Wednesday, July 09, 2014

On your 11th Birthday

Dearest Mr. Boy,
Today you turn 11 years old and it's time to write my annual note to tell you how much I love being your mom.  Tonight we watched a TV show and you saw a mom joke about how she sometimes wished that her children belonged to someone else.  You turned to me and asked if I ever felt that way and I responded with "Never."  I want you to know that I mean it, absolutely never ever have I even joked about it. Mr. Boy, I searched around the world for you.  We started our adoption journey by exploring Russia and Ukrainian adoptions, searching for you.   We realized you were not there so we turned to look for you stateside.  Little did we know you were just a few short miles away from us and I still think back fondly to the weeks leading up to your birth.  I cannot tell you enough how much we love your birthmother and how each and every day I give thanks to the woman who made me a mother. 
This year, I am incredibly grateful to see your birthday arrive.   It has been a great year but the last few months have been shadowed by a mysterious illness that has taken your healthy body and turned it into the Tin Man.   You are stiff, sore, weak, sensitive to the sun, and tired all the time.  I have never been more frustrated and would trade places in an instant if it would make you well.   We have seen some of the best doctors in the world and they are stumped.  You have the best attitude about it most of the time, and for that I am thankful.  The doctors told you that if you are the first to have a disease then you get to name it, so we have had fun making up names for whatever is ailing you.  In the mornings when you are stiff, you joke that you are a robot as you shuffle down the hallway or joke that you are an old man.  I want you to know that your Dad and I will go to the ends of the earth to get you the help you need. All of this, has brought us closer, and I find that I cherish each and every moment with you more than ever.   I am so grateful to have you in my life no matter what, I don't care if you walk like a robot or run as fast as lightening.

You make me laugh like no one else on the planet.  I am trying hard to raise you up to be a gentleman, but I am failing in one area.  You lack compassion and it's all my fault.   We've spent hours watching America's Funniest Home Videos and people falling down on the internet, unfortunately it has created quite a funny bone.  So this year when I fell flat on my face, instead of you and AK rushing over to help me up, you were rolling on the ground in fits of uncontrollable laughter.   The other night I bonked my head on your bunk bed and you fell out of your bed laughing.   Part of me is mortified of the monster I've created, but at the same time, I realize I have created someone who is just like me.  I love that our days are filled with laughter and that you have such an amazing sense of humor.  At your Fifth Grade Promotion, I loved that you kept cracking up as you caught my eye in the audience as I was making faces at you. 

One of the best things about this year was attending Outdoor Science Camp with you.  I loved watching you with your friends and I loved that you wanted me there.  In fact this year you have wanted me at most of your events.   I loved that you asked me, "Mom, will you be a Chaperone to Knott's Berry Farm?"   My heart feels a twinge because I know the time is coming when you will NOT want me there. I love hanging out with you and worry that I'm turning into a "S'Mother" .   I can't handle the idea of you not being around me and no joke, I actually sobbed one day realizing that one day you will move out and go to college. 

The year has been full of milestones as you are leaving your elementary school and moving on to Middle School.  I have had much anxiety, while you have been crazy excited.  Your backpack has been packed for two months in preparation and I am terrified.  I know you will thrive, you will thrive anywhere, but as a mother it's my job to worry. I pray that you will have good friends who won't want to do dumb things that puts your life or other people's lives in jeopardy.  Be smart in your choice of friends and in the decisions you make.  I won't always be there nudging you in the right direction. 

 You are eager to get out and travel the world and lament often about our lack of travel.  Be patient Mr. Boy, your time will come very soon.   Your dream trip is to Ireland and Greenland, you dream of snow, and of far off places.   I hope you know that the world is there for you to explore, but the secret is... most of the best stuff is right here.  We live in the most amazing place... you have deer in your backyard!  The beach is just a car ride away, and we do stuff outside all year long.   I know the grass is always greener, but try not to forget to enjoy your own grass before you move to a new pasture. 

I cannot leave out your relationship with your sister AK, she is your biggest fan and your biggest antagonist.  You are both fire and ice, yet I know you can be a team.   The thing about family is that they know all your buttons and how to push them.   It's annoying but it is secretly making you stronger and teaching you to be able to deal with difficult personalities later on in life.   Cut your sister some slack she is younger than you, and most of the time you know better. I know that you love her and have watched you defend her and protect her.   She is lucky to have you and you are lucky to have her.

As you enter middle school I want you to remember to "Be Yourself!"  Never feel like you have to conform, find your own path and others will follow.  Follow your Arrow, my son, wherever it may point and know that I will love you forever. 

Love, Mom

Monday, July 07, 2014

DIY Crime Scene

9:22 PM:  Kids all tucked in bed, Mr. Man is out for the evening, and I wandered into the bathroom to pick up the wet swimsuits off the floor.   Catch reflection in mirror and notice a plethora of grey hairs have made themselves at home on my head.  Root around in cabinet and find old bottle of hair dye, decide to dye hair on a whim.

9:26PM:  Marvel at how efficient I am being as I start to dye hair.   Will paint toes while dye sets on hair and in less than 30 minutes I will emerge a fresher version of myself.

9:29PM: Hear a sickening crack as I squeeze bottle of hair dye on the remaining 2/3rds of my hair.  The bottle shatters into a million pieces while reddish brown hair dye splatters all over bathroom.   Frantically started cleaning the dye off the walls, cabinets, tile, mirror, and the ceiling.  

 10:29PM: No such luck, cabinets and walls are stained with what looks like dried blood.  It is taking forever to wipe everything down.

10:35 PM:  Mr. Man strolls into bathroom to find his wife wearing a bathrobe with what appears to be a large bloodstain on the chest and dried blood all over the walls.   Spend next five minutes convincing Mr. Man I have not been stabbed or shot. 

10:40 PM:  Realize hair dye has been on 1/3 of my head for one hour longer than intended... scream... and start rinsing hair dye out.   Watch in horror as gobs of hair fall off my head and go down drain.

10:50 PM: Emerge from bathroom with bald patch, color blocked hair, and zero dignity left.  Crack open pint of Ben and Jerry's.  Buy several new hats on internet, vow to never dye hair again on my own and put "repaint bathroom" on weekend to do list. 

11:15 PM: Start to reminisce about other beauty mishaps and laugh hysterically as I remember the time I waxed off one eyebrow just before starting my first job out of college and having to draw on a brow every morning.  Then one day during a meeting I accidentally wiped off my brow and went around half a day with only one eyebrow.  I didn't notice it until I got in the car to drive home.  Surely, I'm not the only one who has had a beauty mishap? Tell me yours!