Random Thoughts From An Avid Author, Uncategorized

NOWHERE is somewhere

blogpostpic

That moment in time when a book changes your life…

It’s kind of liberating to step forth and proclaim the realization that literature can truly leave a mark on your being in a way you never thought possible. Before I step too far into this puzzling pool of wonder, let me elaborate a bit on how this came to be.

Books of all shapes and sizes have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Even as a young child, they meant a great deal to me.

10703790_10152489079984021_3806493329633988314_n

I never read because I had to, I read because I needed to. My strength is bound in the power of words.

For as long as I can remember, novels were always my bounty, my hiding place, because I live inside my mind more than I could ever explain. When I read books, I see them vividly in torrents of color without boundaries. I read to “see”. When I write, it is the exact same way. I’m not one to map out or diagram a novel before diving into it headfirst. Instead, I take a simple idea and work forward as I watch each scene, from the curve of a character’s face, to the color, type and wonder of each bounty that surrounds them from all sides, unfolds. As they step forward, so do I. I’ve found over the years that most authors don’t write like this.

Many of us live internally in our own world of wonder. And that eclectic world of magnificence is embedded deep within our visual thoughts.

Recently a wonderful friend of mine sent me a book. One she said her son had recommended to her, and after she read it, her perspective on life changed. She wanted to share the same sense of power with me to see what I thought, and how I felt after reading it. I devoured it in a day, curled up in my home office, away from family for a few hours as I let it seep into me. I walked away with new eyes, and the ever growing urge and prompting to learn to find NOWHERE and visit it often.

TEDBooks

Finding the corridor of peace in the state of NOWHERE is hard for me. I am a busy, highly devoted wife and mother, and my days begin with a rushed feeling, and end with that same feeling as well. Raising three boys is demanding…raising kids in general is a 24 hour responsibility, yet my kids reside here at home with me all day, every day. We homeschool. Homeschooling is a calling. I felt called 5 years ago. I still feel that calling, and so do my husband and kids. But it doesn’t go without saying, that I do neglect things. And the biggest thing I neglect is myself. Not out of purpose, but out of performance.

Social media is my life. It’s what I do for a living, literally. I own my own social media company. My phone is glued to my hand, my tablet is sitting on my lap, or my computer resides in front of me all day, every day. It’s how I’ve learned to exist, to make a living, but all the while, I’ve forgotten what it meant to simply live, to just be, to find the comfort of NOWHERE.

In the past year, my life has changed dramatically in a number of ways. From health issues to relationship woes, to a finished novel and several new clients, yet somehow instead of meditating on how to cope and change with the ebb and flow of life, I’ve fled to filling up my schedule instead of filling up my often neglected spirit. I fled from NOWHERE to somewhere.

When I speak of NOWHERE, it means something much greater than the seven letters it’s composed of. It doesn’t mean staying put, it means putting down. And by putting down, I mean stepping away from the highway of life that moves at lightening speed every now and then. To exist. To be still. TO BE.

My middle child, who is 14, lives within his mind too. Just like his mom. I handed him the book when I was finished and gently said, “Read this. Today. Not tomorrow, not next week, today.” He took the book from my hands and instantly knew what I was saying. I found him a half an hour later, laid up in the corner of our living room with our dog in his lap, fully engulfed in the very same journey I had just taken a few hours before.

I’ve got a very in-tune connection with all of my kids, but my middle and I share a deep level of understanding that is often hard to explain to others. When he was three, he was diagnosed with high spectrum autism, often labeled as Asperger’s. He is wise beyond his years, and always has been. He still struggles in some areas, particularly with social skills, but I honestly think the culprit is the expansive mind he encumbers. There are times he trumps me in how he peels back the layers of a book, a song, or a simple sentence. He sees the core of things much deeper then most of us. I knew this book would speak to him in even bigger ways then how it spoke to me. I was right.

