In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sometimes You Just Miss Them

So, I'm driving around town yesterday. Running a few errands. Nothing all that important.
And I am overwhelmed with missing my son Josh.
Just one of those moments when I wish he didn't live on the east coast. When I wish he wasn't grown up and oh-so independent, living his dream.
Okay--nobody post any "Are you crazy?!" comments on this blog.
It was one of those irrational mom moments.
I just missed my son.
I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled that Josh is all grown up and living his life--although I do wish he was just a teensy bit closer.
So I grabbed my cell phone (I have a Bluetooth so it was okay for me to drive and talk on my phone) and I called Josh. Of course, since it was the middle of the day, I got his voice mail. Then I left a brief message because his phone cut me off mid-sentence.
When he called me back last night, I confessed that I called just because I missed him. Being the good son that he is, i.e. he doesn't understand why I do all the things I do, but he pretends that he does, he said, "Aaaw, Mom, I miss you too."
See? That's why I miss the boy.

Monday, January 29, 2007

World's Oldest Mom: Just How Old Is She?

Turns out, Carmela Bousada, the World's Oldest Mom lied about her age.
Yes, she really is 67 years old, which makes her the world's oldest mom.
But, to earn that title, Bousada lied.
She told a British newspaper that she lied to a U.S. fertility clinic and said she was 55 years old so that she would get treatment. The clinic's cut off age for treating single women is 55. Bousada said the clinic did not ask her for identification.
"I think everyone should become a mother at the right time for them," Bousada said in an interview with the Associated Press.
"...(M)aybe things shouldn't have been done in the way they were done but that was the only way to achieve the thing I had always dreamed of..." Bousada said."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

One Day--But Not Today

I'm taking a fast trip out of town this weekend--and Christa doesn't like it one bit.

The tears started yesterday and, most likely, will continue until I get back.

You know, most teens and twenty-somethings don't wail and gnash their teeth when Mom goes out of town. I'd forgotten what's it like to have a child so dependent on me that my leaving town creates emotional upheaval in her life.

I almost want to check and make sure the doctor completely cut the umblical cord when Christa was born. There's some sort of strong invisible, but oh-so-real attachment between us. And, with her older siblings leaving home, it's only gotten stronger. I'm the constant in her life--yes, even more that her Dad. He's learned to accept that fact graciously.

So, what am I doing?

I'm comforting Christa. Letting her snuggle in my lap. Promising to sit next to her on the way up to the airport tomorrow. Promising to bring her a surprise back from my trip. Assuring her it will be a quick, quick trip and that Dad has lots of fun things planned.

One day she won't care if I leave town. One day she'll be the one packing the suitcase for a trip and wondering why I'm making such a big deal about it.

But that day is not today.

It's Magic

To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there. ~Barbara Bush
Christa loves Instant Messaging with her big brother Josh.
But even more than that, she loves it when we get the web cameras going and she sees him in New York and he sees her in Colorado.
I know it's technology, but it seems like magic watching Christa blow kisses to Josh. Then Josh signs "I love you" to Christa, who then giggles and signs "I love you" back to him. They grin at one another and type messages back and forth. Josh always calls Christa "silly girl" and tells her how much he loves her and misses her and that she can call him any time. Christa then dictates her messages to me, insisting that I type them verbatim.
Christa loves sending and receiving e-cards. She knows how to use emoticons and she's a pro with a cell phone.
Me? I'm just thankful that I'm a Mommy-come-lately in the Internet age--and I'm taking every advantage of it to help my far-flung family stay connected.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Keeping My Sense of Humor

We all know why women who are over fifty don't have babies. They would put them down someplace and forget where they left them.~ Author Barbara Johnson
I joke about being a Mommy-come-lately all the time. But when I read that quote this morning, I didn't laugh. I groaned. Maybe it was just too early in the morning. Maybe it just struck too close too home.
Sure, I was only 41 when Christa was born--not that close to 50--but I do worry about not keeping up with her. I worry about being an old mommy of a young child.
I just have to remind myself that, as a late-in-life mom, I am not alone. Thousands of women in their mid-30s and 40s--and, yes, even a few in their 50s and 60s--are having babies. I can do this--and I can do it successfully. It may take a bit more effort than it took when I was in my twenties. But, if I think way, way, way back then, I think I complained about being tired then too!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Being Grateful

I spent time with a bunch of five and six-year-olds again this week. I helped out in Christa's kindergarten class. I hate to admit it, but kindergarten is way-outside my comfort zone. Arts and crafts? Not me.
This week, Mrs. Jarboe, teacher-extraordinaire, had me read Snowflake Bentley to the kiddos. It's a wonderful story about William Bentley, the man who first photographed snowflakes. Reading the story to the kiddos--that was the fun part! Then we were supposed to make snowflakes. That's when I broke out in a cold sweat. I just knew I was gonna' mess it up and we'd end up with a pile of shredded white paper that looked nothing like beautiful snowflakes. So, I practiced before the kiddos came over to my table.
I followed Mrs. Jarboe's instructions and folded the paper and cut the paper--took a deep breath--and folded the paper and cut some more. And then when I was done, I unfolded my snowflake.
And you know what? It's beautiful! I even laid it out on a piece of royal blue construction paper and glued it down with Modge Podge. Then I brought it home with me and hung it up by my desk.
So, here's what I am thankful for today:
I am thankful that I was shoved oh-so gently outside my comfort zone. I am thankful I took the time to fold and cut, fold and cut a snowflake. And I am thankful I brought it home and hung that silly little piece of beauty up in my office. I recaptured a bit of my childhood--and it won't melt in the Spring thaw.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Reasons to Celebrate-Big and Small

