Category Archives: Mother

The Girl With The Pink Umbrella

I bought my daughter a pink umbrella last week.  The weather has been treating us better these days.  The snow is melting and having her wear snow pants is a bit of a hassle.  So off we go to our favourite Big Box Store- Walmart-  to pick up slush pants, rain boots and a rain coat.

I know my daughter has this thing for umbrella’s.  I spot them first and I am trying my best to keep her eyes from darting in the direction of seeing a bin filled with colourful umbrella’s.  Ones which are perfectly sized for her six year old hands.  I tried my best but she sees the umbrella’s.  Or maybe they see her.  However, the meeting of my daughter’s eyes and the umbrella’s handle happened, it was the moment, my heart screamed out, “NO!”

You may be wondering why, a mother would be screaming over a bin of umbrella’s in a Walmart.   Well, last year we went through the umbrella stage.  It was horrible, she brought that thing everywhere we went.  When the thing finally broke, I was both elated and defeated.  First, she screamed and cried over it for weeks.  Second, she screamed and cried over it for weeks. I wanted that umbrella back, just so the crying would stop.  I never did find another umbrella made for a little girl.  Well, I never tried hard enough.

So my daughter runs over to this bin and rumbles through it.  I stand back, with tears streaking down my face.  I am exaggerating, but I was scared again to go through this umbrella stage.  I knew what I was up against.

I watch her as she picks this one, no the other one, no this one, then finally chooses the right one.  They were all the same, colour, size and shape.  She spins around to face me, this eager crazy look on her face.  I was scared. I try to fight back, but I am too weak.  She demands to have this umbrella.  It’s spring time now, she will need it.  I try to speak up, to use my mommy voice, but she is not having any of that.  We are getting this umbrella, I just know it.

Her little smile on her face, tells me that this will make her happy.  After all, my job as a mother is to sacrifice my own happiness for hers.  She gets the pink umbrella.

We bring the umbrella home with us.  We did not get the slush pants or rain coat.  She didn’t care after she found the pink umbrella.  I didn’t look for the raincoat or the slush pants, she didn’t need them.  After all, she has the umbrella to protect her from getting wet.

This pink umbrella comes everywhere with us, on our walks, in the car, to school and to the grocery store.  It’s been a part of the family for five days.  I remind her everyday, make sure you don’t hurt anyone with that umbrella.  Make sure you listen to the teacher if she tells you to put it away.  You don’t need the umbrella, it’s not raining right now.  Get in the car, you don’t need to open the umbrella right now.

It has only rained for one day.  But wherever we go, this umbrella follows us.  I think we need to name it soon.  I think the pink umbrella knows we are at odds.

No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm together.

When I watch my daughter carry this umbrella around, I can’t for the life of me understand what is it about this umbrella that makes her so happy.  I watch as she slowly gets out of the vehicle, opens up the pink umbrella so very carefully, raise the umbrella above her head and gently bring it down with such grace.  Then she smiles, the biggest smile ever and walks very slowly, enjoying every step, every moment as her pink umbrella protects her.  We still only had one day of rain, but she proudly exclaims, “in case it rains, or snows, or there is too much sun!”

I stand back watching this love story unfold with my daughter and her pink umbrella.  I feel a bit jealous.  Does she feel the same way about me as she feels about this umbrella, does she enjoy every step with me, every moment that we share.  Does my daughter smile so proudly when she thinks about the time we spend together.

What am I thinking? It’s an umbrella, a pink umbrella, for a six year old.   I need to ask my mother if something happened to me with an umbrella when I was a kid, because for my sanity I need to know. Which umbrella messed with my head.  It’s only a pink umbrella.  I think it is growing on me.

We have only had one day of rain so far.  The pink umbrella is here to stay and my daughter is happy.

Oh, we got rain boots too!umbrella

 

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MEMORY LANE

My six-year-old daughter is the exact replicate of me.  It’s scary.  How can someone so little, have such a big, bossy and unique personality like her mother.  Someone told me once, that she is an old soul and had been on this earth in another life.  They also told me that she was a gift from the Universe, because she held the relationship I had with her father a little longer by her blessing our lives with love.  I believe it, now when I do have time to look back on where we were before we had her, it makes sense.  She needed us and our love needed her.

“For the first forty days a child is given dreams of previous lives. Journeys, winding paths, a hundred small lessons and then the past is erased.”  – Michael Ondaatje 

I love telling people the story of how I found out that I was going to be a mother again.  My daughter loves to hear this story too at certain points in our journey together.  There are two versions to the story, one for her little heart and ears and the one I tell those who want to know about how I became a mother.

I was doing dishes and her father had a family member come over for a visit.  I didn’t think anything of it, so I continued doing my chores while he visited outside.  Her dad then came inside and stood looking at me with this soft look in his eyes. His eyes were the roadmap to his soul.

He then told me there was this little girl born the day before who needed a good home and we were asked to take care.  I remember laughing at the thought of starting over with a baby.  My youngest at the time was ten years old.  It was a silly idea, we couldn’t do it.  No way!  I had waited for years to get my career started and here I was in the thick of it and a baby was going to ruin the plans I had made.

