BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Somehow May Got Away

So many times I’ve wanted to sit down and write a quick blog post, but not done it. Either something else grabs my attention, or I think I don’t have enough time to do it correctly, or the idea of WordPress giving me more errors about not having permission to post keeps me from writing. That last one is truly irritating, as I haven’t had much help in getting this recurring problem resolved, but that’s not your issue, dear reader, it is mine and I’ve been avoiding it, because frankly, it’s no fun to deal with tech issues. At least not for me. I know there are people who love it, and make a career out of it, but for me? No fun.

The month of May seemed to fly by, maybe because our school year was extended, so I worked until the last week of the month. I know, it still sounds very early to those teachers who are still teaching, but we start really early, so there’s that. It took me a while to get used to it, being from New York originally, where kids go back to school after Labor Day, like nature intended. I still have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that there is no time off in August. None. On the flip side, though, here I sit in June, happily on summer break.

I’m not being a slacker, though. Far from it. I’m in the home stretch of completing one of the 4 components to become a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT). I finished one part last year, just before the testing center shut down, and I’ve got two more parts to do next year, which I postponed due to the pandemic. The board’s term for it is deferred. I like the sound of that much better. Of course just completing the components isn’t all it takes. No, they have to be scored, and then the scores go into a formula that considers all four parts to see whether you have earned the certification or not. The good news is that you can redo parts that fell short. The bad news is, it’s a ton of work. I compare it to earning another university degree. Everyone hopes to score well the first time, of course, so there’s a ton of scrutiny and revision, revision, revision. I really am almost ready to submit this part, which is good, because the deadline is looming.

In other positive news, I’ve been using my pool every day since school let out. I got in for the first time this season after school on the last day (May 27). It was a little chilly at first, but not awful. I’ve been in and exercising every day since then. I’m kind of impressed with myself. I challenged myself to see how many days in a row I could do it, which is silly, since I love being in the pool. Still, some seasons I use it a lot, and some seasons I don’t use it much at all. I find that if I wait until late afternoon the water is warmer from soaking up the heat all day, and the pool is in the shade, so it’s easier on my eyes and skin. I jog in the water for about 30 minutes, and I use that time to just enjoy my surroundings. Yesterday there were incredible cloud formations, and every afternoon I’m joined by doves, sparrows, finches, dragonflies, and the occasional hummingbird. Wasps like to stop by for drinks too, but I try to steer clear of them. I also have my beautiful dog in the yard with me, who enjoys laying in a shady spot on the lawn and sniffing the air while I exercise. Frequently the neighbors put something on the grill for dinner, and it smells delicious.

I’ve also gotten some visits from my son. He’s working at a new job, and it’s not too far from my house. He has strange hours, so sometimes he stops over in the afternoon on his way to work. It makes my momma heart happy to see him, especially after spending so much time apart due to the pandemic. I mean, yes, we did drive cross country and back together, and that was great, but I still don’t see enough of him. I mean does any mom? I suppose if your kid lives with you, but even then they have their own lives and things to do. I’m just happy he makes time for me, and not just on Mother’s Day.

The Kiss

Speaking of Mother’s Day… brunch was out this year. In fact we never go on Mother’s Day because it’s always too busy. So what my kid did instead was spend the day with me before he had to go to work. He brought over a puzzle of Gustav Klimt’s painting The Kiss and we worked on it. 1000 pieces. All brown and gold. Well, almost all brown and gold. Oh, and every piece has basically the same shape. Oh. My. Gawd. This was the hardest puzzle either of us had ever attempted. It took several sessions working on it together, and a few hours of me working on it alone, for it all to come together. In the end, though, it did. After we took it apart, I did a quick 500 piece puzzle with a pretty simple design as a “palate cleanser” to take the taste of that monstrous puzzle out of my mind.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an online book study guide I have to download, then some more national board work to do. This is what I do every summer: independent professional development, pleasure reading, puzzles, and pool time. Oh, and I finally saw Disney’s Moana. What was I waiting for?? I will definitely be watching that one again soon. The songs keep going through my head, which is remarkable because with all the k pop girl groups that currently reside there, I didn’t think there would be room for more music. Yes, k pop. Aespa, Itzy, Everglow, Momoland, Blackpink… they all have sections of my brain at their disposal. I’m on the next level…yeah.


