Forty Something Parents

The Ins & Outs of Parenting


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A Pirate Ship Discovery

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Okay…so it’s been right under our feet practically the whole time we’ve been islanders — an adorable ‘fit for a fairy tale’ play park village just a few streets over from our little Caravan abode.  Nico set out one day with Baby in tow, pedaling down the road because we had one restless little toddler and Mom (that would be me) needed some much-needed time to herself.

A while later, here he comes down the road, and I could hear Baby protesting in the distance.  She was obviously not too happy about something.  So…he pulls into the driveway, and that’s when he began to tell me about the great play park discovery.  I guess this is what I get for going ‘straight there and straight back home’ when I’m out and about.  :  /

I guess I just couldn’t see the forest for the trees!  ‘Happens to me a lot.  :  )

A Pirate Kid’s Dream Come True!

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The Forever Optimist — A Family Beach Staycation

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We moved to the island last year…on a wing and a prayer; hoping we could make it work, blind to the struggles we would face.  Because of many financial hardships and our rather modest (to put it nicely) means, we’ve learned to become quite creative with how we entertain our toddler.  Free family fun is the norm for us; a very simplistic way of island life.  It has made us better people and parents…all-the-more.

Now, with the holidays behind us, we have welcomed our first new year as full-time Islanders.  And because we love the ocean and the beach so…we felt compelled to go shelling at one of our favorite family-friendly spots along the coast.   This particular stretch of Galveston Beach is a place we have come-to-call ‘Nixi’s Pirate Play Park’.  In our opinion, and Baby’s, it is the best little park on the island!  We highly recommend it to any visitor or local.

The first day of this new year might’ve been a bit dreary, but we didn’t mind!  To us, it was a mystical and adventurous family outing of treasure hunting and shelling along the big seashore: so many discoveries we made that day!  It was a time–a memory–of new beginnings and priceless moments that we pray 2014 will bring even more of…to our little tribe.

Blessings & .V.. to you and yours in this New Year…and always!

GVR


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The Scent of Longing

I woke up this morning wishing I could call my mom; and wondering when my oldest daughter will get over the thing she thinks was bad enough to not speak to me for over 3 months.  If only I could have just three more months with my mom, I’d be the happiest girl in the world.  I miss her so bad on most days, that it’s unbearable.  She was a forty-something mom too. 

So many times she’d tell me the story of how I came to be; how my Daddy gave me my name; how I would always be her baby.  My heart continues to hurt.  I wish I could call her and have her be the mediator between me and my oldest daughter ‘M’.  I miss her pretty face.  I miss my precious little grandson; his smile that will light up any dark day or pitch-black room.  He is a gem…a priceless gem!  And I haven’t gotten to see him…hold him…smell the way my little guy smells; like a bit of dried up milk and…well…like my grandson. 

We all have our own scent; that one way we smell to those around us, whether it be good or bad.  When you love someone, that scent-of-a-person is always a welcoming thing; like going home after being away for a long…long time.  My mom always smelled like Roses and perfume; an indescribable scent that belonged only to her. 

I can open the jewelry box that I inherited; the one that had belonged to Mom since I can’t remember—perhaps longer than I’ve been alive—and it still has her scent.  I’m careful not to open it too often…so-as not to lose it forever.  At least that way, I still have my mom…at least a little.   

Even still, knowing the changes that will be taking place in our lives this coming month; the changes that are already taking shape, I want to see and talk to…to hug my ‘M’ and little ‘J’ even more.  My heart hurts more and more with every thought and wonder of how they are doing.  Are they safe…?  Are they happy…?  How much bigger is my little guy now than he was back in December; the last time I got to hold him in my arms all night because he was down with a fever and his mom had something to do.  I wish I could make it all right again.  I wish…I could cry more often…to release the years of pain and hurt built-up inside of my heart.  I wish my kids could see inside of me…inside my heart, then they would never have any doubt about how much I really do love them.  Nothing will ever change that.

So now I am faced with the tasks at hand: too many to mention in one sitting.  It is time to roll with the wind once more…and see what needs to be seen.  I have sat here day after day, wondering when it will all seem new again; when my kids will pull up into the drive; when it will all be better, but it is still just what it is.  That is why I have to go with the flow–do what needs to be done, face what needs to be faced, and hope and pray that one day…soon, my family will all be one once again.  We will all be alright…truly better for having suffered through this time; minus of course that one void we will never be able to fill.  My mom is still not with us.  I miss her.  I miss her. 

