With what has become a very full schedule, not only for myself but my daughter as well, we finally made some time for what we call a MamaLala day. A day for just the two of us.
We always talk about getting out of our norm and doing something new. So we woke up and went into the city. We wandered, we ate, we took photos and we enjoyed one another’s company. We spent most of our time at both the Museum of Contemporary Art, and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Especially on a hot afternoon, it couldn’t have been a better way to spend the day.
To see the interest and inspiration in which was stirred within Julia, was exciting. She has such appreciation for simply lingering amongst the art, reading about the artists and each piece, bringing forth discussion. Ultimately having a realization that she, herself has a desire to create.
Sometimes it feels as though there just isn’t enough time, to connect, to enjoy- to be present with the ones I love. When in reality, there is always a way to do so- even if it is just for a brief moment.
…Things are not what I thought they would be. To be a mother, well it can be the most amazing, uplifting, positive, heartbreaking, disillusioning job one can have. I don’t want to be a friend, but yet part of me does. I am always blown away when the moment comes that Julia and I have “a moment”. We communicate, we are highly evolved beings in this so-called life, then we come to a juncture in which expectation and my needing to draw a line comes to a head. Now at these intersections of time there are two very strong-willed beings, brow to brow, “Damn if I will back down”,is what most likely is going on within both of our minds.
I have been fortunate to be blessed with an extremely intelligent, witty, articulate, independent, responsible daughter. Being the youngest of three, she has taken in all that she has learned and experienced from her older siblings, which is truly the most wonderful gift of being the youngest. Now the larger problem, is that this is the kind of individual I am dealing with!
All of my mothering guilt, emotional baggage, temperament and loss of control in past situations, all contribute to my lack of confidence when it comes to discipline. I’ve screwed up too many times before, therefore just rolling over seems to be the best choice in many occasions, simply imagining the night will end with a snuggle and sweet goodnight. Though my common sense and reason tell me otherwise. So tonight I did not come by the snuggle I was hoping for, but I received a hug and I love you that confirmed that having expectations prove my love.
(n.) The connection or relation of ideas, feelings, sensations, etc.; correlation of perception, reasoning or the like.
To simply encounter an individual, enter a specific door, to inhale and savor an aroma, in these instances one can be transported back into another time or memory. The power of association can be looked at in a positive and negative light. As I continue to learn more about myself through this past years journey, I have found that the impact for not only myself, but those who surround me can be the beginning of something beautiful or an emotional storm appears. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I also have no filter in most cases, though I am resilient and rebound every time, once I connect and accept the issue in which has been so thought-provoking. Controlling my emotions and possible anger is not a strong suit for me, this is yet again one of the many faults that I am working on. Eradicating the triggers I can control that arouse negative thoughts or behavior is a process that I need to become strong and conscious enough to learn to evade.
Cooking and simply being in the kitchen warms me in every way, it is also a wonderful way to connect with others. I have not been feeling my best this past week, and Sunday I had been so sick that I didn’t leave my bed, Julia said I couldn’t even be stirred when I was asleep. Then in the evening I awoke, finally getting out of bed feeling like there was just enough energy to make some dinner. I looked in the fridge and this is what I came up with, from there Julia and I were able to enjoy one another’s company, watching a movie and ending our Sunday together. The association of sautéing vegetables, and sitting at the table having conversation brings us together in such a positive way that it makes me so happy that Julia has dreams of becoming a chef, we will have many beautiful meals to share in the years to come always having the memory of Sunday dinners spent together.
I know that all who are in my life, those who love me, and at moments try to understand me, they do accept me. I am a conundrum of sorts, I have an appearance to some that is not the same to others, I do not try to put on different hats, but I do know that not all can love and accept the way my children do, in most cases. Being a woman who has always worked very hard, and happily so, I can accomplish most anything. Though, to love myself completely may not be an achievable goal. As I look at myself, my accomplishments, because even the most unaccomplished have not been defeated in all aspects of life, I know that I must keep pushing forward even when I have taken a step back. The goal of having a committed Sunday to Julia, also means listening to what she wants for her day off. I have never, nor will I ever be an ultimatum kind of woman. I discuss, then I usually roll over, going with what the other person desires. This past weekend was a three-day weekend and my social butterfly had many plans, which seem impossible to dismiss. That said, she was with friends. And I was at home with my friends, not what I had hoped for, but we both always make the most of whatever we do, together or independently.
