Wednesday, May 2, 2012

You'll always be my baby

Good morning and happy May! I did not post the last two days due to a number of scheduling conflicts. To answer THE question, "No, Buttercup did not have her baby. She is indeed still pregnant." And now, the wait continues. Like most people, I do not have the patience to wait for something wonderful to happen. If the future holds a test or something like a colonoscopy or root canal, then I am the most patient person in the world. Yet, for happy events like a new baby, I need to deep breathe and concentrate on other things such as work.

Work has slowed down to the point where I can do other things like play tennis or work out and not miss anything. Unfortunately, I cannot play tennis for another few weeks and I have had to find other ways to relax or occupy my time. Sadly, these activities have included eating with a Merlot or two and therefore, I doubt that I will be able to fit into my tennis clothes when the time comes to pick up a racquet again. There is nothing worse than a too tight tennis outfit on a woman or man for that matter. Denial that I am a bit doughy will not help me. The only thing that will help this girl is the denial of food and back on the treadmill...or never look in the mirror again.

As far as the big kid is concerned, he is taking his last exams and will be back in the stable tomorrow evening. Yep, he's coming home! With mixed emotions, I am thrilled to see him for a prolonged period but am realistic enough to understand that he continues to mature and will not be the same guy that he was before he left. He's the world's big kid now and not mine. I have to step back and let him continue to grow into the man that he is destined to become. This is one of the toughest parts of parenting. In fact, it is something that I can share with Buttercup as she delivers her first baby.

Buttercup, baby, you are about to embark on one the the most unforgettable journeys of your life. Your child will become the reason for your existence. Remember when finding the right prom gown was the most important thing in your life or acing the geometry test? Well, this child will trump anything of significance that has occurred in your life. In fact, this child is going to begin to define your life.

Once the kids came, I was no longer identified as someone's wife, friend, or professor. I was Tink and Buddy's mom. In fact, none of the teachers, friends, or parents knew what I did for a living. All they knew was that I was Buddy and Tink's mom. It is a role that I cherish and would not trade in for anything including  winning the PowerBall or Megamillions. Being the best parent that you can be begins with being the best person that you can become. The parenting will flow naturally from having a set of standards and a heart so big that you can do or survive anything as long as your child is safe and happy. Giving your child the love that he or she needs to develop a sense or safety, comfort, and confidence will help them to grow and succeed in our crazy world. Letting them know that no matter what, your love for them is safe allows them to move forward, try new activities, and have a sense of family and self. Will it only be about love? Nope, but the love will help you to navigate through the turbulent waters of life when it knocks on the door in the form of a new boy friend, a stray puppy, a pet snake, clogged toilets, letter from the home room teacher, calls from friend's parents, creation of dioramas, posters, science fair projects, and speeches.

You'll need this love when she is cut from the softball team, debate team, or honor guard. Love will come in handy when the boy that she likes is in love with the 13 year old "skank" down the street. Oh yeah, love is essential when she is applying to college or for grants and fellowships and she is denied admission to her favorite university in California. Yet, love will keep you in your seat while you sit through the worst musical in the world or have to engage in another school fund raiser. You will buy cookies, popcorn, light bulbs, magazines, cookie dough, and pizza. And while the money flies out of your wallet, you will ask what else you can do to support your child and her peers.

Then the unthinkable happens....she is a teenager. She no longer wants to go to the mall with you or wear the clothes that you select.  Baby would rather hang out with her friends. Why? They don't even drive yet. They don't have credit cards? What does she see in these silly girls? Well, she sees individuals just like her who are beginning to figure life out. They have a lot in common and you are just her mom. Here is where you put on your cloak of invisibility and watch unnoticed from a distance.

Eventually, she will come back to you and begin to see that you are more than her mother. You are a person with history, ideas, and a personality that she enjoys. In fact, she wants to be with you more and more. She will ask for your advice about guys, clothes, school, and work. You will develop a new and more mature relationship. And guess what? You will like it. You can sit back and enjoy the person that she has become. Give her roots and wings and watch the beauty unfold.

As Mariah Carey sings:

"You'll always be a part of me
I'm part of you indefinitely
Boy don't you know you can't escape me
Ooh darling 'cause you'll always be my baby
And we'll linger on
Time can't erase a feeling this strong
No way you're never gonna shake me
Ooh darling 'cause you'll always be my baby"

So, Buttercup, Mariah is right.....she will always be your baby. Just like my big leftie and his sister Tink will be mine....You're gonna be a mommy. There is no greater role in this world than raising the next generation of doctors, dentists, nurses, educators, and individuals. Be there when she needs you, yet step back when she doesn't. It's not is the natural progression of life.

You'll always be my baby........

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