We continued this conversation way into the night, bouncing the thought of becoming parents to a little girl off the wall that we were staring at.   There was money, time, commitment, our relationship and our other children to think about.  There was no way we could do this.

It would be nice to have a little girl in the house, someone to team up with me against a house filled with boys.  It would be nice to dress her up in beautiful dresses, it would be nice to buy pink ribbons and put them in her hair.  It would be nice to have a little baby babbling in our home.  What was I thinking?  This idea was so far-fetched.  What roadblocks would we have to jump over to have her come home to us?

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That  night we both barely slept, talking into the night about whether we should jump in with both feet or run for the hills.  We tossed and turned until daylight and then got up to face the day, with three boys, a life, bills that were over due, and the constant thought that our relationship would never last the test and the trials that were to come with a baby. In the end, we painted a nursery, our friends collected clothes for us, we changed our lives and became parents to a little girl we always dreamed of.

My daughter knows that she did not grow in my tummy.  She knows she has a “tummy mommy.” I am not sure where I came up with the story I tell her about her “birth”,  but when your then four-year old asks you how she came to live with you,   being quick on your toes is necessary.

What she knows about her “birth” is that her other mommy was sick and needed to get better.  I told her that her other mommy came to our house with her and asked if her daddy and I would take care of her.

My daughter gets really excited and asks in her high-pitched voice, “what did you say, mommy?”  Then I tell her that “of course I will take care of her.  I will love her forever and I am happy to be her new mommy.”  My daughter then sits back with this huge smile on her face and her arms crossed, like she won the Playoffs.

When I look back on how I became her mother, our love story may have started at a kitchen sink, hands in dirty water and looking into her father’s eyes.  But to us, it’s the best love story to be told.  I found a little girl who is just like me in every way and my life would not exist without her.  She champions me everyday to be a better woman, mother, person and human being.

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Dear Mom

I wanted to write something tonight, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say.  As my daughter was brushing her teeth, I sat in the bathroom  checking out what everyone was up to on Facebook.  I came across a letter a young girl had written to her mother.  This letter hit home for me,  it was deep, emotional and inspiring.  Thank you young girl, everything I ever wanted to say to my mother, you just said it for me.  With her permission:

Dear Mom,

I wish you would stop trying to put labels on me. Like dad, I’m only an “adult” when its convenient to you. You know what, I’ve never used that word to describe myself. EVER. I’m only 16 and I take pride and joy in not having any kids or responsibilities that tie me down. So you’re damn right I’m not an adult. I’m still very much ‘just a kid’. I spend money on material things, food, things I’ll only use once and then forget about. I eat junk and fast food. I eat sugary cereal and watch cartoons. What you forget is that I had to be an “adult” very early in life because of the man (or lack there of) you chose to have kids with.

So every mistake, every opportunity, every experience I missed out on, I’m reliving! I’ve seen SO MANY miserable “adults” in these 16 years and I’ve always promised myself I wouldn’t be one of them. So I chose a career that I could never get bored with, MUSIC. Believe it or not I learned plenty from you and dad’s mistakes, stories, and lifetimes and I guess you both did your job because I’m stronger and wiser than the both of u were at 16. I don’t know everything, but I do know everything about ME. “Don’t grow up too fast” extends past people over age 7. Fuck society and it’s views of what an “adult” should be. Name me one “adult” you know that has followed that blueprint and is completely happy with their life.

I LOVE seeing old ladies with their hair dyed crazy colors, piercings, etc. To me, they are the epitomy of life, and what the enjoyment of life should look like. Maybe you should do some “childish” shit. I’m sure there’s some opportunities you missed out on as a kid. You’re only as old as you feel you are. I’m not an adult and I won’t be until I’m good and ready. As you and I both know, being an adult is a choice. I never thought I’d have to defend myself against you, as well as everyone else in the world, but because I love u here it goes.

I drink, I go out, I watch hella movies, I’ve had sex, I love being out late, I’m in love with warm weather, and I try to enjoy life the best way I know how. Of course this is all probably shocking to you, but let me explain… It’s extremely difficult to get through life as a HUMAN let alone being me…. sometimes I need to laugh. It doesn’t make me a bad kid. I drink, very rarely, but when I do it’s just for the fun of it. It doesn’t make me an alcoholic I watch movies because . . well fuck it I LIKE MOVIES! SHIT! It doesn’t make me anti-social I use to have sex because I loved the feeling of sharing my body with the one I felt connected to, it’s a lot more emotional and fun then I ever could’ve guessed. I doesn’t make me a whore or an addict.

I love being out late, because occasionally I like seeing actual stars, I like the way the wind blows at night, and I love late night energy. I’m in love with warm weather because it’s inspiring. Everything is always good with me when it’s warm. I feel grateful, loved, and blessed when it’s warm. I’m not a bad kid, I’m a lost teenager on a downward spiral. I’m incredibly difficult to understand. I feel like you just threw your hands up and stopped trying to understand. I try to take life in stride because I’m terrified of regret, terrified of dying, terrified of old age. Everything doesn’t always go according to my plans, but I do believe everything happens as it should. I can’t do this without you and I need you to accept me and understand…. Let Go & Live Young – Your Daughter.