I’ve only been a mother for less than 11 years, but I have been shaped and molded by some of the best around.

At 40+ years old, I can still boast THREE Grandmas that have all been a huge factor in my life.

I have my Mom – my hero.

And, I am friends with some of the best Moms in the business.

Not to mention – I parent a pretty darn smart 10-year-old – who has shared many life lessons with me.

So in honor of Mother’s Day – a most unusual one for me – I thought I’d try to reflect on some things I’ve been taught, and some things I’ve learned all by myself.

1. Motherhood is messy.  Despite the best laid plans, no matter how your child, or children have been brought into this world it is a messy job.  Things don’t go according to plan.  Ever.  So stop planning and stick your fingers in the mess of it all.  Heck – jump right in and play.  Your kids will remember your smile more than your polished table, organized closet or streak free windows. (I’m still working on that one!)

2. Motherhood is exhausting.  Just when you think you have it – something will throw you into a new stratosphere.  You will be tired for the rest of your natural life.   Eat as well as you can.  Take care of yourself.  Try to give up caffeine.  Splurge on under eye concealer.  Then get in the car and head to swim practice, doctor’s appointments, shopping, therapy.  While you are in the car – TALK.  Children in the car are a captive audience.  You can have some of your most important conversations there.  Plus – it’s illegal to text and drive.

3. Motherhood is different for everyone.  Comparisons are just not a good idea.  As a matter of fact – make a habit of NOT comparing.  There is no need to justify having one child, or claim you’re more exhausted with three.  Each one, however the child became yours is a gift to be cherished.  They are not potato chips, and having one doesn’t make it “easy” any more than having 3 or 4 makes it “hard.”  Avoid telling anyone how much tougher it is to have a boy, or a girl.  Avoid generalizing and making excuses.  Just love your child.

4. Motherhood involves paying attention.  Stop texting.  Put down your cell phone.  LISTEN to them.  TALK to them.  You may be very impressed by what they have to say if you get to know them.

5. Children are unique.  Let them learn early to embrace their individuality.  Create an atmosphere of unconditional love.  Build their confidence, and keep them grounded enough not to become arrogant.  Develop gracious losers, and equally gracious winners.

6. Motherhood is like being on stage.  All day.  All the time.  And they watch EVERY thing you do.  If you wonder how they learned that habit – good or bad – look at yourself.  They want to be just like you.  And chances are good they will.  BE someone you want them to be.

7. Motherhood involves worry in a way you’ve never ever thought of before.  That little heart beating outside of your body – no matter how old they become – will always and forever be more important than your own.  You will worry about sniffles, and scraped knees, and heartache, and doctor’s appointments, and surgery, and pain, and healing.  You will worry about doing too much, and doing too little.

8. No matter what you do, and how hard you try, you’ll never have it quite right.  So always do the best you can with what you have where you are.  That way you can rest your head peacefully every night.

9. Teach compassion.  They won’t learn it unless you do.  Teach them that “everyone has something.”  No matter where you go or what you do or who you meet each day – EVERYONE is struggling with something.  Whether it’s physical, mental, emotional, financial, greet every person with the knowledge they are bearing a burden.  Try to frame all of your interactions with everyone around that knowledge.

10.  Motherhood involves NEVER GIVING UP!  Tenacity like you never imagined is necessary to do it well.  When they are down and out and done, look at them and reassure them.  Hold them.  Support them.  Forgive them.  Love them with all your heart.  The returns you get on the best investment of your life are immeasurable.

So as we sit tonight in the hospital, waiting, wondering, and worrying – we are still thankful.  We have so many blessings in our lives.

Take a look at some of the women who helped make me who I am today – and enjoy what’s left of your Mother’s Day.

My Mom.  My first hero.  My friend.
My Mom. My first hero. My friend.
My Grandma with Meghan.
My Grandma with Meghan.
GGMa - a gift we got later in life.
GGMa – a gift we got later in life.
Great Grandma Gen
Great Grandma Gen
My Sisters! <3<3<3
My Sisters! <3<3<3
For those "like a mom" to us!
For those “like a mom” to us!
For those whose children are our Guardian Angels.
For those whose children are our Guardian Angels.
For the one who teaches me every day how to be a better human.
For the one who teaches me every day how to be a better human.
Hospital February 2004
Hospital February 2004
Hospital February 2014
Hospital February 2014
Hospital May 2014
Hospital May 2014
And we still squeeze in some time for fun!
And we still squeeze in some time for fun!



Ramblings and Random Thoughts

thankful for the difficult

I am not who I was before.

Before there was Felix.

Before there was Meghan.

Before there was Cowden’s Syndrome.

Before there was breast cancer.

I am just not who I was before.

But every change has been part of a process, a transformation that is still taking place.

Perhaps the biggest change has been in my attitude towards others.

I try to surround myself with positive people.

Knowing full well that we all have our moments.

I deliberately seek out tolerant people.

Tolerant of changes.  Tolerant of others.

Life is short.

Judgement brings anger, hatred, contempt.

I have no time.

let go of the toxic

So one by one I have worked to let them go – the toxic ones.

And I cling tightly to the others.

But such transformations affect your whole self – your core.

When I was much younger I had ideas.  I was sure I was right – all the time.

Not so much anymore.

Now, I am sure that I make mistakes.

I am sure that everyone I truly love does the best they can with what they have where they are.

I am sure that everyone hurts.

I am sure that everyone struggles.

I look with a softer heart.

I see things from the other point of view.

Once I might have said that I found others beliefs to be “wrong” or “immoral.”

Now, I respect that others have beliefs and feelings that deserve to be respected – just like mine.

Maybe its the Cowden’s.

Maybe its the stress, or the fatigue.

Maybe its just me – growing up.

I tend to stay out of politics, and I don’t really comment on religions other than my own.

But I know I was raised to love my neighbor.

I know I was raised not to judge.

Really in the end – I just think if we all loved each other as sisters and brothers…

… well maybe more things would make sense.

I am not who I was before-

I am a work in progress.

I am surviving.

I am beating cowdens one day at a time.

I am embracing lessons learned.

I am wiser and more tolerant than I ever hoped to be.