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letting go

Mom matriculation, the hardest part of motherhood, college drop off

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Mom matriculation. Have you heard of this? No? Yeah, I just made it up. Its definitely the hardest part of motherhood. It’s the culmination of the letting go that begins with senior year and just when you think its at its hardest, graduation, you unlock a new, unfathomable level of mom heartbreak… college drop off day. Bella is ready to launch but I’m not ready to let go. I don’t know if I ever told you guys the story of how I was supposed to go to Boston University, but,  about 2 weeks before I was supposed to leave, 4  little words from my dad stopped me dead in my tracks, “See you next summer.” What??? Immediate failure to launch..

I had never even spent 1 single night away from my parents because in Mexican culture we just don’t do that. Due to our strong multi-generational family ties, family is not only a big part of who we are,  it’s everything.  My dad’s words had great emotional power over me, in fact, more power than anyone else’s. Not in an intentional manipulative way, its just that his words have always landed like concrete on my heart. His opinion always mattered, and still matters, the most to me.  I’ve always held a tiny grudge about this. But that was all before I was the parent having to let go of my own, precious child. Now, I definitely get it, but,  I refuse to do that to my girls. Even if it kills me, in the process. 

I thought it was all overkill, until I got my first pangs of impending mom matriculation.

Due to this particular incident, and knowing how it completely altered my timeline and changed the trajectory of my life, I swore I’d never say or do anything to hinder my own children’s flight pattern. But again, that was before I knew what I know; that was before I was the parent in the scenario sending my own precious child off into the world, alone,  without me. 

Fast forward to 10 years ago,  when my oldest nephew was heading off to college, a “mere” 65 minutes away from home. Back before I realized that whether it’s 25 minutes or 65 minutes or 12 hours away,  living away from your child is actually the same distance in mom miles because out of your house means out of your house. Your child is no longer bounding through the house, randomly hugging you and asking for a Starby’s run while blasting Swiftie or Megan thee Stallion, while you all sing to your heart’s content.

I vividly remember my nephew going away to college, instantly regretting his decision and my brother and sister-in-law immediately agreeing to pick him up  and bring him back home, regardless of forfeiting his athletic scholarship.  Absolutely without hesitation, they agreed. In my naivate, I was actually disappointed in their decision ( as if it were any of my business) and really couldn’t understand why they hadn’t encouraged him to stay a little while longer. 

None of the baby books warn you about the pain of college drop off. No one warned me that launching my child into adulthood would feel like part of my own body was being ripped away.

When I started Purdue University,  a ” mere” 3 hours from home, I remember in those first few weeks sitting alone in my dorm room feeling that it was the winter of my discontent. Wishing someone, anyone,  would come to my rescue and demand I return home. But that never happened and, in the end, everything worked out. I learned how to navigate life without my parents, eventually became adult-ish and had a terribly good time doing it. After the situation with my nephew, it reaffirmed my belief that I would “never” do what my brother and his wife did. Big words from a mom of elementary schoolers. That was before I was the mom of a college freshman about to matriculate herself out of my orbit. 

If you thought labor and delivery was the hardest part of motherhood, hold on to your Lulus because the mental anguish of letting go makes child birth feel like a cake walk and that’s coming from a woman who did it unmedicated.

Bella decided last spring to defer acceptance to her first choice college and attend a private liberal arts college nearer to home her first year. She realized after several college visits that she prefers the intimate vibe of a smaller campus over a huge bustling one. She decided that she wanted 1 more year at home. I greedily accepted her decision. The school happens to be 25 minutes from my front door. Then, she decided to live at home this year, instead of on campus. Again, I greedily and whole-heartedly accepted her decision. Next year, she has every intention on transferring to her first choice. In fact, it’s already being carefully planned and coordinated with that prestigious university. They are happily awaiting her transfer and, barring any unforeseen circumstances, 356 days from today she’s fully spreading her wings and flying away. 

Those of you who have already survived mom matriculation, the hardest part of motherhood thus far, and are letting go when every single cell in your body wants to hold on for dear life… you are so strong.

I know many of you have dropped your babies off at college in the past couple of days and weeks and have driven away sobbing as you bravely left your hearts on campus. I’ve been watching your posts and feeling those pangs of motherly heartbreak right along with you, mostly for you. But now, something strange has started to happen, I’m getting very overwhelmed and feeling very anxious in anticipation of my impending turn to let go. Fuck, I really don’t want to. ( I’m only saying this here because I can never utter the words “Don’t go” that my heart is screaming inside my head.) Just as I’m sure,  none of you wanted to. I wanted to be cool about all of this but I’m realizing that I’m probably going to be the uncoolest about  it. 

