Friday, September 27, 2013

A Cool Breeze

Not so long ago I posted "A Peaceful Lull" where I shared my feelings of being at ease.  That was only ten days ago and at that time I felt that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.  I still do feel that way, however what is tugging at both my brain and my heart is the unknown.  Although I have built a world that I love and find so many happinesses, the reality is that I am still alone.  All of my learning and progress and building myself up has not yet led to finding someone.  It is disheartening and it is lonely.  But that doesn't compare to what I feel now that my son is fully aware that he does not have a daddy.

I have always valued, appreciated, and never undermined the importance of a father figure in any child's life.  Dale was wonderful with our son and I know that has played a huge role in my son's disposition.  However, his absence has left a hole.  A big hole that my son is now old enough to recognize.  My son always found it easy to immediately warm up to men.  However, I have gradually watched my son attach to men.  At first it was just family... my father, my brother, my brother-in-law and I appreciated their love and male influences on my son.  In the past few months though, I have noticed his attachment to other men.  Unfamiliar men.  For example, we went to my friend's Labor Day picnic and my son attached himself to the other fathers there.  He wanted to play with them more than the children, even me.  The worst was a couple of weeks of ago when we were at the playground.  There was a father and his son who was about 2 years old.  My son had very little interest in this little boy, but talked and talked to this man.  He wanted this man to play with him.  The man was very kind, but it left me feeling a bit uncomfortable because my son was so open to and with this stranger and all because he was a man.

There are still pictures of Dale around the apartment.  We still say our goodnight prayer to him each night.  And up until this summer, my son would only pay attention to these things off and on, mostly off.  Occasionally, he would ask about his father and where he was.  I told him from very early on that he father died and explained what that meant.  When our dog died in April, I think that gave my son a clearer idea of what dead means because he was old enough to understand even just a bit.  Now, it has become multiple times a week (at bedtime) when he will ask me where his daddy is.  He asks me why he can't see him.  He is old enough to recognize and understand that other children have fathers and that he doesn't.  He can't fully make all of the connections and understand why that is though.  It is heartbreaking.

My son is also old enough now where he can story tell.  He has an imagination and he can create and share stories.  I cannot count how many times in the past month or so that he has told me the story of making pancakes with his father.  He consistently sticks to this story and only changes the color of the pancakes that they made.  My son was 20 months... he has no concrete memory.  However, I have fully supported this story.  It's all he has that is his own.  I tell him that his father made delicious pancakes.  I tell him how he really like to make pies.  And then I ask him if he wants to make pancakes with me like he did with his father.  And we have.  We have made orange pancakes and blue pancakes.  Tomorrow we will make yellow.  

In July, I finally completed the photo album for my son of him and his father.  It had taken me so long because it was so difficult to do and I didn't feel pressure because my son rarely asked about him nor did he show much interest in looking at pictures or videos.  Tonight was the first time he looked at the book with me.  He had been asking me about his father again and I asked (as I always do) if he wanted to look at pictures and this time he said yes.  It was a double edged sword looking at that book with him.  It was so nice to look at the two of them together.  It was so nice to bring those memories back to life by sharing them with my son.  At the same time, the first thing my son said was, "I was a baby."   And he was.  And he still was with the last picture.  And that is extremely sad and painful. 

I can't help but to begin to feel a little impatient.  I can't help but to resent the unknown.  Even though I do know that there will be an amazing man joining our little family again one day, I know that time is precious.  I treasure my time with my son.  But just as he is fully aware that he doesn't have a father in his life, I am fully aware of that void that all of my love can never fill.  He grows older and smarter each day and he is missing out.  And that makes me very sad for him.

There is no way that the feelings that my son has and the feelings that I have about this situation is going to cause me to rush, force, or settle into any relationship.  In many ways I feel that I need to be more cautious, especially if it ever comes time to for them to meet.  Last year at this time, I was comfortable with a casual meet up in the early stages.  I cannot do that now.  My son will become attached too quickly and easily.  I can't help but to feel some pressure.

I want nothing more than to give my son the gift (to help create and support) of self acceptance... inner love and peace.  A father is a critical piece to that equation.  I want that for my son.  I also want for him to see and to be part of a dynamic family.  That piece is critical too.

