Motherhood 

I prayed- I have prayed for you from the first second I knew you existed, snuggled in my belly.

I prayed for your health and happiness.

I prayed that you’d always make the right decisions.

I prayed I’d never fail you and that my arms would always be strong enough to catch you when you fell.

I prayed for your forgiveness for all those times I let you down.

I prayed that you always know that I love you, unconditionally.
I cried-

I cried when I first heard your heartbeat.

I cried when I saw your little body floating on the screen, a black and white mass with two tiny arms and legs.

I cried the day you were born, a perfect little baby the only thing that ever belonged to me, mine, forever.

I cried the first time your were sick because the last thing I ever wanted you to feel was discomfort.

I cried every time I had to tell you, “No,” because I didn’t have enough money.

I cried the first day of kindergarten.

I cried when you got your drivers license and

I worried – paced the floor at night until I knew you were safe.

I cried when you graduated from high school and again when you began college.

I cried at your wedding, and again when your child was born.

I cried every time I disappointed you and couldn’t live up to your expectations.

I cried and continue to cry for you, tears that I will never allow you to see.

Day 79 – EF5

Sometimes the seasons fade into one another seamlessly just as smoothly as autumn cools into a colder winter that melts into a warm spring that blossoms into a hot summer. 
And sometimes the seasons don’t seem to blend into one another at all- fall crashes down into a frozen winter that floods spring out and goes straight into a scorching summer.

Life is like that; the seasons I mean.   Looking back it seems as though every 10 years were seasons in time; some harsh, some mild.  Many of my life’s  seasons were as predictable as day and night while others hit hard like an EF5 tornado at 3am.
No one is ever prepared for an EF5- even if they see it coming.

My 20’s and 30’s were pretty turbulent. Most of those decades was spent picking up scattered pieces of my life only to have another storm come along and tear them from my hands again.  The absolute worst time of my life has been times where my children were involved.

John and I share two kids, Tate and Kayla.   Right before our divorce was final John got down on his knees with his arms wrapped around my waist, his face buried in my stomach.  He cried and begged me to split the kids up… he wanted Kayla to stay with me because she was a little girl and he wanted to keep our son, Tate.  He said it wasn’t fair that I was leaving and taking both kids.   Fair?  I’d never given “fair” a thought where my babies were concerned.  They were mine but still my heart broke for John.  I had known him since I was 12- I didn’t hate him but I also didn’t love him like a wife should love a husband.  I fell in love with him with a 16 years old heart and at age 21 I realized that although my love was sincerely felt, it had changed with the seasons of my life.  I wasn’t 16 anymore.     I agreed to allow John to keep Tate while Kayla stayed with me. Every weekend the kids would be together either at my house or John’s and over time John and I became good friends.

The night before I moved out I was downstairs going through toys and books trying to separate them fairly for the kids.  So many times I’d pick something up and hold it to my nose and inhale my son’s scent deep into my soul. My heart was so broken.  I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing by leaving him behind.  I never wanted him to think his mommy abandoned him or didn’t love him-  God knows I never wanted to let him stay.   I tried to convince myself it was the best thing; the best thing for John, the best thing for Tate and maybe the best thing for me too.  John had me pretty convinced that I couldn’t take care of two kids on my own and I didn’t want them to have to go without.   How easily he could manipulate me. 

Throughout Tate’s childhood I tried to be a good mom.  I went to a lot of his football games but not all, and I should have.  I didn’t go to nearly enough of his wrestling meets either.  I couldn’t afford the best gifts or vacations but I never failed to love him.  Many times I didn’t even know he had a game or a meet-  he didn’t tell me because kids don’t tell their parents things like that (like they should) and neither did John.   I won’t lie, many times I was selfish and I didn’t think about what I was doing or how it might affect my kids.  I can’t blame anyone but myself for mistakes I’ve made regardless of my reasons. 

A couple of year ago the pain I had caused my son, that he hid deep within, came to surface and he bawled me out while I was a 1000 miles away on vacation. While speaking over the phone he called me by my first name and told me how horrible of a person I was, how rotten of a mother I’d alwayds been.. and he hung up leaving me broken in the sand. He then removed himself from my cell plan and changed his number. EF5.

