Last month at youth group, when my son was asked what he was thankful for, he said, “everything.” And I’ve been thinking a lot about that … how he knows at nine to be grateful for the rain and the sun, for pain and joy.
This year isn’t ending like I thought it would, but that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful beyond belief. For closed doors and new beginnings so good that I didn’t dare dream of them myself. And for God’s grace to sustain me between the two.
For friends who are present and friends that teach me lessons. For family that’s got my back and the ones who drive me crazy (sometimes the same ones).
For doctors and medicine and treatment and access to them.
For youth group kids who teach me something new every time I’m around them. A church family of kindred spirits.
For companies that … Continue reading
I have to admit – five years into this game, I’ve gotten pretty blasé about the whole “no father” thing. So have my kids. Claire announces it as needed, but in a very “whatevah” way. “I told her you couldn’t find a dad,” she told me, as an aside, at a recent church lunch. Evidently the topic had come up with her friend seated on the other side of her. Or not. It’s possible she just volunteered it. We’ve known this girl’s family for years, and I’ve never seen their father, either. Church is a mom-and-kids thing in their family, as is swimming lessons, evidently – the other place we see them. Not a big deal, just chatter between the five-year-olds.
We’re busy, we’re happy, life is good. Gymnastics, skating, swimming, soccer, kindergarten, cardboard-box inventions, baking projects, vacation planning. It’s all good. The big conversations have been had, and repeated. … Continue reading
Ok, so I got a peek into the meaning of life…. .
Yes, that’s a big statement…..on a Monday. But hey. It comes in drips….to me….every now and then.
I spent the weekend in NJ – assessing things that need to be done to prepare a house my family owns there for sale. The house – the house I grew up in – is vacant now. It has been rented for a number of years. I spent a few hours cleaning the kitchen cabinets and replacing all the knobs (31 to be exact). I got on my hands and knees and looked into drawers and under stairs and in the nooks and crannies… I saw my father’s handy work…here and there. I flicked light switches that I used to touch every day. I criticized elements of the house that I always accepted before. I slept on an air mattress in … Continue reading
I don’t know what it is about mommy’s bed. But apparently, when a child can’t fall asleep, the only place to go is mom’s bed—and like magic, the sandman comes and knocks said child out. What I found out recently is that it doesn’t even have to be your mom. Marshall was having a friend sleep over the other night. Both boys were snoring happily by about 10 p.m. and I blithely went to bed. About 1 a.m., I sensed a presence by bed. It’s Max saying he can’t fall asleep so I groggily tell him to climb in. He’s asleep in seconds. When I awake in the morning, there’s a boy in bed next to me. No big surprise. But it takes me a minute to realize it’s not mine.
I never intended to co-sleep. But Marshall had other plans. From the minute he was born, he liked to … Continue reading
I was recently approached about submitting an essay on single motherhood to a magazine. I sent the editor a précis of my motherhood to date: began trying to conceive when I was 36, unexpectedly conceived identical twins, babies contracted twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in utero. Had experimental surgery. Babies survived. Had tons of help from friends, sister, and Mom. Moved half a country away when my daughters were four. They’re now teenagers.
The editor asked some follow-up questions. Could I talk more about my support network? In what ways is it harder to build one versus having a built-in one, i.e., a partner? What do I do when I want to brag to someone about something “awesome” my kids have done? And whom do I talk to when I want to tear my hair out?
I thought about this for a while before I responded. The editor seemed genuinely perplexed. “But … Continue reading
To the Child of My Dreams:
Since I was a very young child I’ve dreamed of holding you in my arms…. looking into your face and seeing some of myself in you…watching you grow and develop some of my characteristics (good ones, hopefully). It seems now that that will not be the case, and I am extremely sad about that.
I’ve tried so hard to create you, but my body will not cooperate. Each of the nine times that I’ve tried, I could sense your presence with me…your little soul ready to come into being. I’ll never understand why it could not happen for me. Each time I was devastated and cried because I felt I had really lost you…even if you were only in my dreams.
Now it seems that I will say goodbye, but only to part of my dream. I need to mourn the loss of a … Continue reading
Good lord”, said my therapist when I told her I was trying to have another baby with my husband. “You haven’t even recovered from your other 2 baby losses. And all you do with your husband is fight. You don’t even seem to like him.”
“Good lord”, said my therapist when I told her about all the infertility things I was now going through again, for a third time. The mood changing Clomid, every diet known to increase fertility, 2x a week acupuncture, awful tasting tea made by a Chinese only Chinese pharmacy in Chinatown, and lots of lots of awful, awful timed sex, timed with the very best in $299 ovulation predictor kits. “Are you sure you want to put yourself through this now? I think you should SLOW DOWN you’re not even 35 yet. And you and your husband are not getting along.
”Good lord”, said my therapist … Continue reading
I waited for a long time to find Mr. Right and start a family but that never happened. Finally, I was at an age where I needed to make a choice. I investigated adoption and hit many barriers. So, I decided to see a fertility specialist. I decided against insemination because of my advanced maternal age (I was 45 at the time), but decided to go the IVF route. I initially wanted to use my own eggs, and according to my test results, I could have tried. However, after much research of my own, the percentages I was finding for successful term pregnancies using my own eggs vs. a donor egg were about 5% vs. 50%.
I thought and prayed about it and finally decided that if I was willing to adopt a child, a genetic connection wasn’t all that important to me. However, knowing that the fetus was well … Continue reading
Last week I was almost on a radio show. I was asked to be the voice of the single mother who celebrates that role and finds the joy in it. I was asked to share things I have learned along the way that make it easier: “What I was hoping you could bring to the conversation were the things that you do (or are discovering), to recharge your showbox batteries, and allow you to find enjoyment, satisfaction and perseverance in this sometimes challenging job of Single Mom. Whether it be mantras you repeat to yourself, physical exercise, time with friends, or anything else be that adds enjoyment to your journey as a single mom, please share your perspective on how you are committed to enjoying your time as a single mom.”
Although, as is often the case in the big world, versus the humble world of the blog, things happen, … Continue reading
My twin daughters, Eve and Lily, are 14 months old. I spent the first 12 months of their lives in a state of euphoria. Don’t get get me wrong – I’m a Single Mother of Twins – it was hard, but I felt and continue to feel that for every “part” hard it was at least 3 parts amazing and awe-inspiring. Toddlerhood has been tougher. I remain in awe and in love, but I also find myself feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and scared that I suddenly won’t be able to handle the next challenge.
As I look deep inside myself at this past year and forward to the years to come, what I feel more than anything is… lucky. Pure, found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, LUCKY.
I did not ask for twins. Ok, more to the point, I did not want twins. I knew there … Continue reading