He finished. We talked. He uncovered the meat of the book in a few simple sentences, yet in a profoundly unbelievable way far beyond that of most teenagers, and I quote, “Speed is addictive. I’m not talking about drugs in this context, I’m talking about the need to embrace the empowerment it lends us in today’s society. When we slow down, we suffer from withdrawal and a sense of pain. When we are not a part of the structural highway of fast paced life, we find ourselves lost, and many of us, unaccepted. I think the real problem here is, we’ve learned to only accept ourselves when we are headed somewhere; a pinpoint. To say you’re going NOWHERE sounds superficial. Like you’re a loser. When, after reading this book, NOWHERE is where each of us should strive to be.”

I think my son summed things up better then I ever could. And more importantly, we’ve both walked away with a sense of searching for NOWHERE instead of somewhere. In the deepest crevices of NOWHERE, you find yourself, and the art of simply living.

Changes are being made over here. I’ve yearned for NOWHERE for way too long, and just never knew it. Or better yet, maybe I didn’t want to know it until now. I’m no longer pushing it aside, but embracing it instead. You should too.

~ VSK

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

The In Between

IMG_1473

There are defined points on my timeline that have molded my spirit. Those stinging pinpricks that have changed the way I interpret life as it glides past me with deep definition.

When I became a wife…a mother…a devoted writer…those points are elevated and celebrated often.

But there have been distinct times that have gouged a piece of my heart out, leaving it to heal on its own…pulling me downward instead of up. Days that I know I’ll always remember, but that I have a hard time swallowing. The hard times that have made me stronger, but that have given me defining scars even though they are invisible to most of you.

Today is one of those days that changed my course of life in one swift movement. A child who would have turned 14 today, he isn’t here, but I feel him move. To some that may seem strange, but if you’ve ever lost an important person in your life, someone you truly loved, whether through death, a parting of ways, or any other measure of separation, I know you understand what it feels like.

My twins were born 2 1/2 months too early. At only 3 pounds each, my husband could slip his wedding band over their forearm. I had no idea that 15 days after their birth, a lifelong friend, a brother they didn’t yet know, made his entrance into the world as well. It wasn’t until 4 years later that our paths crossed. The smiling faces of the Pacocha family standing on the front porch of our new house. Strangers we didn’t know, but immediately grew attached too, especially when our boys connected over Thomas the Tank Engine, Star Wars lightsabers, and Nerf gun wars. Friendship was instantaneous for all of us.

With birthdays so close together, July 1st for my twins and July 15th for Andrew, we shared a number of neighborhood birthday parties. Andrew was the adopted triplet to Alex and Austen. It was natural, that amazing bond that they had, it stuck. Fate intertwined the life of our family with theirs.

Andrew&Boys2009

Years later, in late 2010, I slid to the floor, laundry basket in hand as I listened to the voice of Andrew’s mom whisper the words “Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia” on the other end of the phone. When cancer slithers into your life, it steals the breath from your lungs. Even if it hasn’t compressed your body, it still kills the joy when you know it resides in someone you love. Andrew was and still is, like a son to me. Even though he isn’t here physically, he still resides within the in between. At one point, I could wrap my arms around him. Now I can’t. And even though he’s left arms empty, he hasn’t disappeared from the memories I have of him. There are so many lives that have been changed because of the life he lived.

Cancer sucks. I despise the evil it instills into the world on a daily basis. The way it destroys things, in body, in mind, and in the cosmos of loved ones watching it take over like a ravenous beast through the eyes of someone they know.

My kids are quiet today. It’s hard not to be humbled when you know someone important is missing. Andrew is missing, and it isn’t fair. It will never be fair. But life isn’t fair. It isn’t meant to be.

So instead of cowering in the emptiness we feel, we relish the time that we had with him. My kids have defined points on their timeline too. The moment we lost Andrew, when he slipped away from us, that pinprick stings red hot for them today. I see it. A mother just knows when her kids are hurting. I can’t ease the burn, but I can remind them that the peaks and valleys of life don’t define us. They shape us.

