This is a writing blog. I write, then I blog about writing. That’s it. Well, I do the occasional interview or meme, too, but even those are writing-centric. The interviews are (mostly) with other writers and the memes all come from other writers and usually have SOMEthing to do with writing (or blogging about writing).  Usually. If you don’t count For Alana. Or One Lovely Blog? … Drat. Well, it’s supposed to be all about my writing.

That’s the problem with making blog-buddies. Yeah, they want to know about your writing, but eventually they want to know about you, personally, and vice versa. When I started this blog, I had every intention of being an aloof snob. Really, I did. I practically suspended my nose from the ceiling. (I don’t recommend trying it. My neck hurt for weeks.) It stayed up there just long enough for me to realize that I didn’t much like other writers with the same philosophy. So, when I received the Beautiful Mama Blog Award from Alana Terry, rather than refuse outright to put anything so very personal out where Ev.Er.Y.One can see it, I decided to write this post. (Even though it is way out of my comfort zone and I might just have to lace the next batch of brownies I make for Alana with cayenne pepper.)

Beautiful Mama Blog Award

Since only those who follow my Twitter account pretty closely would know, here are a few background details. I am a mother of four children, three daughters, currently 11, 8, and 4, and one son, 6.  My son is on the autistic spectrum and both my older daughters have difficult learning challenges. I homeschool all four of them. UPDATE: Since writing this post, my daughters’ challenges have been identified. My eldest has classic Aspergers and my middle girl has ADHD with SID. Both of them have dyslexia with visual and auditory processing disorders. (Interesting tid-bit: Most dyslexia is an auditory processing issue, not visual.)  

Motherhood came on me as a surprise. (For those of you who like to quote “if you get on a train…”, let me just tell you: we had a stop ticket AND we were using it correctly. It didn’t work.) The suddenness was compounded when our eldest was born six weeks premature. Since our family was already started, we went ahead and kept building it. I was pregnant or lactating or both for all but the first month of the first nine years of my marriage. I spent seven years straight potty training those kiddos. But even as I lay out these impressive stats, I have to remember my friend with thirteen kids, who was in one or more of those stages for twenty-four years. Twenty-four. Years.

Now, I’m supposed to tell you three things I love about being a mother.

Ummm…

Just kidding. I really do love being a mom. My kids rock! I love the funny things they say or do. My middle daughter is so witty it gets her in trouble frequently. The problem is, even as I have to point out that it’s not appropriate to joke around when she’s told to do, or not do, something, I’m usually trying to keep from giggling. My son also comes up with some amazingly funny moments. Not so much because he is witty, but because he sees the world so differently from everyone else. For example, one day his speech therapist was working really hard on opposites with him. She had a picture of a traffic light to illustrate stop and go, but he Just. Was. Not. Getting it. She finally decided to hint, “If you don’t stop, you…” At which point my son triumphantly jumped up and announced, “Get arrested!”

Then there’s the silliness. I’m a little, er, hmm… how to put it? Well, I can be hyper at times. And kooky. I can be very lazy and grouchy, too, but those hyper, kooky times are what throw most people. (Lazy and grouchy is more sophisticated.) I put a lot of energy into NOT being completely me in front of grown-ups. My kids, now, they know that if I say, “talk to the hand,” the hand is going to talk back. In a duck voice.  Maybe with a British accent. And they don’t mind! (Yet.)

Best of all, there are those moments of triumph. I won’t say I’m glad my kids are getting older, but I really enjoy watching them grow. Having kids with challenges gives me an extra special insight into why every step is so amazing, though I won’t regale you with explanations here. When the tears brought on by learning to read, and there were many, turned into hours of passionately reading every book she can get a hold of, be it for a toddler or a college student, my heart soared for my eldest. When my 8-year-old showed me that she figured out how to chimney-climb a door frame all by herself, four years ago when her feet could barely reach from one side to the other, I clapped enthusiastically in spite of the footprints adorning the wall. When my 4-year-old picked up a baby bead toy and said, “Look, Mom! A new-key-lus!” (nucleus) I called my family to tell them. When my son started adding limbs and smiles to his drawings within the last year, I almost cried for joy. It’s all fine and good for grown-ups to have their heart-warming stories of overcoming, but watching my kids learn to work with their strengths while overcoming their challenges? That’s truly inspiring.

So now you’ve seen my heart. Or, at least, a pretty big chunk of it. Now it’s my turn to to tag some other unsuspecting victims Beautiful Mamas.

Raewyn Hewitt because, aside from Alana, she’s my favorite blogger and I know she has kids

Christabelle, who I know personally, though I don’t think I’ve told her my pen name so she may not recognize me, and whose mom-stats outdo mine

Eden Mabee, the newest WIPpeteer and mom to an only(?) child

Starla Huchton because I stalk her on Twitter and I know she’s pretty open about her mom-ness.

The rules of this meme are

  1. Display the logo (see above)
  2. List three things you love about motherhood
  3. Nominate other deserving Mamas
  4. Post a link in the comment section of the person who tagged you, so they can go look at your response.
Lower right corner of Rest on the Flight to Egypt by Caravaggio

Detail of Caravaggio’s Rest on the Flight to Egypt, 1596-97
I’m not a big fan of the painting as a whole (nor the depiction of the Holy Family as rich Europeans), but this little corner is rather beautiful.

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