Category Archives: Mom’s point of view

Letting Go

After watching and hearing about every baby we knew taking their first steps, O finally decided to join the pack. He’s on the high side of 15 months old and although he’s well within the range I was beginning to worry. Was I doing something wrong that was dissuading him from walking on his own? Was he too dependent on me? Was I not pushing him enough? But then, the other day, we were outside playing, he just let go of my hand and walked away from me, 12 steps. That’s right, twelve, just…boom, 12 steps!

This milestone, more than any other, has been bitter sweet, almost more on the bitter side even. I loved it when he rolled over-he was so cute! I was so proud when he started to crawl-wasn’t he getting strong! I was thrilled when he said his first word-wasn’t he so smart! But while I’m still really happy that he’s walking, it’s more relief than happy. He has finally moved up in the world from a crawler to a walker. So many people were asking about his walking it seemed that was all anyone cared about-I know this isn’t quite true. The questions always came with reassurances that he would take those first steps when he was ready and that as soon as he starts I would be wishing he was still crawling. I suspected that the delay had largely to do with the fact that you can’t drive cars and trains on the floor when you are walking upright so what was the point? And man that boy can really go on all fours! He’s like a tiny yet really noisy lightening bolt streaking across the floor.

But at the same time, it was so very sad. There is no longer a question, my baby boy cannot be considered a baby. He’s walking now, walking away from me on to bigger things. I understand and rationally know this isn’t exactly accurate. The first thing he did after he sat down was come crawling back to me with the biggest grin on his face that clearly said, “Did you see me mama?! I can do it all by myself!” He needed me to tell him he did a good job, that I saw him succeed, that it was okay for him to start to take these steps on his own. He needed me to be supportive of this new independence that in my mind marked the end of babyhood. And as much as I want him to stay a baby forever, he can’t. I have to be okay with him letting go of my hand no matter how much I want to hold on and never let go.

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What else do you do with lemons?

Yesterday my grandma had a cancerous lump removed from her breast. This is the second time she’s had breast cancer and she’s had at least one more type of cancer that was removed/treated successfully and possibly another on top of that. Needless to say, she is no stranger to these types of procedures and diagnoses. Thankfully everything went better than expected. The lump was removed and from what I understand, it had not spread to her lymph nodes so they didn’t need to removed any of them. She even went home yesterday afternoon and felt well enough that she didn’t need anyone to spend the night with her. A visit on Friday will determine any sort of radiation or follow up treatment.

Every time we get the news that she has cancer it’s a bit of shock at first. My grandma is a very active woman and besides these big diagnoses, she’s very healthy. She swims a few times a week. She quilts and crochets and is the main caregiver for my grandpa who is mostly home bound and diabetic. She shouldn’t be getting cancer (for that matter, no one should).

Even more is the way she delivers the news. It’s relayed in an offhand way that gives the distinct impression that this is no big deal. Just another day with another surgery to remove some not so serious lump from her body. I don’t need to go into the statistics of breast cancer. I don’t need to remind anyone that some aren’t as lucky as my grandma to have it diagnosed at a time where a lumpectomy and maybe some radiation are all that is needed for treatment. I do want to tell this to my grandma to make her take this seriously. She isn’t getting any younger and come on! It’s surgery!  Surgery is serious! However, this is the third, if not fourth, time she’s gone through this. Each of the previous bouts have obviously turned out fine, so to her it might just be another lump that needs to be cut out. Or maybe there is another reason…

This time around is a little different for me too. I’m a mom now and in order for my grandma to be a grandma she had to be a mom first. And I get it. I get why she is so calm and collected about it. I get why it’s just another day. I get why she waits until she absolutely has to tell her kids (and grandkids) bad news. As a mom, you do what needs to be done to protect your children from pain, injury, and harm of any kind. You say, and more importantly, believe, that things will work out for the best. They have to. When life gives you lemons, what else is there to do but make lemonade? Or lemon bars…or lemon meringue pie…you just make the best of it.

I feel I’ve always been sensitive to how my actions affected others, but since becoming a parent it’s transformed into a super power. And I can’t imagine, however old my little boy gets, thinking of him as anything other than my little boy. The one I fed and changed and cared for when he couldn’t care for himself. I know I’m going to always want to shield him from negativity, whatever that might be. Additionally, I now understand that just because my grandma brushed this off like it’s no big deal, doesn’t mean that it really was. She was probably scared and worried exactly like we all were. But as the mom, you think you have to be the strong one for everyone else. Weakness is the single most difficult thing for me to admit and I will go to great lengths before I do. When I talked to my grandma today on the phone, I wanted to go visit, but I’m getting over a cold and thought staying away would be better, she was nothing but positive. She felt good, much better than expected and was happy to be able to go about her life with this little lump behind her. I was reassured and didn’t feel as bad for not going to visit and help her with what she needed. After I hung up, I was taken aback. I do this, I do this all the time telling people that things are good when maybe they aren’t. Brushing off  help when I know it would inconvenience that person to help me. I had just been schooled by the master. After all she has a few more years doing the mom thing than I do.

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Grandma and I a few years ago when I visited her in Texas. We went across the border and got margaritas! 

Today I’m just really thankful for my grandma and her good outcome. I’m thankful she is there for me to call and visit. I hate that I’m reminded by a stupid cancerous lump that I need to make time to visit her and grandpa more. Life is precious and shouldn’t be taken for granted as it is much too easily. So take a moment to hug the ones you love, find a minute to pick up the phone to make some plans for a visit or send a text to let them know you are thinking about them, you won’t be sorry.