I just want to say thank you to Robyn for swaying me to participate in the
Slice of Life Challenge. It was a very, very last moment decision to participate, like 10 pm on the first night. I had just signed up for a different Internal University class through my district, so taking two classes at one time was not really a consideration. But here I am in the home stretch of both classes being completed.
I didn't even have a blog, a web page, or know where or how to start one! Robyn patiently walked me through the steps. She told me to "just get something down" for the first day and she would help me with setting up the page. So I did just that"got something down" and everyday since March 1st. I was surprised and still am that others have taken the time to read what I have written or even felt connected enough to comment.
I have enjoyed starting to write down my thoughts and sharing them through this blog. Learning about my self through writing is not something that I thought would happen. But it did. I learned that my thoughts don't have to be connected to one another, that they are just snapshots, a glimpse, into my little world. Some days the stories are better than others, more emotional and/or personal. I have enjoyed gaining insight into others lives, that some how we are all connected by our stories
I would like to think that I will continue blogging, maybe not on a daily basis. Maybe when I feel compelled to share something that is of importance to me. Thank you for showing me that I could be a writer. I am not sure that I am really a writer, but I am willing to try and see where this new road takes me.
The other day a friend tagged me in a post on social media. The post was written through the eyes of a single parent. Being a single parent isn’t something I think about all the time, its just something I do. However, it does cross my mind. It isn't something I am bothered by, I figure my path lead me this way. There are times when others point out things that I don't always get done within my week. Sometimes the person questioning me works from home, doesn’t work or is married/has a partner. I think that people lose sight that when they are married or in a relationship, they have someone who helps them in someway. They have a person to discuss dinner ideas, vacation ideas, what to fix in the house next, someone to share the driving to and from kid functions. I get to have all of those discussions with myself. Sometimes, I think that other people have more of a problem with my single parenthood than I do.
So when you ask me – why aren’t you dating, why didn’t you fix your washing machine yet, do your taxes, plan meals, are still doing laundry, you paid a bill late and so on and so on. Just remember, I am doing the job of two people. I am the only one who does the grocery shopping, laundry, reviewing school papers, driving to and from all sports practices, and making sure all the daily responsibilities are done. Please know this is not a complaint, I love my children and I would have it no other way. But before you decide to judge me on what I am doing or not doing to your standards, please take a look through my lens.
Today was a great day. I woke up, showered, and peered in at my sleepy boys. I let them sleep in to recover from the sleepover from the day before. It wasn't until around 10:30 when we actually left the house. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts and hit the road.
We headed to down town to Chicago's Navy Pier. It is the first time that my children have been to the pier. It was sunny when we left and probably a high of 50 degrees. I loved walking down the pier with them, absorbing all of the sights and sounds. Their curiosity of the buildings, the lake, the Ferris Wheel and all the shops! Of course, we stopped and bought trinkets from one of the stores, candy from the candy store, popcorn from Garrett's, and took pictures at the photo booth. Just hearing their laughter and excitement....and the occasional holding of my hand.
As we wrapped up our day at the pier, the sun was now hidden behind the rainy clouds and the temperature was dropping. I heard several "thank you so much Mommy" as we moved across our day. Since the drive is lengthy, I thought why don't we stop at my sister's house on the way home.
We picked the perfect day to stop, her three boys (11, 11, and 14) and daughter (15) did not have any activities this evening. That never happens! They were able to play basketball and soccer until the rain came pouring down on them. The giggles and laughter continued as they moved into the house. There is never enough time for them to see each other. The question started almost immediately, "Auntie, when do we get to come back to your house?" One of the best questions ever.
Needless to say it was a perfect day. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.
When I was young, I was involved in activities at school, girl scouts, sports – you name it! I didn’t really have friends come over. My dad was unpredictable with his behavior and drinking. You never knew what he was going to say or do. My neighbors were not always fans of ours since he always called the police on others around our block. Our house would get egged or TP’d frequently. It wasn’t a place that we could feel comfortable to hang out with friends. I want my children’s experience to be very different from mine.
People will tell me that I am crazy to have kids over all the time. It is chaotic and I always end up cleaning up a million Nerf gun darts and picking up all of the empty water bottles. Having a house full of noise is so much better than the deafening silence when they are not home.
Spring break is here and it isn’t the best weather, but it is not raining. That means that my kids are outside playing with the kids on our block. Everyday there are children outside playing basketball, baseball, or some made up kind of game in the front yard. They will have friends sleep over, the requests have been made and parents have been contacted. I know that I want my own time with my children, but I want them to be able to have time with their friends too. My home should be a safe place where they want to be with their friends, especially as they get older. This is very important to me.
My name is Michelle, but you may call me by a nickname. Depending on the name you call me can identify what time in my life you entered and in what way you know me.