To Andrew John. Your light lingers. You left your mark on all of us, but especially Alex and Austen. When the sun sets tonight, and the magnificent sky blazes orange, I know that is your sign to let us all know you’ve never truly left. And you never will.

~ VSK

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

The Space In Between Carmex and Angry Cats

catcarmex

I am obsessed with Carmex. Like so much so, it’s kind of ridiculous. But the only kind I will use is the one that comes in the little round container with the 1972 looking label. Why? Perhaps it’s because I enjoy grabbing that little mini barrell out of my purse to dab just enough on my pointer finger to put on my lips after touching a public door handle that is covered in e-coli germs. Now that I think about it, perhaps I should switch to the squeezable tube…

photo (95)

I think the Carmex tube makes a stellar mustache, by the way.

People are mean. Meaner than a cat who has been scratched on the belly too long and decides to bite the “heck of a crack nut” out of your arm because they are just plain “done” with your scratching nonsense. This is why I don’t own a cat. I don’t need anymore attitude in my life. No offense to the cat lovers. Just don’t expect me to scratch your cat’s belly when I come over for lamb stew…

I have three boys. Two of which are experiencing raging teenage hormones that make them more emotional than a rooster on a roller coaster. One minute they are cracking a joke, the next minute they are slumped over at their desk picking their pimples while they pout about dinner being 17 minutes away. Seriously peeps, mama is the only one who gets to ride the emotional roller coaster. My body was bred that way. Thank you and amen…

I had a run in with a rather unpleasant man at the grocery store yesterday. I dislike the grocery store about as much as I dislike getting my eyes poked out by hot skewers. That’s a good visual, isn’t it?

I posted this “mishap” on Facebook ( <—- My therapist), and had an awakening after reading some of the comments my friends left. I was publicly humiliated by a complete stranger in a public place. I have a problem with that. Those that know me realize I am NOT a confrontational person. But, if you push my buttons repeatedly, I do eventually turn into a screaming, crying, mumbling ninja in an instant. It isn’t pretty. Rather scary, actually. My husband has only witnessed this behavior a handful of times in our 14 years of marriage. It’s safe to say, he’s scared of me when I become a scene out of The Exorcist movie.

Rather than revisiting the words exchanged between the grocery store stranger and I, I’d rather focus on the mind-blowing realization that set in hours later while eating Greek yogurt and watching a re-run of “Full House”. I have the most incredible, jaw-dropping realizations at the most inopportune times. So as I sat, staring mindlessly at Michelle and Stephanie Tanner arguing about borrowing lunch money from Uncle Jesse, I let the emotions and actions of the world settle in.

We can blame the President, the government, the neighbor down the street for our problems. Not just as individuals, but as a nation. Finger pointing has become a sickness in our era. Yet the finger is never pointed at oneself. It’s always pointed at someone else. I’m not saying that our nation hasn’t been misguided by individuals that have no business being in politics, because no matter if you are Republican, Democrat, or don’t care about either party, you have to admit that there is corruption in the way this country is being run. On both sides, on all levels, there are very deep issues.

My saying has always been, “Be the change.” Yesterday I could have summoned up my courage and put up my fists to the man who violated me with his selfish, uncalled for words. But I let the moment pass, and moved on with my life. There is nothing wrong with standing up for what you believe in. But the time must be appropriate. How do you know if it’s an appropriate time? Your spirit will let you know. But even when you let the spirit loose, let it loose lightly. Kill with kindness; an open heart. Kindness almost always wounds deeper than foul words. If you remain civil with just a touch of feelings/views, the other party’s satisfaction won’t be saturated. It will be stunned.

Don’t be a coward, but don’t be a  conspirator either.

Raising three boys is exceptionally hard these days. Raising children in general, is hard. This world is “in your face”, meaning there are very few boundaries anymore. What you want when you want it can be found by the click of the enter button on your computer keyboard or on your mobile phone. Access to the planet is found through Google.