This Friday is move in day for students living on campus at Bella’s school and also, the matriculation ceremony and banquet for freshman, kicking off a weekend long “welcome to campus” extravaganza. While Bella is not moving on campus, as if graduation itself was not the signal of the end… the matriculation ceremony is here to put a fine point on the fact that your child is no longer yours but almost, completely autonomously their own. 

So while she’s still technically here, she’s really there. I know that just like on the day she was born and everything changed, on Friday everything changes again and in 356 days… everything changes forever. No matter how tight my mama heart wants to hold on to the most precious thing in my world, I know I have to let go. And at a time when all I want to do is hold her closer and cling to her more tightly (maybe more than ever), I have to gently push her away with a smile and encouragement, while convincing her that I’m fine and it’s all going to be amazing, because for her, it will be and that’s all that matters right now. 

College drop off feels sort of like we’re heading into this weird parent-child purgatory where we’re both growing, letting go and being let go of, it’s by far the hardest part of motherhood.

Then, I’ll have to hug her, a hug that I know will need to sustain me for weeks or months (this child of mine, who I’ve hugged and kissed several times a day since her existence, who I’ve shared everything with) and I have to release her as mine as she runs towards who she’s meant to be. And I have to do it with grace and unconditional love because this is about her, not me. This is the beginning of her beautiful journey. Then, I’ll have to drive away leaving my child behind, seeing her walking towards her future in the rear view mirror as I become more of her past than her future. If this isn’t the hardest part of motherhood, I don’t know what is and I don’t want to know.

Mom matriculation, the hardest part of motherhood, college drop off

This starts Friday. I can already feel it. I’ve felt the pangs and waves of letting go all summer. I don’t know how I’ll survive my mom matriculation, especially, since I have to do college drop off this Friday, then again next August and then again the following year for my youngest. I know I will survive. Because now I know, living 25 minutes or 12 hours away from your child is actually the same distance in mom miles because in your heart is in your heart and no amount of time or distance can separate the bond between a child and their parent. 

No matter how near or far she flies away, I’ll always just be a phone call, text, car or plane ride away and this is how we survive college drop offs and new beginnings, her and us…mostly us. This is why I smile for her while my heart completely breaks for me. This is how we survive the hardest part of motherhood… the letting go. 

I’m seriously thinking of starting a mom support group for middle-aged, perimenopausal moms who’ve had to send their children off to college and are trying to survive the letting go. If you want in this mom matriculation posse, let me know. We’ll get through this college drop off, suffer being left behind next chapter of our lives together. Freedom is not what its all cracked up to be. Why didn’t the baby books warn us about this bullshit?

If you can relate or just love following along, as I head off into the motherhood unknown, please like, share and follow. 

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parenting teens, next time they won't need me, letting go, mom of teens

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

If you’ve heard that the teen years of parenting are the worst, don’t believe everything you hear. It’s different from previous years but it’s just as beautiful in many ways. I like to think of it as the evolution of the parent and teen relationship filled with beauty and misery.

Our most recent trip to Walt Disney World may have been the last one of my girls’ childhood wonder. It wasn’t on purpose. They didn’t try to do it but it happened. I felt it. The gentle pulling away that is growing up. As a parent, there’s nothing you can do about it.

You’re presented with 2 pseudo choices, go with it and gently let go with a loving smile while wiping away the secret tear in your eye. Or you can hold on for dear life, as they push, pull and drag you off of them. They love you but their instinct is to achieve maximum freedom and independence. You’re a hindrance to both, whether you mean to be or not. There’s only one way to come out of this alive, you have to let go so that the subtle pushing and pulling away of childhood into adolescence doesn’t kill you both.

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back to school, first day of school, parenting, girls, letting go

Back to school was not Xanax inducing here. Not this year anyways. Today was the first day of school for my girls. It feels much too early in the summer. It’s the first summer that I wasn’t either ecstatic or sobbing to be left alone. This morning was a peaceful, easy morning.

The girls are at the age where they can do things on their own. They were up and ready before me. They were excited. I was thrilled. Morning drop off went off without a hitch. Completely different from last year’s back to school mental breakdowns.

