Where I came from

Today my cousin had my family over to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday. Grandma’s been up in heaven for five years now. It’s been a tradition for us to gather around her February 23rd birthday each year. 

I have to admit this year Grandma’s birthday hit me harder than past years. I actually didn’t allow myself to fully think about it because I knew I just couldn’t deal with it. Having my own daughter now who I love so deeply makes the loss of my grandma sting more. 

I wish Grandma were here to snuggle Emily, tell her how adorable she is, and squeeze her cheeks and say “I love you sweetheart.” I imagine she would tell me how gorgeous Emily is and giggle at all her cuteness. I would visit her just to see how happy she got to see Emily and me and I would feel loved and seen. I’d call her often and update her on everything. I’d say “Grandma- Emily said car today!” and she would say “Oh my God she is SO smart.” And then she’d call me back five minutes later to tell me how proud she is that I called her.

There’s something about losing all of my grandparents that makes me feel like my childhood is gone. My Grandma, Nonno and Nanna were all incredible forces in my life and now they aren’t here anymore. It feels like they were the connection to baby Jessica and now that they are gone that baby is also gone. 

Yes, I do believe they watch over us. I do feel their presences often. And I feel blessed to have them around. It’s just not the same as having them physically here sharing these moments with.

I miss them so. My heart aches. I am so proud that they are where I came from.

Drive By Meanness

Today I was pushing Emily in her stroller while she ate a snack. We were on our way to music class. I scrolled through my phone as we walked and checked my Facebook feed.

Out of nowhere a woman walked close to me and with an intense anger looked me in the eyes and said, “Don’t text while you’re pushing your baby in a stroller. Your baby can’t tell you that you’re a NEGLECTFUL mother.”

Yes. A stranger- a woman I have never seen before (and hope to never see again) said those exact words.

She did not stop walking as she spewed her venom but just continued on her way. I, on the other hand, stopped and froze in complete shock.

There was a moment while I stood frozen when I could have reacted in anger. I could have said a lot of horrible things to her in return. But I’m a good mom and I would never want Emily to see me act that way.

Once the woman, who I’ve since deemed “angry mean scarecrow lady”, was far away, I looked at Emily in her stroller. She contentedly ate her puff cereal and her eyes struck me as particularly blue and pure in that moment.

I’ve had time now to get my bearings. I’ve talked it through with an empathetic friend and I’ve cried. And here’s what I want to say.

To judge another person so quickly. To just look at someone and decide to inject them anger and hostility. That must feel really, really horrible.

That woman must be miserable. She probably feels pain inside all the time, and she tried to spread to me.

Instead of internalize her absurd statement, I’ve decided to do what the wise Daniel Tiger says. “When something’s seems bad, turn it around. Find something good.”

So, if what that stranger did today was drive by meanness, I would like to start up some drive by kindness. Starting tomorrow when I notice something nice about stranger I’ll tell them. Whether it’s saying, “I know how hard it is and you’re doing great”to a hardworking mom or nanny or simply telling someone “that’s a beautiful hat!” I’m going to spread me some genuine kindness.

So, I’m sorry angry mean scarecrow lady, but your attack was not successful. I am going to continue to be the dedicated mom I am and I’m not going to let some hatred get in my way.

PS- This is a picture I drew of her when we got home. Something about drawing this was very therapeutic!

squshing-scarecrow-lady
Emily squishing scarecrow lady’s face 🙂

A Baby’s Best Friend

In honor of Emily’s first birthday I put together a video of pictures and videos of her first year. It was difficult, to say the least! Digital photos gave me the advantage of having countless visual memories (and tears as I looked through them), and the disadvantage of being extremely overwhelmed! It’s pretty much impossible to edit down adorable memories as a mama.

I was able to find a few themes to organize the video. One was Emily and her best friend, our five year old dog (and first baby), Romeo.

I’ll be honest with you- Romeo is the best dog in the world. He’s the chillest dog I’ve ever met. He has not once barked when someone has rung the doorbell. His tail has two speeds- slow or medium, and he reserves those tail wags for very special occasions. He’s sensible, sweet and patient. Even though he sleeps most of the day, he is always game to play with his friends in the park or go for a ride in the car and go on an adventure. I’ve always loved him with all my heart, but seeing how sweet he is with our baby girl makes me appreciate him even more. In honor of Emily’s first birthday and her best friend, Romeo here’s Emily and her best friend through the year.