JUST ME & THE PEN... here it is

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What is it like to be a mother?

I was asked to write a little article.... I thought here would be ther best place to start...  I would love to here what you think :D

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What is it like to be a mother?  Any one of you out there that has the privilege to carry that title, could easily choose one word from the dictionary that would place your emotion so far out into the universe, it would be almost unlikely for another being (outside of the XX chromosome) to comprehend your compassion.  The blessing that this tiny gift gets to have life through you is, well, there are no words.  Those who have been given the gift, those who desire it, those who are waiting in God’s time… through natural, assisted, cesarean, adoption, surrogacy,  fostering, or supporting… it’s just something that we experience as women that no other kind of God’s creation has the blessing to experience.
Now, same question…. What is it like to be a mother… to a child with a disability?  The feelings are the exact same but are there any forms of magnifying what is already so immense? 
I was a young mother when the first child came along, and when number two was on her way, I thought “I got this”.  To show off my cute children, with my cute family, in my cute house, etc, etc, etc.  The husband, the wife, a boy (first), a girl (second), a dog and a fence.  Isn’t that what we all want???  Well, I certainly didn’t expect the next bit of news that was coming.  At six months old and they said she had “cerebral palsy”.  What was that?!?  Her tongue was going to hang out of her mouth while she rambled in a wheelchair?  I had no idea… really.  The doctor’s description to this young, na├»ve, new mom, was “What that means is you will never see her walk down the aisle.”  Nice right?  As time passed, this little blessing, the first girl, wasn’t doing much.  You know that feeling of holding your infant only, for what seems like days later, you turn around and the child is almost walking and talking and ready for his first day of kindergarten?  Well, my “days” of holding my infant turned into years, not months, not days.  She was so lovable, and so cuddly.  Instead of going to dance class or soccer practice, we got to go for physical therapy and Botox injections.  I worried, I cried, my heart melted for her as she would never “be normal”.  My love for this child that was different was SO MUCH BIGGER than any words anywhere could express.   She was amazing.  Although she couldn’t talk, we communicated just like any mother would with her young.  Although she couldn’t walk, she roamed.  Although she couldn’t reach, she grabbed our hearts and held on tight!
She has never been treated like she has a disability.  She moves and does what she wants to do.  There are no special conditions for chores, for homework sessions, for dinner time.  She has likes and dislikes.  She is poetic and artsy.  She is funny and sassy.  She is your typical nine year old, emotional preteen of a girl who is finding her way.  She knows that she is different because God has to make people different sometimes and she was one of the lucky chosen ones.  She has a spirit about her that is different from her three siblings.  Is that because she is a girl, is that because she is “the middle” or is it because we have been given the privilege… that this tiny blessing is a gift that gets to have life through me.  That I get told hold her hand as she skips rope.  I get to hug her when she falls from her scooter and scrapes a knee.  I get to fix her favorite meals and paint her fingernails.  I get to work on school projects and jump on the trampoline with her.  I get to share in all of her favorite things.  I get to watch her “like” her first boy, and maybe one day drive her first car.  I get to help her get ready for prom; I get to help her write her first resume, and when she’s ready, I get to see her walk down the aisle.  I get to, one day, see her make me a grandmother! I get to have all of those emotions that are stretched so far into the universe that only those of you that have the XX chromosome could ever truly comprehend.                                                                         That IS what it means to be a mother to a child with a disability!  ~Brooke Miller 

Thanks RWL UCP for all you do for the special children and adults such as these!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Am I old?!?

I think for the first time today, I left a store, actually feeling old!  What?!?  I am not old!  So why in the heck DO I FEEL THIS WAY?? Wearing my usual, and those who know me, know what that means.  Cute pair of summer shorts (about to the knee) with a cute plaid pattern.  Since my backside is smaller now than it was a few months back, plaid is okay ;)  I had on a cute, satintine, fitted tank with flipflops to match the ensamble.  Cute earrings, hair in a natural but stylish ponytail, and a face patted with a natural makeup base (enough to look smooth and poished but certainly not evening-wear blushes or shadows).  I felt good.  I felt healthy.  One of those moments I would not have been embarrassed to "bump" into someone from my high school days.