My husband and I have taught our boys to defend themselves, but don’t conspire to ruin someone’s image or life for their satisfaction. That’s happening everywhere. Stop. Think. I guarantee you’ll be able to think of at least one person who feeds off the lives of others for their own demons. The demons that tell you you’re not good enough, wise enough, or rich enough to mean anything to anyone.

The latest novel that I recently finished is mirrored loosely off of this very insight. We all have demons, but how do we “feed” them? Do we nudge them away with a kind gesture towards another, or do we allow them to gorge themselves by lying to a spouse, laughing at a disabled person, or spewing off harsh words to instill the upper hand that you’re a bada$$? Just being honest, because honesty rides low with most individuals these days.

A snippet from the first chapter of my next novel, The Power of Suggestion:

My mother never believed in redemption, even in her devout Catholic faith, she refused to lean upon it in her life. Because of her beliefs, I mirrored her behavior, her way of following faith. I in turn learned to never put my trust in redemption either.

I have dark demons: many of them. So do you. How often do you let them dictate how you choose to live your life? I allowed mine to rise, willfully and woefully when life channeled my course in another direction more than a year ago. And it changed me from the inside out, for better and for worse. Yet it makes me, me. It validates who I am as being affluently real in an often unrealistic cosmos. My world mirrors each and every one of you in some fashion. I have lived the life that many of you struggle with today. Some of you realize it, yet most of you don’t. I have to help you see what I didn’t at first before it’s too late: before your hourglass empties.

So I must write my life on paper. I have to spill my story; breathe it out so that you may breathe it in. I’m alive today, atoned and free because of what I’ve lived through. I’m alive today, because redemption exists even in the darkest shadows of your mortality. I’m living proof.

~ A. Moretti

How do you “feed” your demons? Stop pointing fingers, and turn your finger towards yourself. Change from the inside out. For when you change, your image just might change someone else’s. Now where’s my Carmex….

 

In love with Carmex, Imagine Dragons, and the realization that change starts from within ~

VSK

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

Don’t Live In The “Ugly”

l806923350

Find grace and use it.

There is alot of “ugly” in the world. “Ugly” you can’t run from, and honestly…why would you want to?

If you only live for the calm of the storm, you will find yourself incredibly unhappy in life. For when you place yourself in the eye of the storm, you are creating opportunities to erase the “ugly”.

“Ugly” can be defined on a religious, political, opinionated platform on what you view as being right or wrong in life. Yet more often than not, “ugly” is used to hurt others to prove a point without giving thought of how it may affect their world or yours, for that matter.

I am human. I have my beliefs, my opinions…the gift of thinking, living and achieving what I believe in. Just like you.

Yet so many of us forget that we are one in the same. Sometimes I am guilty as charged. This is not a post to point fingers. It’s a post to help alleviate the “ugliness” I find seeping into the filters of my life and those that I love, and it hurts.

Humans. We are built to love, to honor, and to respect others despite our differences. What you say isn’t always right. What I say isn’t always right. Let’s all remind ourselves of this.

This is why I am a keeper of my own mind. One who respectively desires to stay out of heated arguments or hollywood news reporting. My thoughts remain mine, shared only when eyes are closed and my Father guides me within prayer.

You can love even when you don’t agree. For judgement should never seep from your mouth. When it does, the web is spun, trapping you within temptation to cast affliction on another because what you see, others should see too. Believe what you believe, agree with you, understand you…We are all guilty of this at one time or another. Sometimes we just KNOW we are right. Perhaps we are. But at times, perhaps we are NOT.

In a world so full of hate, misguidance, selfishness, it is easy to push back with extreme force to prove a point. To litigate a matter.

But have you forgotten what else this world has to offer as well? There is still goodness here if you’ll look for it. And, there is reason to do good.

Together. Hope, gratefulness, thankfulness…LIFE. You have been given life to enlighten another. Even when you don’t see eye to eye with someone, instead of challenging it, cherish it. It makes you, YOU.

There is nothing wrong with standing up for what you believe in, but one must remember to do it with a humble heart, or it will bleed with excruciating hate.

For who are we to judge?

