How I Ended Up This Way's Blog











As I sit here getting everything prepared for my daughter’s high school graduation today, I can not help but think about the little girl she was. As a matter of fact, I have a picture of her taken by her pre-school teacher so many years ago. I have always kept this particular photo on my refrigerator. It’s one of those pictures of her that I just love. You know the photo I mean; we
all have that one special photo that for whatever reason, hits us in a special way.

 As I look at the photo of my then, preschooler, I think back to the events surrounding the day I was given the photo. It was near the end of her preschool year. She is standing there, with her special “all-happy” smile on her beautiful face, wearing one of the dresses I made her. The dress is covered with different colored flowers. There had been another kid standing with her until she made me cut the kid out of the picture because the kid was mean and she didn’t like him. I remember how stubborn she has always been. She has such a strong personality. As a matter of fact, when she was three years old, she was so angry with the fact she could not read like her older cousin did. I explained to her that you had to actually learn how to spell the words in order
to read them. It didn’t come automatically as she thought everything should. She wanted to know how to read. She wanted to learn how to spell so I started giving her spelling tests. We would study the words throughout the week, and on Friday’s, she would test. People,
this was her idea. I didn’t force her. So don’t be all “mommy dearest” on me.

It wasn’t long before she was reading small books. Once she proved she could read, she was satisfied. It amazed me how easily she picked up each new word. It shouldn’t have, considering she started talking when she was a little shy of four months old. I’ll never forget when we were at her six month check up. The doctor offered her the “tongue presser-downer” thingy (don’t mock me, you don’t know the technical term for them either!) to her. April took it, and promptly told the doctor “thank you”. I will never, in my life, forget the look on the doctor’s face. She did a double take, looked at my baby, who was already playing with the thing, then turned to me and my mother for verification. “Did she just say thank you?” With all of my vast knowledge which came with my twenty-three years (yea, not near as much as I thought) I looked at the
pediatrician and with confusion in my eyes, answered “yes”. I couldn’t figure out why she was so surprised. This was just two words of my daughter’s vocabulary. She says many things. She sings even. She started walking when she was just shy of seven months. What was the big deal? Little did I realize how naïve I really was; I was so stupid.

It was so difficult to let her go off to pre-school. She is my oldest and has a vivid imagination. Even my two younger children went through withdrawals not having her there. She definitely kept our days filled with things to do. Even now, at 18, she can open a big ole can of worms and turn it into an all day conversation or debate, whichever way she what she chooses it to go.

Yet, it’s this spirit that lives inside her, that has made her the person . . . dare I say, the woman, she is today. She is full of life, love and conviction for what she believes is right. And she is not afraid to stand up for her beliefs.

I know as she walks tonight, as she receives her diploma, and takes those first steps towards her adult life, she does so with a strong belief and determination to make this world a better place. And I know, with all that is within me, that she will make a difference in our world. As she does, I hope she’ll forgive the tears I know will be falling down my cheeks. And I hope she knows I could not be any prouder than I am at this moment . . . tears and all.

Until  next time……Peace

A.J.

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{December 25, 2010}   From Me to You…

A little gift, from me to you, on this Christmas Day!!

 

Me: approximately 3yrs old

 

Happy Holidays!!!!!

LOVE, AJ 



 

Hello Everyone. Welcome!

I am sure, if you are a regular reader of my blog, that you knew this blog was due. You probably have wondered whether or not, this is would be the holiday I would not blog about feeling that ping of guilt at having to “share” my children. Well, I’m sad to say, this is not that holiday!

As Christmas is creeping up on us, I am doing basically the same things I have done each and every year. Buying gifts, wrapping both mine and my mother’s gifts for the children as well as anyone else she may have bought a gift for. I have wrapped the gifts for my mom since I was about thirteen years old, including my own. That’s the “thing” I do every year with my mom. Dad, I’m sorry to have to break that bit of information to you this way.

My dad, well, that’s where I get my love for cheesy Christmas movies. Each year, I have to watch all the same Christmas movies the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime Channel continue to show. That is the one thing my dad and I have shared ever since I can remember. It is also the one thing that we love to drive the rest of the house nuts with! And yes, we do watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” each Christmas Eve and end our merriment by watching “A Christmas Story”. How can you not watch “A Christmas Story” when it’s played for a full 24 hours every Christmas Day?

I continue to do all these things and I continue to enjoy them. Yet, this is the third year in which I have had to spend part of the holiday without my children. It’s as if a part of me, has . . . vanished, during the time they are not here celebrating with me, and I just feel as if I’m always a finger tip short of grasping what I am missing. Does that make sense?

Yes, I know divorce happens to many people. Yes, I know people learn to deal with split custody. And yes, I know people do not have children anticipating that, one day, splitting holidays will become normal. I also know, even though my ex takes the children to his mom’s for their Christmas celebration, even though I include him in our Christmas Day celebration every year so that the kids will have us both, one day, this to shall end. One day, this little bit of “family semi-normalcy” we share on Christmas morning will come to an end.

Until that time, I will take comfort in the words spoken by a man I have come to truly admire and strive to take his words to heart.

 

“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message,

that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is

they should be part of our daily lives.”         Dalai Lama

 

Until next time……Peace

A.J.



et cetera