In other news, Jordan came home on Friday with his school portrait. Behold! The missing Beatle.
I just love this. This is Jordan in all his shaggy glory. But, wow. When did he get so big? Looking at this picture too long, almost makes me see the teenager he is going to become.
He's not allowed to grow up so fast. Especially if growing up means suddenly expressing your opinion all over the place.
This is what happens when your child learns how to write. This is Jordan's hate filled screed dedicated to me. His mom. The one that gave birth to him. The one that labored through hours of nausea and dry heaves. The one that lay by his bedside sobbing in tears and praying while he was on ECMO. The one that went on national television television and relived every agonizing detail of his story so that people would know that real people's lives were affected by organ donation. The one who's picture was splashed across the major newspapers of NYC. The one that stood at the alter in St. Patrick's Cathedral, choking back sobs before the entire audience, to publicly thank the mom - Nikki and her angel - Breanna - who gave you another chance at life.
The one that carried you for 42 weeks and has sweated every single decision I've ever made with respect to your care. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
"Dear Mom I hate you soooo much 'cause you're so mean You're one of the meanest mommies ever."
The backdrop was a time out. That came about because he literally screamed at me in protest when I had the audacity to suggest he pick up his toys before running out the door to play. Following the screaming, I put him into time out without the usual warnings. Once the time out was over, we sat down together and talked about why he had been punished and why screaming in this situation was a bad idea. I thought I was clear. I thought he understood. He nodded and then went downstairs to the art table and went ahead and penned his "card." He handed it to me very politely, then went outside to play.
I, of course, burst into tears
Sometimes, I just don't know what it is I'm doing as a mom. There are so many times when I find myself thinking that no matter what, I just can't win. When I was working full-time, the kids used to complain because I wasn't in school volunteering at parties or being the class mom. Jordan used to cry and say, "you never come on field trips with us!" I used to look at pictures of the kids from school on those trips and cringe when I saw a teacher holding their hands, instead of me.
Yet on the other hand, now that I'm a full time stay at home mom, I get comments from the kids saying, "You don't work. You don't have a job. You stay home all day."
Damned if you do. Damned if you don't. I have no answers to this. No one does. It's the eternal mothering dilemma. I've been on both sides of the equation, and it doesn't matter. One way or the other, as a mom, you will never feel like you've won on this issue. There are times I miss working. And there are countless other times when I am so glad that I have the privilege of being home with them now, getting involved in their schools, and helping them the best way I can.
Moms just can't win.
The best we can hope to do is keep trying to do our best.
"All I knew how to do was keep on keepin on..." said one of my favorite songsters.
Exhibit B: Why I think Jeff is the best father ever.
Jeff knew how upset I was about Jordan's note. He asked me if I had talked to him about it, and I said that I hadn't. When Jordan handed me the note, all I did was say thank you. "I'm glad you wrote down how you feel." But that evening, I was pretty much holding back tears. In the morning, after fixing him his breakfast, Jeff must have sat down with Jordan and spoke to him about what happened. While I was out on my run, Jordan worked on a new card. And when I read it, I burst into tears again.
"Mommy I love you I'm sorry love Jordan."
Sigh.. Do I have the best guys or what?
Despite being in Bermuda, arguably one of the most beautiful places ever, the quotidian details of our life still have to be managed. Among them, basic childhood development.
A few weeks back, we were in the "dollar" store getting some miscellaneous item. Both kids were with me. Don't ask me why. Miss Mina saw some toy that she decided she absolutely, positively, must have right then and there.
I said no.
Well... "No," because ABSOLUTELY nothing in the "dollar" store in Bermuda is actually a dollar. That's kind of why I have those parenthetical quotes around the word.
And two - there was no reason the child needed another toy. She had just been graced with a grandparent visit that included lots of toys. We just had Christmas with lots of toys. We're still getting Christmas packages trickling in with, let me repeat, LOTS of toys.
So, I passed on the opportunity to spend $30 on a Barbie at the "Dollar" store.
When we got home, I suggested a new approach to the toy situation. "Let's earn them!" I said cheerfully! We carefully discussed a point system for earning toys. 10 points for an "itty-bitty" toy; 20 for a medium one; 30 for "BIG TOY." I would be the ultimate arbitrator of determining size of toys. I gave them ball park estimates based on toys they already own. I also warned them that BAD behavior would result in points being taken away.
With steadfast determination, Miss Mina earned her points. Each day, she did the small tasks without muster or fail. She's a smartie though. She's made a point of reminding me that certain things are worthy of a "tick." (There's that Brit talk again. We used to call them check-marks)
But, as of Friday, she earned her thirty points. We went back to the dollar store and she purchased her own "big toy." It was a golf set that consisted of two plastic clubs, two plastic golf balls, and three putting markers.
What I loved best was her joy in sharing the toy with her big brother. She happily handed him a club too - so they could play together.
She just kills me.
All the golf practice came in handy. We hit the miniature golf circuit this weekend. Despite the rain.
Fishing the ball out of the obstacles became more exciting than the game itself, methinks.
Forced family shot.
So, life in Bermuda continues to be pretty darn good. I have thankfully avoided shovelling snow for the foreseeable future. This fact alone confirms my belief that there is a God. I can still remember last February when I was shovelling two feet of snow in my driveway, navigating minivan road slides on Christie Street, and cursing nature for the never-ending white blanket that was around me.
I remember praying that I would be happy if I never saw snow again in my life.
Thanks, God. We are truly blessed.
Back to reality... with the good, there's the icky. No snow.. but rain or shine - these things are always crawling up and down the outside of our house.
I hear they're good with a little garlic and butter.
There's flying cockroaches too. I haven't seen any in the house yet, but when I walk Oscar I see them squished on the street. They are ENORMOUS. Bigger than any NYC cockroach I have ever seen.