Posts Tagged ‘Mother’s Day’

The BEST Mother’s Day Weekend EVER!

First of all, I need to send a HUGE shout out to all you SINGLE PARENTS out there.

When the LOML goes out of town, the boys are very much aware that they have me outnumbered. Add to that the fact that I now work 20 miles in the opposite direction from where Jake goes to school and where Ben’s day care provider lives, and you’ve got one very burned-out mama headed for the liquor aisle at Costco.

So, I have a new-found respect for anyone who has to raise their kids alone (not that I didn’t respect them before). I had the luxury of the LOML returning home Friday night after being gone for only one week. Single parents selflessly suck it up day in and day out, and some even go to school on top of it all. I honestly don’t know how you do it.

All-rightee.

My awesome weekend began Thursday evening. While making dozens of new friends at the 1st Annual Mom’s Night Out, I was the lucky winner of a pink VADO pocket video camera from the wonderful ladies at newbaby.com and momtv.com.

Then my week as a single parent came to an end when the LOML returned from Minnesota on Friday night. (But only for a few hours, since he got in at 11:30pm and then promptly left at 5:00am to take an all-day exam.) At least he was home.

On Saturday morning, the boys and I spent a few hours at Sacramento’s Fairytale Town and Funderland. And I was instantly reminded why I decided to have kids. You know you’re doing something good when you can get your children to laugh like this:

Benzilla's 'Mona Lisa' Smile. God knows he's hiding the devil behind that grin.

Benzilla's 'Mona Lisa' Smile. God knows he's hiding the devil behind that grin.

Quite possibly the coolest picture I've ever taken of Jake. When was the last time YOU smiled like that?

Quite possibly the coolest picture I've ever taken of Jake. When was the last time YOU smiled like that?

Later that day, the LOML and I had the privelige of dropping the boys off at his mom’s house for an over-nighter. NO BOYS FOR 24 HOURS. The activities for the night shall remain confidential, although I did spend part of the evening with a half-naked Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds.

Then this morning, after being allowed to sleep in until 9:00am, I received this direct message on Twitter:

plumkeeper: Congrats! Your tweet won the “Moms Tweet” contest. Pls send an email to . . . with name, address, phone #.

Hell. F-ing. YEAH!!

The iTouch that I’d worked so hard for was officially mine! I earned it too, considering I spent the week soliciting votes via Facebook and Twitter (and at work, and from my family . . . ) I do have to say, though, that I was genuinely surprised that I won, considering some of the other quotes were laugh-out-loud funny and gave me some serious competition!

So . . . a free Vado, fun with the boys, a night alone with the LOML, and a free iTouch.

Is it selfish of me to hope I nab that Wii too?

10

05 2009

“The Airport Ritual”
(A Tribute to Mama’s Mama)

meandmomI have been wanting to share this story about my mom with you for a while now, but did not get the chance to fully give it the attention it deserved until a few days ago.

My mom and I have an “ebb and flow” relationship. There are times when we talk daily, and others when I don’t have contact with her for a few weeks. Which is sad, because she lives about 15 minutes from my house, and Jake’s school is a stone’s throw away from her porch.

But she doesn’t pour on the guilt, like most Catholic moms do. She knows I’m busy trying to keep Benzilla from killing himself and doing all the other things working moms do to stay sane.

So, here is my tribute to the woman who “carried me for nine months and then barely made it to the delivery room because I wanted out so bad.” (As if it were MY fault. The woman had seven kids before she had me. I’m thinking that it was her uterus that was done carrying babies and decided to spit me out in rebellion to her Catholic “be fruitful and multiply” ways.) And fair warning: The story is a little “faithy.”

I’ve got this ritual that I follow whenever I go on trips that involve an airplane ride.

I’m a “nervous flyer.” I’m not afraid to fly, I just don’t enjoy flying the way others do. And the only thing I have found to calm my nerves before a flight is my travel ritual, which goes like this:

  • Check in
  • Go to gate
  • Call my mom

Not my husband, or my best friend, or the sister that I’m closest to.

I call my MOM.

Why?

Because I discovered as a child that my mother’s intense faith in God has helped keep my family out of harm’s way. The rest of my brothers and sisters also believe this to be true. Even as a teenager, I remember telling her that, if God ever changed his mind and decided to flood the earth again, I believed she would be the one he chose to warn.

So, my mother gets the call from the airport. If it’s my time, I want to be sure that she’s had a chance to say a prayer for me before I get on that plane. Selfish? Perhaps. But in all the years I’ve called, the flights have been so uneventful that there wasn’t even enough turbulence to make the ice in my complimentary soda rattle.

I’ve told this story to a fair share of friends, most of whom write it off to brain cells lost after having kids of my own. But I’m a firm believer in my Mom’s faith, and over the past couple of weeks, that faith has been renewed.

On April 10, when my oldest sister was hospitalized for end-stage liver failure, the rest of my brothers and sisters were at her bedside. ALL of them.

Every day. For eight straight days.

That’s the kind of family my mother raised.

We don’t fight with each other. We don’t judge each other. And we’re always there for each other.

On that last night, before my oldest sister took her last breath, the rest of us were in her room laughing and exchanging family stories — which eventually led to a “Remember the time . . . ” session that would make any mother in her right mind squirm.

One by one, we talked about things that happened to us which should have resulted in harm, incarceration, or perhaps even death. And I swear, we all acknowledged out loud that we were “still alive because of mom” when we were done. Here are just a few occasions where we are CERTAIN that my Mom’s faith took care of us when we were unable to take care of ourselves:

My oldest brother was involved in a near-fatal automobile accident. With internal injuries and broken bones, he still managed to WALK to the hospital. He walked. When he arrived, the hospital staff asked how he got there. His reply? “I rode my bicycle.”

He has since made a full recovery.

One of my sisters was lost and in the middle of nowhere when she realized she was within minutes of being the victim of a violent assault. At that instant, the assailants were scared off by a nearby car — the occupants of which were visibly shaken by what they had seen in the assailants’ trunk.

My sister made it home alive that night.

The evening I met my husband, I had gotten so ridiculously drunk that I had no business being on the road. But I drove to the club anyway. I don’t even remember how I got there.

I just got there. Alive. And an hour later, I met the man I would later marry and am still with to this date.

My mother has done a lot for us over the years: bailed us out of jail, loaned us money, let us move back in (and out and in and out), and even cared for one of our children as an infant to prevent it from being taken away. But the one thing I will make sure MY children know is that she prayed for us.

No matter what we did or how we treated her or where we were in life, we always knew that she had our back.

Thank you, mom, for not giving up on us.

Happy Mother’s Day!

This story, while genuinely written over the course of several hours because I kept having to walk away due to the tears, was submitted to Focus on the Family for their contest called, “Brag on Your Mom to Win a Wii.”

If you happened to like the story, please visit my story page and give it a good rating. The scale is at the bottom of the page.

If you would like more information on how you can enter the contest yourself, or to read the other stories submitted for the contest (and there are some AWESOME entries), you can visit THIS page.

Have a great weekend, and see you on Monday!

07

05 2009