I walked them in, dropped off supplies and introduced myself to their teachers and left with a kiss goodbye and a hug of appreciation instead of desperation. It was bitter sweet.On one hand, my oldest “baby” is in 6th grade. That’s middle school? How did this happen? I swear I just dropped her off in the kindergarten hallway of death.

I returned home with hot coffee in hand and sat in peaceful quietness in a clean house. Then it happened. I missed my children. As much as we’ve been inseparable this summer, I didn’t think it was even possible.

Back to school is getting easier for them and harder for me.

I missed my tween sleepily walking into the room midmorning only to collapse by my side and snuggle into me as she did all summer. I missed my little one sauntering in with her bedhead and sidling up on the other side of me, kissing me good morning and laying with her feet under my hip as she read a book or watched a show on her iPod. I missed it all. I even missed the tiny voices constantly asking to go to the pool. I just need a few more days; a few more years. 18 years can’t hold all of this love.

Mostly, I missed the fact that those moments are gone for another summer and every summer is one summer closer to no more summers under the same roof. That rips my heart out. I don’t know how to not hate that. I want to consume and digest every moment in tiny bits so that it doesn’t overwhelm me but motherhood is all consuming and, for me, completely overwhelming in the best possible ways.

back to school, first day of school, parenting, girls, letting go

At pick up the car was filled with excited voices telling me how excited they were about the upcoming school year. They were thrilled to connect with old friends and excitedly told me of new ones. Both proclaiming that this is going to be the best school year ever. Both thrilled with their assigned teachers. These moments make my heart happy but I feel the pull away like the slow separation of a Band-Aid from a forgotten wound. It aches beneath the surface like a fresh bruise to my heart.

Our schedule is hectic and crazy and heads into full force next Monday so I plan to wring every single ounce of freedom and togetherness out of our last weekend before the obligatory chaos takes over. I have to believe every second counts and every day is a chance for a new beginning. That has to get me through the letting go.

As we head into this new year of school, I am full of pride. My babies are becoming such phenomenal young ladies. This only makes me want to cleave to them tighter but I loosen my grip because they are not mine at all. They are their own. I am just the blessed woman who got to bring them into the world and gets to spend a little time showing them the way to live in this crazy world. I just hope that I’m doing it right.

How do you deal with the quiet moments of letting go that come with back to school?

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first communion, kids growing up, communion, letting go,lasts

My 7-year-old just celebrated her First Holy Communion. She chose to wear her sister’s communion dress and sweater. She looked beautiful almost angelic. There was something special about seeing her in her sister’s dress. Dressing her was a little foreshadowing of what her wedding day might be like and, of course, that coupled with the momentous occasion had me feeling a little emotional.

You know when they were newborns and I baptized them, I bought them each separate baptismal gowns. It felt like it had to be done, in case they had little girls someday that they wanted to pass their dresses on. I wanted them to have that but when we went to the bridal store and my 7-year-old picked out the exact same dress that I had bought for her sister 2 years ago it made no sense to buy the same dress twice. They both loved the idea.

communion, firsts, parenting, growing up, milestones

You see they are best friends. The older one thrives on mothering her little sister and the little one loves to feel connected to and emulate her sister in every way. Sometimes I worry that this relationship is too close, too co-dependent but then I realize that when we are gone, they will only have one another and I want them to be more than sisters, I want them to be friends and more than that, I want them to realize that the love that they share is unconditional and the bond unbreakable.

first communion, kids growing up, communion, letting go,lasts

Every time the girls have a milestone, I become a little nostalgic and a lot verklempt. You see, I only have two children. So every milestone is a first and the last, the alpha and omega of my parenting, if you will. This month just about breaks me every year because it is milestone on top of milestone constantly, not unlike my labors with those two girls. Parenting has become a whirlwind and I just want to hit the pause button, study their tiny faces, commit those tiny voices to memory and hug them for longer periods of time before they break free to find the next adventure with their friends.