I know things will happen.  But I do hope that they happen sooner than later.  My son and I are both feeling a cool breeze of absence. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


"Leah" is one of my Dustin O'Halloran favorites.  To me, it's falling in love.  I love the beginning.  It's whimsical almost magical, just the way it once was and how I imagine it will be once again.  It's the excitement and the wonder... the awe in discovering someone that you quickly find yourself...

Adoring.  Longing.  Loving.   That's what develops as it does in this piece as well.  The music changes.  If you listen carefully the lighthearted melody from the beginning still lingers as it should, softening the forefront of what was created.  A genuine and true desire. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I'm Stuck on a Feeling

One year ago today I met Jesse for about 30 minutes at a coffee shop and when I did I immediately felt something.  That something grew to the point where I found him to be amazing.  I had even began to wonder if he was my amazing, but then things abruptly ended.  I never got a real answer and I have been left to assume, which isn't good either, but its better than being in limbo.

I just had to mention him because he's been on my mind.  In all honesty, I am not sure if there has been a day in this past year that he hasn't crossed it.  For the longest time, I thought it was him.  It made no sense to me that it should take so much longer to get over a person than the actual time you spent with him.  So I thought it was really him, the person that I just felt this amazing connection with.  But how could that be?  Since I have nothing else, my assumptions have led me to believe that I was a rebound.  That basically means that it didn't mean anything to him.  Nothing.  I'm sure he appreciates what I did for him.  But he has probably long forgotten me.  That is such a tough pill to swallow.  And it makes me angry... how dare he.  And it makes me confused.  Why does he still cross my mind... when I know how to move on? when I don't attach so quickly and easily with others? when he did what he did to me? when I have spoken to and met so many other men? when it has been so long ago already?

It's the feeling.  I'm stuck on a feeling.  And I can't detach it from him because he has been the only person who has ever made me feel that way.  I didn't even feel it with Dale.  I have wanted so badly to meet someone who made me feel it.  I was open to so many different people.  I even became pickier and found myself with a man who was exactly the man I wanted to date.  I even went out on multiple dates with him hoping that I could feel it with him too, but that maybe it wouldn't show up right away or in the same exact way, but that it could and would exist.  That isn't going to happen (that story for another post).  So I'm stuck.  Not on Jesse, but the feeling.

Not so long ago, I put up a poll and I wrote a post about it.  I had wondered what the desired feeling would be when meeting someone.  This question came about by the two different feelings that I felt when I met Jesse compared to what I felt when I met my "perfect date."  My "perfect date" was alluring.  He was not uncomfortable, but I didn't feel completely at ease with him.  He was like that beautiful modern home that you just can't quite settle into.  Jesse's word was warm and I felt at home with him.  That's what I want.

I want the loneliness of a complicated world and a busy life to be at ease when I am with that someone.  I want to feel the warmth and comfort of being at home when and wherever I am with him.  Actually, I should no longer call these wants.  If I have learned nothing else, I have learned that these are needs.  And I have just switched from Team Edward to Team Jacob (I know, so 2010!)

Jesse... I actually got a lot out of him.  I needed him in my life.  He brought out major insecurities and issues that I had yet to deal with, but that I needed to in order to move on.  He broke down so many of those scary walls of first timing it again.  And he showed me what I need to feel in a relationship. 

It's hard to separate the two.  The person from the feeling.  But that person also created many other feelings that were not pleasant.  Unfortunately, that is what I need to remember so that I can continue to journey on until I once again not only find that feeling of home, but a place to call home too. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

An Ode to My Parents

PhotoWhen I went off to college, my father gave me this handy dandy screw driver that can change between a flat head and a Phillips head.  He said that whatever I would need in a tool in college, that should be able to tackle it.

That was 16 years ago.  I still have that it and it is my go to piece.  Since my college dorm years I have lived in 7 different homes.  I have hung up and take down more pictures frames and curtain rods than I can count. I have put together furniture and toys.  I have opened more cans of paint than I care to remember.  My dad was so right!! 

I am in the midst of redecorating my apartment and today was a day of painting.  So when I needed a screwdriver to take down some curtain rods, what did I seek out?  You got it.  However, today I looked at this old, used, dirty and paint stained screwdriver a bit differently.  I remembered my dad giving it to me and what he said what he did. And I didn't look at that screwdriver as just a screwdriver.  My father had given me a tool.  He and my mother had actually given me many tools, but this was the only one that I can concretely hold on to. 

