Mother’s Day was a mixed bag of emotions for me.
I spent a little time thinking about the family I grew up in.
Hurts, abuse, unmet expectations, lies, betrayal, disappointment.
And I spent a few minutes thinking about the four babies I carried that I didn’t get to raise. So much sadness.
I spent time thinking about my life since I became a mother. The highs and lows. My successes and failures. So much love.
I spent time thinking about being a step-mother. One of the hardest things I’ve EVER taken on. I did OK, given the circumstances, but I could have done better.
By mid-afternoon I was in kind of a mini funk.
Then Shane asked me to play Scrabble with him (I love playing Scrabble) and Marcy and Ryan came over and made dinner for everyone.
We ate, drank and laughed. The food was so good.
I looked at those faces and I remembered my resolve as a young woman to raise my kids differently than the way I was raised. I saw my family tree in my minds eye back then and I resolved to cut my own branch off and root it somewhere else. To grow a tree that is strong and healthy and different from the original roots.
I worked hard. I moved far away from the family I grew up in. I fell and picked myself back up.
Unhappy marriage, more abuse, divorce, single motherhood with 3 little boys, re-marriage and a blended family.
I looked around the table last night and thought about how I’m so proud of my kids and their significant others. They are really good people. People I like being with.
One of my favorite things about family dinner on Sunday nights is listening to the kids clean up after dinner. I cook and they do dishes. It’s a routine Warren set up when they were young and I bless him every week after these big meals.
I listen to their conversations as semi-adults and think about how the conversations have changed as they have gotten older. I think about how those conversations will change yet as the years roll on.
Someday they might all meet in the kitchen after a meal and discuss me. “What are we going to do about Mom?” Just like we had the conversation about Warren’s mom not too awful long ago.
They will have to make hard decisions for me.
But right now I’m only 47 and I’m still full of happiness, life and mischief. I tell bawdy jokes, take dance breaks in the middle of preparing dinner and generally stay on them to do what is right with their lives. I say what I think, I don’t mince words and I love with my whole being. I’m a hand full.
I’m living a life I only dreamed of years ago. Working for myself, working side by side with the most amazing partner and enjoying so many blessings it makes my heart overflow.
I’m in a place where I have time to do things I’ve wanted to do for years. Little luxuries that a family of six can’t afford but a couple might be able to. Time to learn, experiment and explore. Time to become. Time to rest, reflect and grow.
I’m right smack in the middle of midlife and I’m not having any crisis. I’m living with gratitude and gusto and I’m reinventing myself in midlife.
Midlife reinvention. Yup. I’m all over that.