Gabi’s communion fell on May 2nd, the day immediately after May 1st (my one day of the year of feeling sorry for myself). I was supposed to spend Friday alone feeling all the feels but instead I was running all over town preparing for a party. It felt surreal but it also didn’t feel right to spend the day mourning the dead when I had such a big celebration for the living to plan. It felt unfair but I pushed it down and carried on.

first communion, kids growing up, communion, letting go,lasts

I know I lingered a little longer holding her in my arms that Saturday, wanting to cherish every moment of this last first communion and being painfully aware that it was the last. She was full of giggles and smiles and I met each and every one with my own. I was so proud of her. We took all the photos to commemorate the day and we headed home to celebrate her first communion and the Big Guy’s 40th birthday.

first communion, kids growing up, communion, letting go,lasts

Yep, God’s great plan included me celebrating all weekend long. Maybe he was trying to get me out of my funk. My husband stayed home Friday too under the guise of helping me run errands for the party but really, I think part of him wanted to make sure that I didn’t sink too far down the rabbit hole of sadness. He handled me with such sensitivity and love, it was hard to feel sorry for myself when I am blessed with him I my life. I’m glad he did because my entire weekend was full of love, family and celebration like a rainbow after a storm. I needed that.

first communion, kids growing up, communion, letting go,lasts

At the end of the night, I hung that communion dress up and put it away for the last time. It will not be worn again by one of my children but maybe someday it will be worn by one of my granddaughters and that makes my heart happier than I thought was possible. Hope is what all of those tiny white dresses represent for me now; the baptismal gowns that I christened my daughters in, the beautiful communion gown they shared and my wedding dress pressed, cleaned and tidy in their boxes just waiting to make more memories.

What did you feel on your child’s first communion or other big “growing up” milestone?

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Back-to-school, first day of school, kids growing up, letting go

Back-to-school school is upon us.

Yesterday morning, I took my girls back-to-school. I know that I should be rejoicing. I thought I might be. This summer has been very busy and trying but instead, I was sad. Sad that another summer is gone and there are so few left before they go off to college. When they are babies and toddlers, each day feels like 72 hours but these years now pass more quickly than I prefer.

The girls are growing up so fast. They are no longer the two little mop top toddlers who I chased with a brush while putting pigtails into their hair. They no longer mismatch their clothes or put shoes on wrong feet. No they are up before me every morning, dressed and waiting for me to curl or straighten their hair while they change earrings and strategically place rainbow loom bracelets up their arms. Suddenly, there are lockers and acceptable and unacceptable types of belts and socks.

They both got back-to-school haircuts and all I can think is where did my children go? I am so proud of the young ladies they are becoming but pump the brakes. I’m still the mom of single digit children, for one more year anyways. I can’t believe I’ve been a mom for almost a decade already. I really am trying to be “cool” and give them space to spread their budding wings but they are still my baby birds and when I see panic, pain or fear it’s my instinct to swoop in and make it all better.

The girls are now 9 and 7, so we don’t have to worry about the dreaded first day of preschool and kindergarten. Those days nearly broke my mommy heart in half. Again this morning, moms were dropping like flies in the kindergarten corridor; collapsing into pools of snot and tears just outside of the doorways. I kept a stiff upper lip and pushed their limp bodies aside as I took my girls to the more “dignified” end of the hallway to second grade. Not really, by second grade we’ve just learned to wear huge sunglasses and wait until we are safely back in the car before we have our breakdown.

Back-to-school, first day of school, kids growing up, letting go

My 4th grader, while she still wants me to walk her to class, under the guise of being her Clorox wipe and paper towel pack mule, gives me a hug and dismisses me in front of everyone. She has always been the stiff upper lip kid, since preschool. She’ll get watery eyes and a bit of a lip quiver and then she will give me that hug, you know the one that needs to last both of us the entire day, and then she will send me off. Even if she wants to run off after me crying for me to take her home, she will not make waves. She will make do. She gets that from me. It’s awesome, except for when I wish she’d just let go and not stiff upper lip it. I want her to know that she doesn’t always have to be the stoic one and that’s what I am here for; her safe place to land, to carry her when she is too weary to walk and to always, always hold her hand.


My 2nd grader however, well, she is a rage against the night, do not go gently, make waves, cry and freak out type. She knows how to make a mama feel needed but she is also my high maintenance, squeaky wheel. This morning, she tried a bit of stiff upper lip on for size. I don’t think it suited her because just before I walked her into her class, she said, “ Mama, my stomach hurts.” This is her go to ailment whenever she is afraid or nervous. While I was unloading her supplies (pack mule) I asked the teacher where to put the supplies. When he answered that the kids were supposed to read the board and follow the directions, I saw the panic and freak strike the heart of my youngest baby bird. She reads but she’s not a “great” reader yet and there were a lot of unrecognizable words on that board so I explained the instructions to her and helped her to put her little heart at ease. I could see that she wanted to cry but instead she unsurely said, “Okay, mommy.”