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An Open Letter to My Birth Mother on Mother’s Day

Dear Birth Mother,

I realize I may be too late with this message. I’m nearly 50 years old, and you, of course, are older. I realize your life may have already come to an end, but I hope not. I hope you are alive and well and surrounded by loved ones. I hope life has been good to you and for you. I hope you have made a contribution to the world and you are satisfied with your place in it. I especially hope you feel at peace with the decision you made to give me up.flat,800x800,075,t.u1

I don’t know much about the events surrounding my birth and adoption. They are closely guarded secrets, although I don’t know exactly why. Even if I am the result of the most scandalous events, they are beyond my control, so why do I need to be shielded from them? I’m just the end result, not the cause of any bad behavior or pain.

Birth mother, perhaps you could shed some light on my origins. Am I the result of an affair? A rape? Incest? Or am I the product of a bleary one-night-stand or an abusive relationship? Maybe you struggled with mental illness or lived in poverty. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change who I am. I just wonder. I just want to know.

Maybe none of those scenarios apply. Maybe you were in love with my birth father but the situation was impossible, for whatever reason. Or maybe you just didn’t want to be a parent at that point in your life. I can accept that too. I can accept anything, because the truth is better than not knowing.

I wonder about you, birth mother. I wonder what you look like and what makes you laugh. I wonder if you have an unhealthy relationship with food like I do. I wonder if you have other children-my brothers or sisters. I wonder if you like to create or if you have an inquisitive mind. I wonder if you’re Irish or German in origin and what type of music you enjoy. I wonder what your voice sounds like, and what your smile looks like.

I wonder if you would like me.

I wonder if you think about me on Mother’s Day and my birthday. I think about you on those days, and on many other days.

Birth mother, do you know who I am? Did you ever see me as I was growing up? Did you know my parents before they became my parents? Did you live in the same town and shop at the same stores? Did you see my wedding announcement in the newspaper? Have you checked out my Facebook page or my Twitter feed or even read this blog?

Does anyone in your world know about me? Or have I been kept secret all these years?

Nearly 50 years of secrets. That’s a long time.

I just want to thank you for being my first mother, and for allowing me to have the life I’ve had. I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, know I’m thinking of you and I wish you happiness and peace.

Happy Mother’s Day.

With love, your daughter.

 

 


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I Never Wanted to Be a Part Time Mother

For those of you who celebrate, Happy Mother’s Day. For those of you for whom Mother’s Day rips open your heart, I’m so very sorry. And for the rest of you, well, happy Sunday.

Growing up I would go on hospital rounds with my father to see his patients. The nurses thought it was cute, and would often ask me if I was going to be a nurse when I grew up. They never thought to ask me if I was going to be a doctor. Anyway, I always answered no. I knew that I wasn’t cut out for healthcare, even at an early age.

I wasn’t sure what profession I wanted to pursue, even into my college years. I had some ideas of professions I wasn’t suited for, but the right one didn’t just jump out at me.

The obvious choice would have been educator, but I couldn’t do that because 1. I was too smart, and 2. I was indoctrinated to believe that “those who can, do and those who can’t, teach.” How foolish I was to believe those two falsehoods. Good thing I got over that and eventually found my calling.

This isn’t about teaching, though, it’s about growing up and becoming a mother. No matter what occupation I was headed for, I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I could picture it in my head. There would be trips to the park, and learning to read. There would be visits to the beach and working on school projects together. There would be long conversations in the car and Disney movies. I was cut out for it. Well, maybe not the baby part so much, but the rest of it.

Fast forward several years, and not only am I teaching but I have a son. He’s twelve, and I love him with my whole heart. All of the things I envisioned have come to pass, and there’s so much more ahead. Being his mother is part of the fiber of who I am. Then things change.

I did not choose divorce. I did not choose to dissolve my family. It is something that I didn’t anticipate. I didn’t fight it either, because by the time it happened it was overdue, but I would not have set those wheels in motion. Broken-Heart-41
I meant my wedding vows. I’m one who hangs on to things longer than she perhaps should. Still, it happened. In many ways it was a relief. But it one way it was devastating. I would no longer be a full time mother.

How is that possible? How could I continue on as if life is normal when I’ve gone from a family unit to all alone? My son needed to be with his father some of the time, I understood that, but I hated it. When he was with his father, he wasn’t with me. He wasn’t home. He was gone. I couldn’t parent him if he wasn’t there. I didn’t choose that. My heart was ripped apart.

I could stand not being married. There were even some advantages to it. In the long run, almost four years later, it was obviously for the best, at least for me. But what about for my son? Instead of two full time parents he has two part time parents. Not the same. Not good enough, in my opinion. I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry that he doesn’t get either of us all the time. He deserves his parents. All kids do. And parents deserve their kids. At least good parents do. And I’m a good parent, just ask my son.