Writing 101: Day 2 Somewhere Other Than Here

I am sitting on the warm sand near the ocean. It’s our last day here. We had all agreed we needed to pack up early and get back to the beach house to clean and prepare for our departure tomorrow.

The time keeps getting later and later and no one is making a move to pack up. No one wants to call it quits. No one wants to interrupt this moment.

If we don’t move, time almost stands still even though the sun, a giant ball of yellow light, is quickly sinking behind the tall grass and the weathered, wooden walkway.

Except for the seagulls squawking, looking for remains of today’s picnics, and the rhythm of the waves crashing, it’s quiet on this beach. Not because of the late hour; it’s been this way all week. A quiet, fairly non-commercial strip of paradise guarded by massive beach houses, dream houses.

The few remaining beach goers are packing up as the tide is coming in, calling it a day.

And we all just hang on a little longer.

The littlest, a blonde haired angel with a polka-dotted suit, is squatting down and patting the sand with her chubby little hands. She chatters about the castle and how it’s “the best ever.” Her face lights up as the big kids dig and scoop and shout directions. She’s admired them all week, particularly fond of the little boy, her cousin, who is just a few years older.

He is frantically running back and forth to the water, his skinny arms barely strong enough to carry the orange bucket, water sloshing everywhere. His chest and shoulders and back are toasted brown after five days under the North Carolina sun. His cheeks have been protected from the sun by his faded gray baseball cap. He never takes it off as is obvious by its little boy smell of saltwater and sweat.

He runs to his sister, the oldest of the group and clearly in charge. Her long brown hair is in a salty, tangled braid and she squints in the sunlight. She looks different without her glasses, which she’s left safely back at the beach house. She points to a hole protected by a wall of sand that has been decorated with sticks and seaweed and shells.

He dumps the water into the hole just as a rush of water comes streaming in from both sides. They all scream and squeal as their castle collapses and their shovels and sand toys start to wash away into the sea….

Yes, this is where I long to be.


Sacrifices Moms Must Make

This weekend has been a fabulous weekend for MJ. She was reunited with her “sister” and “brother.” (My ex-boyfriend’s kids.)  With Instagram and texting, they are still in touch, but they haven’t seen each other in person since November.

Some people may think I’m crazy for allowing them to get together.

Well, I guess I am crazy.

I am crazy about these kids.

I loved them like my own and I loved the relationship that all four of them shared.  That they still share.

I spent almost 2 hours in the car this weekend driving MJ up and back.  I had to swallow my pride, take a deep breath, put on a brave face, calm my nerves and do what would make them happiest….

Give them some time together.

Just because we can’t all be together like we were before, it isn’t fair to halt their friendship.

Reading their Instagram posts, receiving texts and pics, and negotiating the pick-up time, I knew I made the right choice.

It’s not an easy spot to be in. And the tears I have fought this weekend come from many places.

But as a mom, you have to be brave and strong, and be willing to make sacrifices for your children. Sometimes what is painful for you, is wonderful for them.  It’s not the part of motherhood I thought about 15 years ago and it’s not a part I enjoy.

But it’s love.

I think of someday not that long from now when MJ goes away to college.  Don’t I want her to go? Of course I do, but at the same time…NO, I don’t want her to leave!!!

Obviously, I can’t keep her at home forever.  But I will do what I’ve seen a few of my friends already do, be brave and strong and pack her up and drop her off.  And I’ll live to tell about it, even if I shed a lot of tears.

Just as I would give up my own healthy pancreas and take on the burden of Ian’s diabetes, this weekend I let my heart hurt for just a little while, so that their hearts could be happy.

Two girls, two hearts, 1 wish for them: A lifelong friendship that stays strong, no matter the distance and time.






The Struggles of Being a Mother

Between being sick and fighting Ian’s highs and lows (major mood swings) it has been a long day. It was interesting to read all the Mother’s Day posts today – so many stories and so many great tributes. Some people were missing their moms. Some moms were missing their children. Some people are still waiting to be moms and some are *like* moms to many without ever giving birth.

No mom is perfect, and every mom has a battle or two to fight. Most of the moms I know do the best they can to make the best lives for their kids – whatever it takes, they’ll do it.

So to all the moms who are going to bed exhausted, frustrated, or worried, who face illness or financial strain, who have sassy-pants kids, troubled teenagers, clueless husbands, or who are complexly on their own, who work long hours outside the home or work at home without tangible pay, Happy Mother’s Day.

It’s not an easy job, but someone has to do it!


Spring Break Love

There’s so much to say, but alas, Spring Break is almost over and I want the words to be just right. So, for now,  12 pictures = 12,000 words.

There’s so much to say, but alas, Spring Break is almost over and I want the words to be just right. So, for now,  12 pictures = 12,000 words.

The Same Story. A New Chapter.

A few days ago I went through some old posts, desperate for some reminder that things will get better.

I found several posts that had me in the same, or similar, place with the same, or similar, feelings…. (All of these posts were written before I went public with this blog.)

On the days that Ian is with his dad and stepmom, I scramble to get things done around here and I try to get some extra sleep, but breaks don’t seem like breaks.

We’ve had some really awesome days.  In fact, he’s had three days in which his numbers were darn near perfect.  And then…BOOM…Hello 300s!! We meet again…..  I had to remind myself diabetes can’t change the past.

As I peel off the old pod (and fight the squeamish feelings I feel) and try to distract him from the pod change, it breaks my heart.  It’s stupid and unfair that he has to have this disease, and he has to endure these things. All I can think is “I’m so sorry this happened to you.

As Ian struggled through a baseball practice, his dad and I were texting about the unfairness of this all and how we’d trade places with him in a heartbeat.  Being a parent of a child with a chronic illness it not what we signed up for, but we will do whatever we have to do.

And doing what we have to do…well, it’s exhausting. I’ve already explained this; I’m so tired. 

I know that having this pump is the beginning of a new chapter for Ian. He will be able to be so much more independent and he will need this as he gets older.  He has already mastered the PDM. He can enter his carbs and give himself a bolus, and it’s all so good for his confidence and self-esteem. He is managing all of his care at school – making a phone call to his stepmom at lunch time everyday.

Yesterday morning I was reading a book when he woke up and I said, “Let me finish this chapter, and then I’ll get your breakfast.”  He said, “No, you keep reading. I can do it by myself now.”  My sweet boy, you continue to amaze me.

This move from shots to a pump has not been the easiest transition.  I foolishly didn’t see this coming. It is just a new chapter, and I have to face it.

And even though sometimes the reality of forever blows my mind, I know we will be ok.