Matthew 7:1

images (3)

 

Food for thought ~

VSK

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

A Thirteen Year Long Love Letter

MommyandMeDaddyandMe

Alexander & Austen,

This is probably one of the hardest blog posts I’ve ever had to write as your Mom. Not because it makes me sad, but it does make me sorrowful. Yes, sad and sorrowful mean two different things in my mind.

Sad means emotionally broken or beaten…like when you have your heart broken for the very first time, or when you don’t make the swim team, but your best friend does.

Sorrowful means ill tempered feelings or unease within your spirit. That’s me. On the eve of your 13th birthday.

13 short years ago your dad and I welcomed the two of you into this world 10 weeks too early. Alex came first, his tiny 3lb. 7oz. frame absolutely perfect as he took his first breath at 10:49am. Austen, you followed ten minutes later, feet first, weighing in at a whopping 3lb. 9oz., but the most frail out of the two of you.

Mom was exhausted after you arrived. I had been in the hospital for an entire week with preterm labor before you came. But despite the doctor’s ill wishes, you chose to make your debut even when we weren’t ready for to.

The first few hours of your life, Austen, were critical. Although I had fallen asleep a half hour after your birth because my body wouldn’t let me stay awake any longer, your Dad and Nena and Pop waited at the NICU nursery window for hours waiting for an update about you. Things were kind of bleak there for a while, to be honest. Later in the day, they transported you to a bigger hospital with a bigger NICU unit. You needed to be somewhere you could be watched over a little closer. That meant leaving your big brother Alex behind. We didn’t like that at all.

A week later, Dad and I had Alex moved to be with you. We thought it was pretty important to have you both together. For heaven’s sake, you had spent six months together in my womb! We knew you shouldn’t be apart if you didn’t have to be.

Alex, you were a champ from the very beginning. You were breathing on your own from the start, unlike your little brother. When you were about 6 weeks old, you developed an intestinal disease called NEC. It happens to preemies, especially little boys. You were gravely ill. Dad and I were told you had a very small chance of survival. Instead of panicking though, we prayed. God had brought you this far, we knew He wouldn’t let you slip away. Not now. After a long battle, you won, not to our surprise of course. Although Austen came home about twenty days before you did, you won the hearts of the NICU staff with your fighting spirit. That same spirit is alive and well in you today.

AustenAlexander

Fast forward…your little brother Adison fell into our arms almost four years after your birth. I had two toddlers and a newborn. At times, I wondered what I was thinking. But then I realized it wasn’t my doing, it was His doing. God gave Dad and I the three of you. We simply couldn’t ask for more. Ever.

King Family

I have watched your heart break when your very best friend passed away in 2010 from Leukemia. But I still see his presence in pieces of you. The three of you were only 15 days apart in age. It was destiny to know one another, love one another, and share your early childhood with one another. Although he isn’t here to celebrate the teenage milestone with the two of you, I know he’s here in spirit. Andrew was the triplet you never had…blood brothers for life.

Andrew's 7th birthday 002

I have watched you walk out of public school and into the realms of homeschool. What a difference this had made in your lives. In my life. Not just academically, but having you home everyday is pretty cool, ya know. I know I may get on your nerves sometimes when I have to make you refocus on the subject at hand, and sometimes yes, you get on my nerves too when I have to make you refocus. But that’s what kids and parents do, right? But I can honestly say I don’t want you to go back to public school, because I’d miss you. A lot. When people ask me, “Don’t you miss having time to yourself?” I have always smiled and said, “Never.” And I never will.

IMG_1450

Now here we are. Today. I remember the way I felt. My labor had started right about now. Back labor. It hurts. More than I could ever tell you. But the result left your Dad and I in awe. Scared yes, but in awe.

You still give us both that feeling today. In awe. Of who you were, who you are, and what you’ll eventually become. That’s pretty special. And it moves mountains in my heart and in my mind to know that you’re mine. For a lifetime and then some.

I feel pretty honored to be a mom. Your mom. Don’t you ever forget it.