It was time to leave. I could feel her willing me to stay. I could feel my heart being tugged back in her direction. I hugged her and she reciprocated tightly. I assured her that she would be fine and that it was going to be an awesome first day; all while willing those damn watery eyes of my own to stay behind the sunglasses and not reveal themselves to my girl. She gave me a big kiss and whispered, “Mommy, I’m scared!” I looked her in the eye and told her that there was nothing to be afraid of and that I was only a phone call away and more importantly, that I loved her. That seemed to put her at ease and then I left, as she stared a hole into the back of my head; turning back to catch one last unsure smile.  Then I walked out of the room.


2 minutes later, I walked back to the doorway to see if she was okay. She was sharpening pencils when she caught a glimpse of me. She ran to me and gave me a kiss and told me she loved me. This time much more enthusiastically. I told her, “See, if you need me, I’m only a phone call away!” And she smiled and dismissed me.


I left my second grader in her new class and before I even left the school building, my heart was heavy with all the feelings; the missing, the growing up and the letting go. I freaking hate the letting go.


Apparently, back-to-school never gets easier but does the letting go?

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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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birthday, 6th birthday, Gabi

birthdayIt’s been a weeks since my baby girl turned 6. It’s been a crazy, crazy week that is the end to the craziest month in our household. We are all exhausted and run down and have the stomach bug to prove it.

Over the weekend, we had Gabi’s birthday party and we set up a beautiful happy birthday yard sign for her. She had about 15 friends come to her party and about 25 family members. She was surrounded by love. Finally, our new house felt like home.


The Big Guy set up the bouncy house and the girls tried a party paint kit along with their little friends. My brothers and sisters sat around catching up as all of our children played together in my backyard. These moments are so few and far between these days. I cherish each one.

birthday , 6th birthday, gabi's birthday

Then I see Gabi; tall, thin and waif like looking more and more like a big kid than a little one striding across the backyard. Blushing because the little boy she has a “crush” on is at her party and her Godfather, my brother, asking him 20 questions. She still has all of her baby teeth and that giant baby teeth smile lets me know how very content she is.

gabi's birthday, birthday, 6th birthday

Long gone are the dark black curly ringlets she was born with, in their place is long straight blonde hair pulled back with flowers. Her big blue eyes taking it all in, just like they did on the day she was born. She was so alert. Each freckle on her face that kisses her nose and cheeks appear to me more beautiful than the last. She is graceful and quirky and funny and possesses the kind of innocence that you wish they’d never lose but you know all too soon, reality will find its way in.

I glance across my yard and hear the laughter that fills the air and I am happy. It reminds me of my own 34th birthday when I announced to my brothers and sisters that I was pregnant with Gabi. There was a lot of celebrating that night. My Gabi has brought joy to our hearts since the minute we knew she existed and that has never changed.


The day was filled with family, friends, cake and gifts; everything a 6-year-old could wish for. For me, it was filled with love; the big, crazy kind that overwhelms you and leaves you breathless. The kind of love that makes your heart beat fast and wishing you could freeze the moment in time.


To celebrate my Gabi’s birthday I want to give your child a beautiful and endearing, personalized bedtime story, Owl Always Love You *insert your child’s name here**.

birthday, Owl ALways Love you

Award-winning flattenme just hatched their latest personalized book – OWL Always Love You. There’s no better way to lull your little one to sleep than with a soothing story and a reminder of mom and dad’s love. Owl Always Love You is the perfect signoff for dreamland.

Unlike traditional bedtime tales, the Owl Always Love You personalized storybook makes your child the star of the story by repeating his name in the narrative. Your little one will be drawn in by the beautiful illustrations of fuzzy (and sometimes silly) owls settling down for a good night’s sleep, and he’ll love the ethereal images of soaring kites and starlit skies. Cuddly owls, fluffy lambs, and friendly cows dazzle the pages in this very special book. Complementing the visual delight is a sonorous and soothing rhyming verse, chalk full of reminders of mom and dad’s love.

Believe me, your child will love hearing her own name repeated throughout the book. We got a book for both girls and they both giggle and snuggle in deeper, every single time their name is read aloud in the story.