On weekends I’d see him at church but he’d sit far in front of me and never look back. EF5.
Once I learned his new cell number I’d send him an occasional text to tell him I loved him. He’d not reply. EF5.
Over the next few months every one of my friends would turn their back on me…. and I’d get thrown out of the church that I taught at, served at, prayed and worshipped at. EF5. EF5. EF5.
What I was being punished for was adultry… and leagally, I had been separated for two years. The problem was, I started seeing someone (my current husband) before my divorce was final. Truthfully it would have been over a lot sooner if I could have afforded an attorney, but being that my good friend and I did it ourselves, it took a lot longer.
It was at this point in my life that I felt at my lowest.
Eventually the EF5’s would hit so hard that most nights while in the shower I’d fall to my knees weeping silently. Not because I wanted to weep silently but because I was too broken for sound. This was a time in my life I turned to God heavily. Through my sobbing I’d cry out to Him, begging for my son back. I’d pray saying that I didn’t understand any of it but it was His will.. not mine, and I’d ask for strength to get through it. One song verse in particular I held tight to.. I’d sing it in my head and out loud whenever I felt beaten down. “My heart will sing, no other name, Jesus. Jesus.” Over and over I’d sing, as though hypnotized by the lyrics. Sometimes when I needed so desperately to be near my son, I’d pull a shirt he had left behind, out from a zip lock bag (that I had placed it in to preserve its scent) and I’d hold it to my nose and inhale him deep into my soul. The same pain I’d felt 18 years earlier still pulsing in my veins..I’d sob. I’d never forgiven myself – how could I expect my son to??

This past weekend as my family and I stood singing praises to our Lord, those same lyrics were put upon the screen. In an instant every broken moment I had faced over the years flickered through my mind; I realized just how many prayers God had answered. I had been given new friends, I was now happily married and I was standing in a new church, singing the lyrics to the song that gave me strength- with my son 6″ to my left.

Last night I received a text from Tate. All it said was to listen to Aloe Blacc, “Mama hold my hand.” I immediately went to YouTube and found the song. As the tears I tried to hold back, fell silently down my cheeks the love I didn’t know my son felt for me, consumed me …like an EF5.

God is good.
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Day 28 – “Beyond Scared Straight”

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Have you ever seen this show?  You see what happens is this: a county jail takes in about 10 “at risk” kids as part of a court ordered program to, well, scare them straight.  Oh my God kids are bad these days.
These kids walk into the jail with smiles on their faces and wear their offenses proudly, as if they had on shiny gold badges.   THEY’RE BABIES!!! I’m talking 11 to 17 years old. 
Sometimes when I’m watching the show I laugh.. I mean co’mon now, an 11 year old ‘gang banger’? Oooooh scary!! 👇👈👉👋☝👌✊✌(that’s me throwing up gang signs on my android like an 11 year old) 😂

Ok look.. this little girl was 11; tell me who the hell is going to be afraid of an 11 year old little girl who’s wearing a pink, sparkly Justice tshirt and light-up sneakers?  I know I wish she’d try to intimidate me one time ’cause when she did, it would be her last damn time. hahaha She better hope those light-up shoes make her butt fly like Buzz Lightyear.
mmm mmm mmm..  

These Oklahoma kids were those children of the corn Stephen King warned us about!!! No joke.
These kids had violations for petty theft, drugs, fighting, arson, grand theft auto, fraud, forgery, assault on a parent. . .
Whoa. Stop. Back-up. 

I know kids do some stupid stuff, I get it, I’ve been there, done that and own the tshirt(s) but you can bet your life that no matter what ignorance my kids have done or will do, they will NEVER stand up in my face and disrespect me.
Nope. Momma don’t play those games.

Let me just say, I don’t have perfect kids…any one of my kids could at any moment decide to disconnect from common sense. For example, I had one steal from a store when she had more than enough money on her person and in the bank and she had a damn job. When the officer called me (and after my adrenaline from getting a call from an officer had disapated) I begged him to take my child to juvie to wait for her court date.  This momma is a good momma because this momma was like.. sit in jail you little shithead and while you’re in there, Imma cut off your cell phone and take your keys away.
….but the officer said juvie was full and I had to come pick her up.  WTH? What did he mean “full”?  And what did he mean I had to come pick her up?? 
Omg I had to drive from a birthday party almost 2 hours away from that child .. do u know how much pissed offness a momma can conjure up in 2 hours time?
Her punishment was a fine of $500 that I refused to pay and she had to make a few trips back up north to a check in with a court designated worker..kind of like a parole officer.   Lemme tell ya,  because I was like, “rot in jail,” that kid of mine has turned out to be a productive member of society.   She’s now a married momma herself. She works as an SRNA and will be a respiratory therapist upon graduation. (very soon btw) 