It was foreseen, her want to be off with friends, so a sushi night beforehand, had been put on the docket. I may not know much, but I do know my Julia. We had a wonderful evening with conversation, as always that semi surprises me. The possibility of reading of a Midsummer’s Night Dream, and how the idea would probably not be acceptable to the other parents, being that there is a sexual theme within the story. She made the point that some of the boys may not be ready for such a thing, because of their childishness, and most parents are not as open as I to allow it at all. I simply love that she feels that no topic is off-limits. We continued from there, with so much more. Unfortunately when I wanted to share new parts of my personal life, she did not have such an open ear. She is not yet willing to see all my hats I suppose, we are a work in progress.
Year after year as a family moves through life, new homes, kids growing, I have found that traditions can change as time passes. Sometimes our traditions have changed based on circumstance, events or what ties us down, bringing a new spin on how we spend our holidays. We have never been a traditional family per say, a very blended family, with all involved in many years of celebration. We also made the determination that spending time as a family on a vacation, or little getaway was worth more than purchasing gifts that were forgotten by springtime, or sooner. Some of our winter vacations are my most fond memories of what was our family.
I love to cook, I enjoy eating with family and friends, though there were many holidays I was in the kitchen and never even had a chance to enjoy the food I had prepared, or the company that we had in our home. For a few years we owned a restaurant, and together my husband and I would cook six nights a week, so on a holiday we chose to be taken care of. This year is the first I will be alone in all of my life, no one to take care of, no one home. I am choosing to work and leave my evenings unplanned. The idea of spending my Sundays with my beautiful daughter spending the day together, exploring and enjoying lunch becomes even more important. Once again tradition shifts, to do something special does not require a holiday, just our love and ability to nurture our relationship in our own way.
We live in such a beautiful place, filled with amazing sights and weather. Spending the day with both of my girls and Julia’s friend was the best way to enjoy a Sunday. We had a picnic lunch of tea sandwiches with many accompaniments, as we soaked in the sun and enjoyed one another’s company. Later in the day walking along State Street creating our wish lists for the holidays.
In the past few months, as I have been trying to gain my footing in my unexpected life as I know it, I have spent far too many Sundays distant and selfishly seeking an altered reality. Friends and good times have a time and a place, though Sundays should be reserved for those who are most important, my children. The reason I have started this movement for myself is to keep focused on what I know to be the most fulfilling way to live my life, focused on being a mother. I will never be able to take back my mistakes, or change who I have been, though I can better my choices and path day by day, loving myself and my beautiful children.
Looking forward to this weeks picnic, our location of the Santa Barbara Zoo is set. This is where our oldest daughter is employed, so it makes not only a beautiful setting, but a way to spend time with family. We can plan our day so that we will be able to enjoy the company of Adrianna, for at least a short time during the day. After all this movement is to encourage time between a mother and daughter, just because our oldest is an adult, does not change how important she is, as a child, but also as an older sister. Proudly we can say she is a wonderful role model for Julia, working hard, pursuing her dreams, and making time for her family.
This weeks menu should be pleasing for Julia, her favorite treat is high tea. I am choosing to make tea sandwiches, a simple salad, and finish with some fruit tarts. Dainty bite size sandwiches seem perfect for a picnic. I am not one who eats many treats, though a simple fruit tart is impossible for me to resist. The idea is set, though exactly what sandwiches we choose to make will stay a surprise!
As a woman who imagined I would only be a wife and mother for all of my life, the idea of becoming an individual has been an extreme challenge for me. To slowly accept the passing of my marriage, has been a road traveled that I could have never foreseen. I have stepped off the path of dignity at times forgetting my true purpose, to support and love my youngest daughter, by showing her the way, by example. Though I can look back and dwell on my regrets, I choose to rise from my ashes and prove myself to be the woman who I was meant to be. With this, I will begin my journey to stay sober, and learn to deal with problems in a healthy way. I hope to improve my writing skills, continue to capture images of our beautiful world, and most of all strengthen myself and my lovely Julia.
For our first picnic the plans changed, and we chose this beautiful spot, our front yard. Quilt and pillows, lazing about.