**SIDE NOTE**
Don't you HATE those moments!  You dress cute, use your smelly good, hair done, accessorized appropriately, only to NOT run into anyone from the past.  Be it the girls "to cool" for 'you' to be apart of their group!  Or what about looking your best when you might see that boy who never paid you attention.  Even seeing those "friends", who were "real friends" at the time, but you lost contact with over the years.  Wouldn't you just LOVE for them to see you now.  Your successful, blessed with a beautiful family, a loving spouse, you have the world at your fingertips and the beauty of the Lord across your face!  Life is good!

But no... you don't ever see ANYBODY on those days!  You only see people on the days when you just got done chasing the children after cutting the grass, taking the oldest to a soccer game and sitting in the heat for an hour and a half, changed the oil in the car, painted a room at a friends house....something that has made you feel proud and accomplished on the inside but disgusting on the out!  All the while, something that you need awaits you at the store, and you have to run out and get it just now, there's no time to get it later!
Oh no!  You look and smell terrible, but, its only gonna take a minute!  "All I have to do is run in", "Surely, no one will know me there.", "I won't be long." YEAH RIGHT!  That is the time when you will see three ex's, five girls from the cool club, the principal, and two of your old friends.  Meanwhile, as they all say "Hi", (naturally at different times, only to make you have that gut sinking feeling repeatedly through the rediculous twenty minutes you are in that stupid store!) you know they can't help but wonder...
#1 Why do you smell like that?
#2 That sheen that is coming off your face... yeah, isn't really pretty!
#3 Seems like after all this time, you would be "doing better for yourself"!
#4 Where does she shop, my goodness?!?!?

I am sure the list goes on, but because this is only a side note....  All of that to say, I HATE those moments!  HA!

Now, back to feeling old.  Fortunatly, living in a new place, I don't have to worry about running into the "long time ago" people, but still...
So... I am checking out at the grocery store, and EVERYONE in uniform in that place was like, twelve!  Even management probably had a curfew!  I had a few bottles of wine with me (due to celebrating a special event this weekend), and I didn't get carded.  Ok, that is not the first time that has happened, I can let that slide.  Only then, the "little girl" on the next register, (and why do I feel the need to call her 'little girl', by the way?  She had tata's and a job... thats gotta make her a little close to my age, right?) she starts talking to my cashier.  They are giddy and silly, saying "school is, like, so out next week!" And then, "graduation!" "hehehehe"
OMG!  The days of graduation!  You know, I hear kids, their parents, talk about graduation, and it happens every year!  This is nothing new, right?!?!  Well, tonight, for some reason, it hit me like a ton of bricks!  I have a child that is going to turn *fourteen* tomorrow!  Two others that will be ten & twelve later this year!  REALLY?!?!  Is that possible?  A three and a half year old abd still not finished?!?  I can't believe that the time has gone by so quickly, that there are so many things that I have watched and felt God pull me through, from what feels like a few short years ago, when I walked the isle and recieved that diploma!  All this time, all these stories and paths, bad decisions versus good choices, friends and experiences, moments and memories later.... I wouldn't change a thing! 

Congratulations 2011 Graduates
& just wait for a few minutes from now, when you are wondering where the time has gone!


Baby Tay.... Happy 14th Birthday sweet girl!  I love you and am blessed to have you in my life all these years!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Today, sitting in church, after being handed a bulletin, I read the scripture on the front, and it made me think.  The scripture is from Proverbs 31:26.  It says, "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue."  She opens her mouth with wisdom... wow!  When these little people look at me for the answer and 'wisdom' awaits to come out, is that what they hear when the words start to flow?!?  Sometimes, in my reality of a 'price check', I had to sigh, only to admit to myself, that is not what they always get from me.  The part says, "loving instruction...", yeah, my words aren't alway loving.  Ouch!  How can I be given such a gift in what I truely adore, the children that are mine, if only for a little while... how come I do not always use the words they long to hear?  How come I am quick to anger, or feel irritated?  Why do I let the decisions of CHILDREN make me feel as though 'they should know better'? And even if they do know better, what can I do, and how can I be with them, that is different from what I am doing, still to show them the way, or a way that would be pleasing to God?  I came to the realization (of what I already knew), that my actions and my words are what is going to ultimately make them who they will turn out to be.  Shew, heavy, right?
Well, today is the day I am going to make that a daily awareness for myself!  I want to talk to them differently.  I want them to hear love and not aggrivation.  I want them to know that everytime I open my mouth, that loving words is what is waiting for them to hear, even in their moments of discipline. I don't want them to feel like they are in my way, or a stain on my white shirt.  I want them to know I love them, even more I want them to know how much Jesus loves them!
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6
"...do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

I love being a mom, I love the responsiblities that come with this huge job, I love the joys and laughter they bring me when they do the complete innocent, but overly hilarious, little things.  I thank God for my blessings and ask for forgiveness for all the times that I have taken this life, these moments for granted.