*Love like there is no tomorrow.  Forgive like you wish to be forgiven*  


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The Return of Mr. Bear

*UPDATE!!*

Yes…you guessed it! Mr. Bear is home, safe and sound. We had left him over at my sister’s house last week when we’d gone for a quick visit. And Baby was never so glad to see her little friend. She hugged and cuddled him, like she always has, but ever-more closely.

We are a happy family indeed!!! Thanks for the thoughts and prayers. : )

.V..


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The Land of Lost Toys

Baby Cuddles Mr. Bear

Baby Cuddles Her Favorite Toy — Mr. Bear

It’s funny how we can grow attached to the simplest things when we’re kids (even adults); like my toddler’s Mr. Bear. He’s gone missing…so it seems, and nowhere we’ve searched has he shown his pink, fuzzy face. You see…? He’s not just any bear. He’s Mr. Bear! He is a very special little bear, when it comes down to that one toy my little girl wants when it comes time to travel, eat, sleep…anything in between. He is her favorite toy…out of all the rest, and he hasn’t been seen for several days.

It might sound funny to those of you who’ve never experienced the attachment one can grow to a seemingly unimportant object, but the love is in the giver, the owner, perhaps even the co-owners; such as Mommy and Daddy (Nico and myself). Either way, we are feeling a sense of remorse for not better-looking-after Mr. Bear; a feeling of grief that a member of our family is no longer with us. And his little owner is missing him very much these past few days; especially yesterday. She was asking for him when we were loading up to make a simple trip to the store. Nico and I just looked at each other; careful not to comment any further on Baby’s requests for her little guy.

Still, my heart aches for her loss of the bear she’s had since before she was ever born; the cuddly soft, once pretty and pink, little stuffed bear that her aunt–my big sister–had given her at her baby shower. Through all our travels, Mr. Bear has been there. When Baby came home, brand-spanking-new from the hospital, Mr. Bear was there. In all of her photos, from newborn on up to a few days ago, that not-quite-so-pink-anymore bear has been in her little arms; usually dirty because she won’t let go of him long enough for us to wash him. That’s how loved that little bear is by our little girl. And he’s gpne. I pray we find him, because–even though I know this must all sound silly to so many–we miss that grungy, flip-floppy, little guy. We really do.

So…this is a message, a warning of sorts, to all of you parents out there…to watch closely after that one toy you know your child would miss the most should it ever come up missing; I know I wish now, I would have.

Many Blessings that you never have to endure such a loss of your or your child’s, favorite thing in life; no matter how simple it may be. I pray we find our Mr. Bear soon. His family is missing him very…very much!

*Sometimes the Smallest things in Life, Matter the most*


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Growing Up Too Soon

Not a Worry in the World--the way it should be.

Not a Worry in the World–the way it should be.

Its kinda crazy-funny how some parents think their toddlers should be able to ‘do it all’ when it comes to reciting their A B C’s, numbers, shapes, colors…everything in between. It never fails to amaze me what some parents expect. I for one have almost fallen into that same rut a time or two; but I catch myself…sit back…take a deeeeep breath, and relax. I begin to realize that my daughter will only hold the innocence of a child for as long as I let her be just that: a child.

Yes…I have caught myself second-guessing whether she should be doing this or that at her age. Should she be talking better, should she be completely potty trained, should she know her age…her last name…yada yada yada. Sometimes I have to slap myself back into reality, and ask myself: Do toddlers really have to know all that much to be happy, or is the so-called teaching and coaching really being done for the good of our child or for our own bragging rights? I have my opinion, which I’m sure would differ from many.

Why…just the other day, we were at the playground and a mother started having her kid recite the alphabet while on the swing. Okay…seems like no big deal. But, shouldn’t that time be left for relaxing and having fun? A kid is only a kid once, and we all know what happens when childhood is over–we are left only with adulthood and doing what is expected of us for the rest of our born days.

If you ask me–I’ll take being a kid anyday! As for mixing business with pleasure–that never works either. My toddler will only be a ‘single-digit number’ for a short time, and I want to keep her young as long as I possibly can. I want to protect her from the harshness of this world. I want to let her learn in a relaxed way. Then…when she’s really grown into adulthood, she will have learned things–really learned things–that she wants to know and remember that Mom (that’s me) let her be a kid while she had that wonderous time to be one.

Looking back on my own childhood, I know now that I grew up too soon. I pray that Baby will be forever young. Such innocence is priceless. So very priceless.