Happy Birthday, Alex and Austen! You have made me so proud, and you continue to do so.

Love you more than Soy Chai Tea Lattes, books, Pandora, Evanescence, Converse, H & M…and more. To put it bluntly, I love you to the moon and back a million and one times over. That’s a lot. And I mean it.

XOXO,

Mom

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

Flour Tortillas and Text Messages From A Grateful Mother

Selfportrait

I just ate two flour tortillas with shredded cheese and tabasco on them; a handful of grapes on the side. This is the outcome of the debilitating day I’ve had. Or dayssss…that I continue to have. Isn’t summer supposed to be restful? Like, hang out by the pool while the kids get along, reading a good book, listening to iHeart radio while sipping on sun tea?

I’m beginning to realize this fictional montage I’ve concocted in my head is simply that. Fiction. Sometimes a little non-fiction in my world would be welcomed.

Today was, what a good friend of mine calls, “Chair Day”. This means, you sit your arse in a salon chair and allow them to shadow the gray that has seeped into your world at lightening speed, causing you to reminisce about your youth.

I’m convinced the “Silver Linings Playbook” movie title was actually written by a woman who’s rear end was in a salon chair covering her “silver lines” while she played Candy Crush that had become more of a habit then bottles of Poppy wine.

One of my 13 year old sons (I have twin boys, remember), whose fingers are permanently attached to his cell phone with a screen the size of a chocolate poptart (yes, I’m still hungry), spent his morning texting me while I was at the salon. Most of his text messages consist of one of two things.

1) Can I/May I call my friends, go on a bike ride, buy a puppy, ask you to take me to Hollister to buy a $65 tee shirt that looks like it’s been worn five hundred times before you hand them your Visa, ask you to take my girlfriend and I to see a movie, and before you ask Mom, yes you can come to the theatre too, but you can’t sit with us.

2) Little A won’t do what you asked him, has a flat tire on his bike, hit Middle A with a spoon on the side of the arm, called me dumb because I wouldn’t rub his feet, spit on the floor to see how big of a puddle he could make and I stepped in it.

But this morning was different. This text will go un-erased for the rest of my time here on earth. There are moments in the life of a mother that makes the world stop, and you know you have the right to pat yourself on the back for raising a child that not only loves and respects you as their parent, but the world in general even in grave times when the world turns its back on you and I. You know it happens. If you don’t, then perhaps you’re afraid of facing the reality that this world has forgotten what respect, trust and honor really is.

We were in a deep discussion. Deep for texting, might I add. He answered one of my questions with the word “indeed”. That’s my line. He stole it from me. Thief.

Better yet, I think he inherited it from his awesome mama with beautiful highlights to cover the gray he’s given me.

Mind you, this child’s response was way above his level. More along the lines of a 25 year old’s answer, not a 13 year old.

And for the record, no I am NOT smarter than an 8th grader. I misused “your” instead of “you’re”. Crud. I hate when people do that, and today, I did just that. {smacking forehead while looking for chocolate chips to eat to chase down the dry tortillas and cheese}

textmessage

 

When I received two more rejection emails today for my latest manuscript, they were overshadowed my oldest child’s words from earlier in the day. There are times that I regret choosing to walk down the path of trying to become a published author in the mainstream world. But then I remind myself, what have I always taught my boys? To follow their dreams.

You can’t preach what you don’t teach.

269980_457507184288053_1470989007_n

So in that, I must continue to climb the treacherous mountain of writing novels that more often than naught, leaves me clinging to the side of a steep cliff for dear life, and at times, utter regret for ever choosing to do this.

When my hairstylist today asked what I wanted done, I responded with a simple, “Color up the dadgum gray.” That’s when numbers started flying, and when I cringed as I uttered “almost 35”, she replied with a “NO FREAKING WAY! Nooooo. Really? What?!”

