“I’m Singing!”

Did you ever have one of those unexpected moments that make you smile….I’m talking a big ear-to-ear grin… and you look around to share that joy with someone else and there’s no one there? I had one of these moments when Kris, Andrew, CJ, Beej and I were out shopping on Black Friday this year. It was not as eventful as last year’s Shopping With CJ and Buzz, but there was one moment.

I was warm, tired, hungry and frustrated, finding no real bargains, when I was standing in front of a toy display, staring at new Star Wars toys. Since The Force Awakens was not out yet, I didn’t know who the characters were and what I was looking for. I was ready to throw in the towel when I heard a voice nearby.

“I’m singing! I’m in a store and I’m singing!”

If you are unfamiliar with the 2003 holiday movie, Elf, starring Will Ferrell, James Caan and many more famous actors, you really do need to see it. And if you are unfamiliar with Elf, the above quote means nothing to you so you can watch the video clip below.

As the smile spread across my face, I looked quickly for any of the boys, preferably the big one who would know what I was talking about, although I’m sure Beej would be just as amused, as he is by everything these days. There was no sign of ANYONE— not even the lone singer, who I had hoped to catch a glimpse of so I could thank him for brightening my day.

We left the store empty-handed but Kris and Andrew were entertained by my near encounter and disappointed that they didn’t get to hear it and CJ and Beej were happy to head to McDonald’s for a special lunch.

And this memory will always bring a smile to my face- reminding me that the smallest thing can make the biggest difference.


Family · Words to Live By

Not All Mothers

I’m not a perfect mom. I get tired. I complain. Sometimes I don’t want to talk about anything at all and I only want to sit alone in a room in complete silence.

K and mom

On Christmas Eve, I threw a tantrum that could only be rivaled by 1 year old Beej’s glorious fits. I let nerves, stress, exhaustion and a whole bundle of emotions I would rather not get into get the best of me. I was convinced that the gifts I had to give were not good enough. The house was a mess. The food didn’t turn out right. With the little guys in the house, I wanted them to experience the joy and wonder of Santa while their parents had different ideas. I know this is not on me, but I embraced it as my own shortcoming just the same. I felt that in trying to live up to my own unrealistic expectations that I had let everyone, including myself, down.

I really beat myself up this Christmas season and the recurring theme appeared to be all things MOTHERHOOD. I thought about what it meant to be a mother, how differently everyone mothers, what makes a good mother or one that is below standards and by whose rubric are they graded. While I was panicking that the stockings would be empty, I examined the mothers close to me as well as the ones whose paths I crossed while out and about.


And although I’ve known this all along, I was reminded of the following things-

Not all mothers are born mothers. Some take time to learn. Some never do.

Not all mothers put their children’s well-being before their own. I’ve been a mother for 25 years and I still can’t imagine sitting down at the table to eat a meal if one of my kids hasn’t eaten yet. And if we are eating out and their food isn’t quite what they expected, I will still offer them my plate.

Not all mothers live by the “mind over matter” mantra. I have cared for my children while having a myriad of illnesses, only slowing down when reinforcements had arrived (aka Dad) or everyone was sleeping soundly.

Not all mothers hear their kids in their sleep. I’m the lightest sleeper in town and now I not only hear my own kids’ many trips up and down the stairs or to the bathroom but baby Beej’s cries when he loses his pacifier.

Not all mothers see and hear what their kids are telling them…. even when their kids are screaming it in their face telling them. I see children begging for their mom’s attention in a variety of ways- some as point blank obvious as “Play with me”.

And not all mothers WANT to see or hear what their kids are telling them. 

Not all mothers realize how incredibly powerful their words are. One sentence uttered in anger can linger in a child’s mind for the rest of her life.

Not all mothers love unconditionally. I’ve often thought about this. What are acceptable conditions when it comes to loving your child? I can’t think of any. I tried to raise my kids to be caring, responsible, compassionate people and although some might need a little work, I don’t feel that warrants me not loving them. Yet, I see mothers who only want to be with their kids when they are happy and cute and funny (if they are small). Mothers of adult children…..I’m not sure where to begin with that one. I don’t feel that it’s my place to tell my adult children who they should be. Each one is unique and special in his own way and I wouldn’t change a single thing about any of them.

Not all mothers want to be mothers. 

And not all mothers ARE mothers. 

Every child deserves to be loved unconditionally, supported, accepted and nurtured by their mother.

And as for the end of that Christmas holiday that was kicked off by my horrible behavior? Christmas evening was spent with us gathered as a family watching Elf. My husband and children were willing to forgive (and hopefully forget) my moments of insanity and I love them all the more for their acceptance, love and support of me.

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