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friends

paper lanterns, loss, miscarriage

loss, moving on, friends, life, letting goSitting there, immersed in the moment of a baseball game, the ordinary; the laughter of my girls, the deep, baritone voice of my father-in-law excitedly recounting the last play, my husband sitting quietly by my side and then I glanced upwards towards the sky. I don’t know why, I looked to the outfield and then it happened and everything changed.

 

There on the horizon, just beyond the energy of the ballpark, where people were cheering and happily enjoying a popular summer pastime, in the darkness beyond the cathedral; slowly and one by one, Chinese Paper lanterns lifted higher and higher into the July night sky. For a brief moment, my heart leapt into my throat. I was still and quiet. I did not move. Then I glanced at my husband and gestured in the direction of the soaring, fiery lanterns. He knew.

 

The sight of so many of those Chinese lanterns floating up to the heavens was glorious and magical, especially in such quantity. I am assuming they were being set free in celebration of some newly married couple’s wedding; their first act of creating their happily ever after. I couldn’t move or breathe. I was still.

 

Those airy, delicate Chinese Paper lanterns will always remind me of something bittersweet. That is why I found myself sitting there at the ballpark, surrounded by strangers and the smell of popcorn, unsuspectingly overcome with emotion.

 

Last year, when I miscarried our third child, it emotionally crippled me for most of the following twelve months. I mourned almost constantly. But one day last fall, after my heart had been completely shattered, I received a message on my phone from a friend I’d gotten to know online who had virtually held my hand and helped me through on of the hardest things I have this far had the misfortune of experiencing. I looked at my message and there was a photo of one single beautiful Chinese paper lantern, floating gracefully up into the sky as the sun set at that moment when day meets night. That one single Chinese paper lantern ascending into heaven meant the world to me. I get choked up just thinking about it.

 

You see, my friend, Jessica Watson, is an angel in my eyes. She made a gesture on my behalf and she helped me to heal. Though, I am not sure I could ever repay that act of kindness. I will always remember the evening, a mom who understood the weight of loss, did the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. She heard the unspoken words that I could not voice, she felt the pain that comes with losing someone before you truly get to know them, she saw the hole in my existence that this blow had left and without asking, she gave me the gift of gracefully letting go. She may never know what she did for me that evening but I will never forget her or her beautiful and kind heart.

 

And so as I sat there in the ballpark on Friday night, stunned and transported back to that overwhelming loss, I was reminded that our sweet baby is in heaven and that there are angels here among us. As I watched the paper lanterns ascend, my heart followed into the moonlit sky and then I smiled and heard the excited laughter of my daughters’ beside me, of life going on.

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I’m sure you all are on pins and needles wondering just how my birthday celebration went, so I’m going to tell you..the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the TRUTH!

The day started off in a bit of a hectic haze. We were trying to get the house in some kind of order before the grandparents showed up for babysitting duty. God Bless ’em! Without these two beautiful souls, the birthday celebration would not have been even remotely possible.
After frantic running around like chickens with our heads chopped off, finally we were dressed, packed and ready to hit the road.Bella decided that at the point that I  was walking out the door would be a fabulous time to cue the tears. Nothing like a raging case of Mommy guilt to start the journey off with. I was determined. I had tickets to the 3 pm production of Romeo and Juliet ( I will elaborate on that in an upcoming post) and I had to go. So, I gave the girls one last hug and kiss and left them for the first time ever overnight.

It was a long night, so I will just post a quick synopsis of the entire night. After the show, we hit the hotel for a quick change into our night in the city outfits. Mine consisted of a black and white dress, 5 inch heels and an application of my nighttime makeup.It really is a miracle what a difference a little bit of time and effort can make in your appearance and your self confidence.

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This is me and my little sister sometime after dinner and a couple cocktails.


We had dinner at the fabulous Japonaise downtown. Where we all consumed obscene amounts of sushi, martinis, wine and saki. There was never a lull in the conversation. I was so content sitting in the corner surrounded by some of the people I love the most in the world, my sister and brother in law, my brother in law and his beautiful girlfriend, and my best friend/sister and her amazing husband and last but certainly not least, the love of my life, the Big Guy! As you can see from the picture above, I could not stop smiling all night long. I didn’t even care that I was turning 30 ( for the 8th time). I was in the moment and drinking it all in.