*Blessed are we who can remain forever young*


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THE ART OF FORGIVENESS

Any mother who has ever bonded with her child–and most-likely we all have–has come to learn the Art of Forgiveness.  And during the course of nurturing our kids into adulthood, we’ve likely noticed along the way that our kids don’t always inherite that same tendency to forgive; Which brings me to the other day.

My son turned twenty on the 26th, and if you’ve read my prior posts in this blog you see that I’ve been on the outs with my adult kids for a while now.  It all comes down to respect, knowing one’s place in the family status, maturity, being ‘kind’ to one another, and — yes…you guessed it — forgiveness.

Last month (it seems like so long ago to me), I had a disagreement with my oldest daughter ‘M’.  Well, it has long-been her practice to hold a grudge til it screams for her to let it go.  She doesn’t…ever!  She throws things up from the past, and more-often that not, it is a very distorted…one-sided recolection, at best. 

Enter my son.  He was somehow dragged into the disagreement between me and M.  They both linched me on Facebook…their ‘friends’ joined in the linching…so on and so forth, until I had to block them all.  I use FB mostly for business promo, so this was a major embarrassment.  Either way, it tore my heart out that my kids (especially my son…who had absolutely nothing to do with the disagreement), turned on me so furotiously. 

So…I have tried to move on and smooth it all over since then.  And all the while I ask myself ‘Why am I reaching out to them when they both disrespected me so vulgerly on FB?’.  It’s simple…yet complicated.  I forgive my kids no matter what they do to me…or say to me.  I love them and love is forgiving.

Trouble is, they aren’t forgiving…at all!  I contacted my son for his birthday, and he wasn’t having it. 

Yes…my husband (his step-dad) took up for me and told them both to stay away –since we have a very impressionable toddler to worry about teaching–until they learned respect and knew their bounderies…their places in this family.  It seems the kids are now trying to control the parents in many families across the country or world.  In my day, we wouldn’ve never…EVER talked to our parents like my kids have talked to me, nor would we have ever acted the way my kids have acted.  I loved my parents, which showed in my behavior. 

Now, I’m left to wonder–Do my kids even love me?  It’s not looking so much like they do.  How do I know?  They are bitter, full of hate for me, and most of all…unforgiving.  I might not have been the best mom in the world, but against the odds I was dealt way back when I was bringing them into adulthood (being a single mom with a manipulating ex husband and inlaws), it was me against the world.  There were too many people butting into our business, and I didn’t know until it was too late and my kids had already sided against me with other ‘friends’ who only wanted to be popular with other parents’ teens.  They hadn’t even grown up themselves!

Needless to say, this has been a uphill emotional battle with my kids.  No one knows my side of the story unless they read it here, because I choose not to air my dirty laundry on FB.  But…I have to let it out somehow.  So…here I sit and pour my heart out to readers of my blog.  And I find often that I’m just one in a million-billion Moms who have gone through so much for their kids…only to be stomped on when they grow into ‘kids in adult bodies’. 

I know my kids have a LOT of growing up to do!  I blame ‘Generation E’ (E meaning entitlement) on many of these dumb shows airing on ‘the WB’ or similar networks; these ‘teeny-bopper soaps’ where the youngsters are living posh lifestyles (courtesy of their parents’ hard work), driving fancy cars (Mom and Dad bought), and playing adult roles (they are way too young to handle).  I’d rather go the the dentist’s chair than watch such garbage. But that is what our young minds of tomorrow are absorbing.  Hog Wash!

Enough venting…

I just keep asking myself where I went wrong.  And often-times I can look back and see a lot of what I should’ve or shouldn’t have done.  Still, I’ve been told by my friends who have known me through-out my kids’ upbringing–friends with kids the same age, who have faced the same challenges, who really…really knew me–that perhaps I had spoiled my kids too much.  Looking back, this former room-mother, fashion designer/seamstress for my kids, bakery chef and host of two birthday-parties-a-year for 15+ years, nightly book reader, Mom who took my kids to work because their dad didn’t show up, diaper changer, feeder, soothing, nurturer, so on and so forth, just might have catered to my older kids a bit too much. 

The point is, there is no way…ever, that a Mom’s services-rendered can be listed.  The list is endless and it continues to grow no matter how old our kids.  And my third list, the one for my toddler, will be endless too.  That’s okay with me.  A mother never keeps tabs really, we just continue to do what we do; all the while hoping our kids will someday grow up to return the kindness and understanding…and the forgiveness

Moms have dreams too.