What Being A Mother Gets You

Insert wry comment about stretch marks and a huge butt. Add in comical image of inedible, kid-made breakfast in bed followed by mom cleaning the trashed kitchen. Rim shot. Canned laughter.

Yes, the ragged, run-down mom image is hilarious and often true. But today I want to talk about the other real benefits mothers get. Because though motherhood gets rough sometimes, it has added so much to my life.

I’ve got my boys, my sweet Buddies. They are so fun to be around, and it’s a treat to watch them turn into people. They have great senses of humor, and they laugh at my jokes, which we all know is my favorite thing. It’s really hard to be grumpy for too long around them. They just create joy wherever they are. And I can’t adequately describe the calming feeling of their touch, the sweet little boy head tucked under my chin as they sit on my lap.

I was the definition of content watching my boys' first musical with them. They had to sit on my lap, and I got to hear all the murmurs of wonder they expressed.

I was the definition of content watching my boys’ first musical with them. They had to sit on my lap, and I got to hear all the murmurs of wonder.

I’ve gained inspiration as a mother because my boys inspire me. I watch them learn something new and not give up, and I’m reminded that you have to keep trying when something’s hard. When they overcome an obstacle, I am reminded that it only takes the will to do it to make things better. They inspire me to be a better teacher for all the other mothers’ babies. And they always inspire to be a better mother. For one, they forgive my frequent missteps. I look at them and know they deserve the best mom. I want to do right by them, and they let me try again and again.

Jack overcame stage fright and Alex has learned it's okay to make mistakes. Their t-ball team has been so great.

Jack overcame stage fright, and Alex has learned it’s okay to make mistakes. Their t-ball team has been so great.

Being a mother has also gotten me a tribe of women to count on and look to for advice. One of the hardest things after losing Carter was this feeling that I had been kicked out of the Mom Club. I looked at moms and their kids at the store and felt like a creepy stalker. I had no kids with me nor was I buying family things, so why the hell was I staring? But my friends who had kids knew that I was a mother and were good about making me feel welcome. And now the other mothers I know are an invaluable part of my life. They support my parenting and my personal needs. They offer a shoulder to cry on and reassurance that I’m not doing it all wrong.

Thanks friends for dinner and laughs.

Thanks friends for dinner and laughs.

And my mom friends send me pictures of beautiful Carter skies on Mother's Day.

And my mom friends send me pictures of beautiful Carter skies on Mother’s Day.

This Mother’s Day I just want to thank my sweet boys for bringing me all these gifts. I wish you’d have skipped the stretch marks, but I know they were given with love.

I Don’t Understand (Stream of Consciousness Sunday)

I’m once again linking up to my friend Jana’s blog. Our task? Set a timer and write for five minutes without editing or censoring. Our topic? I don’t understand…

I don’t understand how I have two little boys all of a sudden. I mean, I know how I got kids. It’s a timeless tale of doctors and stirrups and no shame. But what I mean is that I don’t understand how my babies are now big kids.

This weekend they started T-ball. My sons can now hold a bat. In fact, they own bats and regulation t-balls. We spent the whole afternoon after practice getting geared up. Thank God they didn’t have to buy cups.

These boys also have super hero sheets and a real Star Wars love. They can roam the playground with me at a greater distance. I still hover, but it’s with less anxiety and stress.

Friday night we had dinner with our group of friends and their kids. We set the kids at one table, and we grown-ups took the other. We are finally getting to the point where the kids can play, and we can actually have a conversation or play cards with few interruptions.

But still, I don’t really understand how this happened. It boggles the mind.

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Honey, I’m Home

I was mesmerized by the massive gray clouds, and I realized I could see miles of them. It wasn’t just over our city like in Poland; it stretched well into the next county. And I thought it was beautiful. Seeing for miles and miles was a treat. I could see where I had been and where I was going; I felt like I had my compass reset.

Our adventure in Poland is over, and we are home in Texas. I’ve been giddy about it since we landed, and I kissed the ground at DFW.

And lo, the glory of Texas shone all around her booted toes.

And lo, the glory of Texas shone all around her booted feet.

Our first dinner in America? Sonic corn dogs and cheeseburgers. Or, as I like to call them, ‘Merica Meats. We’ve had my mother’s homemade tacos and chili con queso. We’ve had bagels and Lucky Charms. I’ve even already had my parents over for dinner in our new apartment. It’s a culinary wonder, and we are eating it all. I still need a nice steak, but I think I’ve hit most of my food cravings including 12 pounds of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

I’ve been running. The boys have played in numerous parks without jackets or gloves or frostbite. We’ve seen the sun pretty much every day as is needed by my soul.

Even the dentist is fun here.

Even the dentist is fun here.

And oh how I’ve been talking. My blog title has once again been proven true. I’ve talked to friends and strangers. If you speak English and are in earshot, I will speak to you. Excuse me kind Target worker, where are the Ziploc baggies? Did you know the plastic baggies in Poland are useless and come in weird sizes and aren’t always at the grocery store and that their idea of cling wrap would make my mother weep?

Of course I’ve been talking the most with my family and friends. We’ve had our first friend group gathering, and I tried my hardest to slow my motor down. Luckily, the boys needed my help dealing with a crowd of kids and grown-ups we hadn’t hung with in a while.

Friend gatherings involve food and fun.

Friend gatherings involve food and mess.

On Friday I met my friend Christine for a drink after work. (I’d worked two days. I deserved it.) Poor, poor Christine. She didn’t know it, but she was my first outlet for real gabbing and laughing without watching my kids or my foul mouth. We talked about approximately 439 topics, with most of the words coming back to how the topic affected me. I was loud and happy. I was hoarse by the time I left. She kindly said we should do it every week, but I’m sure she went home and prayed I’d be out of words next time.

My tutoring job started last week. I’m working with seventh grade students getting them ready for their state test in reading and writing. I go two days a week, doing writing one day and reading the other. I was so happy about it I actually planned my lessons before I got to school, a new personal achievement. I even packed my lunch and had my clothes ready. And boy did those girls in my first class get the best me ever. I’ve got many friends at the school, so I’m feeling right at home.

I’m also really feeling my teacher soul jump for joy. When we lived in Poland, the owner of the boys’ school and my friend Zosia both made comments about how obvious it was that I was a teacher. They felt my personality and the way I talked to my kids (in public) suggested educator. I took that as a huge compliment. Then, at our gab fest Friday, Chris and I talked about my looking for a full-time teaching job next school year. I told her I had also considered just working retail or something so I could be free of grading and school-bureaucracy nonsense. She said, “No, you love teaching. You’re good at it.” Pump my ego up a little more with props from a fellow educator.

So, my Twitter presence has diminished, and I’m behind in my computer time-wasting, but, we’re settled in our apartment and happy as pigs in Texas mud. Soon I hope to be back to writing regularly and keeping up with the people in my computer. It may be annoying because I’m so peppy, but you’ll get used to it.

And finally, I leave you with things I’m loving about America:

garbage disposal, washer and dryer with large capacity, not having to haul my toiletries all over the house for a shower nor find my clothes in the closet in the kitchen, English-written & spoken, variety at the grocery store, Target.