The other tools that my parents had given to me were the ones that I needed to be able to make it on my own.  Some of them were done purposely, like my father telling me to always pay myself first and to save money to have when needed.  My parents paid the majority of my way through college, a private college nonetheless, so that I could have a career that I love and the ability to make my own money.  My parents were also very supportive of me, even when I know they didn't agree or want me to make the decisions that I made... like when I moved in with Dale before we got married and when we moved to Virginia.  They supported me when I was younger too and I was able to try the clarinet and gymnastics.  And when those didn't stick, they not only carted me around year round to basketball, soccer, and softball practices, they were always at my games as well.  I felt loved, important, and had the ability to make choices for myself.

Not everything was perfect.  There were times when I couldn't stand them too!  My mother was always worried about what other people would think.  She nagged.  She was the authority and was kind of scary at times growing up, lol.  She was not overly cuddly, but I do remember always wanting her when I was sick, because she did feel warm then.   We never established that close relationship though where I felt comfortable sharing private things with her.  She wasn't very open emotionally like that and still isn't although it isn't as uncomfortable as it used to be.  My father is kind of the same way in that regard.  He is on the more passive side.  They don't always speak their minds and take a more laid back approach on many issues.  I never truly learned how to communicate thoroughly and effectively growing up.  I never learned how to state and stand by my opinion.  I never learned how to argue and then how to make up.  I never learned how to let go verbally. In many ways these negatives kind of set me up to take the path that I took.  In many ways when my path crossed with Dale's we created a perfect storm.

However, this is an ode to my parents.  Although those negatives influenced me, they also created positives in me as well.  I am not overly emotional and can rationalize situations.  I am emotionally independent.  It took me a long time to get over what people thought of me, but I am now conscious of others in a thoughtful way.  I have not always stood up for myself like I should have or shared my thoughts like I should have, but I do possess a softer side and don't always see things only through my eyes.  So many positives have come from the negatives.  I have gained from both their perfections and imperfections because no matter what, their love for me was genuine and unconditional. 

When it all boils down, when life threw its worst at me, I had exactly what I needed to cope with and to handle it.  Without disregard or disrespect to all the people that I love that have loved me and have stood by me throughout all of this, I must say that I am essentially doing it on my own.  I have been able to do it because those tools had always been within me.  I am making it on my own and despite everything, I can honestly say that I am happy.  There's a happiness both in and out.  And I have my parents to thank for that.

I have posted a few times already and just earlier this month in "Why It's So Important, " that what I want for my son to have more than anything is for him to feel secure with himself, that he has that inner love and peace.  To me, those are the tools that he will need to "make it on his own" no matter what life throws at him.

I just never realized until today that the very thing I want for my son is the same gift I received from my parents. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Peaceful Lull

I have had a very difficult time finding words lately.  I've felt this way ever since my trip to the northwest in August.  I have written some posts since then and I have certainly sat down with the intent of posting, but I have felt that all that I have attempted to write and even those that I posted have been lacking that certain something.

Since this blog's main purpose is for me to therapeutically release my thoughts, I really can't complain that I haven't had the burning desire to form thoughts in need of releasing.  Although quiet, I have been in a state of a peaceful lull and its been comforting.  The comfort comes in the reason for this state and that is what I took from my trip.  I feel that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  Things just feel right.  And those thoughts have quieted my mind.  What is there to question and ponder if that is how I truly feel?  And I do.

Tonight my mind began to waken.  Just because I have felt at peace with myself and where I am in this moment does not mean that I have completely closed my mind to what is going on around me.  There are still people coming in and out of my life influencing me in one way or another.  There are still things that I am learning as I am still moving forward.  My feelings didn't become dormant and I haven't been spared from confusion and hurt.  What I no longer feel is that everything is going to be okay, that it will all work out for the very best.  I know it... and that is the core of my peaceful lull.  However, I found this state by being totally and completely awake and aware of the decisions, choices, and options that I have had either given to me or created by me.  I am where I am because of my thoughts and I know its okay to think them... analytical, rambling and all.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Three Year Itch

I have lived in my current apartment now for three years and two months.  I have not lived in the same place for more than three years since my junior year of college when I still moved back to my parents' house for the summers.  Although I have settled here in NYC, that doesn't mean that I am completely settled into my apartment. 