To enter to win a copy of Owl Always Love You, for your own child, all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me what your favorite bedtime story to read to your child is (include your email address that you use to subscribe so I can contact you if you win) and mandatory entry ***subscribe to The TRUTH about Motherhood! *** It is that simple. Contest open residents of the U.S. and Canada. Contest ends Monday, June 3, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Disclaimer: I was provided copies of Owl Always Love You by flattenme for free to review but all opinions are my own and we adore this sweet little bedtime story and so will your child.

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change, first communion, dress, growing upAs you may have noticed, change is inevitable in life in general for all of us and, more specifically, on my site in the last few days. If this is your first time here, you probably only noticed that holy smokes this woman likes her pink, like her men, hot! But really what you don’t know is that yes, while I do like the Big Guy hot, like my pink, my site has gotten a complete overhaul this past weekend. Thanks to my tech guru/ web design genius, the Big Guy. Hey, you know what they say, it’s cheaper to keep him. No way could I afford what he would charge for the pain in the ass kind of person I am to design for, especially since he undertook this task on my shark week. He is so brave. This was by far my favorite Valentine’s Day gift thus far.

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miscarriage, loss, goodbye,grief

miscarriage, loss, goodbye,griefYesterday was the day.

I thought for sure, it would be too much to bear. I just waited for the emotional time bomb to end all time bombs to come and take me out.

I waited for it to come. I expected it. Thanksgiving, I hosted dinner & I was indeed an open wound. A simple statement of “don’t you miss a baby in the house” sent me into silent hysterics.

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unexpected, family, life, change

letting go, growing up, who am I

Letting go, who am I without them?

Letting go. Who am I now? Have you ever asked yourself this question? I think I have asked it of myself a thousand times since I’ve gone to college but today, I asked myself the question and I have no idea. How do I define myself?

I’ve spent the last 8 years of my life, either pregnant or holding a little one in my arms or my lap. For the last 8 years, I have been a mommy to the point that I have, quite literally, forgotten my life before them. It all seems like some story that I read about someone else. Above all else, I define myself as a mommy. It’s not just what I do. It is who I am. I am Bella and Gabi’s mommy. And I am blessed. I sometimes take that for granted.

I catch glimpses of the person I used to be in my daughters from time to time; in their fiery spirit and outrageous sense of humor and style. I see all the potential that I used to have and all the freedom of the future. I took that for granted too.

This morning, as I sat here alone with my thoughts, for the first time since school has started. Alone in our new home where we have started our new life surrounded by unfamiliarity, I felt profoundly alone. I miss my children.

They are only gone for 7 hours a day but with so much changing in our lives, I long for the comfortable familiarity in their little kitty cat voices, the shuffle of their feet beneath my own as we walk through the house, their laughter at the silliest of notions that carries through the air like the sweet smell of bread baking.

I miss their too-tight, never-gonna-le-me-go hugs and their delightfully slobbery kisses. I even miss the sibling rivalry fueled by pure love and devotion that just recently drove me to near insanity.

I miss the sweet smell of tops of heads, as their tiny, waif-like bodies cuddle beneath my arm and draw themselves nearer to me than I even knew possible. I miss the not knowing where I ended and they began.

I thought the small instances of letting go would be easier.

I used to think that all the time was too much. That event he best mommy needs at least a few minutes to herself but when my arms are empty and the house is quiet, I’d give back every golden minute of silence for just a sliver of their crazy. I am lonely. I miss my children. I am a mother with no children to feel the empty space and time.

Who am I? I am still a mommy. I worry every morning that I send them out the door that I will miss something. But that is part of letting go and growing up. It sucks big balls and I hate it with a passion but I am sure this means that I am evolving. No one stays the same, ever.

I used to be a girl full of spirit and dreams and potential and then I became a Mommy and all my dreams and hopes, all of my passion was focused on raising my daughters. It still is but now I have 7 hours a day to remember who I am. This is the time for me to have it all.

I am blessed. I have the pleasure and honor of being mommy to these two amazing little girls. I am married to my best friend and I finally have the time to appreciate it all and realize my own dreams as well, without feeling like I am ignoring my family or shirking my mommy duties. I should be ecstatic for the time to breathe finally but I am too busy feeling the pains of letting go, while trying to hold on.

It’s time to figure out who I am again and show my daughters that they can be everything they want to be in life, maybe just not all at the same time but right now, I miss my daughters and I am counting the minutes until pick up so I can see their adorable little faces as they light up when they see me…as I know mine will be when I see them. Letting go is so bittersweet.

Letting go is the hardest part of growing up.

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