Thursday, May 6, 2010


My daughters calls me Dory. 
I forget why.........

Is it because I get lost in grocery stores? Is it because she has to hold my hand in public places otherwise she'll turn around and I'll be gone?  Isn't it amazing that life gives you so many role reversals? It seemed like yesterday when we were at the mall and I let go of her hand ( I swear) for just a second and then when I looked for her she was gone! My heart stopped and I was paralyzed by fear. My little girl was GONE! As I looked for her a crowd had gathered around the fountains and I heard a man say that a little kid was in there. Just as I reached the edge and saw my baby happily swimming in there a man had jumped in to rescue her. By two she was a pretty good swimmer and she was having the time of her life. It didn't matter that I was practically in cardiac arrest. We got her out of the fountains which were right in front of J.C. Penney's. I stripped her of the wet clothes and let go of her for a second to reach into the diaper bag to get fresh ones. Big mistake. You think I would have learned. She took off running through Penney's butt naked. It was like trying to catch a greased pig. After the initial shock, my girlfriend was doubled over in hysterics watching me try to catch Danielle. 

It's Mother's Day!

It's the day that I tell my daughter over and over how lucky I am to have her. It's the day that I remember giving birth to her and watching her see the world for the first time. It's the day that is, to me, the best day in the world. It's not my day, it's hers, because without her I cannot imagine what my life would be like. It is a day of cherished memories.

It is the day that I remember taking her to a play group. She fell off of the slide and the teacher rushed over to her and asked if she was okay. She got up and dusted herself off. My little baby didn't want the teacher to touch her and stuck out her little chin and without any emotion on her face calmly walked over to me. Only when she was in my arms did she fall apart.

It's the day that I remember taking her and her friend Pete Gum (he named himself) to McDonald's. Pete said how much he loved pickles and, of course, Danielle said she loved them too. She hated pickles. Anyway, she took a big bite of the hamburger with pickles and while she was saying it was good and she loved pickles she was gagging and nearly threw up. I had to stick my hand in her mouth and get the food out of there before she did throw up all over.

It's the day that I remember going with that same group to Marie Calender's for dinner. My girlfriend Janny, who was a school teacher, was playing a guessing game with the kids. Danielle and Peter were around 4 and her daughter Joy Marie was almost two. Janny was asking the kids what was brown, furry, had four legs and barked. Danielle immediately shouted, "CHERRY PIE!!" As the group broke into hysterics and I'm FRANTICALLY trying to find anything that remotely resembles cherry pie anywhere within eyesight, Joy Marie (who was 2)  looks at Danielle with complete disdain and says "Danielle, it's a dog!"

It's the day I remember having a technician come over and fix our stereo equipment. I had given Danielle lunch and left a box of Twinkies on the table. The tech comes out and says to me, "do you know that your daughter has Twinkies on her face?" I didn't give it a thought and figured I'd clean her up after he left. I went in to look at her and she had plastered whole Twinkies all over her face.

It is the day I remember running to doctors with ear infections and tonsillitis. I remember making a big bed out of the sectional couch and watching Snoopy Come Home over and over all night long. It was pneumonia and croup. It was steaming up the bathroom and sleeping in there all night so she could breathe. It was spinal taps and hospitalizations. It was fear when she swallowed a bottle of baby aspirin and it was fear to the nth degree when she had seizures and went through all the testing to rule out epilepsy. 

It's the day I remember the first day of school. I was so thankful that she got in to private school. I wasn't quite sure. When we went for the interview the teacher asked Danielle to draw a skeleton. She scribbled all over the paper. I put my head down certain that was not going to go over well. When she asked her what the drawing meant Danielle quite simply told her the skeleton had broken bones and fell on the floor. I guess they liked her being on a different wavelength. When asked what she would do in outer space she said she'd like to ride a shooting star. It's school memories of being a room parent and making gingerbread houses at Christmas. It's scrambling and yelling at the last minute to assemble science fair projects and research papers. It is watching school plays, reading days and report cards with pride. 

It's the day I remember cringing when Danielle would write about her mother's red dress when she would go out at night. Or the time she got an A on a research paper in first grade that she did on amphibians. The teacher called me because she used a National Enquirer article about a woman who gave birth to frogs as part of her research. She couldn't keep from laughing! To this day, not a holiday or birthday goes by where frogs aren't given. It's watching meteor showers with the kids and Danielle missing 80% of it. We now have a card in her, duck where??? It's watching your daughters cut each other's bangs and have one hang the other down the laundry chute. Do you know how often I grounded someone else's child?

It's crinkling her nose. It's laughing and clapping her hands at the same time. It's drinking diet coke and holding it in the side of your mouth before swallowing it. It's the desire to please and a fierce independence.  It's a spine of steel and the insides of a marshmallow puff. It's grace, dignity and beauty that she possesses. It's loving her mother despite what I did to her hair in second grade. It's going through all the milestones of firsts and worrying through them all while keeping a smile on your face. 

It's watching her sob her heart out because she flunked her drivers test and then running to the nearby city so she could take it again so that she'd have her license on her 16th birthday. What I didn't bank on was the feeling that I'd have when I handed her the keys and she and Meri Beri walked out the door. It was then I realized that her well being was not in my control. I sat on the floor and cried. It's earning every gray hair and loving every minute of it. It's hearing things from her that I didn't want to hear but at the same time feeling honored that she felt secure enough and trusted me enough to tell me. 

It's getting your heart ripped out of your chest watching her leave for her new life in Florida. It's the agony of letting go all the while knowing it's the best thing in the world for her. It's letting her make bad decisions and being there to catch her. It's crying a hundred tears for every one that she cried. It's the day that I remember all the hurts and joys of motherhood. It's the joy that she won't know until she has one of her own. It's the day I put the curse on her that I put on her years ago hoping that she'll have a daughter just like her. It's the day that I hope her daughter brings as much joy into her life as she brought into mine. Just remember.......NO BERRIES.

There are things we can accomplish in this life. I've had one daughter and a lot of children. I've got the kids that came and lived with me for a short time.Then there is my Beri. This isn't the daughter of my body but the daughter of my heart. She's been with me off and on since the two of them met. I've been fortunate enough to see the best and the worst. They met when they were four and became best friends and Danielle and Meri are still sisters to this day. She has a beautiful, wonderful and wounded heart and a wonderful pissy attitude. She got married and I got to see her wear a stunningly beautiful red wedding dress. Only Beri could pull that one off. She doesn't take anything from anyone. Believe it or not, this beautiful woman also is suffering from Fibromyalgia. It breaks my heart to see her suffering. 

I am a very lucky woman. I have my daughters and now my son. The journey has been amazing. From children to the amazing women they've become. It doesn't get better then this. I love them dearly and can't imagine what my life would have been without them. Well, Beri, I could have done without the police shining a light in my eyes at 2 in the morning..................

Thank you, my kids, for giving me joy, laughter and yes, pain too.  

Happy Mother's Day!


    I CAN RELATE TO EVERYTHING (well most, haha) YOU SAID!!
    I can only imagine if we lived closer.....:)

  2. Aren't they just the best??? This is the most amazing thing I've ever done! I'm glad you feel the same way about your sweetie! I'll bet you have some great stories too!!! Heaven help us if we lived closer.......WAAAAY TOO MUCH ALIKE!!!!!


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