Earlier this year I did some updating that made a huge difference.  It gave my apartment a new look and feel and it was refreshing.  Although I still like the changes that I made, there is one thing that I cannot change, the layout of my apartment.  It's a railroad and all rooms lead to the next.  What bothers me the most is that I feel like I have no bedroom.  My bedroom is the third room down the line (living room, sitting/play/reading room, my room, my son's room) and it is the smallest.  It opens up to my son's room by the french doors and due to the fact that I have no windows in my room, I often times keep those doors open thus creating a big room that I essentially share with my son.  I didn't always mind that, especially when he was younger.  It made it easy and quick to get to him when he needed me.  However, he is four now.  He doesn't need me in that way anymore.  It's time for our own living space. 

I have given moving a great deal of thought and it is still not off of the table.  However, what I am certain of is that I do not want to leave my neighborhood.  That limits me to very, very few options since my neighborhood is very expensive.  So financially, my best (and only option really) is to stay where I am unless I want to move out of the 'hood. 

So today, the itch got the best of me and I decided to try something.  I changed my bedroom to room #2.  The issue with this is that room #2 opens right up into the living room.  There is a giant six foot wide opening and no doors for separation.  The perks is that this room is more spacious.  I can actually open up my dresser and it just feels more like a room rather than a place I dump myself only to sleep each night.  There is an actually door between rooms 2 and 3, so I actually split my apartment in half and my son has his own living wing with a bedroom and now an attached play/reading room. 

I am not sure how I am going to like the new flow of my apartment.  It was very open, which was something that I liked.  I hope that my changes don't make it feel any smaller than it actually is.  I am also concerned that I will not like that my room is now openly attached to the living room.  It's weird now to look over and see my bed there.  My son now feels so far away now too.  Even though that's what I wanted, it's still a change. 

What I do like is my vision for my new room.  I already began to redecorate.  I bought velour plum curtains today that hang ceiling length in the living room.  The color matches perfectly with my accessory color in the living room.  These curtain serve as a "door" (when needed) to separate my room from the living room.  I also bought a white sheer curtain to hang on my side of the wall to add a feminine touch.  Tomorrow I am going shopping for a new bed frame.  I have actually needed one since our antique bed finally gave out about 6 years ago.  It's about time and I found a metal frame that I love.  It's a bit more than I wanted to spend, but it's still cheaper than just about anything else.  And finally, since my room needs to flow with the colors of my living room, I am going to get a new bed set.  I have stumbled across some white ruffly comforters which are completely girly.  They are pretty and I am set on getting that style.  I am just trying to find a reasonably priced one.  While I am in the waiting for those two things though, I do realize that I really should paint that room.  I skipped that step when I updated it this past spring.  I don't mind painting though (just the cleanup, blah!).  But tonight I will be sleeping in my own room!  And within a week or two, it will really be my room.  I am really excited about it! 

This change was pretty spontaneous.  I never thought I'd put my room where it now is.  Not only that, I am in the process of updating my son's room.  He never got new furniture once he moved out of the crib (never had new nursery furniture either) and I wanted to get him something that matched.  After much debate, I did decide to keep his bed.  I had only bought it about 6 years ago and it was rarely ever used, it was wasteful to get rid of it only to buy a similar one.  So instead... I am going to paint it!  Eeek... I know.  I don't like the cherry wood coloring of it for him.  So I am thinking a midnight blue.  I also found a furniture store that custom makes dressers, which he needs, and I bought one unfinished so I will be painting that as well to match.  I am a bit nervous about all of this painting, but I am excited about the end result there too.  I think that I am going to bring the big comfy chair and bookcase into his bedroom from room #3 and make his bedroom a bit less toy cluttered and make room #3 an official playroom.  There's lots of work to be done to make this all happen though.

The three year itch... I think its a good thing that I am staying to atleast make it to four.  Keeping busy is good.  Changes can be good too.  I am looking forward to what all of this hard work will show in the end. 

Monday, September 9, 2013


Today my son turned four.  My sweet, funny, opinionated, chatty, smart, ice cream loving, spirited, nerdy, bundle of joy is now four.  Not only that, but today was also his first day of Pre-K! 

