Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The Squirrels Have Spoken

A couple of weeks ago as I was driving into the office I noticed that the cars ahead of me were all doing a small diversion ahead of me.  As I got closer I realized that they were all diverting to the right to avoid a little squirrel on the road.  The squirrel hadn't been hit, but it was so scared that it couldn't get itself out of the way of on-coming traffic.  She was just sitting there, little paws in the air too scared to get herself out of danger.

And that's when it dawned on me; I'm that squirrel.  I've been living my whole existence flying from one urgent thing to another and there's so much coming at me all the time that I can't even find a way to get myself away from everything that is coming head on.  Things definitely needed to change. 

That was the day that I decided that the house had to go.  I was so tired of worrying about what was next to go and what would be the next big expense.  As lovely as it is to live in an older home with character - that character costs money to keep up.  So the first step in sorting out what the future will look like, will be in figuring out where on earth the boys and I will live.  I don't have a clue what that looks like.  It's completely unlike me to fly without a plan, but I need to learn to take chances and to trust that it's all going to be okay.

The house is still on the market a few weeks into it being listed and surprisingly I'm okay.  I've put the sale of the house in the hands of the universe, if it is meant to sell, it will.  And if not, then I need to figure out the next step.

These days, there appears to be squirrels everywhere I look (yes, I know that it's Fall and they're busy preparing for winter), when I see them I think of that squirrel who was too afraid to move to save herself; and I'm more determined than ever to make the moves that will propel my life forward - fearlessly, purposefully and joyously.  I will no longer be that squirrel.


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Lessons in Being a Mother from my Tia Eduarda

This morning I learned that my beautiful Tia Eduarda passed away in her home of Rhode Island.  I didn’t have an opportunity to see her in the last few years, but my sadness that she has passed is great.  I cried the whole way into the office today thinking about her, the lessons she leaves me, and how special she was.  For all of you who knew her, and those of you who did not, here are my lessons from Tia Eduarda.

She was a single mother.  Not just a single mother but a mother who gave up everything that she knew in her small home in the Azores to take a risk and move to the United States to give her son the benefit of an education and a better life.  I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to move to a country where she did not speak the language nor have an option at any kind of work other than whatever she was lucky enough to have come her way.  And she did it all in order to give someone she loved more than she was able to have.  As a single mother myself, I’m blessed with a good job and an education, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to do what I have to do without those benefits.  But she did it, and for that she is one of my hero’s.

Her son was her entire world; we used to laugh and not understand when she would become completely insane with fear when he was  a few minutes late.  Today I understand.  I have my own sons, and as a single mother I’m painfully aware that these boys are what I have.  They are my life and my legacy and raising them right, raising them to be strong men is the ultimate goal.  I’m not at a point where they are out until all hours and not letting me know where they are, but I can anticipate that this lies ahead for me.  And now I understand.  I understand her fear, it was a mothers fear based on love, and today I know what I didn't know then, a mothers love is most irrational.

Her son, my cousin Joe, grew into a good man (hi Joe) and has a beautiful family of his own now; so I guess she did what she had to do to give him what he has now.  And as a mother, I am certain that she had no regrets for any of the risks she took moving to a strange country, any of the ranting, any of the worrying, but most definitely no regrets for all the loving.
I’m going to always picture Tia Eduarda my favourite way to think of her; screaming out the doorway of her New York Avenue home at Debbie “Debbie, tell your mother I need a cup of sugar” (hey, Hi Debbie).  I hope tonight Tia is looking at my own little family and I hope that she’s as proud of my work as a single mother as I am proud of hers.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Mothers Day

Most of my blogs compose themselves in my head while I’m busy doing other things.  I think about what’s happening around me and what’s relevant in my world.  This morning as I was getting ready to head into the office, I was thinking about Mother’s Day coming up and what it really means to me personally to be a mother. 

My boys are my universe.  I watch them every day and am still absolutely in awe of the fact that those three beautiful, perfect children grew inside me.  When I talk about them everyone can hear my pride; they are such incredible boys.  They are funny and smart, talented beyond words.  Each of them is so incredibly different, but all three are so incredibly alike.  My heart overflows with how much love I feel for them.

But there are things that I wish that I could change about being a mother. 

There was a time that I could hear a siren and not automatically feel my heart start to beat faster at the thought that something might be wrong.  If I see an ambulance travelling in the boys’ direction on a day when I’m heading home to pick them up, I hold my breath until I see them and know that they are safe.
I have to learn to let go.  As Daniel gets older I’m struggling with finding the right balance between giving him freedom and being comfortable with that freedom.  I’ve had more than one person tell me that my rules won’t work for a kid who’s almost 16.  I’m trying, but I’m struggling to find the balance because the balance means overcoming my fears.  It means starting to let go and to admit to myself that he is almost ready for me to let go.

I hate that I think of the boys as growing up in a broken home.  I know that this is what our culture calls it when we raise children outside the marriage in which they were conceived.  I’m scare d that the boys will grow up and feel broken.  I’m afraid that no matter how much I love them and how much I give them, that the damage they will sustain long term as a result of the fractured relationship between their dad and I will not be repairable.