Big day, I know, but I will tell you, this has been the MOST FILLING and REWARDING mother's day ever!  Thanks Nate, Tatem, Taylor, & Caleb for being such awesome kids, and for the privelage of calling me "mom"!  I love you guys!

Friday, May 6, 2011

cont' from the first post....

ok, apparently I hit the wrong button while on my rampage about Nate's coolness!  Oops.  So another post or two shoulod finish it up :D

Nate, back to Nate... he is to cool for his own good.  His clothes, his hair, his "style".  How does an 11 yr old have that much style?  He is a ham, with a lot of charizma mixed with a blend of attitude.  Ugh!
Tatem is my 9 yr old.  She is the princess but not as girly as you would think of when I use the word 'princess'.  She does not play with Barbies, or babydolls.  She has a love for stuffed animals.  While I, a shoe queen, has one in every color, she needs a comfy pair of tennies and great pair of boots (I guess every girl has to start somewhere). Tatem is special.  Special story, remarkable child.  She was born with a disability but is so much more than the doctors said she would be.  More to come on that a bit later.
Taylor, Nate, and Tatem have the same father, Trevor.  You will probably here that name alot, ha! 
Then there is Caleb.  Oh Caleb!  He is the youngest, just turned 3 in Feb., and is DEFINATLY the firmest meaning of 3 yr old there is.  If you look in the dictionary for toddler, terrible twos's or anything resembling that, you will instantly see a picture of this kid!  Through all his busi~ness, mouthi~ness, and temper, he is THE cutest kid!  He can be such a love bug, and curious, sweet, with the most precious facial expressions attached.  He is the only grandchild on Matt's side of the family, so that makes his an instant fav!  In his trying to carry on a full blown conversation, as no one but mom can understand, he just has those folks tied around his little finger!  Speaking of, those folks, that would be my in-laws.  Gail (mother-in-law), Steve (father-in-law), Amanda (sister-in-law), grandmother (LOVE HER!), and Uncle Mike.  That is the biggest gyst of Matt's side of the family.  Now he has distant 'folks', but the ones who we have relationship with is Aunt Barbra and Uncle Ralph.  They are wonderful!  You will probably hear about them a time or two too!
My side of the family, however, is, well, much MUCH larger.  We have a his, hers, & ours blend, and the drama is a bit thicker.  I will try to refrain, but there may be some days.... :)
My mom, Natalie, is one of the hardest workers I know, and I am lucky to have her for a mom.  My dad, Tiny, is married to Carol.  I love the relationship I have come to have with them.  I have two sisters, Jennifer and Jessica, and a (not-so-baby)brother, Austin.

I want to continue this discussion, but you see, the weekend has begun and this gang is home from school.. OH MY GOODNESS!  I think I am ready to pull my hair all ready and it is not even into the evening on Friday.  I will catch up again when it is not so.... ugahhhahahh!

day 1, whats on the menu....

Friday, what to do....
This is my very first blog.  Oh my, what to say?  What to write about?  Just me and the pen... how dangerous is this gonna get?  I will start by introducing myself and the ones you will probably hear about the most.  My name is Brooke, I am married to an Army Chaplain, his name is Matt, and we have 3.5 kids and a dog, named Bella. 
Why 3.5 kids you ask?  Ok, let me break it down.  Taylor is, well, not my biological daughter.  She is my ex-husbands daughter, and I have been in her life since she was five months old.  I love everything about her, and feel blessed to have the relationship with her that I do!  After all this time, she still calls me mom (#2, of coarse, but still mom!)  Taylor will be 14 if just a week.  I can't believe time has gone that quickly!  Nate is 11.  He is cool, and suave, while all the boys want to be friends with him and all the girls want to be his girlfriend.  Yikes!