Wednesday, August 24, 2016

changes

I'm in Chicago at the moment. Change from my NYC day to day. 

Moving my oldest into her freshman dorm. Huge change. 

Got my period unexpectedly in the midst of all this. Changing body. 

First thing this morning I tracked down the nearest CVS to stock up on supplies. Lovely change in make up offerings. 

And I thought how poignant, how significant, to have my period the day my child goes off on her own for the first time. It's a reminder of fertility. Not having my period meant I was pregnant with her all those years ago. It's allowing my emotions to bubble up to the surface. While I usually keep things stuffed deep down, I've been quietly (and openly) sobbing as I'm getting ready to let her go. 

Change. 

Life is changing, shifting to a different place, a different stage. 

My body is too. 

This physical reminder is reminding me that even in the changes, some things never change. And through the cramps and the missing my girl, I can still smile and know it will be ok in the end. 

It's actually ok now. 




Friday, August 19, 2016

bulges

I'm heading to a funeral this morning and need to wear a black dress. In my mind I rifled through my closet, knowing there was only one dress I could wear. And knowing too, that it was too fitted to look good anymore. 

I have a bulge. A pot. Love handles. Gushy skin. Sagging. Drooping. For the first time in my life (except for pregnant bellies of course). 

When I was a teenager I wore a back brace for scoliosis and, encase in plastic and metal 23 hours a day, my middle learned to stay flat. And that stuck with me as I ditched the brace and got older. 

After my first pregnancy my body bounced right back. After my second, not as much. I felt a bit like the Pillsbury dough boy, but it was something I could mask well. 

Not this. 

This is there for all to see and it doesn't seem there's much I can do about it except take a deep breath and deal. 

But I'm not happy about it. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

ends

A dear cousin died yesterday. 

Someone I didn't see often or know particularly well. But someone I was always delighted to see, who was at the top of my favorite relatives list. Her drive, her determination, her work ethic after a stroke to get herself to a better, stronger place were inspirational. 

She and her husband Sid, both active folk dancers, were the namesakes for my kidneys as I went through the donation process. They were touched and slightly bewildered by that but my brother, my recipient, and I admired their perseverance and joy in continuing to do  what they loved. 

I was lucky to spend time with her a couple of months ago at a family bat mitzvah. It was good to catch up, to sit, to share all that had been going on. To hold hands. To watch people dancing. To relax in comfortable quiet. 

While I didn't see her often it was always assumed there would be a next time, in the way that families are constant and fixed in time and space somehow. 

But whenever I celebrate this transplant, she will always be with me. 


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

ch ch ch changes

Life lately has been a vacuum. Profound change on the horizon so keeping things as much the same as possible has been getting me through. 

Or so I think. 

I crack and start to cry in yoga, while meditating, when a sappy song comes on. A kid leaving for college is a huge thing that we're all working hard to pretend isn't. 

I haven't written, created, have felt no drive or initiative. As these major changes  stare me down, I'm staring off into the distance instead of confronting them head on. 

Sigh. 

I'm hoping that door shutting/door opening thing holds true. Because I've been quietly getting ready for what's next. Even though letting go of what is isn't what I want to do. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

mothers

I recently was cast in a project that was real moms talking about motherhood. It went live yesterday:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN2AUhCF0H0

I am usually a good talker. Self possessed. On top of my info and in control of my conversation. 

I like talking in front of crowds. I own my facts and can riff and make an deep impression in real time. 

Not this time. 

As I talked to the remarkable women who were also part of the project I felt smaller and smaller, not quite sure why I was there. They had such riveting, inspirational, life changes stories about being a mom. 

Not me. I'm just a mom. No huge circumstances or out of the box tangents. 

I'm a mom who didn't necessarily want children back in the day. But I'm a mom whose entire reason for being became clear as I grow into this role. I'm a mom who loves her kids profoundly,
Who appreciates their quirks, who celebrates their very being here, who will listen to just about any topic just to spend time. 

I'm a mom who is, and will always be a mom first, no matter what else I do in life. 

What a precious opportunity this was, to talk about something that changed me, made me, motivates me, moves me.  

The campaign is How We Family. And that is something I do with all my heart.  

Friday, April 29, 2016

grounding

I'm in the air. About to land. Fourth time visiting my mom in 2 months. 

This time she's ok. 

But I find no matter how she is, she's grounding. 

The experience is grounding. The sameness. The palm trees in the airport. 

The smiling clerks at supermarkets. 

The light colored cars that all look the same. 

One day it won't be the same. 

But today I'm nothing but relieved to disappear into the familiarity. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

stories

Yesterday I had one of those once in a lifetime, how did I get to do this, outside my comfort zone experiences. 

I talked about being a mom. 

It seemed like it would be easy. Being a mom is my most important role. It defines me in a way nothing else has or will. It made me, changed me. Shaped me.

Forced me to grow and let go. 

To be stronger and kinder. 

To channel patience at levels I never knew possible and in all that discover compassion I didn't know was in me. 

And learn what the depths of love truly are. 

But talking about it was actually hard. Almost impossible at points. I was awed by the other mothers I met and felt unworthy to be there after listening to  their struggles and realities. 

But one woman said to me: everyone has a story, and that helped. A bit. 

I spent hours in a holding room, then worked with wardrobe - they liked my style and I wore my own eclectic stuff that looked much better everything was steamed. I sat in hair/make up. Was wired for sound and let to a wooden stool on a dark set. The direct was behind a screen, her face reflected in a mirror I could see. Crew and clients were off to the side, bathed in darkness watching me on monitors.  

I've been interviewed plenty of times before, but this was different. I wasn't talking about a subject I'd researched or a cause I was fighting for. 

I was talking about me. 

Whew.  

I teared up far more than I expected to. I got lost in answers. I wasn't making points I wanted to. In fact, it wasn't about making points at all. I walked off set relatively certain I bombed the whole thing and that everyone was relieved when I stopped talking. 

But that's part of motherhood too. Not always being perfect or fine or right. Sometimes, as my little one says, it's just about being present and listening. 

Yesterday, I was present. I listened. I met remarkable women and am grateful to have shared their stories and glimpses into their lives. 

This was all for a project that will be online for Mother's Day. Sitting here I'm doubting I'll make the final cut. But the experience itself was one I will never forget. I was proud, nervous, uncomfortable, honest, empathic, relieved, in the moment, on the spot. 

And isn't that what motherhood is about?