It has been a completely awesome adventure experiencing him growing up to the little young man that he is today.  There have been some bumps in the road of course as we are both learning and growing together, but what an amazing treasure it is to take part in something so special.  And to love in a way that you never imagined existed. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The French Connection

The other night after my son had gone to bed and I finished all of my chores, I sat down and did something that I don't do all that often.  I turned on the television, ooohhh, lol.  What came on was Nick Jr, the last station we had watched.  The show that was on was called "Take Me to Your Mother" and the premise of this realty t.v. show is that of a new mother who is trying to learn from just about anyone and everyone who will give her their opinion on motherhood and on raising a son.

So when I turned it on the other night, she was learning about this phenomenon from a group of French ladies.  I did not see the whole episode, but what I did see of it did make me think about that article that I linked in my last post.

The first topic that the French women spoke to Andrea (the main character) about that I saw was that of her appearance.  She was going to be going to a dinner party and Andrea seemed to be at a loss as to what was appropriate to wear.  Although I do not know the Andrea's back story, it appeared to me that she a mother who was a hot mess.  She seemed to have gotten lost in the day to day caring of a toddler and didn't know how to turn off that switch, appearance wise.  She went to a boutique tried on a few outfits and looked awesome!  She has a cute figure and the right close for her body made all the difference.  Even she admitted that she felt sexy and pretty in these clothes.  (French women also spend a great deal of money on lingerie, but I'll save that fun topic for another day.)

After flipping back and forth, I came back to the end of the show when she was at the dinner party with these French moms.  Andrea was very impressed at how well behaved the children were at the table and that they were eating the same dinner as the adults.  The mothers explained that the children were taught this at a very early age.  They did not make a difference meal for them.  It was expected that the children would eat the same as the rest of the family.  They also shared some other expectations, such as not sharing their beds with their children.  When I was listening to this dinner party conversation, I couldn't help but to feel a connection the these French mothers and their philosophies.  Now, I do not know if they represent the whole population of French mothers and perhaps these women were just lucky to have well behaved children or maybe it was the cameras in their faces, but... I still felt connected.

The key point that these mothers tried to make was that you cannot lose yourself after you have children.  They even told Andrea to think about who she was before she had her son.  Now, you can't ever go back to the life that you had before children, you shouldn't really want to.  But, that doesn't mean that you can't be a close version of your old self... just updated with wisdom, patience, and an extraordinary love.  Boundaries need to be set.  Not only so that you do not become a slave to motherhood and lose yourself.  But also because children need them too.  As a teacher I know how children actually thrive on structure and routine and that is created through setting boundaries.  Setting boundaries is a win win for everyone.

So... feel pretty and don't become ruled by your children.  That's what I learned from this episode and the French mommies.  That plays right into that article on how to keep a happy marriage during all of the chaos which is life with children.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Why It's So Important

I stumbled across this blog post yesterday and I couldn't agree with it more.  It's all about the secret to a happy marriage and before you continue to read my post, I think you should check it out!

As the post reports, I can (kinda) see why there may be an uproar about this view on marriage, but if it is the advice is taken in a healthy, balanced, and genuinely loving way, then I don't get it.  Of course if your 3 week old is crying out of hunger and your husband is demanding his nightly foot massage you are going to choose the child first.  But, grow up already, that's not what the point being made means.  That's why I like the examples given in this blog post and why I like the bulleted points too!

My main goal as a mother is to raise my son to be secure and happy with himself.  I do not care whether or not he goes to college.  I do not care what he grows up to be occupationally in life.  All that I care about is that he is intrinsically happy with himself.  If I have succeeded in helping to create that within him, then I am confident that he will be a good man.  A happy and productive man.  And I will know that I have done my job.

That is why it's so important... why I have devoted so much of this blog, my thoughts, focusing on what I refer to as my amazing.  That is why I am not rushing, why I have and continue to work on myself inside and now out to be the best possible me that I can be.  That's all so that I can attract the best possible person out there for me so that I can have my amazing, but also so that I can give my son the best possible gift that I can give to him... a happy, loving, secure, and healthy home.  

I know that I can do that on my own... but it's going to take the most amazing of men who will work with me and walk beside me to make all of this happen together.