I’m scared that one day those boys will be grown and they will leave and I won’t know what to do with myself.  I won’t know how to move forward without having them there by my side.  And for all my complaining about Michael waking me in the wee hours of the morning when he crawls into my bed and strokes my hair, I’m afraid that the day will come that he does not anymore.  I’m afraid that one day Lucas won’t come up behind me as I’m trying to get things done and wrap his arms around me and tell me that he loves me and he needs a hug.

Being a mother is enmeshed in who I am; I am nothing if I am not their mother.  The sound of the noise and the sound of the love are intertwined in my world.  Being their mother is the most rewarding and frightening thing I will ever undertake.  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  I wouldn't change the tears, the fright, the joy, the laughter the absolute craziness for anything in this whole world.  I wouldn't change a single piece of how it has unfolded because this is their story and my story is only about them. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers.  As you go down your own path of mothering I hope that the joy will always outweigh the sadness and that you will be able to find yourself again one day when those children are all grown.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Treadmills - Both Kinds!

It’s a new year and I've been negligent in keeping my blog up to date.  I believe that this is because I've been so busy that I’m slowly losing my voice in the craziness that is a life of work, little boys and dating.  I feel like I’m living my life on a never ending treadmill, and sadly not the kind of treadmill that I should be spending more time on. 

Christmas this year was a blur, but the one nice thing about Christmas is that the boys and I are building new traditions and every year it feels more and more like we’re becoming whole again in this new family that we have built for ourselves.  I had the hardest time getting into the swing of things this season and didn't even start my Christmas shopping until December 22nd.  I struggled this year with the whole concept of gift buying for people who already have everything.  I think for this year the boys and I will have to give more thought what we have to give instead of what we plan to get.

My big issue these days is learning to stay in the moment.  My mind flies from the past to the future and I can’t seem to just stop and think about the here and now.  And as we all know, time flies past us and if we don’t stop to enjoy today we’re doing ourselves a huge disservice.  So, that’s the goal – it’s not a new year’s resolution.  It’s something that I need to learn that will help me enormously with where I am in my life.  To learn to just be present and not take any situation and ask where I think it will lead and where it has gone wrong in the past.

In a recent message from the Universe (you can sign up for your own messages at, the universe told me that I’m here to make my dreams come true.  So it’s time to slowly determine what those dreams are and then tackle them one day at a time, in the here and now and focus on moving my life day by day in the direction it’s intended to go. 

And about that other treadmill, I've gained a whole bunch of weight in the mad flurry of living the treadmill life that I've been living.  And I’m missing the time that I took initially for me and for working out and eating right.  As I look at the road ahead, part of living truthfully in the moment has to include the time to take care of me.  I’m so far off path right now (which is so easy to do when you’re a mom, an assistant, a daughter and a girlfriend) and I need to find my way back.  Funny enough I was closer to being my most authentic self after my marriage imploded and I had the intense desire to sort through the feelings.  I need to back track a little and get back to a place where I'm more of a priority in my world; day by day, baby steps.  I’m on my way.

Friday, 3 October 2014

The Truth of Single Parenting

Every once in a while I have a day where I feel like I’m so completely alone that it’s almost unbearable. Days when I look at my life and I think “I can’t keep doing this the way that I’m doing it”. On any given day I wake up at 4:30am; I take an hour and half to have my coffee, make lunches, get showered and dressed and get uniforms ready for the day. Most days I also do a load of laundry in that time; there never seems to be enough uniforms to make sure everyone is clean. I wake the boys, get them dressed and drop them off at my parents’ house and arrive at the office at 7:30am. I work (most days without so much as taking a 15 minute break to eat a sandwich) and leave the office around 5:00pm. I go straight to my parents’ house to pick up the little boys and normally am walking back through the doors at home at 6:00pm. Gives me two hours to prepare a healthy meal, feed the kids, do homework, clean the kitchen, have showers, read stories and get everyone into bed. If everything falls into place just right everyone is fast asleep by 8:30pm. Leaving me with additional time to do whatever chores it is that I need to do (with whatever energy it is that I have left) and often times get back on my iPhone and reply to the emails that have come in since I left the office at 5:00pm.

I’m not sure that I’m complaining – but I am burned out. I love so many elements of my life; you all know that those boys are my universe, and I have a job that I actually like (I know we can’t all say that). But today is one of those days where I wish there was more support. I’m tired of feeling like I go tirelessly from one thing to the next without any breaks. And although my parents watch the boys before and after school I’m so hyper sensitive of their needs that I would never imagine to call and say “I’m going to take a breather and will pick them up an hour later”. When I don’t have the boys because they are with their father I’m still focused on the fact that I have to deliver lunches and uniforms to my parents in the morning because otherwise they aren’t prepared for their day and I refuse to let the boys suffer because of something completely out of their control.

Today I feel like I’ve hit a wall. I feel like in my personal life that unless I do something that there isn’t anyone else who is going to do it for me and there is always too much to be done. And I’m tired, the kind of tired where you could just sit in a room and cry for no reason other than exhaustion and frustration. My hats off to every single mother who ever did this; the toughest job in the whole world.

When I go home tonight I’m going to sit down with my boys and try to get as many extra hugs as I possibly can, they are the reward for the hard work. They aren’t perfect and they sure do complicate my world, but they are worth every single minute of exhaustion that comes with those hugs.