Yes, I left her a good tip as I sauntered out into the sunshine with my hair touched up, and my heart on my sleeve as I greeted my kids at the back door when I arrived home. I’ll take the rejections and I’ll take the gray. But I’ll never take no for an answer. Because if we have nothing to fight for in this life, then why is life worth living?

Valid question with a valid answer. Because of its worth.

Entangled In Gratefulness ~

VSK

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

Motherhood Smells Funny

My sons

Those mornings…you know them, Moms. The ones where the alarm goes off and the dream that included you, a fruity cocktail, a beach with a blazing sunset, and sparkly Edward Cullen ends. Much too soon. You feel like crying when those tiny fingers tap your arm. Your eyes open. He’s staring at you, a trail of snot running down his nose.

4…3…2…1…the crying starts. He’s lost his binky and his Elmo blanket smells “weird”. You realize so does he.

You throw your legs over the side of the bed, your head woozy. Coffee. You need. Want it. Crave it. If you don’t get a cup within the next 10 minutes, someone will lose a finger. The one that’s stuck up his nose digging for a booger that he will then wipe on the wall as he rounds the corner of your bedroom, darting towards the kitchen to reach the cereal box before you have a chance too.

He’ll stick his boogery hand in it as he fishes for the rainbow marshmallow in the Lucky Charm’s box. He doesn’t like the other marshmallows. They taste weird. So he only eats the rainbow ones. You’ll never undertand the reason why, nor does he. You don’t care at this point, booger or no booger, he’s quiet for all of five minutes until he realizes his blue sippy cup with the yellow top is dirty in the dishwasher. He falls to the floor like his legs were broken. Maybe if they were broken he’d quit throwing tantrums over silly things.

Then again, he’d cry that his legs were broken, and that his shoes don’t fit. He has them on the wrong feet, but he believes they are on the RIGHT feet. They are the shoes that were too small for him six months ago but he still insists on wearing them. So you let him even though he complains his toes are “smooshed” every time he takes a step. You explain they are too small for the 50th time, but he glares at you, an Iron Man figure with a missing arm in his tiny hand. The same hand that had a booger on it only five minutes earlier that has now disappeared. It must be in the Lucky Charms box.

shoes

You put your ratty robe on. The one with the coffee stain from 2006 when you tripped over the dog’s leash at 2am while tending to a child with projectile vomiting. It’s a badge of honor, that stain. You’ll never wash it. It would only mean you would have to add another item of clothing to the growing piles of laundry already splayed out across the laundry room floor giving you dirty looks.

You know the dirty look. The one that makes the bottle of laundry detergent on top of the washer give you the middle finger. Don’t say you haven’t given it one back some days. It taunts you, you deserve to taunt it back sometimes. If you didn’t someone would wish you would have later in the day when you lose it over the watercolors left out on the kitchen counter that you asked be picked up 1,567,543 times already. The brush is still wet. It’s lying on top of the cable bill.

Yeah, the cable bill that’s due today. You shake your head. Mommy brain passes over you. You left sticky notes, a calendar reminder on your phone and texted yourself a message to remember to pay that darn bill…but you still forgot.

You forget the pot of coffee, darting for the computer to pay the bill to avoid a late charge, but more importantly, to avoid losing Nick Jr. today. You need Bubble Guppies…he needs Bubble Guppies. If he can’t watch it, the day will be ruined, naptime will be spent crying in his “big boy bed” without “walls” as he calls them. He still misses his crib, especially when he’s tired. Overly tired and mad about Bubble Guppies.

You don’t want a fight today. Wrestling with a two year old is like sticking your finger in a lightsocket. STUPID.

You need that two hour nap so you can sit alone on the couch, the quiet surrounding you, only to remember that you still haven’t had a shower and it’s nearly two in the afternoon. So you tiptoe to your bedroom, pull a pair of yoga pants and a tank out of your closet, and jump in the shower. You realize you haven’t even begun to think about dinner, so you make it a “quick” shower.

Lather up, rinse.

Shampoo your hair, rinse.