My son, he decided at the age of 20 to obtain a fake ID and get drunk at Hooters.   He tried to be smart after and sit on the curb with his buddy to sober up but.. his buddy decided he was ok to drive and tried to take the keys from my son. They started fighting and well, by doing do they drew attention on themselves and a cop came by.  My son was honest on why they were fighting. The cop ran their ID’s.. yep, the fake ones.  When he couldn’t bring up any info on the boys he questioned them.  My son was like.. “Which ID  did u run sir?”
Busted.
The cop was nice but took them to jail to dry out. (Which I’m thankful for) They were also fined and that’s how I found out about the incident.  Here’s that telephone call:
Me: Hey Tate, missed you at church this morning.
Tate: yeah I’m sorry momma, I was out late- had to bail a friend of mine outta jail.
Me: oh. Ok. Anyone I know?
Tate: Uh uh.  Hey mom, if someone had to pay a fine where would they go to pay it?
Me: (proceeds to tell him)
Tate: Ok, mom.. it was me. I was in jail. Blah blah blah…
Good grief.

Thankfully Tate’s few hours in jail were enough to keep him out of trouble. He too a productive member of society, married, owns his own flooring business and has a baby on the way.
(Oh I can’t wait for paybacks) haha

In today’s world you just can’t take parenting lightly.  I’m really glad my two oldest had jail experiences.

3 to go…

ugh.😨

 

-Willow

Day 14 – There’s no “I” in Team

The title sums my love for sports up perfectly.  I’m not a sports fanatic. Ive never played sports… well one time i joined a baseball team but I was thrown off after I got into a scuffle with Cindy Mitchell.  You see what happened was… her brother was also on the team and he grabbed me off of her and I bit him.  Like, I pulled meat from his arm and he had to get stitches, bit him.  Needless to say, that ended my career in sports. Hahahaha
I seriously couldn’t tell you any name of any current player on any team of any sport.  I wouldn’t even be able to tell you the name of our beloved UK basketball coach if he didn’t live just down the street where everytime we pass his house the girls  chant, “Look!! There’s Calipari’s house!!”  Like everytime we pass it.  Like, daily.

I’m sorry I’m a party-pooper but I just can’t buy into the hype of chasing a ball around no matter what fashion it’s being done. 
I’ve never seen a “real” game of anything – maybe that’s the problem.  I dunno.  All we have in Kentucky are the UK Wildcats; football and basketball.  Everyone in this state lives, breaths and craps  blue….well- unless the teams are having a bad season then the UK fans are the worst kind of fans with their trash talking and hating.  Who has time for that much bipolarity in their lives?
We had arena football a few year back and that was fun.  It’s was more entertainment and showboating than anything else.  I knew the owner of the team, the staff and all the players. I wanted them to succeed. (They didn’t)
We also had a minor league hockey team once- like a blue moon ago.  They were called the Thoroughblades. Kind of a clever name being that KY is known for its thoroughbred horses.  We never missed a home game. We all had our $150 jerseys, hats and foam fingers.  Watching guys beat the crap out of each other over a little frozen puck was the highlight of my week. The T-blades failed too. Nothing but the Wildcats survive in this hucklebug state.
And ain’t nobody got time for baseball, tennis or golf!

I do get excited for the Superbowl. I don’t watch the game but the commercials and the halftime show. Never know what “malfunction,” there. Haha
Then the there’s the winter and summer Olympics.  I don’t miss those.  Those are ok because it’s kind of cool to see people going 2000mph down ski slopes or diving from a mile high platform and not killing themselves.

I liked watching my son play football all through school (and wrestling) ..until I saw him get tackled or pinned. I was a nervous wreck most of those days. Then this kid grows up and decides on MMA.  Are you kidding me right now? Luckily for me he was pretty decent at it and he was able to win in the round in the first.  If he had a better opponent and the matches went all 3 rounds.. I’d damn near have heart failure.  Longest 1 to 9 minutes of my life. 

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http://youtu.be/7qZeS3VdfwU

http://youtu.be/7xL1CVOAyjQ

Tate probably thinks he had the least supportive mother on the planet.. that’s not the case at all.  I was (am) very proud of him in everything he has ever had the balls to do. Truthfully it was a love/hate thing. I loved watching him but at the same time, I hated watching something that could possibly take him from me.  That’s all. 

My dad raced.  He built the cars and whatnot, a dirt track modified to be exact.  The garage was fun, always something to do and learn but on race day I was Audi 5000! No way in hell was I going to sit for days watching a car go round and round on a dirt track. Nope.  So yeah, I don’t do NASCAR either. Not redneck enough I guess.

I basically suck where team playing is concerned.  I blame it on my school days where I was always the last one picked for the team.  Seriously, I was always chosen last. The fat, smelly kid was chosen before me.  Except for squaredancing.  Is that even a sport??
Why was this a grade in gym?
Flippin’ Kentucky, that’s why.

Smh.

-Willow