As a little girl my friends and family called me Shelly. I remember trying out how I wanted to spell that nickname... Shellie, Shelley or Shelly. Shelly is the one that stuck. I also had fairly curly hair as a little girl and my best friend's dad would call me "Shelly Temple," since I reminded him of Shirley Temple.
Then as my cousins started to have children of their own, I became Shellbell. Now they are entering adulthood, yet they still call me Shellbell. I love it. No one in my family called me Michelle. My uncle married and his stepdaughter was also a Michelle. When they called the name Michelle, they were referencing her. I wouldn't even turn my head because it wouldn't even register for me, I was Shelly.
My high school friends call me Shelly or Shell but then moving on to college, I became Michelle. I never introduced my self as Shelly, so Michelle it is. At work, I go by the same.
So if we ever cross paths and you hear me called Shelly, Shell, Shellbell or Michelle you will have an idea of how the people know me and when they entered my life.
It was freshman year of high school at softball try outs. I was unbelievably shy and scared to death. I had no self-confidence and I can't say much has changed since then. At the try-out, we had to run, run and run! Basically, until you threw up. I am not sure if it was between the gasps for air, or meeting at the garbage can in the middle of the gym or laying on the ground after practice, that we first met. But at sometime, I met these twin girls, who look nothing alike. It was within those first few days of sharing in mutual pain and suffering that Kimmy and Cindy and I became fast friends. (and we all made the team)
Who knew that 28 years later we would still be the best of friends? We have celebrated three marriages, seven children, the purchases of five homes and carried each other through our losses too. They have picked my up off the ground and carried me through some of my most difficult times. There are no words to say how much I adore them.
Seven years ago, I needed to find a new home. There was very little hesitation with where to look. I end up within minutes of both of them. Even though we don't get to see each other as often as any of us would like, they are just a phone call away. Or a few block drive away since we are just a stones throw away from each other. In fact, my children go to the same school as Kimmy and all of our kids will attend the same high school. I love the notion that most of them will be in the same school at the same time.
So this weekend we will celebrate our friendship. I can't wait to sing our hearts out at another Bon Jovi concert! Love you girls!
I believe that you don't need to have birthed a child to understand what it would be like to be a mom. Eleven years ago, I became a mom. I think that becoming a mother only enhanced my understanding of parenthood. Having a child was the single most wonderful gift that I could ever receive. I was worried that I may have trouble getting pregnant since my mom had difficulty getting pregnant. I was very fortunate, I was pregnant quickly after we started trying. (Fortunate is an understatement, I know getting pregnant for others is can be extremely difficult. I have never taken that for granted.)
Some women do not enjoy being pregnant, I loved it! I didn't love the weight gain and being slowed down. But growing this wonderful little person in my tummy and feeling the baby grow was amazing. I wanted at least four children, I was blessed with two. They are the loves of my life. I can't imagine my world without them.
They are just sixteen months apart and are amazing little people. I loved the moments as we were in them, yet look forward to the next, and at the same time missed what they had just outgrown. Now they are eleven and ten. I just can't believe that all those years are now behind us. When I look forward to the future, I think my time with them is more than half over. I only have seven years left with Ryan before he heads of to college and Lucas will follow the next year.
My heart is soaring with mixed emotions. As they grow more independent, they will hug me less, hold my hand less and need me less. I can't be believe my babies are growing so quickly. As they are preparing for their future, I am preparing for them to grow away from me. I want to make sure that I continue to make the most of every moment, as my time with them in my home is running out. Time needs to slow down just a little.
3:30 and it is officially spring break! However, I stayed at work until seven o'clock. I was the last person to say good night to the custodial staff. I spent the first few hours of spring organizing all of my paperwork that I need to complete before the end of the school year. At this point, I have at least sixteen evaluations to complete by the end of the year. The reports are usually between 10-15 pages long for each student. It may not sound like much but there are many components to each evaluation.
So, I am pausing from my work to write this blog and then I will write up my summary for a class I am taking. I need to have these two items completed by 12 am today.
Back to thinking about the evaluations... I mentioned that I have until the end of the school year, but do you know how long that really is? It is only about 40 school days. When you really think about it, there isn't much time left before this school year ends!!
I guess I better get back to work!
Throughout my day, I think "oooh - this would be fun to write about!" But then it comes time to put some thoughts down and my brain goes blank. NOTHING comes to my mind about what to write about. I have decided that I need to have a notepad near by to jot my thoughts down. So many little things occur in my day that would make for great writing! So many things that are comical within the context of my position.
But still I sit here with nothing to write about. I have started the first sentence four times. Tomorrow, I will start to write down the little things that stick out as good ideas.
Why is it that as soon as I pull open my lap, someone thinks it is play time. Do her boys not love her enough, do they not see the cry for attention that this little being is seeking?
I take her toy and repeatedly toss it for her, but it still isn't enough. She longingly looks for her boys to come and take her outside to play with them. Now she has given up and is resting by my side. Don't worry my little puppy, Mommy loves you.