Condition the ends, skip the razor, hubby will be home late anyway. He won’t realize your legs feel like barbed wire tonight. You’ll be passed out in bed before he even has a chance to finish brushing his teeth. Tonight will be designated as “cuddle night”, nothing else. It’s not on the schedule, and if it’s not on the schedule, it ain’t happening…

You climb out of the shower, towel off as the howling starts. Not a wolf howl, the howl of a rousing child who only napped 36 minutes out of 120. You wrap the towel around yourself and stand still. Like he can’t hear you. A two year old has the ears of bat. He knows when you’re in the middle of something. That’s his favorite time to call you. When you’re busy. When you’re not in the middle of something, it is no longer fun for him.

The crying grows louder. You throw on your clothes, half dry, your right pant leg stuck to your calf. You’re not sure if it’s because your leg was still dripping wet, or because you skipped the shave. Moving on…

He’s up. Nap’s over. You take his hand. The one that had the booger on it earlier in the day. You lead him to your room, and put him on your bed with a bowl of Cheerios. You are promptly scolded for giving him the WRONG colored bowl. He wants “lello” <—yellow, not “bu” <—blue.

By the time you get back with the “bu” bowl, he’s climbed off of your bed, and is going through your underwear drawer. He has found a pair of pink thong panties. They are hanging from his left ear. “Earring, mama. Yook at it! Yook at it!” You smile, out of disgust, or love, or a little bit of both and remove the panties that you never wear because cotton panties are just more comfortable and practical as a mother. Or so you’ve led yourself to believe. He cries when you take them away, so you give them back. He hangs them on his other ear, Bubble Guppies are on…don’t disturb him! Let him wear the thong…he’s QUIET.

Dinner arrives. You thought roast and potatoes, but realize the potatoes have grown sprouts because they’ve been in the refrigerator for the last two weeks. You haven’t been to the grocery store in 10 days. The menu is limited. You opt for mac and cheese and breaded chicken  breasts that have been in the freezer for a while. But they’ve been frozen, so they should be fine. You sniff. They seem edible.

Hubby calls. He’ll be late. You reason with your tired monster who has his finger up his nose again, and has now transferred your pink thong to his right shoulder. It’s his purse. Iron Man with the missing arm is hanging on for dear life in the crook of the crotch of your panties. You ask him to put it away while you eat. He refuses. You don’t fight. You let it go as you dip your chicken in a mountain of ketchup to suppress the freezer burn taste.

Bath time. He’s happy. Bubbles. EVERYWHERE. He plays. You sit on the lid of the toilet, head against the wall as he repeats the same line over and over, “Pick him up and ‘fro him at the cat! Pick him up and ‘fro him at the cat!” You ignore him, eyes closed until you realize your cat is now covered in bubbles, crouched in the corner trying desperately to get away from the miniature madman that won’t leave him alone. You laugh. So does you son. Your cat scowls. You let him out and don’t see him again for three weeks. He hates this new little person you’ve brought home.

Bedtime. He crawls in your lap. He tangles his fingers in your hair as you read “Good Night Moon”. He loves your hair. You swear you’ll never cut it because it soothes him.

His binky moves rhythmically to your tone, his blanket with the odd smell held against his cheek. His eyes flutter…finally. You lay him in bed. He doesn’t stir. You watch him. Realize he is growing up too fast. Wish you were still pregnant with him…even if only for a fleeting moment. You miss the tiny toes, the hungry grunts and the fingers that would grip your thumb during his bottle.

THIS is motherhood.

THIS is your life.

THIS is perfection.

You climb into bed, exhausted. Anxious to do it all over again tomorrow. Because that’s what MOTHERHOOD does to you. It makes life worth living, loving, cherishing. Even when he picks his nose and wipes his booger on your new silk shirt.

baby boy

 

Love & Motherhood Hugs ~

VSK

**Mother to three little loves, wife to an amazing man who is funnier than a five year old at the zoo, author of fiction because she loves living in a non-realistic world, social media director for IntelliGender who loves her job more than chocolate, and thinks baby pigs are cuter than kittens.