Dinner was followed by dancing at a Latin themed bar. By this time, we are all feeling pretty good. So good, in fact, that my feet were not even bothering me from wearing the 5 inch hooker heels for 5 hours at that point which I found to be a bit peculiar. I went with it. It felt amazing for 1 night to be looked at like I was a woman having a birthday, not a Mommy taxing children to and fro. Of course, you can take the Mommy out of the house but you can’t take the Mommy out of the woman. This became painfully aware while the girls and I were shaking our asses on the dance floor. There were 2 girls, probably about 21, dancing behind me and they kept bumping into me. At first, I ignored it. Then I couldn’t take it anymore. And what was my reaction? Imagine if you will, me 5’7″ ( without heels on) wearing those 5 inch hooker heels..towering above these girls at a whopping 6 foot tall. They were maybe 5’1″. I swiftly turn around, after being knocked almost off my feet for the 10th time..I bend down, pointing my finger and said, “Hey! You girls have got to stop this. You are going to knock someone down!” They said ,”OK, we’re sorry.” They looked completely shocked and that’s when I realized…I just scolded them on the dance floor. You know, like I would do a 3 and 5 year old. They stopped bumping into me, but they were giggling..probably because they thought I was crazy! Funny how if I would have been their age, I would have turned around and said “Look Bitch, stop bumping into me or I’m going to beat your ass!” Funny how being a mother changes you in the most unexpected ways. That and the fact that I’m pretty sure I would have fallen and killed myself had I gotten into a tussle in those shoes:)LOL

The night started to wind down, by this point the top of my foot had been hyper-extended due to an inordinate amount of time in the hooker heels ( which I absolutely adore by the way and will wear at any chance possible) but obviously my foot was remembering that I was not 21 anymore. We were down to 4 troopers left. I was savoring every single moment of this night. Then it happened, you know that moment when you lose all of your good senses and you do that one last stupid thing. Well, I decided to cap off the evening, we all needed two last shots; 1 of tequila and a lemon drop. Talk about buyers remorse! So, we toast to my birthday and we head to the dance floor. Almost immediately, I realized the shots may have been too much. I felt discombobulated, people were moving in slow motion. Then the next thing I remember was standing in the rain, barefooted waiting as my brother in law tried desperately to hail a cab at around 2 in the morning.Flash forward, I remember hugging on to the toilet for dear life. Yes, very mature behavior for someone of my age. Right? The next thing I can logically recollect was waking up, feeling like I had eaten a bowl of cotton, and had a splitting headache.

I decided that I needed to try and get mobile as we had a drive home and checkout was noon. I sucked it up and headed for a shower, after making a pit stop at my best friend the toilet and puking up what can only be classified as pea green bile, I finally got in the shower to wash away the sins of the previous night. I was feeling a little better..refreshed. Then it happened, as I was brushing my teeth…I noticed something looked out of place. Remember in the Hangover when they wake up the next morning and the one guy is missing his tooth? Well, I wasn’t missing a tooth! But I do have a mysterious black eye! After much piecing together of the last hours of the night,the Big Guy and I came to the conclusion that while I was hugging the toilet, I must have began to doze and slipped and hit my head on the toilet rim. Classy, right? Probably explains some of the headache, as well.Thank God its just on the outside rim of my eye, so it looks like I have eye make up on.Imagine trying to explain that one at kindergarten pick up at the catholic school. There you have it, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the unabridged absolutely embarrassing truth. But what a night it was…to a night we’ll never forget! Or is it remember?

Stu: “Why can’t we remember a godd*** thing from last night?”
Phil: “Because we obviously had a great f***ing time.”
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So, I make a new “Mommy” friend…everything is bright and shiny and new. I think she is awesome, she thinks I rock, our kids get along and then we go do something or go somewhere that doesn’t include our children. It doesn’t focus on what our children are doing or what milestones they are hitting.In fact, its the antithesis of that …its just two gals trying to have a grown up conversation over a beverage, that may or may not have alcohol in it. Anyways, this is pretty exciting. It kinda feels a little like a date, because you are trying to impress them with your wit and charm ( because lets face it, Mommy friends are like gold) and a little like an interview. This is all great, especially since in our line of work (Being a Mommy)  there’s not a lot of room for “adult” conversation. In fact, isn’t our sole purpose to keep these children alive and well, so that’s’ probably why we talk about them and what’s going on in their lives so much. It’s like giving a report to the world on our hot, new up and coming product. Here is where things get dicey for me. Raise your hand if you’ve been here before; seriously, I hope I’m not alone in this predicament. It seems, as soon as you (meaning me) take the relationship from the preschool hallway , ballet school hallway,

