missing.  And, that really got me thinking about Why.

For me, it’s because I have kids.  So, whatever feeling I have in my cold and twisted heart, is completely usurped by the Big Feelings I have for my two kids.  One, who is my favorite, and one, who I’m sure will be my favorite in time, but she can’t even use the remote, or get her own pop tart right now.  So…

Mother’s Day is my day.  But really?  What is mine anymore?  Everything is Theirs.  That’s fine by me.

My son is the very breath I breathe. My right arm.  My Siamese twin.  People have told me that I treat him as if he is the most special snowflake in the world.  Duh.  He is.  Suck it.

We have a blessedly unique relationship which I am eternally grateful for.  He is my friend.  My buddy.  My favorite person to watch T.V. with (even though we terrify my husband with the inappropriate shows we watch…).

My son will be a Senior in High School next year.  Every year in the past when I’ve picked him up on the last day of school, I’ve said, “You are officially a (Insert next year’s grade)!!!”  I’ve been practicing saying, “You’re officially a SENIOR!!”  But, I can’t do it without getting a catch in my throat.  When I say it to him for real, I know I will start crying.  I’m tearing up right now.

I mean, he is going to KILL it as an adult.  He has his own personal code of ethics that even I don’t measure up to most of the time.  He is great at making good decisions.  He makes the best friends I could ever have imagined for him.  He has a goal.  Since he was in FIFTH GRADE.  And, I know he will attain it.  Or, maybe he will change his mind and attain a different goal. I can’t wait to watch him fly.  (also?  he has the voice of a thousand angels and if you don’t believe me, I will text you the video.)  Don’t get me wrong.  He can be a real dick sometimes (i.e. EVERY EFFING MORNING).  But for the most part, he’s pretty ok.

He is my greatest gift.  And, I’m thankful everyday God gave him to me.  He gives me purpose.  I look forward to the fabulous man he will become. My proudest moments are getting to be his mother.

Happy Mother’s Day to my own self!  I did, after all, make this kid.