Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jerry and I through my daughter's eyes...

"So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too"
John Mayer

Jerry giving Sage some one on one time.
On Sunday we were at Chamber's Bay down on the beach with the kids.  Sage had a sleepover the night before (Saturday) and was tired and emotional.  Jerry took it upon himself to take her aside and talk to her and calm her down.  Watching this, I fell in love with him all over again.  After all, I am not a single engaged woman, but one who has children who are a very important part of me.  For anyone who is engaged in a relationship with children, It is so important to find someone special who not only loves you, but them as well. 

This one is cute,
little Max always smiles
and loves it when we smooch.
After their talk, Sage came over to me and asked for my camera, she had been watching me take pictures and wanted to take some of her own.  I had the flash turned off because I was trying to catch the full sunset, so the pictures became blurry,  but you can see what she saw and decided to capture.

I realized as I later looked at these photos that our children are always watching us.  After all, we are their first teachers and they learn what they live and see.  I know that when my ex and I would fight we thought it was just us in the argument, but what I have realized after listening to the kids had to say, they were part of every fight.  They felt all the pain and sadness that we did. 

We all make mistakes, "to err is human" or so they say.  However the great tragedy is to not learn from those mistakes, to not try and do better, be better.

Over the last several months I have learned that I can't erase what my children saw during the rough times of my previous marriage and they will always be affected by it.

However, I have given them the gift of watching me deal with my heartache and try to grow from it.  You can't change the past, but we are all the captains of our future.  Both my ex and I are moving on and we not only have the ability, but also an obligation to exemplify what a healthy and positive relationship is. 

After looking at these pictures, I felt proud at what they represented.  I was happy that is how my daughter saw me.  As John Mayer said in the song I quoted, Mothers be good to your daughters too.  I do owe it to my daughters from this day forward to be a yardstick for what is expected in a relationship; love, respect, honesty, trust and friendship.  In two and a half weeks I will be getting re-married and I have a second chance to show my children that marriage can be beautiful.  I am going to view this as my gift to them and hope that I can be a beacon for when they are older and begin to chose someone special to spend the rest of their life with.   

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I cheered so loud I peed my pants!

Sage, Saxton and Brayden all play soccer at the YMCA.  Games are on Saturdays and practice for the girls is on Wednesday night and Thursday night for Brayden.  Simple enough.  However I am such an emotional wreck during the games.  Brayden plays inside in the gym and there are a ton of people in a tight space watching, so I am pretty quiet and resort to clapping and an occasional "good job" or "nice pass" at a reasonable level.  Mr. Brayden is really good, he has been playing for several seasons now and scoring goals for him is second nature. 

However the girls are new to the sport.  This is Only Sage's second season indoors and Saxton's first (both played one season of outdoor soccer in the spring.)  They are going against other third and fourth graders many like Brayden who have been playing since pre-kindergarten.  But they haven't given up or allowed this advantage to deter them.  Each week they get better and learn something new.  And when Sage scored her first goal on October 22nd, I think they could hear me inside the YMCA.  (The girls play outside in the sports complex on the full field and voices are very much amplified, including mine.) 

Jerry and the littlest
cheerleader, Max!
In fact, I laughed at myself a few games ago while cheering for the girls, I was my mother's daughter and was probably going to blow out my vocal chords too by the time they graduated from high-school.  Proudly I am a positive cheer leader and I don't get down on them for anything... even a missed goal.  Their confidence is fragile enough and they need all the encouragement they can get.  For example I cheer for anything, even a protected ball that Saxton, as a defender successfully kicks up to a forward.  Jerry and I remind the girls that a blocked goal is just important as one that is scored.

Yesterday, Sage and Saxton were both playing forwards with another little girl.  They play 20 minute halves and there was only six minutes or so left in the first half.  The three of them had been working for fourteen minutes now trying for a goal.  Several times they got so close and I was a basket case because I knew how bad they wanted it.  Both Sage and the other forward continued to try and set Saxton up for her first goal, but she was up against a very good goalie and it wasn't happening.  But, then it did, sort of. Sage passed the ball to Saxton, but she didn't have the shot so she passed it to Sage on our left and Sage scored!  I was so excited and cheered so loud I piddled in my pants.  I cheered for Sage, but I cheered just as loud if not louder for Saxton and her assist, it was beautiful. 

The girls all came out then and a sad Saxton came off the field.  She hadn't scored the goal, Sage had.  Jerry and I went to her and explained how proud we were of her and emphasised the point that if she hadn't given Sage such a perfect pass she wouldn't have scored, the point was it was her goal too!  She thought about that and after some more encouragement from other parents, her coach and other teammate she smiled a proud smile.  I think Jerry said it best, he reminded her that it was a team, each goal was a team effort and she had helped her team make that goal.

They won their game and I smiled all the way to the car.  I was so proud of my girls, not just because they scored a goal, but they learned a valuable lesson on not giving up and that we can't do it alone.  We all need help achieving our goals and it isn't just important to score, but to support those who do. 

Sage running through our parent tunnel!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

You are my sunshine

Every night before the girls go to bed we sing songs, I have been doing this since Savannah was a baby.  It is one of the sweet memories I have with my dad, singing Irish tunes before bed.  We sing Danny Boy and several others, but there is one I don't hardly ever sing, "You are my Sunshine", that is because it's Savannah's song.  But the other night we were talking about her before bed as we often do and included them in our prayers.  The girls asked how long I had been singing and I said since Savannah was first born and that "You are my Sunshine" is her song. 

As I sang it for them I remembered how when she was tiny I would rock her and sing. As she got older and I attempted to get her to sleep all night in her own bed, I would go into her room in the middle of the night when she cried and with my head leaning on her crib, I would fight falling asleep, my hand through the rails on her little back, singing her to her dreams.  One of the songs I would sing would be You are my Sunshine, my only sunshine.... even singing it in my mind causes tears to well up in my eyes.  I miss her and Sam so much. 

Yesterday Max climbed up on the kitchen table.  The day before he had mastered the kitchen chair and so yesterday he made it to the summit.  I laughed and groaned at the same time.  My mind flashed back to little Savannah, also just a small one year old and her grin as she mastered the same skill.  I almost called Savannah to tell her until I remembered she was in school, I wanted to share with her the skill her baby brother had inherited... one that keeps a mom on her toes.

Early this morning, just after one, Max woke up and no matter what we did he wouldn't fall back to sleep.  He wasn't feeling well and even allowing him to lay on me and give me snotty nuzzles couldn't get him asleep.  Finally just after four am I put him in his crib and sang to him, just like I did for his older sisters and brother.  It took me laying on the bed in his room, talking to him until he finally relented to sleep.  I fell asleep thinking of all my babies.

My children are my sunshine, the fact that I can't always be with them all is my rain, my clouds.  It is funny, even though Savannah and Sam are older now, when they are here they still let me sing them to sleep.  They don't tease me about my voice, or say they are too old, they just let me rub their heads and do what I long to do every night, tuck all my babies in, sing to them and kiss them good-night.

Savannah and Sam, when you are not here and you are laying in bed in the still of the night, listen real hard because I am still singing to you and telling you sweet dreams.  I love you to the moon and stars and moon and stars and back.