whatever other hallway where I meet these women that I am dropping my children off at..I find myself in this very odd phenomenon. It’s odd for me because I am a talker and am not usually at a loss for words, nor do I need to go in search of them. But for some reason, whenever I am alone in this situation, it seems I develop this bizarre loss for words. What’s worse, the word constipation is followed by a very steady stream of diarrhea of the mouth ( not bad breath , though it may be better suited to be described in a different light) . The phenomenon that I am referring to is, I start rambling like a speeding train on a track to hell. I feel the space with what can only be described as Truthful Mommy unnecessary and should be kept to myself trivia.Things, Oh God inappropriate things, come flying out of my mouth. It’s like some form of tourettes. It is so embarrassing to me; I sit there, as its happening, wishing , hopelessly I could stop the words, or better yet remove the ones already said from the ears of my audience. You know that feeling you got in college when you went out and had too good of a time, you woke up the next morning thinking, “Oh crap! What did I do?” but this is worse, I am coherent..I know what I am saying but I can’t stop these unfiltered words from leaving my mouth. Here’s is an example of what a conversation might sound like, New friend/never again to be seen friend (NF/NASF) ” Yes, my husband is fantastic. He does the dishes every night.” Unfiltered me (UM) ” My husband is the best lover I have ever had. He is working on a new version of the Kama Sutra!” (Appropriate response? Probably not!) (NF/NASF) ” I need to workout more!” (UM) “I was a bulimic for 10 years.Vanilla ice cream tastes like a shake , on the return trip!” These are NOT actual conversation excerpts, but a fair example of the gamut of what could possibly come out of my mouth in these situations is about as random. So, you see the dilemma? What , dear God, can I fill the space of quietness with? Maybe silence is golden for a reason!

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Anyone who has ever read my blog knows that I am a super advocate of sisterhood. I think that cat fights between women are ridiculous and that if we all spent a lot more time being real and supporting each other, life would be so much better for all of us. Why does it always have to be a competition? My kid does this, does  yours? My husband makes this much money, what does yours make? My house is bigger than yours. It truly is a pissing contest for women! I can keep the house immaculate, my kids listen to everything I say, sleep in their own beds, go to bed at a reasonable hour with no drama, they are reading at a 5th grade level @ the age of four, I eat but can not gain weight, my husband just keeps getting better looking, and my kids are absolute perfection, did I mention they eat absolutely everything I put in front of them. The laundry seems to do itself, I love to cook gourmet meals for every meal, I am completely organic, I made all the baby food and my babies only wore cloth diapers and drank organic, non tainted by caffeine or alcohol breasts milk. P.S. My shit doesn’t stink! I live in a mansion on the corner of bliss and perfection…or was that delusional and insanity?  And you? OK, Bree friggin Van de Kamp…you are not real, you are some convoluted conjuring of what some crazy tv exec thought real life is…not even in the 1950’s, my brother sister!If we’d stop trying to make the other Mommies think we have it all under control without even breaking a sweat, maybe, just maybe we’d have some back up in the trenches instead of one more enemy trying to kill our spirits and crush our souls!
So, as if that is not bad enough, that we are all running around lying to each other about how perfect and easy our lives are, we are inadvertently (or maybe purposefully) making other women (Mommies ,specifically) feel like they are losers because they don’t think life is easy or perfect and neither are their kids and their husband. I mean ,myself,  I’ve actually winced at the prospect of having to go to the grocery store, been brought to tears trying to figure out what the hell to wear out in public to drop my kids off at some class or other, the dishes make me want to kill someone ( actually just myself..I truly hate dishes!I am not above existing on paper products!), my girls still miraculously end up in our bed in the middle of the night, I have actually been reduced to feeding them cereal for dinner (only once..I promise)….though, I must confess, my kids are pretty perfect….to me! All kids are perfect to their parents! My point is my fellow desperate housewives, we would not all be so damn desperate if we could all just get along! Next time you feel overcome with the need to blow crazy smoke up your own ass, in a coffee induced fog of meanness,  Please remember that Mommy that you are making feel 2 inches tall would probably serve you better as a cheerleader than as a doormat!
PSA: Please be kind to your fellow Mommies! She is not your enemy, she is your sister, your friend, your confidant, your tether to sanity!

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