Christa lost her first tooth.
It was a long, drawn out, several week process. A wiggle of the tooth here. A sniffle there. "Is it gonna' hurt, Mommy?" Another wiggle.
And then, great was the rejoicing when the tooth was out! We celebrated with a dance around the kitchen with big sister Amy and a phone call to big sister Kate and big brother Josh and, of course, Dad. (Thank goodness we are all on the same cell phone plan!)
Losing a tooth can seem awfully unimportant when weighed against all the things Christa's older siblings are experiencing: college and careers and falling in love and moving across the country and deciding who they want to be now that they are grown up. (Although I realize that may change in years to come.)
But one of my Mommy-come-lately goals is to make certain I celebrate Christa's accomplishments too. Losing her first tooth was a big deal for Christa. And we all made sure she knew we thought so too!

Monday, January 15, 2007

It's Not All About Her

"I've learned that you should always take time to answer little children when they ask 'why?'"
"Mom, why didja' throw away the picture I made you?"
You'd think after having four children, I would know that you only dispose of their artwork under the cover of night--and by driving three blocks over and sneaking it into someone else's trash can.
"Christa, I can't keep all the beautiful pictures you draw for me."
There. I'd try a little reasoning with a tiny dose of flattery.
"Sure you can, Mom. You keep them all. Then I grow up and I have kids. And they keep all my pictures. And then their kids keep them. And then their kids keep them."
Well, she certainly had a plan. I didn't bother to inform Christa she would one day be dealing with piles and piles of her own children's artwork. I just muttered under my breath, "Honey, it isn't all about you."
Christa doesn't realize that yet. As she grows up, life will teach her that the world truly doesn't revolve around her. Her world will expand beyond herself to others. I hope she looks beyond whatever beauty she brings to the world--and enjoys the beauty others bring to it.

Friday, January 12, 2007

So Just Where Have I Been?

Not on vacation, that's for sure!
Down and out and on heavy doses of round-the-clock medication for a very, very, very bad tooth.
On Fridays, I focus this blog on what I am grateful for. Here goes!
I am grateful for:
  1. My husband who stepped up to the plate when I collapsed in the bed for five long days and nights and stopped being wife and mom--and all of the other roles and responsibilities that fall under those two titles.
  2. My two older daughters who took over driving their little sister to school and made sure she was adequately dressed and that her hair looked decent. (It's a girl thing.)
  3. A great dentist. If I didn't have a great dentist, I would have crawled out of the procedure chair sometime during the root-canal-gone-wrong and left the building
  4. Nitrous oxide and a perverse sense of humor. About halfway through the root canal, my dentist recommended a little bit of gas to help me relax. Once it started to take effect, I heard him say, "Now, Beth, when you're ready for me to begin again, just give me the thumbs up sign." I thought, "Okay. I know I have a thumb somewhere on my body. Can you just tell me where it is so I'm waving the right body part?"
  5. Mostly, I am thankful that life is slowly getting back to normal.

May your day be anchored in gratefulness.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

In the News

Celebrities continue to fuel the mommy (and daddy) come-lately trend.

Wrapping up 2006:

Actor Will Ferrell is a repeater late-in-life dad at 39. His second son was born December 30th. Ferrell's firstborn son is two years old.

Starting off 2007:

Actress Julia Roberts, 39, is pregnant with her third child. Her husband, age 37, qualifies as a late-in-life dad. Her twins are two years old.

World's Oldest Mom

Not many women would want the title of World's Oldest Mom.
A 67-year-old Spanish woman earned bragging rights when she gave birth to twins on Saturday, December 30, 2006.
According to news reports, the twins were born via caesarian section--and the mother, who was not identified, had undergone in vitro fertilization to become pregnant.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The First Post of 2007

Christmas came and went, blanketed in snow leftover from one of Colorado's recent blizzards. My son made it home from New York, but his suitcase didn't. It finally arrived at our house about the same time he got back to his apartment in New York City.
It's January 1st--time to pack up the Christmas decorations for another twelve months. Time to get back to normal--whatever that looks like for you.
There's a great big star on my 2007 calendar: My book arrives this summer. I'm finishing up editing my galleys--a proof of the book that was edited by a freelance editor. It's due back at Revell by January 4th. Then I get a final proof to read through again before the book goes to print.
And no, I didn't make any New Year's Resolutions. I gave that up last year. During 2006, I focused on one word--gratitude--rather than getting bogged down in a long list of things I wanted to do or not do. For 2007, my word is simplify.

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